Alex Lifeson Says Another Tour Probably Isn’t ‘in My Cards’
“I haven’t really considered [playing live],” he tells UCR. “It’s been almost six years [since the last tour]. After touring at that level [for decades], not to mention the six years before that of spending weeks in small bars and small towns, I’m not in a big hurry to go back on the road.”
If “something major” happens with his new collaborators in Envy of None and there is a chance to do “a handful of specific shows,” Lifeson would consider that. But the idea of lengthy touring, either with Rush frontman Geddy Lee or Envy of None, is a different story. “I don’t think that’s something that’s in my cards, really,” Lifeson says.
Initially, he felt Rush were wrapping up things prematurely when they concluded what became the band's final tour. “But there were lots of reasons – and very valid reasons for ending the tour in 2015 when we did,” he explains. “I’m glad we did, because we ended off on a really high note. We were playing great.
“It was just too hard for [drummer] Neil [Peart] at that point, to do a major long tour,” Lifeson adds. “I think we went out the right way. I would hate to be remembered as not being able to stand on the stage, sitting in a chair playing these Rush songs with arthritic fingers. It’s just not the way I want to be remembered.”
Lifeson has also confirmed that he’s in a good place with chronic issues that challenged him in the past. “I have psoriatic arthritis,” he said in a subsequent interview with Eddie Trunk. “I’ve had it for many, many years and I’m really fortunate. I started taking care of it early on, and a lot of the medication available for sufferers of arthritis have really come a long way in the last years.
“These biologics work incredibly well, and I’m on two particular ones,” he shared in that same interview. “They work great and really help my fingers a lot. I don’t have any complaints or any issues. Once in a while, there’s some inflammation and it’s a little harder, but it works out. As long as I keep moving and active, it’s not bad at all. Compared to some people, it’s nothing. I’m fine; I don’t even really think about it.”
Meanwhile, Lifeson tells UCR that he’s got plenty to keep him busy. Beyond being all over the place musically, he also enjoys painting in his spare time and spending time with his family. “We’ve just gone through a pandemic, which has really changed our consciousness a lot,” Lifeson says. “I feel pretty blessed and happy with where I am.”
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