Friday, October 11, 2013

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:52AM EST | comments (38) |

UPDATE - 10/11@2:12PM: I forgot to mention that the episode of the new Canadian documentary series Walk the Walk with Neil Peart in it airs tomorrow night on Global TV at 10PM. Watch a preview video here. The entire 6-part series was already shown on Slice last week.

Rush released the long-awaited remix/remaster of Vapor Trails back on September 30th and the album has debuted on the Billboard 200 album charts at #35, although it's not being considered as a chart reentry. So it's unclear whether the sales of the remix will count towards the total album sales used to determine Gold/Platinum status by the RIAA. Both the Moving Pictures and 2112 deluxe editions were considered reentries when they were re-released. The album also debuted at #9 on the Rock Albums chart and #3 on the Hard Rock albums chart. Canadian record producer David Bottrill is the man behind the remix, and recently sat down with to discuss it. Bottrill had actually been on the short list of producers for the original release back in 2002. The band ultimately decided not to bring in an outside producer because they didn't want to introduce anything new or potentially uncomfortable for Neil at the time (Neil was still recovering from the passing of both his daughter and wife a few years earlier). Bottrill gives a lot of insight into how he was chosen for the task, how he went about the remix, and how the band was involved in the process. He also addresses the newly uncovered guitar parts, particularly the new lead break in Ceiling Unlimited:

... [the Ceiling Unlimited lead break] sounded good to me. As I said, I just worked with the material they gave me. I didn't really check the originals to see what they used or didn't use. I liked that solo and put it in. I don't think many people have complained about that one so far. When a record is made, often times there are things that are recorded that are left out of the final mix. I had no attachment to the older mixes or what was left in or out. I just put in all the mixes what I thought worked the best. I don't think I left much out from the tracks they gave me. There was no really grand plan for the mixes. I just tried to make the songs all shine as much as I could. There was some talk in the fan press that the tracks were distorted in the recording process or that there have been new recordings done. Neither is true. The source recordings are top quality and we didn't add anything new from those early recordings. ...

You can read the entire article/interview at this location. Speaking of the newly uncovered Ceiling Unlimited lead break, for my last poll I asked everyone which song from Vapor Trails they think benefited the most from the remix, and Ceiling Unlimited was the clear winner with nearly a third of the vote. For my next poll I'm now asking everyone what they think of the remix compared to the original 2002 release. Do you like them both? Hate them both? Never liked the original, but like the remix? Please take the poll and let us know. Brad Birzer over at wrote this great review of the remix earlier this week. Roadrunner is giving away a few copies of the remix on CD and vinyl; you can get all the details and enter to win at the Roadrunner website. You can order the Vapor Trails remix on CD or on 180g vinyl, and order the Atlantic-era The Studio Albums 1989-2007 box set (which also contains the remix) here.

Rush released the official trailer for the Clockwork Angels Tour CD/DVD/Blu-ray this past Friday. An unofficial trailer for the film had been floating around the internet since back in June when it was mistakenly leaked online; this one is a new/different one. You can watch it at this location. On Tuesday, November 19th Rush: Clockwork Angels Tour will be released simultaneously on CD, DVD and Blu-ray and is currently available for pre-order. The concert was filmed/recorded on November 28th of last year in Dallas, TX and the primary footage consists of this entire concert which was one of the band's Night A setlists. As a bonus they also include 3 Night B setlist tracks (Middletown Dreams, The Pass and Manhattan Project) from the November 25th show in Phoenix along with a soundcheck recording of Limelight. The DVD/Blu-ray also includes a 25-minute tour documentary titled Can't Stop Thinking Big, the intro/intermission/outro tour videos and other exclusive bonus content. You can get all the details in the press release and pre-order your copy of the DVD, Blu-ray, or CD on Amazon today (DVD, Blu-ray, CD). Speaking of the Clockwork Angels tour, the Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win 1 of 3 Clockwork Angels 2013 tourbooks signed by Rush. The contest closes on October 24th and only one entry per person is allowed. For all the details and to enter go to this location. Billboard released official attendance and sales figures for a few more shows from the 2013 tour this past week. The numbers for both Halifax shows were reported, but as Billboard likes to do for some unknown reason they combined the numbers from both shows rather than reporting them separately. The total attendance for both shows was 13,054 out of a capacity of 13,892, and the gross sales came in at $1,199,880. They also reported the figures for the June 6th show at the O2 World in Berlin. That show sold 5,589 tickets out of a capacity of 8,934 and grossed $401,180. I've added these numbers to the tour section and for the purposes of the Halifax numbers, I simply split the totals evenly between the 2 shows. Billboard has been very slow in reporting the numbers for the 2013 tour for some reason, where they've only posted figures for 9 out of the 37 dates so far.

