Archive: Blog Entries from May, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Rush on CBC News: Sunday this morning
10:44PM EST | link | comments (34) |

Rush on CBC News: SundayUPDATE - 6/1@10:32AM: RushFanForever dug up some more info on the Iranian band mentioned in the interview. The CBC story on underground rebels in Iran can be seen here and the name of the band is Ballgard. The portion of the story on Ballgard begins at about the 3:45 mark and runs for about 4 minutes. The band has a very Zappa-like funky sound reminiscent of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

CBC News: Sunday is a weekly television newsmagazine series in Canada, which airs on Sunday mornings on both CBC Newsworld and CBC Television. It is going off the air after 8 seasons and today aired its final episode. To help celebrate the occasion Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee paid a quick visit to the set. The show had done a piece from Iran back in 2008 (although it only aired recently) about underground rebels and spoke to an underground rock band who named Rush as their heroes. The show sent Geddy an email about this and asked if Rush could somehow contact these guys. The band did one better than that and shipped them a huge box of Rush Swag. You can watch video of their appearance where they talk about this at this link. The interview begins at about the 3-minute mark and runs for about 4 minutes. Thanks to guitarlb and RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
9:50AM EST | link | comments (139) |

Although Rush is currently on hiatus, Alex Lifeson is keeping himself very busy lately. Last week he helped Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip close out a 6 night stand at Massey Hall in Toronto by making a guest appearance for the band's encore. He also wrote a few paragraphs about the experience which you can read online at Rush.com. This past Saturday he took Sammy Hagar and Chad Smith out on the town in Toronto the night before Chickenfoot's Sunday show at The Mod Club Theatre in Toronto, for which Alex was in attendance. You can check out some video and read all the details in this post.

The 2008 Buddy Rich Memorial Concert DVD is now available for purchase online just as the Drum Channel had promised earlier this month. The 3-DVD set retails for $39.95 and includes over two hours of concert footage plus nearly two hours of rehearsal and backstage footage. You can purchase your copy via the Drum Channel website or through Amazon.com.

The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win an autographed Roll The Bones tourbook signed by all three members of Rush. The contest ends on June 8th and you can sign up to enter at this link.

The July 2009 issue of Modern Drummer magazine contains the results of their 2009 reader's poll. Neil Peart came in second in the Best Rock Drummer category and third in the Best Progressive Rock Drummer category. The issue will hit newsstands on June 2nd.

Yesterday I let you know about a new rock-and-roll-themed amusement park that is being be built in Eloy, Arizona starting in 2010 called Decades Music Theme Park. It's currently still in the planning stages and their target date to open is in the Fall of 2013. The park will feature interconnected Lands and Districts that represent each decade of rock music with interactive thrill rides, live music and other attractions. One of the planned attractions is the Rush-themed Spirit of the Radio Concert Hall.

Rush TabconThe 2009 Rush East Coast TabCon will take place next weekend (June 5th-7th) at Pope John Paul II Elementary School in West Brandywine, PA. For more information be sure to visit the Rush TabCon website and to view videos of past performances, check out the Rush TabCon page on YouTube.

This past Wednesday, May 27th was the 10th anniversary of Rush receiving their star on the Canadian Walk of Fame. They are also set to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this year, although no date has yet been set for the ceremony.

Several folks emailed me regarding the death of former Toronto Maple Leafs hockey star Peter Zezel. He died earlier this week at the age of 44 from complications due to a rare blood disorder. Zezel was a cousin and good friend of Alex Lifeson. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Alex and all of Peter's family.

Reader Sean recently made me aware of a 2007 book titled Dimensions Behind the Twilight Zone which contains a short essay written by Neil Peart. You can read the first paragraph of the essay at this link.

John over at Cygnus-X1.net has posted another collection of old Rush articles and interviews to complement the ones he had posted last month. You can check them all out here.

According to Blabbermouth.net, recently reunited Canadian thrash metal band Sacrifice will include a cover of Rush's Anthem on the bonus edition of their upcoming album The Ones I Condemn.

Reader grazza let me know of a Rush reference on the bonus DVD that accompanies progressive metal band Mastodon's new CD Crack The Skye. At about the 24:30 mark bassist Troy Sanders talks about how excited he is to use his his new 1979 Moog synthesizer. He remarks It is totally badass. Geddy Lee uses one. So there you go...

Rush's Xanadu gets a nod in this article titled Songs About Fictional Places. Here's what they say:

... Rush draw heavily on Samuel Taylor Coleridge's opium-induced dream of Kubla Kahn in their promise to "find the sacred river Alph, to walk the caves of ice". Once there, Geddy Lee promises: "I will dine on honeydew, and drink the milk of Paradise." ...

Reader Working Man 64 made me aware that guitarist Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne) mentioned on his twitter page a couple of months ago that he was interviewed for the upcoming Rush documentary:

Meeting and greeting fans in Toronto- then sitting down for an interview for a RUSH documentary. - 11:13 AM Apr 4th from web

The Yahoo Music Blog's List of the Day strikes again, including Rush on their list of 25 Token Performers for a given genre of rock. They pick Rush as the token performer for the Progressive Rock genre. Here's what they say:

In another era, I would've said say "Yes" or "ELP" but those bands haven't stuck it out like RUSH who have more dedicated readers of this blog than those other bands combined.

