Rush for me have always been a guilty pleasure as my tastes lean more towards straight forward rock and americana. Their brand of complex, intricate and intellectual progressive rock isn’t for everybody, but history will look very kindly on the remarkable achievements of a band who for me are one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands of them all. The band were subject to a tribute on the excellent Sound Opinions podcast a few weeks back which you can replay here.
Last week in Rolling Stone, Alex Lifeson hung a big question mark over their recording and touring future. Post their 2015 R40 tour Neil Peart has more or less declared that he’s done with touring and is now in a happy place spending time with his young family. Given what the man’s been through personally, nobody would begrudge him this. He’s 63 and it’s unrealistic to expect the legendary sticks-man to continue to put his body through gruelling 3 hour shows. It’s not like Rush play straight ahead four on the floor rock ‘n’ roll, and Neil Peart is no ordinary drummer. It’s a good thing that I finally got the finger out and went to see them in London in 2011, even if it was up with the Gods in the Millennium Dome.
Lifeson and band front-man Geddy Lee appear to be chomping at the bit creatively and have left the door open to the prospect of Peart continuing to record with the band even if he’s had enough of life on the road.
As he’s also the band’s lyricist a Rush album without him wouldn’t be the same, though I don’t think I’m the only one who would have preferred a bit more “liquor, women, drugs and killing” as themes over their 40 year existence.
Clockwork Angels, their last record, was a super piece of work and among their finest so why throw in the towel now if there’s still the potential for something great there? Lee and Lifeson are treading carefully here and I reckon they are preparing their audience for the prospect of them recording with Peart but hitting the road again without him. Unthinkable to some of the nerds that follow the band but time rolls by and if there’s a choice between a stand-in or no Rush at all I’ll take the stand-in any day of the week. Keep going boys!