Speaking of a Rush tour, I've been hearing rumblings (that's one level below rumors, so beware) that Rush may be entering the studio this fall. And if that's true, it would not be out of the question that we could see a new Rush album by Spring and a tour next Summer. One piece of information that would support this is regarding the band being awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this year. We've all been wondering when the ceremony will take place and I can say for sure that it won't occur this year. But a source close to the band recently told Eric at the Power Windows site that ...the ceremony will likely take place the next time the band plays Los Angeles. Maybe they know something we don't? I've also been hearing rumors since back in late 2007 that the guys have been working on new material both on and off the road. So it's certainly plausible that they have enough material to start studio work sooner than later. One thing that might affect all of this is the fact that Neil Peart is expecting a baby sometime in the next month or so. It's not clear at this time whether he plans to take any significant length of time off from Rush or not. Like I said, these are merely rumblings and speculation at this point and should be taken with a substantial grain of salt. We should hopefully get some more concrete information come this fall. We shall see.
Classic Rock presents ... Prog - Classic Rock magazine's new quarterly magazine dedicated completely to progressive rock - will be releasing its third issue this August 5th and it will be a special edition featuring Rush. The issue's feature story is titled Everything's Fun Again Now! Alex Lifeson on RUSH & the story of Prog Metal and it will feature 4 separate collectible Rush covers. Starting with this issue, you will now be able to purchase the magazine online via this link; good news for US customers who have had difficulty getting their hands on this magazine.
This instrumental track, originally released in 1981, is one of the most difficult songs to play in "Guitar Hero" and now "Rock Band," so it's become a sort of a geek milestone. That was only enhanced when a video of a really, really, really enthusiastic guy nailing the song in "expert" mode became a huge hit on YouTube.
Called "How Guitar Hero Was Meant To Be Played," the video has chalked up more than 6 million views and features a guy named "Freddie" getting off a motorcycle, stripping off a leather jacket, introducing himself with "What's up, Internet?" and having a friend equip him with the guitar console. If that's how "Guitar Hero" was meant to be played, I know lots of people who are doing it wrong.
... Examiner.com: Bands that have been around for a while, like Metallica, who's still kicking around, face an absolute flurry of criticism. Do you find that that happens Queensryche the longer you guys stay around?
Scott R: Well, you totally get the 'Mindcrime' is still my favorite and you haven't made the same type of record since, but I still like what you do. There's always these people that, for some reason, you touched them at some point in their lives. There's new people that go Listen, your new record is touching me, or My 15-year-old only listens to your new record because that's really all he knows right now, but then he checks out the old stuff. To answer your question, we do. You keep going.
I'm a huge Rush fan, they're one of the reasons I even started playing drums, but my favorite CD is 'Moving Pictures' or 'Hemispheres.' Back in those days, you know. I enjoy they're new stuff, but it's not my favorite. But they're still going, still doing their thing. They go out and they play great shows, and they just carry on. You can only, I guess, top yourself. You're always just making music, and people are either going to enjoy it or are going to enjoy it less than some of the others, I suppose. It's hard to kind of think about it. You just kind of do what you do and move on. ...
... It's [the 1970s] definitely my favorite era.. I love Led Zeppelin, Rush, all that stuff. If only I had a time machine, I'd go back there. Wouldn't you?
Thanks to brentmeister for the link.
For many years Rush have used an Austrian based tourbus company for their European tours called Beat The Street. The company recently revamped their website and are using a song that you may be familiar with as the site's background music. Thanks to New Digital Man at Counterparts for the heads up.
UPDATE - 7/29@1:15PM: On a Geddy-related note (literally), the band Dearly Beloved, which features Geddy Lee's nephew Rob Higgins on bass/vocals, is playing at Arlene's Grocery in New York City tomorrow evening at 7PM. The band's most recent album is 2008's Repo, Repo, Repo. I've mentioned Rob and his band a couple of times on the site in the past, and back in 2001 Geddy Lee co-produced the album Foolscap for Rob's then band Rocketscience. This album included guest performances by Ben Mink as well as Geddy, who sang background vocals on the song Space Suit. Thanks to Skip Daly for the heads up.
