Music | September 18, 2022 7:25 pm

Rush Learned a Big Touring Lesson From an Unexpected Source

One early tour for two beloved bands

Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart of the band Rush performs at the International Ampitheater in Chicago Illinois , December 14, 1978 .
Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Over their many decades of activity, Rush inspired countless musicians — from the ways in which they represented the archetypal power trio to their penchant for concept albums and lyrical philosophizing. But despite Rush’s own distinctive sound — including Geddy Lee’s distinctive voice — their approach to music didn’t arrive fully formed. Instead, like countless artists before them, they picked up habits and influences from the musicians they crossed paths with along the way.

According to the band, one particularly instructive moment came in 1975, when Rush hit the road with KISS. A recent article in Far Out revisited a 2010 interview the members of Rush gave in which they looked back on the tour in question, and what they learned from sharing the stage with a certain makeup-clad rock quartet.

At the time the two groups toured together, both were still relatively early on in their careers; each band had released a self-titled debut album the previous year. “They were struggling too,” Geddy Lee recalled in an interview with CBS. “It was their first headline tour.”

Both Lee and Alex Lifeson hailed KISS’s work ethic as particularly impressive. “[W]e’ve learned a lot about how hard you need to work to put on a show,” Lee said. And given the array of artists who went on to pick up cues from Rush’s own live shows, one could argue that they paid it forward, musically speaking.