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Geddy Lee on Neil Peart: “He hasn’t just retired from Rush, he’s retired from drumming”

on December 19, 2018, 1:50pm

In case there were still some Rush fans holding out hope that the legendary Canadian prog-rock trio may someday ride again, vocalist and bassist Geddy Lee put another pin those quickly-deflating hopes. Appearing yesterday on SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk, Lee told listeners, “That period of our life is done.”

The end of Rush, as has been mentioned in numerous other interviews with Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson, is primarily due to drummer Neil Peart’s inability to play the drums to the level at which he was accustomed because of physical ailments.

“Neil [Peart] is retired,” said Lee. “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. Alex [Lifeson] and I are cool with it. We’re all still total pals.”

Peart’s physical issues was part of the drama of the 2016 documentary Time Stand Still, which followed the band on what wound up being their final tour together. The 66-year-old musician suffers from chronic tendinitis and has struggled with shoulder issues and, during the R40 Tour, a foot infection that made it difficult for him to walk.

“Neil was struggling throughout that tour to play at his peak, because of physical ailments and other things that were going on with him,” Lee said in yesterday’s interview. “And he is a perfectionist, and he did not want to go out and do anything less than what people expected of him.”

(Read: RUSH’s Hemispheres at 40 Years Old: A Peak of Prog Ambition)

As both Lee and Lifeson have talked about in recent interviews, while their former bandmate is likely done making music, they have no plans of stopping. Last month, it was announced that Lifeson was writing and recording with prog drummer Marco Minnemann.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Rolling Stone in October, Lee left the door open to some incarnation of Rush touring in the future, saying, “I would say there’s no chance of seeing Rush on tour again as Alex, Geddy, Neil. But would you see one of us or two of us or three of us? That’s possible.”

Speaking with Trunk yesterday, Lee insisted that there are likely new sounds on the horizon for himself and Lifeson but wouldn’t commit beyond that.

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