The latest addition to the Rush.com multimedia section is a 4-part, 9-minute interview with Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider where he discusses how to make his famous Mai Tai. Yes... 9 minutes of Howard talking about rum and Mai Tais. :) Thanks to RUSHgeek for the heads up.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Bruce Dickinson to interview Rush for his BBC Rock Show
Legendary Iron Maiden (one of my favorite non-Rush bands) frontman Bruce Dickinson will have Rush as a guest on his BBC 6 Friday Rock Show on October 12th. The show can be heard live via the internet at this link between 10PM and 1AM UK time (5PM and 8PM EST). I'm not sure yet, but one can only assume that just Alex and Geddy will be appearing. Thanks to Metal Tim for the heads up.
The North American leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour is complete. Rush takes the tour machine across the Atlantic next week where they'll play 15 dates across Europe beginning in Glasgow Scotland. Then, if the rumors hold true, they'll be back in North America for more dates in the Spring of '08.
The month of September saw the release of 6 Rush studio albums over the years: Caress of Steel (1975), A Farewell to Kings (1977), Signals (1982), Hold Your Fire (1987), Roll the Bones (1991) and Test For Echo (1996). For our last poll I asked you what your favorite song from Signals was. The overwhelming winners were Subdivisions (30%) and The Analog Kid (26%). Here are the complete results. For this next poll I thought I'd ask you what your favorite of the 6 September-released Rush albums is. Take the poll and let us know.
I've recently learned that Rush's graphic artist Hugh Syme reused Dimo Safari's photo of the crowd from Different Stages in the Allman Brothers Band's Hittin' the Note album artwork. The image of the crowd viewing a gigantic tinkertoy was reimaged, with the tinkertoy replaced by giant mushrooms.
This is not the first time that Rush album art was recycled by another artist; in 1978 a photo of a Rush crowd was reused in Rainbow's Long Live Rock 'N Roll gatefold art. In both cases, the usage of the images was done without the knowledge of SRO/Anthem. Unlike the Rainbow usage, however, where Polydor retouched a mockup that they had originally rejected from Fin Costello, Hugh Syme was the graphic artist for both Different Stages and Hittin' The Note.
According to Anthem, they weren't aware of it until after the fact, and "chose to turn a blind eye."
You can check out the image he's referring to at this location. Very interesting.
The Heavy Metal Box Set compilation, first mentioned in this post and featuring Rush's Working Man, will be released next Tuesday. You can preorder it here.
... Johnson has long had a reputation as one of Canada's loudest guitarists and his early exposure to vintage arena rock cemented his need to live it out loud.
"The first concert I ever saw was Rush at Cobo Hall in Detroit. You better believe that was incredibly loud, and it really left a mark on me, at least in the approach I take to performing live. I figure if you pay $5 or $55 or $500 to go see a show, it should be loud, it should be in-your-face and you should get your money's worth. And that's the way I've always approached things. It doesn't matter if it's a hockey arena or a dive bar, I've always approached every show like it was my last." ...
Thanks to ghost__rider for the heads up.
Rush has made yet another top albums list. Sympatico/MSN Entertainment recently placed 2112 at #19 on their list of the Top 25 Albums of the 70s. Thanks to Figerade for the link.
Voting is currently underway online for the 2007 BT Digital Music Awards. Under the Peoples Choice category you can vote for Best Music Blog, Best Official Music Site and Best Unofficial Music Site. My sources tell me that Rush.com is doing very well in the voting for Best Official Site. So let's help them out. Voting is a little tricky so here are some instructions. Just go to the Peoples Choice voting page, scroll down and look for the Click here to vote for a site link and click it. This will open up a form where you need to choose Best Official Music Site from the dropdown, fill out http://www.rush.com in the Website URL field, enter and confirm a valid email address and finally enter the validation code. And while you're at it maybe you could vote for a certain unnamed music blog in the Best Music Blog category. :) Voting will run through this Sunday, September 30th.
The awards celebrate every aspect of the digital music industry and have been put on by the BT Group for the last 5 years. The awards ceremony will take place on October 2nd and air on the BBC's Channel 4.
Neil Peart's buddy and riding partner, Brutus, recently uploaded several pics to his MySpace page which show the crew loading up the bikes for the trip across the pond. I included a couple here for those without MySpace accounts, but there are 10 total in the gallery. Just go to Brutus's MySpace page, click on pics and check out the Candada to Load Out gallery. Many thanks to Brutus for sharing these.
Just as he's been doing for each break on the tour thus far, Neil Peart has taken advantage of Rush's current break between the end of the North American leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour and the beginning of the European leg to write another news update to his website. Neil talks mostly about his motorcycle travels between shows, focusing on the concept of shunpiking; the practice of avoiding turnpikes and freeways - something that Neil and Michael have become experts at. Rush and the tour itself are barely mentioned at all. Neil seems like he's still having fun but the road is beginning to take its toll:
... our manager's old line about how my approach to touring was "a long motorcycle trip where you can earn a little gas money along the way." As our traveling circus of band and crew has continued to mount and perform our roadshow almost fifty times now, earning that gas money has continued to be a difficult, physically demanding job. As always seems to happen in the middle of every tour, when the routine grinds on into the third and fourth months, the mood at work among band and crew can sometimes sink to a tense, dark state of mind that combines homesickness, fatigue, edginess, frustration, friction, physical pain, and a feeling that threatens to approach "fed up."
