There are several new audio clips posted over at MitA's Rush Oddities site. All but one of these tracks involve songs from the Snakes & Arrows album. You can check them out by clicking on the provided links or by using the player below. Thanks MitA!
Rush documentary filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen were recently interviewed for the Rush feature in the most recent issue of Prog. We learned several more details regarding the documentary including the fact that the release will not likely occur until next summer. In one portion of the interview they talk about interviewing Neil Peart:
... "Neil's very private but that's understandable given everything that he's gone through," muses Dunn. "But what we found was that when you get Neil on a motorbike in a remote area, the kid comes out in him. So we have filmed Neil riding through Quebec, parts of Europe and California and we've found that when you sit down with Neil, one on one, he loves to talk. And Rush fans know that he's smart and articulate and always has something interesting to say." ...
There are now several behind-the-scenes photos from these Neil Peart video shoots along with a few other miscellaneous pics posted on the Banger Films (Scot and Sam's production company) website. Just go to this link, click on Photos, then click on Rush in the lower left. Thanks to Sean for the heads up.
A couple of weeks ago I'd posted scans of the Neil Peart cover feature in the September, 2009 issue of the American Motorcyclist - the magazine of the American Motorcyclist Association. The article celebrates the fact that he was recently awarded an Honorary Life Membership in the Association and Neil shares his thoughts on motorcycles and motorcycling. The article also includes quotes from some of Neil's riding partners including Brian Catterson (editor-in-chief of Motorcyclist Magazone), Brutus, Greg Russell and Michael Mosbach. Neil's riding partners also all wrote a series of short articles on riding with Neil that was included as bonus content for AMA members. Reader Chris W got his hands on some scans of this bonus content which you can check out by clicking on the links below.
While on the subject of rare Rush collector's items - if you are a collector you might be interested in the fact that there is currently a rare handwritten Alex Lifeson letter from 1977 available on eBay. Myself and Andrew Olson (runs a Neil Peart fan page) both know the seller and can vouch for the authenticity of the item. If you are interested you can check it out at .
... Ross CAT - The Sound Academy show this week will be your second visit to Toronto. I was one of the fortunate 500 folks to see the "Road Test Tour" at the Mod Club in May. Rumor has it that you and CHAD got tangled up with RUSH guitarist ALEX LIFESON the night before and tore up the town.
SAMMY - Hey man lets clear that up right hear & now, I blame ALEX for that night; it was my tequila but that boy gave us hometown tour I won't soon forget, he can throw down with the best of them.
Ross CAT - Was there any discussion about ALEX taking the stage with CHICKENFOOT that night for a song or two?
SAMMY - No, we're really trying to focus on the CHICKENFOOT material on this first tour. Every place that we played there were world class musicians & friends. Man we had some of the best shredders on the planet in the house like ALEX, BRIAN MAY & STEVE LUKATHER comin' out to the shows. I told every one of those guys they have an open invitation to come to CABO and jam ...
LanceTheShred noticed a Rush reference in the Urban Dictionary's definition of face melting.
Reader Scott_PA let me know that the Classic Rock Revisited web site is rolling out a list of the most influential rock songs over the next few weeks. So far they've listed numbers 51-100 and Rush made the list twice; Working Man came it at #77 and Tom Sawyer at #84. To see the complete list go to this link.
... Neil Peart's book was inspiring to me. It was a very sad read, but a great book. He was going through a lot when he started on his quest; I was just looking to change my life. I was living in New York and wanted to surf and live at the beach in California. I was going to finish my master scuba diving license and teach scuba diving, but I ended up singing for EXODUS. Life is weird. Two years ago, my friend Lenny and I rode to the four corners of the United States. We went 14,652 miles in six weeks and two days. This trip will be about 4,500 miles. ...
... Yes, it's been nearly 25 years since MuchMusic launched with Rush's "The Enemy Within," followed by an interview with singer Geddy Lee and a Day One playlist that also included the Fixx, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Yes and Slade. ...
Back in May of 2008 I posted a survey for Rush fans that was put together by musician, musicologist and Rush fan Chris McDonald. Chris was working on a book that was to be an academic (musicological) study of Rush and wanted to get a representative range of opinions on the band from fans. He also requested that fans send him any photographs of the band that they were willing to let him use. Later in July of 2008 we got a sneak peak at the subject matter of the book when Chris wrote an article for the July 2008 issue of the academic journal Popular Music & Society titled Open Secrets: Individualism and Middle-Class Identity in the Songs of Rush. I'm happy to say that Chris has finished the book and it will be available for purchase this Fall. The title is Rush, Rock Music, and the Middle Class: Dreaming in Middletown and you can pre-order it at this link. From the book's description:
Canadian progressive rock band Rush was the voice of the suburban middle class. In this book, Chris McDonald assesses the band's impact on popular music and its legacy for legions of fans. McDonald explores the ways in which Rush's critique of suburban life -- and its strategies for escape -- reflected middle-class aspirations and anxieties, while its performances manifested the dialectic in prog rock between discipline and austerity, and the desire for spectacle and excess. The band's reception reflected the internal struggles of the middle class over cultural status. Critics cavalierly dismissed, or apologetically praised, Rush's music for its middlebrow leanings. McDonald's wide-ranging musical and cultural analysis sheds light on one of the most successful and enduring rock bands of the 1970s and 1980s.
