Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Rush bassist confirms Neil Peart has retired from drumming

In a new interview with SiriusXM, Rush bassist and frontman Geddy Lee confirms that bandmate Neil Peart has retired from drumming.

"Yeah, I mean Neil is retired," Lee tells Trunk Nation host Eddie Trunk (hear audio below). "He hasn't just retired from Rush; he's retired from drumming. He's not drumming anymore, and he's living his life, which is fine.

“(Guitarist) Alex (Lifeson) and I are cool with it; we're all still total pals. In fact, Alex and I were there just a few weeks ago visiting him, and we stay in touch. And, of course, Alex lives very near to me, so we're constantly going out to dinner, 'cause he loves to drink everything in my wine cellar. We're still pals, and we all talk, but that period of our life is done.”

Following a 2013 induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Rush performed the final show of their 40th anniversary R40 Live tour at The Forum in Los Angeles on August 1, 2015, marking the last concert appearance by the legendary Canadian rockers.

“That last gig was a difficult night,” explains Lee. “[Neil] was struggling throughout that tour to play at his peak, because of physical ailments and other things that were going on with him. And he is a perfectionist, and he did not want to go out and do anything less than what people expected of him. That's what drove him his whole career, and that's the way he wanted to go out, and I totally respect that. And for Alex and I, of course, we're not drummers, so we don't take the same physical abuse, although Alex does suffer from arthritis and he was having a very difficult time on that tour playing a three-hour show. So it was clear that whatever happened in the future, it was not gonna be like that.

“In hindsight now, and with the benefit of time,”
he continued, “I'm very happy with the way it went down. It just didn't sit right for me to do a farewell tour and try to capitalize on that word. It just didn't work for me… It wasn't the easiest thing to pull off, but I feel good about our body of work, and I feel good about the way it ended. And, you know, onward and upward."

On hand to promote his latest project - “Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book Of Bass”, which celebrates the history of the instrument alongside his own personal collection of vintage electric bass guitars from the 1950s to the 1980s – Lee says that, while Rush are done, he may work with Lifeson in the future.

"Is there more music to come from myself and from Alex? Most certainly,” Lee adds. “I don't know when or what shape that will take. I don't know if Alex and I will do something together. People keep me asking me and they want me to be definitive, and I can't be, because I really haven't thought that far."

The trio will release the vinyl debut of their 2003 live package, “Rush In Rio”, on January 18.

The 4LP 180-gram set captures the band in concert before 40,000 fans at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on the final night of a world tour in support of their 2002 album, “Vapor Trails.”

Co-produced and mixed by Lifeson and James Barton, “Rush In Rio” was originally issued on CD and DVD, but has never appeared on vinyl…until now.

See also:

Rush: Geddy Lee to launch bass history book with in-store signing events
Rush announce vinyl debut release of Rush In Rio
VIDEO: Alex Lifeson performs Rush and Doors classics at California charity event
Rush announce expanded 40th anniversary Hemispheres reissues
Search Rush at hennemusic