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“Neil was getting happier and Alex and I were getting sadder”: Geddy Lee says Rush were “divided” during their final tour

“It was a lot of fun, but as the tour wound down, the mood started to change.”

Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart of Rus

Image: Larry Marano / Getty Images

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Rush bassist Geddy Lee has opened up about the atmosphere within the band during their final tour, saying the members were “quite divided by the end”.

Speaking about Rush’s legacy in a new Guardian interview promoting his recently-released memoir My Effin’ Life, Lee discusses the tension within the band as the end to 2015’s R40 tour approached.

Asked about the mood within the camp given drummer Neil Peart’s impending retirement, Lee says that the tour actually “started out in a very good mood.”

“We’d put a lot of effort into designing this theatrical retrospective in reverse. It was a lot of fun, but as the tour wound down, the mood started to change and it split into two camps.”

“Neil was getting happier and Alex [Lifeson] and I were getting sadder,” he adds. “Because we really wanted to bring the tour to fans around the world, but Neil had agreed to do 30 shows. He felt as if he was approaching liberation, so we were quite divided by the end.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Lee admits that while he has regrets about the amount of time he spent away from his son and marriage during his time as a Rush member—“because I always put the band first”—he has no regrets about “the story arc of Rush”.

“I was the luckiest bass player on Earth to play with a drummer like Neil Peart and a guitarist like Alex Lifeson. And I was even more blessed because they were my dear friends,” he says.

In other news, Lee recently revealed that he and Lifeson had tentative plans to put on a tribute event honouring their late bandmate and friend Peart, only to have Covid derail everything.

“We were planning to do a memorial in Toronto, but then the pandemic hit, and by the time we’d come out of it a couple of years had passed,” he told Classic Rock. “We feel like we were robbed of the moment. But you never know. We still talk about it. If we can get our shit together we might be able to pull something off.”

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