Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson has confirmed that the band is over.
Ever since the Canadian trio wrapped up their 40th anniversary North American tour in 2015 – a jaunt that was billed as “likely their last major tour of this magnitude” - fans have been holding on to the faint hope that there could be some kind of reunion.
Now, in a post for the Globe and Mail, Alex Lifeson has quashed any hopes, saying: “It's been a little over two years since Rush last toured. We have no plans to tour or record any more. We're basically done. After 41 years, we felt it was enough.”
Alex Lifeson in 2007 © PA Images
Neil Peart, of course, announced his retirement after the 40th anniversary tour finished and was blighted by agonising pain from chronic tendonitis, a foot injury and shoulder problems throughout the shows.
In their critically acclaimed Rush: Time Stand Still documentary, the band ruled out ever reforming without their core members, with Geddy Lee saying: "We always said that if the three of us aren't on board, we don't do a thing. There have been other decisions in our career where the three of us weren't on board and we didn't do it.
“Nothing as profound as ending our touring life, but fair enough. So one guy doesn't want to do that thing anymore that I love to do. That hurts. But there's nothing I can do about it and that's part of the agreement."
Alex added: "It's not like you just get new members of a band and just go for it. Rush has never been a band like that. We'd never, ever do something like that."
Throughout the documentary Neil Peart strongly dispelled the idea of performing live again – assertions that make the idea of even a one-off show seem far-fetched.
Explaining how he was cornered into playing on the last tour, Neil says in the film: "The b****** pulled that exact card. Alex said he has arthritis and said, 'I'd really like to go out one more time and don't know if I'll be able to.'
“That night in my hotel room, I had the worst attack of Tourette's you've ever heard. I felt trapped. I was stomping around and cursing. But by the next day it was like, 'It is what it is. Deal with it!'"
Geddy added: "It's easy to blame everything on the drummer not wanting to go back on the road. But there's other factors at play here that can't be ignored. One of those factors is Alex's arthritis, which is kind of a ticking time bomb."
Elsewhere in his Globe and Mail post, Alex confirmed that he’s “busier lately than I have been in a while” and is involved in a number of projects.
“I'm writing a lot. I'm writing on four or five different little projects,” Alex wrote. “I get these requests to do guitar work with other people. It's really a lot of fun for me. It's low pressure: I get to be as creative as I want to be and I can work a little outside of the box, which is really attractive to me.”
Alex’s other ventures include writing a monthly column for the West End Phoenix newspaper and taking on a small part in a TV show called Crawford.