UPDATE - 9/2@1:53PM: It looks like Richard Chycki has edited the blog entry referenced in this post and completely removed the portion about his rumored involvement with the next Rush album. All the entry says now with regards to this is the following:
My site was down for a bit as a result of a duluge of hits to my site via a number of Rush fan sites. There seems to be the notion that I am confirmed to record and/or mix a new Rush CD (!?) Where do these rumors start?! Please ease up on the repeated hits a bit, k? Thanks.
So he still neither confirms nor denies it. This probably just means that nothing has been finalized yet and he wasn't supposed to say anything. We'll find out soon enough I guess.
First off, regarding the Trailer Park Boys movie soundtrack; in a Chronicle Herald article on the show that focused on an upcoming guest appearance from former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, Bach was interviewed and said that "... I mean, I heard that Alex and Geddy (Lifeson and Lee, from Rush) are doing a song for the movie soundtrack. That's amazing! ...". Here's what Chycki's blog entry states:
Canadians all know the ubiquitous Trailer Park Boys, Finally, a movie is in the works. Al Lifeson of Rush fame produced an amazing version of 'I Fought The Law', which I had the opportunity of recording and mixing. The track features Al and Geddy, Adam from Three Days Grace, ex- Tea Party Jeff Burrows, Ian Thornley and a young promising talent from Die Mannequin named Care -- she really tore up her parts in the vocal track. Also, Bubbles was in the studio to record an absolutely hilarious track called 'Liquor & Whores'. ...
Wow. It's great to have this bit of news confirmed and to get all the details regarding the participants. I can't wait to hear this! ... Not to mention a studio recording of Liquor & Whores!!
Now regarding the rumor that he's been hired to mix the next Rush album. He talks about being flooded with email from fans and traffic from Rush fan sites (he even mentions the Counterparts thread that started the rumor). He talks about how he mixed R30 and recorded/mixed the live studio version of Closer to the Heart for the Tsunami benefit from a couple years back and clears up some misconceptions regarding his past work. But he is coy about confirming that he's been hired to work on the next Rush album. My guess is that he is, but isn't allowed to say anything yet. Here's the snippet from the post so you can be the judge.
... There's been a recent HUGE flood of visits and emails to my website, mostly via Rush fan sites like this one and several others. I'm humbled by all the attention and thank those who know my work and are so liberally endorsing it. There has been some question as to my past involvement with Rush. I mixed the R30 DVD and recorded/mixed a live version of 'Closer to the Heart' for a Tsunami benefit broadcast some time ago. I did not work on Vapor Trails at all, nor have I produced any tracks for Pink. I did record a duet with Pink and Steven Tyler, both great performers (but that's another story). According to the deluge of emails flooding the web contact box over the past two days or so, the $10,000 question seems to be ... am I working on the next Rush CD?? Well, at this time I can't comment on the rumors but I'm sure the fine folks at Anthem will keep the loyal followers informed (and that doesn't mean 'yes', sorry). In the meantime, please sit tight and stop flooding the web email box -- the attention is appreciated but my web assistant is losing her mind with the hundreds of queries coming in. Man, you guys are awesome fans!! ...
I've added a couple more live videos from the professionally-shot Counterparts concert bootleg called "A View From The Palace" that was filmed March 22, 1994 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Here are all the live vids from that show that I currently have up on the site. The new ones are Double Agent and The Spirit of Radio.
UPDATE - 9/8@11:46AM In a recent Neil Peart interview, Neil said that the band will gather for pre-production on the new album the week of September 18 and head into the studio with Nick in November.
UPDATE - 8/31@12:48PMPower Windows's contact at Anthem has also confirmed the producer but said "hopefully early spring" on the album release. They also said that an "official" announcement will be coming soon.
UPDATE - 8/30@2:10PM I located this EQ Magazine interview with Nick Raskulinecz from this past June. He discusses producing Fireball Ministry's Their Rock Is Not Our Rock and when asked about artists he'd like a shot at producing he says, Rush. That would be my dream album to make. Nobody plays like those guys anymore. Looks like his dream has come true. :)
Over the last few months I've found several live videos on YouTube of various well-known bands performing covers of Rush songs live. So I thought I'd highlight a few for you today.
Back in 1999 Deadsy recorded a version of Tom Sawyer for their album Commencement and has been performing the song live for several years now. Here is a live bootleg video of them performing the song live at the release party for their new CD from August 21. The quality on this is pretty decent for a bootleg.
When Rush was inducted in the Canadian Hall of Fame back in 1994, a video montage was shown featuring several artists paying tribute to the band. One of these was Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip and a short 30 second clip of them performing Limelight was shown. The ceremony was included on disc 2 of R30.
