Archive: Blog Entries from June, 2006

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Neil Peart's Der Trommler used as test piece in Vette Magazine
1:00PM EST | link | comments (0) |

Vette Mag August 2006Vette Magazine is a magazine about ... you guessed it - Corvettes. In the last few issues the magazine has featured a multi-part series titled Fire Sale where the Vette Mag tech crew is fixing up an '87 C4 coupe. In the August 2006 issue, they installed a spray-on sound-deadener from Cascade Audio called VB-1X and Neil Peart indirectly lent some help. Here's an excerpt from the article:

This month we took the install to the next level, with Cascade's VB-1X, a spray-on sound deadener that's similar to a truck-bed coating. The differences were instantly noticeable, and thanks to a Radio-Shack issue decibel meter and the Neil Peart Drum solo "Der Trommler", we know the extent of the changes.

This is very cool. Here's a picture and description of their setup.

Neil Peart of Rush bangs away on the skins in his drum solo "Der Trommler." We got our results by playing the music through a set of laptop speakers positioned underneath the floorpan. Once the car is fully assembled, we will provide final numbers and compare them with the readings taken before the C4 died of heart failure. For now, you can at least see there was a difference-an 11db difference to be precise.

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Beck, his 2112 guitar and puppets
9:43AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Beck with his Rush guitar[Master of puppets]

It seems that Beck Hansen (better known as just Beck) has been utilizing his 2112 guitar in his live shows. During the recording of his last album, Guero in late 2004, there was a picture of him posted on his website playing a guitar sporting a prominently displayed 2112 sticker. Not only has Beck been using the 2112 guitar in concert, but so has his ... puppet. I'll let this excerpt from the OC Register explain:

... It helps to picture the setup. The band spreads out in the usual manner, but behind Beck, where the drums might normally go, sits a miniature proscenium - a stage within a stage.

Draped down onto it by four puppeteers are a series of dolls, exact replicas of Beck and his band. Bassist Justin Medal-Johnson emerges like a Daft Punk robot with a Jewfro; so does the puppet. The troupe's Napoleon Dynamite-esque B-boy dancer dresses like a Mormon missionary; so does the puppet. Beck's guitar sports a circular sticker of Rush's "2112" cover; so does his puppet's.

The puppeteers are nearly unerring in their mimicking. When Beck unstrapped his guitar and prowled the stage with a microphone, the puppet did the same. If his dancer did a handstand, the puppet flopped about upside-down. Every sustained vocal note was accompanied by an open and quivering puppet mouth; every crash of the symbols matched by the smack down of a puppet's hand.

It was as if the "cast" of "Team America: World Police" were filling in for Beck. ...

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Another Rush Replay Contest
9:16AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Replay USB stick[JamBase Contest: Rush Replay X3 DVD & Drum Head Giveaway!]

There's yet another Rush Replay X 3 contest. This one is from JamBase and the grand prize includes the Rush Replay X 3 DVD, a signed Drum Head, a T-shirt and a Rush USB stick (pictured here). 4 runners up will receive just the DVD. Entering the contest requires a free registration at JamBase. Good luck.

Related Posts:
[Yet another Rush Backstage Club contest]
[Enter the Rush Replay X 3 Sweepstakes]

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Rush Replay X 3 review
9:08AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[PopMatters: Rush Replay X 3 Review]

Online magazine Pop Matters recently posted a review of Rush Replay X 3. Reviewer Adrien Begrand heaps praise on the box set and gives it an 8 out of 10. This is the most comprehensive review I've seen to this point and it even includes a YouTube vid of a tune from each disk. The review concludes thusly:

Replay x 3 doesn't outshine the previous two Rush DVDs, but it does give the fans more of what they've wanted, and the fact that the band keeps delivering such high quality products to their audience is commendable. It seems that the band is finished putting out concert DVDs for the time being, as a new studio album is currently in the works, but with three and a half more hours of Rush for us to binge on, we'll be just fine until the new disc arrives. After that, we can start clamoring for a fourth live DVD.

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2 more vintage radio shows added at Rush.net
9:00AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Rush Replay X 3 Contest Page: Rush Radio Specials]

A couple of weeks ago I alerted you to the fact that the Official Rush and Rush Replay x3 Contest and Interactive Pages, Rush.net, had posted several vintage radio shows on their Bonus Features page. They just added two more to make a total of 9. Just look for the huge banner saying "Rush Radio Specials". Click on this banner and you can listen to the following:

  • NEW! Mary Turner - Off the Record with Alex Lifeson (1993)
  • NEW!In the Studio - Moving Pictures 25th Anniversary With Redbeard
  • Much More Music - The Story of Rush (2002)
  • Rush - "Hemispheres" Radio Special 1978
  • Uncle Joe Benson - "Feedback" (Off the Record) 2004
  • Jim Ladd and Geddy Lee - "Signals" 1982 Innerview
  • Jim Ladd and Neil Peart - "Grace Under Pressure" 1984 Innerview
  • Mary Turner and Geddy Lee - Off The Record (1988) - "A Show of Hands"
  • Sean McKay and Rush - The 1982 "Exit ... Stage Left" Radio Special

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rush makes the AVRev top 20 rock bands of all time list
1:20PM EST | link | comments (10) |

[AVRev.com's Top Ten Rock Bands of All Time]

Online magazine Audio Video Revolution recently compiled its list of the "Top 100 Rock Bands of All Time" to celebrate their pending tenth anniversary on July 1, 2006. Their list was compiled in a very "analytical" fashion and is not merely based on opinion. They modeled their method on the same type of tools used by sports franchises to objectively determine the "best" band, and they spell out their method in detail. I must admit, this is probably the best list of this type that I've ever seen put together - and I don't place much stock in "lists". Rush makes the top 20 on their list at #14 - which is the highest I've ever seen Rush on any "mainstream" lists. What's even cooler is that they are tied for 2nd (with Led Zeppelin - who took the top spot in the list) behind the Jimi Hendrix Experience in the "technical ability" category. The only thing I think that is missing from their criteria is "influence"; the band's influence on other musicians - an area I think Rush would also have scored high in. Thanks to rushisaband reader Jim for passing this on to me. Here's how the top 20 round out:

1. Led Zeppelin
2. The Beatles
3. Pink Floyd
4. The Jimi Hendrix Experience
5. Van Halen
6. Queen
7. The Eagles
8. Metallica
9. U2
10. Bob Marley and the Wailers
11. The Police
12. The Doors
13. Stone Temple Pilots
14. Rush
15. Genesis
16. Prince and the Revolution
17. Yes
18. Earth Wind and Fire
19. The Bee Gees
20. The Rolling Stones

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Dream Theater: A Passage to Bangkok live bootleg
9:39AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Dream Theater live[Dream Theater: A Passage to Bangkok live bootleg]

I came across this live bootleg video of Dream Theater performing A Passage to Bangkok on YouTube. It's from the DVD bootleg "A Passage to Toronto" which was recorded on March 25th, 2004 at Massey Hall in Toronto. You can watch it here. Dream Theater are huge Rush fans and often perform covers of Rush songs at their live shows.

