Archive: Blog Entries from July, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:27PM EST | link | comments (20) |

Rush Time Machine TourToday marks a monumental day in the annals of Rush history. Not only is it Geddy Lee's 58th birthday, but it's also the 37th anniversary of Neil Peart joining Rush. We're only 3 years away from R40! In the meantime we have a lot to look forward to from the band including a Rush live DVD coming out this Fall and - if all goes according to plan - a new album followed by a tour next year. We'll have to wait a little longer than we had hoped for the Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland DVD as its release date was pushed back one month to October 25th earlier this week. We are still lacking several details too; such as whether the DVD/Blu-ray will also contain a CD. My guess is that it won't, and the CD version will end up being released separately at a later date. Hopefully we'll get some confirmation on that in the near future. It looks like Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki is enjoying working on the DVD according to this tweet from over the weekend:

Listening to #Rush - Free Will, Live in Cleveland. Crushing solo section! #unbelievablyawesome

And Chycki also posted a couple of interesting tweets to his Twitter feed recently that may or may not be Rush-related. There's this one from back on July 16th which hints that Chycki might be doing some groundwork in preparation of the band hitting the studio to resume work on Clockwork Angels this Fall:

Off to test possible studio drum rooms for a new fall album production.

And then there's this intriguing tweet from earlier this week:

Reviewing client's mid-70s multitracks. I remember when these came out. Great vibe -- I'm kinda feeling a bit old tho :-/

Could said client be Rush? Hmm... Chycki has many clients, but it sure would be cool if he's working on some more Rush 5.1 remixes.

Last weekend the Los Angeles Times posted an interview with Neil Peart where certified strength and conditioning specialist James Fell spoke with Neil about how he stays in shape for touring. Neil talks about skiing, snowshoeing and doing yoga in the interview:

... "Stamina is the force that drives the drumming; it's not really a sprint," ... "The stamina aspect is great because you don't lose that with age so quickly. I know there will be a day when I just can't do it, but at 58 years of age it hasn't come yet. I can still play as fast and as powerful and as long as I ever could." ... "If it's cross-country ski season, I'll be out doing that, or snowshoeing up in Quebec," he told me. "In my California home, I go to the local Y and I like doing yoga. It's been hugely beneficial to me in injury avoidance." I know some yoga fans who are going to love reading that. ... "Playing a three-hour Rush show is like running a marathon while solving equations," he said. "My mind is as busy as it can be, and so is my body; full output all the time." ...

You can read the entire article/interview at this link. The article garnered a lot of attention in the press including this Runner's World article on drumming and running which makes reference to the interview.

Neil Peart Buddy Rich Memorial Concert kitSpeaking of Neil, the Custom DW Collector's Series Maple drum set that Neil Peart played for the Buddy Rich Memorial Scholarship Concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City back on October 18, 2008 went up for auction on eBay yesterday. The kit is currently owned by Dales Drum Shop who was offered the opportunity to purchase the kit following the show back in 2008 since the shop's owner Dale Wise had been Buddy Rich's drum tech for several years in the 1970's. The starting bid on the kit is $10,500 and you can place your bid at this link. Thanks to Scott G for the heads up.

As part of his continuing series of Rush road crew interviews, Paul at The Canadian Music Scene posted part 1 of his video interview with legendary Rush producer Terry Brown earlier this week. In this portion of the interview Terry talks about his beginnings in the music industry, who he worked with, where he worked, and what roles one plays while working their way up the ladder. You can check out the interview at this link. Parts 2 and 3 of the interview will be posted in the near future. And in case you missed them, you can see all of Paul's other Rush road crew interviews at his website here.

Alex Lifeson is among the artists featured in a new book from Hal Leonard Publishing titled The Modern Guitar Rigs: The Tone Fanatic's Guide to Integrating Amps and Effects. Alex also topped Gibson.com's list of Canada's Top 10 Guitarists for a feature earlier this week.

American alternative rockers Weezer kicked off their summer tour yesterday where they will continue the format of last year's Memories tour when they ran through their 1994 debut album and 1996's Pinkerton in full. Rolling Stone reports that drummer Patrick Wilson pushed for the idea after seeing Rush play all of Moving Pictures in L.A. last summer. You can read the article at this link (thanks RushFanForever).

Prog rock legends Yes hit the Red Rocks Amphitheater earlier this week and to celebrate the occasion Tuesday's edition of The Denver Post's Reverb Magazine posted their list of the 11 most influential prog rock records. Coming in at #10 was Rush's Hemispheres.

The Rush EuCon 2011 European Rush fan convention will take place on Saturday, October 1st at The Ferry in Glasgow, Scotland from 3PM until midnight. The event is officially recognized and supported by Rush's management Anthem/SRO and all proceeds will be donated to the MS Society. The convention will feature Rush tribute band Counterparts along with classic rock covers band Joe's Band, rare Rush videos and music, a Rush-themed raffle/auction for charity, a Rush pub quiz, and other Rush-themed surprises. Food and drink will be available throughout the day. For all the details and information on purchasing tickets check out the Rush EuCon Facebook page or view the flyer here.

Netherlands-based reader Marcel let me know that Chicago-based progressive jam rock band Umphrey's McGee played Rush's Tom Sawyer at the All Good Festival in Masontown, WV this past July 15th. Here's a bootleg YouTube video of the performance.

David Leonard of the Quill and Quire writes a generally positive review of Neil Peart's latest book Far and Away: A Prize Every Time in the July, 2011 issue of the magazine. You can read the review at this link.

Reader Will C let me know about a short article at the Verum Serum blog where they pit the lyrics of Sting against those of Neil Peart - specifically the lyrics of The Police track Sychronicity II and the Rush track Red Barchetta. You can read the article at this link.

Speaking of The Police, A couple of weeks ago Neil Peart posted a video to his home page which featured an April jam session at Police drummer Steward Copeland's home studio in Los Angeles. Neil, Copeland, Tool drummer Danny Carey and Les Claypool of Primus put together a zany, jazzy track they called Count Drumula! which features all four guys trading off on drum duties along with Claypool on a stand-up bass and Carey playing a trombone. The new supergroup was jokingly labeled Carey, Claypool, Copeland, Peart (CCCP) on Neil's home page alongside a flag of the old Soviet Union. In addition to the NeilPeart.net home page, the video can now be seen on YouTube at this link.

That's all for this week. Have a great weekend! Happy birthday Geddy!!

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Happy birthday Geddy Lee!
7:28AM EST | link | comments (33) |

Geddy then and nowOn this day back in 1953, our favorite singer/bassist - Gary Lee Weinrib (aka Geddy Lee) - was born in Willowdale, Toronto. That makes Geddy 58 years young today! Happy birthday Geddy! May you have many more. Today is also the 37th anniversary of Neil Peart joining Rush! Also, 37 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 Slingerland kit.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rush EuCon 2011 coming to Glasgow October 1st
9:18AM EST | link | comments (3) |

The Rush EuCon 2011 European Rush fan convention will take place on Saturday, October 1st at The Ferry in Glasgow, Scotland from 3PM until midnight. The event is officially recognized and supported by Rush's management Anthem/SRO and all proceeds will be donated to the MS Society. The convention will feature Rush tribute band Counterparts along with classic rock covers band Joe's Band, rare Rush videos and music, a Rush-themed raffle/auction for charity, a Rush pub quiz, and other Rush-themed surprises. Food and drink will be available throughout the day. For all the details and information on purchasing tickets check out the Rush EuCon Facebook page or view the flyer here.

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Alex Lifeson tops Gibson's list of Canada's Top 10 Guitarists
9:01AM EST | link | comments (23) |

Alex Lifeson[North Stars: Canada's Top 10 Guitarists]

Gibson.com posted their list of Canada's Top 10 Guitarists for a feature on their website yesterday. Topping the list was Rush's Alex Lifeson and here's what they had to say about Lerxst:

It must be hard being Alex Lifeson sometimes. Despite the fame and money, imagine having to match the drum and bass skills of Neil Peart and Geddy Lee for 37 years? Lifeson has done it, though. An undeniably great riff writer, he is also one of rock's most idiosyncratic soloists, blending strong melodies with neo-jazz flurries across a Rush catalog that has leapt from Zep-esque slammers to acoustic ballads, from reggae-inflected pop to instrumental prog rock.

An advocate of blending raw tone with technology (see the Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess), Lifeson remains one of rock guitar's relentless explorers of new sounds.

