Friday, June 13, 2014

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:33AM EST | comments (32) |

UPDATE - 6/14@6:01PM: Here are some new radio interviews with Geddy and Alex where they discuss their honorary degrees (thanks RushFanForever).

UPDATE - 6/13@5:28PM: Here's a short interview with Geddy from the North Bay Nugget where he discusses the band's honorary degrees (thanks RushFanForever):

... [It is] very cool, I like it a lot," says Lee. "I can razz my son about it, who is a real doctor. He did it the hard way." ... "I'm very disappointed we weren't able to come," says Lee. "I was really looking forward to it. We asked 'why can't you drop us off at Sudbury?', but the pilot said we couldn't. By the time we got back it was too late for us to drive up." Lee also said was most disappointed about not being able to mingle with the students. ...

----- snip -----

Geddy and AlexYesterday afternoon all three members of Rush were awarded Honorary Doctorate of Music degrees from Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario. The band had planned to attend the ceremony but unfortunately their plane was forced to return to Toronto due to inclement weather. They then attempted to accept the awards via video, but that didn't work either due to technical issues. However, both Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson did manage to record their acceptance speeches and post the video online (Geddy, Alex). Alex Lifeson was interviewed on the CBC Radio's Points North program yesterday to talk about the honor and all the difficulties they encountered in trying to get there. You can listen to the 8-minute interview online at this location. There's also this YouTube video of the Rush portion of the ceremony.

The new book from veteran music writer Max Mobley titled Rush FAQ: All That's Left To Know About Rock's Greatest Power Trio was released last week and is now available for purchase. Mobley has written for a number of music magazines including Crawdaddy! and Premier Guitar, and has interviewed Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson twice. He's also a huge Rush fan and has seen countless Rush shows dating back to the A Farewell to Kings tour. The book comes in at 250 pages and includes a foreword from Donna Halper. You can check out a copy of the introduction in this post and read a couple of 5-star reviews of the book at Order your copy of Rush FAQ at this location.

Audio Fidelity's SACD version of Rush's Presto is slated for a July 1st release and is currently available for pre-order. This will be the 3rd Rush SACD release from Audio Fidelity; they've already released versions of both Counterparts and Hemispheres. Like these 2 previous releases, the Presto SACD was mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. You can pre-order your copy at this location.

While touring the Ricky, Julian and Bubbles Community Service Variety Show last year, footage from The Trailer Park Boy's May 9, 2013 performance at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, Ireland was collected for a concert film. The film was released as a Netflix Original program back on Sunday June 1st in the US and is titled Trailer Park Boys: Live in Fu**in' Dublin. The beginning of the film shows an excited Bubbles tell Ricky and Julian that he has won a Rush internet contest to determine Rush's biggest fan. To enter the contest, Bubbles had Ricky and Julian help him recreate Rush's Closer to the Heart video - kimonos and all - as pictured in this screenshot. Bubbles dresses up as Alex, Julian as Neil and Ricky (with fake nose) is Geddy Lee. A portion of the video shoot can be seen towards the beginning of the film at about the 2-minute mark. Alex Lifeson sends Bubbles a video telling him that he won, and the boys all gather around a laptop computer to watch it at about the 5-minute mark in the film (screenshot here). Alex congratulates Bubbles on the video, but points out that Ricky's performance really sucked. He also informs him that as winners of the contest he and 3 friends will get flown to Dublin in a private jet to see the band's show there along with a $1000 spending money. The film's opening credits then run with Rush's Limelight playing in the background as the guys get on the Rush plane to Ireland. They then get arrested for drug possession after they land and are sentenced by a court to serve community service by throwing a puppet show discouraging drug and alcohol use. The actual live concert footage is then shown starting at around the 19-minute mark. The show includes a partial live performance of Closer to the Heart and Limelight by Bubbles at about the 1-hr, 10-minute mark. At the end of the film they then play the actual Rush video for Closer to the Heart alongside the Trailer Park Boys recreation as the credits run.