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Alex Lifeson to appear on the Golf Channel
9:16AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Gerry Dulac's Golf Notebook: Dissa and data]

Here's some more golf-related Alex Lifeson news from today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette online:

Greensburg native Rocco Mediate and Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson will be featured in the debut of "Personal Lessons" Monday at 7:30 p.m. on The Golf Channel. They will play a round of golf, along with an amateur partner, at Tuscany Reserve in Naples, Fla. Mediate, who is friends with Lifeson, will provide on-course tips, advice and instruction.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Neil Peart site update: new album news, a side project and the West Coast Kit
10:18AM EST | link | comments (9) |

[NeilPeart.net: NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS - June 17, 2006]

UPDATE: 8/30@11:29AM: The producer for the new album has been named.

Neil Peart has updated the News section of his website once again. In his last update from late April, Neil discussed a February meeting with Alex and Geddy where they tossed around some song ideas and revealed that the band would be in the studio in May. He now gives some details about the studio work:

... My bandmates and I had decided to spend May working together in a Toronto studio, to refine some of the songs we had worked on long-distance over the winter, and hopefully to write some new ones. The small studio was located in an old waterfront area, just a block or so from Lake Ontario, a remote little corner sidelined by more modern dock facilities elsewhere. ... One afternoon the three of us and a couple of our crew members gathered by the glass doors to watch a thunderstorm loom in across that skyline, magnesium flares of lightning and simultaneous shockwaves of thunder. ... When we weren't busy watching thunderstorms, or eating lunch, we did a lot of work. I had a little room in a corner of the building where I could tinker with lyrics; Alex and Geddy were set up in the control room with guitars, computers, and vocal mic, and my drums were in the recording room. When I had had enough of struggling to put lyrical words together, I could escape to the drums and play along with rough versions of the songs when the guys were ready to hand them over. As I mentioned in the last report, I have been very enthusiastic about drumming lately, and I did find myself exploring new ways to put drum parts together, and new approaches to playing them. (Not really "new," of course, but "new to me.")

By the end of May, we had eight songs that we all liked, and I had worked out drum parts for six of them. So the work had gone well, but it had not been easy. ... at the end of our month together, I was driving from Toronto to Quebec for a few days' rest, and I was able to listen to the songs we had been working on in the familiar, pleasurable space of a car cruising down the long, straight highway.

The next day I wrote to Alex and Geddy,

"On the drive back yesterday, I did have the opportunity to listen to the new songs with some objectivity, in my favorite listening environment, and I wanted to tell you I think they are great! The freshest stuff we have done since - well, ever!

As I intuited when I first heard your song sketches, there is something very different about the character of these songs, and I'm really pleased by that.

I mean to say - at our ages!"

In addition, Neil mentions that the band will "reconvene in September" though doesn't give details.

Also, not to be outdone by all of Alex Lifeson's side projects, Neil revealed a side project of his own; with his friend and member of Vertical Horizon, Matt Scannell:

... As told in Traveling Music, Matt and I became friends a few years ago by a fairly remarkable set of circumstances, ignited by my admiration for Matt's work with Vertical Horizon. Since we were both immigrants to Los Angeles (Matt grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts), and shared an interest in music, fine watches, fast cars, silly humor, and each other's lives and work, he and I often got together for a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, or a burger at Broadway Deli. ... Late in 2005, Matt and I started working on a song together, with lyrics I wrote especially for Matt's voice - literal and metaphorical. Matt suggested I might like to play drums on that song, and when I agreed to that, he started sending me demos of other songs he thought I might like to play on. (Trickster!) ... on June 14, 2006, at Capitol Records Studio B in Hollywood (Hollywood and Vine, in fact), I recorded three songs for Matt's upcoming Vertical Horizon album. Even the drumset I played that day has a rich back-story, starting about two months earlier. ...

... which seques into the next bit of news.

... While considering the logistics of getting my drums from Toronto to Los Angeles and back, I was talking with my friends at Drum Workshop, and they pointed out that some busy drummers have a different drumset for each coast, stored and ready when they need it. Since I lived on the West Coast now, maybe I should have a "West Coast kit." ... Lorne and I had decided on a "tobacco sunburst" finish, like a classic guitar, but when John chose "curly maple" for the base of it, and master painter Louie applied his artistry, they looked way better than I had imagined. And once I started playing them, John's painstaking design of their acoustic properties paid off, too - people coming in from outside the showroom remarked on how good they sounded even from outside. ...

And of course, the sports news:

... One day while we were working in Toronto, Pegi at the office sent an e-mail to the three of us. She said she had received an urgent call from the CBC about using "Closer to the Heart" in that night's broadcast of "Hockey Night in Canada." Pegi had gone ahead and given permission on our behalf, guessing we wouldn't object. ... I happened to watch the beginning of the game that night, which opened with a montage of historic hockey moments set to an edited version of "Closer to the Heart." Over the line, "You can be the captain," they flashed a shot of a team captain's jersey, with the big "C" on it.

Then they cut live to the darkened arena, dramatic synthesizer chords swelling as the players circled the ice, swept by colored spotlights. Ron McLean's first words were, "Everybody loves a rush - except the goaltender."

We had become a hockey reference!

You really cannot beat that.

Wow. These updates are absolutely amazing. I'm already anxiously awaiting the next one.

Related Posts:
[Geddy Lee hopes for new album and tour in early 2007]
[New album news from NeilPeart.net!]
[Close encounters of the Alex Lifeson kind ... and new album news]
[New album, tour and book: NeilPeart.net News Update!]

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Rush Replay X 3 UK release date delayed
2:24PM EST | link | comments (2) |

Power Windows reports the following:

Originally scheduled for June 12th, the UK release of Replay was later delayed until June 26th. Apparently, the UK release has been delayed yet again until July 17th, with no official statement as to the cause of the delay. - June 26, 2006

Bummer for all the UK fans I guess.

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New Live Video: In the End from the Exit ... Stage Left video
10:02AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Exit ... Stage Left videoUPDATE - 6/29@8:39PM: The video has been removed from YouTube. Sorry if you missed it - just buy Rush Replay X 3 already! ... and see it in dvd quality. ;)

Flatliner450 over at YouTube recently uploaded this video of Rush performing In the End. It's an abbreviated version taken from a Medley (By-Tor and the Snow Dog, In the End, In the Mood, 2112: Grand Finale) included on the Exit ... Stage Left Video . You can watch it here. You can also check out the abbreviated version of By-tor and the Snow Dog taken from the same medly here.