On this day back in 1953, our favorite singer/bassist - Gary Lee Weinrib (aka Geddy Lee) - was born in Willowdale, Toronto. That makes Geddy 56 years young today! Happy birthday Geddy! May you have many more. Today is also the 35th anniversary of Neil Peart joining Rush! Also, 35 years ago tomorrow Rush bought equipment for their first tour at Long and McQuade Music in Toronto, including Geddy's black Rickenbacker, Alex's Gibson Les Paul Deluxe and Neil's Silver Slingerland drums which are soon to be up for auction.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Rush featured in issue 3 of Classic Rock presents ...Prog
The latest issue of Classic Rock Presents...Prog is out now and is finally available to US readers!
Issue 3 of the sell-out Classic Rock Presents Prog magazine is on sale from August 5. This month's cover stars Rush grace the magazine's lavish wallet and there's an extra special treat for Rush fans, as the magazine housed within the wallet will this issue feature four separate Rush covers for fans to collect. Each one will feature an iconic image from various stages of the Canadian superstars career - a must have for every Rush fan.
And there's great news for our US readers too. As of issue 3 you will now be able to order copies of the magazine online at www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk, as can UK and European readers. Please bear in mind however that they do not have unlimited stock and once their allocation of copies has gone, then they're gone.
Issue 3 of ...Prog looks at the world of prog metal, featuring such genre stars as Dream Theater, Queensryche, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Voivod and Finnish siren Tarja, and an intriguing interview with the man who launched the legendary Vertigo label.
There are also brand new interviews with ex-Genesis guitarists Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips, Marillion, The Gathering, War Of The World's maestro Jeff Wayne, It Bites and even Captain Sensible. Plus there's the usual round-up on the latest prog news and an even bigger reviews section than ever before.
All this plus a free CD featuring an hour's worth of the finest new progressive music being made today.
Thanks to rtrushfan for the heads up.
Neil Peart's original Slingerland drum kit to be put up for auction
Neil Peart's original Slingerland drum kit which he used from Fly By Night through 2112 is currently in the hands of Main Drag Music in Brooklyn, New York and will be put up for auction in the next few days. Fans are welcome to come into the store to check it out. The timing of this is perfect since Thursday, July 30th will mark the 35th anniversary of Neil originally purchasing this kit for Rush's first tour at Long and McQuade Music in Toronto back in 1974. I'll post details concerning the auction as soon as I have them. Thanks to Michael at NeilPeartDrumsticks.com for the heads up.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Next issue of Classic Rock presents Prog will feature Rush
UPDATE - 7/28@3:12PM: Thanks to reader rtrushfan we now have a cover scan of the issue (obtained from the Prog Twitter Page) from which you can tell a good bit about the contents. If you look closely you'll see on the bottom of the cover it says Four Exclusive RUSH covers to collect and right in the center it says Everything's Fun Again Now! Alex Lifeson on RUSH & the story of Prog Metal.
Earlier this year The UK's Classic Rock magazine launched a new quarterly magazine dedicated completely to progressive rock called Classic Rock presents Prog. The first issue went on sale March 25th and contained a feature article on Neil Peart. The second issue came out last month and featured an article titled The Top 50 Prog Albums Of All Time which included 4 Rush albums, and it also included an 8-page feature on Rush album art. And according to an ad on page 116 of the issue, the 3rd edition of the magazine - on sale August 5th - will contain a Rush feature as well. Thanks to PetieLee and thomas for the heads up.
Earlier this week we learned that ESPN's ESPY Awards ceremony took place on Wednesday, July 15th at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles and aired on ESPN this past Sunday. During the presentation of the Best Male Athlete award they aired a highlights clip featuring the nominees and the background music was Rush's Tom Sawyer. The winner was Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Michael Phelps and you can check out the video at this link.