Speaking of Alex Lifeson, Denver's Hard Rock Cafe on the 16th Street Mall recently went through a major remodel and got a new collection of nearly 200 pieces of memorabilia including a couple of Rush items courtesy Alex Lifeson. From Denver Westword:

...In the front window there's Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson's monstrous amplifier (one of three he used during the 2010 Time Machine tour). It weighs 460 pounds and took six people to move. Lifeson's Gibson Howard Roberts acoustic guitar is on the second floor. ...

Neil Peart autographed drum headDrumsForCures, Inc. is a non-profit charity organization that produces Drumstrong events to raise awareness and funds for cancer survivorship, education and research globally that support people with cancer and those who love them. They currently have a rare, autographed Neil Peart drum head up for auction to raise money for the charity. From the auction listing:

Up for auction we have a very rare historical piece of music memorabilia for any RUSH fan or collector. An original 12"concert tom drum head that was mounted on Neil Peart's first drum kit with Rush (1974 chrome Slingerland) This head was used during "All the Worlds a Stage" tour and was later signed by Neil Peart himself on 9/26/2010. A Certificate of Authenticity will also be provided.

For all the details and to place your bid, visit the eBay listing page. The auction runs through this coming Sunday, June 15th.

Adrien Begrand at Stereogum posted an article earlier this week where he ranks all 20 of Rush's studio albums from best to worst. Heading up the list were Signals at #3, 2112 at #2 and Moving Pictures in the top spot. The bottom 3 were Roll the Bones at #18, Caress of Steel at #19 and Test for Echo took home the prize for worst Rush album. There's no doubt that many Rush fans will disagree with this list but - to his credit - the author does write extensively about each album on the list and why he ranked it where he did. You can check out the full list at this location. He also includes a quick ranking of Rush's live albums, with All the World's a Stage coming out on top. From my experience, it seems there's more agreement among Rush fans regarding which Rush albums are the best (Moving Pictures, 2112, etc.), rather than which are the worst (although even the worst Rush album is better than most of the stuff out there). Along these lines, I've decided to take the bottom half of the Stereogum album rankings and ask readers which of those albums is their favorite. I took out Feedback (since it's a covers EP and not technically a studio album) and Vapor Trails because last year's remix muddies the waters a bit (rankings are likely to differ wildly depending on whether asking about the original or the remix). Take the poll and let us know!

Country singer Tim McGraw has stated in the past that he's a big Rush fan. He's currently on tour and made a stop at the Klipsch Music Center in Indianapolis earlier this week and showed just how much of a Rush fan he is by wearing a Rush Hold Your Fire t-shirt during his performance. Several bootleg videos of the show where the t-shirt can be clearly seen are available on YouTube such as this one.

If any of you are members of the professional social networking site LinkedIn, you may already be a member of the LinkedIn Rush fan group. Jason Turk started the group a few years back when he joined LinkedIn and it has since grown to over 700 members. In the interest of wanting to take the group further, but not having the time to do so, he recently asked me if I'd be willing to take over ownership of the group and I had no problem accepting. I will strive to keep it updated with all the latest Rush news and information, and welcome all the other members to do so as well. So if you are on LinkedIn, please join the group. Thanks Jason!

Here are Geddy and Alex giving their acceptance speeches via video after receiving Honorary Doctorate of Music degrees from Nipissing University yesterday (Geddy, Alex).

That's all for this week. To all the Rush Dads out there - including Geddy, Alex and Neil - have a wonderful Father's Day! And speaking of Geddy Lee and fatherhood, it looks like Geddy's son Julian recently became a new father. According to this short post from 92 Citi FM's Howard Mandshein last week, Geddy Lee has become a grandfather for the first time and now has a grandson named Finean (thanks RushFanForever). Have a great weekend!



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#32 - Posted 6/24/14 @8:22PM by cakes and sparrows [contact]

well done, nonetheless!
#31 - Posted 6/23/14 @10:11AM by Enigmaticus [contact]


Adrian Begrand is certainly entitled to his opinion, however dismissing two of Rush's greatest recordings did not solve the problem. While I can appreciate his enthusiasm for other albums, his ranking of "Exit... Stage Left" had guaranteed a less than supportive response from me.