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Alex and Geddy in a Brazilian commercial plugging Vapor Trails
8:50AM EST | link | comments (9) |

Alex and Geddy in Brazilian TV show[Alex and Geddy plugging Vapor Trails in a commercial for a Brazilian store]

I found this video on YouTube. It's a commercial for a Brazilian store where Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee make an appearance to plug Vapor Trails. Funny. You can watch it here.

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Sebastian Bach models his 2112 boxer shorts on SuperGroup
9:35PM EST | link | comments (4) |

Sebastian Box in his 2112 boxers[SuperGroup: Episode 5]

In episode 3 of VH1's rock reality show SuperGroup, former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach wore a Rush Moving Pictures t-shirt. You can check out a screenshot and watch the episode here. It seems that this isn't the only piece of Rush apparel he owns. In the latest episode (episode 5) of SuperGroup, Bach models his 2112 boxer shorts as well. You can watch episode 5 online at VH1's website, here.

The premise of SuperGroup is that five musicians are packed into a large mansion and must play a show after living together and writing original music for twelve days. In addition to Sebastian Bach, cast members include Ted Nugent, Scott Ian (of Anthrax), Evan Seinfeld (of Biohazard) and Jason Bonham.

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Friday, June 23, 2006

More vintage radio shows added at Rush.net
10:55AM EST | link | comments (1) |

[Rush Replay X 3 Contest Page: Rush Radio Specials]

Last week I alerted you to the fact that the Official Rush and Rush Replay x3 Contest and Interactive Pages, Rush.net, had posted several vintage radio shows on their Bonus Features page. They just added three more to make a total of 7. Just look for the huge banner saying "Rush Radio Specials". Click on this banner and you can listen to the following:

  • Much More Music - The Story of Rush (2002)
  • Rush - "Hemispheres" Radio Special 1978
  • Uncle Joe Benson - "Feedback" (Off the Record) 2004
  • Jim Ladd and Geddy Lee - "Signals" 1982 Innerview
  • Jim Ladd and Neil Peart - "Grace Under Pressure" 1984 Innerview
  • Mary Turner and Geddy Lee - Off The Record (1988) - "A Show of Hands"
  • Sean McKay and Rush - The 1982 "Exit ... Stage Left" Radio Special

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Neil Peart's Roadshow now available for preorder
9:39PM EST | link | comments (3) |

[Amazon Preorder: Roadshow: Landscape With Drums, A Concert Tour by Motorcycle]

Neil Peart's upcoming book, Roadshow: Landscape With Drums, A Concert Tour by Motorcycle, can now be preordered through Amazon.com (although they misspelled the title; Voncert instead of Concert). It comes in at 380 pages, the release date is listed as September 25th and the list price is $17.61. Several excerpts from the book were recently posted on NeilPeart.net.

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Rush Replay debuts at #1 on Billboard
8:17PM EST | link | comments (5) |

[Billboard Video Charts]

Rush's Replay X 3 DVD box set has debuted at #1 on both Billboard's Top Music Video chart and their Comprehensive Music Video chart. Pretty impressive for a re-release of old material. Hat tip to Power Windows.

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Alex Lifeson on the Ritz Carlton incident in Ontario Golf Magazine
4:10PM EST | link | comments (6) |

Alex MugshotYesterday I posted some excerpts from the Ontario Golf Magazine interview with Alex Lifeson. In addition to the interview, there was a half-page mini article on the New Year's Eve Ritz Carlton incident. Alex gives his side of the story and really opens up about his feelings regarding the event and how it affected him. Here's the entire text of the article.

Between a Rock (Star) and a Hard Place

New Year's Eve 2003 is a night Alex Lifeson would rather forget. That night he was out at the high-end Ritz Carlton hotel in Naples, Florida, for a celebratory dinner. But soon after his son, Justin, jokingly stepped up on the stage where the house band had been playing, to sing a song to his wife, Michelle, several police officers arrived to arrest him. That's when all hell broke loose.

According to Lifeson, the police escorted his son out a back entrance and into a stairwell without telling anyone why they were detaining him. At one point, they took Justin down the stairs with his arms behind his back. He struggled to get free due to the pain, which led to one of the police accidentally falling down the flight of stairs. The situation became more frantic, with Justin being hit with a taser gun four times. According to Lifeson, he protested the violence being committed against his son and had his nose broken by one of the officers for his comments. Hew was also at the receiving end of several taser shots.

By the time it was all over, Lifeson and his son were arrested and mug shots of the bloodied rock star, still wearing his tuxedo shirt, were paraded throughout the international media. Headlines trumpeted the fact that police alleged Lifeson had spat blood on one officer.

Lifeson says he was hurt by the comments that accused him of being drunk and beligerent. In fact, he never intended to go out for New Year's, he says, and only attended the event because of friends. Still, the celebration was kept to a minimum - after all, Lifeson had an early morning golf game scheduled the next day with his friend and PGA Tour player, Rocco Mediate. And he never spat blood on anyone, he maintains. But after his nose was broken, Lifeson relates, he had great difficulty breathing, which led to blood spraying as he attempted to catch his breath.

The charges against Lifeson were serious, including four felonies - namely, resisting an officer with violence, which could have resulted in five years in prison.

The case against Lifeson came apart in the months following his arrest. A Ritz Carlton employee came forward to dispute the police account of what had happened in the stairwell, and the prosecutor lost much of his appetite for pursuing the high profile case.

In the end, all but two charges remained against Lifeson and his son, and since neither were felonies with jail time attached, the guitarist was advised to take a deal which would see him face 12 months of probation and plead "no contest" to the remaining charges. Lifeson and his management company have since launched a lawsuit against the Ritz Carlton and three of the police officers for brutality.

Even now, two-and-a-half years after the incident, the memories are intense.

"Some of the headlines in Canada said it was 'rock 'em, sock 'em night,' which was really insulting since they had no idea what actually happened," Lifeson says, noting he struggled with depression and was deeply wounded by some of the post-arrest coverage. "But it is behind me now."

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Excerpts from Alex Lifeson Ontario Golf Magazine interview
10:25PM EST | link | comments (20) |

Ontario Golf Mag - smallEarlier this week I mentioned that Alex Lifeson was interviewed for Ontario Golf Magazine's Early Summer 2006 issue. I've obtained a copy of the article (thanks again Pat!) and thought I'd share some of it here. The cover tagline reads WHAT A RUSH. Rocker Alex Lifeson plays a hand in Ontario's next great golf course. Most of the article understandably talks about golf. Alex relates about how he wasn't much into the game most of his life, but once he started playing back in 1989 he was hooked:

... When I finally started playing I became completely addicted to it. After a few weeks I played all the time and I would lie in bed thinking about my swing. ...

