Alex Lifeson Recalls Marijuana Experience Before Rush Rehearsal: “My Hands Wouldn’t Speak To My Brain”

Alex Lifeson Recalls Marijuana Experience Before Rush Rehearsal: "My Hands Wouldn't Speak To My Brain"

There are many ways to deal with the rehearsals, but it seems like marijuana is not that way to make it easy for Alex Lifeson as he lived tough times he smoked marijuana before his Rush rehearsal.

Rush was a rock band formed in Toronto in 1968 by the band’s guitarist Alex Lifeson, the late drummer John Rutsey, and the bassist Jeff Jones. Shortly after they formed the band, Geddy Lee had joined the band replacing Jeff Jones. Furthermore, the band’s power trio had completed with the addition of the legendary drummer Neil Peart in 1974. It was the time Rush released its only debut self-titled album with the original drummer Rutsey.

In 1975, the power trio Rush released its second studio album and didn’t change its line-up until its disbandment in 2020 after the death of the legendary drummer Neil Peart. From that year to their last breath, Rush added eighteen more studio albums to its discography and finished its career with nineteen studio albums. Debuted self-titled in 1974, Rush‘s latest studio album was 2012’s Clockwork Angels.

During that 50-year period from 1968 to 2018, every one of Rush‘s members accumulated unique moments together. One of those moments was a smoking marijuana moment Rush members experienced before their rehearsal. Although Rush is known for its discipline, it was an extraordinary moment for band members that caused them hard to play.

However, during a recent episode of the House of Strombo, Alex Lifeson has detailed the moment they smoked marijuana before Rush‘s rehearsal. At first, Lifeson admitted that it was really hard to play, adding how disciplined the band they are.

“It was hard to play,” Lifeson said. “We were very disciplined when it came to shows — not even a beer during the drum solo.”

Lifeson Says His Hands Didn’t Speak To His Brain When He Smoked Marijuana Before Rush’s Rehearsal

Although it was a great experience to smoke marijuana before the rehearsal, they then sounded crazy, as he explained the moment by saying his hands didn’t speak to his brain after all. Saying that they made mistake after mistake, Lifeson revealed an important thing he learned at the time.

“I smoked a joint before a rehearsal once, and we jammed for about 20 minutes, like psychedelic surf music,” Lifeson continued. “And it was so great. I was having such a great time.

“And then it was like, ‘Okay, let’s do the show now.’ We start playing, and it was like… everything sounded crazy, and my hands wouldn’t speak to my brain. Ged kept looking over at me like, ‘What the hell’s going on with you there?’

“We were making mistake after mistake. I couldn’t wait for it to be over. But I learned a very important lesson: Don’t smoke a joint before a gig.

“We had our moments where we were doing too many gigs in a row, and the drugs were coming at us fast and furious, but somehow or another we kept our shit together through it all. In the end we valued our work. We valued the quality of our gigs. So we never let it interfere.”

Alex Lifeson Mentions Neil Peart’s Early Days With Rush

Back in May 2020, Alex Lifeson had recalled Neil Peart’s early days with Rush. Saying that he thought Neil was so skilled when he first joined the band, Lifeson had added that the late drummer inspired them pretty much.


“When Neil joined the band, he was so skilled, even at that early stage, that it was inspiring to Geddy and me, and we just kind of moved as a unit,” Lifeson comments.

“We also shared a very similar sense of music, so the time that we spent together when we weren’t focused on music was like being with your very best friends all the time. And you got to travel and see this other world and live this experience that you only ever dreamed about, and you got to do it together with guys that you really loved.

“So it was a no-brainer, really, for us. We were really, really fortunate. ‘Cause I know lots of bands that imploded – guys just couldn’t stand each other after a while, or there was competition or jealousy over who wrote what song and who made what money and all of that stuff.

“We were always very democratic in the way we ran things. If it wasn’t a unanimous decision doing something, we didn’t do it. If there was a royalty payment because someone wrote something, the whole band shared in it. That took out a lot of the stress and angst and that kind of jealousy and anger that can develop in some bands.”

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