Alex Lifeson is featured in the new issue of Classic Rock Magazine (issue #190, November 2013) for their Heavy Load feature column. The column is billed as heavy questions for heavy rockers and Alex tackles such heavy topics as drugs, religion, getting tasered and what he thinks are the worst Rush songs. You can read a scan of the entire 1-page interview here. And Rolling Stone posted a gallery to their website earlier this week consisting of 10 Rush videos along with Geddy Lee's comments after watching each one; from the Laura Secord Bandstand video of Working Man from 1974 on up through the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony all-star jam of Crossroads. They also threw in a couple of fan videos, the 1976 Passaic 2112 bootleg, La Villa Strangiato at PinkPop, the Time Stand Still music video and more. You can check out the entire gallery along with Geddy's comments here. Geddy was also a guest on Wednesday nights's broadcast of the syndicated nightly radio show On Tap Presented by VH1 Classic. The entire interview isn't available online anywhere yet, but a two-minute preview clip was posted to the On Tap Facebook page where host Nik Carter chats with Geddy about the band's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and what it meant to him. You can check that out on Facebook here.

Vertical Horizon Echoes from the UndergroundVertical Horizon's new album Echoes from the Underground officially released this past Tuesday and the album is now available for order from Amazon and other retailers. Way back in early 2012 we first learned that Neil Peart had played drums on a couple of tracks on the album; Instamatic and South For The Winter. Earlier last week Billboard posted a video of Neil Peart in the studio tracking Instamatic which you can check out at this location. There's also some older video of Neil in the studio with the band 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. You can order your copy of Echoes From the Underground here. It's also available on Spotify here.

Speaking of Neil, DrumsForCures Inc. is running a charity auction where they are selling a Neil Peart autographed drumhead to raise money for cancer education, research and survivorship support. From the auction listing:

Up for auction we have a 14"drum head that was mounted on Neil Peart's first drum kit with Rush (1974 chrome Slingerland). The head features the signatures of 18 celebrities who played on this drum head at PASIC 2009. The head was later signed by Neil Peart himself on 9/26/2010. Please note that this head is not original to the kit, it was placed on the kit during the Pasic International Drum Show in Indianapolis where it was played and signed. ...

For all the details and to place your bid go here.

Rush announced last night via that they will be partnering with independent retail outlets to sell an exclusive 10" picture disc of The Garden for Black Friday on November 29th:

... The 10" includes two versions of "The Garden" - the closing track from 2012's Clockwork Angels. Side A features the studio version from the album, while Side B includes a live version of the song with the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble taken from the upcoming live release Clockwork Angels Tour. Designed by Crankbunny (Norma V. Toraya), the 10" features artwork from her stunning animated screen projections shown during the performance of The Garden during the Clockwork Angels tour. This special 10" will be limited and available only for this special celebration of independent music retailers.

Rush Eucon 2013 Eucon of Steel will take place tomorrow at the Queens Social Club in Sheffield, England from 1PM to midnight. The event will future music from Rush tribute band Bravado with all proceeds being donated to Guide Dogs for the Blind. In addition to a 2 hour set of classic Rush songs by Bravado, the event will include Rush Idol (live band karaoke where you can play a Rush song or sing a Rush song), a Rush trivia pub quiz, a Rush air guitar competition, a Rush raffle/auction (to raise funds for Guide Dogs For The Blind charity), and plenty of other surprises. Tickets can still be purchased at the door, although online sales have ended. For all the details visit the Rush Eucon website or follow them on Facebook.

DJ and That Metal Show host Eddie Trunk has been hitting the interview circuit to promote his new book Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Volume II. He recently sat down with for an extensive interview and was asked about Alex Lifeson's now famous Rock Hall induction blah blah speech (thanks RushFanForever):

I'm not sure what the whole thing was. In other words, I don't know that that was what he was doing. I love Alex, and Alex has a really, really, funny sense of humor, and I know him personally. A lot of people read that as a diss to the Hall and the whole thing. I don't know that that was the case....The event itself takes like five hours to happen, and from what I heard from people that were there, there were a lot of people that were going up on that stage making really long-winded speeches, and that it was also a response to that in a way....It's very much in line with how [Rush] are and their sense of humor. They love to have a laugh about stuff and not take things too seriously. Anybody who's seen their recent stage shows knows that. So I think it was more about that than any real shot at anything, just kind of the whole absurdity of the situation....He certainly made a mark. People talked about that speech more than any other speech that day, and he said nothing. So that may be in and of itself what the whole point of what that was.