He also talks about the friendships he's developed with professional golfers such as Rocco Mediate. Rocco gave him some advice to improve his swing:

... [Rocco] says if I could apply the way I think about my guitar playing to golf, I'd imporve immensely. It is just a question of how you clear your head. That's my problem - I have so many swing thoughts before I even take the club back. ...

On his involvement with Toronto businessman Syd Menashy in the creation of a the new Coppinwood golf club, Alex says:

... Syd and I began talking about how nice it would be to own our own golf club. He got Paul McLean involved and Al Chud (a partner at Wooden Sticks) and Tom Fazio as a designer. Syd came to me and said, "Al, we're building this Tom Fazio course and it'll be the best in Canada." And I said, "Where do I sign up?" He wasn't looking for investors - there were no openings at the time - but he sold me half of one of his shares. I was really excited about working with Syd and being involved in such an exciting golf course. When the hockey strike occurred, an investor got cold feet, so a full share came up and I bought it ...

Here are the portions of the interview where Rush is discussed:

Back to music. What is an average day for you on tour?

My days start early, often around 6:30 am. I do about an hour or so of yoga, get a nice stretch and then go to the golf course. Since they're largely private courses, they tend to be very quiet. I'm usually done by 11 am. I head back to the hotel, have a light lunch, go for a workout or a swim, then head to the gig for sound check at 5 pm for an hour, and then have a light meal. Then we do the show, which is over three hours. I have some quiet time with Geddy after the show with a nice bottle of wine in the dressing room. We also have a chef on the road with us and he'll make us something to eat.

It doesn't sound very rock 'n' roll. It sounds very professional.

It is. You have to travel professionally at this stage. It's very intense and you need to stay in shape. All three of us train regularly when we go on the road for two or three months. There's not as much structure there, so you've got to make time. Our chef helps by making things that are fresh and organic. It's very civilized. And you have a wonderful 20 minutes or so after the show where it's just the band, sitting around in our underwear with a nice glass of wine. Touring like we do now is pretty good. But jumping onto a bus after a show, like we used to do, and getting into the hotel at 6 am and having no life once you were on the road- that wasn't great. For the last couple of tours we've chartered planes and fly everywhere. It's made things much easier.

But Neil doesn't fly, does he?

No, he's not crazy about flying, so he'll take his motorcycle and he and our security guy will ride together. On the last tour he rode 25,000 miles across America.

...

Rush has had so much success in the past few years with the 30th anniversary tour, a book that chronicled the history of the band and a DVD. But many felt you'd never get back together after the death of Neil's daughter, Selena (who was killed in a car accident in 1997) and his wife's death from cancer a year later.

It was so devastating when that happened that we didn't even worry about the band. It was about helping Neil. When Jackie died, it was almost too much. He needed people with him for a bit, and then he needed people to leave him alone for a bit. Eventually he decided if he stayed, he'd wither away to nothing. He had to leave, which is what book, Ghost Rider, is about. He took his motorcycle and just left to find whatever it was he needed to find. It was a ballsy, great thing to do. He just drove and thought. He just saw the road ahead of him, and that kept him distracted until he got to whatever town he hit that night. He'd go to bed and wake up every hour, night after night. Finally he met his new wife, Carrie.

Eventually, we thought about reconvening the band. We didn't want to push it, but we called Neil and asked if he'd consider it. He said he didn't know whether he could, but he'd try. Geddy and I were pretty convinced that the band was over. We started to think about addressing our equipment issue, which had been in storage the whole time. We wondered if we needed to wind things down. But Neil wanted to give it a try and we ended up spending 14 months making Vapor Trails, as opposed to the four or five months it usually takes us.

And now Rush is back in the studio recording yet another record. Has the process of writing and recording changed over the years?

We sometimes write some material on our own, but it is way more fun showing up on that first day and seeing what happens. You don't know where the music is going to go, and I'll grab a guitar I haven't played in five or six years. It is really exciting. We're like kids again.

There's also a mini article which talks about the Ritz Carlton New Year's Eve incident. I'll try and post that in the next couple days.

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New Live Video: Distant Early Warning from Rush in Rio
9:04AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Distant Early Warning live from Rush in Rio]

I've added Distant Early Warning from Rush in Rio to the Rush Live Videos page. You can watch it here.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Geddy Lee: Spokesman for CAFFWAB?
10:25AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Michael J. Fox and Geddy Lee[Bang! Cartoon: O Canada]

Bang! Cartoon is a website owned and operated by American football fan John Tayman featuring satirical Flash cartoons based almost exclusively on the NFL. Their newest cartoon satirizes the signing of Ricky Williams to the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts and contains a cameo from a Geddy Lee caricature. Ricky and his "friend" Jimmy (a marijuana joint) are watching TV. Ricky tells Jimmy about his new "job" but Jimmy doesn't know who the Toronto Argonauts are. So Ricky pops in a promotional video for the team. The video has Michael J. Fox and Geddy Lee making a plea to US football players to play in the CFL. They represent an organization called CAFFWAB - Canadian Artists For Football Players Who Are Black. Thanks to Power Windows for digging this up and supplying the screenshot.

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Yet another Alex Lifeson guest appearance
9:35AM EST | link | comments (2) |

JakalopeAlex Lifeson is a busy man these days. He made an appearance on the recently released John Kastner (formerly of The Doughboys) solo album Have You Seen Lucky and will also appear on former I Mother Earth frontman Edwin's third solo album. But that's not all. According to Canadian industrial rock band Jakalope's MySpace page, he also guests on their 2nd album Born 4 slated to be released later this summer. Jakalope was created in 2003 by Canadian industrial musician and producer Dave Ogilvie. Its members are constantly rotating but some of the core members include Katie B, Phil Caivano (Monster Magnet), Anthony Valcic (Fu) and Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails). Alex is said to play on the track Star 24 (No Apologies).

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Billy Sheehan jamming with Rush
9:35AM EST | link | comments (6) |

Billy Sheehan is a virtuoso bass player who has played with a number of bands including Mr. Big, who opened for Rush on both the Presto and Roll the Bones tours. Rush Tour Forum user Tench Frickler dug up this neat audio clip on Billy Sheehan's website. It's a clip of Billy jamming with Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart before an April 5, 1990 show in San Diego where apparently Geddy was late for the sound check. The original clip is in realaudio format and can be heard here. But MitA was kind enough to convert the clip to mp3 format. You can access the mp3 clip directly here or use the player above.