And Rush have even become cool again. "I think that younger bands look at us as perhaps a model that you can do it your way. You can play the music that you want to play," Lifeson recently told Crawdaddy.com. "You can find your audience, you can grow." Lifeson continues to do so.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rush Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland DVD/Blu-ray release date pushed back to October 25th
10:17AM EST | link | comments (30) |

Rush Time Machine TourAccording to Amazon.com, the release date for Rush's upcoming Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland concert DVD/Blu-ray has been pushed back one month from September 27th to Tuesday, October 25th. Amazon.com started accepting pre-orders for the DVD last week at this link. The Blu-ray is not yet available for pre-order through Amazon but should be soon, and can currently be pre-ordered through other outlets such as Barnes & Noble. The DVD/Blu-ray was directed by Rush documentary filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, engineered by Rich Chycki and is being released by Concord Records. No other details have been released as of yet. You can pre-order your copy here.

Related Posts:
[Rush Time Machine live DVD now available for pre-order]
[Rush Cleveland live DVD/Blu-ray to be titled Time Machine, releases on September 27th]
[Rush live DVD to release September 27th on Concord Records]
[Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki checks in on the Moving Pictures 5.1 remix, Cleveland live DVD]
[Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Cleveland open thread]

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rush's Hemispheres makes list of prog rock masterpieces
4:54PM EST | link | comments (18) |

Prog rock legends Yes are hitting the Red Rocks Amphitheater tonight and to celebrate the occasion today's edition of The Denver Post's Reverb Magazine posted their list of the 11 most influential prog rock records. Coming in at #10 was Rush's Hemispheres and here's what they said about the album:

Many may argue that the Canadian trio's 1976 LP "2112″ should be on this list, but for my money, "Hemispheres" (released two years later), trumps that LP. Here, they reach their prog pinnacle via the dizzying, side-long space epic "Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres" as well as with the sheer virtuosity displayed in the instrumental "La Villa Strangiato." Plus, I dare you to find a better song about a forest in turmoil than "The Trees."

The article also includes a photo gallery which includes several great photos of Rush's last appearance at Red Rocks.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

New interview with Rush producer Terry Brown at The Canadian Music Scene
9:43AM EST | link | comments (15) |

As part of his continuing series of Rush road crew interviews, Paul at The Canadian Music Scene has posted part 1 of his video interview with legendary Rush producer Terry Brown. In this portion of the interview Terry talks about his beginnings in the music industry, who he worked with, where he worked, and what roles one plays while working their way up the ladder. You can check out the interview at this link. And in case you missed them, you can see all of Paul's other Rush road crew interviews at his website here. Thanks Paul!

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Alex Lifeson featured in new Modern Guitar Rigs book
9:27AM EST | link | comments (4) |

Alex Lifeson is among the artists featured in a new book from Hal Leonard Publishing titled The Modern Guitar Rigs: The Tone Fanatic's Guide to Integrating Amps and Effects. From the product description:

For players looking to move beyond a simple pedal board and combo amp, there is no more definitive book on the topic of advanced guitar rigs than this. Modern Guitar Rigs: The Tone Fanatic's Guide to Integrating Amps and Effects covers topics of interest to guitarists looking to build pro-level rigs, whether they're playing clubs at the indie band level, getting set for a major tour, heading into the studio to record a new album, or just searching for ultimate tone. Modern Guitar Rigs explores advanced topics including: *Rack gear: multi-effects processors and dedicated signal processors, audio loopers, amp function switching systems, and MIDI foot controllers *Amp setups: wet/dry/wet configurations, rack-mounted tube preamps and power amps, stereo rigs, integrating pedals and rack gear, and floor-based loop systems *Guitar options: piezoelectric pickups and splitting guitar signals to multiple amps *Effects loops: choosing the right loop for your specific needs *Rig infrastructure: power conditioning, noise suppression, power attenuators, wireless systems, custom cabling, and equipment racks *Rigs of the stars: a look at the complex rigs used by many leading guitar players, including John Petrucci of Dream Theater, Alex Lifeson of Rush, and Steven Wilson and John Wesley of Porcupine Tree *Interviews with leading custom rig builders, including the legendary Bob Bradshaw of Custom Audio Electronics

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Neil Peart discusses exercise, keeping in shape in new interview
12:32PM EST | link | comments (27) |

[Drummer Neil Peart's body is finely tuned instrument]

UPDATE - 7/27@5:16PM: This Runner's World article (thanks soozm32) on drumming and running makes reference to Neil's LA Times interview.

Certified strength and conditioning specialist James Fell of the Los Angeles Times caught up with Neil Peart before the band's June 30th show in Vancouver for an interview to discuss how Neil stays in shape for touring. From the article:

... "Stamina is the force that drives the drumming; it's not really a sprint," ... "The stamina aspect is great because you don't lose that with age so quickly. I know there will be a day when I just can't do it, but at 58 years of age it hasn't come yet. I can still play as fast and as powerful and as long as I ever could."

... "If it's cross-country ski season, I'll be out doing that, or snowshoeing up in Quebec," he told me. "In my California home, I go to the local Y and I like doing yoga. It's been hugely beneficial to me in injury avoidance." I know some yoga fans who are going to love reading that. ...

... "Playing a three-hour Rush show is like running a marathon while solving equations," he said. "My mind is as busy as it can be, and so is my body; full output all the time." ...

You can read the entire article/interview at this link. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:36AM EST | link | comments (23) |

Rush Time Machine TourDespite Rush being on summer break there was plenty of Rush news to keep us occupied this past week including a Time Machine DVD update, some more tour attendance figures, a couple of updates at NeilPeart.net, a Roll the Bones Gold CD release, yet another Rush compilation release, and much more. Yesterday the Rush Time Machine live DVD of the band's April 15th performance at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland was made available for pre-order through Amazon.com. The Blu-ray is not yet available for pre-order through Amazon but should be soon, and can currently be pre-ordered through other outlets such as Barnes & Noble. Both the DVD and Blu-ray will be released via Concord Records 2 months from now on September 27th. Time Machine was directed by Rush documentary filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen and engineered by Rich Chycki. No other details have been released as of yet. You can pre-order your copy of the DVD here.

Last Friday Neil Peart updated the News page on his website with a story titled The Frying Pan and the Freezer where he discusses his motorcycle travels throughout the Southern US, Southwestern US, California and the Pacific Northwest on the last leg of the 2011 Time Machine Tour. Neil also posted a video to his home page which features an April jam session at Police drummer Steward Copeland's home studio in Los Angeles. Neil, Copeland, Tool drummer Danny Carey and Les Claypool of Primus put together a zany, jazzy track they call Count Drumula! which features all four guys trading off on drum duties along with Claypool on a stand-up bass and Carey playing a trombone. You can view the vid by going to the home page of Neil Peart's website here.

This past Tuesday Audio Fidelity released a limited edition 24 Karat Gold CD version of Rush's Roll the Bones. This was the first Rush release from Audio Fidelity although another company - Mobile Fidelity - had previously released limited edition Gold CD versions of 4 other Rush albums; 2112, Moving Pictures, Signals and most recently Permanent Waves. Audio Fidelity has also indicated that there would be more Rush releases coming in the future. You can order your copy of the Roll the Bones Gold CD at this link.

Universal released an enhanced 2-CD version of last year's Rush ICON compilation this past Tuesday that they are calling ICON 2. The first disc in the set contains the 12 tracks on the original release, and the second disc includes a selection of 11 live tracks taken from Rush's first 4 live albums; All The World's A Stage, Exit Stage Left, Grace Under Pressure Live and A Show of Hands. For all the details including the tracklist check out this post, and John at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed and scanned the packaging and liner notes over at his site. You can order your copy here.

Last Friday Billboard released sales and attendance figures for both the Portland and Seattle shows - which means we now have the figures for 24 of the 38 shows from the 2011 Time Machine Tour. Although the Seattle show at The Gorge was very well-attended (11,911 seats - about 97.5% capacity) it wasn't quite a sellout. The Portland show was a sellout however, although it wasn't as well-attended with just 9,356 seats sold. That makes a total of 11 sellouts out of the 24 shows reporting attendance figures so far. The most-attended date thus far remains the April 15th show at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland which sold out all 14,970 seats. And the New York MSG show remains the highest grossing with $1,276,798 in ticket sales. You can check out all the details in the tour section.