The book's publisher is the Indiana University Press and it will tentatively be released on October 28th. Chris wanted me to personally thank everyone who sent him their survey responses and photographs; they were a big help in completing the book.
CBC documentaries explore Canadian music scene of the 70's, 80's
UPDATE - 9/18@7:47AM: Reader RushFanForever watched part 2 of Rise Up and gives the following report:
Geddy Lee commented on how the Canadian music television channel 'MuchMusic' was a huge benefit for Canadian music talent in that it created a network and connected Canada to the rest of the world.
Geddy commented positively about The Tragically Hip with the following:
'You can hear how The Tragically Hip sound like a rock band. However their music is very multilayered which gives it a timeless and enduring quality. Big props for The Tragically Hip.'
----- snip -----
UPDATE - 9/11@9:25AM: Reader RushFanForever watched This Beat Goes On and gives the following report:
Geddy Lee had some positive comments about Rough Trade with Carole Pope.
He considers the band very innovative through their combination of hard-edged new wave rock and raw sexuality, along with the controversial raunchy lesbian-themed subject matter in the songs.
The Rush tribute came on 15 minutes before the show ended.
Guitarist James Black of Finger Eleven mentioned the first song he learned was 'In The Mood'.
Geddy Lee mentioned memories of performing in high schools and bars and being loud with their brand of hard rock. He also mentioned memories of recording and performing in England in the late 70's and 'Closer To The Heart' being a hit. The footage of the song shown was from the Exit..Stage Left video.
Geddy also mentioned that the reason Anthem signed Max Webster was because the band had faith in Max Webster as great musical talent and an opening act.
Singer Mitsou made a comment of how it was great that a Canadian band like Rush has sold 35,000,000 albums and they are ours (meaning they are Canada's greatest rock royalty).
Kim Mitchell commented about discovering great bar bands such as Rush in the early days. He mentioned how grateful he was when Rush took Max Webster on the road as an opening act. Max Webster to him is considered the 'little brother' of Rush.
Singer Gowan discussed the influence of Toronto bands such as Rush, Max Webster and others that helped pave the way for later Canadian talent.
The first part of the second documentary ran last night. Here is RushFanForever's report:
I just finished viewing part one of the CBC documentary - 'Rise Up' which documented Canadian musical acts from the 80's.
The first 10 minutes of the documentary focused on the influence of Rush in the early 80's.
Alan Doyle of 'Great Big Sea' and Rob Preuss and Derrick Ross of 'The Spoons' discussed the influence of Rush in the early 80's with the song 'Tom Sawyer' and the 'Moving Pictures' album and how they both impacted Canadian music.
Gordie Johnson of 'Big Sugar' discussed how 'Tom Sawyer' symbolized the end of 70's rock. He also mentioned 'Tom Sawyer' being a heavy radio hit with a dark growling synthesizer riff and how it has influenced hip-hop acts with sampling the song.
Geddy mentioned that 'Tom Sawyer' was a sleeper at first on radio when 'Limelight' was played constantly. Other songs from 'Moving Pictures' including 'Tom Sawyer' slowly became hits when DJs began playing the deeper album cuts.
Rik Emmett of Triumph discussed how radio embraced the band early in their career because they were not as progressive as Rush. Rock radio did not play Rush as much until 'Moving Pictures'.
Don't expect to learn about Gordon Lightfoot's love life or Trooper's backstage antics in This Beat Goes On and Rise Up!, two documentaries about the Canadian music scene in the 1970s and '80s made by the team of writer Nicholas Jennings and director Gary McGroarty. The films, which feature a combined 200 interviews and will be airing on CBC on four consecutive Thursday nights, are designed to honour Canadian songwriters, not drag them through the mud. ...
...The songs that the duo were able to round up include everything from classics by the usual subjects, records by Anne Murray, Rush, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, but also influential, forgotten favourites, singles by bands like The Viletones, Rough Trade, Leroy Sibbles and The Kings. With interviews and live footage, the filmmakers -- whose earlier documentary, 2006's Shakin' All Over, looked at Canadian folk rock in the '60s -- explain how the Canadian music industry was born. ...
...The documentaries, featuring interviews with Nash the Slash, k-os, Burton Cummings and everyone from Corey Hart to Geddy Lee, highlight the music from all across Canada, from D. O. A to Great Big Sea. ...
On this day back in 1953, our favorite guitarist - Alexandar Zivojinovich (aka Alex Lifeson) - was born in Fernie, British Columbia. He turns 56 today which makes him the youngest member of Rush, being born about a month after Geddy Lee and just under a year after Neil. Happy birthday Lerxst! May you have many more. Next up is Neil, who'll turn 57 on September 12th.