Reader Priest_ofSyrinx let me know that Rush was well represented in 97.9 The Loop's Rock-n-Roll 500 over the past holiday weekend where they played 500 top rock songs including 16 from Rush:

#473 - Time Stands Still
#408 - Freewill
#394 - Red Barchetta
#332 - New World Man
#311 - Entre Nous
#293 - YYZ
#264 - The Trees
#227 - 2112 (Temples of Syrinx)
#194 - In The Mood
#189 - Closer to the Heart
#166 - Working Man
#116 - Fly By Night
#113 - Subdivisions
#103 - Limelight
#48 - Tom Sawyer
#9 - The Spirit of Radio

Reader Mike D has a colleague who is an amateur maker of cakes and cupcakes and was looking through her portfolio recently when he came across this image which bears a striking resemblance to a certain album cover you may be familiar with. :)

That's all for this week. Have a great weekend everybody!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rock-and-roll amusement park to have Rush-themed concert hall
10:17AM EST | link | comments (39) |

Decades Music Theme Park is a new rock-and-roll-themed amusement park that is being built in Eloy, Arizona starting in 2010. It's currently still in the planning stages and their target date to open is in the Fall of 2013. The park will feature interconnected Lands and Districts that represent each decade of rock music with interactive thrill rides, live music and other attractions. One of the planned attractions is the Spirit of the Radio Concert Hall. From the website:

Modeled from the Rush album cover art "Spirit of the Radio", this venue will be a more intimate indoor music theater. It will include 2,000 seats and serve as a regular space for tribute band performances, battle of the band competitions, a "New Artists' Exposure Series" and bands with smaller audience draws. We also hope to lure the VH1 Music Awards to host their annual event at this site on a rotating basis.

Very cool. Hopefully they'll figure out that the song is actually titled The Spirit of Radio and not Spirit of the Radio before they start building it. :) Thanks to reader 7/8 for the heads up.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Neil Peart in Modern Drummer 2009 reader's poll results
12:39PM EST | link | comments (42) |

July 2009 Modern DrummerThe July 2009 issue of Modern Drummer magazine contains the results of their 2009 reader's poll. Neil Peart came in second in the Best Rock Drummer category and third in the Best Progressive Rock Drummer category. The issue will hit newsstands on June 2nd. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Alex Lifeson describes playing with The Tragically Hip
10:01PM EST | link | comments (15) |

[Alex and ... The Tragically Hip]

Last Tuesday evening Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip closed out a 6 night stand at Massey Hall in Toronto and celebrated by bringing out Alex Lifeson as a guest guitarist for their 2-song encore. You can check out a great video of the appearance along with all the details in this post. For those of you signed up for Rush Mobile, a link was sent out to members today which points to a page on Rush.com where you can read a short article written by Alex Lifeson which describes the experience from his perspective as well as detailing how it came to be. You can check it out here. Thanks to Sean for the heads up.

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2008 Buddy Rich Memorial Concert DVD now available
5:06PM EST | link | comments (7) |

The 2008 Buddy Rich Memorial Concert DVD is now available for purchase online just as the Drum Channel had promised earlier this month. The 3-DVD set retails for $39.95 and includes over two hours of concert footage plus nearly two hours of rehearsal and backstage footage. You can purchase your copy via the Drum Channel website or through Amazon.com. The concert took place last October 18th at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City and included performances from Neil Peart, Nick Rich with the Buddy Rich Band, John Blackwell, Terry Bozio, Chad Smith, Jeff Berlin, Will Lee, Tommy Igoe and a surprise appearance from Peter Erskine. You can read a complete recap in this post. The show was streamed live on the Drum Channel website and released for viewing on demand in 3 parts earlier this year.

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New contest at the Rush Backstage Club
12:47PM EST | link | comments (24) |

Signed Roll The Bones tourbook[Win a Signed Roll The Bones Tourbook!!!!]

The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win an autographed Roll The Bones tourbook signed by all three members of Rush. The contest ends on June 8th and you can sign up to enter at this link.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Alex Lifeson out on the town with Sammy Hagar and Chad Smith
10:18AM EST | link | comments (66) |

UPDATE - 5/25@6:20PM: ... And here's a video where Sammy Hagar briefly talks about hanging out in Toronto with Alex and being hungover. He addresses Alex who is backstage (thanks questrider).

----- snip -----

According to JAM! Showbiz, Alex Lifeson was in attendance at the sold out Chickenfoot show last night at The Mod Club Theatre in Toronto. Chickenfoot is the recently-formed supergroup consisting of vocalist Sammy Hagar (Van Halen), bassist Michael Anthony (Van Halen), guitarist Joe Satriani and drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers). From the article:

... in attendance seemed to be Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson who had taken Hagar and Smith out on the town on Saturday night and was still paying for it on Sunday night according to Sammy who kept addressing him offstage.

It sounds like Lerxst is having a fun-filled weekend. Reader Andrew W backs up this story as he reports sighting Alex in the Yorkville area of Toronto Saturday night having dinner on the patio of the Hazelton Hotel with Hagar and Smith. Here's a bootleg video of Chickenfoot's opening number last night.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:49AM EST | link | comments (35) |

UPDATE - 5/23@12:17AM: The RushCon 9 tribute band has been announced - as I'd mentioned below. Limelight will perform at their 3rd RushCon (they also played at RushCon 4 and 7) on Saturday, July 25th at C'est What in downtown Toronto. The show is free for RushCon attendees and open to the public for a $10 CND cover charge.

I also had meant to mention that 2112, the UK's premier Rush tribute band will play at The Moses Gate in Bolton this coming Sunday the 24th of May. Check out their website for details.

----- snip -----

The two big Rush news items of the past week were Alex and Geddy's hour-long interview for CBC Radio's Q on Wednesday along with Alex Lifeson's surprise guest appearance at the Tragically Hip's Tuesday night show at Massey Hall in Toronto. We also had two pieces of Rock Band Rush news to report, a Bubba's Book Club update from Neil Peart and a new book from Rock journalist and author Greg Prato titled No Schlock...Just Rock! which features an article titled The Stories Behind the Song: The Spirit of Radio, Rush.

On Tuesday evening Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip closed out a 6 night stand at Massey Hall in Toronto and celebrated by bringing out Alex Lifeson as a guest guitarist for their 2-song encore. You can check out a great video of the appearance along with all the details in this post.

