Friday, November 21, 2014
Updates and other random Rush stuff
Leading up to the release of the R40 Box Set earlier this month, Radio.com posted a couple of interviews with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson where they discuss the 2 unreleased, pre-Peart Rush tracks featured on the set. Then this past week Radio.com posted several more excerpts from these interviews, where Geddy and Alex talk about the band's Rock Hall induction last year, their acting side projects, charitable efforts, a possible R40 tour, and Rush's future plans. Geddy reiterates the fact that they'll be getting together with Neil Peart soon to determine what the band will do next. Lifeson is unsure whether they'll tour first our write first:
... Some days I feel like being back out on the road and taking advantage of the fact that it's our 40th anniversary, and on other days, I kind of sit around here messing with musical ideas and I think, "We've got to get together and start writing." I think that whatever we do, it's not going to be until next year. I was over at Ged's the other day, in fact-he's just redone his little [home] studio, [and] we were both chomping at the bit to get together and start writing. He wants to try out his millions of new bass guitars that he's got now. So we'll do some writing, and we'll see where that goes. ...
Geddy also really wants to play and write:
... I just want to play. I wouldn't mind going back on tour. I'm really dying to play, I have all of these new old instruments that I'm dying to try out. My curiosity tends to lean towards playing live. ...
The pair also remark that they would consider playing another full album live, like they did with Moving Pictures on the Time Machine Tour. Alex goes on to discuss the potential format of an R40 tour, and would prefer to have at least a couple of new tracks to try out live:
... I think it'd be more of a 40th anniversary celebration, much like R30 was. A fun trip back to the past with maybe some looking forward. In my mind, ideally, we'd go out with a couple of new songs, and revisit some old stuff, maybe stuff we haven't previously played. ... When we bring back some of these songs-I wouldn't call them "obscure," but songs that have been performed less often-they really go over well. "Jacob's Ladder" is one that, every tour, is on everyone's wish list. It's a long song, and it would take up a big portion of the set, we just weren't sure whether or not it would be interesting to do that. We thought the same thing with "The Camera Eye." We avoided playing that live until we did the Moving Pictures thing. And that ended up being our favorite song to play. Never mind if it went over well or not, we loved playing it every night. I would love to do "Fly By Night," for example. I said, "for example," by the way. I think it could be really great live, if we did a heavier version, because it's really poppy and clean. ...
Be sure to check out the complete interview at Radio.com here. And in a follow-up to his Rolling Stone interview promoting the R40 Box Set release, Rolling Stone posted another interview with Geddy Lee earlier this week where Ged talks baseball.
... From singing the praises of new Cubs manager Joe Maddon ("He's brilliant") to fending off fantasy baseball questions ("Too early. Way too early,") he gave us his quick takes on the Major League Baseball season that was, and, of course, what he expects from his beloved Toronto Blue Jays in 2015....
Geddy also appeared on Q104.3's Out of the Box with Jonathan 'JC' Clarke this past Sunday night to promote the R40 Box Set. In this short, 8-minute interview Geddy talks about Rush's Rock Hall induction last year, the R40 Box Set, and the band's future. You can watch/listen to the entire interview below or at this location, and you can order the R40 box set on 6 Blu-ray discs or 10 DVDs.
Continuing with some more Geddy Lee news, in Neil Peart's latest news update at NeilPeart.net, Neil wrote about a recent visit he took to the abandoned Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec - the studio where Rush recorded several of their most iconic albums. He mentioned in an offhanded way that Banger Films (the guys who brought us Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage) was making some kind of documentary/show about Geddy Lee, but didn't give much in the way of detail. Then earlier this week, the folks at the Le Studio YouTube channel posted a video update indicating that they were partially responsible for getting Banger Films access to the Le Studio property. In the video update they mention that the filming was being conducted for an upcoming VH1 series called Rock Icons. So it sounds like Geddy Lee will be one of the artists featured in this series.
As he has done for the past several years, Alex Lifeson once again participated in The Kidney Foundation of Canada's annual A Brush of Hope charity auction earlier this month. Alex Lifeson along with dozens of other Canadian celebrities donated paintings to be auctioned off to raise money for the charity. Alex's painting for this year was a photorealistic rendering of himself enjoying some wine with Geddy Lee which ended up selling for a whopping $10,100! The Kidney Foundation of Canada just announced on Wednesday that they now are offering limited-edition signed prints of 2 of Lifeson's paintings from previous auctions, namely his 2009 Greek Salad painting and last year's self portrait. You can get all the details and purchase the prints at this location, and for all the latest news and information be sure to follow A Brush of Hope on Facebook.
The 11th annual TJ Martell World Tour of Wine Dinner & Auction took place yesterday evening at the Capitale in New York City. The event honored Rush and Doug Shafer (President of Shafer Wines) for their charitable efforts, and Alex Lifeson was in attendance as seen in the above photos (thanks to Press Pass NY's John DeNobile for the photos). According to reports, one of the auction items donated by Rush was a pair of VIP tickets and a meet-n-greet to a future Rush concert. So this would seem to indicate that - despite the lack of any official announcement - the band does plan to tour at some point in the near future. Great news! Proceeds from the event and auction will go to benefit the TJ Martell Foundation efforts to support Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS research. For more information visit the TJ Martell Foundation website. And on a related note, this past weekend Neil Peart attended the Children's Music Fund's 6th Annual Healing Through Music Benefit Gala. Children's Music Fund (CMF) is a Los Angeles based charity that provides free music therapy and musical instruments to children with life altering illness and chronic conditions (thanks Eric at Power Windows).