My first Rush concert and first actual major rock concert was on June 7, 1992 in Phoenix, Arizona during the "Roll The Bones" tour. I had waited 13 years to finally see Rush live in concert. At that time, I was 30 years old. When I had started building my website, Rush had just finished their "Test For Echo" tour. I was online building webpages while they were on indefinite hiatus, after the passing of Neil's daughter, Selena. I had quite a bit of difficulty doing just that, but I had to continue. The way that I saw it, I had owed it to Rush's legacy. I had remembered reading about the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and how Pink Floyd had been inducted. I had figured that if Pink Floyd was inducted into this esteemed institution, then Rush had deserved this honor also. A few months later, various individuals had contacted me about endorsing Rush's Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction; I was more than eager to comply. I had continued building that website for the next two years, then I had become so busy with work, that I did not really have the time to update it like I had intended to.
#30 - Posted 6/23/14 @1:06AM by cakes and sparrows [contact]

I think Dreamline and all the RTB songs work nicely live. Dreamline is perhaps the strongest opener, but Roll the Bones has always gone over well with crowds, including the much-maligned (by Stereogum) rap. He doesn't get that they new what they were doing at the time, and didn't pretend to be legitimate rappers. The writer also hates Rush's "horn synth stabs." I disagree; I think they work musically and that maybe there's some tongue in cheek there as well, perhaps a nod to hockey game organ music. But I love that the writer articulated "horn synth stabs," because few writers bother to analyze the music of Rush to that level of detail. That, in a nutshell, is why I love that article.
#29 - Posted 6/23/14 @12:58AM by cakes and sparrows [contact]

I also attended the first show of the Roll the Bones tour, at Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario, and was blown away. Later that tour I made it to the front row for the Buffalo show.
#28 - Posted 6/20/14 @9:32AM by Enigmaticus [contact]

Speaking of which, I had decided to listen to "Roll The Bones" yesterday afternoon on my car stereo while enroute to Best Buy, in order to purchase another HDMI cable.

By the way, I was listening to the version from the 1989-2007 Studio Albums set. Is it as specacular as I had remembered it being? I would have to say emphatically, "Yes!."

I also had to revise my list of Rush albums, to reflect how I had felt about "Permanent Waves," as well. Here is the revised ratings list:

#11 - Posted 6/15/14 @10:41AM by Enigmaticus [contact]

Okay, #10.

There is no such thing as a bad Rush album; even the worst album by Rush would be considered better than most other groups, if I were to assign a letter grade to each of Rush's studio albums, it would look somewhat like this:

20. Rush: (C)
19. Fly By Night (B-)
18. Feedback (B)
17. 2112 (B+)
16. Vapor Trails (B+)
15. Grace Under Pressure (B+)
14. Hold Your Fire (B+)
13. Counterparts (B+)
12. Caress Of Steel (A-)
11. A Farewell To Kings (A-)
10. Test For Echo (A-)
09. Hemispheres (A)
08. Snakes & Arrows (A)
07. Signals (A)
06. Permanent Waves (A+)
05. Moving Pictures (A+)
04. Clockwork Angels (A+)
03. Presto (A+)
02. Power Windows (A+)
01. Roll The Bones (A+)

As far as the live albums are concerned:

09. All The World's A Stage (C-)
08. Rush In Rio (C)
07. A Show Of Hands (B-)
06. Time Machine: Live In Cleveland (B+)
05. Different Stages (A)
04. Snakes & Arrows Live (A)
03. R30 (A+)
02. Clockwork Angels Tour (A++)
01. Exit... Stage Left (A++)
#27 - Posted 6/19/14 @2:53AM by Enigmaticus [contact]


Thank you for the clarification. I am glad that you are a "Roll The Bones" supporter.
#26 - Posted 6/18/14 @3:50AM by cakes and sparrows [contact]

Don't get me wrong, Enigmaticus, I'm a Roll the Bones supporter. That was the first album to come out after I became a fan, so how can it not hold a special place in my heart? That said, I don't hold it against the Stereogum writer for having his opinions, and if he thinks mainstream = bad, he's surely not the only one. Roll the Bones went platinum because it's good as well as accessible. Case closed. Was it "bloodless," as the Guardian recently called it and Presto? I can see that argument and it doesn't bother me a bit.