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee were guests on CBC Radio's Q with Jian Ghomeshi Wednesday morning. The hour-long interview was very loose and entertaining, but we didn't really get any new information or hints at any future plans for Rush. You can download the entire interview at this link or listen to it using the player below.

Rock Band Classic Rock Track PackThis past Tuesday Harmonix Music Systems - makers of the popular Rock Band video game - released their Classic Rock Track Pack version of the game, which includes 2 Rush tracks; Closer to the Heart and Red Barchetta. And yesterday I let you know that Rock Band Unplugged releases this coming June 9th and will also feature a Rush track; namely The Trees which was also featured on Rock Band 2.

Michael at NeilPeartDrumsticks.com posted photos of the new Neil Peart Drumsticks for 2009 earlier this week. You can check them out here.

Registration for RatCon 2009 has been extended to next Tuesday, May 26th and the organizers have now given attendees the option for a special Saturday-only admission price of $75. You can check out all the details on the RatCon website.

According to the RushCon Twitter page The RushCon tribute band will be publicly announced sometime today. RushCon will take place the weekend of July 24th. You can get all the details at the RushCon website.

Speaking of Twitter, reader DeWayne H let me know that cyclist Lance Armstrong has an official Twitter page and posted the following message earlier this morning:

Beautiful morning here in Italy. Flat(ter) day today in the Giro. Chillin' in my room, Rush on the ipod.

Lance has good taste in music. Have you checked out RIAB on twitter yet? You can follow my updates at this link.

In last week's update I let you in on the weird piece of news that Neil Peart's drumkit was in an Awesome-Off over at Awesome-Off.com against a ... bookmobile. I'm happy to report that the drumkit won and also went on to win an Awesome-off against a Coracle as well. But unfortunately the drumkit then went on to lose the Awesome-off versus James T. Kirk of Star Trek. :)

Reader Warren C pointed me to this article over at The Onion's AV Club where Lord Grunge of Canadian rap duo Grand Buffet is interviewed. They chose 12 random songs from Lord Grunge's rock iPod playlist and Rush's The Trees popped up at numero uno. Here's an excerpt of what he had to say about it:

A big hit by maybe my favorite band of all time. It's off the Hemispheres LP, of which I'm a huge fan. Rush is one of the first bands I actually started following as a band, like when I was 10 or 11. My older brother turned me on to them, and it might be the only band I just liked right away. Upon hearing them for the first time, I thought they were amazing. I know there's kind of a resurgence now; a lot of hipsters pretend to like Rush. I'm a diehard fan. I've seen them 14 times in concert. I don't f**k around when it comes to Rush. ...

Cool. To read everything he had to say, check out the article at this link.

I have a few more old Rush magazine scans to share with you. This batch is from a July 1981 issue of Circus magazine. Thanks to RushFanForever for locating these.

Reader Phil Simon has just released his first book: Why New Systems Fail: Theory and Practice Collide. While the subject matter is not directly Rush-related, Phil intersperses Rush references throughout the book. Phil also alerted me to sportswriter John Feinstein's new book titled Are You Kidding Me: The Story of Rocco Mediate's Extraordinary Battle with Tiger Woods at the US Open. On page 46 Feinstein details how Mediate and fellow golfer Lee Janzen bonded over Rush. Rocco Mediate is also good friends with Alex Lifeson.

Reader RushFanForever let me know that Geddy Lee was spotted at another Blue Jays game earlier this week. You can check out a photo at this location.

And rushisaband.com has made the big time; the site gets a mention in the urban dictionary definition of rush head. Thanks to twilightzone for the heads up.

Here's the video of Alex Lifeson performing with the Tragically Hip Tuesday night:

Have a great Memorial Day weekend everybody!

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Neil Peart's recommended reading updated
1:11PM EST | link | comments (14) |

[Bubba's Book Club: ISSUE 13 - June, 2009]

Neil Peart recently updated the Bubba's Book Club section of his website where he reviews and recommends books that he's been reading. In this - his 13th installment since the launch of his site - Neil reviews the following books: Birdwatcher: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson by Elizabeth J. Rosenthal, Bill Bruford: The Autobiography by Bill Bruford, Fool by Christopher Moore, The Architects Are Here by Michael Winter, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Thanks to lilvictory for the heads up.

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Rush's The Trees featured on Rock Band Unplugged for the PSP
12:18PM EST | link | comments (3) |

Earlier this week Harmonix Music Systems - makers of the popular Rock Band video game - released their Classic Rock Track Pack version of the game, which includes 2 Rush tracks; Closer to the Heart and Red Barchetta. Their next big release - Rock Band Unplugged - will also feature a Rush track; namely The Trees which was also featured on Rock Band 2. Rock Band Unplugged will be released on June 9th and is a portable version of the game for the Sony PSP. To find out more about the game go to this link, and you can pre-order a copy at this link.

Related Posts:
[Rock Band Classic Rock Track Pack featuring Rush released today]
[Moving Pictures released for Rock Band]
[Moving Pictures download release for Rock Band delayed]
[Rush and Rock Band update; Moving Pictures released next week, The Trees vault edition for Rock Band 2]
[Rush plays Rock Band!]
[Rush and Rock Band news updates]
[Rush + Rock Band online sweepstakes]
[The Trees rumored for Rock Band 2]
[Working Man, Closer to the Heart master tracks for Rock Band]
[Rock Band: Moving Pictures to be made available for download]

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Alex Lifeson guest appearance at Tragically Hip show
9:43AM EST | link | comments (48) |

UPDATE - 5/26@7:01PM: For those of you signed up for Rush Mobile, a link was sent out to users recently which directs you to a page on Rush.com where you can read a little write-up by Alex Lifeson detailing his experience playing with The Tragically Hip. For those of you not signed up you the link is here. Thanks to Sean for the heads up.

UPDATE - 5/21@7:29AM: Here's a much better quality video (thanks Chris K for uploading it to his YouTube channel and RushFanForever for the heads up):

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 5/20@11:15PM: Here's another video (thanks RushFanForever).

