Archive: Blog Entries from November, 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Geddy Lee makes Hit Parader's list of top 100 vocalists
8:29PM EST | link | comments (14) |

Hit Parader November 2006Hit Parader is an American music magazine whose focus is hard rock and heavy metal. The November 2006 issue is currently on newstands. It's a special issue which highlights heavy metal's all-time top 100 vocalists. Although Rush is not really considered much of a "heavy metal" band these days, they certainly were back in the 70s. They helped to usher in the progressive metal genre and heavily influenced such bands as Queensryche, Dream Theater, Iron Maiden and Metallica to name a few. So it's not surprising to find Geddy Lee on this list. He didn't quite make it into the top 10 but he came pretty close at #13. Here's who rounded out the top 20:

1. Robert Plant
2. Rob Halford
3. Steven Tyler
4. Chris Cornell
5. Bon Scott
6. Freddie Mercury
7. Bruce Dickinson
8. Ozzy Osbourne
9. Paul Rodgers
10. Ronnie James Dio
11. Axl Rose
12. Sammy Hagar
13. Geddy Lee
14. Geoff tate
15. Mick Jagger
16. Jonathan Davis
17. Roger Daltry
18. Paul Stanley
19. David Lee roth
20. Kurt Cobain

Thanks to reader Matt for the heads up. May the list-bashing begin! :)


UK radio personality Alan Freeman's obituary mentions Rush
1:04PM EST | link | comments (5) |

Alan FreemanAlan Freeman was a well-known radio personality in the United Kingdom for over 40 years. He died this past Monday at the age of 79. Rush is mentioned in a couple of the various obituaries that have been popping up online. Back in the 70s Freeman became host of the Saturday Rock Show, which he piloted until 1978. One obituary states:

... The Saturday Rock Show boldly ignored such ephemera as punk rock, Freeman choosing to concentrate instead on hard or progressive rock stalwarts including Bachmann Turner Overdrive, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Vangelis and Yes. ...

This other obituary put out by The Telegraph Group mentions his fondness for Rush's prog epic Xanadu:

... He was fond ... of a record called Xanadu by the rock band Rush, whose lead singer promised "To seek the sacred river Alph/To walk the caves of ice/Oh I will dine on honeydew and drink the milk of paradise", then added, as though striving for a more "fun" vision of the hereafter than that envisaged by the co-author of Lyrical Ballads: "Whoaah! Paradise!" ...

Rest in peace.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New live bootleg video: The Spirit of Radio from the Hold Your Fire tour
7:57PM EST | link | comments (8) |

Rush live at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on March 7, 1988[The Spirit of Radio live bootleg from "Hold Your Fire" tour]

I recently found this live bootleg video on YouTube of The Spirit of Radio. It's from the Hold Your Fire tour and was shot in Toronto at the Maple Leaf Gardens on March 7th, 1988. The quality is so-so but at least it's the entire song. You can check it out here.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rush's Hemispheres inspired Godsmack drummer to play the drums
9:14AM EST | link | comments (13) |

Shannon Larkin[Godsmack drummer 'Speaks' the truth about music]

In a recent interview with the Pensacola News Journal, Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin talks about the first time that the drums "called to him".

"I was 10 or 11 years old, and my older sister was one of those chicks who was into Rush. She played 'Hemispheres' over and over, and that's when the drums first called to me," he said. "Then she brought home Led Zeppelin 'II' and man, that was it. I knew I wanted to be a drummer." ...

Godsmack has often cited Rush as a major influence. Singer Sully Erna wrote a song called Serenity on the group's album Faceless which was directly inspired by Neil Peart's book Ghost Rider. Also on the Godsmack live DVD Changes there is a "drum duel" between Shannon Larkin and Sully Erna (also a drummer) which contains a jam toward the end featuring Rush's YYZ and Tom Sawyer, Aerosmith's Walk This Way, and Led Zeppelin's Moby Dick. The duel is called Batalla de los Tombores and can be viewed here.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Rush reference in last night's The Family Guy
6:27AM EST | link | comments (10) |

Chester CheetahUPDATE - 11/27@10:15AM: Power Windows has posted an mp4 video clip of the scene up on his site. I also stuck it up on YouTube here for those who prefer that format. Thanks PW!

There was a funny Rush reference in last night's episode of the FOX animated comedy show The Family Guy (one of my personal favs). The episode (#87), the 7th in Season 5, was titled Chick Cancer and features a scene with Chester Cheetah (the Cheetohs mascot). After Stewie says "I'm cooler than that cheetah from the commercials" it flashes to a room where Chester Cheetah is sitting on a couch with a Rush poster in the background listening to Tom Sawyer. He pours out a bag of Cheetohs on a tray, chops them up and then snorts the orange powder as if it were cocaine. After taking a big sniff, he says

Uh God!! There is no f**king drummer better than Neil Peart! ... (breaks glass pipe)... It ain't easy bein' cheesy.

