“I don't know if I can play like I played back then”: Alex Lifeson discusses how arthritis is affecting his playing – and why returning to the road might not be wise

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

Along with the likes of Keith Richards and Steve Morse, Alex Lifeson is just one of many high-profile electric guitar players who are having to juggle their passion for playing with pain onset by arthritis.

While others have had to fully adapt the way they play (and even invent new accessories) to overcome the physical obstacle, the Rush legend is sticking to a “very effective” medicinal regime – but, despite this, the condition is “slowly getting worse”.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.