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 5/20@4:42PM: Reader RushFanForever sent in this grainy video of the encore, along with this ChartAttack.com link of some photos from the show including one of Alex Lifeson.

UPDATE - 5/20@3:12PM: Here's an image of Alex from the show. Thanks to reader Andrew S for the heads up and to Chris Kirkpatrick at Flickr for the photo.

----- snip -----

Canadian rockers The Tragically Hip closed out a 6 night stand at Massey Hall in Toronto last night and celebrated by bringing out a very special guest for their 2-song encore. Alex Lifeson came out and performed with the band on The Last Recluse off of We Are The Same and Little Bones from Road Apples. He played the solo on Little Bones. The Tragically Hip are big fans of Rush (and vice versa). They opened for them once on the Roll The Bones tour at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto and also have covered Limelight. If anyone has any pictures or video from the show, please let me know. Many thanks to Toronto2112 and Andrew W - both of whom were at the show - for the heads up.

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Rush guest appearance on CBC Radio's Q today
9:16AM EST | link | comments (16) |

UPDATE - 5/20@2:41PM: ... and here's the podcast link (thanks ShrimpCot_1). You can also listen using the player below:

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 5/20@1:30PM: You can listen to the entire interview online at this link (thanks AFarCryfromFBN).

UPDATE - 5/20@10:31AM: It looks like this interview was pre-taped. Depending on where/how you listen to it it may have aired already or it may be airing right now. You can listen in live to CBC Radio 1 at this link; just click on one of the location links on the right of the page (thanks ghostrider_vapor). If you click on the Toronto link, the interview began at 10AM and you can listen to it in progress. Reader Ricbass4003 already heard the entire interview and reported that it was a good/funny interview but no new information was revealed.

Just a reminder that Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee will be guests on CBC Radio's Q with Jian Ghomeshi this morning. The show started at 9AM but Alex and Geddy are just scheduled to appear from 10:30AM to 11:30AM according to Rush.com. The program can be heard on CBC Radio One (Channel 137 on Sirius Satellite Radio). The podcast of the show should be up later today and there's also a YouTube channel where they post videos of their interviews a week or so after they air. If you get a chance to listen in, please give us your report in the comments.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rock Band Classic Rock Track Pack featuring Rush released today
4:49PM EST | link | comments (19) |

Rock Band Classic Rock Track PackHarmonix Music Systems - makers of the popular Rock Band video game - just released their Classic Rock Track Pack version of the game today, which includes 2 Rush tracks; Closer to the Heart and Red Barchetta. Rush songs have been prevalent on just about every release of the game including the original Rock Band which included Tom Sawyer and Rock Band 2 which included The Trees. They've also released several standalone tracks for download and the entire Moving Pictures album. The Rock Band Classic Rock Track Pack is a standalone game, meaning that players do not need to own a standard copy of a Rock Band game to play it. It includes all the great features of Rock Band such as Solo and Band Tour Mode, Quickplay, Tug of War, Score Dual, and song unlock progression. You can order a copy at this link.

Related Posts:
[Moving Pictures released for Rock Band]
[Moving Pictures download release for Rock Band delayed]
[Rush and Rock Band update; Moving Pictures released next week, The Trees vault edition for Rock Band 2]
[Rush plays Rock Band!]
[Rush and Rock Band news updates]
[Rush + Rock Band online sweepstakes]
[The Trees rumored for Rock Band 2]
[Working Man, Closer to the Heart master tracks for Rock Band]
[Rock Band: Moving Pictures to be made available for download]

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Rush featured in new book No Schlock ... Just Rock!
1:48PM EST | link | comments (59) |

No Schlock ... Just RockRock journalist and author Greg Prato has just released a new book titled No Schlock...Just Rock! which collects his various magazine writings from 2003-2008. From the publisher's description:

Before he was the author of such books as A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon, Touched By Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story, and Grunge is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, Greg Prato was a writer for such respected UK-based publications as Classic Rock, Guitarist, Metal Hammer, and Record Collector. 'No Schlock...Just Rock!' collects most of Greg's writing for these mags between a five-year span (2003-2008), with the focus on the crème de la crème of classic rock, heavy metal, and punk/alt-rock. Included are features that explore the entire careers of Faith No More, Soundgarden, Bad Brains, Meat Puppets, The Cars, The Raspberries, and GG Allin, as well as additional interviews/articles on the Ramones, Cheap Trick, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Jethro Tull, Rush, King Crimson, Steely Dan, William Shatner, and Run-DMC (among many others), plus the 3 articles that later led to Greg's Melon, Bolin, and Grunge books.

Included in the Classic Rock section of the book is an article titled The Stories Behind the Song: The Spirit of Radio, Rush. To find out more about the book and to order a copy go to this link. Alex Lifeson is one of the three artists pictured on the cover. You may remember Greg Prato from his December interview with Alex Lifeson at UGO.com. Thanks to Blabbermouth for the heads up.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:09AM EST | link | comments (74) |

We are definitely in a quiet period for Rush news. Hopefully the band's upcoming May 20th interview on CBC Radio's Q next week will give us some insight into Rush's plans for the remainder of the year, and a better idea of when to expect another album/tour.

Speaking of Q, reader RushFanForever noted this January Q interview with the Trailer Park Boys from Q's Q TV YouTube site. Rush gets a mention at around the 13:30 and 17:30 marks. You can watch it here.

According to an advertisement in the June 2009 issue of DRUM! Magazine (the Neil Peart issue), Alfred Music Publishing will be releasing an Ultimate Drum Play-Along book/cd for Rush to complement its Rush Bass Play-Along and Guitar Play-Along book/cds. There's no word on an exact release date yet; just that it will be Coming Soon.