Police drummer Stewart Copeland recently sat down with Radio.com for an interview to discuss the new 2 Unite All benefit compilation album that he's involved with to help raise funds for humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza. They get on the subject of Copeland's Sacred Grove jam sessions that he conducts with other musicians at his home studio, and he talks about one particular session with Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson.
... I had the Rush guys, Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson, over here, and we jammed through the night. We banged every drum, Neil and I had the drum battle from hell, Alex played every guitar, cello, horn, it was just music all night. And then I started cutting it and putting it together, and Les Claypool came over and he sang [Rush's 1975 epic] "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" or something like that over the sessions. And so I'm editing it together, and I pull out my fancy-schmancy film-scoring tools, my orchestral samples, and built this huge track. And then my hard drive crashed! And I sent it to two or three different "drive doctors," who all charged a fortune, and none of them could rescue the disc. And I hadn't even done a rough mix. I was a little crushed by all that. That kind of popped the balloon on the whole thing. ...
Copeland also hosted a jam session with Peart,Tool drummer Danny Carey, and Les Claypool back in 2011. That track/video was titled Count Drumula! and featured all four guys trading off on drum duties along with Claypool on a stand-up bass and Carey playing a trombone. You can see a video from that session here.
During his speaking appearance at RushCon this past summer, Clockwork Angels author Kevin J. Anderson broke the news that he is working on 2 new Rush-related writing projects. The first project is a new companion novel to Clockwork Angels titled Clockwork Lives (as in the plural of life) that he and Neil Peart are working on. The book will feature minor characters from Clockwork Angels and expand on their stories. The other project he's working on is an anthology of Rush-based stories that he'll be co-editing with John McFetridge for ECW Press (publisher of Clockwork Angels and Neil Peart's books). They have a team of award-winning and bestselling authors lined up to contribute short stories based on Rush songs, with Anderson himself contributing a novella titled 2113. Since then we haven't heard much news regarding either of these projects except for an occasional tweet from Anderson mentioning that their work is continuing, or a brief mention from Neil Peart in some recent interviews. Last month, Anderson also tweeted out a cryptic note about yet another Clockwork Angels-related project called Clockwork Angels: The Comic Scripts that is due out some time this month from Anderson's Wordfire Press publishing company. This past week Anderson tweeted out a photo of the cover along with this message:
Coming soon for #Rush fans who want clues for the Easter Eggs in Clockwork Angels comics
So it sounds like the book will contain the scripts for the Clockwork Angels graphic novel series along with some Easter Egg clues. The graphic novel series saw the release of its sixth and final issue last month, and a single-volume, full-length graphic novel is also slated for release next spring. Speaking of which, Brad Birzer over at Progarchy.com posted a review of the graphic novel series this past week which you can check out here.
Robles and Boom! have done something I didn't expect: they've made a brilliant story even better. Or least, they made me look at it in a very new way. What's not to love? Gorgeous art; Peartian wisdom; and a story that mixes the best of Chesterton, Tolkien, and Ray Bradbury.
This past weekend Neil Peart drum tech Lorne Wheaton officially sent Peart's Time Machine kit off into retirement at Just Drums in Toronto for a special Roland Canada sponsored event. Prior to the event last Thursday Lorne sat down with Kim Mitchell on Q107 in Toronto for an interview to discuss the event which you can listen to at this location. There are also plenty of great photos posted on the Just Drums Facebook page, and Ian G sent along this great video of highlights from the event. There's also this photo gallery from BK On The Scene.
Cracked.com featured a story this past week titled 4 Seemingly Normal Things That Are Inexplicably Hard to Find one of which was A Woman at a Prog Rock Show (thanks Bruce P). The story features a really cool caricature drawing of a Rush concert that features a lot of hidden prog-rock imagery.
There was some understandable trepidation about covering Rush's "Limelight" for this year's A.V. Undercover, because no Rush song is exactly easy to cover. Which makes it all the more fun that a band known for being lo-fi and loose would decide to tackle the complexity. And Sebadoh-indie-rockers of the original variety, together off and on since 1986-even did it with just two instruments (plus a variety of pedals). Becca James did the intro, because she's the world's biggest Rush fan. ...
Nickelback drummer Daniel Adair wore a bootleg YYZ Toronto, Flight 21-12 Rush t-shirt during the band's performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live this past Tuesday night. You can watch the performance on YouTube at this location (thanks Eric at Power Windows).
DJ Eddie Trunk will be conducting his annual year end radio special next month and is asking everyone to vote for which band's music they'd like to have featured on the show. The top 3 bands will be selected and Rush is in the running. You can vote via EddieTrunk.com - just look for the poll on the right hand side of the site.
In the latest episode of the All Time Top Ten podcast, they cover the Top Ten Songs About Radio and - not surprisingly - Rush's The Spirit of Radio was on the list. Also, the latest episode of the Permanent Waves Rushcast came out this past week which you can listen to here.
25 years ago today Rush released their 13th studio album, 1989's Presto. The album was Rush's first with Atlantic Records and was produced by Rupert Hine, who went on to also produce 1991's Roll the Bones. Presto peaked at #16 on the Billboard album charts and was certified Gold by the RIAA on January 11, 1990. It was recorded at Le Studio in Morin Heights and at McClear Place in Toronto in the Summer of 1989. The album's first single Show Don't Tell peaked at #1 on the US Mainstream Rock charts; The Pass went to #15 and Superconductor to #37. A remastered version of the album appeared on last year's Rush: The Studio Albums 1989-2007 box set, and an SACD version was released this past summer. In celebration of the anniversary, here's a cool Presto t-shirt you can purchase for an early Christmas present.
Here's Geddy Lee's Q104.3 Out of the Box interview from this past Sunday night:
That's all for this week. Have a great weekend!