Archive: Blog Entries from January, 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:20PM EST | link | comments (28) |

UPDATE - 1/31@12:45PM: It's Rush vs. Led Zeppelin in Denver's 103.5 The Fox Super Bowl of Rock and Roll, so go vote for Rush! (thanks Sesq)

Although there hasn't been much Rush news to report lately, we did hear about some new upcoming Rush releases this past week. Rush's first 12 studio albums will be re-issued on SHM-CD in Japan next month, a 1980 Rush live radio broadcast will be released in Europe in March, and a new Rush book will be released in late April. Rush FAQ: All That's Left To Know About Rock's Greatest Power Trio will be released on April 29th and is currently available for pre-order. The book comes in at 400 pages and was written by veteran music writer Max Mobley (Crawdaddy!, Premier Guitar), who has interviewed Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson twice and seen countless Rush shows dating back to the A Farewell to Kings tour. You can check out a copy of the book's introduction in this post and pre-order your copy of Rush FAQ at this location.

Rush Japanese SHM-CDAccording to listings at CD Japan, Warner Music Japan will be releasing re-issues of Rush's first 12 studio albums as Mini-LP Super High Material CDs (SHM-CDs) on February 26th. Versions of these 12 albums based off the 1997 remasters had been previously released on SHM-CD back in June of 2009, so these are likely individual re-issues of the Sector remasters that were released digitally last year (unconfirmed).

A live radio broadcast recording of a February, 1980 Rush concert titled Spirit of the Airwaves will be released on CD and vinyl in Europe this coming March. It was recorded over a series of shows in mid-February of 1980 at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis during the Permanent Waves tour. The release was actually already made available for digital download this past December 9th and can currently be purchased on iTunes and other digital music providers in Europe. It will be available in the US and Canada as an import only - likely due to legal issues as it's not an official Rush release. Similar to the Rush ABC 1974 live release from a few years back, this is essentially a packaged release of a bootleg that's been around for many years; namely the St. Louis '80 bootleg that was sourced from a direct A/D transfer of the original 4LP record set provided to radio stations for broadcast.

Alex Lifeson is featured in the January, 2014 issue of Guitar Techniques magazine for a piece by Paul Bielatowicz titled Alex Lifeson: Rush's Prog Master. It's a short profile of Lifeson and his guitar techniques and includes some sample music but no new interview snippets. John at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed the article and made it available online here.

Modern Drummer March 2014The March, 2014 issue of Modern Drummer will hit newsstands next week and features their list of the 50 greatest drummers of all time. According to subscriber reports, Neil Peart came in at #3 on the list just behind John Bonham at #2 and Buddy Rich at #1. Along those same lines, reader Doug B let me know that Neil Peart came in at #8 on Green Label Sound's list of The 10 Best Drummers of All Time.

Potential Republican presidential candidate and current Senator Rand Paul was profiled for a piece in the New York Times this past weekend titled Rand Paul's Mixed Inheritance. The piece focuses on the Senator's libertarian-leaning philosophy and mentions Rush at one point when discussing Paul's high school years. During Paul's run for Senate back in 2010 he would regularly use Rush music in his campaign videos, but Rush eventually got wind of this and had their lawyer send the campaign a letter asking him to stop.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers will be a special guest of Bruno Mars at the halftime show of the Superbowl this coming Sunday at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith was a guest on the Kevin & Bean radio show Wednesday morning on KROQ to talk about the upcoming performance. Rumors had been circulating that the band would be covering a Led Zeppelin song after the drummer had cracked a joke to reporters last weekend at the Grammys, but Smith assured everyone in the interview that this was just a rumor. He then jokingly said that the band would instead be performing side one of Rush's 2112.

Daniel Wilcox at 411mania.com posted his list of The Top 50 Music Moments of 2013 earlier this week, and Rush's Rock Hall induction came in at #42 on his list:

To say it had been a long time coming would be something of an understatement. After years of fans clamouring for their induction, it was announced that Rush would finally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fans can and will debate the relative merits of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but it is undeniable that Rush is a band who deserve their spot in the Hall and the induction was long overdue. The announcement came in December 2012, the induction came later in 2013 as the Canadian trio of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart were inducted as the marquee act ahead of a class that included Heart, Quincy Jones, Public Enemy and Randy Newman. Some people put a lot of stock into such achievement and for those people it was no doubt the right call putting the band into the Hall after so long.

Who the f**k is Arthur FogelBack in December I mentioned how Canadian concert promoter Arthur Fogel is the subject of the documentary Who the f**k is Arthur Fogel?, which released early last year. Fogel - a musician himself - is the President of Global Touring and Chairman of Global Music for Live Nation and is widely credited for revolutionizing the global concert touring industry with his hands-on approach. This Ron Chapman documentary features an in-depth interview with Fogel, as well as an appearance by Geddy Lee and many other artists including Bono, The Edge, Sting, Andy Summers, Madonna, Lady Gaga, David Bowie, and many more. It also includes many rarely seen concert performances including some footage of Rush. The film was screened at several Canadian film festivals last year and was supposed to get its television premiere on EPIX Wednesday night, but the premiere has instead been delayed until March 19th. You can check out the film's trailer at this location. The trailer doesn't include any interview footage with Geddy, but does contain some flashes of Rush in concert.

Eric over at the Power Windows site is looking to improve the quality of his ticket scan archive for his awesome Rush Tour Archive and would like your help. If you are willing and able, please send him your HIGH QUALITY ticket stub scans on a white background, not photographs. Just email them to this email address.

