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Alex Lifeson

Today is Alex Lifeson's birthday and this is a good opportunity to tell you some interesting facts about him:

(Photo: Rush R30 30th Anniversary Tour Book)

1. Alex was born on August 27, 1953 with the given name Alexandar Zivojinovich, in the westernmost province of Canada, known as "British Columbia", to immigrant parents from Serbia.

2. The stage name "Lifeson" is actually a translation of his original last name Zivojinovich, which means "Son of Life".

3. In his youth Alex's parents enrolled him in viola lessons but he did not like it.

4. At the age of 12 he received a guitar from his father as a Christmas present and ever since has been connected to this instrument.

5. He was influenced in his playing by Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Steve Hackett.

6. In 1968 he formed the band "Projection" with his neighbor drummer John Rutsey and bassist and singer Jeff Jones. Later the band's name will be changed to "Rush" and Jeff Jones will be replaced by Geddy Lee, Alex's friend from high school.


7. In October 1970 his eldest son was born, to his then-first girlfriend Charlene. It happened when Alex was only 17, four years before Rush's first album was released. He married Charlene in 1975 and in 1977 their second son was born. They are married to this day.

8. For the most part, Alex is responsible, together with Geddy Lee, for the music writing in all the albums of "Rush".

9. In addition to being the guitarist of "Rush", he plays keyboards, bass pedal, bouzouki, and mandolin and also sings background vocals on live shows and the band's albums.

10. In "Rush"'s live shows, Alex also uses pedals to activate synthesizers, background sounds, and various effects, which complement the band's sound.

11. His bandmates, bassist and singer Geddy Lee, and drummer Neil Peart call him "Lerxst".

12. Although he entered the Rolling Stone magazine's 100 greatest guitarists of all time in the 98th place, in a poll by "Guitar World" readers he was ranked third after Eddie Van Halen and Brian May.

13. Alex is both a certified pilot and a painter.

14. In 1996 he received the honorary title of "Officer of the Order of Canada".


15. Lifeson was the first member of "Rush" to release a solo album out of the band - "Victor" from 1996. His son Adrian played on two songs from the album and his wife Charlene also contribute spoken words in one of the album's songs. Another good friend of Alex - Les Claypool from "Primus" is also featured on the album.

16. Alex played with quite a few artists. Among others, he played the guitar solo on the song "Anesthetize" from the album "Fear of a Blank Planet" by "Porcupine Tree".

17. Alex is also known as a music producer, among others, he produced three songs from the album "Away from the Sun" by the band "3 Doors Down".

18. Although he has not produced or participated in any way in Metallica's "Master Of Puppets" album, a tribute to him and his bandmates can be found on the inside cover of the album.

19. During the recording of the comeback album "Vapor Trails" from 2002, Lifeson used no less than 50 different guitars, partly following the decision that it would be the band's first album since the 1970s to be recorded without keyboards.

20. As part of the "Rush" induction ceremony at the "Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame" in 2013, Lifeson gave his famous "Bla Bla" speech. A very unusual speech in which he exchanged the words in "blah blah blah ....." for over two minutes.

21. Lifeson may have looked to you as a nerd, but you don't want to mess with him. He was arrested along with his son Justin on 2003 New Year's Eve, for assaulting a sheriff at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Florida. During the attack, the police had to use a taser gun 6 times to stop him.

22. Gibson Les Paul has released a special model of the famous guitar specially adapted for Lifeson. The model name is "Alex Lifeson Axcess Les Pauls Gibson" and it includes, among other things, a tremolo handle as well as special pickups (microphones).

23. The amplifier company Hughes & Kettner also released a model of an amplifier named after Alex. Lifeson donates all the profits he deserves from this amplifier to UNICEF.


24. Lifeson wrote the music for the band's 18th studio album - Snakes & Arrows, on acoustic guitar. This was on the advice of none other than David Gilmour, who was thanked on the inner cover of the album for this method of writing.

25. Lifeson's playing has influenced many good guitarists. Among those who stated that his playing influenced them are: Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci, Steven Wilson, and Steve Rothery.

26. In June 2021 Alex released two new instrumental pieces "Kabul Blues/Spy House".

27. 27. On April 8, 2022, he will release the debut album of the project "Envy Of None", in which he collaborates with singer Maiah Wynne.

28. On May 22, 2022, an auction was held in which 60 of the guitars he has played during his career sold, including the Gibson ES-355TD nicknamed "Whitie" a built-in custom guitar from 1976, and the Hentor Sportscaster guitar, built for him in 1980.

29. On August 10, 2022, he reunited with Geddy Lee to play "Closer to the Heart" with "Primus" and South Park co-creator Matt Stone on drums, for the South Park: The 25th Anniversary Concert.

30. This happened again in the two Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concerts that took place in 2022.

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