Still, most of us "keep the shiny side up." Daily smiles and nightly jokes leaven the potential for tedium, and-most important-the band has continued to play to a high standard, supported by a first-rate, and highly entertaining crew (we entertain the crowd; they entertain us). The audiences have been fantastic everywhere, and the shows have been going well, but-like the gas that goes into our motorcycles-it just keeps costing more. ...
Sounds like they really need this short break before the European leg. Then they'll get a nice long break over the winter and should be fully recharged in time for the 2008 leg.
Rush.com continues to post updates to their multimedia section. They have another video up; this one of production/stage manager Craig (aka CB) talking about his various duties. Keeping with the tradition of goofiness that has been displayed in these videos, he does his interview from a toilet. There also was a part 2 of the Chef Frenchie interview that I had mentioned as an update to this post last week. But it seems that some of you had missed the update so I thought I'd give it another mention. In part 2, Frenchie goes out during a show to baste the chickens wearing an apron ... and little else. To watch the videos go to Rush.com, click on Multimedia and then click on Rush Video. The vids will be listed on the right. Thanks to Liverpool.78 for alerting me to the CB vid.
In addition to the video updates, they've also added a Rush on the Road section where you can see pro-shot pictures from out on the road. Currently there are pics from Raleigh, Scranton, Phoenix, Wantagh, Sacramento, San Francisco and St. Louis up. Thanks to timbale for the heads up.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Neil Peart wins big in DRUM! Magazine 2007 Drummie! Awards
UPDATE - 9/23@10:14AM: Setlist #2; with the substitution.
Rush plays their last show of the North American leg (until 2008 at least) of the Snakes & Arrows tour tonight in their hometown of Toronto. I'm going. If you're going too let me know and maybe we can say hello before or during the show.
Date/Time: Saturday, September 22nd @ 8:00PM (local time) Show Number: 49 Venue:Air Canada Centre Place: Toronto, ON
UPDATE - 9/23@10:43PM: I'm back! I'm too wiped out to write much... but here are some photos.
----- snip -----
I made it to Toronto in one piece yesterday and had a blast at the RushConIn the Mood Mixer and tribute band concert last night. I met a lot of great people and drank too much Canadian beer. As far as the documentary goes, Andrew MacNaugtan was not there ... but Sam Dunn was - with his film crew too. If you don't know who Sam Dunn is, he's a Toronto native who is the creative force behind the heavy metal documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey for which he interviewed Geddy Lee. I spoke with Sam and he's just begun filming a documentary on Rush with the blessing of the band. He was there last night to get some footage of Rush fans in action. If his Rush documentary is half as good as Metal than we are in for a treat once he's finished. I'm still unclear as to whether Andrew MacNaughtan will be doing any filming at RushCon or just at Rush EuCon. We'll see I guess.
The tribute band Limelight was fantastic as was the venue (The Opera House). They played mostly 70s-80s era Rush but also threw in a couple from Snakes & Arrows; Far Cry and Malignant Narcissism. And, just like Toronto Airport did last year, they played Moving Pictures in its entirety. In addition to the band there was Rush Karaoke and the YYZ air-drumming contest. My internet connection here at the Days Inn is a bit flaky so I'll keep this short for now. Once I'm able I'll give a more detailed report and post some pictures.
Rush wraps up the North American portion of the Snakes & Arrows tour this weekend, playing Ottawa tonight and show number 2 in Toronto on Saturday. The latest rumor concerning filming for a concert DVD has the filming being done in Rotterdam where Rush is playing 2 shows. Speaking of DVDs, we learned yesterday that Rush friend and photographer Andrew MacNaughtan will be on hand at both RushCon this weekend and Rush EuCon next month to film portions of a documentary he's putting together.
RushCon 7 takes place this weekend in the Mecca of Rush fandom, Toronto, Ontario. The festivities have actually already begun; there have been events taking place since the Rush show on Wednesday - but it officially kicks off tonight. The theme this time around is appropriately Feel the Current Flowing. If you'll be in Toronto for the show tomorrow I highly suggest you stop by the Days Inn downtown and sign up. Online registration is now closed but you can still register in person. Who knows... you might be on the next Rush DVD documentary! If you can't make it for the whole convention you can still attend the Rush tribute band show Friday night to get you warmed up for the Saturday show. It will take place at The Opera House and be open to the public (19 and over) for $12CND. Limelight will take the stage around 10PM. I'll be there, so if you'll be in town for the Con, the show or both - be sure to get in touch with me.
The Larger Bowl single has settled into the top 20 and I just posted last night that the next single will be Workin' Them Angels with Faithless waiting in the wings for a release next year. Speaking of The Larger Bowl go give the song your vote at this link (thanks SF in Prague).