Thanks to reader Dan (and everybody else who emailed me) for spotting this.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Rock photographer Ross Halfin comments on Roadshow
10:11AM EST | link | comments (40) |

Ross HalfinRoss Halfin is a well-known, angst-filled British rock photographer who has shot such bands as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Metallica and of course Rush. He's known to be difficult to work with but at the same time extremely talented. He keeps a diary on his website where he lets loose with all his bitterness. His entry from November 24th talks about Neil Peart's recent book Roadshow:

... Been reading the Neil Peart book which as I'm a Rush fan I quite like. I wasn't going to write about this but I found pages 312-313 so disturbing I felt like saying something. Some fan gets on Neil's tour bus with some LPs - he wants an autograph. Neil goes spastic and throws him off. Michael (the band's security ) has the guy handcuffed. But to Neil's shock and disgust the British police have no law to arrest him for trespassing. Neil needs to get some perspective. He's a drummer in a rock band - so what if a fan sneaked into his room to get an autograph. That's what fans do...

The other unintentionally funny bit is when he's moaning about his hands being sweaty because the fans by his drums aren't on full power. I thought rock and roll was about being sweaty. Then again, in Neil's mind Rush probably are a folk group. He even thought the crowd was lame at Wembley. I was there and they went nuts. Neil's chums Brutus and Michael both live in the world of the emperor's new clothes, NP needed a whisky to steel his nerves and get over being violated. I really felt sad reading this. What world does he live in? I wonder if Michael and Brutus take turns wiping his arse and tucking him up in bed. It's all so wrong, who do they think they are...? ...

I think he's a little harsh ... but this is Ross Halfin we're talking about. :) Thanks to Counterparts member rattler2004 for finding this.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Christmas "Rush" is on
3:58PM EST | link | comments (6) |

You have exactly one month 'til Christmas. So what do you get for the Rush fan in your life (including yourself)? Last year the choice was easy; R30 was released about this time and many a Rush fan ended up seeing it in their stocking on Christmas morning (me included). This past year saw Rush's live DVD collection, Rush Replay X 3 released as well as Neil Peart's 4th book Roadshow - but most Rush fans already have these by now. And we won't see the new album until the Spring of '07. So the choice isn't so easy this time around. Luckily there's never been a time where there was more Rush-related merchandise out there to choose from. The premier place to purchase Rush swag is of course the Rush Backstage Club. Just about anything a Rush fan could want can be purchased there; from t-shirts to hats, belt-buckles to calendars, cds to posters - the Backstage Club has it. They even have stuff for kids now ; I've already purchased my 2 munchkins their first Rush t-shirts. And if the Backstage Club doesn't have it then you might be able to find it on eBay (be careful though). For anyone looking for jewelry you can check out Between Sun and Moon which has an assortment of hand-crafted Rush-themed jewelry available. You guys have any other ideas? Let us know if you do. I'm gonna ask Santa for a Rush world tour in 2007 - hopefully he'll come through.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Jakalope singer comments on Alex Lifeson's involvement with new album
8:39AM EST | link | comments (16) |

Katie B[Mythical Jakalope Returns to the Prairie to Play]

Earlier last month Canadian industrial rock group Jakalope released their 2nd album Born 4 with a little help from Alex Lifeson; he leant his guitar talents to one track. 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). Singer Katie B recently spoke with Vue Weekly and had this to say regarding Lifeson's involvement:

"It was so neat hearing what we had started and then hearing what he added," B reflects. "When you're starting a song you're so involved and when you give it to somebody else who's coming in from the outside they're hearing their own thing and they can quickly add something that you never would have thought of."


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Rush mailing list holiday update
9:15AM EST | link | comments (0) |

If you're already on the Rush mailing list no doubt you've received their holiday update by now. But I thought I'd relay it here for those of you who haven't seen it. Unfortunately there's no real new information.


Yes, you have all most likely heard about it by now - the band is back in the studio! They will be hard at work over the next few months, and while no release date is confirmed, a Spring of 2007 date is anticipated.


Recently, Neil talked with CBC Television's Rick Mercer. Click on this link to see Rick's entertaining drum lesson from Neil. You will need either Window's Media Player or QuickTime to view this video.


The Rush Backstage Club has great holiday gift ideas for Rush fans. The Complete Tourbooks set is the ultimate gift and is now on sale for a limited time. This 400-page book is beautifully bound in black cloth and features all 15 of Rush's tourbooks going back to 1977! Other great gift ideas are the 2007 Wall Calendar, Rush Replay X3 DVD, and an all new limited edition poster. Check it out at


As you know Geddy and Alex recently joined forces with ex-The Tea Party drummer Jeff Burrows, Adam Gontier of Three Days Grace, Thornley's Ian Thornley, and singer Care Failure of Toronto band Die Mannequin to form The Big Dirty Band to release a cover of "I Fought The Law!", as well as a music video. The Rush Mailing List and Contest Page has also created an exclusive behind the scenes screensaver featuring around 200 photos from the video shoot and is currently available for download at


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Smashing Pumpkins thank Rush for their guidance
9:48AM EST | link | comments (5) |

The Smashing Pumpkins[Smashing Pumpkins Summon 'Symphony' In Studio]

