Alex Lifeson almost died from Covid, reveals Geddy Lee

Alex Lifeson almost died from Covid, reveals Geddy Lee
Alex Lifeson almost died from Covid, reveals Geddy Lee

Geddy Lee just released his autobiography. Last Tuesday (14), the Rush singer, bassist and keyboardist made available the book “My Effin’ Life”, which, in its synopsis, promises to cover in detail his childhood, career in music, relationship with his bandmates Alex Lifeson (guitar) and Neil Peart (drums), among other topics.

The work was written during the pandemic period, described as somewhat emotionally complicated for the musician. This is because he was grieving the death of Peart, who passed away in January 2020, and also experienced a painful moment related to Lifeson.

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Talking to the Los Angeles Times (via Whiplash), Geddy first explained the difficulty in dealing with brain cancer discovered by Peart years before his death — and revealed to the public only posthumously. In 2016, the drummer shared the diagnosis of the disease with his colleagues, but asked for confidentiality, which made things more difficult.

“I went through 3 and a half difficult years, hiding Neil’s illness and lying to my friends. It was a secret Alex and I couldn’t talk about. When Neil died, I experienced an expansion of feelings, like a dam breaking. My wife and I went to New Zealand on a walking trip. When you walk, you can try to make sense of something. But making sense of death is a fruitless task.”

Not long after, Lifeson caught Covid-19 and experienced severe symptoms. The guitarist had to be hospitalized and, according to Lee, almost died.

“After this trip, Alex and I continued talking about making music together, but he caught Covid in March 2020 and had to be hospitalized. He was in isolation, with a tracheal tube in his throat. Hospitals were closed to the public. His wife said goodbye to him through the front door.”

To make matters worse, the following year, the singer and bassist’s mother, Mary Weinrib, died at the age of 95. As he himself highlighted:

“It was a pain fest.”

Rush held their last show in 2015. Since Neil Peart’s death, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have only gotten together very few times to play. The most recent took place at the tribute to Taylor Hawkins, held by Foo Fighters last year.

In an interview with The Washington Post, the vocalist, bassist and keyboardist lit a small spark of hope in the hearts of fans. He stated:

“It was taboo to play those songs again with a third person. The elephant in the room. Now that has kind of disappeared. It was nice to know that if we ever decided to get back together, Alex and I, whether it was as part of a new thing or just playing as Rush, we could do it now.”

Geddy also revealed that in October 2022, for the first time in years, the duo got together in their home studio to play. Although they were excited about the offers, Lifeson ended up undergoing surgery in July because of his long-standing stomach problems. With that, the priority changed.

“He needs to feel good, healthy and strong. Then perhaps we can discuss the matter.”

Geddy Lee in Brazil?

According to journalist Felipe Branco Cruz, from Veja magazine, Geddy Lee will come to Brazil in March 2024 to promote “My Effin’ Life” with public readings and conversations with fans, among other commitments — in other words, no shows. The information has not been confirmed by the publisher so far.

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The article is in Portuguese

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