I can't think of a good poll this week (I'm too pumped up about RushCon and the Toronto show) so I'll leave up the current one for a bit longer.
Reader 1-2-bucklemyshoe let me know that USA Today music critic Ken Barnes recently put up a post on his blog discussing Billboard Boxscore's Top 10 grossing tours thus far this summer. Rush made the list at #9. He had this to say:
9. Rush: $13.8 million (24); 252,000/61.9%: The fans are still out there (when not bombarding this blog with complaints about slights to the band). However, the percentage-of-capacity figure is by far the lowest in the top 10.
Whatever. He just had to put a jab in there... He's just asking for us to bombard his blog with more complaints. :)
Reader canuckster has uploaded a fairly decent bootleg recording of the London, Ontario show at this link.
I got several emails about a recent Rush sighting on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann. They ran a story about a man that stole 5 boxes of Rogaine hair treatment from a pharmacy. After ending the story they broke to commercial while playing ... you guessed it - I Think I'm Going Bald. I love that song. :)
Reader Mike claims to have seen Neil Peart hanging out at Montreal's legendary jazz club The House of Jazz over the weekend they played Montreal. I'm not surprised; it sounds like the type of place Neil would like.
Despair.com is a website that makes parodies of motivational posters of the type that you often see in offices. One of these is titled Pretension and says The downside of being better than everyone else is that people tend to assume you're pretentious. Underneath it lists people that this poster would be perfect for, and - yes - Neil Peart is on the top of the list. :) Thanks to analogkid for the heads up.
Reader primemover emailed me his retelling of how he won a set of front row tickets to the July 8th show at the PNC in New Jersey and how he ended up with a pair of Neil Peart's drumsticks. It's a great story and he put a lot into it. You can read the entire unbelievable story at this link (Word Doc - 90K).
Well.. I'm off to Toronto! I will hopefully write up a post with pics sometime tomorrow. Have a great weekend!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
The next Snakes & Arrows single will be Workin' Them Angels
The Larger Bowl has been out for over 6 weeks now and - as reported last week - has finally broken into the top 20 on both the Mediabase Mainstream Rock Chart and the Radio and Records Rock Chart. It was the 3rd single off of Snakes & Arrows; Far Cry was the first and Spindrift the second. Far Cry was very successful and stayed atop the charts for several months, making it as high as #2 on the Mediabase chart. Spindrift was released on June 1st and unfortunately failed to gain much of a foothold in any radio markets.
There's been a lot of speculation as to whether Rush will be releasing any more singles off the album. It turns out that they will; I've just learned that The Larger Bowl will be in rotation for another 3 weeks before Atlantic will release Workin' Them Angels as radio single #4. And if that does reasonably well they will release Faithless sometime next year. I find it interesting that they'd choose Faithless after not performing it live thus far this tour ... which also leads me to speculate that on the 2008 leg of the tour they may break it out. So keep hounding your local radio station to play The Larger Bowl; we only have 3 more weeks to propel it into the top 10.
UPDATE - 9/25@2:21PM: In addition to being at RushCon, Sam Dunn was at both Toronto shows.
UPDATE - 9/22@2:40PM:Andrew MacNaugtan was not at RushCon Friday evening ... but Sam Dunn was - with his film crew too. If you don't know who Sam Dunn is, he's a Toronto native who is the creative force behind the heavy metal documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey for which he interviewed Geddy Lee. I spoke with Sam and he's just begun filming a documentary on Rush with the blessing of the band. He was at RushCon to get some footage of Rush fans in action. If his Rush documentary is half as good as Metal than we are in for a treat once he's finished. I'm still unclear as to whether Andrew MacNaughtan will be doing any filming at RushCon or just at Rush EuCon.
UPDATE - 9/20@7:32AM: Setlist #1; no substitution (thanks The Fwanksta). And from all the reports I've been reading, the show was not filmed. This makes the rumors about Rotterdam being filmed sound all the more likely.
Date/Time: Wednesday, September 19th @ 7:30PM (local time) Show Number: 47 Venue:Air Canada Centre Place: Toronto, ON
This goes to show you that Rush fans come in all shapes and sizes. DJ Premier is a well-known American hip-hop producer; Source magazine labeled him as one of the 5 greatest producers in hip-hop history, and About.com has him ranked at #1 on there Top 50 Hip-Hop Producers list. In a recent interview with Sun Media's Allan Wigney, DJ Premier talks about how he is a big Rush fan:
... "I'm a fan first and a DJ second," he insists. "I still go into stores and buy records. I still buy concert tickets. I just saw The Police. I went to see Rush ..."
Hold on a second, Preem, there seems to be a problem with the connection: It sounded like you just admitted to being a Rush fan.
"Oh man," Premier enthuses loudly and clearly, "big time! You know, I grew up in the era of no hip-hop. I went through all of those teenage phases. My drug phase, my stealing-cars phase, my classic-rock phase.
"I played high school football and we'd listen to a lot of rock music in the locker room. Everything I listened to inspired me to make the beats that I do."