RushCon 9 kicks off this evening in Toronto and lasts throughout the weekend. In addition to all the usual RushCon events, this year there will be 2 exciting guest speakers; Michael Mosbach and Martin Popoff. Michael (aka Praetorian) has been Rush's head of security for 11 years and is the close friend and riding partner of Neil Peart. Martin is a rock journalist, critic and author who has written numerous books documenting various heavy metal and hard rock bands including the Rush biography Contents Under Pressure. He is also the co-founder of Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles magazine. The theme of this year's convention is Elevate From The Norm and the tribute band will be RushCon veterans Limelight. If you are going, be sure to keep us all updated via the comments. I'll have a special RushCon open thread posted later today for that purpose.
This coming Wednesday, July 29th marks a very important day in Rush history. Not only is it Geddy Lee's 56th birthday, but it's also the 35th anniversary of Neil Peart joining Rush! Of course, if you had a Rush Wall Calendar you would have already known this. Speaking of which, as of last week the 2010 Rush Wall Calendar is now being shipped from Amazon and other online vendors. You can purchase your copy of the Rush Calendar along with a bunch of other cool Rush swag at RushSwag.com.
Rand Paul (son of Congressman Ron Paul) is running for Senate in Kentucky and recently quoted the lyrics to The Spirit of Radio in a campaign speech at the Fayette County Republican Party Picnic this past July 18th. The specific quote was The glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity; you can see the video here. Candidate Paul has also used Rush music in his campaign videos. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.
Apparently rockers No Doubt have been inserting subtle Rush references in their live shows this summer. Reader Doug B noticed while watching one of their recent shows on DirectTV that before they perform their song Rock Steady they take a breather and run a video on a rear screen which features band members running around being goofy. In the video one of the members is wearing a white Rush Starman t-shirt. And reader Unit 3 just saw a No Doubt show at the White River Amphitheatre earlier this week and at the end of the encore they played a riff from The Spirit of Radio. Here's a bootleg video of the snippet and you can see the Rush lick at about the 4:55 mark. The sound quality on the clip is terrible, but it's clear enough to make out.
I have another old Rush article from the archives for you courtesy Buttmanos at Counterparts. This 3-page 1989 article is taken from issue #132 of Music Express magazine. You can check it out by clicking on the thumbnails. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.
There's also this old review of a June 2nd, 1977 Rush show at Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England courtesy of Eric at the Power Windows site. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.
Rob of Rush tribute band Exit Stage Right wanted me to give everyone in the Twin Cities area a heads up that they'll be playing at the Lowry Theater in St. Paul, MN this evening at 9PM. They're the only band on the bill and will be playing a 2-hour set. And if you miss this show they'll also be playing in 2 weeks at Station 4 on August 8th.
A few Rush songs are listed on space hobbyist website HobbySpace.com's list of space songs on this page; Cygnus-X1, Countdown and Alien Shore. What about 2112?! :) Thanks to RushFanForever for the link.
I've mentioned in previous posts that the makers of Rock Band were teaming up with Pepsi and MTV for a promotion involving Rock Band giveaways along with a contest for the best fan-made Rock Band video. Reader ExplodingStick pointed me to one of the videos in the running which uses Rush's Limelight and is encouraging people to vote it. It's actually quite well-done for an amateur video. You can check it out and vote on it at this link.
Rush was inducted into the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2009, being recognized for their contributions to the entertainment industry! This limited edition starman sculpture has been custom painted with Walk Of Fame graphics to commemorate and celebrate this event.
The colors used for sculpture are the same as the rose granite star that will be embedded into Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles, California. The iconic starman figure is painted in silver, and stands against the star backdrop which is painted with the signatures of Geddy, Alex, and Neil. The base upon which the starman stands, is painted with a gold Rush logo and the words, "Hollywood Walk Of Fame 2009". As this is a limited edition collectible item, the underside of the base is hand-numbered (1/500) and shows the official copyright information for this statue. These statues are made from heavyweight polyresin, and are packaged in a custom box, complete with a description of the Walk Of Fame induction. The starman stands 7" tall, and the star is approximately 9" tall.
