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...
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.
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.
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."
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.
Since they became a hot live ticket in the late Seventies, Rush have had little trouble filling the arenas and EnormoDomes of the world. But in the past few years, Alex Lifeson has noticed a change in their audience, and it’s not a subtle one. “We’re reaching a lot more young kids and teens,” he says. “You look out and see all these new faces, kids with their parents. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to see your music going from generation to generation.”
Need proof that Rush are still one of the most vital prog rock bands out there after more than forty years? Their new album, Clockwork Angels, sold just over 100,000 copies in the last week, which was good enough to take the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Top 200 chart.