In his recent Classic Rock presents ... Prog interview one of the things Alex Lifeson mentions being involved with during Rush's break from recording/touring is Apple's GarageBand software. GarageBand is a software application that allows users to create music or podcasts, and is included in all shipments of iLife. The most recent version of the software (iLife '09) includes music instruction, allowing users to buy instructional videos by several popular artists such as Sting, Norah Jones and Ben Folds. Alex Lifeson recently recorded some of these instructional videos for a few of Rush's hits as he described in the interview:
... "The Apple thing was fun", he says by way of explanation. "They have this new thing on the Garageband software [the mini-home studio affair that is part of Apple's iLife bundle] where songwriters and musicians teach people how to play their songs. It's great, you'll be able to download me. I went in and they filmed me for four days doing a song a day: Tom Sawyer, Limelight, The Spirit of Radio and Working Man. It's really comprehensive stuff and you can slow it down to really watch what I'm doing.
"It was odd, you realize how difficult it is to play some of those solos slowly, especially on something like Working Man."
We imagine it's quite difficult to master at its normal pace.
"I guess," and there's another laugh, "I'm not sure how much time I spent on that solo originally, I didn't know better, I was a kid when I wrote that. But I loved doing the Garageband stuff, though, and the end result is just great. When you're learning to play with just notation it's not the same - what the right hand is doing is so important and you never get to see that stuff. ...
I don't have any information as of yet on when Alex's videos will become available, but will let everyone know as soon as I do.
Speaking of documentaries, a couple of new documentaries exploring the Canadian music scene in the 1970s and '80s will be running on the CBC over the next several weeks. You can bet that Rush will get a mention or several. For more information and air times, check out this Toronto Star article. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.
Reader 1001SOS let me know about a rush reference at lifehacker.com. They review an application called ControlPad which uses the number pad on your keyboard as a quick launcher for applications and system commands. They use the number 2112 for their example and challenge readers to guess which application they linked the number to.
With lyrics by master storyteller Neil Peart, this song is about a future where new cars are mostly automated and the passion involved in driving is being lost. If you enjoy driving, you'll be able to relate to lines like 'well-weathered leather, hot metal and oil, the scent of country air.'
... Liam Birt, tour manager for the rock group Rush, has nothing but praise for the brothers and their business. "I've used the Hemphills on Rush, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queensryche, and Crash Test Dummies tours, all with outstanding results," he says. "They understand we don't work in a 9-to-5 environment and that they need to be able to reach out 24/7 to keep these tours rolling. Like myself, it's how they grew up-on the road." ...
Former Max Webster frontman and Rush friend Kim Mitchell is a DJ at Q107 in Toronto. On his Friday show he does something called the Friday Traffic Jam where he takes a song that he likes and jams to it on guitar. This past Friday the song he picked was Rush's Far Cry. To listen to the audio clip just go to this link and scroll down in the audio player to Kim Mitchell takes on Rush's "Far Cry" for the Friday Traffic Jam. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.
Reader RushFanForever recently dug up this quote from Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page which mentions Rush in the April 1985 issue of Musician Magazine:
... Speaking of raw enthusiasm, how does Page regard the recent profusion of heavy metal thrash, for which he must surely be attributed some of the blame? "I do like the new heavy metal bands, because they're not polite," Jimmy sniggers. "It's just not polite; it's good! It's like 'Fuck you.' I used to go to a club in town called the Funny Farm and they played heavy metal music all the time like Rush, who are extremely good." ...
... "Page was probably my greatest influence early on," affirmed Alex Lifeson of the durable Canadian trio Rush. "Rush started just a little before the time Led Zeppelin came out, and when I heard the first album, I thought, 'They're doing just the things we want to do; they have the sound we want to have.' And if we were that good, we could have played like that too, if you know what I mean." ...
... "I wanted to look like him, and play like him and be just like him," Lifeson remembered his youthful infatuation with Page, which came full circle when they came face to face backstage many years later. "You meet your hero, and he's a hero! He was everything I hoped he would be - I'll never forget that." ...
As I'd mentioned yesterday, the special Rush issue of Classic Rock presents ... Prog contains a sidebar article where Rush Documentary filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen are interviewed by Classic Rock's Jerry Ewing. Back in September of 2007 we first learned that Scot and Sam were planning on creating a documentary on Rush. The original official press release about the project came out in October of 2007 and the plan was to release the documentary in late 2008. But due to another project they were working on simultaneously (the Iron Maiden: Flight 666 documentary) it looked like the project might be put on hold for a little while. We then got some more info in late 2008 via a second press release and some other inside sources, and at that time it looked like the documentary would be released later this year. Well it now looks like the release has been delayed until early next summer although filming should be completed by the end of this year. Here's a transcription of the Prog interview with Sam and Scot where they update us on the current state of affairs:
RUSH: THE MOVIE
Fresh from their success with Iron Maiden's Flight 666, filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen turn their attention to Rush. Jerry Ewing gets the lowdown.
It seems fitting that the two men who have managed to present rock music in a well-structured and thought-out light cinematically in recent years should turn their attention to Rush. That's exactly what fellow Canadians Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen are now doing, with the first ever feature film documentary on Geddy, Alex and Neil.
