Larry LaLonde and Les Claypool join Alex Lifeson to discuss A Farewell To Kings and recall that one time the Rush guitarist used a tortilla chip as a guitar pick

Alex Lifeson and Primus
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images: Scott Legato/Getty Images)

“Honestly, this whole thing started as a joke,” says bassist Les Claypool, explaining how he and his Primus bandmates – guitarist Larry “Ler” Lalonde and drummer Tim Alexander – began covering Rush’s 1977 album A Farewell to Kings from start to finish. “Then one day it was like, ‘Hey, wait. Maybe this isn’t a joke. Maybe we should actually do this.’”

Claypool quickly points out, however, that at first the band considered paying tribute to their musical heroes by playing that album’s follow-up, 1978’s Hemispheres, but there was one little hitch: “Hemispheres has Cygnus X-1 Book II on it,” he says, “and we couldn’t really go out and play that one without doing the first one – that would be a little strange.” 

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Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar World, Guitar Player, MusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.