Great, so now DJ Premier is a Rush fan. Next he'll be producing Christina Aguilera. ...
UPDATE - 9/19@11:39AM: LOL! A part 2 of the Frenchie interview has been posted and you definitely won't want to miss it (or maybe you will?). Thanks Rushgrrl for the heads up. :)
Rush.com recently put up a couple more videos of folks from the tour crew in the Multimedia section of the website. They've been updating these fairly regularly. The latest two are with Geddy's bass tech, Russ, and with Chef Bruce Frenchie French. Russ talks about Geddy's various bass guitars (duh) and how great it is working with Ged. And the Frenchie video is just plain goofy. Enjoy.
UPDATE - 9/18@9:25AM: Now the latest rumor over at Counterparts is that they'll be filming the Rotterdam show(s)... although I'm not too sure about the source (some guy in the sound booth). If Toronto isn't filmed then this probably would be the next most likely location. I guess we'll find out soon enough.
UPDATE - 9/17@11:03PM: Reader Justin reports that Rush played setlist #2 with the substitution and that no additional cameras (other than the house cams for the big video screens) were spotted. Toronto perhaps?
Rush pops back down to the States tonight to play Madison Square Garden in the Big Apple. I've heard several conflicting rumors about whether this show will be filmed or not. I really have no clue at this point what'll happen. So if you're going tonight, be sure to let us know if you see any camera crews.
Date/Time: Monday, September 17th @ 8:00PM (local time) Show Number: 46 Venue:Madison Square Garden Place: New York, NY
Rush took off to the great White North on Wednesday, playing a show in London, Ontario on Neil Peart's 55th birthday (the first show there since the Moving Pictures tour). They'll continue heading northward tonight, hitting the Colisee de Quebec in Quebec City. And - if the rumors are true - they'll be back in Quebec City this coming summer to play at the city's 400th anniversary celebration.
Last Saturday was the 20th anniversary of the release of Rush's 12th studio album, Hold Your Fire. So for last week's poll I asked everyone what their favorite song off this album was. The results are in and with well over 400 votes the clear winner is ... Mission with over 19% of the vote. Coming in close behind were Prime Mover (16%) and Time Stand Still (15%). You can check out the complete results here.
It's Rush Month on UK digital radio station Planet Rock and their website now has Mark Jeeves' interviews with Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson up online. To learn how to access them check out this post. This Sunday evening Mark's interview with Geddy Lee will air. It should then be up on their site shortly after.
The Canadian Music Scene website is currently hosting a Q&A with Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider. You can submit your question at this link. Reader Damon H also let me know that Howard is interviewed in the September issue of Lighting and Sound America magazine and Geddy Lee is on the front cover.
The latest issue of EQ Magazine features Geddy Lee on the cover and an in-depth look at Rush in the studio for the recording of Snakes and Arrows. Thanks to RedSectorA from Counterparts for the heads up and cover scan.
The Bracebridge Examiner / Gravenhurst Banner had an article about the Rush.com website last week. It's titled Rush website has Muskoka influence and talks about the company and people who are responsible for the revamped Rush.com:
... Building on the fact that both the band's drummer and the record label founder have relatives in Gravenhurst, they now have a web designer who makes his home in Gravenhurst.
Earlier this year, Syndicate Design Studios Inc., which is partially based in Muskoka, was hired to create the band's new multimedia website which went live on May 1, simultaneously with Rush's new studio album Snakes and Arrows.
Bracebridge native Ryan Welcher and his business partner Adrian Zivojinovich of Toronto embarked on their small web design business after graduating four years ago, having met at the International Academy of Design and Technology.
Through personal contacts to the band, SRO Management and Anthem Records, Syndicate approached Rush about revamping the band's website. ...
Personal contacts with the band indeed! Funny how they don't even mention that Adrian Zivojinovich is Alex's son! :) Maybe they don't know?
... Its time to listen to some music. I wonder, though, how this will be possible at such a high speed. Already, its very loud, and with a passenger in tow, it's difficult to talk without shouting.
Somehow, though, I can hear the words of Rush's Red Barchetta over the sound of the motor, as the wind blows my hair back like a horizontal buzz cut. ...
Reader ghost__rider let me know that Toronto's Q107 recently polled listeners as part of their Labor Day Weekend countdown of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Rush made the list with a total of 10 songs. Here they are:
44. The Spirit Of Radio 108. Limelight 200. Tom Sawyer 212. Fly By Night 268. In The Mood 348. YYZ 364. Subdivisions 398. Red Barchetta 439. Closer To The Heart 495. New World Man
In an updates post last month I mentioned how Internet entrepreneur (CEO/co-founder of both Raindance Communications and lijit.com) Todd Vernon is a huge Rush fan and attended the Red Rocks show. He had some great things to say about it in his blog. He liked it so much that he also decided to hit the Chicago show and also wrote about that show in his blog here along with some great pics.
The Toledo Blade recently asked readers to reveal their desert island disc. One of these readers was Judge Mike Goulding of Toledo Municipal Court who picked Rush in Rio:
This live disc reminds me of Rush at the Sports Arena - the first rock concert my parents allowed me to attend. My buddies and I got out of school early, waited for hours in the cold, and fought for good seats.
