Bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson of Canadian rock legends RUSH were presented with a key to the city by Toronto mayor John Tory this weekend. The duo, who were both born and raised in Toronto, also had a park in Willowdale named after them at the event on Saturday (September 17) honoring their achievements over forty years in the music industry.
During a question-and-answer session with Canadian television and radio personality George Stroumboulopoulos at yesterday's event, Lifeson and Lee were asked what it has been like spending most of their time at home after RUSH completed what could turn out to be the band's final tour in 2015. Lifeson said (see video below): "I don't know. It's been an adjustment, this past year. We've been following up on some other interests that we both have, and we've been learning to get used to the idea, and it's taken a while. But I feel very confident about a lot of things, and music is definitely still one of them. And I'm sure that we'll do something in the future. We can't just stop playing and writing music together."
Asked if he is still keeping the bass fingers ready, Lee said: "Oh, yeah. I play almost every day that I'm around the house. I've been travelling a lot with my wife. We're very big into seeing the world and taking advantage of this break in my career, whatever it may be. But I love playing, and I play a lot. And sooner or later, the right thing will happen."
Speaking about his and Lifeson's reaction to having a park named after them, Geddy said: "I think we were, obviously, thrilled and amazed that someone would wanna do something like this and put our names on it. And we were really happy for the community that there's some investment in art and leisure for this neighborhood."
He added: "We grew up here and our families were raised here, and my kids went to school here. We have deep roots in Toronto, and it's always gonna be a part of us."
Lee last December shot down reports that RUSH's drummer, Neil Peart, had retired.
Peart admitted to being "of two minds" about another lengthy run of concert dates, pointing out that having a young child at home makes it difficult for him to be gone for weeks at a time. He said: "I've been doing this for 40 years — I know how to compartmentalize, and I can stand missing her, but I can't stand her missing me and it's painful and impossible to understand for her. How can a small child process that? And there's the guilt that comes with that — you feel guilty about it, of course. I'm causing pain."
RUSH released the "R40 Live" concert film last November.