"Geddy had been in Metal: A Headbanger's Journey and we were thinking about other bands we could work with," explains McFadyen. "We felt that Rush had always been overlooked by the critics so we met them on tour and they liked what we said. We started working on it, then Iron Maiden came about so we took a break to do that and raised the financing for the Rush film. We've started on it now and done a load of interviews so now we're editing with a load of archival footage.
We've been lucky, not only have we had access to [Rush management] SRO's archives but also Geddy, Alex and Neil's own personal archives," enthuses director Dunn. "I was just at Geddy's house this week. Going through his personal collection of memorabilia. I dug up some gems I don't think Rush fans have ever seen so we're hoping to offer something new."
As Rush fans themselves, Dunn admits this is making him feel like a kid let loose in a candy store.
"Well, Geddy's definitely the premier band archivist. He has a massive collection of photographs and clippings. We even got our hands on Neil's handwritten lyric sheets from back when they were making Fly By Night, 2112 and A Farewell To Kings, and I don't think they've ever been seen before."
Given the private nature of the band, particularly drummer Neil Peart, the fact that the band are fully co-operating with the filmmakers makes the prospect of the finished cut even more mouth-watering.
"Well they're not quite at the end of their career - they have a few albums left in them," states McFadyen. "They're going to start recording their next album soon and we're hoping to be able to show that in the film. They seem to like the scope of what we were doing. We were going to take the time and energy and talk to hundreds of people. We were hoping for the ending to have them to be inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame. So we're kind of holding off to see if that might happen, because if any band deserves it it's them.
And as for the reclusive Peart?
"Neil's very private but that's understandable given everything that he's gone through," muses Dunn. "But what we found was that when you get Neil on a motorbike in a remote area, the kid comes out in him. So we have filmed Neil riding through Quebec, parts of Europe and California and we've found that when you sit down with Neil, one on one, he loves to talk. And Rush fans know that he's smart and articulate and always has something interesting to say."
The as-yet untitled film will also feature contributions from a host of musicians who have toured with or been inspired by Rush, including Billy Corgan, Trent Reznor, Tool, Foo Fighters, Kiss, Uriah Heep and Primus. Dunn and McMadyen look to complete filming at the end of this year, so a theatrical release is slated for early next summer.
Watch out for exclusive footage of the three members interacting with each other in the band's unique way.
"We got some rare backstage footage in Europe," Says Dunn. "And the camaraderie between the three really comes across. They're almost telepathic and I think that's what's been behind their great success. They have such a deep understanding of each other's personalities and of each other's strengths. That's something that's pretty amazing to see and what we want to convey in the film."
The handwritten lyric sheets that Dunn refers to were actually made available in the tour books The Words and Pictures Volume 1 and Volume 2. However those are just copies and Sam may be planning on using video/photographs of the originals in the film. It sounds like part of the explanation for the delay of the release is to include footage of the band in the studio for their next album, which Alex has stated will tentatively happen this Fall. It's interesting that they are also hoping that Rush actually gets into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year, in order to include that in the documentary as well. I somehow doubt that will occur, but stranger things have happened. If that doesn't materialize I suppose they could at least include Rush's Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony assuming that happens by next summer. Many thanks to Chris W for providing the scan of this article so I could transcribe it. You can purchase the magazine online via this link.
... The Apple thing was fun", he says by way of explanation. "They have this new thing on the Garageband software [the mini-home studio affair that is part of Apple's iLife bundle] where songwriters and musicians teach people how to play their songs. It's great, you'll be able to download me. I went in and they filmed me for four days doing a song a day: Tom Sawyer, Limelight, The Spirit of Radio and Working Man. It's really comprehensive stuff and you can slow it down to really watch what I'm doing.
"It was odd, you realise how difficult it is to play some of those solos slowly, especially on something like Working Man."
We imagine it's quite difficult to master at its normal pace.
"I guess," and there's another laugh, "I'm not sure how much time I spent on that solo originally, I didn't know better, I was a kid when I wrote that. But I loved doing the Garageband stuff, though, and the end result is just great. When you're learning to play with just notation it's not the same - what the right hand is doing is so important and you never get to see that stuff. ...
Alex goes on to discuss Rush's early days and then breaks into a discussion about the recording of Snakes & Arrows along with their recent tour.
... "Also, you know, getting to do songs like Entre Nous again, there was the demand to do stuff like that, the crowds really seemed to like hearing it, that makes everything fun again too. After we'd done the R30 tour and drew a line under things like Closer To The Heart, it was good to look at different parts of our catalogue and experiment with some of the less well=know material, the stuff that we haven't aired for years. I know Ged was knocked out when he went back to listen to Permanent Waves and it was so much fun to rearrange those songs in the way we did, I hope we get to do a lot more of that, to tinker a little with some of those old songs when we play them again". ...
Lerxst then discusses the few low points in Rush's career; post-Hemispheres, post-Hold Your Fire and Neil Peart's trajedies of the late 90s. He then had this to say regarding Vapor Trails:
... Then when we did reconvene for Vapor Trails and it became this most emotional and powerful record. We think very highly of that record, but there are things wrong with it, the way it sounds, it could have been better recorded, we would have done things in a different way, but I suppose we weren't thinking straight, no, not that, it was just very raw, very visceral, you know."