Speaking of the tour, earlier this month Paul at The Canadian Music Scene website posted a series of interviews he conducted with different members of Rush's road crew over the course of the Time Machine Tour along with a bunch of great photographs. MusicRadar.com picked up Paul's story and photographs for a photo gallery feature of their own that they posted yesterday called Access All Areas: On the road with Rush. There's nothing here that wasn't already posted over at Paul's site, but they organize things into an easy-to-navigate photo gallery format. You can check it out at this link. Rush sound man Brad Madix was one of the Rush road crew members featured for the Canadian Music Scene article mentioned above. Brad also recently posted an article to the Avid Technologies website blog titled Final Rush Rehearsals-Geddy Helps Fine-Tune His Own Sound where he describes utilizing some Avid Technologies audio equipment to help Geddy finalize his sound during Rush rehearsals earlier this year. You can read the entire post at this link.

RollingStone.com's Weekend Rock Question this past weekend was What is the Best Prog Rock Band of All Time? Rush ended up the overwhelming winner of the poll. Duh.

We learned earlier this week that Boston-based heavy metal band Steel Assassin will include a cover of Rush's Red Sector A on their forthcoming album WWII: Metal Of Honor.

The Drunk and On Drugs Happy Fun Time Hour is a new Canadian television comedy series from the creators of the Trailer Park Boys which debuts on Showcase in Canada tonight. According to this CBC article from last month Alex Lifeson will make a guest appearance on the show at some point although it's not clear exactly what Alex's guest role will consist of or which episode he would appear in. At one time in the show's development Alex had been cast as a mad scientist character. He ultimately had to turn down the role which was then given to Maury Chaykin who then passed away last summer, leaving some question as to whether this role was re-cast or just dropped from the show.

We learned earlier this year of Alex Lifeson's involvement with the score for a film due out later this year starring Martin Sheen and Richard Gere titled The Double. The movie features original music by film composer John Debney. Alex collaborated with Scarlet Sins vocalist Sylvya NuVynska and Skinny Puppy founding member cEvin Key on the film's outro music. Rush sound engineer Richard Chycki handled the mixing duties. The film is written and directed by Michael Brandt and centers around a retired CIA operative who is paired with a young FBI agent to unravel the mystery of a senator's murder. The film is anticipated to have a Fall theatrical release through Image Entertainment (thanks RushFanForever).

Here's a great review of the Blu-ray version (thanks Jim) of Rush's 5.1 remix of Moving Pictures from HomeTheaterReview.com.

Entertainment Weekly used a Geddy Lee reference in their recap of the latest episode of TNT's Falling Skies (thanks bk8718):

... Clayton talks with his prisoner and the source of the information that led him to the school with its ripe supply of kids. It's difficult to make out his face. There are tattoos! He's got long hair! Could it be Geddy Lee, lead singer and bassist of the legendary Canadian rock group Rush? No! It's Pope! Pope is back! And it's about damn time. ...

Reader Robert T pointed me to this early photo of Rush posing with KISS-FM's Joe Anthony at Anthony's restaurant, Mr. Pizza, after the band's San Antonio debut in 1975. Nice shorts Neil! :)

This past Tuesday I made my 5th appearance on internet radio show Used Bin Radio to talk all things Rush with hosts Brad and Joe. The podcast of the show is now online at this link and you can also listen to it using the player below.

David Barrett Trio - DisappearanceThe last of the three David Barrett Trio tracks that Alex Lifeson produced - Disappearance - was made available to purchase as a download at Amazon.com and at Itunes this past Tuesday. Both Hollowbody and Sonar were already available for download on Amazon (Hollowbody, Sonar) and iTunes (Hollowbody, Sonar) and all three tracks can be heard on SoundCloud at this link. David talks about the songs and how his collaboration with Lifeson came about in this January post on his blog. The Trio is asking for assistance to fund their project via RocketHub at this link. Please help them out if you can. Here's a video of the Trio performing Disappearance at Alex Lifeson's club The Orbit Room:

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

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rush Time Machine live DVD now available for pre-order
8:49PM EST | link | comments (24) |

UPDATE - 7/22@11:26AM: It looks like Barnes & Noble and possibly some other outlets currently have the Blu-ray available for pre-order.

Rush Time Machine TourLast month we learned that the upcoming Rush live DVD/Blu-ray of the band's April 15th performance at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland would be titled Time Machine and have a release date 2 months from now on September 27th. Amazon.com started accepting pre-orders for the DVD earlier today at this link. The Blu-ray cannot be pre-ordered yet but you can sign up to be notified of when they'll start accepting Blu-ray pre-orders at this link. The DVD/Blu-ray is being released by Concord Records. It was directed by Rush documentary filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen and engineered by Rich Chycki. No other details have been released as of yet. You can pre-order your copy here. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Rush Cleveland live DVD/Blu-ray to be titled Time Machine, releases on September 27th]
[Rush live DVD to release September 27th on Concord Records]
[Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki checks in on the Moving Pictures 5.1 remix, Cleveland live DVD]
[Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Cleveland open thread]

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Brad Madix on fine-tuning Geddy Lee's bass sound
2:22PM EST | link | comments (5) |

UPDATE - 7/25@3:10PM: Here are a few other recent articles posted by Brad Madix at the Avid Technologies site (thanks RushFanForever):

Apr. 9, 2011: Welcome to preproduction for the RUSH Time Machine Tour
Apr. 22, 2011: First run-through for the RUSH Time Machine Tour
May 20, 2011: 10 Seconds in the Time Machine

----- snip -----

Rush sound man Brad Madix was one of the Rush road crew members featured for a Canadian Music Scene article posted earlier this month, parts of which were also reprinted for a MusicRadar.com feature earlier today. Brad also recently posted an article to the Avid Technologies website blog titled Final Rush Rehearsals-Geddy Helps Fine-Tune His Own Sound where he describes utilizing some Avid Technologies audio equipment to help Geddy finalize his sound during Rush rehearsals earlier this year:

... Geddy and I have discussed his bass sound on any number of occasions over the years, but Eleven and the API EQ are new to this last set of rehearsals, so we revisited his tone. He stopped by the room one morning before rehearsals and sat down in the chair with me while I soloed up the bass subgroup on the Genelecs. The first thing that showed up on the screen was the API EQ. When Geddy saw that, he remarked how much he loved those things, and that it was great that you could really "wang" something right up, and it sounded fantastic. One point for the engineer! The next thing we listened to was the instantiation of Eleven. I think we really nailed that old Bassman sound, personally. Geddy wanted a little more overdrive, and I brought the speaker breakup down a touch.

Then we started digging into the balance. I rode up the Avalon fader and brought up the Palmer next to it-about equal level. Geddy asked for a bit less of the Palmer, favoring the midrange point that the Avalon gives his bass. Next into the mix was the Eleven channel. This came up and instantly added realism to the bass tone. Then I added the more distorted elements to the mix. First up was the SansAmp channel, which I rode in slowly until Geddy said, "Stop." Next, I added the Orange amp channel. When I reached the point where the Orange was even with the SansAmp, we both concluded that it was too much.

I pulled both of the distorted channel faders down to the bottom, stood up, looked at Geddy and said, "There's the faders. Put 'em where you want 'em!" He sat down in the driver's seat and brought both faders up until he heard what he wanted and told me, "There, that's where I like it." And that's where they've been ever since. Total time elapsed-about 20 minutes. Try that with a cassette tape!

You can read the entire post at this link. Thanks to Robert for the heads up.

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MusicRadar.com - Access All Areas: On the road with Rush
8:38AM EST | link | comments (4) |

Earlier this month Paul at The Canadian Music Scene website posted a series of interviews he conducted with different members of Rush's road crew over the course of the Time Machine Tour along with a bunch of great photographs. MusicRadar.com picked up Paul's story and photographs for a photo gallery feature of their own that they posted today called Access All Areas: On the road with Rush. There's nothing here that wasn't already posted over at Paul's site, but they organize things into an easy-to-navigate photo gallery format. You can check it out at this link.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Neil Peart, Danny Carey, Stewart Copeland, Les Claypool jam session video posted online
9:21PM EST | link | comments (37) |

UPDATE - 7/27@11:10AM: The video is now also posted to YouTube:

----- snip -----

A couple of months back we learned via Tool's (the band) official newsletter (this post and this post) that Tool drummer Danny Carey, Neil Peart, Les Claypool and Steward Copeland had gotten together at Copeland's home studio in Los Angeles this past April for a jam session. Video of the session was just posted to Neil Peart's site at NeilPeart.net. The track/video is titled Count Drumula! and is credited to Carey Copeland Claypool Peart with a subtitle of A zany jam at Stewart's studio. It features all four guys trading off on drum duties along with Claypool on a stand-up bass and Carey playing a trombone. It's crazy-zany-cool! You can view the vid by going to the home page of Neil Peart's website here. Thanks to Houston Rush Fan for the heads up.