While on the subject of transcriptions, one thing about Rush fans that has always amazed me is the fact that so many of them are musicians themselves. Now since there's not much else going on in Rush-land of late, I thought for my next poll I'd ask everyone what - if any - instrument they play. Take the Poll and let us know; check all that apply. In my last poll I asked everyone for their favorite song off of Grace Under Pressure and the resounding winner with over 31% was Between The Wheels. Red Sector A came in second with 15%. You can see the complete results here.

Today is the last day to vote for DRUM! Magazine's 2009 Drummie Awards. You can go vote for Neil Peart at this link. Neil Peart has won the Drummer of the Year award the past 2 years running as well as numerous other awards. I also highly suggest that you write-in NeilPeartDrumsticks.com as the best drummer website for question #15. Owner/operator Michael does a great job with the site and was the driving force behind promoting the signed Neil Peart DW drum head charity auction earlier this year.

The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win a limited edition (numbered 37/88) Fly By Night lithograph from the July 4th Snakes & Arrows tour Darien Lake show. The contest ends on May 25th and you can sign up to enter at this link.

Jared Max is the sportscaster and sports director at WCBS NewsRadio 880 in New York who also happens to be a huge Rush fan and RIAB reader. Jared noticed yesterday morning that the New York Daily News had printed two editions with the same photo on its back page. The Sports Final edition had the headline Kid Gloves and the City Final edition Take Off, Eh?. He worked this into his newscast yesterday and provided us with an mp3 which you can listen to using the player below.

While on the subject of sports, it's the time of the baseball season when most MLB teams have played at least 33 games. See where I'm going with this? As many of you pointed out, as of this past weekend Geddy Lee's Toronto Blue Jays had a record of 21-12 (they're now at 23-14) and the Boston Red Sox are close on their heels; as of Wednesday their record was 21-12 as well (it's 21-14 now).

RushCon 9 takes place the weekend of July 24th in Toronto. The organizers have put out the official press release which you can check out here. Thanks to RushFanForever for the link.

Which is more awesome? Neil Peart's drumkit or a ... bookmobile? Yes - you read that right. Neil Peart's drumkit is currently in an Awesome-Off over at Awesome-Off.com against a bookmobile. To vote for Neil's kit go to this link. Thanks to Ivana for the heads up. WTF? :)

Readers starman.2112 and dadof4 both informed me of a Rush reference on this past Sunday's episode of America's Funniest Home Vidoes. They did a segment called Main Street Canada and one of the segments depicted a man being pulled on a practice dog sled. While playing the video the over-dubbed voice said This hoser's in a hurry to get to the Rush concert or words to that effect.

Rush's Power Windows made Smashing Magazine's list of 100 Obscure and Remarkable CD Covers. Thanks to BigKev for the heads up.

The June 2009 issue of Toronto Life Magazine features a cover story titled 50 Reasons to Love Toronto. One of the reasons they give is the following:

Because an antediluvian PROG-ROCK BAND from Willowdale upstaged Stephen Colbert

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

SaveFans.com recently posted a list of the Top 10 Canadian Musicians of All Time and topping the list at #1 was Rush. Thanks to figerade for the heads up.

The newsdurhamregion.com website has been counting down the their list of the Top 10 Canadian Songs over the last few weeks. They're currently at #3 and so far only Rush's YYZ has made the list at #8. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

Reader Karl S stumbled across the video for Dead End Countdown from the Quebec-based band The New Cities and noted that the guitarist Christian Bergeron was playing an Alex Lifeson signature Gibson ES-355. You can check out a screenshot by clicking on the thumbnail. Good eye!

Reader Rocinante located this cool YYZ Toronto cap which you can order from Red Canoe National Heritage Brands.

Entre Nous sent me this image of a Rush Lane street sign in Rose Lodge, Oregon on Highway 18.

Here's a cover of Limelight on piano with some beautiful vocals (thanks Sean).

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rush drum transcription book coming soon from Alfred Publishing
6:46AM EST | link | comments (22) |

According to an advertisement in the June 2009 issue of DRUM! Magazine (the Neil Peart issue), Alfred Music Publishing will be releasing an Ultimate Drum Play-Along book/cd for Rush to complement its Rush Bass Play-Along and Guitar Play-Along book/cds. There's no word on an exact release date yet; just that it will be Coming Soon. Also available from Alfred Publishing are both a Moving Pictures drum transcription and the recently-released 2112 drum transcription books.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

DRUM! Magazine 2009 Drummie Awards reminder
8:38AM EST | link | comments (15) |

As I'd mentioned last month, DRUM! Magazine is currently taking votes for it's 2009 Drummie Awards. You can go vote for Neil Peart at this link. Voting closes this Friday so make sure to place your vote before then. Neil Peart has won the Drummer of the Year award the past 2 years running as well as numerous other awards. I also highly suggest that you write-in NeilPeartDrumsticks.com as the best drummer website for question #15. Owner/operator Michael does a great job with the site and was the driving force behind promoting the signed Neil Peart DW drum head charity auction earlier this year.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New contest at the Rush Backstage Club
10:51AM EST | link | comments (30) |

[Win a RUSH Fly By Night litho!]

The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win a limited edition (numbered 37/88) Fly By Night lithograph from the July 4th Snakes & Arrows tour Darien Lake show. The contest ends on May 25th and you can sign up to enter at this link. I'd also like to congratulate RIAB reader Ricbass4003 who won the autographed copy of Snakes & Arrows from the last contest.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rush guest appearance on CBC Radio's Q May 20th
10:03PM EST | link | comments (27) |

Last week I let you know that Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee would be guests on CBC Radio's Q with Jian Ghomeshi but wasn't clear regarding the exact date. This Friday Rush.com confirmed that the appearance will take place on Wednesday May 20th from 10:30AM to 11:30AM. The program can be heard on CBC Radio One (Channel 137 on Sirius Satellite Radio). The show also has a YouTube channel where they post videos of their interviews a week or so after they air.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:00AM EST | link | comments (59) |

It was another relatively quiet week for Rush news, but a fairly busy week for Neil Peart news. On May 18th his big DRUM! Magazine cover feature hits newsstands (it's already been sent out to some subscribers), later this month the 2008 Buddy Rich Memorial Concert DVD will be released, and on June 18th he will be participating in a live video chat on the Drum Channel.

