In 2008, Guitar World asked Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson to dissect several key songs from the band's past. Starting with "Fly By Night" (1975) and ending with "Test for Echo" (1996), he discussed his guitars, amps and effects. Here's how it went.
Alex Lifeson, the guitarist of Candian prog-rock legends Rush, recently sat down with the folks at PRS Guitars to discuss his history with the company and Rush's R40 tour in this exclusive video interview.
Here Alex Lifeson tells the story of the inception of the acoustic introduction to this classic hit. “All of our early albums were written on acoustic guitar. When Geddy [Lee, bass and vocals] and I would write the music, we’d sit down with a cassette recorder and two acoustic guitars, in spite of the fact that we were a hard rock band...
If you’re a fan of Rush like I am, you probably know them for their hard-hitting, prog masterpieces like “Tom Sawyer,” “The Spirit of Radio,” and “Limelight.” Decidedly electric and undeniable energetic, Rush’s intricate arrangements and complex rhythms characterize their catalog. But the band also spins out some masterfully created and performed acoustic parts and songs.
PRS Guitars is pleased to continue its relationship with Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson with the announcement of its all-new SE thinline acoustic signature model. The SE Alex Lifeson Thinline acoustic is a road-worthy guitar for players in need of a stage- and studio-ready instrument.
In this interview from 2009, Rush’s guitarist — Alex Lifeson — and bassist — Geddy Lee — choose 60 minutes' worth of the music that is closest to their hearts, essentially putting together the ultimate Rush-approved "mixed tape."
The Beach Boys had a really cool guitar sound. I also liked the guitarists in the Searchers and the Dave Clark Five. Then Jimi Hendrix and Pete Townshend hit, and it turned the guitar world on its ear. The more I got into playing guitar, the more I enjoyed music and the broader my listening became. The instrument itself became important to me, and I started messing around with classical guitar and took classical lessons.
Progressive-rock was primarily a “British thing,” exemplified by acts like King Crimson, Genesis, Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. That changed after three Canadians—guitarist Alex Lifeson, bassist Geddy Lee and drummer Neil Peart—pooled their Led Zeppelin, Cream, Who and assorted “Brit-prog” influences and created the “art-rock” power trio Rush.
Despite an intensely devoted fan base and decades of massive success, Rush have been, for much of their career, regarded as the World’s Least-Hip Rock and Roll Act—the band of choice for adolescent boys mesmerized by 20-minute prog-rock epics, extravagant drum solos, and lyrics filled with tales of snow dogs, warring trees and French national holidays.
In a statement posted this morning on the band's website, Rush announced they'll be visiting an additional 15 North American cities this summer. The second leg of the Clockwork Angels tour begins in Hershey, Pennsylvania, June 21 and ends August 4 in Kansas City.