Chicago-born alt-rock band The Smashing Pumpkins went into the studio earlier this year to work on their first album since breaking up back in 2000. Frontman Billy Corgan has repeatedly cited Rush as a major influence and the band once covered Limelight during one of their shows in Toronto in March of 2000. Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin recently posted several updates on the progress being made in the studio on the group's MySpace page. In one of the posts he thanks "the Grateful Dead, Rush [and] Billy Thorpe for their guidance in this hour of need." Thanks to reader Chris for bringing this to our attention.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dream Theater's John Petrucci talks about Alex Lifeson's influence on his playing
8:35PM EST | link | comments (7) |

John Petrucci Guitar World January 2007[John Petrucci talks about Alex Lifeson's influence on his playing]

The January 2007 issue of Guitar World Magazine features an interview and lesson with Dream Theater's virtuoso guitarist John Petrucci. Subscribers who also get the CD-ROM that accompanies the issue (upgraded subscription option) are in for a special treat. They'll get to see a 26-minute video of Petrucci discussing and demonstrating the influence that Alex Lifeson and Rush have had on his playing style and Dream Theater's music in general. Thanks to the wonderful world of the internet, we get to see it too. It's already been uploaded to Google Video and you can check it out here. Many thanks to xanadu2112 for the heads up.


Monday, November 20, 2006

More new audio clips up on
4:12PM EST | link | comments (2) |

The Official Rush Mailing List and Newsletter Pages,, has posted a few more audio clips up on their Bonus Features page. First off is Feedback to back: Tribute to Inspiration which plays the original songs from Feedback along with the Rush cover version. Then there's Cygnuspheres; a mix of Cygnus X-1 Books 1 and 2 from Hemispheres and A Farewell to Kings as explained here. Then there's a 1991 Up Close radio special hosted by Dan Neer where Rush discusses Roll the Bones. Lastly there's a Profiled interview from 2002 with Alex and Geddy talking Vapor Trails. To listen to these and many other old radio shows and audio clips, just click here and look for the huge banner saying "Rush Radio Specials".


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Yet another video from Caught in the Act bootleg: 2112
9:47AM EST | link | comments (9) |

Rush performing Bastille Day from 1976[2112 1976 live bootleg]

A few weeks ago it was Bastille Day; yesterday Anthem and today ... 2112! Video clips from an All the World's a Stage tour bootleg video filmed on December 10th at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ called "Caught in the Act" have been popping up on YouTube lately. This latest one I'm very excited about - 2112 in its entirety. You can check it out here. And if you haven't seen them yet - you can watch Bastille Day here and Anthem here.

Pictures of Alex Lifeson and Rik Emmett from summer guitar workshop
8:50AM EST | link | comments (6) |

Rik Emmett and Alex Lifeson Guitar Workshop[Guitar Workshop Plus Photo Highlights 2006 - Rik Emmett and Alex Lifeson]

Back in March I reported how Alex Lifeson would be appearing at Guitar Workshop Plus this past July. Guitar Workshop Plus is a Toronto-based musicians workshop which offers several courses for guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and vocals over 3 summer sessions. Lerxst teamed up with former Triumph guitarist Rik Emmett for Session 1 and the pair had a blast. The Guitar Workshop Plus website now has a bunch of pics of Rik and Lerxst up from the 2006 workshop. You can check out all the pics here. Many thanks to Kurt from Toronto, who attended the workshop, for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Rik Emmett and Alex Lifeson pic from summer guitar workshop]
[Rik Emmett reports on guitar workshop with Alex Lifeson]
[Guitar lessons from Alex Lifeson?]


Saturday, November 18, 2006

New live video: Anthem from 1976 bootleg "Caught in the Act"
11:05AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Rush performing Bastille Day from 1976[Anthem 1976 live bootleg]

A couple weeks ago I pointed out a video I'd found on YouTube of a live clip of Rush performing Bastille Day back in 1976. The clip was from an All the World's a Stage tour bootleg video filmed on December 10th at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ called "Caught in the Act". Well, I've found another video on YouTube from the same show. It's Anthem and you can check it out here.

Sebastian Bach covering Closer to the Heart on tour
10:54AM EST | link | comments (0) |

As you may know, Guns and Roses (what's left of them) recently embarked on their first tour in over a decade. Opening for them is former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach. Sebastian Bach is a big Rush fan and has performed covers of the band's songs on various tribute albums. Apparently he's been covering Closer to the Heart on this most recent tour. There were also guest appearances from some notable friends of Alex Lifeson. Lynn Saxberg of the Ottawa Citizen had this to say in his review of last night's show at Ottawa's Scotiabank Place:

... There was also a jolt of recognition at [Bach's] Geddy Lee impersonation on Rush's Closer to the Heart, and a hearty laugh at the surprise guest appearance by Trailer Park Boys Julian and Bubbles (hey, was that Ricky or Axl lurking in the background?).

GNR's Friday-night rock marathon began shortly after 8 p.m. with a valiant performance by Die Mannequin, whose singer-guitarist played hard, but like she was just trying to get through the night. ...