It's comforting to know that even judges like Rush! :)
During the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2003, this band was referred to as "the thunder from down under".
A. Iron Maiden B. Rush C. AC/DC D. Black Sabbath
The contestant was quoted as saying "Rush might be Austrailian..." then answered incorrectly with Iron Maiden. The correct answer was of course AC/DC. :) Thanks tgolic for the info.
Jess of the Rush to Fight AIDs Project recently posted a blog entry retelling an interesting story about a mystery person who donated to the Project in a very creative Rushian sort of way. She's trying to locate the person so she can thank him, so if you're out there - contact Jess!
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Part 2 of Eddie Trunk interview with Geddy and Alex
Back in April radio personality and VH1 Classic VJ Eddie Trunk conducted an interview with Geddy and Alex for Atlantic records. The interview finally saw the light of day last month when Atlantic sent out an email with a link to the first portion of the interview to those folks who had purchased the Snakes & Arrows MVI and registered online. Over the last couple of days they finally sent out part 2 of this interview. Part one has long since been taken down, but you can watch part 2 at this link. Atlantic will likely only keep this up for a day or two so watch it while it's hot. It's an old interview, so there's not much new here but it's fun to watch regardless. Thanks to AFarCryfromFBN for the heads up.
In its 5th week of releaseThe Larger Bowl has broken into the top 20 on both the Mediabase Mainstream Rock Chart and the Radio and Records Rock Chart. It is the 3rd single off of Snakes & Arrows; Far Cry was the first and Spindrift the second. Far Cry was very successful and stayed atop the charts for several months, making it as high as #2 on the Mediabase chart. Spindrift was released on June 1st and unfortunately failed to gain much of a foothold in any radio markets. So continue to call your local radio stations and request The Larger Bowl. Let's try to push it into the top 10!
UPDATE - 9/13@7:37AM: Setlist #1; no substitution. Neil's birthday wasn't acknowledged at all but the band seemed to be in great spirits, especially Neil (thanks stew is a rush fan).
The Canadian leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour kicks off tonight at the John Labatt Centre in London, ON. The last time Rush played in London was back on the Moving Pictures tour in March of 1981. It seems appropriate that Rush would play in London on this day of all days seeing as it's Neil Peart's 55th birthday! London is within a couple hours drive of Hamilton (where Neil was born), St. Catharines (where Neil grew up) and Toronto (where Rush got its start). Maybe those attending the show tonight will get to sing Happy Birthday to Neil? We'll see.
Date/Time: Wednesday, September 12th @ 7:30PM (local time) Show Number: 43 Venue:John Labatt Centre Place: London, ON
Earlier this summer we learned about a new Rush tribute album from Main Man Records entitled Lush. Lush - which releases next Tuesday - is a tribute to Rush's debut album and features covers of all 8 tracks from Rush plus 2 bonus tracks; Not Fade Away and Can't Fight It (from Rush's first single). Here's the complete list of tracks/artists:
1. Finding My Way - 3 Legged Rabbit 2. Need Some Love - Rutsey 3. Take A Friend - Snagglepuss 4. Here Again - Joe Harvard Band 5. What You're Doing - Ed Mundell (Monster Magnet) 6. In The Mood - FourYearBeard 7. Before And After - Frankenstein 3000 8. Working Man - Murder 1 9. Not Fade Away - A Farewell To Bling 10. Can't Fight It - Worro Pilkinson
The album is now available for preorder directly from Main Man Record's website at this link. From the information I have there will only be a limited number of 100 copies sold to the public. You can listen to 30-second preview clips of all the tracks at this link. Ed Mundell also has his rendition of What You're Doing up on his website in its entirety which you can listen to here.
Q&A with Howard Ungerleider at The Canadian Music Scene
Here is your chance to submit your question to Howard "Herns" Ungerleider.
RUSH fans will be well aware of Howard, having been with the band from their start. Howard has performed many roles with the band starting off as their tour manager to producing their current tour lighting and special effects.
Howard is currently on the road with RUSH on their Snakes and Arrows tour but has graciously agreed to field questions.
We are looking at submitting selected questions to Howard after the last Toronto show on September 22, 2007.
Howard is considered among the best in his business and is a principal in the company Production Design International. Drop PDI site at www.pdifx.com.
Friday I reported that the video game Rock Band has been given a release date of November 20th and is available for preorder for both the XBox and Playstation 3. Rock Band is the sequel to Harmonix Music Systems' popular Guitar Hero 2 game, released last November. Guitar Hero 2 allowed players to play bass or guitar in a virtual band, playing along with hit songs from a number of artists. One of the songs included was Rush's YYZ. Rock Band will be similar to its Guitar Hero predecessors but with the addition of drums and vocals, and it includes a cover of Rush's Tom Sawyer as one of the featured tracks. A trailer featuring the song recently appeared online and can be seen at this link.
