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Interview 7 December 1978 - Alex Lifeson Interview on WLPX Milwaukee

This is a nice little bit to hear (my first time). Just a laid back chat (fragment) with Alex. Really neat to hear him say the words "The Fountain of Lamneth" and "The Necromancer" out loud! The party line defense of Caress of Steel is pretty fresh here, "it was a necessary step for us." But the discussion of Caress is a bit extended, relatively speaking. Alex goes on about how much the band likes the album, how management understood why they did the album but wanted them to include some more accessible material on the next album. And about how the record company hated the album.

I've always thought that Alex was the biggest defender of Caress. Indeed, it is a monumental guitar album in my opinion, so that makes sense. I think Neil was always pretty clinical saying it was a necessary step for them to take. And Geddy saying the same, but with a bit more disdain baked into his telling. Even in more recent years, 40+ years on, Alex is more affirmative in saying the record was good and brave.

Long live Caress of Steel, my desert island record.
I agree it appears/appeared that Alex seemed to be the biggest fan of the album over the years. I even recall reading some magazine interview from 1981 or 1982 where Alex states his favorite guitar solo is from The Necromancer.
Ah yes, I recall that interview and that Alex had affection for his solo in No One At the Bridge.

"Yes, Steve Hackett is so articulate and melodic, precise and flowing. I think our Caress of Steel period is when I was most influenced by him. There's even a solo on that album which is almost a steal from his style of playing. It's one of my favorites, called "No One at the Bridge"."
Interesting, I don't recall reading an interview where Alex talked about No One at the Bridge. Though that further proves the point of Alex's affection for the album.
Also, nice to see Alex cite Steve Hackett as an influence, since I'm also a big Genesis fan.
Here's the full interview, from Guitar for the Practicing Musician, July 1984.

The last Q and A is rather poignant nearly 40 years later... At the beginning of the interview, Alex talks about the maneuvering from a style of typical rock guitar soloist (bluesy/lots of fast notes) into more of a team player, where the band becomes more of singular entity. And then he ends the interview below by saying he's still learning and trying to hone his role between rhythm / lead.

A nice, humble, suburban Canadian boy.


What would you like to be remembered for in the long run?

I feel embarrassed by a question like that. I can't imagine what I would want my contribution to be because I don't feel I have that much to contribute. I do what I do the best I can. I enjoy playing. Perhaps if I could draw a line between being a rhythm and a lead guitarist in a group and do it well, maybe people would look at my style and say that's a good way to fill up the space and make more out of a part. If that happens I guess I will have accomplished something. It's hard to tell right now because I'm still in school.