RUSH Guitarist Discusses Documentary

Joshua Rothkopf of Time Out New York recently conducted an interview with RUSH guitarist Alex Lifeson. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Time Out New York: Some of [the] footage [in the "Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage" documentary] is insane. Whose idea was it to film a teenage Alex Lifeson arguing with his parents?

Lifeson: Oh, wow. You saw that? There was this Canadian filmmaker, Allan King — he just recently passed away. He was known for his cinema vérité documentaries. I auditioned for a film he wanted to do about ten kids from different parts of Toronto moving onto a farm for three months.

Time Out New York: So originally you wanted to be a reality-TV star.

Lifeson: Basically! [Laughs] We went and did the film and it was terrible. Nothing developed between us. The project was shelved. Anyway, it was a chance to get out of school for three months.

Time Out New York: You kids got along too well. Sounds familiar.

Lifeson: I know. And I'm married to the girl that I fell in love with when I was 15 years old. To Geddy [Lee] and Neil [Peart] and me, the thought of doing a documentary about RUSH just didn't seem so great of an idea. We're just a band. We're middle-class Canadian kids who grew up.

Time Out New York: Yes. And then wrote "Subdivisions".

Lifeson: Seriously, though. We made ourselves available to Sam and Scot, the filmmakers, who were really dedicated, but I wouldn't say we felt comfortable being involved with it. And we're not, honestly. Like this Rock and Roll Hall of Fame thing, this constant talk about us not being inducted. We couldn't care less, really. That's never been important to us.

Time Out New York: So what is important to you, rock star?

Lifeson: Ha. Obviously, we take the music seriously and we try to play the best that we can. But we've always been very lighthearted about the band itself. I laughed at "I Love You, Man" with the rest of the crowd.

Time Out New York: You're about to go on the road playing the entirety of 1981's "Moving Pictures", including the 11-minute-long "The Camera Eye". How do you keep it fresh?

Lifeson: "Tom Sawyer" could have been written eight months ago, with the kind of response it still gets. We're bringing a bunch of other old stuff back, "Jacob's Ladder", too. We're rearranging it slightly, as with "The Camera Eye", changing a couple of things, having another crack at it. It's going to be a lot of fun for us.

Read the entire interview at Time Out New York.

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