I've mentioned a few times now that this month is Rush Month on UK digital radio station Planet Rock. As part of the celebration they are broadcasting four exclusive interviews with the band that were recorded in San Francisco earlier this year. Each of the first three are with one member of the band and then the fourth will be bits from all three of the band member interviews (not all three members together unfortunately). The first of these interviews was with Neil Peart and aired on September 2nd. Yesterday Alex Lifeson was interviewed. Both of these interviews are now available online at the Planet Rock website although they're a little difficult to find. To listen you need to go to the website, click on Listen Live, a player window will popup. Then click on Listen Again at the top of the popup. A list will be viewable on the right of the page. Look for Last 7 Days: Special Feature and click on it. You'll see links to listen to the interviews there. Neither interview reveals much in the way of new information but Mark Jeeves does a good job and they are definitely worth having a listen.
25 years ago today Rush released their 9th studio album Signals. The album was recorded between April and July of 1982 and would mark the last time that Rush would work with longtime producer Terry Brown. Signals was certified both Gold and Platinum by the RIAA on November 10, 1982 and it peaked at #10 on Billboard's top album charts. New World Man went all the way to #1 on the US Mainstream Rock charts; Subdivisions made it to #3. Videos were made for Subdivisions and Countdown. From the allmusic.com review:
Instead of playing it safe and writing Moving Pictures, Pt. II, Rush replaced their heavy rock of yesteryear with even more modern sounds for 1982's Signals. Synthesizers were now an integral part of the band's sound, and replaced electric guitars as the driving force for almost all the tracks. And more current and easier-to-grasp topics (teen peer pressure, repression, etc.) replaced their trusty old sci-fi-inspired lyrics. While other rock bands suddenly added keyboards to their sound to widen their appeal, Rush gradually merged electronics into their music over the years, so such tracks as the popular MTV video "Subdivisions" did not come as a shock to longtime fans. And Rush didn't forget how to rock out -- "The Analog Kid" and "Digital Man" were some of their most up-tempo compositions in years. The surprise hit, "New World Man," and "Chemistry" combined reggae and rock (begun on 1980's Permanent Waves), "The Weapon" bordered on new wave, the placid "Losing It" featured Ben Mink on electric violin, while the epic closer "Countdown" painted a vivid picture of a space shuttle launch. Signals proved that Rush were successfully adapting to the musical climate of the early '80s.
Back on September 8th in 1987 Rush released their 12th studio album Hold Your Fire. The album was recorded at The Manor in Oxfordshire, Ridge Farm Studio in Surrey, Air Studios in Montserrat and at McClear Place in Toronto. Hold Your Fire was certified Gold by the RIAA on November 9, 1987 and it peaked at #13 on Billboard's top album charts. It has yet to be certified Platinum. 2 singles from the album - Force Ten and Time Stand Still - reached #3 on the US Mainstream rock charts, Prime Mover reached #16. Videos were made for Time Stand Still and Lock and Key. From the allmusic.com review:
Hold Your Fire is an album in the purest sense; infinitely greater than the sum of its parts, it gradually draws in the listener by slowly revealing its nuances and secrets. While the use of keyboards is still overwhelming at times, Geddy Lee employs lush textures which, when coupled with a greater rhythmic and melodic presence from guitarist Alex Lifeson, results in a far warmer sound than in recent efforts. Of course, drummer Neil Peart is as inventive and exciting as ever, while his lyrics focus on the various elements (earth, air, water, fire) for much of the album. Opener "Force Ten" is the band's most immediate number in years, and other early favorites such as "Time Stand Still" and "Turn the Page" soon give way to the darker mysteries of "Prime Mover" and "Tai Shan." The multifaceted "Lock and Key" is quintessential Rush, and sets the stage for the album's climax with the sheer beauty of "Mission." As was the case with 1976's 2112 and 1981's Moving Pictures, Rush always seem to produce some of their best work at the end of each four-album cycle, and Hold Your Fire is no exception.
Last month I let you know that Detroit-based prog-rockers Tiles would feature a guest appearance from Alex Lifeson on their upcoming 5th album, Fly Paper. More details about the release were recently posted on the Tiles website including the release dates and tracklist. From the site:
We are pleased to announce that "Fly Paper" will be released on InsideOut Music in the following territories:
Germany, Austria & Switzerland - January 25, 2008 Europe - January 28, 2008 North America - January 29, 2008
"Fly Paper" was produced by Terry Brown and will include the following tracklisting:
1. Hide In My Shadow 2. Sacred & Mundane (w/ Alex Lifeson) 3. Back & Forth (w/ Alannah Myles) 4. Landscrape 5. Markers 6. Dragons, Dreams & Daring Deeds (w/ Kim Mitchell) 7. Crowded Emptiness (w/ Hugh Syme) 8. Hide & Seek
Additional special guests include Sonya Mastick (percussion), Matthew Parmenter (keyboards & vocals) and Nate Mills (vocals) throughout.