This is a video of The Sound of Urchin performing The Spirit of Radio at The American Theater in St. Louis, MO. This video is from the 2001 Tenacious D / Sound of Urchin tour and features a short cameo from Jack Black.
This is a bootleg video of American techno/punk band Mindless Self Indulgence performing their version of Tom Sawyer during an encore at The Orbit Room in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The band recorded the song for their 2005 album You'll Rebel to Anything.
Canadian rockers Sloan are avid Rush fans and performed In the Mood for the soundtrack to the 2002 movie Fubar. They're also known to do Rush covers live. Here is a bootleg video of The Spirit of Radio performed by Sloan members at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City from June of 2005.
... the Rush myspace page is legit but was not supposed to go live yet. They hate the myspace page, and they are revamping Rush.com and will adapt the myspace page to match it. Also, they plan on keeping the myspace page "fed" with ongoing current content.
This is good news. I've never really been too impressed with Rush.com; it's a little too "flashy" and the content seldom changes. Hopefully the new site will be more substance, less style. It's also likely from what was said (they plan on keeping the myspace page "fed" with ongoing current content) that they'll post a song or two off the new album on the MySpace page prior to the album release.
Muse is an English progressive/alternative rock trio that's been around since the mid-90s. The band has always been very experimental in their approach to music, thus garnering several comparisons to 70s-era prog rockers, particularly Queen. They were recently interviewed by Cameron Adams of Aussie newspaper, The Courier-Mail. Singer/guitarist/pianist Matthew Bellamy had this to say regarding their prog-rock label:
... "There's always been a hint of prog in what we do," Bellamy admits bravely. "Hopefully we've measured it out with equal hints of other things, so we haven't managed to be completely associated with just prog. "When the band first started we were more instrumental than we are now. I suppose we did sound a little like ('70s progsters) Rush; Rush with a bit of grunge thrown in." ...
Shortly after I launched this site back in October of last year I discovered YouTube. There was so much Rush content on there that it was hard to believe. All of their major videos were up there as well as a good number of live videos, bootlegs, interviews, etc. In addition to those there were several fan-created videos; fans filming themselves playing Rush songs, lipsynching Rush songs, air-drumming to Rush songs, bizaar fan-made videos to Rush songs, cover bands, etc. I decided to create a home on my site for all of these fan tributes. Well, as time passed and YouTube became more popular, there were more and more of these fan-made Rush tributes. Not only that, but I also discovered other video upload sites like Google Video, MySpace video and bolt.com. It's gotten to the point that I can barely keep up with it all. On any given day, I'll find 5, 10 even 20 or more fan-made Rush-related vids on these various sites. It's gotten a little hard to manage. My original policy was that if it was Rush-related - no matter how bad - I'd post it to my site. But that was back when I'd only get 1 or 2 a day. I'm not going to do that anymore. From here on out I'm only going to include fan videos that are notable in some way or particularly entertaining. I'm also more than willing to hear your opinion on any videos you may see online; if you see something you like, let me know. And if you've got a little time to kill, check out the Fan Videos page. There are some real gems on there. :)
Richard Cheese and Lounge Against The Machine are a cover band and comedy act based in Los Angeles, California who perform lounge-style covers of popular rock/rap songs. They've released several CDs since their inception back in 2000 and their latest offering is slated for release on September 26. It's called Silent Nightclub and contains a lounge version of Rush's The Trees. Should be interesting. :) Thanks to Power Windows for the tip.
Cygnus and the Sea Monsters Rush tribute CD/DVD released
Last month I reported that Dream Theater drummer, Mike Portnoy, had announced that his Rush tribute band Cygnus and the Sea Monsters would soon be releasing a live CD/DVD of its one-off performance from September of last year in Chicago. And, as promised, it has been released and is available for order through his website here for the CD and here for the DVD. The performance was recorded at a special drumming event to commemorate The Drum Pad's (the largest drum retailer in America) 20th anniversary on September 18, 2005 at The Vic Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. Cygnus and the Sea Monsters consists of Mike Portnoy on drums, Paul Gilbert on guitar, Sean Malone on bass and Jason McMaster on vocals. The tracklist is as follows:
On this date in 1953, the world's greatest guitarist, Alexander Zivojinovich, was born. Happy 53rd birthday Lerxst! In celebration, here's the interview outtakes of Alex's Artist of the Decade interview which was one of the easter eggs on R30.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Eddie Trunk to interview Neil Peart for VH1 Classic
Radio host, VH1 Classic VJ and Rush fan, Eddie Trunk posted the following statement to his blog:
... speaking of legends, get ready for Rush drummer Neil Peart to do interviews for the first time in years. I will be speaking to Neil for VH1 Classic as well as the radio show soon. Details coming. ...