A couple of weeks ago we learned about how Geddy Lee had weighed on the effort to save Toronto's iconic Sam the Record Man neon sign by writing a letter to the Toronto city council. Ryerson University bought the store's old location back in 2008 and committed to remount the sign at some future point but later reevaluated the commitment, saying the costs were too high to reinstall the sign. Toronto city council and Mayor Rob Ford discussed the issue on its agenda earlier this week with some good news for proponents of remounting the sign. From the Huffington Post:

Toronto city council and Mayor Rob Ford discussed the issue on its agenda ... and have referred the motion regarding the sign back to staff "for further consideration." In effect, the motion gives the university one year to find a location for the landmark sign before the item returns to city council's agenda. Toronto city councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam proposed her motion regarding the Sam's sign be amended to restore the sign to a location near its original location along Yonge St., preferably the intersection of Yonge St. and Gould St. According to the city council Agenda's website the council asked "to ensure that the cultural and heritage impact of Sam The Record Man signs are re-purposed and placed in a contemporary context of promoting Toronto's music history in the local area." ...

Canadian new wave group Men Without Hats - best known for their 1983 hit The Safety Dance - toured the US this past year. Reader Humboldt Rush Fan noticed a photo from the tour on the band's Facebook page where frontman Ivan Doroschuk is proudly sporting a Rush 2112 t-shirt. You can check out the photo here.

Music and entertainment journalist Jon Niccum recently released a new book titled The Worst Gig, where he compiles responses from musicians he's received over the years about the worst gig they ever played. One of the stories in the book is from Alex Lifeson, who recounts the story of when Rush opened for '50s nostalgia act Sha Na Na back in 1974:

It was a long time ago, the first tour in fact in 1974. We were playing at a university in Baltimore. We got to the gig; the crew was setting up. It was just before the show, and we came out to sort of peek around to look at the audience before the doors opened and they came in. And we saw that the girls were dressed in little white socks and long skirts, and all the guys had greaser hairdos. It turned out to be one of these '50s sock hop kind of things. We went on and were wearing satin pants and big high boots. And we started with 'Finding My Way' from the first record. They just sort of stood there and stared at us. Then by the second song they started to rumble. By the fourth song it was 'BOOOOO. Get out of here! Get off!' So, of course, we turned everything up a little bit and continued to play. Then finally the promoter said, 'That's great. Thanks guys. You're done.' But they were nasty. They were really pissed off. I'm sure if we would have kept going they would have thrown their greasy combs at us.

This interview snippet was actually first published back in 2004. You can order The Worst Gig on Amazon here. Thanks to Gabby for the heads up.

In a new interview from earlier this week, Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci talks about how seeing Rush live back on the Signals tour made a huge impression on him:

... Seeing Rush the first time was huge for me. That was my favorite band and I couldn't believe they were actually in the same building as me. I was totally freaking out when the show started and when they started to play it was almost like cartoon characters coming to life. I couldn't get my head around the fact that it was really them. When they played the song 'La Villa Strangiato,' the solo that Alex [Lifeson] played really had a huge influence on me. I think I remember every note to this day. It was during the Signals tour at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. They just seemed bigger than life to me in that untouchable way before social media and MTV and all those other things that brought rock stars down to earth. ...

Dream Theater recently released a new self-titled album with one track (The Looking Glass) being a purposeful tip of the hat to Rush as Petrucci explained in a recent interview.

Reader William S let me know that comedian Bill Burr made a humorous comment about the pronunciation of Neil Peart's name in his morning podcast from Monday, September 30th. You can listen to the podcast online here - the Neil Peart bit comes in at about the 15:20 mark.

Here's the official Clockwork Angels Tour concert video trailer:

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



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#38 - Posted 6/15/14 @1:47PM by rushtag [contact]

#28: "I've talked to many people who say they quit listening to Rush after Signals came out or they lost interest around that time anyways. Rush went wimpy after Moving Pictures, Rush hasn't put out a decent album since Moving Pictures"

I think there are a lot more people amongst Rush's hardcore fan base who share that sentiment than are willing to admit it. I think before Signals, Rush's core fan base loved the band because they loved their music. I think after Signals, for many, it has been more a matter of loving their music because they love the band.

I've heard some pretty remarkable statements from Rush devotees with respect to their post Signals output. Statements like The new album is great! I was disappointed at first, but it's grown on me! I think it's their best album since MP!" and "It's a very layered album: don't expect to 'get it' on the first listen" etc. Statements like these - ubiquitous on Rush fan sites for years - come across as very lukewarm endorsements.