In the DRUM! Magazine feature Neil answers questions from 12 lucky fans including THREE RIAB members; Spindrifter, barboy2112 and DrummerDad2112. How cool is that!? You can check out the complete list of participants along with their questions in this post.

2008 Buddy Rich Memorial Concert DVDThe 2008 Buddy Rich Memorial Concert DVD is a 3-DVD set that will retail for $39.95 and include over two hours of concert footage plus nearly two hours of rehearsal and backstage footage. According to a mailing sent out by the Drum Channel it will released by the end of the month although Neil Peart's website is advertising it as coming out May 15th. Neil's site also has his rendition of Love For Sale from the concert available for listening (thanks mr soul).

On Thursday June 18th at 3PM EST Neil Peart along with special guests Doane Perry (Jethro Tull) and Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa) will be appearing on the Drum Channel to answer questions and talk about progressive rock drumming. You'll be able to ask your questions live in the Drum Channel chat room, or email them in advance to info@drumchannel.com. Stay tuned to the Drum Channel website for details.

While on the subject of the Drum Channel, reader RushFanForever pointed me to episode 6 of the Chad Smith Show that ran on the channel back in January. In this episode Chad Smith, Taylor Hawkins, Terry Bozzio, Stephen Perkins, and Gary Novak watch clips of drumming greats while discussing their lasting influence on the world of drumming. The program runs about 17 minutes and from the 10:30 point on the discussion focuses on Neil Peart. You can watch it at this link.

Speaking of Neil Peart, here are some scans of an old Modern Drummer interview with Neil from January of 1986 courtesy reader Kevin B. You can check out the scans by clicking on the thumbnails above.

Andrew Olson has posted three new drum kits to his Replicas and drum kits inspired by Neil Peart page at his Neil Peart fan site. Included are Graham Clarke's Yamaha kit for the tribute band 2112, Christopher Stewart's Mapex kit and Russ Hoffmaster's Slingerland and DW kits.

Reader Lamb Saag recently dug up an old postcard he'd received from Neil Peart back in 1985. He thought he'd lost it but luckily for us he found it. You can check it out by clicking on the thumbnails.

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee will be guests on CBC Radio's Q with Jian Ghomeshi on Wednesday, May 20th. The exact date had been a bit fuzzy but apparently Jian announced this today.

Eric Peterson of thrash metal band Testament recently was interviewed for Vancouver's straight.com and had this to say when asked about his influences:

... I still go back and revisit a lot of that stuff," he explains of his fondness for '70s rock. "The Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush records, the early Rush stuff like Hemispheres-Alex Lifeson's amazing on that. ...

Original Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick and bassist Greg Christian rejoined the band to record last year's The Formation of Damnation - their first release in over a decade. You may recall that Alex Skolnick's side project the Alex Skolnick Trio recorded a jazzed up version of Tom Sawyer a couple of years ago.

LanceTheShred sent me this picture of an apartment building in Washington DC with a very cool address.

There's a Rush-related charity auction going on at eBay for one of the signed Retrospective 3 lithographs. The auction is to benefit the BikeforMike charity campaign, which aims to raise $50,000 for the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. To check out the item and make your bid go to this link. Thanks to Skip Daly for the info.

The long-anticipated Kyle Newman film Fanboys finally released last month and will be available on DVD May 19th. The film follows a group of Star Wars-loving geeks in 1998 who travel cross country so that their dying friend's dream of watching Star Wars: The Phantom Menace at Skywalker Ranch before its release can come true (trailer here). One of the main characters - Hutch - is a huge Rush fan and spends most of the film in a Rush t-shirt as depicted in this photo. He also only allows Rush music to be played in his van. Tom Sawyer and Limelight are included in the film's soundtrack. Thanks to Brett M for the heads up.

Reader DigitalMan745 let me know that Alex Lifeson is pictured alongside Rik Emmett in the latest issue of Guitar World magazine in an article titled Schools of Rock. The article mentions Alex's involvement with Guitar Workshop Plus in Toronto.

Reader RushFanForever alerted me to this piece in Canada's National Post which mentions that Geddy Lee was spotted recently at Nota Bene restaurant on Queen Street in Toronto.

RatCon 2009RatCon 2009 is only 5 weeks away! There's still time to register if you haven't already; the deadline is May 22nd. The organizers have posted a new introductory video from LanceTheShred on the RatCon website.

Rush gets a mention in this Entertainment Weekly article titled Embarrassing albums: What are your most shameful musical secrets?. Thanks to Kelly D for the link.

Singer/songwriter Juliana Hatfield recently posted an old setlist from her highschool cover band The Squids to her MySpace page. Included on the setlist are Rush's Spirit of Radio (#12) and Broon's Bane (#40). You can check it out by clicking on the thumbnails. Thanks to Echoes at The Rush Forum for the heads up.

I'll leave you this week with this YouTube audio of Audioslave performing a cover of Rush's Working Man from a few years back (thanks to jess for the link). It's from the bootleg album Covers & Rare.

Have a great weekend everybody!

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Neil Peart June 2009 DRUM! Magazine cover feature details
11:12PM EST | link | comments (14) |

Back in February I mentioned that Neil Peart had agreed to answer questions from DRUM! Magazine readers for a cover feature in their June 2009 issue. The email campaign ended on March 15th and the magazine ended up receiving over 1000 responses! Several subscribers started receiving their copies in the mail today and thanks to Michael at NeilPeartDrumsticks.com and Echo at the Counterparts messageboard we have a list of the questions Neil answered along with the fans who posted them - no answers though (you'll have to buy the magazine for those). Two Three of the lucky 12 fans who had their questions answered are RIAB members Spindrifter, DrummerDad2112, and barboy2112; and one of them is Jason Bittner, drummer for metal band Shadows Fall. Here's the list:

1) What is your favorite live solo

Michael S. Conley of Sugar Hill, Georgia

2) I have read a number of interviews where you mention that when you get new cymbals you don't use them on stage. You have your drum tech put them on your practice set until they are "broken in." I'm not sure I have ever really understood this.