This is wonderful news and a sure sign that Neil's begun to break out of his shell regarding interviews. As I hear of more details I'll keep you posted. You can also watch Eddie Trunk's VH1 Classic interview with Geddy and Alex from late last year at this link.
Friday, August 25, 2006
New live video: La Villa Strangiato from Rush in Rio
But you did give many huge bands opening slots and their first big breaks. We liked them. The first bands that went off on tour with us were, oh, Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Rush, Cheap Trick, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Mötley Crüe ... I mean, I can't even think of all of them.
Speaking of Rush, would you have anything to say to Geddy Lee? Well, we took them out on their first tour. I would say, "You're welcome."
What an ass. Rush has never had anything but good things to say about touring with Kiss. Regardless of Simmon's opinion, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss have both recounted some great stories about touring with Rush. Peter Criss saidI really like them guys, we had so much fun. Rush are true gentlemen, Canada should be proud of them. I miss them. And Ace Frehley spoke fondly of the boysin an interview with Eddie Trunk from last year.
It's been almost a month since his last update, but that master of audio manipulation, MitA, has finally offered up several more pieces of Rush weirdness for our listening and viewing pleasure. On the audio front, we have the isolated orchestra bells from Losing It as well as the isolated electric violin from the same song; the boys saying it's true in Red Lenses; and Heradu?. You can listen to them using the player above. On the photo front, there's a picture of Geddy with Shamu, Rush with all-girl group The Runaways (previously shown in this post), Rush goofing around in a bathroom, and Rush dressed up in fro wigs. Great stuff as always. Thanks MitA! Be sure to check out all the archives of Rush oddities at MitA's site too.
Alex and Geddy to record a song for Trailer Park Boys movie?
... "This show IS Canada," he [Bach] says of the characters and their low-rent take on family values. "It's very much like growing up in Peterborough. "And it's a very rock and roll show; it has a very rock feel. There really should be a musical episode. I mean, I heard that Alex and Geddy (Lifeson and Lee, from Rush) are doing a song for the movie soundtrack. That's amazing!" ...
I haven't heard this bit of news anywhere else so until I get independent confirmation I'll assume it's just a rumor. All that's been said so far is the following, which was reported last May in the Toronto Globe and Mail:
... there will be a helicopter chase, possibly to the music of the Rush song A Passage to Bangkok ... characters Cory and Trevor will be listening to a lot of Rush in the movie. ...
Both trailers for the movie have also featured Rush's The Spirit of Radio.
Well, the Rush Backstage Club has been threatening to release their new "revamped" site for a few weeks now and ... it's finally here. It looks great too. They've got a lot of new merchandise including a kid's line! This is great news for all of us Rush-fans/parents. They also are going to start having bi-weekly contests (at least that's what is claimed), the first of which is for the complete tourbooks coffe table book. Here are the details:
This is a 400 page coffee table book with all of Rush's tour books to date, a total of 15 books. The books have been reproduced and bound together in a black, cloth-wrapped 12" X 12" book. Every cover of every book is printed on cover stock. The front cover is debossed in black and silver foil with the starman logo. There is a two-page introduction written by Neil Peart, detailing his involvement in the design and content of every Rush tour book going back to 1977.
This item retails for $150 USD, so good luck to you!!
This contest closes on September 30th.
... wait a second. I entered the contest and the message that came back was this:
You have successfully entered the Rush Backstage Club contest!
Thank you for entering the "Win A Montblanc Starwalker" contest!
This contest closes 8/31/2006. Return to Rush Backstage for more details then.
I thought I was entering for the tourbooks? So it looks like they're still working out some bugs. :)
Rush fans will have to wait for Neil Peart's big screen voice debut awhile longer. Original expected to be in theaters this fall, the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie has been delayed until February 2007, with some supposition that it will in fact be released straight to DVD due to poor expectations of ticket sales. ...
... As for the movie itself, I really enjoyed it. I was worried going in that the fast pace of the 15 minute episodes wouldn't be able to sustain itself through a 90 minute movie, but they managed to pull it off.
As reported before, the story revolves around the origin of the Aqua Teens, which somehow involves an exercise machine, Neil Peart from Rush, and a slice of talking watermelon voiced by Chris Kattan. ...
If you've never seen the show, it's on Cartoon Network as part of its Adult Swim late-night programming block. The show's creators are big Rush fans and include several Rush references in the show, particularly in the episode titled "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary" which you can watch here.
