Although it's widely agreed that all three members of Rush are incredibly talented at their respective instruments, guitarist Alex Lifeson tends to be the most underrated of the bunch. Born Alex Zivojinovich on August 27, 1953 in Fernie, Canada (his parents were Yugoslavian immigrants), Lifeson grew up in Toronto, and received his first guitar as a Christmas gift when he was 13. Soon after, Lifeson discovered rock & roll (via the usual suspects -- Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, etc.), and began jamming with local drummer John Rutsey. By the late '60s, bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee had signed on with the group, as the trio focused primarily on perfecting cover songs of Cream, Led Zeppelin, and the Who, among others. The group slowly built a regional following, and eventually started penning their own original songs (which were initially highly derivative of the aforementioned bands they had been long covering -- especially Zeppelin). The trio eventually signed a recording contract with Polygram, who reissued their self-titled debut in 1973 (which had previously been released independently). Rutsey left the group soon after, and the missing piece to the group's puzzle came in the form of his replacement, Neil Peart, who besides being an exceptional drummer, was also quite a gifted lyricist.