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Rush: We're done with touring

By Shawn Price   |   March 10, 2016 at 3:40 AM
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TORONTO, March 10 (UPI) -- Hard rock band Rush confirmed they have retired from touring, band members said.

The band released a statement last summer after finishing their most recent tour, R40, saying the tour would most likely be their last. The band's guitarist Alex Lifeson recently confirmed to Rolling Stone magazine, "That was the end of touring."

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The main reason is that drummer Neil Peart no longer wants to leave his family, and the physical demands of playing his expansive drum kit show after show have begun to take their toll.

"Should I be excited about leaving my family?" he told Prog magazine in 2015. "No, and no one should."

Though the R40 tour went well, Peart has largely shut down the possibility of progressive rock's biggest band playing live again. A one-off performance here or there is only a possibility at this point, said Lifeson.

"We had such a great time on the tour," Lifeson told Rolling Stone. "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. As far as he was concerned, that was the end of touring."

Peart had begun to feel the strain of playing night in and night out, too.

"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."

But Lifeson reports the drummer is "having a wonderful time" at home. Beyond that is uncertain. The band might continue recording, but have made no plans.

"You never know," he says. "Maybe next fall or something like that, we'll plan something. We're getting older and it's getting tougher, but I don't know. We'll see."

Even before Lifeson's statements, bassist and singer Geddy Lee told Entertainment Weekly last November, "The days of us doing long tours are probably over."

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