Thanks to dean53029 for the heads up.
Official announcement: Guitar Hero 5 to feature Rush's The Spirit of Radio (Live, 2008)
ESPN's ESPY Awards ceremony took place on Wednesday, July 15th at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles and aired on ESPN this past Sunday. During the presentation of the Best Male Athlete award they aired a highlights clip featuring the nominees and the background music was Rush's Tom Sawyer. The winner was Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Michael Phelps. Here's a video of the presentation on YouTube:
Thanks to Kevin for the heads up.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Vertical Horizon's Burning the Days featuring Neil Peart delayed
Katy Perry was one of the performers at this past weekend's T In the Park music festival in Scotland. She closed out her set with her hit song I Kissed a Girl and towards the end of the song the band broke into the ending of Rush's Cygnus X-1! It's not clear if this was Perry's idea or her band's (or both). You can listen to it at this BBC radio link - just fast forward to the very end of the clip at around the 2 hour and 55 minute mark. Thanks to pro747 at Counterparts for the heads up.
I don't know how important video was early on to Rush. They're the kind of people who are forward-thinking so they would have been aware of it. Yet I don't think that you can ascribe any of Rush's success to video. Instead, they stayed on the road three hundred days a year for the last fifteen years. And that is - and was - their strength. Today, it seems extraordinary; no bands do that. They only did it because that's the way that they do things.
But because Rush are really extraordinarily forward-thinking people, when they became aware of people such as Queen making videos, they got into the business and they made some. Like "Closer To The Heart", they were incredibly primitive: just performance stuff in the early years. Later on, of course, they played with all the edges of video: they did a computer-based video, one of the first high-definition videos - one of a series. They're willing to take a chance with anything that could be interesting in terms of video.
Interestingly, Rush don't see themselves - and they don't need to - to be an image band. Yet people say that video emphasizes image, that artists will change their music to do their video. Rush proves that's not necessarily true.
And in Chapter 13 the author discusses Essential Discs, one of which is Rush's classic live album All the World's A Stage.
In last week's update I discussed the 1987 Alex Lifeson side project Beyond Borders with Rik Emmett (Triumph) and a few other Canadian musicians. In 1988 Alex again teamed up with Emmett, and along with Liona Boyd and Joel Wade recorded a song called Hands of Man for 1988's Dream on the Horizon: A Tribute to the Olympic Spirit!. You can listen to the instrumental version of the song at this link or by using the player below. Alex performs the second solo in the song. Thanks to Eric at Power Windows for the info:
Reader The Clansman 2112 wanted me to give an MLB All Star Break update for his rushisaband Fantasy Baseball League (mentioned back in this March, 2009 post). Currently the top three spots are held by Cygnus X1, Bytor & The Clansmen and life is a diamond respectively. Good luck in the 2nd half to everyone participating!
Late last yearKnucklebonz - an online company specializing in realistic hi-end sculptures of various rock musicians - released their first statue based on album art; a limited edition Rush Starman statue. The statues stand approximately 9" tall and are painted in a hi-gloss silver paint in front of the red/black star to deliver a 3D version of the iconic Rush logo. You can check out several high-res pics of the product at this link. It comes with a certificate of authenticity and is officially licensed through Rush and Anthem Entertainment. In celebration of Rush being selected to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this year, Knucklebonz has created a special limited edition Hollywood Walk of Fame version of the statue with gold trim which is imprinted with the signatures of all 3 band members. Only 500 of these statues will be created and they'll be sold exclusively through the Rush Backstage Club. One of the statues has already been donated to the RushCon Charity Auction by the Rush Backstage Club and can be seen at this link. The statue will soon be available for purchase at the Rush Backstage Club but I don't have any information on the exact date or the price yet. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.