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Rush named Best Prog Rock Band of All Time by RollingStone.com
3:30PM EST | link | comments (21) |

RollingStone.com's Weekend Rock Question this past weekend was What is the Best Prog Rock Band of All Time? Rush ended up the overwhelming winner of the poll. Here's what they had to say:

Well, this poll wasn't even close. Rush won in a landslide - but this couldn't come as any surprise. The Canadian trio have perhaps the most intense and enthusiastic fan community in all of rock. The band deserves such commitment. While most of their peers have fallen apart due to greed or laziness, Rush has maintained the same line-up since 1975 and their concerts are as spellbinding as they ever were. It's also beyond dispute that Neil Peart is the greatest drummer on the planet. These just wrapped up an epic tour where they played Moving Pictures straight through, and are working on a new album. Here's hoping that they bust out 2112 the next time out. It's the only way to top that last tour.

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Steel Assassin to cover Rush's Red Sector A for upcoming album
1:37PM EST | link | comments (12) |

Steel AssassinBW&BK reports that Boston-based heavy metal band Steel Assassin will include a cover of Rush's Red Sector A on their forthcoming album WWII: Metal Of Honor:

Bassist Phil Grasso from Boston-based metallers STEEL ASSASSIN has issued the following update:

"We are currently in the recording studio, recording our brand new album, WWII: Metal Of Honor. As you might gather from the title, all the brand new songs deal with battles / events surrounding WWII.

In addition to the eight brand new original tunes on the record, we will also be covering the RUSH song, 'Red Sector A'. As of this message, we have the drums recorded, and we'll be going in periodically to add the bass, guitars, vocals.

The record should be released this fall. High Roller Records will release a vinyl version. We are in negotiations with some labels for the CD version."

Thanks to joeya2k for the heads up.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ed to guest on internet talk show Used Bin Radio tonight
3:45PM EST | link | comments (7) |

UPDATE - 7/21@10:48AM: The podcast of the show is now online at this link (thanks RushFanForever). You can also listen to it using the player below.

UPDATE - 7/20@11:38AM: As usual, I had a blast on the show last night. It's always fun chatting with Brad and Joe - many thanks to the both of them for having me on. If you missed the show, the podcast should be up in the next week or so at this link.

My appearance on Internet radio show Used Bin Radio that had originally been scheduled for 2 weeks ago has been rescheduled for tonight. This will be my fifth appearance on the show and I'll be chatting with hosts Brad and Joe about all things Rush. The show airs live tonight from 7-10PM PST (10-1 EST) and you can listen in on purerockradio.net or progrock.com. During the show you can email questions/comments to Usedbinradio@usedbin.com or call in at 888.405.7440. Past shows can be listened to via podcast at this link. Listen in if you get a chance - it's always a good time.

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Lifeson-produced David Barrett Trio track Disappearance now available for download
12:14PM EST | link | comments (5) |

David Barrett Trio - DisappearanceThe last of the three David Barrett Trio tracks that Alex Lifeson produced - Disappearance - is now available to purchase as a download at Amazon.com and at Itunes. Both Hollowbody and Sonar are already available for download on Amazon (Hollowbody, Sonar) and iTunes (Hollowbody, Sonar) and all three tracks can be heard on SoundCloud at this link. David talks about the songs and how his collaboration with Lifeson came about in this January post on his blog. The Trio is asking for assistance to fund their project via RocketHub at this link. Please help them out if you can. Here's a video of the Trio performing Disappearance at Alex Lifeson's club The Orbit Room:

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Roll the Bones 24 Karat Gold CD released today
6:20AM EST | link | comments (14) |

UPDATE - 8/8@3:03PM: Here's a review of the release from BlogCritics.org (thanks John at Cygnus-X1.net).

Roll the Bones Gold CDToday Audio Fidelity releases a limited edition 24 Karat Gold CD version of Rush's Roll the Bones. This is the first Rush release from Audio Fidelity although another company - Mobile Fidelity - has previously released limited edition Gold CD versions of 4 other Rush albums; 2112, Moving Pictures, Signals and most recently Permanent Waves. Audio Fidelity has also indicated that there would be more Rush releases coming in the future. You can order your copy of the Roll the Bones Gold CD at this link.

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Rush ICON compilation enhanced 2-CD set released today
6:13AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Universal releases an enhanced 2-CD version of last year's Rush ICON compilation today. The first disc in the set contains the 12 tracks on the original release, and the second disc includes a selection of 11 live tracks taken from Rush's first 4 live albums; All The World's A Stage, Exit Stage Left, Grace Under Pressure Live and A Show of Hands. For all the details including the tracklist check out this post. You can order your copy at this link.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rush Time Machine Tour official attendance and sales figures for Portland, Seattle
4:09PM EST | link | comments (21) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011Yesterday Billboard released sales and attendance figures for both the Portland and Seattle shows - which means we now have the figures for 24 of the 38 shows from the 2011 Time Machine Tour. Although the Seattle show at The Gorge was very well-attended (11,911 seats - about 97.5% capacity) it wasn't quite a sellout. The Portland show was a sellout however, although it wasn't as well-attended with just 9,356 seats sold. That makes a total of 11 sellouts out of the 24 shows reporting attendance figures so far. The most-attended date thus far remains the April 15th show at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland which sold out all 14,970 seats. And the New York MSG show remains the highest grossing with $1,276,798 in ticket sales. I've already added the figures to the tour section. Here are all the details:

Tue, Jun 28: Sleep Country Amphitheater - Ridgefield, WA (outside Portland, OR)
Attendance / Capacity: 9,356 / 9,356 SOLD OUT
Gross Ticket Sales: $417,903

Sat, Jul 2: The Gorge - George, WA (outside Seattle, WA)
Attendance / Capacity: 11,911 / 12,206
Gross Ticket Sales: $748,934

Related Posts:
[Rush Time Machine Tour official attendance and sales figures update]
[New Alex Lifeson gear interview with Musician's Friend]
[Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Cleveland open thread]
[Rush Time Machine Tour makes Billboard Hot Tours list]
[Premier Guitars talks with Alex Lifeson guitar tech Scott Appleton]
[Alex Lifeson on the Cleveland DVD, Rock Hall in new interview]
[New Rush video interview backstage from Madison Square Garden]

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Friday, July 15, 2011

New Neil Peart news update at NeilPeart.net
6:15PM EST | link | comments (23) |

[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS: July, 2011 - The Frying Pan and the Freezer]

Neil Peart has updated the News page on his website with a story titled The Frying Pan and the Freezer. In this latest installment Neil discusses his motorcycle travels throughout the Southern US, Southwestern US, California and the Pacific Northwest on the last leg of the 2011 Time Machine Tour including a bunch of spectacular photographs. He also spends a great deal of time describing the band's final show of the tour at The Gorge outside Seattle, Washington - focusing in particular on how thankful he is of his wonderful road crew and of course all of us faithful Rush fans, who make it much easier for him to leave his little 2-year-old daughter to go to work:

... Thousands of people stand in front of the three of us when we're onstage-but a lot of important people stand behind us, too, a network that's almost immeasurable. And ... let's not forget the ones who stand behind us at home.

That can be the loneliest and least-appreciated place of all-at least by outsiders. After I was home for a day off after the Phoenix show, then had to leave the next afternoon for a show in San Diego, little Olivia, almost two now, woke up from her nap and went running down the hall toward my office, saying, "Go see Daddy!" When she was told, "Daddy's gone to work again," she burst into tears. Hearing about that made me feel very bad. As I've written before, I can stand missing her, but I can't stand her missing me.

However, on the "happy side" of that equation, an audience of more than 13,000 people attended the final show of our Time Machine Tour, on July 2, 2011. Most of them had traveled a considerable distance-The Gorge is a long way from anywhere (the nearest town, humorously, is George, Washington). But we too had a traveled a long way to get to that stage. And despite how many shows we had played, our weariness, and our sheer age, we managed to pull off a magic show that night. ...

... At the end of the show, as we bowed and waved and Geddy thanked the audience for being so great, at that show and so many others, I heard him drop the f-bomb-for the first time in history. After saying, "It has been great," he repeated that phrase and added that emphatic modifier. It was definitely a case of "when no other word would do"-to express how successful the tour had been, how much it meant to us, and how much we appreciated the people who had made it great.

In that moment, the three of us knew that at last we would be stepping away from the "frying pan" of live performance (the crucible) for a while, and would have some time off to chill: "the freezer."

And what a great way to mark that transition.

Sometimes things are so perfectly right that you can't help but get carried away in
the moment...

You can read the entire post at this link.