The Die Mannequin singer referred to is none other than Care Failure, who sang on the Lifeson-produced cover of I Fought the Law for the Trailer Park Boys movie. And we should all be very familiar with Trailer Park Boys Bubbles, Julian and Ricky by now. :)


Friday, November 17, 2006

Aarrgghh! ... and the pirates shall pillage the Earth
3:00PM EST | link | comments (2) |

The Jolly GarogersThe Jolly Garogers are an Austin-based novelty band of ... pirates. They've been terrorizing the Austin music scene since stumbling into the Bermuda Triangle back in 1675 where they were time-warped into the year 2001. They've recently recorded a tribute song to Rush entitled Pirates of Syrinx. It features guest lead vocalist Jason McMaster of Dangerous Toys. McMaster also sang vocals with Mike Portnoy for his Cygnus and the Sea Monsters Rush tribute side project. You can check out the song on their MySpace page.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tom Sawyer included on Dwight Schrute's iTunes playlist
8:44PM EST | link | comments (3) |

Rainn Wilson aka Dwight SchruteOne of my current favorite TV shows is NBC's The Office. And probably my favorite character on the show is the quirky salesman Dwight Schrute (played by actor Rainn Wilson). Back in March Apple's iTunes store highlighted the playlists of some of the characters on the show, included Dwight - and it seems that he and quarterback Tom Brady have something in common. Track #6 on Dwight's list of Twelve Songs that Inspire and Motivate Me is Rush's Tom Sawyer. Here's his comment:

"What you say about his company is what you say about society." It's like it's describing me. Pure poetry.

Go here to view the entire playlist. You'll need to have iTunes installed. Thanks to reader Steve D for spotting this.

Rush at Red Rocks bootleg clips
4:35PM EST | link | comments (6) |

I found a few very short (unfortunately) bootleg clips of Rush's show at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado from the R30 tour. Neil Peart declared this one of the "magical" shows from the tour in his book Roadshow and he used a picture from this show for the cover of the book. You can check out the bootleg clips at the links below.

[Red Barchetta]
[Working Man]
[Roll the Bones]

New Rush Backstage Club contest
9:18AM EST | link | comments (2) |

Signed Feedback Lithograph[Win a limited edition Feedback lithograph!]

The latest Rush Backstage Club contest is up. The winner of the Rush Bubblehead Dolls was Christopher Hoffman from Illinois. Here are the details on the latest contest from the site:

This 18" X 24" lithograph is produced on high quality heavy art paper. The psychedelic colors of the Feedback album look great on any wall. There were only 500 of these produced and this is number 489. This is a big-time collector's item!

No word on when the winner will be announced but I'd assume at the end of the month. Good luck!


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Rush sighting in NBC TV show Studio 60
12:23PM EST | link | comments (5) |

Neil Peart Paragon cymbal poster in Studio 60Studio 60 is a new TV show on NBC which takes place behind the scenes of a fictional live sketch comedy show. This weeks episode which aired Monday night (episode number 8 - "Nevada Day Part II") contains a Rush sighting right at the end. The character Simon Stiles enters the dressing room of another cast member and a Neil Peart Paragon cymbal poster is seen hanging on the door. It's a little blurry and hard to spot though since it's seen through his dressing room mirror (so it's also a mirror image). Thanks to Rush Forum member drumstruck for spotting this.

La Villa VISA commercial now online
9:47AM EST | link | comments (6) |

[La Villa Strangiato in VISA commercial]

Last week I spoke about how severals fans had reported hearing the "Monsters" section of La Villa Strangiato in a recent VISA commercial. It turned out that the song was not Rush's La Villa Strangiato at all - it was a version of the song Powerhouse which was written, performed, and first recorded by Raymond Scott in 1936 and made popular by its wide usage in cartoons. Rush used the song in La Villa Strangiato and eventually paid a fee to Raymond Scott for the privilege as explained here. The commercial is now up on YouTube and can be viewed here.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Alex Lifeson makes appearance at The Orbit Room 12th anniversary party
9:18AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Big Al Dexter at the Orbit Room 12th anniversary partyThe Canadian Music Scene is reporting that Alex Lifeson's Toronto nightclub, The Orbit Room, celebrated its 12th anniversary this past Saturday. Big Al Dexter (aka Alex Lifeson) made an appearance and it was also co-owner Tim Notter's birthday.

Toronto's Orbit Room shared the spotlight on Saturday as it celebrated
it's 12th Anniversary and co-owner Tim Notter celebrated his... birthday!

The Dexters reunited for this event Mike, Bernie, Peter, and Lou Dexter had the place jumping even while patrons enjoyed the extraordinary cuisine served up by Chef Brian Dawkins.

Shakura Dexter made a special appearance getting the joint bopping to some Ray Charles tunes.

Big Al Dexter made some memorable guest appearances during the first and second set much to the delight ot those in attendance.

As are most of the events at the Orbit Room, it was a 5 out 5 star evening!

A bunch of cool pics from the event including several of Big Al can be seen here and here. Many thanks to reader subdivision40 for the heads up.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Recent Rush sightings
11:11AM EST | link | comments (10) |

In recent days I've gotten light of a few random Rush references in various video games and TV shows. I thought I'd highlight them all in one post.

First off, a couple of 2112 video game sightings. Doom RPG is a mobile phone game released September 2005. At one point in the game when you speak to a civilian in Junction 4, he has this to say:

"Welcome! This is the oldest part of the base. Built in 2112, the surrounding structures and tunnels made up UAC's first permanent Martian settlement. This area is now only used to store hazardous waste."