Jeff Kolln of Yelm, Washington

3) How often do you practice and for how long? Is it simply just the "warm up" sd we've seen on [the DVD] A Work In Progress, or do you warm up and move on to something else?

Kalman Kopcsandy of Oreland, Pennsylvania

4) As diverse a drummer as you have become, are there still techniques that other drummers employ that continue to elude your abilities? Or can you master anything you've heard or seen within ten minutes of attempting it yourself?

David Gostin of New Woodstock, New York

5) After watching Rush's latest video Snakes and Aarows live, I've become aware more than ever your use of electronic triggering on stage. Do you ever feel like a slave to technology?

Mike Douglas of Dallas, Texas

6) During the Grace Under Pressure tour, back in 1984, I heard you say that "Tom Sawyer will always be the hardest song for me to play." Twenty five years later is it still the hardest song for you to play?

Gary Boothe of Keller, Texas

7) You're known for changing your drum kit prior to each album tour. Have you ever made an attempt to go back to a much earlier setup just to see what might be the result in your playing style?

Ed Dobbins of Baltimore, Maryland

8) What do you do with your drum kits that you used during past tours?

Mike Fisher of St. Johns, Canada

9) My question is in regards to your rationale behind lowering your throne height over the last five years. Have you noticed greater ease playing, or any accompanying back problems commonly associated with lower throne height?

Jason Jecman of Lisle, Illinois

10) Why is the second solo missing from Natural Science when played live?

Will Holt pf Hampton, Virginia

11) Had you been given the chance to meet Buddy Rich or Gene Krupa, what would you have talked to them about?

Douglas Whelan of Puyallup, Washington

12) When I saw the Test For Echo tour multiple times, there was a point on one leg where I saw you playing with an elbow brace on. What was going on exactly at that time? How did you overcome injury while still managing to kick serious butt for more than three hours a night?

Jason Bittner drummer for Shadows Fall

The issue is due to hit newsstands on May 18th.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

2008 Buddy Rich Memorial Concert DVD available by end of May
10:35AM EST | link | comments (104) |

2008 Buddy Rich Memorial Concert DVDThe 2008 Buddy Rich Memorial Concert took place last October 18th at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. The event included performances from Neil Peart, Nick Rich with the Buddy Rich Band, John Blackwell, Terry Bozio, Chad Smith, Jeff Berlin, Will Lee, Tommy Igoe and a surprise appearance from Peter Erskine. You can read a complete recap in this post. The concert was streamed live on the Drum Channel website and released for viewing on demand in 3 parts earlier this year. They just announced via the Drum Channel newsletter that the DVD will be released sometime later this month. The 3-DVD set will retail for $39.95 and include over two hours of concert footage plus nearly two hours of rehearsal and backstage footage. If you'd like to be notified via email when the DVD is available for sale in the Drum Channel store go to this link. Thanks to Joe for the heads up.

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Neil Peart live video chat on the Drum Channel next month
7:53AM EST | link | comments (12) |

On Thursday June 18th at 9PM EST Neil Peart along with special guests Doane Perry (Jethro Tull) and Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa) will be appearing on the Drum Channel to answer questions and talk about progressive rock drumming. You'll be able to ask your questions live in the Drum Channel chat room, or email them in advance to info@drumchannel.com. Stay tuned to the Drum Channel website for details. Thanks to Kubla Ken for the heads up.

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rush to guest on CBC Radio's Q next week this month
8:37AM EST | link | comments (27) |

UPDATE - 5/8@10:57AM: Reader waldo666 tells me that Jian mentioned on the show today that Rush will be on May 20th.

UPDATE - 5/5@8:00AM: Reader edgy now reports that the interview will take place sometime later this month on May 21st or thereabouts.

UPDATE - 5/4@9:26AM: FYI: The show just released their schedule for this week and Rush is not on it, so they may not be appearing until next week.

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee will be guests on CBC Radio's Q with Jian Ghomeshi sometime next week. The program airs weekdays at 10AM on CBC Radio One (Channel 137 on Sirius Satellite Radio). It's not clear exactly which day they'll appear but the host Jian has been mentioning it regularly and they are listed on their website on the list of guests Coming Up. The band has never appeared on the show so it is assumed that this will be a new interview. I should also mention that the show has a YouTube channel where they post videos of their interviews a week or so after they air. More info as I learn it. Many thanks to waldo666 for the heads up.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:36AM EST | link | comments (32) |

This past week was a relatively quiet one for Rush news. We learned of a couple of new contests; one at the Rush Backstage Club and one at the Rush Mobile store. The Rush 35th anniversary interview special on In The Studio with Redbeard was posted online late Sunday. You can listen to it here. Seattle-based rockers Candlebox were guests on the syndicated radio talk show Bubba the Love Sponge last week and declared Rush the coolest band to tour with. You can listen to the interview snippet in this post. On Wednesday I posted an extended video clip of Rush's I Love You Man cameo. This clip includes the entire performance of Limelight and runs over 4 minutes. Watch it here.

A couple of months ago I let you know that the first episode of the Rush road crew documentary Backstage Secrets had been uploaded to YouTube in 6 parts. I'd first mentioned that Whistlestop Productions was putting this 5-part documentary together back in December of 2007. The series follows various members of the Rush road crew during a typical day out on the road with the band. It was shot in High Definition and Dolby 5.1 surround audio during the 2007 Canadian leg of the Snakes & Arrows tour and first aired on RUSH HD in Canada last May. Reader RushFanForever recently alerted me to this news item related to the documentary that was posted on Classic Rock Revisited last week.