Ziova has come out with a new high-def network media player which, as this engadget post points out, is fully Rush-compliant. Just take a look at the pictures. Thanks to A/V tech and rushisaband.com reader Matt for alerting us to this.
A couple of weeks ago I posted about the latest development in the Alex Lifeson versus the Ritz-Carlton saga; a federal judge decided that Geddy Lee and Neil Peart aren't entitled to damages stemming from Alex Lifeson's scuffle with deputy sheriffs at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Naples, Florida on New Year's Eve 2004. Inspired by this development, Stephen Schneider, a writer and self-proclaimed armchair musicologist, wrote a parody of the case in a column in the Orlando Weekly Newspaper last week. He penned a Notice of Civil Action against Rush for damages as a result of being a Rush fanatic. It's funny - certainly worth a read.
The new trailer for the upcoming Trailer Park Boys movie is out. If you don't know already, the Trailer Park Boys is a Canadian TV series where the main characters are big Rush fans. In one episode entitled Closer to the Heart, which you can watch a scene from here and the entire episode here, Alex Lifeson makes a guest appearance. The trailer features music by Rush (The Spirit of Radio) and, according to an article in the Toronto Globe and Mail from May 2005, so will the movie:
... there will be a helicopter chase, possibly to the music of the Rush song A Passage to Bangkok ... characters Cory and Trevor will be listening to a lot of Rush in the movie. ...
You can watch the new trailer here. The movie is slated for release in Canada on October 6th.
A few months ago I reported that Neil Peart won 3 awards in the annual Modern Drummer reader's poll; best rock drummer, best recorded performance (R30) and best educational DVD (Anatomy of a Drum Solo). The results were published in the July 2006 issue. In the latest issue of the magazine (October 2006), Neil wrote a letter to fans thanking them for the awards. Here is a transcription of the letter. Thanks to Counterparts member Cygnify for providing this.
When I first heard that the Modern Drummer Readers Poll had awarded me with triple honors for rock drummer, recorded performance, and educational DVD, I felt a heady mix of emotions. Pleasure, foremost, and certainly surprise, mixed with a little unworthiness. In time, that combination of reactions added up to a pure sense of gratitude at having my work be so appreciated by people, especially other drummers.
"The praise of the praiseworthy," I call it.
If anyone thinks a person ever gets "used to" being honored, or winning awards, and doesn't really care too much, I'm here to tell you that it's not so. There are few feelings in life that equal being appreciated, and you can never get enough of it. Plus, genuine appreciation has the quality to endure, and I still feel a warm glow when I think about those three honors.
To all those who voted for me, thank you most sincerely.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
New live video: Closer to the Heart from the Grace Under Pressure video
Back in May I reported that Alex Lifeson was to appear on the new album from former I Mother Earth frontman Edwin. The album, with an original working title of Try this at Home, is called Better Days and is slated for release in Canada on October 3rd. You can now listen to 3 tracks from the album on Edwin's website including Never Over; one of the tracks Lifeson plays on. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.
Yes, it looks like Rush now has an official page on MySpace. Why do I say official? It's linked off of NeilPeart.net. I doubt Neil would have his site link to it if it wasn't official. They have four songs posted on the site: Subdivisions, The Pass, Afterimage and Ghost Rider. It's definitely an interesting choice to include these more obscure songs rather than the old standbys of Tom Sawyer, The Spirit of Radio, etc. So I guess this is good news for all the Rush fan MySpacers (not me). :)
Toronto musician Rob Higgins is getting more attention with his new band Dearly Beloved and its debut album, "You Are The Jaguar," than any of the others he started after Change Of Heart dissolved. There's a buzz that seems to be bubbling up that has little to do with the fact that he's Geddy Lee's nephew and everything to do with the music. ... Higgins' father recently passed away and the album, "You Are The Jaguar," is largely about that experience. The singer/bassist/producer feels that that kind of honesty could be the reason for the immediate attention and positive press the indie release has received from such publications as Chart, Now, Gasoline and The Toronto Sun, although initially the bio accompanying the CD didn't mention his father's passing because he wasn't ready to talk about it, but instead had a paragraph about growing up with Rush's Geddy Lee for an uncle. ...
I've listened to a few of their tunes on their MySpace page and they're pretty good. Worth a listen.
... as for those rumors that all Canadians love hockey and name their kids Geddy and Alex, after two-thirds of Rush, the very personable and good-natured Adair says that's mostly true. He and his bandmates are hockey fans, he said. And one of his fondest memories was being invited to Alex Lifeson's Toronto house for dinner. "I was like a little kid," Adair said, still sounding awe-struck. ...