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Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:00AM EST | link | comments (13) |

UPDATE - 7/15@5:35PM: RollingStone.com's Weekend Rock Question: What is the Best Prog Rock Band of All Time? Duh! Thanks RushFanForever for the heads up.

The 2011 Time Machine Tour ended nearly 2 weeks ago so it's no surprise that things were a bit quiet on the Rush news front this past week. Hopefully Geddy, Alex and Neil are enjoying their time off with family and friends, dining on honeydew and drinking the milk of paradise. We want them all well-rested so they can complete work on Clockwork Angels this Fall. Everyone who saw any of the shows on the tour may recall that the band teased us all right at the end of the show by playing a snippet of Cygnus X-1. Well, last month scientists finally confirmed (thanks schklerg) beyond a shadow of a doubt that the real Cygnus X-1 is indeed a black hole. Coincidence? Hmmm...

This coming Tuesday, July 19th Universal will be releasing an enhanced 2-CD version of last year's Rush ICON compilation. The first disc in the set will contain the 12 tracks on the original release, and the second disc will include a selection of 11 live tracks taken from Rush's first 4 live albums; All The World's A Stage, Exit Stage Left, Grace Under Pressure Live and A Show of Hands. For all the details including the tracklist check out this post. You can pre-order your copy at this link.

Roll the Bones Gold CDAlso this coming Tuesday, July 19th Audio Fidelity will be releasing a limited edition 24 Karat Gold CD version of Rush's Roll the Bones. This will be the first Rush release from Audio Fidelity although another company - Mobile Fidelity - has previously released limited edition Gold CD versions of 4 other Rush albums; 2112, Moving Pictures, Signals and most recently Permanent Waves. Audio Fidelity has also indicated that there would be more Rush releases coming in the future. You can pre-order your copy of the Roll the Bones Gold CD at this link.

Last Friday, July 8th the very last space shuttle of NASA's Shuttle Program took off from Cape Canaveral, FL. To mark this historic event, Spinner magazine compiled a list of the top 10 Space Shuttle wake-up songs and Rush's Countdown topped the list at #1:

Canada brought more to the Shuttle Program than the Canadarm, and it came in the form of a Rush song. The iconic Canuck prog-rockers' 1982 single 'Countdown' was wholly inspired by Columbia's first trip in 1981, the first of the Shuttle Program. The song even samples audio from this launch and was played to wake up the crew on Columbia's 27th flight in 2002, on the day the shuttle landed back on Earth for the last time. So it's a pretty perfect pick to complete our wake-up song countdown as NASA's space shuttle program enters T-Minus Zero.

The August, 2011 issue of Guitar World magazine is a special issue featuring their list of the 100 Greatest Classic Rock Guitar Songs. Rush's Limelight made their list at #25 and you can see what they say about the song in the attached scan. Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb made the cut at #20 and their write-up includes comments from Alex Lifeson on the song and guitarist David Gilmour (see attached scan) taken from a previous Alex Lifeson interview.

David Barrett TrioThe last of the three David Barrett Trio tracks that Alex Lifeson produced - Disappearance - will be available to purchase as a download this coming Tuesday, July 19th. Both Hollowbody and Sonar are already available for download on Amazon (Hollowbody, Sonar) and iTunes (Hollowbody, Sonar). All three tracks can be heard on SoundCloud at this link. David talks about the songs and how his collaboration with Lifeson came about in this January post on his blog. The Trio is asking for assistance to fund their project via RocketHub at this link. Please help them out if you can.

Both John at Cygnus-X1.net and Eric at Power Windows have taken advantage of the lull in Rush news to clean up their archives of old Rush articles. John added to his site a September, 2002 Modern Drummer cover feature with Neil Peart, a February, 2003 interview with Neil Peart from Cycle World, and a Classic Rock magazine special Rush issue from 2004. On the Power Windows site at the bottom of the Linernotes pages for some of the album releases, Eric has News Archives containing transcripts of past articles and other key news content, videos and hyperlinks. Eric recently finished cleaning up the content of the My Favorite Headache, Feedback and Snakes & Arrows news archives. Thanks guys!

Kirkus Reviews has posted a very positive review of Neil Peart's most recent book - Far and Away. You can check it out at this link.

Reader George C noticed that Billboard.com is running a poll asking people what their favorite 80's music video is. Not surprisingly, no Rush videos are listed as options - but you can write in your vote. So I suggest that folks write in The Big Money or some other Rush video from the 80s.

Yesterday was Bastille Day, so here's a bootleg video of Rush from back in 1976 performing their tribute to that fateful day. There's no bread, let them eat cake!

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

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy Bastille Day!
8:23AM EST | link | comments (36) |

Happy Bastille Day everybody! On this day 222 years ago back in 1789 Parisians stormed the Bastille, freeing its inmates and taking the prison's large quantities of arms and ammunition, thereby setting in motion the French Revolution. More importantly, back in 1975 Rush decided to write a song about it. There's no bread, let them eat cake!

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

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Rush's Limelight included in Guitar World's 100 Greatest Classic Rock Guitar Songs
5:54PM EST | link | comments (18) |

The August, 2011 issue of Guitar World magazine is a special issue featuring their list of the 100 Greatest Classic Rock Guitar Songs. Rush's Limelight made their list at #25 and you can see what they say about the song in the attached scan. Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb made the cut at #20 and their write-up includes comments from Alex Lifeson on the song and guitarist David Gilmour (see attached scan) taken from a previous Alex Lifeson interview. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up and the scans.

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Rush's Countdown tops Spinner's list of the top 10 Space Shuttle wake-up songs
12:20AM EST | link | comments (10) |

This past Friday, July 8th the very last space shuttle of NASA's Shuttle Program took off from Cape Canaveral, FL. To mark this historic event, Spinner magazine compiled a list of the top 10 Space Shuttle wake-up songs and Rush's Countdown topped the list at #1:

Canada brought more to the Shuttle Program than the Canadarm, and it came in the form of a Rush song. The iconic Canuck prog-rockers' 1982 single 'Countdown' was wholly inspired by Columbia's first trip in 1981, the first of the Shuttle Program. The song even samples audio from this launch and was played to wake up the crew on Columbia's 27th flight in 2002, on the day the shuttle landed back on Earth for the last time. So it's a pretty perfect pick to complete our wake-up song countdown as NASA's space shuttle program enters T-Minus Zero.

Here's the video for Countdown:

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:51AM EST | link | comments (53) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011It's over. After 3 months and 38 shows, Rush wrapped up the 2011 leg of their highly successful Time Machine Tour this past Saturday at The Gorge outside Seattle. Here's a bootleg video of the final song (Working Man) of the night and the last song of the Time Machine Tour tour which includes Geddy's parting words: f*cking awesome tour!. :) According to various interviews from over the past year, the band will now take a much-deserved break for the remainder of the Summer until continuing work on their upcoming Clockwork Angels album this Fall. If all goes according to plan, the album will release next Spring and be followed by an extensive tour in support of it. Until then we have the release of the Time Machine live DVD this Fall to look forward to. Last week Billboard released sales and attendance figures for another 16 shows from the tour and Rush ended up making their Hot Tours list for the week coming in at #2. There were several more sellouts in this latest batch; Cleveland, Detroit, Montreal, Baltimore, New Orleans, Austin and El Paso join Sunrise, Hershey and New York as sellouts. That makes a total of 10 sellouts out of the 22 shows reporting attendance figures so far. For all of the specific tour numbers check out this post or the tour section. Speaking of the tour, this past week Paul at The Canadian Music Scene website began posting a series of interviews he conducted with different members of Rush's road crew over the course of the Time Machine Tour. If you haven't already, you can check those out at this link.

William Meire with his portrait of Geddy Lee for Face of Canada exhibit - courtesy The ProvinceIn celebration of Canada Day last Friday, Vancouver artist William Meire's art exhibit Face of Canada opened at Canada Place. The exhibit includes more than 100 oil portraits of notable Canadians including Geddy Lee. From an article in The Province covering the event:

... Meire says it's been hard narrowing down his list of notable Canadians. And he's not done yet, as he continues to paint. But if he had to choose just one, who would be his favourite Canuck celebrity?

"I love Rush, I'm a Rush fan. I love Geddy Lee, as far as entertainers, he's very inspiring to me. And Neil Young, of course, they'd be right up there as far as entertainers. They're so inspiring, I listen to them both constantly as I paint," he says.

Also in celebration of Canada Day, Chill magazine listed in their latest issue (issue #49) 144 reasons to be a proud Canadian and #21 was Rush:

This Canadian rock and roll trio is known for its complex compositions, its lyrical mastership and being on the cover of issue 43 of Chill Magazine.