Normally very effusive, Lifeson struggles with the words momentarily: "A lot of that stuff on there is first takes and demos, but because of what had happened and how we felt, we didn't want to re-record, they felt too precious in a way, we were very protective of those songs at that time, we were all feeling very tender about it. Rich [Chycki] - my engineer - re-remixed One Little Victory and Earthshine for Retrospective III and they sounded just great. ...
And here's the meat of the article; Alex talks about going into the studio this fall, as was previously rumored!
... "Tentatively, we start work on the next album in the fall - I did mention it to Ged before he went away on holiday and he sort of looked the other way. Come September and we'll certainly have some plans, we did the last record, or we started on the last album in the fall and I'd like to do that again, start recording maybe. I don't know who might produce, that's some ways off yet." ...
... I'm also in the second ... Trailer Park Boys film, I really enjoy working with those guys, they hand-picked the part for me, I'm usually in some kind of uniform, this time I get to play a cross-dressing cop, how hard can it be?" ...
As an added bonus, there's a sidebar article discussing many juicy details regarding the upcoming Rush documentary which I'll post about in the next couple of days. Many thanks to Chris W for all the info! You can purchase the magazine online via this link.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Neil Peart American Motorcyclist Magazine cover feature
UPDATE - 8/20@9:05AM: There's also a digital copy of the magazine available at the AMA website here (thanks Andy O).
UPDATE - 8/16@7:24PM: I added the full scans below (thanks glortiz).
Neil Peart is the subject of the cover feature in the September, 2009 issue of the American Motorcyclist - the magazine of the American Motorcyclist Association. The article celebrates the fact that he was recently awarded an Honorary Life Membership in the Association. Richard J. Atkins Ed. D. and Don Argento (director of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame and Museum) presented the award to Neil and also interviewed him for the magazine. The article is titled Rocker & Roller: Rush Drummer Neil Peart Lives For Motorcycles. He's Also One Incredibly Thoughtful Guy. Neil shares his thoughts on motorcycles and motorcycling including how he learned to ride, what he likes in a motorcycle and his riding style. Neil says the following on receiving the Honorary Life Membership:
I once read an interview with my fellow drummer Nick Mason, from Pink Floyd, and he remarked that of all the gold records and awards he had received for his musical success, he was most proud of his election to the British Racing Drivers Club. That's how I feel about receiving this Honorary Life Membership to the AMA - both proud and humble at being so honored by the motorcycling community. My gratitude and pride are tremendous and sincere. Thank you.
The article also includes quotes from some of Neil's riding partners including Brian Catterson (editor-in-chief of Motorcyclist Magazone), Brutus, Greg Russell and Michael Mosbach. Many thanks to glortiz for the heads up and cover scan.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Dream Theater covers Rush's The Camera Eye at Toronto show
UPDATE - 8/18@5:28PM: Here's another one (thanks amoderndaywarrior2112).
UPDATE - 8/15@7:11PM: Here's another video with slightly better sound quality and different angle (thanks DigitalMan745).
Progressive metal band Dream Theater played the Molson Amphitheater in Toronto last night. It's no secret that all members of the band are huge Rush fans and often discuss in interviews how much of an influence Rush has been on their music. They've also been known to cover Rush songs in concert from time to time. Last night they started out their encore with a cover of Rush's The Camera Eye with a backdrop of the Moving Pictures album cover. Rush hasn't performed this song live since the Signals tour. Here's a bootleg video of the performance:
If you are aware of any better quality videos, please let me know. Thanks to DigitalMan745 for the heads up and the video link.
... Among the sleek buildings that indicated Pittsburgh's successful transition from Iron City to a technological center, I caught a glimpse of the low dome of the Civic Center Arena. That was where Alex and Geddy and I had played our first show together, on August 14, 1974, opening for Manfred Mann's Earth Band and Uriah Heep in front of about 11,000 people. Among the many memories of that life-chaning experience, I would never forget standing on the floor beside stage left while Uriah Heep played 'Stealin'.' The big dark building, colored lights on the heroic figuries up on the stage, the roaring audience, the sheet electricity in that place. Halfway through their show, the retractable dome of the Civic Arena had peeled back, open to the summer night...
Also on Tuesday, the Paul Rudd and Jason Segel bro-mantic comedy I Love You Man was released to Blu-ray and DVD. The movie is filled with Rush references including a cameo from the band where they perform Limelight during a concert scene. You can watch an extended clip of the scene here. The 2-disc set includes an 18-minute Making Of feature, outtakes, extended and deleted scenes, a gag reel and commentary from director John Hamburg and actors Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. You can purchase your copy at this link. Reader RushFanForever also located this recent interview with directory John Hamburg where he has a lot to say about working with Rush on the movie.
Legendary guitarist, inventor and studio wizard Les Pauldied yesterday at the age of 94. Besides being an accomplished musician and entertainer, he was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar and is credited with inventing or discovering many recording innovations. Alex Lifeson is one of the many artists to use Gibson Les Paul guitars over the years.
