Who is Alex Lifeson?
Born Alexandar Zivojinovich on the 27th August 1953, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he is a musician, best known to the world as the founding member and guitarist of the rock band Rush. With Rush, he recorded 19 studio albums, some of which topped the Canadian chart, and achieved multiple platinum status in Canada and USA.
Early Life, Family, and Education
The son of Serbian immigrants, Melanija and Nenad Živojinović, Alex grew up in Toronto, and from an early age was introduced to music. He first played viola as a part of formal music training, then when he turned 12 years, his father Nenad got him his first guitar. A six string Kent classical acoustic guitar was a Christmas gift, but once he picked up knowledge and skills, Alex decided for an electric Japanese model. During his teenage years Alex was inspired by such artists as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Steve Hackett among many others. During his high school days, Alex met John Rutsey who was on the same page with Alex when it comes to music.
#TransformationTuesdayTop pic: http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Those_Daring_Young_Men_and_Their_Doubleneck_Guitars_A_Brief_History_of_Multi_Neck_PlayersBottom pic:https://twitter.com/rush_freejacob
It was in high school that Alex started thinking of music as a serious career and together with Rutsey formed the band The Projection, with the addition of Jeff Jones, The Projection became Rush, however, after only one gig, Jones left the band and was replaced by Geddy Lee, who had been at school with Alex. The band gradually built a fan base around the Ontario area, and after some time recorded their first single, “Not Fade Away”, a cover version of Buddy Holly’s original version. Soon after their original song followed, entitled “You Can’t Fight It”, but it song didn’t live up to band’s expectations, which led to parting from the record company, and the trio now decided to start their own label, Moon Records.
I promise to never have hair like this again. pic.twitter.com/tiviS5mluu
— Alex Lifeson (@LifesonRush) September 20, 2014
Debut Album and Success
Their first album came out in 1974, a self-titled album which while eventually achieving gold status in Canada and the US, the charting wasn’t quite as encouraging, as it landed in 86th place in Canada, and 105 on the US Billboard 200. However, their song “Working Man” got major playing time on WMMS radio station, and stuck with the public, resulting in the band being picked up by Mercury Records and their whole album re-released by the label. Unfortunately, Rutsey left the band due to his diabetes, and was replaced by Neil Peart. Until the end of the ‘70s, Rush dominated the Canadian rock scene, with such albums as “Fly By Night” (1975), which achieved platinum status in both Canada and USA, and reached No. 9 on the Canadian chart, then “Caress of Steel” also in 1975, “2112” (1976), which peaked at No. 5 on the Canadian chart, and achieved double platinum status in Canada and triple platinum in the US. It was in 1981 that Rush released their first No. 1 album – “Moving Pictures” – which achieved four times platinum status in both Canada and the US, also peaking at No. 3 on the US Billboard 200 chart, and No. 3 on the UK chart, which certainly increased Alex’s net worth. The following year, Rush released their second No. 1 album “Signals”, and becoming one of the most successful rock bands of Canada.
Rise to Prominence
With Rush’s growing popularity, Alex became one of the most prominent guitarists too, scooping awards for himself, but more importantly for the band. With every new album, he tried something new, which turned out to be a good thing since Rush became more and more successful. Between 1980-2000, the band released nine albums in total, all of which achieved at least gold status in Canada and the US. “Grace Under Pressure” (1984), “Counterparts” (1993), and “Test for Echo” (1996), are just a few of the releases that made both the band and Alex more popular.
Hiatus and Comeback
Rush went on hiatus in 1997 when Neil Pert heard the news of his daughters passing in a car crash, and things got worse when Neil’s wife died from cancer 10 months later. Despite tragedies, Alex wanted to continue Rush, and got into the studio in the early 2000s to start working on the new material. Soon he was joined by Peart and Lee, and in 14 months they recorded and released “Vapor Trails”. The long-expected album peaked at No. 3 on the Canadian chart,and at No. 5 on the US Billboard 200 chart. Since their reunion, Rush have recorded two studio albums- “Snakes & Arrows” in 2007, which again reached No. 3 on the Canadian chart, and “Clockwork Angels” (2012), which topped the chart. However, as of 2015, Alex disbanded Rush, feeling that he had nothing more to give to the band, and stating also that his psoriatic arthritis and Peart’s chronic tendinitis has contributed in large to the disbandment of the group.
In addition to Rush, Alex released one solo album – “Victor” – in 1996, on which his son Adrian and wife Charlene showcased their musical ability. He spoke about a second album, but that didn’t materialize, but he collaborated with a number of other artists, including Lawrence Gowan, Porcupine Tree, Jason Plumb and John Wesley among others.
Alex Lifeson Net Worth
Over 40 years in music, Alex has built a name for himself, but what is most important he has earned a massive net worth. So, have you ever wondered how rich Alex Lifeson is? According to authoritative sources, it has been estimated that Lifeson’s net worth is as high as $35 million. Pretty impressive, don’t you think?
Alex Lifeson Awards
Thanks to his proficiency, Alex has received a number of honors and awards, including being named 98th on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, and third, behind Eddie Van Halen and Brian May in a Guitar World readers’ poll also listing the 100 greatest guitarists. Furthermore, he was named the Best Rock Guitarist by Guitar Player Magazine in 1984 and May 2008, while in 2013 he was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame alongside two other Rush members. Also, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada back in 1996.
Life Behind the Scene
His stage name is a semi-translated birth name from Serbian to English, as his last name means Life of Son; he chose the name as a reference to his roots. When it comes to his family life, he has been married to Charlene since 1975, and the couple has two children together.
Troubles in Naples
Back in 2003, he had legal problems while dwelling at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Naples, Florida; he and his son were caught up in a brawl with police, for which he got 12 months probation.