Issue 43 was the July/August 2010 issue which you can check out online at this link. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

We learned earlier this week that the August, 2011 issue of the UK's Rhythm magazine includes an 11-page cover feature on Neil Peart. In the interview Neil talks about his life-long pursuit of drumming excellence and why after 45 years of drumming he is still working to make himself a better player. He covers topics such as taking drum lessons from drum legends Freddie Gruber and Peter Erskine, improvisation, finding the perfect sound and more. The feature also includes a guided tour of the Time Machine Tour kit from Neil's drum tech Lorne Wheaton (as featured in this video) and a look back at Peart's first-ever Rhythm cover way back in 1987.

Alex Lifeson is the subject of a cover feature in the September, 2011 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine:

Alex Lifeson
Rush Keeps Rollin'
Critics have called them pretentious since the start, and not every rock listener signed on as a fan. But Rush has always focused on writing songs, playing, and performing to the best of their individual abilities. Through the group's many musical changes, Alex Lifeson has provided unique guitar work, and played mandolin, bouzouki, mandola, along with other instruments. By Elliot Stephen Cohen

Alex Lifeson is also featured in an article for issue #217 of Total Guitar magazine.

Rush
As the prog rockers wrap up their worldwide Time Machine Tour, guitarist Alex Lifeson gives TG a personal tour of his extensive live rig.

RIAB reader Jetpacks - founder of the website Radio Free Babylon - has included a Rush reference in the latest installment of his Google street views art series Saturated Street Scenes. Finding a limo being polished on Adelaide St. East in Toronto, the artist affixed an original Rush logo license plate to the car. You can check it out at this link. This is not the first time Jetpacks has combined Google street views with Rush, having created a spec spot for Porsche using what he calls the one thirty second snippet of Rush music that unites all generations of Rush fans, from the early head bangers through the mullet and synth years and into today. That creation can be be viewed at this link.

Sons of Anarchy is a television drama series created by Kurt Sutter about the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club operating in the fictional town of Charming, California. Sutter has a video blog where he answers questions from fans and in the latest installment he's asked about the possibility of using Rush music in the show. You can check it out on YouTube at this link at about the 3-minute mark. Thanks to tedd1108 for the heads up.

Reader jg2112 alerted me to the fact that Rush was included in the Guinness World Records Gamers Edition 2011 as having the record for Longest Song Featured in a Rhythm Game, namely 2112 from last year's Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. From the entry in the book:

Longest Song Featured in a Rhythm Game
Holder: "2112" (Rush, 1976)
The prize for the longest commercially released song to be featured in a rhythm game goes to veteran Canadian rockers Rush, whose 20-min 23-sec 1976 track "2112" features as the final number in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (Activision, 2010).

Reader Greg W alerted me to this photo on Flickr which cleverly recreates the album cover from Moving Pictures using legos. You can check it out at this link. There's also this Lego version of the Hold Your Fire album cover.

Rush's Tom Sawyer is featured on this week's All Songs Considered podcast as part of their summer memories theme. You can check it out at this link (thanks Zutroy).

A couple of weeks ago music industry insider Bob Lefsetz wrote up a glowing report of the June 20th Rush show he attended in Los Angeles for his popular Lefsetz Newsletter. Shortly after this newsletter went out, he received a letter from one of Rush's former tour managers - Keith Brown - which he included in his June 29th Mailbag edition of his newsletter. Here's the letter:

I tour-managed Rush's first cross-Canada tour in 1977 and to work with them is to love them.

In those days each permanent crew member took a rotating turn at being an honorary band member. That meant every sixth day each one got to travel with the band and only had to work the sound check and the show (no load-in or load-out.) The band also always ate with the crew to ensure the promoters would provide good meals. I never encountered a road crew that was more dedicated.

When we played Halifax the crew was remarkable. The venue was the old Halifax Forum - filled to its 6200 capacity. The rink was made entirely of wood and built on short piers so there was air beneath the floor. It could have burned to the ground in 15 minutes and it almost did. Just as the band took the stage, it seems someone in the audience threw a burning sparkler up in the air which landed on top of the big score clock suspended over "center ice". About three songs in, Geddy spotted the flames shooting up. He stopped the band and started yelling "crew, crew, crew" and pointed at the score clock. As if they had practiced for that moment, the crew flew into action. Mike Lurch, the security chief, literally plowed a path through the crowd as four crew guys pushed the cherry-picker (normally used for aiming par lights) towards the fire. As this was happening, another crew member was scrambling up the cherry picker armed with two fire extinguishers. In a minute the fire was out, a tragedy was averted and a minute after that, Rush was back in business rocking the place. At the end of the show the arena manager, Keith Lewis, entered the band's dressing room. Tears were rolling down his cheeks as he thanked Rush and their "boys" for saving hundreds of lives.

Rush is amazing, and not just because of their music.

There was a Rush reference on last Friday night's episode of The Soup on E!. About half way into the show they were showing a clip from the ABC show Extreme Makeover - Weight Loss Edition. The clip showed a rather large African American girl who wanted to learn how to play drums sitting in a gymnasium, and her drum coach walks in playing a marching band drum. She then jumps up and hugs the guy. They then show her in an offscreen interview asking, Who is that white boy with the drums? The host Joel McHale then stops the clip and chimes in (using his best urban female voice):

Is that Neil Peart? Because if it is I want him to play Tom Sawyer. Actually anything off of Moving Pictures. Even better, if he could play something from Hemispheres side 2 - hey man, he could play anything. I'm a huge Rush fan! Did I say Rush? I meant hot fudge sundaes...

You can watch the clip on YouTube below or at this link.

I had been scheduled to make an appearance on this past Tuesday's edition of internet radio show Used Bin Radio, but due to technical issues they had to cancel the show. I'm not sure as of yet when the appearance will be rescheduled, but it should be in the next couple of weeks. I'll keep you posted. That's it for this week. Have a great weekend everyone!

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Alex Lifeson featured in latest Total Guitar magazine
9:47AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Total Guitar #217Alex Lifeson is featured in an article for issue #217 of Total Guitar magazine.

Rush
As the prog rockers wrap up their worldwide Time Machine Tour, guitarist Alex Lifeson gives TG a personal tour of his extensive live rig.

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Alex Lifeson featured in latest Vintage Guitar magazine
9:31AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Vintage Guitar September, 2011Alex Lifeson is the subject of a cover feature in the September, 2011 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine:

Alex Lifeson
Rush Keeps Rollin'
Critics have called them pretentious since the start, and not every rock listener signed on as a fan. But Rush has always focused on writing songs, playing, and performing to the best of their individual abilities. Through the group's many musical changes, Alex Lifeson has provided unique guitar work, and played mandolin, bouzouki, mandola, along with other instruments. By Elliot Stephen Cohen

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ed to guest on Internet radio show Used Bin Radio tonight
6:13PM EST | link | comments (21) |

UPDATE - 7/5@8:52PM: Scratch that! Unfortunately due to technical issues with their servers, Used Bin Radio will be unable to air their regular Tuesday live show this week. Needless to say, this means that my appearance will be postponed. I'll keep you posted as to when I'll appear on the show.

I'll be a guest on Internet radio show Used Bin Radio tonight to talk all things Rush with hosts Brad and Joe. The show runs from 7-10PM PST (10-1AM EST) and you can listen in online. Just go to UsedBin.com for all of the details.

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Neil Peart featured in August, 2011 issue of Rhythm Magazine
11:48AM EST | link | comments (5) |

The August, 2011 issue of the UK's Rhythm magazine includes an 11-page cover feature on Neil Peart. In the interview Neil talks about his life-long pursuit of drumming excellence and why after 45 years of drumming he is still working to make himself a better player. He covers topics such as taking drum lessons from drum legends Freddie Gruber and Peter Erskine, improvisation, finding the perfect sound and more. The feature also includes a guided tour of the Time Machine Tour kit from Neil's drum tech Lorne Wheaton (as featured in this video) and a look back at Peart's first-ever Rhythm cover way back in 1987. Thanks to Blabbermouth for the heads up.

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rush road crew interviews at The Canadian Music Scene
9:07PM EST | link | comments (12) |

David Davidian and John ArrowsmithUPDATE - 9/14@4:54PM: Part V with Alex Lifeson guitar tech Scott Appleton is now up.

UPDATE - 7/5@7:40AM: Part IV with the Rush sound guys Brad Madix and Brent Carpenter is now up.

UPDATE - 7/3@1:21PM: Paul did not get a chance to speak with Geddy's bass tech John McIntosh, but he did get a bunch of great photos of Geddy's equipment which you can check out at this link.