Five years ago this coming Thursday, February 6th the film Fanboys was released. This Kyle Newman film with a script by Ernie Cline follows a group of Star Wars-loving geeks in 1998 who travel cross country so that their dying friend's dream of watching Star Wars: The Phantom Menace at Skywalker Ranch before its release can come true. One of the main characters (Hutch) is a huge Rush fan and spends most of the film wearing a Rush t-shirt. He also keeps a cassette case containing only Rush tapes in his van. In one scene with the gang all riding in the van, Eric (Sam Huntington) opens the cassette case and says, What the hell Hutch, it's all Rush, what if we wanted a little variety?, and Hutch (Dan Fogler) replies, Rush is variety, Bitch! Rule number one: in my van, its Rush! All Rush, all the time...no exceptions. Here's a YouTube clip of this very scene:

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

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith jokes about playing Rush's 2112 at Superbowl halftime show
8:51AM EST | link | comments (22) |

Chad Smith and Alex LifesonThe Red Hot Chili Peppers will be a special guest of Bruno Mars at the halftime show of the Superbowl this coming Sunday at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith was a guest on the Kevin & Bean radio show yesterday morning on KROQ to talk about the upcoming performance. Rumors had been circulating that the band would be covering a Led Zeppelin song after the drummer had cracked a joke to reporters last weekend at the Grammys, but Smith assured everyone in the interview that this was just a rumor. He then jokingly started another rumor involving Rush (thanks Lerxster):

"People in the media are so gullible sometimes," Smith joked. "We will, however, be performing side one of Rush's 2112."

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Alex Lifeson featured in Guitar Techniques magazine
10:29AM EST | link | comments (19) |

Alex Lifeson - Guitar Techniques Jan 2014Alex Lifeson is featured in the January, 2014 issue of Guitar Techniques magazine for a piece by Paul Bielatowicz titled Alex Lifeson: Rush's Prog Master. It's a short profile of Lifeson and his guitar techniques and includes some sample music but no new interview snippets. John at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed the article and made it available online here.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Rush mentioned in New York Times profile of Senator Rand Paul
6:07PM EST | link | comments (40) |

Rand PaulPotential Republican presidential candidate and current Senator Rand Paul was profiled for a piece in the New York Times over the weekend titled Rand Paul's Mixed Inheritance. The piece focuses on the Senator's libertarian-leaning philosophy and mentions Rush at one point when discussing his high school years:

...Rand was engrossed in his own course of libertarian study: He received a set of Ayn Rand novels for his 17th birthday. And he followed the rock band Rush, some of whose lyrics had libertarian themes.

Gary L. Gardner Jr., a high school friend, said: "I remember even back then being on a swim team bus and a Rush song comes on. I think it was the song 'Trees' - and he said, 'Man, listen to the words of this, you know those guys have got to be conservative.' "

"The Trees" tells the story of maples, overshadowed by tall oaks, that form a union to bring equality to the woods "by hatchet, ax and saw." ...

During Paul's run for Senate back in 2010 he would regularly use Rush music in his campaign videos. Rush eventually got wind of this and had their lawyer send the campaign a letter asking him to stop.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

New Rush FAQ book coming in April, now available for pre-order
8:21AM EST | link | comments (9) |

A new book on Rush by veteran music writer Max Mobley titled Rush FAQ: All That's Left To Know About Rock's Greatest Power Trio will be released on April 29th and is currently available for pre-order. From the Amazon description:

...Rush FAQ studies the evolution of the bands sound, from the early days of Zeppelin-esque blues-rock to complex, synth-laden opuses to the return of concept-album bombast with the critically acclaimed Clockwork Angels. With wit, humor, and authority, music industry veteran and unabashed Rush geek Max Mobley examines the music, gear, personalities, and trials and tribulations of one of rock and rolls truly legendary acts. It is a story Rush fans will treasure and rock and roll fans will admire.

Max Mobley is a music industry veteran who has been writing about Rush for over a decade, most notably as a columnist for Crawdaddy! and Premier Guitar. Mobley has interviewed Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson twice and seen countless Rush shows dating back to the A Farewell to Kings tour. He has kindly provided a copy of the book's introduction which you can check out at the bottom of the post. You can pre-order your copy of Rush FAQ at this location.

READ MORE...

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Warner Music Japan Rush SHM-CD re-issues coming next month
12:45PM EST | link | comments (2) |

Rush Japanese SHM-CDAccording to listings at CD Japan (thanks Claudio), Warner Music Japan will be releasing re-issues of Rush's first 12 studio albums as Mini-LP Super High Material CDs (SHM-CDs) on February 26th. Versions of these 12 albums based off the 1997 remasters had been previously released on SHM-CD back in June of 2009, so I'm speculating that these are going to be physical re-issues of the Sector remasters that were released digitally last year, although that hasn't been confirmed. Whereas physical versions of these have been available through purchase of the Sector box sets since their release in 2011, if my speculation is correct - this would mark the first time they would be available individually. It's also possible that physical releases of these 12 albums in North America and Europe would follow the Warner Music Japan SHM-CD releases. However, SHM-CD versions of Rush's Atlantic-era albums were released back on September 25th of last year but no North American/European physical release of these individual remasters has yet been made available. More information as I learn it.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Rush Spirit of the Airwaves live 1980 radio broadcast
12:20PM EST | link | comments (43) |

UPDATE - 1/26@1:37PM: Power Windows has a great page of scans from the February shows where this was recorded, including ticket stubs, adverts, and scans of the LPs given to radio stations that broadcast the concert.

UPDATE - 1/26@9:14AM: Readers Leif and stergios2112 note in the comments that the iTunes Europe listing and vinyl listings show that La Villa Strangiato is included; the Amazon listing is likely in error.

