Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson opens up about drug use, health woes

Alex Lifeson, pictured in November 2014. Mike Coppola / Getty Images

TORONTO — Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson credits marijuana for helping him write most of the band’s music.

“Maybe just 80 per cent of the time,” Lifeson said in an interview with Rolling Stone.

“I find that smoking pot can be a really great creative agent.”

Lifeson said getting high doesn’t necessarily help in the studio. “When … you’re playing, it’s sloppy,” he said.

READ MORE: Rush featured on the cover of Rolling Stone for first time

The musician, who admitted he used Ecstasy in the early ’90s, also spoke about the effects of cocaine.

“Cocaine is the worst, for everything,” said Lifeson. “If you want to feel your heart pounding on your mattress at 7:00 in the morning when the birds are chirping, it’s perfect. It’s awesome.”

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READ MORE: George Michael has “completely stopped” smoking pot

Lifeson said drugs once helped him reconnect with his wife Charlene.

“We cranked the music and we were dancing, and then we talked for hours about deep personal stuff for what seemed like the first time, even though we’d been married for years,” he recalled.

“We were going through a bit of a difficult time in our relationship, and that opened up a lot of doors.”

Rush appears on the cover of the July 2 issue of ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine.

Lifeson, 61, told Rolling Stone he receives injections for psoriatic arthritis. He was previously hospitalized for anemia from bleeding ulcers and suffered breathing problems.

“My stomach was behind my heart, pushing against my lung,” he explained.

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Lifeson said his health issues and a desire to spend time with his grandchildren mean the current Rush tour will likely be the band’s last.

“I don’t think we’re having much difficulty thinking about it as possibly the last.”

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