...indicates a big-time Rush influence. They have always had the ability to write majestic-sounding music, very royal and uplifting....
Later, when talking about different band influences that each member brings to the band, he says that he and Jordan Rudess...grew up in the same town and share similar influences of Iron Maiden and Rush. Thanks to Michael G for the heads up.
Dream Theater's James LaBrie grew up loving Rush. While that may not be a stretch for an Ontario teen of the '70s, these days he can also boast some common ground with Geddy Lee. Not only do both gentlemen lend distinctive voices to their respective prog-rock bands, but both have also sung the national anthem at major league games-and gotten stage fright doing it.
"I was reading one time that Geddy Lee, he was saying out of all the years that they played all over the world, and playing in front of 20 000 people a night, he was never so nervous as when he sang for the Toronto Blue Jays game, a baseball game, and he had to walk out there and sing the national anthem," LaBrie says. "And I thought, 'Wow, that's so true,' because I remember walking out on [Maple Leaf] ice and going, 'Wow, this is really bizarre. This is totally different.' You're out there, it's naked, it's you and your voice and it's you singing to a crowd of whatever-18 000 people-by yourself. But it was still cool. I had a great time doing it.
"It was [stage fright]" he laughs. "I could understand where Geddy Lee was coming from. It was almost like your first gig, to go out there and go, 'Holy shit, why am I getting nervous? I've done this many times before.'" ...
Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.
Progressive metal band Tool is currently on tour and for at least one show have been playing the opening riff to Rush's A Passage to Bangkok to open their song Rosetta Stoned as seen in this YouTube video (thanks Craig). Rush and specifically Alex Lifeson are big Tool fans. Alex said the following regarding Tool's album Aenima in a Guitar World interview a few years ago:
Adam Jones is a fabulous guitarist and songwriter, and Tool are such a powerful band. You know it's Tool when you hear them, because they're intensely dynamic, yet heavy, even when they're playing is light. I listened to this album over and over; I don't do that very often. Tool have an interesting, intelligent approach to song construction and lyrics. It's just too bad we don't hear from them more often.
Indeed, it looks like Alex hung out with Adam Jones, Maynard James Keenan and comic book author Steve Niles when Tool played Toronto recently. Niles is a friend of Tool and toured with them for 2 weeks, even playing guitar on 46 & 2 at the Toronto show. He posted this photo of him, Adam, Alex and Maynard at dinner in Toronto. Thanks to bobcat for the photo and the heads up.
A Rush fan is like the rock 'n' roll equivalent of the Trekkie, and I'm talking about the kind that can speak fluent Klingon and knows Spock's mom's maiden name. Write anything about this band, and you will get responses from all over the world. I used to poke fun of the undeniable geekiness of Geddy Lee and Co. -- seriously, Rush is like hard rock's pocket protector -- but have come around after seeing them live. Their last two Vegas gigs were among the best shows of the year in '07 and '08 respectively. The nerds officially have had their revenge.
I have several old Rush article scans to share with you courtesy of a couple of members of the Counterparts message board.
The first is from the March, 1978 edition of the New Musical Express. It's by the controversial writer Barry Miles and is titled Rush: Is Everybody Feelin' all RIGHT? (Geddit...?). It's the article where Rush was essentially accused of being fascists, greatly upsetting the band. You can check it out by viewing the thumbnails.
The next is from the May, 1979 edition of the New Musical Express. It's by John Hamblett and is titled Rock Against Right-Wing Rock Being Called Fascist. It addresses the previous article, giving Peart a chance to defend himself against accusations of Rush being fascist.
These next 2 article are from the June 1977 and May, 1983 issue of Sounds Magazine respectively. They're by Geoff Barton and you can check them out by clicking on the thumbnails.
The City Sonic Project is a collaboration between Toronto documentary film companies White Pine Pictures and Kensington Communications. The project pairs Canadian music artists with award-winning Canadian filmmakers to create short documentary films about the artists' connection to places where their musical lives were transformed. One of the 13 short films pairs Geddy Lee with director Bruce McDonald. Geddy is followed as he takes viewers on a tour inside the legendary Massey Hall. From the press release:
GEDDY LEE (RUSH) AT MASSEY HALL is also directed by Bruce McDonald. Considered among the most influential rock bands in the world, Rush has been inducted in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and have 24 gold records, 14 platinum and 3 multi-platinum records. It is no surprise that their June 1976 sold-out concerts at Massey Hall in Toronto (that ended their 2112 tour), would become an historic event at an historic venue. These shows were recorded for the double-live album All the World is a Stage - an album that broke the band in the U.S., becoming their first Top 40 Billboard hit and paving the way for a string of famous Rush live albums. It was a first for Rush, but not the first time singer/bassist Geddy Lee felt magic on the stage at Massey. McDonald follows Lee as he takes viewers on a tour inside the legendary concert hall.
UPDATE - 8/12@8:11PM: The podcast is up. You can listen to it at this link. My part starts in at about the 35-minute mark and runs for close to a half hour.