A live radio broadcast recording of a 1980 Rush concert will be released on CD and vinyl in Europe this coming March. It's titled Spirit of the Airwaves and was recorded at a February, 1980 show at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis during the Permanent Waves tour. It was actually already made available for digital download this past December 9th and can currently be purchased on iTunes and other digital music providers in Europe. It will be available in the US and Canada as an import only - likely due to legal issues as it's not an official Rush release. Similar to the Rush ABC 1974 live release from a few years back, this is essentially a packaged release of a bootleg that's been around for many years; namely the St. Louis '80 bootleg that was sourced from a direct A/D transfer of the original 4LP record set provided to radio stations for broadcast. Here's the tracklisting as given by iTunes UK:

1. 2112: Overture 4:36
2. The Temples of Syrinx 2:16
3. Discovery 0:30
4. Presentation 2:35
5. Soliloquy 2:25
6. Grand Finale 2:29
7. By-Tor and the Snow Dog 5:14
8. Xanadu 12:17
9. The Spirit of Radio 5:19
10. Natural Science 8:24
11. Beneath, Between, Behind 2:29
12. Working Man 3:30
13. Finding My Way Intro 0:23
14. Anthem 1:40
15. Bastille Day 1:28
16. In the Mood 2:39
17. Drum Solo 5:11
18. La Villa Strangiato 9:51

Thanks to treyalex for the heads up.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
1:37PM EST | link | comments (10) |

Other than a couple of minor items involving Alex Lifeson and some news from the NAMM 2014 show, there's not much in the way of Rush happenings to report this past week. Since it's an off year for the band, we likely won't be hearing much in the way of band news until more details come out regarding the expected 40th anniversary re-issue of the band's debut album. There hasn't been any further news reported with regards to that since Universal Music Canada's VP of catalog marketing Ivar Hamilton first spilled the beans about the release last month. We're also looking forward to the Clockwork Angels graphic novel release this coming March, although there was no new news on that front this week either. Boom! Studios will be releasing the graphic novel in a series of six beginning this coming March. The first issue along with a complete 6-issue subscription are now available for pre-order at the Boom! Studios website (Issue #1 for $3.99, 6-issue Subscription for $29.99). The paperback release of Clockwork Angels: The Novel will be available on May 13th and can be pre-ordered here.

Total Guitar 250The 250th issue of Total Guitar magazine went on sale earlier this week and features legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi on the cover. As part of the cover feature, they rounded up key metal and rock guitarists that have been influenced by Tony's playing over the years and got them to pose their questions to him. According to MusicRadar.com, one of these featured guitarists is Alex Lifeson. Lifeson and Iommi were photographed together at last year's Classic Rock Awards by Ross Halfin as shown in these photos. And in another piece of Alex Lifeson news, the St. George Daily Spectrum reported on a story earlier this week which involved a Minnesota man who was accused of defrauding Dixie Regional Medical Center of services by pretending to be Rush's Alex Lifeson and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. For all the bizarre details you can check out the article online here.

The 2014 NAMM show kicked off earlier this week in Anaheim, California and both Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart were in on the action. DW Drums premiered an all-new line of Icon snare drums which honor Neil Peart, Roger Taylor of Queen, and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd which you can check out in this video. And PRS Guitars has introduced a new Private Stock Alex Lifeson Thinline acoustic guitar which can be seen in this video. For all the details on the Icon snare drum check out the product brochure, and for more on the Alex Lifeson acoustic check out the PRS website. Speaking of NAMM, 10 years ago at the 2004 NAMM show, Neil Peart's 30th anniversary R30 kit was featured as shown in this video (thanks Greg Nosek).

Ultimate Classic Rock is running their 2014 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards and Rush along with their Clockwork Angels Tour concert video are in the running in several categories including Best Live Album, Song of the Year (The Garden), Tour of the Year, and DVD of the Year. Rush is currently leading in several of the categories, but they still need your vote. Voting is open until February 11th, so go vote for Rush!

We learned earlier this week about a major Rush reference contained in the latest issue of the Marvel comic Deadpool (issue #22, released January 8, 2014). At one point Agent Gorman is on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier sitting in an office at a computer, and trying to guess the password. There's a prominent Rush Starman poster along with several Spiderman posters on the wall. Gorman pauses in thought for a moment, then types in the password SPIDEYLOVER2112. It works and he mutters, Idiot to himself. You can check out a scan of the reference online here.

Last week the Google Research team created a Music Timeline which uses aggregated data from Google Play Music to show the changes in music genres over the decades. The visualizations show which albums from past eras are still in our music libraries today, and within each broad music category they have sub-genres and highlight albums representing each. Rush's Moving Pictures was selected as one of the featured albums within the Rock music genre for the Progressive/Art Rock sub-genre. You can also conduct a search for specific bands based on keyword; the result of a search for RUSH brings up Rush and any other bands with the word rush in them (Mahogany Rush, Otis Rush, Big Time Rush, etc.). You can read more about the project in this blog post.

MusicRadar.com posted an interview with bassist Bryan Beller earlier this week where he picks his 10 essential bass albums (thanks Kelly M). Coming in at #6 on his list is Rush's Moving Pictures and here's what he had to say about it:

"I was such a moron: This was one of the first records I tried to learn how to play when I was just starting out. You can imagine how frustrating that was. It didn't go very well. [Laughs]

"All of the melodic stuff in Red Barchetta is amazing. You know, this is another band where the guitar wasn't always super-overdriven. It some parts, Alex Lifeson does some really snappy chord stuff, and it's Geddy Lee who's driving the melodic underpinning of the song.

"There's YYZ, which has so many fascinating things going on. It seemed unplayable to me at the time. Tom Sawyer and Limelight are classics, as we all know. The last song, Vital Signs, has terrific bass parts.

"Some people would pick another Rush album, but I've always loved Moving Pictures. I guess I'm somewhat partial to that period when a band apexes. To me, there's always been something special about this record."

CBC Music posted a photo gallery of what they think are The 20 most Canadian album covers ever and Rush's Inuksuk Test for Echo album cover made the cut (thanks Scott P):

The Inukshuk, which has always been an Inuit symbol, has in recent years become more of a widespread Canadian symbol. Do we have Rush to thank for that? Um, no.

