Wednesday, September 18, 2013

RIP Russell Skip Gildersleeve: longtime Rush roadie passes away at age 57
10:37AM EST | comments (10) |

UPDATE - 9/20@11:51AM: Here's a short In Memorium posting for Skip at FOH Online, and here's Robert Scovill's blog/tribute to Skip on the SPLNetwork.

UPDATE - 9/19@4:40PM: The members of Rush have posted a message addressing Skip's passing at

"The news of Russell 'Skip' Gildersleeve's passing is shocking and very, very sad. He was one of our original crew members from the mid-70s and we all have many great memories of his friendship, his sense of humour and his association with us over all those years. Our hearts and thoughts go out to his family and close friends. He will be missed."

Geddy, Alex and Neil

----- snip -----

Longtime Rush roadies Skip 'Slider' Gildersleeve and Tony 'Jack Secret' Geranios in 2012There's some very sad Rush news to report this morning. Longtime Rush roadie Russell Skip Gildersleeve passed away yesterday at the age of 57. Skip was a roadie for Rush from way back in the early days up until 1997. Here's a short biography of Skip from the 2006 Rush biography Chemistry:

Russell "Skip" Gildersleeve is a crew veteran of many bands. He was brought in for the 'Caress of Steel' tour to replace Jimmy Johnson, And he often used to introduce the band. Skip, a.k.a. "Slider", became Geddy's bass technician, and by Counterparts he graduated to a stage management role. When not touring with Rush, he worked for Steely Dan (with Lorne Wheaton) as equipment manager, and guitar tech for Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. Skip is no mean guitar player himself. He guested on Japanese artist Venus Fly Trapp's debut CD 'Shakunetsu', which means "red heat".

There's no online obituary posted yet that I'm aware of, but his passing has been confirmed via a number of sources including his good friend and fellow Rush roadie Tony Jack Secret Geranios (pictured above right with Skip in 2012). On behalf of all RIAB readers, our thoughts and prayers go out to Skip's family and friends. You will be missed.



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#10 - Posted 9/19/13 @10:29PM by Lamb Saag [contact]

To longtime Rush fans, Skip Gildersleeve's name was as familiar as Liam, Ian, Howard, Hugh, Mac, et. al., ...and all those other people whose names graced the liner notes of countless Rush records.

Sad to hear about his death, and yes, 57 is too young!

#9 - Posted 9/19/13 @6:59PM by Rob [contact]

Wasn't Skip one of the roadies they show at the beginning of the ESL video?
#8 - Posted 9/19/13 @1:09PM by Big_Al_Fan [contact]

That's very sad. I always liked his name too. RIP.
#7 - Posted 9/19/13 @1:27AM by NomadMik [contact]

I am so sorry to hear this. He was such a sweet man. I got to know him during the Hold Your Fire and Presto tours. We stayed in touch for quite a while. He will be missed!
#6 - Posted 9/18/13 @8:50PM by RushFanForever [contact]

Skip Gildersleeve also did some roadie work with Steely Dan (which is RIAB member Kelly D's second favorite band), on the band's 2003 'Everything Must Go' album and tour.


Skip also contributed guitar work on 'Tough Break', which is the unreleased Jack Secret collaboration with RUSH.

#5 - Posted 9/18/13 @6:46PM by MGRushFan

I always liked the dude's name. For some reason I always thought he was the guy on the Moving Pictures cover with the large mustache. Don't know why I thought that, but anyway RIP Gildersleeve. You did great work in your short life.
#4 - Posted 9/18/13 @2:16PM by broughttoyoubytheletterj [contact]

Bummer...I met him the first year he joined the crew. RIP
#3 - Posted 9/18/13 @12:24PM by lisah [contact]

So sorry for the loss of Skip.Rush is known for keeping the same people in the crew forever,in essence like an extended family.This loss to them is personal.He was only 57,by todays standard that's young.Sympathies to the close friends and family.Rush On!
#2 - Posted 9/18/13 @11:16AM by michinman [contact]

57. That's too young.
#1 - Posted 9/18/13 @10:53AM by Gabby [contact]

That's really sad. I talked to him over the barricade at a Hold Your Fire show. After a few minutes of talking he said, "Give me your program and wait right here." He came back a little later and he'd had all 3 guys sign it. I, of course, still have that safely stored away. It was such a nice thing for him to do.

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