We’d already known that last year’s Rush R40 tour was the end of an era, marking the end of the band as a steadily-touring entity. Rolling Stone caught up with guitarist Alex Lifeson to talk about what’s going on with the band and, well, there’s not all that much to report. Peart’s health issues and desire to hang out with his child led him to state that he was retiring. They haven’t really spoken about playing beyond the R40 tour, but Lifeson says that although they had fun, they had to convince him to do it:
Neil was prepared to commit to 30 dates and he told us that right from the very beginning. He didn’t even want to do the tour, to be honest with you. 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.
Lifeson continues about Peart’s state of health during the tour:
“His shoulders were hurting, his arms were hurting, his elbows, his feet, everything,” Lifeson says. “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] is very disappointed and we’d love to continue this tour a little bit longer, but we’re off now.”
And although they haven’t discussed doing any more playing. Lee and Lifeson will likely work together. He says that the two live five minutes from each other, and the guitarist enjoys writing in the summer. He’s spoken to Peart, who’s enjoying his time off. And while another 30 date tour might not be in the books, he says that while the last time the band toured, it was after they’d taken a year off from talking about the band. So