Also making the list was The Great White North by Bob and Doug McKenzie, which featured a guest appearance from Geddy Lee on the track Take Off. On that note, and given that it's felt like we are all living in the Great White North with how cold it's been lately ... here's Take Off.

Beauty, eh? Have a great weekend and stay warm!

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PRS Guitars new Private Stock Alex Lifeson Thinline acoustic guitar introduced at NAMM 2014
12:26PM EST | link | comments (6) |

UPDATE - 1/26@11:42AM: Here's a Facebook photo gallery showcasing the Rush stuff at NAMM from Clockwork Angels String Ensemble member Gerry Hilera.

UPDATE - 1/24@1:12PM: The Alex Lifeson guitar is featured in this news video from NAMM profiling the new PRS Guitar models (thanks rosmakloma):

----- snip -----

The PRS Private Stock Alex Lifeson Thinline acoustic guitarYesterday we reported that DW Drums had premiered an all-new line of Icon snare drums honoring Neil Peart at the 2014 NAMM Show which kicked off earlier this week. Alex Lifeson is also getting in on NAMM action where PRS Guitars has introduced a new Private Stock Alex Lifeson Thinline acoustic guitar. From the press release:

...The Alex Lifeson signature PRS acoustic is slightly thinner than the company's Angelus Cutaway and Tonare Grand and is constructed in such a way that it lends itself to louder stage volumes and the rigors of the road.

"During the 2013 Rush Clockwork Angels Tour, I had the opportunity to spend some time with a PRS Angelus Cutaway. It quickly became my pre-show warm up guitar, and I spent many hours in many hotel rooms lost in the gorgeous sound and tone of that beautiful instrument. I'm very happy to announce that I have collaborated with PRS to develop an Alex Lifeson Signature model based on this superlative platform," said Lifeson. "If you're like me, you won't be able to put it down." ...

The PRS Private Stock Alex Lifeson Thinline acoustic will be available starting in the spring of 2014, and more details can be found on the PRS website here.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

DW Drums Collector's Series Icon Snare Drums honoring Neil Peart premiered at NAMM 2014
4:40PM EST | link | comments (11) |

UPDATE - 1/30@9:45AM: The Icon drums are also featured in the NAMM 2014 Edge magazine (thanks Mark R).

UPDATE - 1/26@11:38AM: Here's a photo gallery of the DW Drums booth at NAMM from MusicRadar.com. And here's a Facebook photo gallery showcasing the Rush stuff at NAMM from Clockwork Angels String Ensemble member Gerry Hilera.

UPDATE - 1/24@1:22PM: The Icon snare drums are featured in this YouTube video from the DW Drums booth at NAMM 2014 (thanks Eric at Power Windows).

----- snip -----

The 2014 NAMM show kicked off earlier this week in Anaheim, California, and DW Drums has premiered an all-new line of Icon snare drums which honor Neil Peart, Roger Taylor of Queen, and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd. From the product brochure:

... The snare drum sizes and shell configurations are as played by each artist, with one dramatic new design element. The finish is painstakingly laser-cut, then hand-inlayed from a variety of jaw-dropping exotic wood veneers. For Neil Peart's drum, the Time Machine motif is realistically recreated in the wood, while Queen's ornate, Freddie Mercury-designed crest is depicted, as is Pink Floyd's famous Dark Side of the Moon prism and waveform image. Each drum is protected with clear gloss lacquer and includes Collector's Series® snare drum standard features such as our MAG throw-off system with 3P (3 position) buttplate, True-Hoops, True-Tone snare wires, True-Pitch tuning, and DW Heads by Remo USA®. Also included are a premium DW snare bag, certificate of authenticity, and a legend that describes the woods used for each specific drum. For more information on this iconic collection, visit: www.dwdrums.com. ...

Thanks to Mark R for the heads up.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Minnesota man accused of posing as Alex Lifeson to get free medical services
5:49PM EST | link | comments (35) |

Lifeson, Gilmour and imposter - photo from The St. George Daily SpectrumThe St. George Daily Spectrum reported on a story earlier today involving a Minnesota man who was accused of defrauding Dixie Regional Medical Center of services by pretending to be Rush's Alex Lifeson and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. From the article:

... Phillip Michael Schaeffer, 54, of Monticello, Minn., is charged with two counts of communications fraud stemming from visits to the hospital in 2011, 2012 and 2013 in which he allegedly first pretended to be 60-year-old Canadian Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and then 67-year-old English Pink Floyd guitarist and singer David Gilmour.

An investigative report filed with the court states a man claiming to be Lifeson incurred $23,328.27 in hospital bills shortly before Christmas in 2011 and left the hospital against medical advice after an overnight stay. ...

The resemblance is uncanny. ;)

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Alex Lifeson featured in latest issue of Total Guitar magazine
1:10PM EST | link | comments (4) |

Total Guitar 250The 250th issue of Total Guitar magazine went on sale yesterday and features legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi on the cover. As part of the cover feature, they rounded up key metal and rock guitarists that have been influenced by Tony's playing over the years and got them to pose their questions to him. According to MusicRadar.com, one of these featured guitarists is Alex Lifeson. Lifeson and Iommi were photographed together at last year's Classic Rock Awards by Ross Halfin as shown in these photos.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Rush reference in Marvel Comics Deadpool #22
10:49AM EST | link | comments (12) |

Deadpool #22The latest issue of the Marvel comic Deadpool (issue #22, released January 8, 2014) contains a major Rush reference. At one point Agent Gorman is on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier sitting in an office at a computer, and trying to guess the password. There's a prominent Rush Starman poster along with several Spiderman posters on the wall. Gorman pauses in thought for a moment, then types in the password SPIDEYLOVER2112. It works and he mutters, Idiot to himself. You can check out a scan of the reference online here. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Rush featured in Google Research Music Timeline project
11:27AM EST | link | comments (9) |

