Alex Lifeson’s Arthritis Could Bring an End to Rush’s Touring


Rush aren’t calling their current tour a farewell, but bassist Geddy Lee says it could be due to guitarist Alex Lifeson’s arthritis.

“For Alex the arthritis is not a small thing,” Lee tells Classic Rock. “If anything is going to mean we can’t tour any more like we used to, it’s more than likely going to be the arthritis because that’s something that will directly affect his ability to play.”

Lifeson has suffered from arthritis for 10 years “and this is the first time I’m really feeling it in my hands and my feet,” he tells Classic Rock.

In addition, Rush drummer Neil Peart has tendonitis in his arm. “To be honest, I don’t know how he gets through playing the way he does, being in that sort of discomfort and pain,” Lifeson says.

Peart has said he would like the group to quit touring, noting that he feels guilty leaving his family for long periods on the road.

“He shouldn’t have to feel bad about not wanting to do it any more,” Lifeson says. “Now, more than ever, Geddy wants to play, whereas Neil probably would have quit years ago if he didn’t feel that he owed something to us.

“Keep in mind: we’re like brothers,” he adds.

Rush’s 40th anniversary tour began on May 8 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It will visit 34 cities by the time it concludes on August 1 in Los Angeles. The group has said it will “most likely be their last major tour of this magnitude.”