The sad news came down this week that Rush weren’t kidding about that whole “last major tour thing.” In fact, their new documentary Rush: Time Stand Still (in theaters tonight) reveals that last year’s R40 tour may wind up being their last go-round of any sort. Not only is guitarist Alex Lifeson going through the early stages of arthritis, but drummer Neil Peart says his body can no longer endure the rigors of a three-hour rock show.
“We always said that if the three of us aren’t on board, we don’t do a thing,” said Geddy Lee. “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.”
Let’s take a look back to a happier day: Rush’s long overdue Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2013. They were inducted by Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins, who were so committed to their duties that they dressed up like Rush circa 1976, complete with wigs, platform shoes and kimonos. “It’s one thing to sit in the basement and woodshed ‘2112.’” Grohl told Rolling Stone that night. “It’s another to stand in front of Rush in a fucking kimono and a wig and try to use a wah-wah pedal in your platform shoes.”
Grohl, Hawkins and their buddy Nick Raskulinecz began “2112” on their own before Rush stepped in, sadly kimono-free, and helped them finish it out. “No way I was going to sing a Rush song, and Taylor’s a great drummer and can play all those Rush songs, but God, the Rush songs are hard,” said Grohl. “We came up with the idea to do the instrumental intro to ‘2112’ and they would take over. … It was amazing. Tonight was one of the most special nights of my life.”
As Geddy Lee says in Time Stand Still, the feeling was quite mutual. “If you were in that room, you understand what our music means to [our fans] and what they mean to us,” he said. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame may have taken their time getting to Rush, but when it finally happened they did it right. Now prog fans just need to hope that Yes make it in next year. If ever living members shows up ready to jam, it’ll be one of the great moments in progressive rock history.