After more than 40 years of touring, Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson certainly has plenty of good, and presumably funny, stories from the road.
He'll be sharing them March 7 as part of the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival's "Hello! Thunder Bay!" event during which will pair Canadian musicians and comedians "sharing their weirdest, wackiest and most hilarious stories from the road." Lifeson will be joined by fellow musicians Dave Bidini, Terra Lightfoot and Grand Analog, as well as comics Jessica Holmes, Gavin Crawford and Sean Cullen, with more to be announced.
Lifeson's sense of humor was on display during the group's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2013, when he delivered a speech composed entirely of "blah-blah-blah." Lifeson told us how the idea for that unique acceptance came together:
"I was practicing my speech on the way to the venue in the car and I thought, 'Oh God, my memory's so bad I'm never gonna remember this. I should just get up and 'blah blah blah' -- Hey, wait a second...' And I just sat there through the opening ceremonies and thought 'I should really do this' and really didn't decided to do this 'til we were walking up on stage. And I just figured that everybody, Ged and Neil, said everything there was to be said, and in fact all the inductees all said basically the same thing. So I thought, 'I'll be a little bit of an idiot and do something more rock 'n' roll and more fun' and decided to just tell basically the story of how we got there, without any maliciousness or malice towards anyone, and hope it turned out OK."
Rush is currently on hiatus after its 2015 R40 tour and currently has no firm plans for future projects.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.