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Alex Lifeson interview in Ontario Golf Magazine
9:23AM EST | link | comments (2) |

Ontario Golf Mag - mediumUPDATE - 6/21@9:23AM: Got the cover scan. Thanks Pat!

This comes in from reader Pat W. Apparently Alex Lifeson is on the cover of the Early Summer 2006 issue of Ontario Golf Magazine. Inside is an interview with several photos. Alex discusses golf, Rush, Neil's tragedies, the Florida Ritz events, etc. The interview is not currently available online but if it becomes available I'll let you know. I'm also working on getting a cover scan.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Rush Replay Roundup
10:45AM EST | link | comments (4) |

It's been nearly a week since fans began obtaining copies of Rush's new box set Rush Replay X 3. Discussions at the various Rush forums/messageboards (The Rush Forum, Rush Tour Forum, etc.) are abuzz with either praise or criticism - mostly praise though. There are several reviews to peruse at Amazon and other sites as well. The various fan critical reviews are too numerous for me to reproduce here, but the general consensus is very positive. The big story is the sound quality - which is excellent; there's little disagreement there. The video quality is about what was expected, although there are several fans complaining about it anyways. And the tracklist, what was and wasn't included, is another topic of much discussion. Although all reports prior to the release promised that the DVDs would mirror exactly the VHS releases, and that's exactly what was delivered. A lot of us had hoped for some easter eggs however. But there aren't any - I've verified it personally.

As far as deals go, the big surprise was Best Buy offering an exlusive deal where 4 bonus tracks were included on the Grace Under Pressure CD. Not only that, they also offered by far the best price - $24.99. Eric over at Power Windows compiled some details about these 4 tracks:

Copies purchased at Best Buy have an exclusive version of the Grace Under Pressure audio disk which has four undocumented bonus tracks tacked onto the end of the disk. The printed tracklist matches the DVD, with no mention of the bonus tracks at all other than the Best Buy sticker on the wrapper. The four bonus tracks are from the Exit Stage Left and A Show of Hands video soundtracks, three of which were previously not available on vinyl or CD: "Limelight" was previously available on King Biscuit Flower Hour's Best of the Best: 25 Years of Rock (live). Note: the version of "Closer To The Heart" included here was recorded during the Moving Pictures tour, the version found on the ESL album was recorded during the Permanent Waves tour (with the "Glaswegian Chorus"!).

p/g Soundtrack Best Buy Exclusive Bonus Tracks
"Limelight" (ESL video soundtrack)
"Closer To The Heart" (ESL video soundtrack)
"The Spirit Of Radio" (ASOH video soundtrack)
"Tom Sawyer" (ASOH video soundtrack)

Amazon has since reduced their price to match the Best Buy price; a little late for that I'd say.

Personally, I really loved watching these DVDs. I'd never seen any of them in their entirety. I also never saw Rush live prior to the Power Windows tour; so Exit and GUP were a real treat to see. There were some definite personal highlights for me. On Exit ... Stage Left, Xanadu with the dual double necks and the Finale Medley really stand out. On Grace Under Pressure, seeing the Fear Trilogy in its entirety was a real treat. Territories live on A Show of Hands definitely stands out too.

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Vintage Rush radio shows at Rush.net
7:26PM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Rush Replay X 3 Contest Page: Rush Radio Specials]

I had mentioned the Rush.net site a few weeks back. It's the home of The Official Rush and Rush Replay x3 Contest and Interactive Pages. They have one page of Bonus Features and towards the bottom of this page is a huge banner saying Rush Radio Specials. Click on this banner and you'll have access to these four vintage radio shows:

  • Jim Ladd and Geddy Lee - "Signals" 1982 Innerview
  • Jim Ladd and Neil Peart - "Grace Under Pressure" 1984 Innerview
  • Mary Turner and Geddy Lee - Off The Record (1988) - "A Show of Hands"
  • Sean McKay and Rush - The 1982 "Exit ... Stage Left" Radio Special

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Selected excerpts from upcoming Neil Peart book, Roadshow
8:31AM EST | link | comments (2) |

Roadshow[NeilPeart.net: Roadshow - selected excerpts]

Neil Peart recently posted several short excerpts from his upcoming book, Roadshow: Landscape With Drums, A Concert Tour by Motorcycle, on his website. The book is due out this September and chronicles Neil's travels on the R30 tour. Here are a few of the excerpts but I highly suggest you read them all. I can't wait for this book.

At the end of a long day on the road, I felt the mixed buzz of all-day vibration, overstimulation, and weariness - the underlying awareness of having gone the distance, enjoyed it, and survived it. I had once come up with a refrain that often played in my head: "When I'm riding my motorcycle, I'm glad to be alive. When I stop riding my motorcycle, I'm glad to be alive."

...

Now that we were getting close to opening night, Alex, Geddy, and I played through that show with earnest dedication to getting everything right. I was giving it everything I had, straining and sweating, and in fact, I was already playing for an audience, though they were imaginary. It is a defining trait in my character and attitude toward performing that no audience is more unforgivingly critical than an imaginary one. They knew exactly how well I was supposed to play, and whether I had or not.

...

It is a harsh fact of a musician's life on the road that out of a tour of fifty or sixty shows, only a handful will be "magic." A sublime performance is as rare and mysterious as an astrologer's planetary confluence, and far less predictable. A set of separate elements in motion must coincide at exactly the same time and place, and like the magic which is supposed to result from planetary confluence and sublime performance, it cannot be summoned on demand. Like, say between 7:30 and 11:00 on June 25, 2004, at the Cellular Telephone Network Amphitheater in San Antonio.

...

That night, even when I sat down at the practice kit for my seven o'clock warmup, I could feel it - what baseball pitchers call their "stuff." Hands and feet worked smoothly together like they wanted to, sticks and beaters struck clean and true, and everything I played flowed out with controlled fire.

I had my stuff, and the stars and planets must have been aligned, too. The show poured out of us like a force of nature, sweeping out in waves from the stage and the lights and the speaker cabinets, ebbing and flowing over a cheering, smiling, delighted crowd. We were all locked together in a long, timeless moment of sublime pleasure, and as song after song played out into the ether, I felt energized and ever more determined to make this the one.

...

At the beginning of 2112, Alex holds up thumb and forefinger circled in a zero, and we share big goofy smiles. The last appearance of the "pirates," then "La Villa Strangiato," with Alex's last story-time, then through to the big ending. A quick drink and iced towel behind the stage, then run back on. In celebration of the last night, a dozen or so of the crew guys join Alex and Geddy at the dryers, helping to throw the T-shirts into the audience. Then we launch into the fast-paced trio of "Summertime Blues," "Crossroads," and "Limelight."

I put my drumsticks down on the floor tom to my right, stand up, bow and wave to the audience three times, then run for the car.