It's something of an unspeakable heresy in many quarters of Rush fandom to say that they sort of 'jumped the shark' after Signals, or with Signals, but nevertheless, it has become something of a ritual - especially with their last 2 studio albums - to claim that their latest release is the best album since Moving Pictures. Such comments are telling, as the reaction to them. By and large such statements are accepted enthusiastically by the very same people who otherwise deny their best work was before Signals or GUP. Therein lies perhaps an unwitting admission that nothing after Signals really compares favorably with anything before it.

Genuine fandom is in a sense a sort of committed relationship. Psychologically, many fans fell irreversibly in love with Rush because of material from the pre-GUP period, and this is a relationshio they are committed to, for better or worse, in sickness or in health, etc. I think there is a lot of willful self-deception and denial in much of the praise of Rush's post-Signals material.

For most of that time, their live performance has remained top notch (though they're definitely showing their age now), Neil's lyrics have remained largely solid, as has their considerable technical proficiency as musicans and the unusual complexity of their music. That has not however, in my opinion anyway - and I suspect in the opinion of many others who love the band - resulted in great music. Their studio albums since Signals have struck me as being almost uniformly bland. I love them for what they didnin their first decade as a band, and have given every album since a faor hearing, but they've all been disappontments IMHO.
#37 - Posted 11/13/13 @10:53PM by PiDuBra [contact]

Another regret in my life is that I could never live up to Cosmo Kramer's expectations of being a banker. So i spared with Joe Lewis and Pink Knobb. Brrrrr, too cold for even an southbound canuckian when winter kills like YAZ not YYZ ... how the strea freezes over and we get so angry but we keep our mouth shut. Relax that angry knob inside, turn that wild pirate frown upside down. ;)
#36 - Posted 11/13/13 @10:42PM by PiDuBra [contact]

one of my greatest heroes was
#35 - Posted 10/15/13 @9:18AM by Homey M Holmes

#32, yeah, my CD cuts off the beginning of the first track.
#34 - Posted 10/14/13 @2:21PM by Tom [contact]

Have had a listen to VT Remix now - yes, it's very good - better than the original with just a couple of things I preferred on the original - the lead on 'Freeze' towards the end was much stronger and clearly defined, and similarly with 'Secret Touch' (that lead needs to be right at the top of the mix - in that it is a screaming chaotic guitar line), and occastionally there is just a little too much reverb on the vocals (personal taste though!), but overall, awesome!
#33 - Posted 10/14/13 @11:16AM by simon r

11-I was going to suggest sunning themselves somewhere warm if they got any sense.Ed thanks for update on tour attendance-they must be very slow-dont venues know the attendance I mean its Oct now?
Saying Rush have touched 60 now and what a show they do just seen CSN in London who are 68, 71 & 72 and they were incredible-still kept the vocals and Stills guitar playing was superb. They did 2hr 45 min plus interval which is no mean feat at their age.Even did Suite Judy Blue Eyes which is rare.
#32 - Posted 10/14/13 @7:51AM by freewilly [contact]

Sorry I already placed this in an older (VT Remixed) and less visited thread:

I'm still waiting for my copy but can anyone tell if you encounter a problem with your CD playback?
Some reviews mentioned "missing silent frames" (or something like that) prior to the first notes of the tracks, causing playback problems on shuffle play.
One Canadian and one UK reviewer mention similar problems, so it seems to concern both the Canadian and UK/Europe pressing.



Thanks in advance for your experiences.
#31 - Posted 10/14/13 @4:02AM by isthatmysandwich [contact]

I am probably posting this too late for anyone to read but I think it's pretty pathetic that #15 should feel like this and now rarely contribute. She used to post on regular basis and I enjoyed reading about her fanaticism for the band (although one in particular). I note that Kelly D rarely contributes either now. It's not right that a fellow fan should feel this way. I'm sorry you feel this way PetieLee. By the way Petie, I have a feeling you won't see Porcupine Tree again. I think Steven Wilson is now too far removed with his solo stuff. Going to see him (for the 2nd time) in Newcastle on Friday.
#30 - Posted 10/14/13 @2:06AM by tasman7 [contact]

Beginning to think Billboard has an issue with Rush for some reason.
#29 - Posted 10/13/13 @3:01PM by Denny Crane [contact]

I think the drums on MalNar sound great and I enjoy them over his main kit. Go figure. I don't care for the sound of Neil's DW drums, but I'm sure this is mostly due to the sh!tty recording Rush has had a problem with for about the last 15 years plus. I'd venture to say the DWs sound fantastic in person, but they don't come across like that on their recordings.

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