Thanks to reader Andrew S. for finding this.

Released just a few weeks ago, the video game Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent
contains a 2112 sighting. At one point during the game you need to interrogate a crew member on a cruise ship. He gives the access code to the navigation room as "2112". Thanks to Power Windows for the reference and the screenshot.

Next up, a few TV Rush references. In the episode entitled "Hiros" (aired on October 23, 2006) of the new NBC TV series Heroes there is a possible Fly By Night reference. The phrase is common enough that this just may be complete coincidence but I thought I'd point it out anyways (just because I love this show). In this episode, the name of the diner outside Las Vegas where Hiro Nakamura first encounters Nathan Petrelli and sees him fly is called the "Fly By Night" Cafe. Thanks to Power Windows for the screenshot.

In the Japanese animated TV series, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, there's an A Farewll to Kings reference. In episode #31 entitled "Inductance" (first aired on March 6, 2004) one character makes a list of essays and includes "A Farewell To Kings by Neil Peart" on the list. Thanks to reader Tom O for the reference.

Also, this past weekend CBS's pre-game show played an edited montage of parts from "Bastille Day" going into the first commercial break. Thanks to reader briano for spotting this one.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Rush tour rumor mill: tour will begin Spring 2007
3:34PM EST | link | comments (49) |

Tony Geranios a.k.a. "Jack Secret" has been a guitar/keyboard tech for Rush since way back on the A Farewell to Kings tour. There's been a rumor floating around the "Rushisphere" for the last week or so that Jack Secret has said that Rush's next tour will begin in the late spring of 2007. If ever there was a "Rush tour insider", Jack Secret is it. So if he says they'll tour in the Spring of 2007, then it's very likely to happen. However, as I said, this is just a rumor - there's been no official confirmation or anything. So take it with a grain of salt.

Alex Lifeson charity auction painting sells for $2705
2:58PM EST | link | comments (2) |

Alex Lifeson painting[Alex Lifeson RUSH original painting Kidney Foundation]

The Kidney Foundation of Canada's online charity auction A Brush of Hope has ended. Alex Lifeson and several other Canadian celebrities submitted paintings for the auction which ran from November 2nd through today. I wrote about this back in September and also last week. Alex Lifeson's painting sold for $2705, which I believe was the highest value obtained for any of the paintings in the auction. Thanks to reader briano for the news.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Joe Satriani mentions Rush on Alice Cooper radio show
2:04PM EST | link | comments (3) |

UPDATE - 11/11@6:00PM: Actually, this interview isn't recent at all. It's from a couple years ago. My bad. Still funny though.

Guitar virtuoso and Rush friend Joe Satriani recently made a visit to Alice Cooper's radio show, Nights With Alice Cooper. The program includes a special segment called the Offbeat News which is usually read by Alice's counterpart, Mistress Kitty. This time Satch fills in and instead of reading the news, he goes off on Alice for not ever getting paid for playing on his Hey Stoopid album. It's all scripted and done in good fun. But at one point Satch does the "Satch boogie" (beats him up) on Alice Cooper and says as he's "hitting" him:

And this ... (whammy bar scream sound) is for makin' fun of Rush!

Alice apparently will occasionally poke a little fun at Rush. Again, all done in good fun; he's actually a fan and often plays Rush on his show. You can listen to the segment at this link or by using the player above. Thanks to Rush Tour Forum member deonblaster for spotting this.


Friday, November 10, 2006

New Neil Peart interview at
8:16PM EST | link | comments (7) |

[ Neil Peart Likes His Toronto Maple Leafs Hat, Among Others]

Speaking from a Toronto recording studio, Neil Peart recently spoke with's Stephen Clare. Topics focused mostly on his recently released 4th book Roadshow, which he's discussed in depth lately in several other interviews. He did have a little to say about the new album too.

... "I've just finished all the lyrics for the new album, which will be out next year, and so I'm back into the headspace of drumming and trying to challenge myself by experimenting with new set-ups and sounds. And, of course, the language of rhythm requires a completely different kind of hat."

So it definitely sounds like progress is being made if he's completed the lyric-writing. A month ago we heard from Sabian rep Chris Stankee, who had the honor of visiting Rush in the studio. At that time, Neil was still finalizing lyrics.

Related Posts:
[Sabian rep visits Rush in the studio]
[Neil Peart discusses faith as central theme of Rush's new album]
[Neil Peart: what he's been reading, watching and listening to - plus new album news]
[The latest new album news: producer confirmed; 9 songs written, 12 planned]
[New Neil Peart interview up at]
[Neil Peart interview report with new album news]
[Nick Raskulinecz to produce new Rush album]
[Neil Peart site update: new album news, a side project and the West Coast Kit]

Machine Head on a "Rush kick" while writing latest album
9:33AM EST | link | comments (2) |

Machine HeadMachine Head is an Oakland-based metal band that's been around since 1992. They are currently working on their 7th album - The Blackening - which is due out in late March. Frontman Robert Flynn recently spoke with MTV about the new album:

... Flynn said Machine Head were on a Rush kick (particularly 1977's A Farewell to Kings) during the writing of The Blackening, and even took a few cues from the Canadian prog-rock icons.