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Friday, June 16, 2006

New Live Video: Resist from Rush in Rio
9:36AM EST | link | comments (3) |

[Resist live from Rush in Rio]

I've added Resist from Rush in Rio to the Rush Live Videos page. You can watch it here.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

RushCon 6 Press Release
9:50AM EST | link | comments (2) |

[Sixth Annual RushCon Fan Convention Detailed]

The official press release for RushCon 6 Strong as Life was recently made public. The convention will be held in downtown Toronto and run the weekend of July 14 (Bastille Day!). The Friday night and Saturday day events have been known for a while but there're a lot more details now - especially regarding the Saturday night events. From the release:

... on Saturday night, fans will be treated to a private cocktail party at the legendary Orbit Room, a hip night club owned by Alex Lifeson of RUSH, then bussed to the Marquee Events Theater for a special convention after-party, featuring one of the worlds finest RUSH tribute bands - TORONTO AIRPORT - who will be traveling all the way from Florida to treat the audience to an evening of RUSH's greatest hits and obscure fan favorites. ...

I've heard nothing but great things about Toronto Airport and the cocktail party at The Orbit Room is new news too. I think the Sunday event is now sold out but they may open up a few slots closer to convention time.

I'm going. Anyone else?

Related Post:
[RushCon 2006 registration is now open!]

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Win a pair of Neil Peart drumsticks he used in concert!
9:45AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Neil Peart Retrospective printRush photographer and friend Andrew MacNaughtan is running a contest on his website. Anyone who purchases (or already has purchased) one of his Neil Peart retrospective prints (currently listed at $175) by June 30 is automatically entered. 10 pairs of drumsticks used by Neil in concert will be given away in a random drawing on July 20th.

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Yet another Rush Backstage Club contest
9:18AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Replay X3 Poster Pack[Win A Replay X3 Poster Pack!!]

This is weird. A couple weeks ago the Rush Backstage Club launched a new contest where the prize was a Test for Echo 8x10 glossy print. They said the winner would be announced on July 1 but apparently they've already announced a winner and are now running a new contest. Whatever.

Anyways, the new contest is for a Replay X3 poster pack. Here are the details:

Sign up to win 4 promo posters from Replay X3. The four posters are Replay X3, Exit Stage Left, Grace Under Pressure, and A Show Of Hands. We will be giving away 10 of these poster packs so you have a great chance of winning.

Good Luck!!

The winners will be announced on July 1st, 2006.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Rush Replay X 3 is here!
9:18AM EST | link | comments (22) |

UPDATE - 6/13@11:13AM: According to a couple of threads at The Rush Forum the "bonus CD" is not a separate CD. The songs are tacked on the end of the Grace Under Pressure CD. It still hasn't been verified as to whether these 4 extra tracks are actually "exclusive" to Best Buy. 1:26PM: The bonus tracks are indeed "exclusive" to Best Buy. 8:22PM: Check out the comments for this post; Eric from Power Windows has offered up a lot of cool background info on the 4 bonus tracks. Also check out his site to see his new Rush Replay theme. Thanks Eric!

Today is the day. Rush Replay X 3 is released in the US. If you haven't ordered your copy yet, the best deal going yet is at Best Buy. The price is $24.99 (plus applicable sales tax) and it looks like you get a 4-song bounus CD with your purchase. The bonus CD contains audio versions of Limelight and Closer to the Heart from the Exit ... Stage Left DVD and The Spirit of Radio and Tom Sawyer from the A Show of hands DVD. There are no reports yet from anyone who has actually received this bonus CD yet; we're just going on what Best Buy claimed in their Sunday paper ad insert. See this post for more discussion on the various offers.

A few lucky souls have already obtained their copy. It looks like some Target and Wal-mart stores had them out on the shelves a little early. From comments on the various message boards, it looks like there are no huge surprises. The general consensus so far is that the sound quality is excellent and that the Grace Under Pressure CD track list does in fact mirror the DVD tracklist exactly. As far as easter eggs go, early reports are claiming that there are none. This is a big disappointment to me if true. I'm still holding out hope though. I'll keep you posted as I find out more. And if you've already gotten your copy, please share your opinions in the comments.

Related Posts:
[Comparing Rush Replay X 3 Offers]
[Rush Replay X 3 technical details]
[Lock and Key NOT on Rush Replay X 3]
[DVD Reissues details: Rush Replay X 3]

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Monday, June 12, 2006

New Rush Wallpaper available at Panacea
12:21PM EST | link | comments (3) |

Ghost Rider Journal[Panacea: Rush Art]

It's been a long time coming but the Panacea Rush Art site finally has a couple new wallpapers posted. They're based on Neil Peart's Ghost Rider book and are very well-done, as are all the wallpapers on the site. Apparently there's more to come in the next few days too. From the site:

New wallpaper is based on Ghost Rider. I have had this idea for a while. I tried to imagine what Neil's journal and trinkets would look like spread out as he got ready to write the book. Hope you like it. I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. I went back through the book and tracked down as much on the computer as I could. I wanted to include a letter to Brutus, but I ran out of room. Also, check out Motivation. It is a grungy blend with a wonderful quote I found.

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Comparing Rush Replay X 3 Offers
10:25AM EST | link | comments (2) |

The Sunday paper advertising insert from Best Buy containing the ad for Rush Replay X 3 has been causing much confusion on the various Rush message boards (and in my brain too). The Best Buy offer seems almost too good to be true. Here's the Breakdown:

Best Buy offer:

Rush DVD & CD Sale

Exclusive tracks & free shipping

Rush is back with the new 3-DVD box set, Replay X3.

Save on the new box set and get a bonus CD with more than 17 minutes of exclusive tracks. Bonus CD features live versions of "Limelight," "Tom Sawyer," "Spirit of the Radio" and "Closer to the Heart."
Plus, get free ground shipping and save on previous Rush favorites as well.

As far as the 4 bonus songs they refer to - what we are fairly sure about is that the versions of Limelight and Closer to the Heart will be from the Exit ... Stage Left DVD and The Spirit of Radio and Tom Sawyer are from the A Show of hands DVD. What is still a little unclear are whether these are actually contained on a completely separate 4-song bonus CD or as part of the Grace Under Pressure bonus CD that is included with the release. So in the latter case does this mean that those of us who purchased it through say, Amazon (like me), will get a version of the Grace Under Pressure CD that does not contain these 4 songs? I find that unlikely but I'm not really sure. I guess we'll find out tomorrow. Either way, as far as price goes - Best Buy definitely has the best deal going as of the moment; $24.99 and free shipping. Although tax must still be paid (unlike at Amazon) which is typically in the $1.50 to $2 range. So still the best deal even with the tax.

