Kory Grow of Rolling Stone reports:

When Rush wrapped their R40 tour last summer, the group issued a press release stating that the jaunt would “most likely be their last major tour of this magnitude.” Drummer Neil Peart had been ambivalent about hitting the road for a long trek as early as January 2015, saying he felt upset about leaving his then-5-year-old daughter at home. “Should I be excited about leaving my family?” he posited at the time. “No, and no one should.”

Now, guitarist Alex Lifeson confirms to Rolling Stone that Peart won’t be entertaining the idea of another lengthy run in the future, even though R40 went well.

“We had such a great time on the tour,” Lifeson tells Rolling Stone. “And it was really nice to go through all the material in reverse chronology, and I think our fans really enjoyed it. I think that no matter how long it would have been, it would have been too short. Neil was prepared to commit to 30 dates and he told us that right from the very beginning. He didn’t even want to do the tour, to be honest with you. It’s been increasingly difficult for him, but he committed to the tour and we got through it. As far as he was concerned, that was the end of touring.”

In addition to wanting to stay home with his family more, Peart struggled with the physicality of touring on R40. “His shoulders were hurting, his arms were hurting, his elbows, his feet, everything,” Lifeson says. “He didn’t want to play anything less than 100 percent. He was finding it increasingly difficult to hit that mark on this last tour. So, all those things combined, I get it. I’m disappointed and I think Geddy [Lee] is very disappointed and we’d love to continue this tour a little bit longer, but we’re off now.”

The trio has not discussed the state of the band beyond that tour. They could still play one-off shows or short runs in the future and could still record music. It’s a prospect Lifeson has yet to discuss with his bandmates.

…[However], Lifeson is optimistic about the future. “You never know,” he says. “Maybe next fall or something like that, we’ll plan something. We took a year off before the last tour and we didn’t discuss anything about the band or work, and everybody had a great time, and we came back from that.” He laughs. “We’re getting older and it’s getting tougher, but I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Is there a scenario where Lifeson and Lee would tour together without Peart? Lifeson’s reply is perfectly sarcastic: “Well, we have been saying that every 40 years, we fire our drummer and get a new one,” he says with a big laugh.

Read more at Rolling Stone.


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  • Michael B on

    I’m not ready for a world without Rush.

    • Doug on

      Me either!

  • Taskerofpuppets on

    Nice to hear from Alex and his viewpoint. Greatest trio that ever lived. Neil is focused on what’s right. A second chance to love and be with his family. Cheers to the him and the band. I bet in a couple of years we’ll get some new tunes form the guys and maybe a few shows. All hail RUSH!!!

  • Bill Zwerz on

    I love Rush but have a beef with Neal. A friend of mine went to their show a few years ago and paid for the meet and greet, but was told backstage that he was only allowed to talk to Neal about Motorcycles, and he generally doesn’t do meet and greets because “he’s uncomfortable with the adulation people give him”. Well too freaking bad Neal. Take ten minutes to meet with the fans, sign a drumstick and if you have to put on a fake smile to make some people who have made you a very wealthy man feel good. Have your PR person tell the fans what not to say or ask him when they meet him. If some guy asks him how he likes playing Ludwig drums just be courteous and give him a short concise answer. Neil comes across as a snob by being so fan unfriendly. I personally think he feels he’s smarter than most Rush fans and believes it would be a waste of time speaking to them as it wouldn’t be self-fulfilling for him. He’ll do the Rolling Stone interview and cover to promote their last tour, which is a magazine that if I remember correctly never wrote any articles on the band or reviewed their albums during the majority of their career. In other words, RS couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the band until they became Trendy at the very end. I hate saying this about the guy because he is one of my favorite artists but the anti-fan attitude bothers me. He loves riding these ultra-expensive motorcycles. Well Neil you can thank the fans who you don’t want to meet for giving you that luxury. The ones who just want to know how do you like playing Ludwig drums.

    • Michael B on

      Neil very seldom meets fans and it’s common knowledge, that’s his choice, he’s always been that way. He doesn’t owe you anything besides the vast catalog of music they’ve left and countless tours they’ve been on for the last 40 years.

      Maybe he has anxiety or some other issue that makes it very uncomfortable to meet fans like Geddy and Alex do. That’s not uncommon, cut the guy some slack. He talks about it on “Behind the Lighted Stage”, as does Geddy and Alex. He’s not being a snob, he just can’t handle the attention. He just wants to play his drums.

      So what if he drives expensive motorcycles (you can get a used GS1200 for a decent price), he deserves it. It pisses me off when people drag others down for their success.

      You aren’t a fan if you feel like you are owed something, sorry. These guys are human beings, not a product you buy in the store.

    • Richard Paige on

      Unfortunately, they sold themselves like a product in a store when they offered themselves up for a very expensive “meet & greet ” package….

    • Tyger of Pan Tang on

      There’s a lot more to Peart’s position than discomfort over adulation.
      Check out some fan sites, and you’ll see essays of his, and reports from journalists, from the late 70s on his contact with groupie-hopefuls and the boorish and obnoxious. He’s not the only one who felt that way at that time: there’s a doc out there about the genesis of “The Wall”, in which Roger Waters explains that what moved him to create the concept was that he was tired of LSD-driven aggressiveness from concert-goers.
      Peart was for many years enthusiastically interacting with fellow drummers, because it was done under the radar through a trade magazine. Once internet use skyrocketed, he got more enquiries than he could handle, and quit. About the same time, his parents heard distressing internet-spread rumours about him. These experiences lead to the lyrics of “Virtuality” on Test for Echo.
      The restrictions on discussion topics might also exist because he really doesn’t need to be asked about the personal tragedies he’s suffered.
      I used to think that Rush had the most civil fans, until I started going to Rush concerts.

    • Dana on

      Speaking of Roger Waters, that is one person that I will NOT be objective about, he is a major a-hole and his politics suck. There, I said it.

      D 🙂

    • Tony Marino on

      Bill I couldn’t agree with you more. For some reason it seems that you’re a “bad” Rush fan if you say anything negative about Neil. Neil has every right to hide from fans but that doesn’t mean fans don’t have the right to be puzzled/bothered by that behavior. And just because someone says “I’m not being a snob” doesn’t absolve them from being a snob.

    • Harold Taint on

      You hate to say it Bill? You just spent 2 hours typing out your post. Surely you can “hate to say it” with less?

  • James K. on

    Alex can make jokes, but I feel they’d never replace Neil. To play the way he does at his age, it’s a miracle! If that tour was it for them, then at least they went out on top and I feel blessed that I got to see that show.

  • gregg forbes on

    geddy and alex will find a replacement drummer.too much money out there not to??and I will be there when they do the garden in nyc

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