Rush News

Rush Co-Founder John Rutsey Excluded from Rock Hall Induction - Alex Explains Why

UPDATE: In the second part of "In Conversation: Chad Smith With Alex Lifeson", Alex discusses John Rutsey and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction:
Lifeson: Yeah, I think if John was still around, I think an invitation would have gone to him, for sure. He's not, and it's nothing really to do with his family or anything. We did have another guitar player in the band.
Smith: When?
Lifeson: '71?
Smith: What?!
Lifeson: Yeah, Mitch Bossi.
Smith: Mitch Bossi?
Lifeson: Yeah, he was in the band for …
Smith: The Mitch Bossi?
Lifeson: [Laughs] Yes – the teacher. He was in the band for, I don't know... I think it was three or four months. We were playing clubs and high school dances and stuff like that.
Smith: Was this in your movie? I don't remember that.
Lifeson: I think. Yeah, Mitch was mentioned in it. There were some photos with the four of us. He was a friend of John's. Mitch was not that great of a guitar player.
Smith: You're being nice.
Lifeson: He was OK, but not that great.
Smith: He could play.
Lifeson: He could play.
Smith: Chords.
Lifeson: John really wanted to go to more of a Bad Company kind of, Small Faces, er, Faces sort of thing. That's the kind of music that he was really into.
Smith: Bluesy?
Lifeson: Yeah, the English bluesy kind of thing.
Smith: He had more of that vibe?
Lifeson: We went for a while, for a few months. I remember we were at a rehearsal, and we told Mitch that it wasn't really working out. [Smith laughs] He picked up his stuff, and he left.
Smith: Spinal Tap. Was John part of that decision as well?
Lifeson: Yeah, John actually made that decision. I remember him saying, "This isn't working out. I'll talk to Mitch." It was at a rehearsal. We were all there. I guess John did the talking.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website has been updated to include their new inductees, including Rush.  Unfortunately, co-founder John Rustey, who left the band due to health concerns in 1974 then replaced by Neil Peart, has apparently been excluded from the list of inductees:
"Inductees: Gary Lee Weinrib aka Geddy Lee (vocals, bass; born July 29, 1953), Neil Peart (drums; born September 12, 1952), Alex Zivojinovich aka Alex Lifeson (guitar; born August 27, 1953)" - (thanks to RushIsABand for the headsup!)


  1. What are you guys thinking? John was there in the beginning and even if he left no matter the reason, he is still a part of the band. Man, I thought the RRHoF was a joke before, this just nails it. Get with it you idiots.

  2. John Rustey? You mean Rutsey...

  3. He played on one album out of over 30. I'd have excluded him, too. The fact is, he had no bearing on rock history - anyone could have sat in for that first album then quit for health reasons and they would not have changed the course of history or RUSH. RUSH would be the same today regardless of who their drummer was for a couple of years in the early 70's. Get over it.

  4. Rush actually wasn't Rush until Peart arrived anyway. Why include a guy that would have stopped them from getting into the hall of fame?

  5. I agree with many of the comments, Neil Peart's contribution to the band is perhaps one of the greatest reasons for the success of the band. I do hope, and I know they will, that the band references John in their acceptance speech.

  6. Rutsey was a founding member, i.e. there would have been no Rush had he not been involved, or at best the band would not be the Rush we know and love. Therefore, he deserves to be included.

  7. The fact that he was a 1/3 part of the first album and the break through song Working (He rocked it!) even though not a Neil Peart by any imagination. He was an instrumental part of the Rush launch and ultimate success. In a fair world he would be included and respected for his fab contribution. It's really the bands choice that treats him as a footnote. Something I've always wondered about?

  8. I can see appreciating his contribution, but the Hall is about a much larger achievement then their first hit. He isn't Hall caliber by any stretch. If anything, Rush was discovered despite Rutsy, who differed from Lee and Lifeson in philosophy and in raw ability.

  9. john is still a living legend,he was in the band for 5 years before neil.Lets give the guy the respect he so deserves and included him instead of forgetting what contribution he did make in early rush days.

    1. I agree. He was drive behind the original line up. When they weren’t serious he pushed for more practice time. He was also the lyricist. John Rutsey’s brother actually named the band.