The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win a signed 11" x 16" Rush in Rio poster. The contest ends on July 27th and you can sign up to enter at this link. Thanks to thomas for the heads up.
There's no bread, let them eat cake There's no end to what they'll take Flaunt the fruits of noble birth Wash the salt into the earth But they're marching to Bastille Day La guillotine will claim her bloody prize Free the dungeons of the innocent The king will kneel, and let his kingdom rise
Bloodstained velvet, dirty lace Naked fear on every face See them bow their heads to die As we would bow as they rode by
And we're marching to Bastille Day La guillotine will claim her bloody prize Sing, o choirs of cacophony The king has kneeled, to let his kingdom rise.
Lessons taught but never learned All around us anger burns Guide the future by the past Long ago the mould was cast
For they marched up to Bastille Day La guillotine - claimed her bloody prize Hear the echoes of the centuries Power isn't all that money buys
- Rush, Bastille Day from Caress of Steel
Monday, July 13, 2009
DRUM! Magazine's Drummie awards official press release
Neil Peart's lucky number may just be three. He can definitely play in three; he has been part of a highly successful trio, Rush; and, he has now garnered his third consecutive victory as "Drummer Of The Year" in this year's Drummies. Additionally, he won "Best Progressive Drummer." Enter Music Publishing, the publisher of DRUM! magazine, conducts The Drummies every year with voting open to anyone from February to May. This year 5,310 votes were cast in 41 drum/percussion categories ranging from "Best Drummer" to "Best Drum Advertisement."
While Peart has successfully demonstrated his popularity in the last three Drummies, his margin of victory was less than in the last two years, according to Phil Hood, publisher and co-founder of Enter Music Publishing. Runner-up Travis Barker gave Peart a serious run and had been the most frequent winner (three victories) prior to Peart's popularity. ...
The list of winners is also included in DRUM! Magazine's August 2009 issue which features Mike Portnoy on the cover and is currently on newsstands.
I'd meant to post a new poll last week in celebration of the 5th anniversary of Rush's Feedback, but it slipped my mind. So I'll just do it this week instead. So what's your favorite song off of Feedback? Take the Poll and let us know. Here are the results of the last poll where I asked everyone how many RushCons they've attended.
RushFanForever located this gallery from photographer Rik Walton which depicts some older concert photos of Alex and Geddy.
Reader mogulman dug up an old interview that Bill Banasiewicz did with Alex Lifeson back in 1984 and converted a portion of it to an mp3 for us. Banasiewicz is the author of the 1988 Rush biography Visions. What's cool about this particular snippet of the interview is that it takes place in a plane which Alex Lifeson is piloting. You can listen to it using the player below or download it at this link.
And here's one from the archives courtesy RushFanForever. Back in the 80s Guitar Player magazine would sometimes offer a Flexi disc insert that featured a piece of music from an artist featured in the magazine. While writing his Back To Basics column for the July 1987 issue of Guitar Player, Rik Emmett (Triumph) wrote a 6-minute piece of music titled Beyond Borders that fused wildly different guitar styles together. He then gathered up a few fellow Canadian artists including Alex Lifeson to record the track which was then featured in the magazine as a flexi disc soundpage. Someone recently uploaded a decent version of the song to YouTube which you can check out at this link.
Reader Jeremy K is currently deployed overseas in Iraq and has a band called The Grove. He and his bandmates caught a cool little lizard during a practice session and snapped a few pix of it on a Neil Peart Snakes & Arrows drumstick. You can check out the pic by clicking on the thumbnail.
Reader Yvan Arshoun created this really neat photograph as a tribute to the Power Windows album. You can check it out here or by clicking on the thumbnail.
It's the middle of summer and baseball season is in full swing. What better way for a Rush fan to keep the sun out of their eyes than by wearing an officially licensed Rush baseball hat? These one-size fits-most hats are black with print on both the front and back; the front reads Rush inside the starman logo and the back says Rush in smaller print. You can purchase the Rush hat along with a bunch of other cool Rush swag at RushSwag.com.