New live video: 2112: Overture / Temples of Syrinx from R30 tour
This Sunday at 10PM, Comedy Central will air a William Shatner celebrity roast. There are a few preview videos floating around online and in one of these clips, comedian Patton Oswalt throws in a Rush reference. He mentions how someone online reacted to a joke he made by using a particularly long internet slang term along the lines of LMAO; LMFAOWIHABFAFIMRAAMMYAMTTDMRFBNA. And here's what he says it stands for:
Laughing my figurative ass off while I have a Boba Fett action figure in my real ass and my Mom yells at me to turn down my Rush "Fly By Night" album
You can watch a video of this here. The Rush part is towards the end, but the whole clip is pretty funny.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Got $30,000? Buy a Neil Peart 30th anniversary kit replica
A limited number of Neil Peart 30th Anniversary drum kits will be available to buy on October 30, 2006, exclusively from Guitar Center. If you are interested in buying one, contact John Chenette, assistant manager at Guitar Center in Nashua, NH. (Thanks to John for supplying this information.)
* Cost: $30,000 US * Only 30 kits are being made * Drums: 7x8, 7x10, 8x12, 9x13, 12x15, 13x15, 16x16, 16x18, 16x22 * Three snare drums: 6x14 Edge, 5x14 solid, 3.5x13 Piccolo * 24k gold-plated stands * Complete set of Paragon cymbals * The kits will be numbered 1-30 * Letter of authenticity
* This drum kit will only be available through Guitar Center. * I asked John about how the payment works, and he wrote back: "It is paid in full starting on Oct 30 at 8AM. We can take credits on account prior, and then place the order first thing that day, but no guarantee of deposit to get a set, fist come, first serve that morning."
Monday, August 14, 2006
Dead Rising video game includes A Passage To Bangkok sample
Power Windows reports that the recently-released video game for the XBox 360 Dead Rising contains a song entitled Gone Guru by the band Lifeseeker off their self-titled album. The song can be heard while fighting with prisoners on the jeep in the leisure park. The song is notable because it includes a sample of Rush's A Passage to Bangkok. You can listen to a portion of the song using the player below or access it directly here. The complete sample can be heard about a minute into the song.
UPDATE - 8/15@9:11AM:binks pointed out in the comments that the poster put Limelight up there too. You can watch it here. Hopefully they'll keep 'em coming.
UPDATE - 8/14@10:39AM: Thanks to Jim's comments and some digging on my own I now know what this is from. It's from a professionally-shot Counterparts concert bootleg called "A View From The Palace", that was filmed March 22, 1994 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. It was taped off of the arena's video system for use on the arena scoreboards and broadcast to luxury boxes and suites.
I had to do a double-take when I first watched these 2 videos I just found on YouTube. It looks like professionally videotaped footage from the Counterparts tour, but I wasn't aware that any shows on this tour were videotaped. I do know that Rush videotaped the first Toronto show of the Test for Echo tour with the intentions of releasing it as a live DVD but these plans were later shelved due to technical reasons. Could they also have videtaped a show on the Counterparts tour? They did record a few shows on this tour - it's not inconceivable that they also videotaped a couple. If anyone has any insight, please let me know. Either way, these are quite a find. The first video is Cold Fire which you can watch here. The other is The Analog Kid - check it out here.
The Neil Peart drum sticks site recently announced that Pro-mark will soon be making available special limited edition Neil Peart R30 drum kit sticks. These stick sets will be available from October through December. Check out this page for all the details.
As I reported a few weeks ago, Rush's live DVD R30 was nominated for several 2006 DVD awards. The ceremony was held a few days ago in Los Angeles and R30 ended up winning 2 awards in the Independent Release category; one for authoring design and one for video presentation. Congratulations!
According to Counterparts forum member Moving Target, the latest issue of UK-published Bass Guitar Magazine (issue #26) contains the results of reader survey where the top 20 bassists were voted upon. Geddy Lee makes the cut at #9. Rounding out the top 10 are the following:
10. Mark King 9. Geddy Lee 8. Billy Sheehan 7. John Paul Jones 6. Bootsy Collins 5. Larry Graham 4. James Jamerson 3. Flea 2. Sir Macca 1. Jaco Pastorius
Not sure if I really agree with this list, but to its credit it includes all types of bass guitarists; jazz, funk, pop, rock, etc. If it were just rock bassists, Geddy probably would have scored higher. The list also seems to be a little skewed towards the funk players.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Transcription of Neil Peart's first Modern Drummer interview
Andrew Olson has been kind enough to transcribe and post Neil Peart's very first Modern Drummer interview up on his Neil Peart site. It's from the April/May 1980 issue complete with a few scanned images. Here's his summary description:
This interview took place after Rush had released "Permanent Waves" and before they were going into the studio to record "Moving Pictures." Later in 1980, Neil would win as "Best Rock Drummer" in Modern Drummer's Annual Reader's Poll (this was only the second one). He would place second in "Best Recorded Performance" for "Permanent Waves" after Bill Bruford's "One of a Kind." After this, Neil would win "Best Recorded Performance" for every Rush album from "Moving Pictures" to "Different Stages."
