Things remained relatively quiet in Rushland this past week as we head into the Labor Day weekend here in the US, although we did get another news update from Neil Peart last Friday. In just over a month on October 1st we'll see the release of the long-anticipated Vapor Trails remix along with the Rush: The Studio Albums 1989-2007 box set. This coming Tuesday, September 3rd Audio Fidelity's SACD version of Rush's Hemispheres will get released. There's also the Clockwork Angels concert video which should get released at some point closer to the Holidays.
As I'd mentioned above, last Friday Neil Peart once again updated the news page on his website. The August, 2013 entry is titled It's Not Over When It's Over and focuses on the final few shows of the Clockwork Angels tour, particularly the final show in Kansas City:
... The emotional resonance of the final show, in Kansas City, inside us and around us, could only compare to the first show of our Vapor Trails tour, in Hartford, Connecticut, on June 28, 2002. That "new beginning" came after five intensely difficult years since our last performance on July 4, 1997. When that Hartford show was over, I said to our manager, Ray, "It would have been a shame if that had never happened again." He smiled and nodded, and we raised our glasses of champagne.
Eleven years later, that August night in Kansas City was the ultimate tour-ending show in all our thirty-nine years of "roadwork." It affected us in ways we could never have expected, and most of that emotion was centered on the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble. Usually the Guys at Work, band and crew, finish a tour believing it's just a break-that it will all start up again at some point, and we'll all see each other again. All seven of the "stringers" knew that this time it truly was, like the lovely title of a Hemingway story, "The End of Something." ...
Neil also talks about the post-tour bowling party which actor Paul Rudd attended (Rudd made an onstage guest appearance at the Kansans City show), the Red Deer benefit show and more. You can read the entire story on Neil's website at this location.
Speaking of Neil Peart, Back in June of 1994 the St. Catherines Standard published a story written by Peart titled A Port Boy's Story where Neil describes his early childhood growing up in Port Dalhousie during the '50s and '60s. The transcript of the story has been available for some time at the Power Windows website and it's definitely worth a read if you've never seen it before. Earlier this week Eric at the Power Windows site obtained several of the photos included with the original article and added them to his transcription page here. The photos include a mid-60s family portrait of Neil and his siblings Nancy, Judy, and Danny; Neil's 2nd grade class photo from 1959'; Neil in his scout uniform with his father Glen; and Neil at age 14 painting a fence Tom Sawyer-style. You can check out the transcript and photos at this location.
In even more Neil Peart news, Vertical Horizon announced earlier this week that their new album Echoes from the Underground will release on October 8th with pre-order details coming soon. Way back in early 2012 we first learned that Neil Peart had played drums on a couple of tracks on the album. The first single is called Broken Over You and was released online for free download earlier last month. Neil doesn't play on this track but plays on the tracks Instamatic and South For The Winter. Here's some video of Neil in the studio with Vertical Horizon from back in early 2012. Neil had also made a guest appearance on Vertical Horizon's 2009 album Burning the Days, playing drums on three of the tracks along with penning the lyrics for one. For all the latest information on the album, visit the Vertical Horizon website here.
We learned yesterday that the Fender Custom Shop has released a new limited edition Geddy Lee 1972 Jazz Bass. The guitar is a faithful reproduction of Geddy's bass including 35 years worth of wear and tear. It has an MSRP of $8000, and you can get all the details at Fender.com
This past Sunday's New York Times crossword puzzle included a Rush-themed clue. 24-Across was an 11-letter word with the clue Rush job. The answer was ROCKCONCERT. You can check out a scan of the completed puzzle at CrosswordFiend.com. Thanks to Jennifer for the heads up.
Geddy Lee once remarked in a 2011 interview with Metal Hammer that he was a big fan of British comedian Stewart Lee. Reader Andy let me know that at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival Lee (Stewart, not Geddy) has been masquerading as the fictional cult 1980s Canadian standup comic Baconface. In this Guardian review of Baconface's performance, the comic is pictured wearing a mask made of bacon rashers along with a Rush Fly by Night t-shirt.
Here's another minor Rush t-shirt sighting from earlier this year that slipped under the radar. Reader NcstateRush let me know that the winner of this year's Jeopardy! Teen Tournament from back in February was Leonard Cooper. In Leonard's profile video on the Jeopardy website he's sporting a Rush 2112 t-shirt as shown here. You can watch the video online here (just scroll down to Leonard's photo and click on watch video).
This past Tuesday, August 27th Alex Lifeson celebrated his big 60th birthday. In honor of the occasion, Rich Castle at DeathScream.net wrote a lengthy, 2-part review of Alex Lifeson's 1996 solo project Victor. You can check out the review online at this location. There are also reviews of Rush's last 2 studio albums; Snakes & Arrows and Clockwork Angels. In celebration of Lerxst's birthday, here's some video of a much younger (and harrier) Alex arguing with his parents over his future as a musician back in 1972. It's taken from the Alan King documentary Come on Children.
That's all for this week. Have a great Labor Day weekend!!