I'll leave you this week with this impressive video of 13-year-old Alex Lifeson fan Eli Smith playing La Villa Strangiato at the Forest Park Talent Show in Franklin, Wisconsin on May 1, 2009 (thanks kevin).
Have a fantastic weekend everyone!
Vertical Horizon's Burning the Days featuring Neil Peart
UPDATE - 7/10@9:57AM: Geddy's current owner Gary Schide emailed me with some details regarding the t-shirt's history and he also located a picture in the RIAB tour gallery of a fan wearing one of the shirts at a Madison Square Garden show and added it to the Geddy's Hall of Fame. Here's the back story in Mr. Schide's words:
The story behind that t-shirt is that about 5 or 6 years ago, I noticed from our web server log files that we were getting a fair amount of traffic from a couple of Rush fan web sites. And from some posts & links on those sites I found out that Rush fans were going to our web site and buying Geddy's t-shirts to wear to Rush concerts, just because they liked the name similarity to Geddy Lee's name (I assume they were finding our web site on Google while searching for Geddy Lee info).
So I thought it might be fun if we created a new Geddy's t-shirt for the Rush fans. I sent our t-shirt artist a bunch of pics of Geddy playing his old Fender Jazz Bass, and he came up with the "It's A Rush" t-shirt design. We've sold a lot of those t-shirts to Rush fans during the past few years.
Gary would love to get more photos of Rush fans wearing that t-shirt, especially at Rush shows. So send them in if you have them. And his ultimate prize would be to get a photo of Geddy Lee himself wearing one.
Back in 1998, Fender released a . This model featured a black and white finish and was a recreation of Geddy's favorite bass - a 1972 Fender Jazz Bass that he bought in a pawn shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It is Fender's most popular signature bass model so it's not surprising that they just released a new model of the bass; this one featuring a sunburst finish and black pick guard. Geddy is shown with his sunburst model on several of the promo pictures for his My Favorite Headache solo album as seen here. He also uses this bass in concert when playing Between the Wheels. You can find out more details about the bass and purchase one at the Fender website here. There's also this discussion regarding the bass at the Fender forums. A big thanks to reader Bill C (aka redandblacker 4001) for the info.
Rush's Limelight featured in Pepsi/Rock Band promo commercial
In my Friday Updates post from a couple of weeks back, I'd mentioned that the makers of Rock Band were teaming up with Pepsi and MTV for a promotion involving Rock Band giveaways along with a contest for the best fan-made Rock Band video. As many people noticed, one of the TV commercials for the promotion that was running on VH1 and MTV used Rush's Limelight. Up until now it had not been posted online, but thanks to dockie at Counterparts a video of the commercial can now be seen on YouTube at this link:
UPDATE - 7/4@6:01PM: I completely missed when I first posted this earlier that Neil did include recipes; you can even download them as pdf files. On the first page of the menu there's a juke box with links to recipes for breakfast, appetizers, main courses, rice & vegetables and desserts along with a list of tools and techniques.
As promised earlier this week, the Bubba's Bar 'n' Grill section of NeilPeart.net is now open! The main page has a bunch of old-fashioned style ads for several fictional businesses such as Dirk's Sporting Goods, Gump's Towing and Septic Service, and the Brutus Travel Agency to name a few. You then click on the Click for Menu link in the middle of the page and a menu opens up. Inside the pages of the menu Neil talks about ... cooking of course; what it means to him, how he learned to cook and how it relates to things like drumming and relationships. He mentions and pictures several different dishes, but there are no detailed recipes or anything at this point. I guess these will be forthcoming in subsequent installments. You look hungry - so head on over to Bubba's Bar 'n' Grill for some good simple food! Happy 4th of July everybody!
Neil Peart's going to be a daddy again! This wondrous announcement was definitely the undisputed highlight of this past week in Rush news. In his most recent update to his website which he posted Friday night, Neil Peart broke the news that his wife Carrie Nuttall is 7 months pregnant. Congrats to Neil and Carrie!