Peter Brocklehurst is a roadie, driver, small-time criminal, and, among other things, a friend of Neil Peart. They first met in London back in the early 70s. This time of Neil's life is chronicled in his book Traveling Music and Peter is mentioned (I can't remember offhand if he used his name or not though). They remained friends and Peter ended up being Neil's driver and personal assistant during the European leg of the Hold Your Fire tour. Over the last few months, Mr. Brocklehurst has put together a diary of his times with Neil Peart over at The National Midday Sun. And to say they are an interesting read would be a tremendous understatement. I highly suggest you take the time to read them; you won't be disappointed.
There are several little Rush tidbits to report today. So I thought I'd just lump them all into one post.
First off, the winner of the most recentRush Backstage Club contest (for the autographed Rush Replay DVD) was announced. And there's now a message up on the site saying that they'll start another contest as soon as the "New" Backstage Club site is up. So it looks like they're going to launch a new and improved (hopefully) site.
Last Friday I posted about how Toronto classic rock station, Q107, declared this past weekend the "Top 5" Classic Rock Long Weekend. They counted down a number of top 5 lists including the top 5 singers, guitarists, album covers, instrumentals, etc. Rush was up for voting on several of the lists. Well, the results are in. Where Rush scored in the top 5 are as follows:
Canadian Bands - #1 Rush Concert Events - #2 Rock for Toronto (Sars-stock) Instrumental songs - #3 YYZ Base Players - #1 Geddy Lee Best Drummer - #2 Neil Peart Best Live Acts - #5 Rush
Not a bad showing overall. Neil Peart lost to John Bonham for best drummer by the way. I'm not surprised - polls like these are generally more of a popularity contest than anything else. I also think that the Rush vote for best instrumental song was most likely split because La Villa was also on there. I bet that YYZ would have won if it were the only Rush song up for voting. Thanks to Mark for compiling the results.
Last Thursday I reported how the Kiss Army (Kiss fan club) was planning on marching on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past weekend. Well, they did. The Cleveland Plain Dealer had a big write up on it and also posted a survey on their web site where they asked fans to vote for bands that they think have been overlooked by the Rock Hall. Rush wasn't on the list of course ... but you could write them in. And they ended up getting the 2nd-most number of write-in votes (just behind local fav Eric Carmen). I'd like to think that rushisaband.com readers helped out in this effort.
There's a new video game coming out entitled Rush which confused freelance gaming writer Jason McMaster, contributor at gaming blog Lamethrower:
The Rush series makes its way onto the PSP, with Wi-Fi support and an exclusive PSP stunt arena.
You know, the first time I saw this game title I immediately tried to figure out if I'd play as Geddy Lee or Neil Peart first. I was daydreaming about how sweet it would be to play an ACTUAL game of Big Money, make someone actually Stick It Out, living in the Limelight or just be the bad ass Tom Sawyer. I was wrong, it's a racing game.
I think I'd play Neil Peart. :)
There's another Rush Replay contest over at Ghostland. You can enter here.
Melissa pointed something out in the comments on my Rush in October '06 Guitar World post post earlier this week; she says that there's also a fantastic advertisement near the back of the issue for an Epiphone accoustic guitar with Alex on it.
And finally, the Paul Green School of Rock (the realschool of rock) all-stars are in the midst of their summer tour. Here's a clip where members of the Austin, TX school perform Rush's Working Man at Hanover's Draft Haus, Pflugerville, Texas on July 29th. Not bad for a bunch of kids.
For those of you who don't know, Alex Lifeson and his son were arrested in Naples, FL on New Year's eve 2004 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Naples, Florida. Here is a running history of the case from Power Windows. The last major development in the case was Lifeson's addition of Neil Peart and Geddy Lee as plaintiffs, claiming that the band lost business because of the incident. The judge in the case has thrown out these claims:
... A federal judge has ruled that band members Geddy Lee Weinrib and Neil Peart, who weren't in the skirmish in 2003, don't have legal standing to argue they lost business due to the lead guitarist's injuries in the fight.