"The one thing that they did is that they'd have these long songs that constantly had a continuing theme throughout them," he said. "The songs always reverted back to this one melody or this one hook - and that kept it in the context of a song so that ultimately, it wasn't just riff soup for 10 minutes. It kind of had some things that took you on a journey and then brought you back to something familiar. And that's something that we really started to try and bring into the mix. We'd have these long songs, but then we'd go back to these choruses or these hooks, but in a different context. The more we did it, the more we got excited about it. For whatever reason, it's worked." ...

Well put. I'm not a big Machine Head fan, but I may have to give this one a listen.


Thursday, November 9, 2006

New drummer book features Neil Peart
3:00PM EST | link | comments (5) |

[The Drummer: 100 Years of Rhythmic Power and Invention]

There's a new book out from Modern Drummer Publications called The Drummer: 100 Years of Rhythmic Power and Invention that features Neil Peart among many other drumming greats. From the press release:

"The Drummer: 100 Years of Rhythmic Power and Invention" is the first book to tell the complete tale of the modern drumset master. The book dissects a century of drumming, covering every major musical genre from early jazz to new metal. Twenty of the world's "drum gods" -- Buddy Rich, John Bonham, Keith Moon, Elvin Jones, Neil Peart, and others -- are featured in their own spreads. Celebrating the most vital musician onstage, "The Drummer" is filled with hundreds of color photos and candid quotes from the industry's heaviest hitters. ...

It retails for $27.95 but Amazon has it for $18.45. This would make a great Christmas gift (it would for me at least!).

Recent pic of Mike Portnoy interviewing Neil Peart
9:16AM EST | link | comments (14) |

Mike Portnoy and Neil PeartUPDATE - 11/9@3:13PM: The picture was actually posted by Mike himself to his website yesterday along with some more details about his interview with Neil and his involvement with Drummer Magazine as a "guest editor". You can read the entire post here. From the post:

Hi Gang!Well, as I briefly mentioned in passing a few weeks ago when I did Eddie Trunk's show, I can now announce the details of this great special issue of Rhythm Magazine I have been working on. (for those of you unaware, Rhythm is a drum magazine from the UK) I am honored to have been asked to play "guest editor" for this upcoming issue and I was given the opportunity to pick 4 drummers to interview that were influences on me and help shape me as a drummer in my formative years. The 4 guys I ended up choosing were Neil Peart, Nick Mason, Bill Bruford and Lars Ulrich. (for those of you knowing my love for the Beatles and wondering...yes I did have Ringo on my initial list as well, but Rhythm had just recently done a piece with him, so he was scratched off...) All 4 guys were totally accomodating, totally cool and totally happy to be on board for the project. Neil was the first to get together with me as we were able to spent some time together while he was in NYC in September doing some promo for his latest book. (which he so kindly had a personalized copy waiting for me!) Finally meeting him was really a cool experience as he's really one of the only drum heroes of mine that I hadn't met yet through the years. He was totally accomodating and friendly and he opened up to me on everything from his early influences to the writing and recording process in Rush.(and I must admit the "fanboy" in me couldn't resist having him sign one of my custom drums from my "Cygnus and the Sea Monsters" kit!)

--- snip ---

Earlier last month Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy divulged in a radio interview how he finally got to meet his hero Neil Peart:

"We did an interview together - an interview and a photo session - for a drum magazine in England called Rhythm. I haven't even announced this yet, but this is a really cool thing that I'm gonna be doing for Rhythm where they're letting me be the guest editor of an issue, and I get to interview and get together with several of my big influences. So I got together with Neil, I got together with Nick Mason from PINK FLOYD, [and] I'm gonna be doing Lars [Ulrich; METALLICA] and Bill Bruford [YES] next month when I get home from South America. Anyway, it's gonna be a really super-cool issue, and Neil was totally accomodating. As soon as I contacted him about doing this, he was totally on board - super-cool. We met and had a great time."

"It's funny. He's the one guy that's eluded me all of these years. I've met everybody -from Ringo [Starr], all across the board - but Neil was so elusive. All these years, I was thinking he was dodging me. I was starting to to take it personally. But he welcomed me with open arms. He was really, really cool. He's an incredibly cool guy."

Well it turns out that MitA managed to get his hands on a photo from Mike's interview with Neil. You can view the full size photo here. Thanks MitA!


Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Video of Neil Peart on the Rick Mercer Report now online
2:02PM EST | link | comments (22) |

Neil Peart gives Rick Mercer a drum lessonAs I reported on Saturday, Neil Peart appeared on the Rick Mercer Report last night on the CBC where he gave drum lessons to Rick. The 6-minute clip is now online. Neil takes Rick on a motorcycle ride to the "Rush Batcave" and shows him a few tricks on the drums as well as dishing up a few drummer jokes. You can check it out on their website here or on YouTube here. Thanks to reader Mark for the heads up.

Rush sighting in VISA commercial
10:30AM EST | link | comments (8) |

UPDATE - 11/15@9:40AM: The commercial has been uploaded to YouTube and can be viewed here.