The Circuit City ad insert also came out yesterday and here's how their offer breaks down. They're offering the DVD for $27.99 (same as Amazon) but tax and shipping (if you don't get it in-store) must still be paid. However they are offering a free poster with an in-store purchase (while supplies last). So what if you want the better deal at Best Buy but you also want the poster? Overdose2112 over at the Rush Tour Forum has some advice regarding this:

... get it at Best Buy and walk into Circuit City and tell them you bought one earlier and didnt get the free poster advertised, you thought it would've been inside the package and got home to find it not there. Then they'll most likely just give you one, they'll probably have tons of extra ones anyways. I have a friend who gave me 10 of the Feedback posters from FYE, kept two and gave the rest away to friends.

Good advice.

Unfortunatley for me (and for many others I assume) I've already ordered my copy through Amazon and it's too late for me to cancel (it's being prepared for shipment). I suppose I could return it though. Or keep it and get one at Best Buy too. Whatever. I'm just glad I'm finally getting it. I'll keep you posted as I find out more about the bonus CD situation.

Related Posts:
[San Francisco screening of Rush Replay X 3]
[Chicago Rush fans: chance to win Rush Replay X 3 this weekend]
[Enter the Rush Replay X 3 Sweepstakes]
[Rush Replay X 3 technical details]
[Lock and Key NOT on Rush Replay X 3]
[DVD Reissues details: Rush Replay X 3]

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

San Francisco screening of Rush Replay X 3
9:37PM EST | link | comments (4) |

For any bay area Rush fans - 107.7 the Bone is presenting a premier screening of the Rush Replay X 3 DVD at The Independent Monday night. From the 107.7 The Bone website:

107.7 the Bone presents Movie Night at The Independent! Rush's "Replay x 3" DVD gathers some of the trio's previously released concert material: "Exit...Stage Left," "Grace Under Pressure" and "A Show of Hands." Doors for this screening open at 7:30pm with the movie starting at 8:00pm. Admission is free but there is a 2 drink minimum and you must be 21 or over to attend. The Independent is located at 628 Divisadero (between Grove and Hayes) in San Francisco (phone 415.771.1421).

Related Posts:
[Chicago Rush fans: chance to win Rush Replay X 3 this weekend]
[Enter the Rush Replay X 3 Sweepstakes]
[Rush Replay X 3 technical details]
[Lock and Key NOT on Rush Replay X 3]
[DVD Reissues details: Rush Replay X 3]

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Friday, June 9, 2006

New Music Video: Limelight live version
9:14AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Exit ... Stage Left video[Limelight Music Video (live)]

I've added the live music video version of Limelight to the Rush Music Videos page. This is from the Exit ... Stage Left video which will be included as part of the Rush Replay X 3 box set which releases this coming Tuesday in the US. you can watch the video here.

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Thursday, June 8, 2006

Chicago Rush fans: chance to win Rush Replay X 3 this weekend
3:12PM EST | link | comments (0) |

[97.9 The Loop: Rush Weekend]

Chicago's 97.9 The Loop will be giving away copies of Rush Replay X 3 this weekend as well as a special grand prize for one lucky listener. From their website:

Rush has a 4-disc DVD box set (Rush Replay Times 3) that goes in stores this Tuesday. We'll let you have it this weekend whenever you hear us play something from the Canadian Trio. One of the weekend winners will also get the grand prize: a limited-edition Rush jacket and an autographed drum head from the band. Keep a phone and radio nearby and punch us up at 591-ROCK.

Related Posts:
[Enter the Rush Replay X 3 Sweepstakes]
[Rush Replay X 3 technical details]
[Lock and Key NOT on Rush Replay X 3]
[DVD Reissues details: Rush Replay X 3]

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New live videos from Rush in Rio
2:37PM EST | link | comments (0) |

I've added 3 live videos from Rush in Rio to the Rush Live Videos page (thanks brnrmstr). You can watch them at the following links:

[The Big Money]
[The Trees]
[Tom Sawyer]

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Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Geddy Lee cameo in Broken Social Scene video for Fire Eye'd Boy
8:15PM EST | link | comments (3) |

Geddy Lee video cameo[Video for Broken Social Scene's Fire Eye'd Boy featuring cameo from Geddy Lee]

Broken Social Scene is a Canadian indie rock group from Toronto. They released their Juno-award-winning (Alternative Album of the Year) self-titled third album on October 4, 2005. One of the songs on this album is Fire Eye'd Boy and the music video features a humorous cameo from Geddy Lee where he spoofs an American Idol judge. You can watch the video here. Geddy's cameo comes a little over 2 minutes into the video and lasts on and off for about 40 seconds; he basically critiques the band members on their individual performances of the song. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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Sebastian Bach sports a Rush t-shirt on VH1's SuperGroup
8:00AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Sebastian Bach with Rush jersey[Supergroup: Episode 3]

The latest episode (Episode 3) of VH1's SuperGroup reality show features Sebastian Bach sporting a Rush Moving Pictures t-shirt. If you've never seen the show, the premise is that five musicians are packed into a large mansion and must play a show after living together and writing original music for twelve days. In addition to Sebastian Bach, cast members include Ted Nugent, Scott Ian (of Anthrax), Evan Seinfeld (of Biohazard) and Jason Bonham. The VH1 website recently posted the episode online and you can watch it here. Note that the video clips on vh1.com only work in Internet Explorer.

Sebastian Bach is a big Rush fan and has performed covers of the band's songs on various tribute albums. In an interview preceding the release of the Rush tribute album Subdivisions last year, Bach had this to say regarding the band:

Their time signatures fascinated me! I couldn't understand the tempos of songs such as 'Cygnus-X1' and 'Hemispheres'. It was music like nothing else I had ever heard. But being a young Canadian whippersnapper I was geographically programmed to worship RUSH like the rest of my fellow Canadians. ... "I was the second ever member of the 'Rush Backstage Club of Toronto', the RUSH fan club put together by their longtime photographer, Andrew MacNaughton. Andrew was the cousin of my school roommate, George Jeffries at Lakefield College School in Canada. He was the first member of Andrew's 'club' which we joined in 1981. RUSH was a magical sound to me and showed me that music could be challenging and entertaining at the same time. ... Few musicians on the planet can boast the longevity of RUSH, especially in a band context. Rock bands are a fragile organism and RUSH's career demonstrates that there are exceptions to the 'Behind The Music' scenario of band makes it big / band breaks up / band reunites for Japanese tour. Their work ethic and constant reinvention is an inspiration to each and every musician.

Apparently during the filming of the show veteran rocker Ted Nugent had a discussion with Bach about his drinking which was the catalyst for him to go sober. He talks about this in a recent interview and mentions Rush once again:

... The truth of the matter is, between the ages of 15 and 37- I cannot think of more than five days or a week that I did not drink alcohol, ... That's just the way that I've lived since the mid-eighties, (with) all my bands, and my family, and being Canadian. Where I grew up, there were three things: hockey, beer and Rush. That's pretty much it. I didn't know one person when I was fifteen that did not drink beer. ...

