So I’m driving from my weight loss surgery class to the Supercuts in Tewksbury and I’m listening to the Envy of None record.

Spy House is playing and it gets to that moment when the guitar launches out from under the mix and Alex Lifeson reminds us that he’s the greatest guitarist ever. That moment.

I may be in a fragile state right now and that might explain why I got super emotional and a smile lit my face and my eyes grew damp and I literally asked myself who would I even be without Alex Lifeson?

Yeah. That moment. Let’s all give thanks that Alex keeps blessing us with his presence.

Envy of None

Go. Now. Make this a part of your life.

Not being much of a synth-pop guy, when I listen to this I think of some of the Smashing Pumpkins stuff that Flood produced, or maybe some of the post-Actung Baby electronic stuff U2 did. Wait… wasn’t that Flood too? Or was that Brian Eno? I don’t know. I heard an interview with Andy Curran where he said it sounds like Depeche Mode or The Cure. That works too.

So there I am, listening for the first time and really enjoying it purely on a holy-shit-this-hook-is-infectious level. I wasn’t hearing any stand out guitar parts, but I knew that was coming. Alex Lifeson (as well as everyone else involved in the album) has made a big deal out of the fact that he’s playing the guitar without ever sounding like a guitar. He’s basically a guitar synth player rather than just a guitar player. Then you get to Spy House, track five, and there’s a stretch of about four bars where he just shreds like the Guitar God he is, and then it’s back to synthy stuff.

I imagine Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew sitting in a room together listening. They both nod their head in approval. Then they look at each other and nod their heads in agreement. Then they look over at Alex Lifeson and nod in solidarity. Yeah. I’m 100% sure that exact thing happened.

No go and listen to it.

Big Day for Prog Fans Tomorrow

Tomorrow is going to be a big day for prog rock fans.

I mentioned earlier that we are supposed to get a new Pink Floyd single tomorrow. We are also getting some new Alex Lifeson.

Envy of None’s album comes out tomorrow. It won’t sound even the tiniest bit like Rush, and based on the press they’ve been doing thus far, half the time you won’t hear guitar. Instead you’ll be hearing some other non-guitar sound that was actually played on a guitar.

I think the heroic Mr Lifeson may be embracing his inner Robert Fripp. Frankly, I am 100% here for it.

Yes indeed, it’s going to be a good day for prog fans.

Alex Lifeson to Auction His Guitar Collection

Oh to be fabulously wealthy. I missed out on Clapton’s ES-335 and Gilmour’s gold top Les Paul, and now I am going to miss out on Alex Lifeson’s custom made 1976 ES-355TD. Sweet Christmas, he’s going to auction off his guitar collection to raise money for charity. Read this article.

As with all guitar god auctions, the first thing I look for is random 1959 Les Pauls. The article only mentions one Les Paul, and it’s the 1970 he bought on the 1974 tour and used on 2112. I would imagine Al has collected a few more Les Pauls than that, especially since he played a bunch of them over the last few Rush tours and he actually has a signature model. The question though… are there bursts?

More important than that, He’s Selling The 355!

It’s not actually this ES-355…

#rush #r40bos #r40live #r40

It’s the one that guitar was copied from. It’s this one…

He’s also selling the Hentor. The guitar he used the shit out of in the early 80’s. It started out as a Fender Strat but he modded the holy hell out of it and turned it into something else.

He’s also selling the Howard Roberts Fusion. Off the top of my head, I don’t know anyone else who played one of those, but he used it all over Moving Pictures and it’s a hollow body legend.

If I were disgustingly wealthy I would buy them all. Seriously. I would have bought all of Clapton and Gilmour’s guitars too, but this is Lerxst’s collection! Epic!

Lerxst Amps Interview

I was feeling curious about the amplifier line Alex Lifeson released 2-3 years ago. They are way too powerful for my use (though I now know they can step down from 50 to 25 watts which makes them more interesting) so I didn’t look very close when they were first released.

Today I decided to poke around and I found this interview. Speaking as both a Rush fanatic and a gear nerd, this video is literally Gold.

He talks about stage volume and monitor mix preferences! Oh my god the gear dirt he shares! Can you believe it? Wow!

Envy of None

I don’t think I realized how much I needed this.

Sure it’s not Rush. There will never be new Rush. Even if they spend the next 50 years slowly but surely emptying the vaults, there will never actually be new Rush. Why? Because the universe sucks, that’s why. This, though… when you listen to this and hear a guitar, or a sound that doesn’t sound like a guitar but was actually played on a guitar, what you are likely hearing is Alex Lifeson.

I very much needed this.


Rush did a song on their first record called In the Mood. It was a dumb Little Rock and Roll song that doesn’t fit in stylistically with the band they morphed into a short time later but it’s fun and it became a concert staple that appeared in set lists off and on for most of their career.

The hook includes the brilliant, Geddy Lee penned (ad libbed?), line “hey baby it’s a quarter to eight, I feel I’m in the mood” (fucking epic).

On many bootlegged occasions over the decades the word baby was changed to something that sounded like “cookie.”

Now Alex has an Instagram and he posts this:

Was the line changes to cookie or Chuckie? Did they mess with the line to make it about Al’s wife?

I don’t know, but…. Fucking epic.