When Rush announced their R40 tour of the US last year, a press release read, “[This] will most likely be their last major tour of this magnitude”, and indeed that prophecy has now come true.
In December, legendary drummer Neil Peart announced his retirement from the road in an interview with Drumhead Magazine (via Jambase), saying, “And it does not pain me to realize that, like all athletes, there comes a time to… take yourself out of the game.”
Now guitarist Alex Lifeson has confirmed to Rolling Stone that the band is done with touring. As Rush have famously never toured Down Under, this most likely means Aussie fans will never get to see the band grace an Australian stage.
“[Peart] didn’t even want to do the [R40 Tour], to be honest with you,” Lifeson told RS. “It’s been increasingly difficult for him, but he committed to the tour and we got through it. As far as he was concerned, that was the end of touring.”
“His shoulders were hurting, his arms were hurting, his elbows, his feet, everything. He didn’t want to play anything less than 100 percent. He was finding it increasingly difficult to hit that mark on this last tour.”
“So, all those things combined, I get it. I’m disappointed and I think Geddy [Lee, bassist] is very disappointed and we’d love to continue this tour a little bit longer, but we’re off now.”
Lifeson stated that he and Lee would have liked to have continued touring, but Peart is no longer able to sustain the lifestyle. However, the guitarist stated the band could still record new music or play occasional one-off shows.