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Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Geddy Lee's nephew Rob Higgins creates a new band
10:20AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Rob Higgins[Dearly Beloved's Music Evolves From Sad Situation]

Rob Higgins is a Toronto music scene institution who also happens to be Geddy Lee's nephew. His former bands include Change of Heart, Doctor, Rocket Science and a short stint with Our Lady Peace. Uncle Geddy lent his producing and background vocal skills as well as his home studio to Rocket Science for their 2002 debut album, Foolscap. Asked about how it was being Geddy's nephew and spending time around Rush, Higgins said: I got to hang with them in the studio, studying every move, analyzing their songwriting. I went on tour with them, studied every gig.

Higgins' latest project is called Dearly Beloved and their new album from Kindling/Warner is titled You Are the Jaguar. The album was inspired by Higgins' father who was sick for some time and passed away last week.

... "When my dad first got sick, I started having these panic attacks, so I left to Florida for a week to get away from the stress of being here. And when I got there I wrote eight of the 10 songs for the album on the balcony with my acoustic guitar. So it's interesting to listen to the record now. It sounds like what it was like to go through those things. I don't want to sound fucking pretentious, but it feels like the closest thing to honest art that I've ever been involved with - a real extension of my life."

The way Dearly Beloved came to be an ensemble was through Higgins' need for extension. What started out a solo effort soon became an album made with friends and an impromptu band. Singer Niva Chow from Sticky Rice, guitarist Damon Richardson, who used to play drums for Danko Jones, and Sometimes Why guitarist John Pogue are a few names involved in the project. This makes for an interesting group dynamic of friends playing together without the pressures of being an official lineup. ...

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New Music Video: La Villa Strangiato
9:25AM EST | link | comments (2) |

[La Villa Strangiato Music Video]

I've just added the video for Rush's instrumental masterpiece off the Hemispheres album, La Villa Strangiato, to the Rush Music Videos page. You can watch it here. There are also videos for 2 other songs off this album available; Circumstances and The Trees. And if you haven't seen it yet, there's a great live version of La Villa Strangiato from a June 4, 1979 show at the PinkPop festival in Geleen, Holand that you can check out here.

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Monday, June 5, 2006

Top 50 conservative rock songs list redux
3:38PM EST | link | comments (2) |

[Encore! 50 more conservative rock songs]

A couple weeks ago I linked to a story from the New York Times which referenced this National Review article that chronicled a list of the top 50 conservative rock songs. The list generated quite a stir among readers here and across the blogosphere. So much so that the author, John J. Miller, decided to explain himself.

... There are of course many varieties of conservatism, a term which I define broadly in the fusionist custom of NR. The original article said: "The lyrics must convey a conservative idea or sentiment, such as skepticism of government or support for traditional values." A few lefties have pointed out that they're skeptical of government, too, especially with Republicans in power. Fair enough. I would modify this to say "skepticism of big government"-i.e., the welfare state, the nanny state, the left-wing state, etc. Also, claiming that a song is conservative certainly does not mean to suggest that the artist who wrote it or performed it is a conservative. For the most part, I interpreted the lyrics the way a New Critic would interpret a poem-i.e., by examining a text without reference to biography or historical context. I bent this rule in a few places, but only when it seemed appropriate. ...

He also presented another 50 songs that failed to make his cut but were in his 51-100 list. Rush appeared 4 more times on this list. Here are the 4 songs and what was said about them:

"Anthem", by Rush.
Inspired by Ayn Rand. "Begging hands and bleeding hearts will / Only cry out for more."

"Freewill," by Rush.
"I will choose free will."

"Heresy," by Rush.
An bitter epitaph for Communism, at the end of the Cold War: "All around that dull grey world / From Moscow to Berlin / People storm the barricades / Walls go tumbling in / The counter-revolution / People smiling through their tears / Who can give them back their lives / And all those wasted years?"

"Something for Nothing," by Rush.
Another libertarian rocker: "You don't get something for nothing / You don't get freedom for free."

So there's some more fodder for political discussion. ;)

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The Necromancer live bootleg from 1977
1:50PM EST | link | comments (8) |

A few months ago, MitA made available a live pre-release of Xanadu from a May 10, 1977 show in Milwaukee. Also now available is a partial version of The Necromancer from the same show (it's the last 6 minutes or so). To listen to the song use the player above or access it directly here. Thanks MitA! For more Rush rarities and oddities visit MitA's Rush Oddities site here.

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Saturday, June 3, 2006

Rush makes the Rock and Roll 500 ... 8 times
7:40AM EST | link | comments (7) |

[WKQQ Rock and Roll 500]

Lexington's 100.1 WKQQ compiled a list of the top 500 rock songs of all time over Memorial Day weekend. Rush had 8 songs appear on the list including Tom Sawyer at #16. Here're all the Rush songs and their rank:

16. Tom Sawyer
192. Limelight
195. Workin' Man
211. Spirit of Radio
315. Freewill
352. Subdivisions
401. Closer to the Heart
475. Fly By Night

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Friday, June 2, 2006

New Rush Backstage Contest
9:08AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Test for Echo Print[Win An Autographed T4E 8X10!]

Last month's Rush Backstage Club Contest is over. The winner of the Limited Edition Lithograph was Ricardo Reyna from San Antonio TX. Congratulations. This month's contest is now underway. The prize is a an autographed Test for Echo 8x10 glossy print. Here are the details from the site:

This promotional glossy 8X10 was autographed during the T4E tour by all three guys. Just fill out the information below and you will be entered in the random drawing. All people placing orders from the site during the month will be automatically entered in the draw as well.

Good Luck!!

The winner will be announced on July 1st, 2006.

Good luck!

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Thursday, June 1, 2006

Alex Lifeson makes the top 40 classic rock guitarists list
11:20AM EST | link | comments (18) |

[Calgary's Top Q107FM 40 Classic Rock Guitarists]

Several weeks ago I posted about an online poll that Calgary's Q107FM was running to determine the top 40 classic rock guitarists of all time. They started revealing the winners 10 at a time a few weeks ago. The full list is now out and our favorite guitarist Alex Lifeson just made it into the top ten by a whisker. The top 10 were:

1) Jimi Hendrix
2) Jimmy Page
3) Eric Clapton
4) David Gilmour
5) Eddie Van Halen
6) Stevie Ray Vaughan
7) Pete Townshend
8) Angus Young
9) Carlos Santana
10) Alex Lifeson

It's tough to argue with this list; Alex is in good company.

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