Last week the Google Research team created a Music Timeline which uses aggregated data from Google Play Music to show the changes in music genres over the decades. The visualizations show which albums from past eras are still in our music libraries today, and within each broad music category they have sub-genres and highlight albums representing each. Rush's Moving Pictures was selected as one of the featured albums within the Rock music genre for the Progressive/Art Rock sub-genre. You can also conduct a search for specific bands based on keyword; the result of a search for RUSH brings up Rush and any other bands with the word rush in them (Mahogany Rush, Otis Rush, Big Time Rush, etc.). You can read more about the project in this blog post. Thanks to Phil Simon and Jason H for the heads up.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:32PM EST | link | comments (49) |

The big news this past week was a new interview with Neil Peart and Kevin J. Anderson where they discuss the upcoming graphic novel treatment of the Clockwork Angels novel. The pair spoke with PREVIEWSworld.com about the concept behind Clockwork Angels and how it will translate to the graphic novel format. Anderson does most of the talking but Peart has the following to say regarding Nick Robles - the artist who'll be working on the graphic novel:

Nick has some big challenges ahead of him - while for Kevin and me, this graphic series is a huge and exciting step toward a fully-realized world of our own invention. Also, having been highly impressed by Nick's early sketches of characters and settings, I will be looking forward to seeing his visions of the grander backgrounds, like Crown City, the Carnival, and the Wreckers.

The article also includes a new concept drawing of The Anarchist. At one point the interviewer asks Anderson about a potential movie version of the story and who would be on his dream team for bringing Clockwork Angels to the big screen:

Wow, I try not to think in specifics like that. Visually, I love the work of Zack Snyder, how he pumps his visuals way out of the envelope. Clockwork Angels is a very personal story on a gigantic canvas. I would love to see it on the big screen.

There's no indication that any film version is in the works, but Anderson did tweet out the following earlier this week:

When you sign a movie contract before lunch, you know it's going to be a good day. Details as soon as I can announce them.

Could he be referring to a Clockwork Angels movie? We can only hope. You can read the entire PREVIEWSworld interview here. Boom! Studios will be releasing the graphic novel in a series of six beginning this coming March. The first issue along with a complete 6-issue subscription are now available for pre-order at the Boom! Studios website (Issue #1 for $3.99, 6-issue Subscription for $29.99). The paperback release of Clockwork Angels: The Novel will be available on May 13th and can be pre-ordered here.

Earlier this week Pollstar.com released their list of the Top 100 Worldwide and Top 200 North American tours for 2013, and Rush's Clockwork Angels tour came in at #64 ($14.9 million) on the North American list and #82 ($21.2 million) on the Worldwide list. On the worldwide chart, Rush is listed as playing 34 shows with an average gross of $642,424 and attendance of 8129, and on the North American chart, they are listed as playing 25 shows with an average gross of $620,833 and attendance of 8338 (Note: the festival shows in Sweden, Ottawa and Quebec City were excluded). You can check out the complete lists at Pollstar.com and get the detailed show-by-show breakdown from Billboard for all of the US shows in the tour section. Speaking of the Clockwork Angels tour, CultureMap Austin posted a front-row photo gallery earlier this week from Rush's 2013 tour kickoff at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin which you can check out here.

We recently learned that Rush's documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage will be made available for free streaming on Netflix on February 28th. The film also received an honorable mention in this video news story from WatchMojo.com (thanks Jonathan) which counts down the top 10 rock documentaries.

Rush-inspired live body art from Lance HardyI mentioned this back in November, but thought I'd revisit it since both Power Windows and Cygnus-X1.net posted about it earlier this week. Last Fall Oregon-based fine art photographer Lance Hardy unveiled his new Rush-themed art project as shown here. The exhibit consists of hi-res photographs of actual models with Rush-themed imagery projected onto their bodies, all very tastefully done and with a very interesting and beautiful result. There's no body paint or photoshop effects used; it's all done with staging and image projection. You can check out some images from the exhibit on Lance's Facebook page, and on his personal blog here and here.

Here are a few random Rush tidbits from the last week. Rant Lifestyle included Rush's Tom Sawyer on their list of Mandatory Rock Songs That Should Be On Everyone's iPod (thanks ou812112). And Neil Peart's YYZ drum solo made WXRT's list of 10 Of The Best Drum Solos Of All Time. Bassist Jason Newsted cites Geddy Lee as one of his influences in this recent interview (about the 2:30 mark) with ScuzzTV (thanks Will K). Reader tammilani noticed a Rush sighting on this page at tech woot! profiling the Lynx wireless bluetooth speaker.

Did you know that there was another band named Rush playing clubs around upstate New York back in the early 70s? I'd heard about the band based on a few firsthand accounts and old concert posters, but I'd never actually heard the band. It turns out that a recording of one of their songs (Counting the Sheep) is available on YouTube here (thanks Richard C). They're no Rush (at least not THE Rush), but they actually aren't too bad.

A one day celebration of Rush and their 40th anniversary will be taking place at the Dreadnought Rock club in Scotland on May 17th. Rushfest Scotland will consist of a full day of Rush-themed events culminating in a 2-hour set from Scotland's premier Rush tribute band Moving Pictures. For all of the details visit the website or follow them on Facebook.

Sonic Reality sound development company recently released 16 new DrummerTracks play-along drum groove collections including a title called Drum Legends Volume 1 which features drum performances from Neil Peart and a number of other drumming greats. Drum Legends Vol 1 includes Neil Peart's complete drum tracks from Rush's Tom Sawyer and YYZ (labeled as XYZ for copyright reasons) The collection is available for download via both iTunes and Amazon. Sonic Reality are the makers of the drum sample instrument libraries Neil Peart Drums Volume 1: The Kit and Volume 2: The Grooves, which released in 2010 and 2012 respectively. Sonic Reality owner Dave Kerzner also created a project called Sonic Elements a few years ago where Kerzner along with a number of legendary musicians play covers of classic rock songs using Sonic Reality's many drum libraries and other music software. One of these was an original track called Trifecta from the Sonic Elements Rush tribute EP XYZ, which features Neil Peart's YYZ drum track with a new jam from Billy Sherwood and Kerzner played on top of it. You can listen to it below or on SoundCloud.