Paul at The Canadian Music Scene website has begun posting a series of interviews he conducted with different members of Rush's road crew over the course of the Time Machine Tour. From the website:

... Over the years I have had the privilege of getting to know Howard "Herns" Ungerleider and conducted several interviews and question and answer sessions with Howard. Just in case there are a few that don't know, Howard is the Production Manager for RUSH's concerts. He design's all of the lighting and works closely with the band and video crew to put the complete visual show together.

From these interviews, questions and answer sessions, and visiting his company, PDI (Production Design International) in Markham, Ontario, I have learned a lot about lighting and what is involved to design and setup a show.

Along the way I also got to know Lorne "Gump" Wheaton, Neil's drum tech extraordinaire and like Howard, all around great person.

I approached both them with my idea: Let's let RUSH fans know what the road crew does, how much work is involved to bring us the three plus hour show. They thought it was a great idea, first step done. ...

So far Paul has posted his interviews with Rush's Video Director David Davidian and their Pyro Technician (and tour photographer) John Arrowsmith. Accompanying the interviews are a bunch of great photos. You can check them out at this link.

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Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Seattle open thread
3:18PM EST | link | comments (50) |

UPDATE - 7/9@6:49PM: Here's a great quality vid of The Spirit of Radio, Limelight and Working Man (last song) including Geddy's parting words (thanks Scott M).

UPDATE - 7/6@9:21AM: Here's a photo gallery from 92.9 KISM (thanks RushFanForever).

UPDATE - 7/5@10:26AM: Here's a gallery of photos posted over at Cygnus-X1.net.

UPDATE - 7/4@8:56AM: Reader Ben K sent me this bootleg video of the final song (Working Man) of the night and the last song of the Time Machine Tour tour which includes Geddy's parting words: f*cking awesome tour. :)

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 7/4@8:51AM: Official photos are now posted at the Rush on the Road Photo Store website.

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011After over 3 months and nearly 40 shows, Rush closes out the 2011 Time Machine Tour tonight at The Gorge outside Seattle, WA. It's hard to believe it's over! For everyone going to the show, have fun, be safe and be sure to share your photos, videos and reports with us.

Date/Time: Saturday, July 2nd @ 7:30PM
Show Number: 38
Venue: The Gorge
Place: George, WA (outside Seattle)

gallery: [view] [upload] [YouTube videos]
reviews: [reviews]

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Rush Time Machine Tour official attendance and sales figures update
10:30AM EST | link | comments (9) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011I had just mentioned yesterday how I'd hoped to get some more official attendance figures for Rush's 2011 tour, and it looks like somebody must have heard me! Yesterday Billboard released sales and attendance figures for another 16 shows from the 2011 Time Machine Tour - which means we now have the figures for 22 of the 38 shows. Rush also made Billboard's Hot Tours list this week coming in at #2:

... With $12 million in box office grosses reported from 16 performances on the Time Machine Tour, veteran Canadian band Rush lands in the No. 2 position on this week's rankings. The totals reported during the past week are from North American dates in April and June as well as three concerts from European markets during May. The top gross among the North American shows came from the Los Angeles market with $1,289,447 in ticket sales from two concerts at Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal City (June 20 & 22). The highest-grossing European venue was London's O2 Arena with £756,910 in ticket sales from a May 25th performance. Top numbers from the band's home country came from the Bell Centre in Montreal, grossing just over $1 million (US$) from a packed house on April 20. ...

Now onto the specifics. Just as I'd suspected, we had several more sellouts in this latest report; Cleveland, Detroit, Montreal, Baltimore, New Orleans, Austin and El Paso join Sunrise, Hershey and New York as sellouts. That makes a total of 10 sellouts out of the 22 shows reporting attendance figures so far. Very impressive! For some reason Billboard likes to lump the figures for 2 consecutive shows in the same city/venue rather than report them independently, so for the 2 LA shows I simply split the numbers down the middle. The capacity figures reported do not correspond to the actual physical capacity of the venue; it reflects the number of tickets that were made available for sale. Gross sales are expressed in US dollars. The most-attended show so far was the April 15th show at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland which sold out all 14,970 seats. And the New York MSG show remains the highest grossing with $1,276,798 in ticket sales. I've already added the figures to the tour section and will try to add them to each individual show's open thread as I have the time. Here are the numbers for the 16 shows reported yesterday:

Tue, Apr, 12: United Center - Chicago, IL
Attendance / Capacity: 11670 / 12178
Gross Ticket Sales: $1,009,885

Wed, Apr, 13: Huntington Center - Toledo, OH
Attendance / Capacity: 5736 / 5969
Gross Ticket Sales: $370,004

Fri, Apr, 15: Quicken Loans Arena - Cleveland, OH
Attendance / Capacity: 14970 / 14970 SOLD OUT
Gross Ticket Sales: $958,727

Sun, Apr, 17: Palace of Auburn Hills - Auburn Hills, MI
Attendance / Capacity: 9987 / 9987 SOLD OUT
Gross Ticket Sales: $826,549

Wed, Apr, 20: Bell Centre - Montreal, QC
Attendance / Capacity: 11590 / 11590 SOLD OUT
Gross Ticket Sales: $1,008,250

Fri, Apr, 22: 1st Mariner Arena - Baltimore, MD
Attendance / Capacity: 11006 / 11006 SOLD OUT
Gross Ticket Sales: $821,493

Thu, May, 12: The O2 - Dublin,
Attendance / Capacity: 6278 / 7000
Gross Ticket Sales: $602,861

Thu, May, 19: Manchester MEN Arena - Manchester,
Attendance / Capacity: 9115 / 10285
Gross Ticket Sales: $861,850

Wed, May, 25: The O2 - London,
Attendance / Capacity: 12984 / 13517
Gross Ticket Sales: $1,221,530

Fri, Jun, 10: New Orleans Arena - New Orleans, LA
Attendance / Capacity: 9804 / 9804 SOLD OUT
Gross Ticket Sales: $671,618

Sun, Jun, 12: Frank Erwin Center - Austin, TX
Attendance / Capacity: 10525 / 10525 SOLD OUT
Gross Ticket Sales: $693,912

Tue, Jun, 14: Don Haskins Center - El Paso, TX
Attendance / Capacity: 6338 / 6338 SOLD OUT
Gross Ticket Sales: $428,500

Thu, Jun, 16: US Airways Center - Phoenix, AZ
Attendance / Capacity: 10777 / 12472
Gross Ticket Sales: $713,851

Sat, Jun, 18: Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre - San Diego, CA
Attendance / Capacity: 9912 / 11183
Gross Ticket Sales: $606,918

Mon, Jun, 20: Gibson Amphitheatre - Los Angeles, CA
Attendance / Capacity: 5697 / 5801
Gross Ticket Sales: $644,724

Wed, Jun, 22: Gibson Amphitheatre - Los Angeles, CA
Attendance / Capacity: 5697 / 5801
Gross Ticket Sales: $644,724

Related Posts:
[New Alex Lifeson gear interview with Musician's Friend]
[Rush 2011 Time Machine Tour: Cleveland open thread]
[Rush Time Machine Tour makes Billboard Hot Tours list]
[Premier Guitars talks with Alex Lifeson guitar tech Scott Appleton]
[Alex Lifeson on the Cleveland DVD, Rock Hall in new interview]
[New Rush video interview backstage from Madison Square Garden]

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Rush reference on last night's episode of The Soup on E!
9:36AM EST | link | comments (5) |

Just I'd alerted you to in yesterday's Rush updates post, there was a Rush reference on last night's episode of The Soup on E!. About half way into the show they were showing a clip from the ABC show Extreme Makeover - Weight Loss Edition. The clip showed a rather large African American girl who wanted to learn how to play drums sitting in a gymnasium, and her drum coach walks in playing a marching band drum. She then jumps up and hugs the guy. They then show her in an offscreen interview asking, Who is that white boy with the drums? The host Joel McHale then stops the clip and chimes in (using his best urban voice):

Is that Neil Peart? Because if it is I want him to play Tom Sawyer. Actually anything off of Moving Pictures. Even better, if he could play something from Hemispheres side 2 - hey man, he could play anything. I'm a huge Rush fan! Did I say Rush? I meant hot fudge sundaes...

You can watch the clip on YouTube below or at this link (thanks John at Cygnus-X1.net).

