Alex Lifeson

The Making of a Killer Sound


One of the most under-rated guitarist in rock-n-roll, and the least talked about member of Rush. Alex showed the world that he just wasn't a place holder among Geddy Lee, and Neil Peart with his release of "Victor" in January of 1996. "Victor" showed the rest of the music world what Rush fan's have known for years; that Alex is an extremely talented guitarist sort of lost in the shuffle of a bass lead band. However, if the rest of the music world would have paid attention, they would have known this early on with such songs as "La Villa Strangiato", and "The Trees".

Alex Lifeson is a Canadian musician, best known as the guitarist of the Canadian rock band Rush. In the summer of 1968, Alex founded the band that would become Rush with friend and drummer John Rutsey, and bassist/lead vocalist Jeff Jones. He has been an integral member of the band ever since. For Rush, Alex plays electric and acoustic guitars as well as other stringed instruments such as mandola, mandolin, and bouzouki. He also performs backing vocals in live performances, and occasionally plays keyboards and bass pedal synthesizers. During live performances, Alex, like the other members of Rush, performs real-time triggering of sampled instruments, concurrently with his guitar playing. The bulk of Alex's work in music has been with Rush, although Alex has contributed to a body of work outside of the band as well. Along with his bandmates Geddy Lee and Neil Peart, Alex was made an Officer of the Order of Canada on May 9, 1996. The trio was the first rock band to be so honored, as a group. The Rush success story is a paradox of rock history. Ten years ago the band was nothing more than a Led Zeppelin copy act playing bars and parties around Toronto. When established record companies all passed on their demo, Rush released a first album privately and its phenomenal grassroots success prompted Mercury records to sign them.
Alex currently ranks 98th in Rolling Stone Magazines list of 100 greatest guitarists of all time. Seeing how Alex Lifeson is such a guitar hero, we just had to profile his guitar gear. In Rush's early career, for the A Farewell to Kings sessions, Alex began using a SG doubleneck for songs like "Xanadu". Lifeson’s original SG doubleneck was broken by a falling speaker horn at a gig at Nassau Coliseum in the late 1970s, but was repaired and repainted afterward. Lifeson gave the guitar to Eric Johnson as a gift, but it was stolen within weeks. Lifeson has since replaced it with another that he has used only in rehearsals.

Another picture is that Alex held a cherry SG doubleneck for the All The World's A Stage’ tour. At that time, Alex was so young and energetic with his Cherry doubleneck guitar.

To my hero --- You are an extremely underrated player who is alway overshadowed by your band-mates. Early Zeppelin-type riffs developed into prog-rock mastery. You are the single biggest influence on my playing and songwriting. Master technician with feel. I love you forever.

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