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

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Neil Peart and Kevin J. Anderson talk Clockwork Angels graphic novel in new interview
12:26PM EST | link | comments (20) |

Neil Peart and Kevin J. Anderson recently sat down with PREVIEWSworld.com for an interview to discuss the upcoming graphic novel treatment of the Clockwork Angels novel. The pair discuss the concept behind Clockwork Angels and how it will translate to the graphic novel format. Anderson does most of the talking but Peart has the following to say regarding Nick Robles - the artist who'll be working on the graphic novel:

Nick has some big challenges ahead of him - while for Kevin and me, this graphic series is a huge and exciting step toward a fully-realized world of our own invention. Also, having been highly impressed by Nick's early sketches of characters and settings, I will be looking forward to seeing his visions of the grander backgrounds, like Crown City, the Carnival, and the Wreckers.

The article also includes a new concept drawing of The Anarchist. At one point the interviewer asks Anderson about a potential movie version of the story and who would be on his dream team for bringing Clockwork Angels to the big screen:

Wow, I try not to think in specifics like that. Visually, I love the work of Zack Snyder, how he pumps his visuals way out of the envelope. Clockwork Angels is a very personal story on a gigantic canvas. I would love to see it on the big screen.

There's no indication that any film version is in the works, but Anderson did tweet out the following earlier this week:

When you sign a movie contract before lunch, you know it's going to be a good day. Details as soon as I can announce them.

Could he be referring to a Clockwork Angels movie? We can only hope. You can read the entire PREVIEWSworld interview here. Boom! Studios will be releasing the graphic novel in a series of six beginning this coming March. The first issue along with a complete 6-issue subscription are now available for pre-order at the Boom! Studios website (Issue #1 for $3.99, 6-issue Subscription for $29.99). The paperback release of Clockwork Angels: The Novel will be availabl on May 13th and can be pre-ordered here.

Related Posts:
[Kevin J. Anderson talks Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel in new interview]
[Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel now available for pre-order]
[Kevin J. Anderson, Neil Peart talk Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel in new USA Today article]
[Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel from Kevin J. Anderson coming April 2014]

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Neil Peart DrummerTracks now available from Sonic Reality
4:42PM EST | link | comments (11) |

Sonic Reality sound development company has released 16 new DrummerTracks play-along drum groove collections including a title called Drum Legends Volume 1 which features drum performances from Neil Peart and a number of other drumming greats. Drum Legends Vol 1 includes Neil Peart's complete drum tracks from Rush's Tom Sawyer and YYZ (incorrectly labeled as XYZ!) The collection is available for download via both iTunes and Amazon. Sonic Reality are the makers of the drum sample instrument libraries Neil Peart Drums Volume 1: The Kit and Volume 2: The Grooves, which released in 2010 and 2012 respectively.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rush's Clockwork Angels tour makes Pollstar's list of the top tours of 2013
9:02AM EST | link | comments (57) |

Pollstar.com has released their list of the Top 100 Worldwide and Top 200 North American tours for 2013. Rush's Clockwork Angels tour came in at #64 ($14.9 million) on the North American list and #82 ($21.2 million) on the Worldwide list. Note that the numbers reported don't include the festival shows in Sweden, Ottawa or Quebec City. On the worldwide chart, Rush is listed as playing 34 shows with an average gross of $642,424 and attendance of 8129. On the North American chart, they are listed as playing 25 shows with an average gross of $620,833 and attendance of 8338. You can check out the complete lists at Pollstar.com and get the detailed show-by-show breakdown from Billboard for all of the US shows in the tour section. Thanks to Sean for the heads up.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:43AM EST | link | comments (20) |

The first full week of 2014 saw very little happening in the Rush news department. Earlier this week we were treated to some more updates and concept art for the upcoming graphic novel version of the Clockwork Angels novel, but there's not much else to report. Phil Simon spoke with Kevin J. Anderson about the graphic novel for a Huffington Post article this past Monday. Anderson discussed how he first pitched the idea for a graphic novel version of the book he co-wrote with Neil Peart:

... "The Clockwork Angels world is so vivid and fantastical it seemed obvious to me from the outset that it would translate well to the comics medium," says Anderson. ... At San Diego Comic Con, Anderson showed several comic publishers the Hugh Syme artwork from the novel. He pitched them the idea of expanding the multi-media platform from music to prose to comics. "All of the companies were interested, but said they would have to consider it, have meetings, run numbers," Anderson says. But when he talked with Ross Richie, founder and CEO of Boom! Studios, he received an entirely different response. In an e-mail, Richie wrote, "HOLY CRAP!!! Rush!!!! WHOA!!!! This is so cool!!!!!" Anderson smiles. "That was more in keeping with the enthusiasm we were looking for." ...

The article also included some concept art samples such as this drawing of an Albion steamliner. Boom! Studios will be releasing the graphic novel in a series of six beginning this coming March. The first issue along with a complete 6-issue subscription are now available for pre-order at the Boom! Studios website (Issue #1 for $3.99, 6-issue Subscription for $29.99). The series will be scripted by Anderson with artwork by Nick Robles. The article also mentions the paperback release of Clockwork Angels: The Novel. ECW Press just released the cover art for the paperback edition which is currently due for release on May 13th and can be pre-ordered here.

