If you’re a fan of the band Rush, then you know the beginning of the song “YYZ” hits you like a dog whistle.
The same rings true for “La Villa Strangiato” on Exit Stage Left, perhaps the band’s best live recorded album and guitar intro by Alex Lifeson.
I remember Lifeson explaining not too long ago that he can no longer play the beginning of “La Villa Strangiato” like he once could, and how hard it was for him to learn it, never mind create it.
Repeating genius is near impossible. It’s why being the best at what you do can be painful.
You die twice.
But it doesn’t mean what you created should.
That’s why it upset me when Rush’s drummer Neil Peart retired from drumming.
Tendonitis has made it too painful for Peart to handle the rigors of a tour and the reality of being away from his current family for so long—and in his tragic case—forever from his late daughter and wife from his first marriage.
It’s easy to forgive him.
And to try to understand him.
To want to help him.
With Peart being a perfectionist, it’s easy to understand why he’s chosen this route.
But Rush fans like me are far more forgiving.
It would be just fine by me to see Alex on stage with another guitarist and Peart with another drummer and Geddy Lee with—well he’s just so good he’ll never need help. Ha!
Rush has toured with support in the past with a string ensemble that worked beautifully.
We all understand the past is the past and feel lucky to have the treasured Exit Stage Left.
It never needs to be what it was.
Because Lifeson actually has fun even without playing the intro to “La Villa Strangiato” and by the looks of it, he’s not the only one.
Here’s the original from Exit Stage Left.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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