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UPDATE - 8/12@10:06AM: I had a great time talking to Brad and Joe last night. Hopefully you got to listen in, but if not a podcast of the show should be available in the next couple of days at this link. A big congrats to RushFanForever for winning the Snakes & Arrows Blu-ray; he answered the Rush trivia question at the end of the show.
UPDATE - 8/11@10:58PM: I added some more information about tonight's show from the newsletter in the post below. The show starts in 2 minutes!
Used Bin Radio is a weekly internet radio talk show geared towards Classic, Modern and Progressive Rock. Hosts Joe and Brad are lifelong Rush fans as well as RIAB fans; their shows are chock full of Rush bumper music and references. The show airs live on Tuesday nights from 8-10PM PST (11-1 EST) and I'll be a guest on tonight's show if everything goes according to plan. You can listen live to the program on purerockradio.net and it is also syndicated on progrock.com and redeyeradionetwork.com. Past shows can be listened to via podcast at this link. Listen in if you get a chance.
From the show's newsletter:
Hey kids... get ready to "Take Off"... to the Great White North...? Against our better judgment we've decided its time to release our inner Rush-geek...
Join us on Tuesday for... * USED BIN RADIO *
This week we're pleased to welcome Ed Stenger, coordinator of the Rush news and info site www.rushisaband.com We'll be discussing the inner workings of the band, their music and the latest events in the world of our favorite Canadian trio.
And just to keep you on your toes, be sure to stay tuned for a chance to call in and win the new RUSH - Snakes & Arrows Live Blu-Ray disc. (Courtesy of Anthem-Atlantic Records)
And as always, we'll review the latest music news (and a few naked photos of your mom)
We also wanna hear about what YOU'VE been listening to. So join the conversation... Call us live... (Yes, that's right you'll hear your voice on the radio) 310 840-4438 (this phone number only works during our broadcast hours) Or send us an email at email@example.com
So join us, this Tuesday (and every Tuesday) for a 120 fun-filled, free-form minutes of tunes... talk... and talk about tunes...
Tuesday August 11 8PM PST (in Los Angeles) ...that's 9pm for you Central people... ...around 11pm for our East Coast pals... ...and 4am Wednesday morning for our British contingent... ...that's 8:30 am Wednesday if you're moving through Kashmir... Tune in by clicking: www.purerockradio.net (Then click "LISTEN" and choose you're preferred audio player)
You can also tune in and catch us live on: www.progrock.com or www.redeyeradionetwork.com catch the podcast at http://purerockradio.net/podcast.xml check our latest video clips at http://www.youtube.com/usedbinradio find us on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=325348646
Grace Under Pressure Tour live CD now available for purchase
The Paul Rudd and Jason Segel bro-mantic comedy I Love You Man was released to theaters back in March and grossed over 80 million dollars worldwide. The movie is filled with Rush references including a cameo from the band where they perform Limelight during a concert scene. You can watch an extended clip of the scene here. The film was released to Blu-ray and DVD today. The 2-disc set includes an 18-minute Making Of feature, outtakes, extended and deleted scenes, a gag reel and commentary from director John Hamburg and actors Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. You can purchase your copy at this link.
UPDATE - 8/9@9:42PM: Michael of NeilPeartDrumsticks.com knows the buyer of the kit and had this to say in the comments:
Well the auction is over and the kit was won by a great guy and serious RUSH collector. :-)
No, not me. I do know who and just got off the phone with him. Good news is that it won't be locked away in a basement. It won't be going to Toronto either.
We were discussing ideas of where it can be displayed for all to see. Right now we are talking my personal favorite place is the Percussive Arts Society Museum in Indianapolis. This museum is also host to the International Drummers Hall of Fame.
They have quite an impressive collection of drum kits including some used by Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa. How nice would it be to have this kit displayed alongside Buddy and Gene's?
We are also discussing another venue to display it at for one week but that will be announced later after arrangements are made.
This is going to be a fun project to work on! I think you will like what might be done with the used heads off the drums. :-)
Neil Peart has once again updated the News page on his website, describing a recent motorcycle trip to Yellowstone National Park - his last major trip before settling in with his wife to await the birth of their baby this month. It's an especially long news update, spanning 2 lengthy pages. Neil's prose is as interesting and educational as is typical of his writings, but there's very little mention of Rush other than an allusion to Rush's Manhattan Project as it relates to his visit to Arco, Idaho - the The First City in the World Lighted by Atomic Power. He also gives us a possible glimpse into some future Rush lyrics:
... I can only hope that one day I will return to Yellowstone, maybe even to that little yellow cabin. And that wish gives rise to another line in iambic tetrameter-"If the fates are kinder, than they sometimes seem to be."
That line too just cries out to be sung, perhaps in a triumphant chorus, with harmonized backing vocals:
If the fates are kinder, than they sometimes seem to be (A little yellow cabin on Yellowstone Lake) There will still be many journeys and adventures for me (A little yellow cabin on Yellowstone Lake) A million miles, a hundred songs in my head (A little yellow cabin on Yellowstone Lake) 'Til the stupid fates decide it's time to make me dead (A little yellow cabin on Yellowstone Lake) Yeah!