Rhythm - December, 2013The December, 2013 issue of Rhythm magazine is a special edition focusing on the drum solo. Neil Peart is prominently featured on the cover of the issue along with several other drumming greats. The article itself focuses on the history of the drum solo, and makes several mentions of Neil Peart throughout. In one portion of the article Neil discusses the role of improvisation in the composition of a drum solo:

... Neil Peart, known for his meticulous approach to his drum parts, told Rhythm, "I might work on something in my warm-up routine, and it's in my solo that night. I cover myself in that the second half of the solo is well organised, and presented for the audience as a performance piece. You'll take more chances if you know that it's going to end well. I actually found it daunting in one way but exciting in another. Before that show, that's one thing I know that I don't know - the songs are laid out and most of our-arrangements are pretty tight, but there's that edge of, 'What'll I do tonight? Where will it go, where will it take me?" ... "Freddie [Gruber, renowned drum teacher] had defined me as a composer. He said, 'Look, when you play, you're composing.' And I accepted, yes, I'm a compositional drummer and when I did the Anatomy Of A Drum Solo video I defined myself that way - 'I composed this solo and I play variations within the movements but it is a composed piece.' Then right after that I went, 'Well, I want to improvise. I don't want to be just a compositional drummer.' So I deliberately set out to learn that, within the context of my solo, making the first half of it improvisational over three different ostinatos, and then the second half was composed so I know it is always going to resolve into something from the audience's point of view." ...

John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed the entire article and made it available online here.

Ultimate Classic Rock is running their 2014 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards and Rush along with their Clockwork Angels Tour concert video are in the running in several categories including Best Live Album, Song of the Year (The Garden), Tour of the Year, and DVD of the Year. Voting is open until February 11th, so go vote for Rush! And speaking of Rush dvds, the Rush documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage will be made available for streaming on NetFlix on February 26th.

Rush's official merchandise store at the Rush Backstage Club has added a line of Rush drumheads to their inventory. There are currently 4 designs available including Clockwork Angels, A Farewell to Kings, Rush Explosion and Rush Starman. Each drumhead is a customized, high-gloss, 14" snare from Remo and is available for $49.99.

Dallas Observer music writer Drew Ailes posted his list of 36 New Year's Resolutions for an Awful Music Journalist earlier this week and #9 on his list was the following:

9. Figure out if Geddy Lee from Rush is really Les Claypool from Primus' grandmother

RushWe learned a few weeks ago that Rush will be releasing a re-issue of their debut album to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its 1974 release, although very few details are known at this time. Earlier this week Tom Johnson over at Something Else! Reviews decided to take a look back at this album and speculate a bit about what might be contained in the re-issue:

... While the sources are quiet on additional material to make [the re-issue] truly special, I can speculate on a couple of things: First, following the trend set first by the Sector box sets, and the deluxe editions of Moving Pictures and 2112, I'd be shocked if there isn't a surround-sound and high-resolution DVD/Blu-ray accompanying the album. But even at that, it's a pretty minor anniversary edition.

What Rush fans really want are legitimate, bonafide official releases of the first Rush single, now extremely rare, consisting of a cover of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" and backed with "You Can't Fight It," originally released on Moon records in 1973. Where else could this possibly fit? But there's more that fans really want from this period - "Garden Road" and "Fancy Dancer," two reportedly recorded but never released outtakes from the Rutsey period, along with others like "Bad Boy," "Slaughterhouse" and "Run Willie Run." ...

On that note, here's a bootleg recording of Rush performing Garden Road back in 1974:

Yesterday (or today depending on who you ask) marked the 25th anniversary of the release of Rush's 3rd live album A Show of Hands. The album peaked at #21 on the Billboard album charts and was certified Gold by the RIAA on March 9, 1989. It was recorded in 1988 over several dates on the Hold Your Fire tour as well as in the Meadowlands (East Rutherford, NJ) during the 1986 Power Windows tour. Yesterday was also the 18th anniversary of the release of Alex Lifeson's one and only solo album Victor. Have a great weekend everybody!

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Happy 25th anniversary A Show of Hands!
10:54AM EST | link | comments (30) |

UPDATE - 1/9@12:38PM: Power Windows notes in the comments that January 9, 1989 was a Monday and the official release was very likely the following Tuesday on January 10th (releases typically occur on Tuesdays). However, both WikiPedia and the official RIAA site (just do a search for Rush) have the release listed as January 9, 1989. So maybe we should say it was released on January 9.5?? :) Close enough either way I guess.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the January 9th, 1989 release of Rush's 3rd live album A Show of Hands. The album peaked at #21 on the Billboard album charts and was certified Gold by the RIAA on March 9, 1989. It was recorded in 1988 over several dates on the Hold Your Fire tour as well as in the Meadowlands (East Rutherford, NJ) during the 1986 Power Windows tour. A re-mastered version of the album was released in 1997 and once again in 2011 as part of the Sector 3 box set. The opening Intro track features the Three Stooges theme song Three Blind Mice playing in the background, which the band used to open many of their shows during the 1980s. An accompanying video of the Birmingham (UK) show was also released and the entire film can be found on YouTube here.