In other news... we caught up with Alex Lifeson before the Rush show in Detroit. Alex was kind enough to set aside some time to chat about his session with Terry, his guitar parts, what equipment he used (only of interest to Chris), the "Snakes and Arrows" tour, and other fun stuff. The band presented Alex with two dozen Titleist "super high powered golf balls" monogrammed with "Tiles - Fly Paper" in appreciation for his contributions (so we're the ones who look bad if/when a ball is found in the woods). And yes, the Rush show was amazing - it's not to be missed...
Great news. Thanks to B-Man for the heads up.
Updates and other random Rush stuff; more 2008 tour news!
Rush will play their last 2 shows of the Middle West leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour over the coming weekend, hitting Chicago and the Twin Cities. They'll then return to the homeland for 6 Canadian dates with one show at Madison Square Garden thrown in the mix. After that it's on to Europe. But the good news is, as I reported a couple days ago, it looks like Rush will be touring in 2008 as well. Rumor has it that they'll play several dates in March/April of next year starting in Atlantic City and then moving into New England and Atlantic Canada. Then after a short break they'll head south and play some dates that will include New Orleans, New Mexico, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi. Nothing is official yet but my source on this has been very reliable in the past. And ... I have even more exciting 2008 tour news to report. Way back in December of last year I mentioned a rumor that Rush would possibly be playing at a concert next summer to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Quebec City. It would be a large benefit concert along the lines of Toronto Rocks and take place in July on the Plains of Abraham. Well, it looks like this may no longer be a rumor but will actually take place although nothing official has been announced yet. The word is that Rush will be the headlining act of the closing day of the concert. If this actually happens it would be Rush's biggest full-length show ever as a crowd of nearly half a million fans are expected. It's also expected that this would be the last show of the Snakes & Arrows tour. As always, more details as I get them.
September marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Rush's 5th studio album A Farewell to Kings. So in last week's poll I asked you what your favorite song off this album was. The results are in and the resounding winner is Xanadu (my personal choice) with nearly 58% of the vote. Rounding out the list was Cygnus X-1 (16%), A Farewell to Kings (13%), Cinderella Man (7%), Closer to the Heart (6%) and 1 lonely vote for Madrigal.
Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Rush's 12th studio album Hold Your Fire. So for this week's poll I'm asking everyone what their favorite song off of that album is. Take the poll and let us know.
This month is Rush Month on UK digital radio station Planet Rock. Last Sunday they aired an interview with Neil Peart and this weekend it will be Alex Lifeson's turn; his interview with Mark Jeeves will air at 7PM (UK time) on Sunday.
Two big Rush fan conventions are coming up in the next several weeks. RushCon 7 will take place in Toronto over the weekend of September 21-23. For all the details visit their website at www.rushcon.org. Rush EuCon 12 will take place on Sunday October 14th at the Manchester University campus in Manchester, UK with special guest speaker former Rush producer Terry Brown! For all the details visit the website at www.rusheucon.com. What's really cool is that both conventions will culminate with a Rush show!
There's a new video up on Rush.com in the multimedia section. This time they speak with Anson - the guy who says check one two. :)
Andrew Olson has made some recent updates to his Neil Peart fan site including a new section titled Postcards from Neil. This section will highlight postcards that Neil Peart sent to people who wrote to him through Modern Drummer. So far there's just one in there, so if you have one and would like to share it - contact Andy.
Here's a bit of sad news. Jane Tomlinson, a British campaigner and fund raiser for cancer charities, died this past Tuesday - finally succumbing to her long battle with cancer . In addition to being a truly remarkable and inspirational woman, she was - not surprisingly - a Rush fan. She will be missed. Thanks to Liverpool.78 for the news.
Over a year ago I reported that Le Studio (where Rush recorded several albums including Moving Pictures) was for sale and we all joked about pooling our resources and buying it. Reader Geddy's Ricken and my shoes recently made a pilgrimage to Morin Heights, Quebec where Le Studio is located and sadly found out that it was recently sold to build some luxury condos. He did however take several great pictures from his visit that I thought I'd share here.
Goodbye Le Studio - we'll miss you.
If you're ever in Springfield, PA be sure to visit the Rush Inn; here's a pic of the place courtesy 1-2-bucklemyshoe.
Rush has made Rolling Stone magazine's list of the top 25 songs about work. Working Man made the cut at number 21. Topping the list was John Lennon's Working Class Hero. You can check out the entire list at this link. Thanks to B-Man for the heads up.
The oldest and largest Rush fan convention Rush EuCon will take place on Sunday October 14th at the Manchester University campus in Manchester, UK. The event will run from 11AM to 6PM and then Rush will play at the MEN Arena that evening. Space is limited to 1200 attendees and tickets are priced at £20.00. And the best bit of news is that former Rush producer Terry Brownwas recently confirmed as the guest speaker! For all the details and to purchase tickets, go to the EuCon 12 website.
And let us not forgot about RushCon 7 over here on this side of the pond! RushCon 7 will take place over the weekend of September 21-23 coinciding with Rush's 2nd tour stop at the Air Canada Centre. I'll be there and I hope to see you there too. For details and to purchase your tickets go to the RushCon 7 website.
UPDATE - 11/6@9:43AM: More updates! Details in this post.
