Gerry Martire

Gerry Martire

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Members Of RUSH, Primus Look Back On Their Insane Jam Sessions Together


RUSH was one of the hardest touring rock bands in the world through much of its first few decades, and as such the band came up with no shortage of ways to entertain themselves between shows.

Guitarist Alex Lifeson recently looked back at Rush's tour with Primus in the early-'90s and how the two acts bonded over a shared embrace of absurdity.

Rush and Primus used to jam regularly to blow off steam, Lifeson reveals. But you probably don't want to hear recordings of those sessions.

"We would do soundcheck at 4:30, and then Primus would set up and they'd do their sound check," Lifeson told Guitar World. "We'd have dinner at 6, and then we would have a jam, usually in our dressing room or in a hallways that was nice and echoey."

After finding a suitable space with appropriate ambience, the six musicians would make noise with instruments that they had no idea how to play.

"At one point, the deal was that you had to go out and get an instrument you couldn't play," Lifeson added. "I got an accordion and a flute. We all played these instruments we had no idea how to play. We actually recorded these jams. I don't know what happened to those recordings, but we did them everywhere."

Primus guitarist Larry LaLonde bought a clarinet for the occasions. He told GW that the sessions were akin to any musicians' very first practice sessions on an instrument — noise and chaos.

LaLonde adds that one time when Lifeson did use a guitar for the Rush/Primus jam, he used a tortilla chip for a guitar pick, presumably to keep himself from playing too well.

Primus bassist/frontman Les Claypool adds that one of his fondest memories of the cooperative jams was backstage at a sport-arena, watching Neil Peart "play the lockers as his percussive instrument. It was amazing."

Primus is on tour now celebrating Rush with its 'A Tribute to Kings' tour. Primus is performing Rush's 1977 A Farewell to Kings album in its entirety in addition to a full set of Primus music.

Get all the tour dates here.


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