To clarify, when I say the writer was perhaps too easy on some of the more recent material, I'm referring to Snakes and Arrows and, to my ear, the *over*produced Feedback. I'm pro-VT and CA.
#25 - Posted 6/17/14 @1:39PM by Ripper62 [contact]

# 24 Could not disagree with you more. Geds voice was great in the 70's and one of the many aspects of the band that made them attractive to me at that time. Yes, I am a 70's Rush fan ( and really like SnA and CA) and one who skips most of the songs from HYF to VT, with the exception of Counterparts, but especially Presto and RTB. Say what you will, but for ME, I can maybe make one really good album out of the songs from that era. I do understand that several here really enjoy and prefer that era, but again, for ME, not my cup of tea.
#24 - Posted 6/17/14 @10:25AM by Enigmaticus [contact]


Really? Do you think this individual is insightful for condemning not only the albums, "Presto" and "Roll The Bones," but those individuals who like those recordings? By dismissing those recordings and those individuals, Adrian Begrand is not only dismissing the fans of those records, but he is also dismissing Rush. Do you really think for a moment that the songs from "Roll The Bones" would not resurface time and time again, amongst their repertoire if Rush themselves did not enjoy playing those songs? Look at "Retrospective 3," for example. Question: How many songs from "Roll The Bones" are on that collection? Answer: Four: 'Dreamline,' 'Bravado,' 'Roll The Bones' and 'Ghost Of A Chance.' What about "Presto?" Two songs: 'The Pass' and 'Presto.' This means that out of those 6 albums, 2/7 of those songs come from "Roll The Bones," and 1/7 come from "Presto," or in other words, nearly half of those songs come from just those two albums. Not only that, but on the "R30" compilation, at least 3 songs from "Roll The Bones" are featured there, as well.

A far less cynical view can be found here:


Honestly, I will not say that this individual has not written a good article, but I will say that he is biased in favor of the harder pieces. Neil Peart has stated in the documentary Beyond The Lighted Stage, that Rush's music prior to 1980 was kind of like their kindergarten and that "Moving Pictures" had represented the first time that all of those elements had finally come together, the way that the band had learned how to play together, the way that they had written the music and the lyrics, etc. I remember purchasing "Moving Pictures" slightly after my 19th birthday on cassette.

So why do I dislike 'Lessons' so adamantly? Other than because it hurts my ears to hear Geddy Lee scream for no apparent reason? Because it does not sound like Rush. It reminds me of AC/DC and I think that you all know, by now, how I feel about that group? In case you don't, I will mention that many decades ago, Rolling Stone Magazine had summarized them perfectly.

For over 35 years, I have been an aficionado of Rush's music. As I had said before, I was hooked on "Hemispheres." It is to this day, one of Rush's best albums. So why is it ranked lowest on my list of Rush's 5-star albums? Because of the fact that Geddy was still sceeching at that time. Once Geddy had stopped screaming, and his voice was in his normal range, everything had improved tremendously. Each new Rush album was a new gift; I was always excited to see which direction Rush would go in.

I will praise Adrien for his appreciation of 'Xanadu.' How can you not
#23 - Posted 6/16/14 @4:21PM by CraigJ [contact]

Had a tough time with that poll. Came down to CoS and FbN. Had to go with FbN. Because By Tor and Anthem, BB&B and In The End - the totality of which slightly eclipses CoS for me.

And I have to respectfully disagree with another contributor, but BB&B definitely belongs on ESL, and it's perfectly situated between CttH and Jacob's Ladder...

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