Icon of Rush Alex Lifeson says he kissed each of his guitars farewell and even spoke to one of them before auctioning them off.
In March, he announced plans to donate over 100 music-related things to charity, later explaining that he wanted to live a “leaner” lifestyle and continue the “march forward” represented by his new band, Envy of None.
“My wife and I are at a point in our lives where we just feel like we have too much stuff and we’re trying to go a little leaner,” Alex Lifeson recently told. “I’m auctioning off the majority of my guitar collection to benefit charity.” That’s something I’m looking forward to. It was certainly one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done; packing those guitars was so emotionally draining. I cleaned them, polished them, and changed the strings. When I put it back in the case, I made sure every single one was in tune, and then I kissed it farewell.”
It was especially difficult for him to let go of a 1976 Gibson ES-355 that had been a mainstay of his Rush career.
“That was the last one left,” he remembered. “I was waiting for the removal truck in our mudroom, which was immediately off our garage.” I sat there with the case between my legs, and, perhaps it sounds corny, but I was chatting to it. I was kissing the bubble wrap and thinking about shows we’d done together.” “But I know that with the monies I’m hoping to raise, it gives it all new life and helps other people, and in some situations, it gives individuals a second chance at life,” he continued. “How could you not do that?”
Alex Lifeson stated that he “absolutely” agrees that he is experiencing creative freedom these days. “After a year of working on [Envy of None’s self-titled debut], [it] has just made me feel like the horizon has opened up,” he said. “What we did with Rush was incredible, and few bands have that type of longevity.” We worked hard and were proud of our job, and I adored it all. But I still have some life left in me. I still enjoy listening to music. “I still want to study other areas that will help me become a better musician.”
Top 10 Albums Of Alex Lifeson
We look at Rush’s 19 studio albums, from the strong self-titled debut in 1974 to a string of spectacular late-career triumphs.
1. ‘Test for Echo,’ (1996)
Test for Echo, Alex Lifeson’s fairly forgettable album from 1996, sounds like it was sleepwalked through. Even its highlights – the title track, “Half the World,” and “Virtuality” – cannibalised spare parts and old ideas, like a printer cartridge running out of ink or an echo becoming fainter, fainter, fainter…
2. ‘Snakes and Arrows,'(2007)
Snakes and Arrows has all the hallmarks of a classic Alex Lifeson album: it’s focused, innovative, and even risk-taking. However, once the initial excitement wears off, so do the songs, many of which are instrumentals.3.
3. ‘Hold Your Fire,’ (1987)
By the time Hold Your Fire arrived, most Rush Alex Lifeson fans had grown tired of the band’s sleek, synth-driven ’80s sound, and these songs are rarely repeated in concert these days – indicating that they’re still not well remembered decades later. Nonetheless, songs like “Force Ten” and “Lock and Key” have followers.
4. ‘Vapor Trails,’ (2002)
Following various personal traumas at the close of the ’90s, fans were lenient when Vapor Trails was released. But, other from a few standout tracks like “Ghost Rider” and the riff-tastic “Earthshine,” the rest of the album hasn’t aged well. Mostly, it shows a band learning to walk again after a long absence.
5. ‘Grace Under Pressure,’ (1984)
Grace Under Pressure, another fan favourite, lacks the creative peaks of the band’s other ’80s albums while indulging in the era’s regretful production overkill. As a result, Neil Peart’s drumming sound lifeless, Alex Lifeson’s guitars sound robotic, and Geddy Lee’s synths run wild.
6. ‘Counterparts’ (1993)
Counterparts was released during a very difficult period for many classic rock acts, and it finds Rush Alex Lifeson rising to the occasion with some of their heaviest, darkest, and most soul-baring songs, reflecting the grunge styles of the day. Even though the record continues to divide listeners, you have to respect its audacity.
7. ‘Caress of Steel’ (1975)
While album contains two stone-cold classics in “Bastille Day” and “Lakeside Park,” Caress of Steel nearly ended Rush Alex Lifeson’s budding career before it ever began. The second half of the album is riddled with overly ambitious prog epics, suggesting that the trio wasn’t quite ready for the big leagues yet.
8. ‘Presto’ (1989)
The underappreciated Presto heralds the end of Rush Alex Lifeson’s love affair with synthesisers. The overall image is still relatively clean, and the tunes are polished to a fault, yet beneath the shine can be found their power-trio beginnings.
9. ‘Clockwork Angels’ (2012)
Unlike its predecessor Snakes and Arrows, this appears to be an enduring late-career Rush Alex Lifeson masterpiece. Credit the band for resurrecting philosophical concepts, sci-fi-inspired storytelling, and daring musical arrangements. With concluding stunners like “Headlong Flight,” “Wish them Well,” and “The Garden,” Clockwork Angels builds to a frenzied finale.
10. ‘Power Windows’ (1985)
Power Windows is the most ambitious album Rush released during their New Wave period. Songs like “Manhattan Project” and “The Big Money” advocate increasingly cynical world views, and it sounds like the band is fighting a Terminator-style battle against the very machines they unleashed.