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Rush drumheads now available at the Rush Backstage Club
10:42AM EST | link | comments (11) |

Rush Clockwork Angels drumheadRush's official merchandise store at the Rush Backstage Club has added a line of Rush drumheads to their inventory. There are currently 4 designs available including Clockwork Angels, A Farewell to Kings, Rush Explosion and Rush Starman. Each drumhead is a customized, high-gloss, 14" snare from Remo and is available for $49.99.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Neil Peart featured in Rhythm magazine special drum solo issue
10:14AM EST | link | comments (17) |

Rhythm - December, 2013The December, 2013 issue of Rhythm magazine is a special edition focusing on the drum solo. Neil Peart is prominently featured on the cover of the issue along with several other drumming greats. The article itself focuses on the history of the drum solo, and makes several mentions of Neil Peart throughout. In one portion of the article Neil discusses the role of improvisation in the composition of a drum solo:

... Neil Peart, known for his meticulous approach to his drum parts, told Rhythm, "I might work on something in my warm-up routine, and it's in my solo that night. I cover myself in that the second half of the solo is well organised, and presented for the audience as a performance piece. You'll take more chances if you know that it's going to end well. I actually found it daunting in one way but exciting in another. Before that show, that's one thing I know that I don't know - the songs are laid out and most of our-arrangements are pretty tight, but there's that edge of, 'What'll I do tonight? Where will it go, where will it take me?" ... "Freddie [Gruber, renowned drum teacher] had defined me as a composer. He said, 'Look, when you play, you're composing.' And I accepted, yes, I'm a compositional drummer and when I did the Anatomy Of A Drum Solo video I defined myself that way - 'I composed this solo and I play variations within the movements but it is a composed piece.' Then right after that I went, 'Well, I want to improvise. I don't want to be just a compositional drummer.' So I deliberately set out to learn that, within the context of my solo, making the first half of it improvisational over three different ostinatos, and then the second half was composed so I know it is always going to resolve into something from the audience's point of view." ...

John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed the entire article and made it available online here.

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Kevin J. Anderson talks Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel in new interview
8:21AM EST | link | comments (27) |

Clockwork Angels: The Graphic NovelPhil Simon recently spoke with Kevin J. Anderson about the upcoming Clockwork Angels graphic novel for an interview which was posted at the Huffington Post this morning. Anderson talks about how he first pitched the idea for a graphic novel version of the book he co-wrote with Neil Peart:

... "The Clockwork Angels world is so vivid and fantastical it seemed obvious to me from the outset that it would translate well to the comics medium," says Anderson. ... At San Diego Comic Con, Anderson showed several comic publishers the Hugh Syme artwork from the novel. He pitched them the idea of expanding the multi-media platform from music to prose to comics. "All of the companies were interested, but said they would have to consider it, have meetings, run numbers," Anderson says. But when he talked with Ross Richie, founder and CEO of Boom! Studios, he received an entirely different response. In an e-mail, Richie wrote, "HOLY CRAP!!! Rush!!!! WHOA!!!! This is so cool!!!!!" Anderson smiles. "That was more in keeping with the enthusiasm we were looking for." ...

The article also includes samples of some concept art from the graphic novel, including this concept drawing of an Albion steamliner. Boom! Studios will be releasing the graphic novel in a series of six beginning this coming March. The first issue along with a complete 6-issue subscription are now available for pre-order at the Boom! Studios website (Issue #1 for $3.99, 6-issue Subscription for $29.99). The series will be scripted by Anderson with artwork by Nick Robles. The article also mentions the paperback release of Clockwork Angels: The Novel. ECW Press just released the cover art for the paperback edition which is currently due for release on May 13th and can be pre-ordered here.

Related Posts:
[Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel now available for pre-order]
[Kevin J. Anderson, Neil Peart talk Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel in new USA Today article]
[Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel from Kevin J. Anderson coming April 2014]

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:44AM EST | link | comments (31) |

RushThere wasn't much of anything in the Rush news department happening this past week as we rang in the new year, so this first Friday Rush updates post of 2014 is going to be a short one. Unfortunately it looks like things will remain this way for much of the upcoming year. Despite the fact that 2014 will mark the 40th anniversary since the release of Rush's first album back in 1974, the band has indicated that they will not be embarking on any kind of R40 tour and will instead spend most of the year on a break from the band. That said, we've already learned that we'll at least be getting a re-issue of the debut album next year to mark the occasion, and hopefully the band will do something else special to celebrate. Assuming there won't be a tour or new album, how would you like to see the band celebrate its 40th anniversary? Take the poll and let us know.

Geddy Lee made Baseball Nation's list of the Best baseball GIFS of 2013, part VI: the best of the best. The GIF in question is an animated gif of Geddy walking out on the field with the Blue Jays mascot at the Jays' home opener to throw out the first pitch earlier this year. Here's what they have to say about it, and here's the gif image:

... Here's Geddy Lee walking on a baseball field with a gigantic blue jay. I don't know. I like how the mascot gets a little into it, and then Geddy starts getting into it. This GIF kind of bugs me, though, because I spend the next three days saying "OOOOOFFFFF SALESMEN!" under my breath for no good reason. ...

Rush's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction this past April made CTV's list of the top 10 biggest entertainment stories of 2013, coming in at #2.

This past July the Canada Post officially released a Canadian Recording Artist stamp series featuring Rush and other Canadian artists. Back in November the sale of a special, limited edition, signed day-of-issue cover for the Rush stamp was announced via this press release, and all 10 that were available quickly sold out. One of these signed covers has made its way to eBay and is currently up for auction through the weekend.

Virtuoso drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Winery Dogs) was recently interviewed for MusicRadar.com (thanks Kelly M) and spoke a bit about drum solos and Neil Peart:

... One of the things that blew my mind about Rush was the drum solo. It was a centrepiece for their concert. The first time I saw him do one in person, it was one of the only times I've ever seen the whole audience with all eyes on the stage. ... In the '80s and '90s I was more of the Neil Peart type of soloist. I was into the chops and the playing and the spectacle with the huge drum set. I actually stopped doing drum solos in the mid-2000s just because I felt like it was redundant. ...

Donna Halper - the woman widely accredited for discovering Rush and helping them get their start back in 1974 - was recently interviewed for the RadioGirl podcast and spoke a bit about Rush. You can give it a listen online here (thanks RushFanForever). The track that Halper played on Cleveland radio station WMMS back in 1974 that helped launch Rush's career was Working Man. Here's some video of Rush performing the track with John Rutsey at Laura Secord High School in early 1974:

That's all for this first week of 2014. Have a great weekend and Happy New Year everybody!!

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