I often get a lot of questions from readers regarding information about a particular Rush tour or tour date, and I almost always direct them to the Power Windows Tour Archive. This page has every known tour date and tour for Rush listed along with scans of ticket stubs and concert posters. Site owner/administrator Eric does a great job of compiling all this information and recently made a significant number of updates which he wrote about in this post:
... For the last few months, fellow fans Skip Daly, Heiko Klages, Jeff AnalogKidAudioVideo, and Darren RushFanForever have separately provided many details to verify and/or dispel rumored tourdates and setlists dating back to 1974. Skip and Jeff have been invaluable in cleaning up the early setlist and tourdate info, and Jeff has even helped dispel a long standing rumor that Rush opened for Styx during the All The World's A Stage Tour (the opposite was true, meaning the infamous "Seattle '76" show is now believed to be March 28th, 1976, i.e. from the 2112 tour.). Heiko has long been providing many historical newspaper clippings from the 70's, including this humorous review of Rush's second show ever in the UK, June 2, 1977. For more information, check the tourdates and setlists found in the Tour Archives area, especially for those distant tours from the mid-70's.
Today, I've added something that fellow Rush historians will find very special, a poster and newspaper review of a "lost show" which predates the 2112 tour by a couple of weeks. Rush fan Max Lobster unearthed a very interesting newspaper article from the Brantford Collegiate Institute in Ontario. The story includes a very informative interview with Geddy Lee, given after a show in the BCI gym. In the interview, Geddy discusses the concepts found in their 'soon to be released' album, 2112. The article doesn't give the date of the concert, unfortunately, but fellow fan RushFanForever found a BCI graduate online who still has in his possession the show's concert poster from February 21st, 1976; this means that this show took place at least two weeks before the 2112 tour was previously believed to have begun. Personally, I believe that Rush likely performed more than one show in Ontario before kicking off the 2112 tour, hopefully more information can be unearthed in the future. Check out both the poster and review of the BCI concert here.
Used Bin Radio is a weekly internet radio talk show geared towards Classic, Modern and Progressive Rock. Hosts Joe and Brad are lifelong Rush fans as well as RIAB fans; their shows are chock full of Rush bumper music and references. The show airs live on Tuesday nights from 8-10PM PST (11-1 EST) on purerockradio.net and is also syndicated on progrock.com and redeyeradionetwork.com. Past shows can be listened to via podcast at this link. I'll be a guest on this coming Tuesday's show if everything goes according to plan, so listen in if you get a chance.
"His playing was revolutionary - extrovert, primal, and inventive," says Rush drummer Neil Peart. "He set the bar for what rock drumming could be. I certainly emulated Ginger's approach to rhythm - his hard, flat, percussive sound was very innovative. Everyone who came after built on that foundation. Every rock drummer since has been influenced in some way by Ginger - even if they don't know it."
Thanks to PuppetKing2112 at The Rush Forum for the quote and RushFanForever for the heads up.
I would put a Rush track on every single week if I was allowed. This one is from their wedge-cut and leather tie years and it concerns an over-watched young chap whose only weekend desire is to, "elude the Eyes and hop the turbine freight, to far outside the wire where my white-haired uncle waits". It's a metaphor for sexuality and freedom, you see.
l: we were both young then, you were probably in a punk band, i was in a rock band c. yea, what, what, your Canadian though ? l. yea, well your Scottish c. what. . what band were you in....Rush ? ( both have a good laugh ) c. Were you in Rush, that would be awesome, Rush are Canadian l. actually you know what, I actually, I built the board for the big money video, for Rush c. ( looks at him with disbelief ) l. i used to be in rock video's building, building sets and stuff. c. did you really l. i built that board, yea yea.... c. so you have connection with Rush ? l. so what do you do c. in my wildest dreams I'd like to be..... l. I was just in their office last week c. what Rush ? l. well, yea cause..... c. They have an office l. they do c. that's not very rock and roll l. BIG office with gold records, like....fill this room c. really ! l. yea it was exciting actually c. is the office in canada, is that where the.... l. ( laughs ) c. I thought Rush would live in a hollowed out volcano, or something like that l. no, ya know, well ya know, so what you want to talk about c. well we've done sharks, we've done Rush ...
Up for bidding is Neil Peart′s first Slingerland drum set purchased shortly after he joined Rush in late 1974 and used through the recording of 2112. It′s featured on the subsequent live album, All the World′s a Stage, both as a photographic centerpiece on the cover and sonically on the tracks. Peart′s solo on Working Man/Finding My Way from All the World′s a Stage is one of the most well known Drum solos in the world of Rock Drumming, and was introduced by Geddy Lee saying, "The Professor on the drum kit!" This set was also used to record Fly by Night, Caress of Steel, and as mentioned, their commercial breakthrough 2112. This is one of the most iconic drum sets from the world of Rock music and was highly influential--following the release of All the World′s a Stage drummers everywhere studied the cover photo and copied the setup, not to mention Peart′s style. Again, this is the very same drum set that was used on the record and is shown on the cover. It was played at first without the four concert toms, which were added later, circa 1975. ...
For the complete description along with plenty of pics go to at eBay.