66 years ago today, August 27, 1953, a kid that was destined to be one of the greatest prog-rock guitarists ever was born. Alexandar Zivojinovich, or better known as Alex Lifeson, opened his eyes in Fernie, Canada. A son of a Serbian family, Alex was raised in Toronto.
His first exposure to music came with a viola, then he renounced for the guitar at the age of 12. When he talked about this with his family, they thought that buying him a guitar (a six-string Kent classical acoustic which was later upgraded to an electric Japanese model) was the right Christmas gift. He immediately picked up the guitar and tried to learn it from his main influences which were Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Steve Hackett, and Allan Holdsworth. He said that “Clapton’s solos seemed a little easier and more approachable; however, there was nothing I could do with Hendrix.”
In 1963, Lifeson met future Rush drummer John Rutsey in school and began experimenting on a rented drum kit. They formed The Projection, which eventually became Rush in August 1968 with bassist and vocalist Jeff Jones which was later replaced by his high school friend Geddy Lee. When Alex’s signature riffing and unorthodox chord progressions combined with Geddy Lee’s bass and their new member Neil Peart’s incredible drumming, Rush became sensational. By the 80s, Rush had already become one of the greatest bands of all time thanks to their unique sound. They created lots of amazing works and shaped a generation.
We wish him a happy birthday and a life full of music.