... It was a Canadian bonfire of sorts at Morton's on Saturday, when two founding members of sketch gang The Kids in the Hall broke bread - and bone-in fillet - with Rush's guitar-god. Neither Dave Foley nor Kevin McDonald nor Alex Lifeson skimped on dessert. ...
Axe Heaven makes miniature replica guitars of famous musicians, including several Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson models. I've mentioned them a coupleof times in the past and Eric over at the Power Windows site has collaborated with Jason from Axe Heaven to help ensure that the replicas were as accurate as possible. They currently have 2 Alex Lifeson replicas, a Geddy bass replica and a Geddy 3-bass set replica. I've also confirmed via Jason at Axe Heaven that they'll soon be producing a Geddy Lee Rickenbacker 4001 as well as a Neil Peart Snakes & Arrows kit replica. Jason also has very generously offered a 10% off coupon for RIAB readers! Just use the coupon code TEN2009. Thanks to glortiz (a very satisfied Axe Heaven customer) for the heads up.
If like me you regularly visit the Power Windows Rush fan site, you'll know that owner/operator Eric has a knack for creating some great themes based on Rush's album art. So far he has featured themes for all of Rush's albums except for A Farewell To Kings, All The World's A Stage, Rush In Rio, Archives, Chronicles, Victor and - oddly enough - the site's namesake Power Windows... until now at least. He finally got around to creating a Power Windows theme which he is currently featuring on his site. The theme gets more inspiration from the lyric notes and back cover than the front cover itself. It's definitely worth checking out. He promises to eventually have themes for all the albums (even Victor!).
I have some unfortunate news regarding online rock t-shirt company Saltyrockz.com. Apparently they will no longer be selling any Rush-inspired t-shirts after receiving a letter from Rush's management demanding that they stop selling them. It doesn't look like they were breaking any copyright laws but they thought it best to respect their wishes. Thanks to El Chico Analogo for the heads up.
Back in April I let you know about a science-fiction novel from first time author William Joseph which came out this past November titled A World Without Divide: The Night Sarah Came Home. The book focuses on a group of college students who manage to survive a cataclysmic event in the near future brought about by a multi-national, governmental social-conditioning experiment called the Utopia Project whose leaders intend to re-populate and inhabit Earth with perfectly-conditioned members of their utopian society. You can learn more about the book and read a short excerpt at this link. The story has many parallels with Ayn Rand's Anthem and Rush's 2112 story, so the author sent me a copy and gave away 3 more copies to a few lucky RIAB readers. He received some great feedback including this from Kevin:
Just wanted to let you know that I have finished the book and I loved it! Not only a great story, but a great telling of the story. I read from chapter three to the end in one sitting. I found chapter 15 to be my favorite part of the book. You really captured something there. I can't wait for the next book.
The author informs me that the second book in the series is coming along nicely.
A couple of weeks ago I let you know how longtime reader Spindrifter has a baby cousin named Livia Hope Fortner who has Cystic Fibrosis. Livia's parents set up a website dedicated to Livia with the goal to raise awareness about Cystic Fibrosis. Spindrifter wanted me send out a big thank you to everyone who checked out the website and were generous enough to donate. Livia's parents were very impressed with the response they received from RIAB readers.
While vacationing in New England recently, reader Ian P visited the Boston Museum of Science and happened to come across their Black Hole exhibit. The exhibit makes reference to Rush's Cygnus X-1 as being an example of how black holes have influenced culture and music. They even depict the sheet music from the song. You can check out some photos by clicking on the thumbnails above.
Former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman's son Oliver is also an accomplished keyboardist himself who is currently playing with British progressive rock band Strawbs and recently toured with Yes. Oliver also happens to be a big fan of Rush as demonstrated by the caption on this photo at his website (3rd from the left):
Oliver during the interval of the show at Hugh's Room with Rod Coombes (Drums), Kim Mitchell (of radio station Q107 in Toronto and member of the Canadian 70's rock band 'Max Webster') and Terry Brown (Record producer of two of Oliver's favourite albums Rush's 2112 and Hemispheres!). Photo taken by Dimo Safari.
Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.
Reader Dave W located a Rush reference in the July issue of Wired magazine on page 66 where columnist Scott Brown talks about his cultural upbringing and how he's irreplaceable by international outsourcing. He states
... So what if the Bangalore creatives never watched "Tranzor-Z" or air-drummed to Rush? ...
You can read the whole article online at this link
And I leave you this week with this cleverly-constructed Rush/Beastie Boys mashup video which reader Gary V (aka The Owl at The Rush Forum) found over at CollegeHumor.com. The video's heading reads sometimes, when famous trios of white guys won't get together in real life, you've got to mash them up yourself. :)
That's it for this week. A happy 4th of July to everyone and a belated happy Canada Day to all of my Canadian friends. Have a great weekend!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
New interview with Alex Lifeson from Sound & Vision Magazine
... You and [surround co-mixer] Richard Chycki really seem to be in tune in how you approach mixing your material.
Rich is very settled in with the way that he hears the band, which certainly helps. Actually, he just moved into my home studio, Lerxst Sound, back in May. We just did a big renovation there; we redid the control room. Now we're all set to do some serious work out of there. Well, more serious work.
So there are other things in the works?
Yeah, I hope so! I mean, I've got some time off [chuckles]. I've been a little bit unmotivated lately, since we've been working so much over the last 7 or 8 years. But the things that we've done physically in the studio have been inspiring, so we're planning to do a bunch of things. Rich has a number of projects, including some Rush stuff, that he'll be continuing to work on at the studio. [Just what some of those projects might be will be covered in an interview I did with Chycki that will post in the fall.] ...
It's good to hear that they're working on some more projects! Thanks to rosmakloma for the heads up.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
NeilPeart.net: Bubba's Bar 'n' Grill Grand Opening
Celebrated Rush drummer, lyricist, and author Neil Peart is proud to announce the launching of a new cooking department on his Web site (neilpeart.net), Bubba's Bar 'n' Grill.
The motto at Bubba's place is "Good Simple Food," and Neil's kitchen alter-ego, Bubba, offers helpful cooking tips and easy recipes - a modest variety at first, to grow over time - presented through stories that aim to illuminate, instruct, and entertain. From Bubba's Mission Statement:
"I have learned a few things about preparing good simple food that might be worth sharing. In this space I will assemble and present some of that lore, along with some simple recipes, because it seems a shame that other Bubbas (of any gender and ethnicity) should have to suffer the foolishness of my youth - I was in my forties before I learned to cook anything more complicated than soft-boiled eggs."
Visit Bubba's Bar 'n' Grill, where you will learn about "The One Hour Rule," "The Queen's Portion," and why Bubba says, "If you want to impress a woman, bake her a pie."
Grand Opening July 4, 2009 Free Fireworks Displays! (*U.S. Only)
Mmmm... my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Thanks to plunge for the heads up.
Grace Under Pressure Tour live CD to be released in August
Back on September 21, 1984 Rush recorded a show at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto which they later released on both VHS and LaserDisc. In 2006 they released a remastered DVD version of the concert as part of the Replay X3 Box Set which also included a bonus audio CD of the Grace Under Pressure Tour video. They later made the DVD available to be purchased as a separate item, but not the audio CD. According to MusicTAP Mercury Records will finally be releasing this audio CD as a standalone product on Tuesday, August 11th. More details as I learn them. Thanks to Pat for the heads up.
Neil Peart wins DRUM! Magazine's Drummer of the Year award
For the third yearin a row Neil Peart has won Drummer of the Year in DRUM! Magazine's Reader's Poll. He was also voted as the Best Progressive Rock Drummer. The complete results will be published in the August 2009 issue of the magazine. Thanks to Michael of NeilPeartDrumsticks.com for the heads up.