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Rush’s Lead Guitarist Formally Charged Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 March 2004
Alex Lifeson, lead guitarist and founding member of the Canadian rock band Rush, was formally charged Tuesday with two felony counts of battery of a law enforcement officer. The charges stem from a brawl that occurred at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida on New Year’s Eve.

Supposedly, Lifeson (whose birth name is Alex Zivojinovich) intervened when security guards tried to throw his son, Justin, 33, out of a party after he refused to leave the stage he was sharing with the house band. Police claim Alex Lifeson knocked a female police officer down a stairwell and spat blood in another officer’s face. Lifeson’s son claimed in an interview that his father was not spitting blood in the deputy’s face; he was spitting out blood because his nose was broken during the scuffle. He also denied police claims that Lifeson pushed the female deputy down a stairwell.

Each charge is punishable with up to five years in prison if Lifeson is convicted. The trial date is scheduled for May 17, only nine days before the band’s highly anticipated 30th Anniversary tour is set to kick off in Nashville, Tennessee. There is no word yet on the band’s contingency plan should the guitarist be found guilty.

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