Lead guitarist Alex Zivojinovich, who tumbled down the stairwell in the scuffle, is seeking millions against the deputies and the hotel in a civil lawsuit that has been filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Myers. ...
The Official Rush and Rush Replay x3 Contest and Interactive Pages, Rush.net, has posted 2 more old radio shows on their Bonus Features page. One is the R30 Rockline appearance from last December and the other is an "In the Studio" show with Redbeard where Neil Peart discusses the albums Signals and Grace Under Pressure. They now have a total of 11 shows up on the site. Just look for the huge banner saying "Rush Radio Specials". Click on this banner and you can listen to the following:
NEW! R30 Rockline appearance - December, 2005
NEW! In the Studio with Neil Peart (Grace Under Pressure & Signals) - hosted by Redbeard
Mary Turner - Off the Record with Alex Lifeson (1993)
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
Monday, August 7, 2006
Moving Pictures makes the list of Guitar World's top 100 guitar albums
A keyboard-heavy, new wave/hard rock amalgam, Moving Pictures contains no proggy sci-fi tunes about rebellious trees or Syrinx-dwelling priests. Instead, we get one song named after a Mark Twain character and another based on a short story about a freakin' car. The thing is, both songs - "Tom Sawyer" and "Red Barchetta," respectively - totally rule, as does the crunchy, crystalline "Limelight," which features a stellar wang bar-abusing solo by Alex Lifeson. Add the morse code cribbing instrumental "YYZ" and you have that rare beast that classic rock radio used to refer to as the Perfect Album Side.
They also include a quote from Alex Lifeson:
If we've influenced a generation of bands or musicians, it's because they look at Rush and think, Here's a band that wasn't popular in a mainstream way, yet they've been around for 30 years.
Many thanks to Mark in Virginia Beach for transcribing this for us.
... Last night at the Mall of Georgia just outside of Atlanta they held what we were told was the first ever screening of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie. They told us some of the music and animation were temporary, and it was lacking opening and closing credits, but otherwise it looked mostly complete.
As for the movie itself, I really enjoyed it. I was worried going in that the fast pace of the 15 minute episodes wouldn't be able to sustain itself through a 90 minute movie, but they managed to pull it off.
As reported before, the story revolves around the origin of the Aqua Teens, which somehow involves an exercise machine, Neil Peart from Rush, and a slice of talking watermelon voiced by Chris Kattan. ...
I can't wait to see it - sounds hilarious. If you've never seen the show, it's on Cartoon Network as part of its Adult Swim late-night programming block. The show's creators are big Rush fans and include several Rush references in the show, particularly in the episode titled "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary" which you can watch here.
The films creator and star Sam Dunn is, in addition to being a metalhead, a professional anthropologist. He approaches the subject of metal from a very scholarly angle but still manages to have a good time in the process; it's obvious how much of a genuine fan he is. He classifies the different subgenres of heavy metal in a very concise and accurate (in my opinion) way. He puts Rush at the forefront of the progressive metal category, which I completely agree with. To me, Rush took the progressive approach of late 60s and early 70s bands like Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Genesis and Yes; and cranked it up a notch, pioneering a whole new sound. Granted they moved away from this in the 80s and beyond, but it's definitley accurate to say they were the first and most influential progressive metal band.
Three short interview clips from Geddy Lee appear throughout the movie. In the first clip Geddy makes the argument that Blue Cheer, while little known, was probably the first heavy metal band. In the second clip, he talks about the influence of blues on heavy metal and Rush in particular. And in the last clip he talks about the male-oriented appeal of heavy metal. I compiled the 3 clips into one very poorly-edited package and stuck it up on YouTube. You can watch it here.
Toronto classic rock station, Q107, has declared this weekend the "Top 5" Classic Rock Long Weekend. Starting this afternoon at 3 on the Kim Mitchell Show, they'll be counting down a number of top 5 lists including the top 5 singers, guitarists, album covers, instrumentals, etc. You can place your vote here. Rush is up for voting on several of the lists (and conspicuously absent from many that they should be on):
Rush up for voting in:
Best Live Album: Exit ... Stage Left
Best Bass Player: Geddy Lee
Best Instrumental Song: YYZ and La Villa Strangiato
Best Canadian Band: Rush
Best Singer: Geddy Lee
Best Drummer: Neil Peart
Best Keyboardist: Geddy Lee
Best Self-titled Album: Rush
Best Live Act: Rush
Should be on but absent from:
Best Driving Song (Red Barchetta?)
Best Guitarist (Lerxst?)
Best First Song On An Album (Tom Sawyer?)