This has been floating around the "Rushisphere" (I think I just coined a new word) for the last week or so. I've seen it on message boards and also received a few emails about it. Severals fans have reported hearing the "Monsters" section of La Villa Strangiato in a recent VISA commercial. But it turns out that it was not Rush's La Villa Strangiato at all - it was a version of the song Powerhouse which was written, performed, and first recorded by Raymond Scott in 1936. The song is very familiar to many people because of its wide usage in cartoons. This FAQ from the Raymond Scott website sheds some light on the relation between Rush's La Villa Strangiato and Powerhouse:

Q: Did the rock band RUSH get sued and have to pay royalties for their unauthorized use of Raymond Scott's ''Powerhouse'' in their 1978 recording "La Villa Strangiato"?

A: By the time Raymond Scott's publisher notified the band's management of the infringement, the statute of limitations had expired on the challenge. But Rush's management, out of deference to Mr. and Mrs. Scott (Raymond was still alive at that point), offered a one-time "penance" payment, feeling it was the ethical thing to do. All involved were happy with the resolution, and Rush has no further financial obligations. Under the settlement, they were not required to accord RS partial songwriting credit on the.piece.

You can listen to Powerhouse (the "La Villa" bit is about half way in) at this link or using the player above. MitA also has provided us with a short clip of the song morphing into La Villa Strangiato. Very cool. You can listen to the morph at this link or by using the player above.


Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie footage
3:33PM EST | link | comments (2) |

Aqua Teen Hunger Force[Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie preview clip]

As was reported by Animation Magazine, previewed a 90-second sneak peak of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie yesterday. You can watch the clip here on their website or here on YouTube. Earlier this year the news came out that Neil Peart would be making an appearance in the movie. Unfortunately the clip does not feature Neil Peart at all - but it is funny.

The movie had originally been slated for a November 2005 release but was delayed until February 2007, with speculation that it will in fact be released straight to DVD. The Animation Magazine article doesn't shed any further light on this question other than to say that the movie was slated for a still-unannounced release date in 2007.

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.

Related Posts:
[Aqua Teen Hunger Force Movie Delayed]
[Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie first screening]
[Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie release date]
[Aqua Teen Hunger Force #34 - "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary"]
[Neil Peart and Aqua Teen Hunger Force]

Reminder: Neil Peart on the Rick Mercer Report tonight
12:37PM EST | link | comments (6) |

As I reported on Saturday, Neil Peart will appear on the Rick Mercer Report tonight on the CBC where he'll be giving drum lessons to Rick. The show will air at 8PM EST and be re-aired this Friday at 8:30PM. As soon as it's up online I'll let you know.

Guitar Hero 2 featuring YYZ released today
11:20AM EST | link | comments (2) |

As I reported a month ago, the long-awaited sequel to the popular Guitar Hero video game releases today. Guitar Hero II features songs from over 60 artists including Rush's YYZ. A trailer of the game featuring both guitar and bass parts for YYZ in its entirety can be viewed here and another shorter trailer here. YYZ is listed under the Furious Fretwork category.

Related Posts:
[Guitar Hero 2 featuring YYZ available for preorder]
[Guitar Hero 2 featuring YYZ preview online]
[YYZ to be featured in Guitar Hero 2 video game]

Rush in Rio single disk edition released today
8:00AM EST | link | comments (2) |

Big deal. :) Nothing new here. Just Rush in Rio without the bonus disc.


Monday, November 6, 2006

Alex Lifeson painting auction now online at eBay
10:31AM EST | link | comments (9) |

Alex Lifeson painting[eBay: Alex Lifeson RUSH original painting Kidney Foundation]

Back on September 29th the news came out that Alex Lifeson and several other celebrities had created paintings for a project of The Kidney Foundation of Canada called "A Brush of Hope". The paintings are currently being sold on eBay and will be through November 12th. Alex Lifeson's painting can be viewed and bid on here. The paintings will also be on display at the Kidney Foundation's Funny Fall Gala on November 10th. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.


Saturday, November 4, 2006

New live video: Bastille Day from 1976 bootleg "Caught in the Act"
10:54AM EST | link | comments (12) |

Rush performing Bastille Day from 1976[Bastille Day 1976 live bootleg]

I just found this live clip on YouTube of Rush performing Bastille Day back in 1976. It's from an All the World's a Stage tour bootleg video filmed on December 10th at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ called "Caught in the Act". The quality is so-so and it's in black-and-white but still very cool to watch. You can check it out here.

Neil Peart to appear on the Rick Mercer Report
9:58AM EST | link | comments (5) |

Geddy SleddingRick Mercer is a Canadian comedian and TV personality who currently has a satirical news show on the CBC called the Rick Mercer Report. Back in January of 2004 Geddy Lee appeared on the Rick Mercer Report in a humorous piece where he went over several "togogganing safety tips". You can watch the clip here. This Tuesday it'll be Neil Peart's turn to appear on the Rick Mercer Report where he will be giving Rick drum lessons. For those of you (like me) who don't get the CBC, the show will be posted on their website after it airs (and I'm sure it'll be up on YouTube as well). Thanks to Rush Forum member tish for the heads up.