GEDDY LEE GAVE CREW CARTE BLANCHE FOR DOC

From VH1 Radio's Dave Basner:

When Rush was out on their 2007 Snakes & Arrows tour, some members of their crew decided to film aspects of the trek. That footage has since been edited together into a documentary called Backstage Secrets. Singer Geddy Lee told us once the band approved the film, it was all in the hands of their techs to do as they wanted with the project.

"I left it totally up to the crew. When they approached us about it, I said, 'It's not about me, it's about my guys.' So I said to the guys, 'Look, these guys want to do this kind of show, here's what they've done in the past, totally, 100 percent your decision, yes or no.' And I just left them to it and they decided to go ahead with it. I look at it like their movie, not mine, it had nothing to do with me."

You can see clips from the five-part, five-hour long film on YouTube by searching for "Rush Concert Tech Documentary."

I mentioned a couple weeks ago the sad news that Geddy's father-in-law John McCowan Young passed away recently at the age of 90. Mr. Young was the father of both Geddy's wife Nancy and former Rush member Lindy Young. You can now read the obituary online at this link. Thanks to RushFanForever for the link.

In another bit of sad news, Southern California Deputy Sheriff Robert "Bobby" Corrales died Thursday, April 23 at UCLA Medical Center following a long battle with acute myloid leukemia at the age of 57. You may recall that several weeks ago Neil Peart had donated a signed DW drum head to a charity auction to benefit Corrales. Our condolences to Mr. Corrales's family and friends.

Broken Social Scene are a Canadian indie rock band that are the subject of the biography This Book is Broken which releases today. A few years ago the band released a video for their song Fire Eye'd Boy which featured a cameo from Geddy Lee. The book contains a behind-the-scenes photo of Geddy with the band which you can check out here. Thanks to ghost__rider for the scan.

The Philadelphia Spectrum has been a major concert stadium since the late 60's and has played host to Rush a total of 17 times. The venue is being torn down next month and they have just released a commemorative book detailing its history titled God Bless the Spectrum: America's Showplace in Philadelphia, 1967-2009. On page 125 of the book is a picture of Geddy Lee with the caption, Geddy Lee of the band Rush who has played the Spectrum 17 times. Thanks to Doug B - who has seen every one of those 17 shows - for the heads up.

Reader Scott G recently uncovered an interview with Rush producer (Power Windows, Hold Your Fire) Peter Collins from Sound on Sound magazine, March 2002 where he discusses working with Rush. Here's an excerpt:

... Although he's had considerable success with singer-songwriters such as [Marti] Pellow, [Nanci] Griffith and Jewel, Peter Collins' track record is such that he is perhaps most in demand as a producer of rock music. His American career was built on the highly technical, sophisticated prog-rock nouveau of Rush and Queensryche, and despite his enthusiasm for working with 'real musicians', it was for his expertise in the technological side of production that Rush picked him: "When I first worked with them, they wanted to be involved with the technological breakthroughs that were happening in England at the time, the Trevor Horn sound that he'd achieved with Yes and Frankie and those sort of bands. So I was able to help them move into that area, and be a foil, a sounding-board for Neil Peart on the drums and push him into different areas. When I first got involved, Alex Lifeson had this horrible mismatched guitar pedalboard, which needed a lot of work -- or, rather, lot of work had been done to it, and that was the problem. It was just a question of coming in fresh, and getting them to change some things they'd always done. If there's somebody to say to them 'Guys, I think that section could be better, it could be more exciting, or it could be more laid-back,' or whatever, they like that. They like to be challenged.

"In the case of Rush, they strive to be better with every record, they strive to progress with every record. AC/DC strive to sound exactly as they did on their first record on their 14th record, and that's their strength, but Rush want to be different on every record and to progress. As human beings, that's the way they are, they're very interesting people, and they need continual intellectual and musical stimulation." ...

One of the guitarists for the metal band Into Eternity wears a Snakes & Arrows tour t-shirt in their new Time Immemorial music video. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up and the screengrab.

Power Windows also reported on a Rush reference from Rifftrax.com, a website produced by the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 which creates downloadable audio commentaries to play over movies. During the Rifftrax for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, released April 14th, when Luke crash lands on Daghobah and R2D2 is navigating his way out of the swamp, Mike remarks that's more stage fog than a rush concert.

Reader afansince74 let me know of a Rush reference on a recent episode of The Bob and Tom show on WGN America. They had comedian Jimmy Pardo on as a guest and he was doing some "air bass" - a bit he often does for the show. He usually plays along to the 70s band Redbone, but this time they played the opening to Bastille Day to trip him up. He of course had trouble playing along, citing that it was to complex. :)

The Grand is an improvisational comedy film released in 2007 that used a handful of actors playing characters competing in an actual poker tournament. In one scene Chris Parnell's character goes into a deep philosophical speech about his intellectual approach to playing poker and the guy next to him (played by David Cross) simply says, Is that Rush?. You can check out a video clip of this scene at this link (thanks Sean A).

In the old Rush article department I have a July 1984 interview with Alex Lifeson from Guitar for the Practicing Musician. You can check it out by clicking on the thumbnails. Thanks to Kevin B for the scans.

I also have a scan of a 1980 Rush article from Circus magazine. The scans are a bit small and hard to read so you might need your magnifying glass. Thanks to MCM at The Rush Forum for the scans and RushFanForever for the heads up. Just click on the thumbnails to view the scans.

I've known about virtual Rush tribute band Virtually Rush for a while now but had kept forgetting to mention them until reader Liverpool 78 gave me a nudge recently. The band consists of 4 musicians from different countries who come together virtually to play Rush songs and post the videos to YouTube. Here's their very impressive version of Between the Wheels. You can check out all their vids at this link.

Happy May Day and have a great weekend!

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