Best Concept Album (2112, Hemispheres??)
Best Guitar Solo (take your pick)
Thanks to reader Scott T for alerting me of this.
Thursday, August 3, 2006
Article on bands overlooked by Rock Hall snubs Rush
The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a feature today on bands that have been overlooked by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was prompted by plans for the Kiss Army (official Kiss fan club) to march on the Rock Hall this weekend and demand Kiss be inducted. There's also an article which discusses 12 deserving bands overlooked by the Rock Hall ... and guess who's not on the list? Rush of course. No surprise really. They also have a surveywhere you can indicate what overlooked bands should be inducted. They have a list you can choose from including the 12 bands mentioned above plus 8 others ... but still no Rush. However, you can write them in.
If you're interested, there's a good page over at Power Windows summarizing the campaign to get Rush in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There's also an online petition that's been up for quite a long time and currently has nearly 24,000 signatures (mine included).
Personally, I'm lukewarm on the whole issue of Rush and the Rock Hall; it'd be nice if they make it someday, but it really doesn't matter all that much to me. Although, since I live in Cleveland, if the Rush Army ever congregates in Cleveland and invades the Rock Hall ... I'm there. I may even join the Kiss fans this weekend - sounds like a good time. :)
Rushisaband.com reader Dino pointed me to this reference to Rush in the 2004 Laura Jackson biography of Jon Bon Jovi. On page 9 of the book after a lengthy paragraph citing all of his influences it states:
... But it was after seeing the progressive rock band Rush perform live in NYC that Jon dashed home to Sayreville particularly fired up. ...
Interesting. This statement makes it sound more like he was motivated by Rush rather than influenced by them. I certainly don't hear much Rush influence in his music.
The Rogers Yahoo high-speed internet site has a feature called the "Answer Man", where people send in questions and he, well ... answers them. This latest batch includes a question regarding Rush and YYZ. Here it is along with the very detailed answer:
QUESTION: My friends and I were having a small argument about the song "YYZ" by Rush. In the song's name is it said like this: Y Y ZEE (why why zee) or Y Y ZED?
ANSWER: You're probably not going to like this answer, but I would have to say "it depends." If you're from the U.S., it's "Y Y ZEE." If you're not (but you're a native English speaker), it's "Y Y ZED."
The fact that "YYZ" is used as the title of the song does confer upon it one immutable worldwide pronunciation - particularly since the song is an instrumental and does not even contain the words/letters. (If, on the other hand, Rush had used a unique pronunciation like "izz" and had sung that word in the lyrics, I would suggest that the proper pronunciation of the title was "izz" and not "Y Y ZED.")
As a parallel, the Rush song "Tom Sawyer" is pronounced something like "Tom Soya" in England even though it's pronounced "Tom Soyer" in Canada. This doesn't mean the English or the Canadian pronunciation is wrong. That's just the way they/we talk.
Rush is a Canadian rock group, and all the members were born in Canada, so we can assume that they pronounce it "Y Y ZED." Also, YYZ is the international airport code for Toronto's Lester B. Pearson Airport, and it is referred to as Y Y ZED more often than Y Y ZEE. But these are just three letters, not an actual word. They should be pronounced however your native language/dialect normally pronounces them, with "Y Y ZED" considered slightly more correct.
Wow. I had known that YYZ was often referred to as Y Y ZED in Canada, but I never knew why. You learn something new every day I guess. Thanks to reader Dino for sending me this.
It's a slow Rush news day. So I thought I'd highlight these 2 hilarious flash movies at the Rush.com site - just in case you haven't seen them yet. Because if you haven't seen them you absolutely have to. Trust me. And if you have seen them, I'm sure you'll want to watch them again. If you click on the Alex link in the menu under The Band on the Rush.com site you are prompted to click here to watch the newest episode of Big Al's Tiki Bar. Big Al's Tiki Bar? These episodes, of which there are only 2 currently, are Monty Python-esque flash animation starring a buffed-up Alex Lifeson; bartender of, you guessed it, Big Al's Tiki Bar. Unfortunately there has not been a new episode posted in a long time. I'm thinking of starting a petition. Anyways, here they are:
UPDATE - 8/1@4:00PM: The other member is Cherie Currie. Thanks to Engin for figuring this out.
MitA posted this interesting pic of Rush from 1976 over at the Counterparts message board today. It's from a 1976 function held in Rush's honor and pictures Rush with members of the all-girl group The Runaways sitting around a table. Joan Jett, Lita Ford and one other (not sure which one that is) are present. Cool.
More Neil Peart drum kit replicas at Andy O's site