Friday, November 3, 2006

Bubba's Book Club updated
7:43PM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Neil's Picks for Quality Reading, Issue #6 - October, 2006]

Neil Peart has recently updated the Bubba's Book Club section of his website where he talks about the books he's read. This installment includes Canadian novelist and humorist Miriam Toews's A Complicated Kindness. Neil highly recommends this book and as usual has a lot to say about it. He also mentions Too Close to the Falls by Catherine Gildiner, Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman and on the fiction side The Starter Wife by Gigi Levangier Grazer.

More old Rush radio shows on
4:10PM EST | link | comments (2) |

The Official Rush and Rush Replay x3 Contest and Interactive Pages,, has posted a few more old radio shows on their Bonus Features page. They now have a total of 24 shows up on the site. This latest batch features Rush on the King Biscuit Flour Hour, an Uncle Joe Benson Off the Record interview from 2003 and an Anthem Entertainment Moving Pictures interview with the band from 1981. Just look for the huge banner saying "Rush Radio Specials". Click on this banner and you can listen to the following:

  • WMMS LIVE AT THE AGORA (Rebroadcast November 2000) - Live At The Agora (12/16/74)
  • Rush - "Hemispheres" Radio Special 1978
  • NEW! Andre Tilk - Moving Pictures (Anthem '81)
  • Sean McKay and Rush - The 1982 "Exit ... Stage Left" Radio Special
  • Rush - "Signals" Radio Special 1982
  • 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"
  • In the Studio with Neil Peart (Grace Under Pressure & Signals) - hosted by Redbeard
  • NEW! The King Biscuit Flour Hour - Rush On The Biscuit
  • Host Dan Neer with Rush - "Presto" Up Close (1990)
  • Host Mary Turner and Rush - Roll the Bones Off the Record (1992)
  • Mary Turner - Off the Record with Alex Lifeson (1993)
  • Hosted by Dan Neer - Test For Echo Up Close (1996)
  • Host Jo Robinson with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson- World Premiere Broadcast of "Different Stages" (1998)
  • Host Jeff Woods with Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee - "Vapor Trails" World Premiere
  • Rob Coburn with guests Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson - Vapor Trails Rockline (May 15, 2002)
  • Hosted By Jim Ladd - 2002 Tour Special
  • Much More Music - The Story of Rush (2002)
  • NEW! Off The Record With Uncle Joe Benson - Legacy (December 2003)
  • Uncle Joe Benson - "Feedback" (Off the Record) 2004
  • Hosted by Redbeard with guests Geddy and Alex - Waves and Windows In the Studio (2005)
  • R30 Rockline appearance - December, 2005
  • In the Studio - Moving Pictures 25th Anniversary With Redbeard (2006)


Thursday, November 2, 2006

Rush reference in Hunters of Dune
7:28PM EST | link | comments (0) |

Kevin J. Anderson is a sci-fi writer who also happens to be a big Rush fan. Several of his novels have been inspired by Rush, including 1988's Ressurection Inc.. After reading this book and being very impressed with it, Neil Peart sparked a friendship with the author that has lasted to this day. They later collaborated on a short story called Drumbeats in 1994. Neil also mentions Anderson several times in Roadshow.

In August of this year, Brian Herbert (son of legendary sci-fi author of the Dune novels, Frank Herbert) in collaboration with Kevin Anderson launched a new Dune trilogy with Hunters of Dune. Kevin managed to throw in an unmistakable Rush reference in the chapter leading epigram on page 427. It reads as follows:

A choice can be as dangerous as a weapon.
Refusing to choose is in itself a choice.
- Pearten, ancient Mentat philosopher

Many thanks to Power Windows for the info.

2006 MidWest Rush Tabcon videos
11:08AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Rush TabconAs I reported back in July, the 2006 MidWest Rush Tabcon took place this past September 15-17 in St. Francis, WI. There are now several videos from the event up on YouTube. You can view them and several other videos from past Rush Tabcons here. These are a lot of fun to watch.


Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Tom Brady and Tom Sawyer
12:46PM EST | link | comments (1) |

Tom BradyNew England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a Rush fan. is running a feature where they highlight the iTunes playlists for several famous athletes. Tom Brady's playlist include Rush's Tom Sawyer. He has this to say about the song:

This is a great tune that they play when our quarterbacks run onto the field pre-game. Gets me excited every time I hear it.

Me too Tom. :) To view his entire playlist you'll need to have iTunes installed. Just go to, click on "Sports Music" and look for Tom Brady's icon. Many thanks to reader Dean for the heads up.

RushCon 7 Update
9:33AM EST | link | comments (2) |

I've just received this email update regarding RushCon 7:

In anticipation of a new Rush album and tour, the organizers of RushCon want you to know that our intention is to schedule next years' function around Rush's next tour. What better way to spend a weekend in Toronto? Imagine a full weekend of events, games, speakers and fun AND seeing Rush in their home town!! Of course, we won't know next year's dates unless and until the band announces their tour plans, so stay tuned to our website or stop by our message board for the latest information. ...

If you don't know already, RushCon is the biggest Rush fan convention in North America. It's been held every year since 2001 in Rush's hometown of Toronto, Ontario. I had a blast at RushCon 6 this summer and this makes it more likely that I'll try and attend RushCon 7 now. I've always wanted to see the band in their hometown anyways.





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