UPDATE - 10/3@4:48PM: Alex Lifeson has confirmed the 2008 tour saying that they'll play a total of 110 shows through the summer of 2008; that's another 45 shows.
UPDATE - 9/8@11:16AM: I have even more exciting 2008 tour news to report. Way back in December of last year I mentioned a rumor that Rush would possibly be playing at a concert next summer to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Quebec City. It would be a large benefit concert along the lines of Toronto Rocks and take place in July on the Plains of Abraham. Well, it looks like this may no longer be a rumor but will actually take place although nothing official has been announced yet. The word is that Rush will be the headlining act of the closing day of the concert. If this actually happens it would be Rush's biggest full-length show ever as a crowd of nearly half a million fans are expected. It's also expected that this would be the last show of the Snakes & Arrows tour. As always, more details as I get them.
UPDATE - 9/4@7:11AM: Quick update - Vermont should not be on the list below.
Over the last several months there have been many rumors about potential Rush tour dates in late 2007 and early 2008. There have been rumors of them playing Brazil, Asia, summer festivals in 2008, indoor venues in the US, etc. Well, I finally am starting to get some cohesive news regarding these rumors - at least in regards to North American dates. My source tells me that Rush will be playing several indoor dates in the US and Canada in the Spring of 2008. This leg will kick off with a two or three night stand at the Etess Arena at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City sometime in March. The band will then move up the east coast to Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Atlantic Canada to wrap up the first set of dates before heading south for a handful of dates in late March through early April which will include New Orleans, New Mexico, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi. This is all the information that I have currently. I'll be sure to post anything else that I come across.
As I'd mentioned last week September is Rush Month on UK digital radion station Planet Rock. The station's website now has a Rush Month minisite up. As part of the celebration they will be broadcasting four exclusive interviews with the band that were recorded in San Francisco earlier this year. Each of the first three will be with one member of the band, talking about a particular period in their history and then the fourth will be bits from all three of the band member interviews (not all three members together unfortunately). The first of these interviews was with Neil Peart and aired yesterday. Reader Clive C listened in and gives the following report:
... Neil spoke in a very enthusiatic way, sounding very positive and and energetic. Among the tracks they played were 2112 (not all of it alas), Malignant Narcissism, Mystic Rhythms, Fly By Night and Circumstances. Also Crossroads and The Seeker got airplay. The highlight though was Neil's drum solo from Exit Stage Left - YYZ. They played it from the solo to the end of the track. All in all the show was a real treat, fantastic to hear Rush on the radio at the best of times but to hear an hour long special was just brilliant. ...
The interview should be up on the website for us to listen to at some point in the near future. The next interview will be next week with Geddy Lee Alex Lifeson on Sunday at 7PM UK time.
Rush hits Columbus tonight and will then take a 3-day break for the holiday before continuing the tour in Milwaukee this Thursday. Here's a little preview article from the Columbus Dispatch titled Rush of memories expected from rock veterans.
Date/Time: Sunday, September 2nd @ 7:30PM (local time) Show Number: 39 Venue:Germain Amphitheater Place: Columbus, OH
If you've read Neil Peart's book Roadshow then you are probably familiar with his tour bus driver Dave. Dave now has a MySpace page up and he recently uploaded a few pics of him and his bus along with Neil and Michael from the Indianapolis show. I included the pics for those of you without MySpace accounts. Thanks to SFdrummer for the heads up.
Sometime in the month of September back in 1977, Rush released their 5th studio album, A Farewell to Kings. The precise date of release is unknown exactly, but according to the Jon Collins Rush biography Chemistry it was released a few days after the tour kicked off on September 6th. The Rush calendar actually has it listed as being released on August 18th, but every other source I can find says September 1977. The album was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales and mixed at Advision Studios in London. It was also Rush's first album to go Gold in the US; about 2 months after its release on November 16th and was certified platinum on December 1st, 1993. It peaked at #33 on Billboard's top album charts. From the Allmusic.com review:
On 1977's A Farewell to Kings it quickly becomes apparent that Rush had improved their songwriting and strengthened their focus and musical approach. Synthesizers also mark their first prominent appearance on a Rush album, a direction the band would continue to pursue on future releases. With the popular hit single "Closer to the Heart," the trio showed that they could compose concise and traditionally structured songs, while the 11-minute "Xanadu" remains an outstanding accomplishment all these years later (superb musicianship merged with vivid lyrics help create one of Rush' s best all-time tracks). The album-opening title track begins with a tasty classical guitar/synth passage, before erupting into a powerful rocker. The underrated "Madrigal" proves to be a delicately beautiful composition, while "Cinderella Man" is one of Rush's few songs to include lyrics penned entirely by Geddy Lee. The ten-minute tale of a dangerous black hole, "Cygnus X-1," closes the album on an unpredictable note, slightly comparable to the two bizarre extended songs on 1975's Caress of Steel. A Farewell to Kings successfully built on the promise of their breakthrough 2112, and helped broaden their audience.
On a personal note, I count this album among my top 3 Rush albums - and Xanadu is probably my favorite Rush song outside of 2112. Happy birthday AFTK!!