Guitarist with rock group Rush arrested
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NAPLES, Fla. – The lead guitarist for the rock band Rush skirmished with sheriff’s deputies, spat blood on one and was arrested on New Year’s Eve after his son refused to leave the stage at a fancy hotel, authorities said.
Deputies said they had to use a stun gun on 50-year-old Alex Zivojinovich - known on stage as Alex Lifeson - for what they described as drunken, violent behavior at the Naples Ritz-Carlton hotel.
Zivojinovich was released from Collier County jail Friday afternoon. Also arrested were his son Justin Zivojinovich, 33, and his son’s wife, Michelle Zivojinovich, 30.
Gerry Berry, an attorney representing the Zivojinovichs, declined comment and referred all calls to SRO Management in Toronto. A telephone message left with SRO was not returned Friday.
Justin Zivojinovich said deputies broke his father’s nose.
The son said he went on the stage where the house band was performing so he could sing.
“I was singing Happy New Year’s, that’s all I was doing, singing to the whole crowd. That’s all I said, ‘Happy New Year,’” Justin Zivojinovich said. “Everyone was enjoying themselves. That’s when someone apparently started yelling for one of the security guards. There was no violence on our part.”
According to authorities, the scuffle began when Justin Zivojinovich refused to leave the stage.
The guitarist spat blood on a deputy’s face and pushed a deputy down a hotel stairwell during the struggle, a police report said.
Justin Zivojinovich disputed that account, saying the deputy tumbled down the stairs as she pushed the guitarist down the stairwell.
Charges against Alex Zivojinovich include aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, and disorderly intoxication.
Rush’s hits include “Tom Sawyer,” “Limelight” and “The Spirit of Radio.”