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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Sun, May 26, 2024

Alex Lifeson on his Envy of None project and auctioning off his guitars in new Guitar World interview

Thu, May 26, 2022@9:58AM | comments

Alex Lifeson was recently interviewed for Guitar World magazine to talk about his Envy of None project, putting his guitar collection up for auction and more. Here's what Alex had to say about what he was trying to achieve with his guitar work on Envy of None:

... "I feel like I've fully explored the whole area of soloing," Lifeson tells Guitar World. "I think I have a particular style and character to my solos, [and] there's lots of variation in my soloing, but I think at this point in my life it's more about servicing the song. Not being too distracting, or shining a light on any particular thing. It's just getting into the groove, tapping your foot and feeling connected with the song itself." ...

Although the actual auction hadn't taken place yet at the time of this interview, Lifeson talked about the painful process of packing up his guitars for Julien's Music Icons auction which took place last weekend:

... Amongst the cull [for auction] was a prized white ES-355 he'd picked up from Gibson's then Kalamazoo-based factory in 1976, along with a Dove acoustic and a double-necked 1275. Lifeson refers to the semi-hollow ES-355 as the "quintessential Alex Lifeson guitar" - Gibson had reproduced the gold-plated character piece as a Lifeson signature in 2008, though the guitarist notes that the neck was a bit fatter on the repro than his Norlin-period original - and it was featured on every Rush album from 1977's A Farewell to Kings through 1996's Test for Echo. While he was ready to let go of the guitar, downsizing his collection ended up affecting him more than he'd expected. "My god, that was one of the most emotional, difficult things I've ever done in my life. I thought it would be easy. I worked it all out in my head, but I was a mess when I did that. "The 355 was the last one to go. The case was wrapped in bubble wrap, and I sat in the mudroom in my house just holding it, talking to it and kissing the bubble wrap - it was pretty pathetic. Then I carried it out to the truck and said goodbye to it." ...

Alex's ES-355 ended up selling for nearly $400K at Julien's auction last weekend, with his entire collection raising over $3 million. You can read the entire interview online here.