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Face of Canada exhibit featuring portrait of Geddy Lee
9:47PM EST | link | comments (5) |

William Meire with his portrait of Geddy Lee for Face of Canada exhibit - courtesy The ProvinceIn celebration of Canada Day, Vancouver artist William Meire's art exhibit Face of Canada opened today at Canada Place. The exhibit includes more than 100 oil portraits of notable Canadians including Geddy Lee. From an article in The Province covering the event:

... Meire says it's been hard narrowing down his list of notable Canadians. And he's not done yet, as he continues to paint. But if he had to choose just one, who would be his favourite Canuck celebrity?

"I love Rush, I'm a Rush fan. I love Geddy Lee, as far as entertainers, he's very inspiring to me. And Neil Young, of course, they'd be right up there as far as entertainers. They're so inspiring, I listen to them both constantly as I paint," he says.

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Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:18PM EST | link | comments (19) |

Rush Time Machine Tour 2011This past week Rush brought the Time Machine Tour to enthusiastic crowds in Las Vegas, Concord, Portland and Vancouver... and now there's only one more show left! After 3 months and 37 dates, Rush's 2011 Time Machine Tour will sadly come to a close tomorrow night at The Gorge outside Seattle, WA. To ease our suffering over the next several months until Rush's planned 2012 tour in support of Clockwork Angels, the band will be putting out a live DVD of their April 15th performance in Cleveland this Fall. The DVD is aptly titled Time Machine and has a tentative release date of September 27th. We only have official attendance figures for the first six shows of the tour so far, but all evidence suggests that the 2011 tour was a huge success for the band. Of those first six shows, THREE of them were sellouts. Since their return to the touring circuit back in 2002 they seldom sell out more than 3 shows on an entire tour, so that bodes well for the attendance figures for the other 32 dates. Hopefully we'll have those numbers soon. On that note, I thought for my next poll question I'd ask everyone what tour was your favorite since the band's return to touring after their 5-year hiatus from 1997-2002 (thanks to thedigitalman for the poll idea). Take the poll and let us know. In my last poll I asked everyone what Rush album that they think should be next to get the 5.1 Surround Sound treatment now that the Moving Pictures 5.1 remix has been released. Hemispheres was the clear winner with 25% of the vote and 2112 was a close second with 19% of the vote. You can view all the results at this link.

Back in March Lick Library launched a very cool and unique new interactive online drumming magazine called iDrum. Neil Peart graced the cover of their debut issue and the magazine also featured the first part of an in-depth video interview with Neil which you can check out online at this location. Issue #2 of iDrum became available online earlier this week and features the second part of Neil Peart's interview. You can check it out at this link. Neil covers a wide range of subjects including how he conditions himself to prepare for touring, his show-day rituals, his recent inner-ear issues, studying with Freddie Gruber and Peter Erskine, his Time Machine Tour kit and more. It's an extremely in-depth and interesting interview so be sure to check it out.

A few months ago Musician's Friend magazine launched a very cool sweepstakes where the winner would Win The Ultimate Concert Experience With Alex Lifeson. The winner ended up being Donald Beane of Wilton, ME and you can read about his experience and check out some photos at the Musician's Friend Facebook page. Congratulations Donald!

Andrew ColeToronto-born musician Andrew Cole will be performing a show at Midnight Madness in Oakville, ON on July 15th and was recently featured for an article in the Oakville Beaver. Andrew's manager is Kathleene Cochrane - wife of legendary Canadian musician Tom Cochrane, and Cole reveals in the article an upcoming collaboration that will feature Cochrane along with Alex Lifeson and other well-known musicians:

... Cole and Tom are currently working together on two new songs slated for release in October or November. The collaboration will also feature other music heavyweights such as Alex Lifeson from Rush, Janes Addiction and Paul McCartney's band, he said.

"Nobody knows about that, it's the first time I've said it. We wanted to get it out for the summer, but they're all on tour; it was really hard to get everyone," said Cole. "To have all these people on one song is strange because you don't know how it's going to work out. It could be absolutely brilliant or could be a disaster." ...

Lee Farber - Writer/Supervising Producer for The Soup on E! - is a huge Rush fan and contacted me to let everyone know that on tonight's episode there will be a major Rush reference about halfway into the show as the punchline to a clip called Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. The show airs tonight on E! at 10PM so check it out if you can.

Reader RushFanForever recently picked up a copy of Dave Bidini's 2004 book For Those About to Rock: A Road Map to Being in a Band, which contains several Rush references and stories. Bidini is a founding member of the Canadian indie rock band Rheostatics and a friend of the guys in Rush. He presented Rush with their Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame award last year and read some excerpts from this book in his induction speech. Here are a few of these excerpts:

Chapter 6 - The Men Who Hold High Places: Bands We Love And Why

As a kid in love with rock and roll, Rush was the first real band with whom I was obsessed. ... I was partly into Rush because, as a fourteen-year old, I wanted to appear older - most of the kids two grades above me were into Rush - and partly because, like tobogganing and watching The Beachcombers, to follow them was to quietly awaken one's sense of place. Besides, if you weren't into Rush, you were into disco, an impossible choice. When it was broken down along these lines, Rush was the one band every guy in my neighborhood cared about. ...

... the Rheostatics got to record with Neil Peart in 1992. I'd met rock stars before, but it was special meeting Neil because he was among my first heroes. I'd actually talked to Neil once before, having interviewed him by phone for a local magazine. This was a profound event, too. At the end of the interview - he'd called in from the Chateau Frontenac hotel in Old Quebec, and I was bleary-eyed from staying out the night before - I asked him if he was listening to any new bands. He paused for a minute and said, "Well there's this one band from Etobicoke. They're called the Rheostatics. Have you heard of them?"

"I'm...in them," I said, stuttering.

"That song, 'Horses,' " he said. "We were recording and I couldn't get it out of my head. We were doing a track, and I just couldn't concentrate. I was playing the song, but all I could hear was, 'Holy Mackinaw Joe,' " he said. "I had to stop and go out and buy the record."...

Chapter 10 - From Sea To Shining Sewer - Going On Tour

Geddy Lee once told me a story about Rush's early days:

We were playing in either Melville or Estevan, Saskatchewan; I can't remember which. We were scheduled to play at the arena in the evening, but when we arrived in the afternoon to do our sound check, we discovered that the local hockey team had refused to allow the ice to be covered. They had a big game coming up and thought that the concert might wreck the ice. So our gear was set up at one end of the rink, the mixing consoles were in the stands, and the lighting console was on stage with us. Just as we began sound check, the team started skating around the rink and practicing. It was very surreal. In the evening, the crowd was seated at the far end of the stands and we were playing down at the other end because the ice remained uncovered. ...

The June 28th edition of the Washington Post's crossword puzzle contained a Rush reference. The clue for 15 Across (4 letters) was "Tom Sawyer" band. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

Actor/writer (and Rush fan) Wil Wheaton tweeted the following last week (thanks Nathan C):

iTunes: What's with all the Rush? Me: Anne's out of town til tonight. iTunes: Does it have to be so loud? Me: I don't even know you anymore.

In the latest installment of his music discovery podcast and blog Bands Like Rush, Ben Sommer talks to Gayle Ellet from veteran instrumental prog band Djam Karet. You can listen to the podcast and watch the video of the interview at this link. To find out more about Djam Caret check out their website here.

Reader Eric J was recently married and his most-awesome bride surprised him with a Rush Time Machine Tour groom's cake as shown in this photo. Looks yummy.

Reader Kelly D reports that at last night's Vancouver show during 2112 a guy in a chicken suit came out wearing a Bruins jersey along with a guy in a gorilla suit wearing a Canucks jersey - and the gorilla beat the crap out of the chicken as shown in this YouTube video.

That's all for this week. Happy Canada Day to all of our Canadian friends, and have a great 4th of July my fellow Americans!

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New Alex Lifeson collaboration with musician Andrew Cole
9:05AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Andrew ColeToronto-born musician Andrew Cole will be performing a show at Midnight Madness in Oakville, ON on July 15th and was recently featured for an article in the Oakville Beaver. Andrew's manager is Kathleene Cochrane - wife of legendary Canadian musician Tom Cochrane, and Cole reveals in the article an upcoming collaboration that will feature Cochrane along with Alex Lifeson and other well-known musicians:

... Cole and Tom are currently working together on two new songs slated for release in October or November. The collaboration will also feature other music heavyweights such as Alex Lifeson from Rush, Janes Addiction and Paul McCartney's band, he said.

"Nobody knows about that, it's the first time I've said it. We wanted to get it out for the summer, but they're all on tour; it was really hard to get everyone," said Cole. "To have all these people on one song is strange because you don't know how it's going to work out. It could be absolutely brilliant or could be a disaster." ...

Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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