There hasn't been a lot of Rush news to report since the band received the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award at the 2015 Juno Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony 2 weeks ago. No doubt Geddy, Alex and Neil are taking a short break before heading into full band rehearsals out in Los Angeles next week. Rush's R40 Live tour will kick off in 6 short weeks at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK on May 8th - the first of a planned 35 stops across North America. The band's tour made the Chicago Daily Herald's list of the 12 hottest concert tickets in Chicago, suburbs this summer. Rush posted an announcement to their website earlier this month requesting photo submissions from fans to celebrate the band's 40th anniversary; the assumption (not confirmed!) being that a select few will be used in some fashion on the R40 Live tour. Today is the LAST DAY that they will be accepting photo submissions, so go submit your photos today before 6PM EST if you haven't already. On a ticket-related note, several fans who purchased Tickets Today fan pre-sale tickets have expressed concern as to when they will get their tickets mailed to them. Tickets Today explicitly states in their confirmation email the following:
... Tickets will be shipped no later than 10 business days (approximately 2 weeks) before the event date; however they might be shipped earlier. If you have not received your tickets within one week of the event date, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance. ...
Opening night is still 6 weeks away, so there's plenty of time left. Fans who purchased tickets for opening night on May 8th should expect their tickets to arrive by the latter half of April. Judging by past experience with Tickets Today, they are generally pretty good at getting the tickets out in time. If you don't have your tickets after 2 weeks before show time, then just email their customer service.
The Art of Rush is a 272 page coffee table book that delves into the 40 year relationship with Rush and their longtime artist and illustrator Hugh Syme. The stunning book begins with a foreword penned by Neil Peart, and contains original illustrations, paintings, photography, and the incredible stories behind each album that he has designed with the band since 1975. ... [the book] includes in-depth interviews with each Rush band member ... [and] contains entertaining anecdotes and commentary from a wide array of notable musicians, actors, athletes, writers, radio personalities and Rush insiders about their favourite Rush album covers, which clearly reveals how vital and impactful the visual representation of their music has been through the years. ... "From the first time Hugh and I met, we shared a level of communication that would sustain us through all the years of discussing art by long distance. We had the same values and tastes in images and design, and simply spoke the same language. That's why I off-handedly referred to him one time as 'serving a life sentence as my art director," said drummer and lyricist Neil Peart ...
The book was made available for pre-order earlier this morning via the Rush Backstage Club, and demand was so high that it crashed their website. As of this posting the site is back up but still having a few issues. Three separate editions were being offered; a standard edition along with 2 limited edition options. The Roadcase Deluxe Edition was limited to 100 copies and is already sold out. It will be numbered and signed by all 3 members of Rush and Hugh Syme, and come in a hand-crafted road case with a metal plate affixed to the outside with the limited edition number. The Slipcase Edition was limited to 250 copies and is also sold out. It will be numbered and signed by all 3 members of Rush and Hugh Syme, and come enclosed in a custom slipcase. The Classic Edition consists of just the 272 page hardcover book for $99, and is still available. The Rush Backstage Club is indicating that orders will ship on May 1st, so that is the presumed release date. See Rush.com and the Rush Backstage Club for all the details.
Rush is releasing all of the Mercury-era Rush albums on vinyl along with a few select titles on Blu-ray audio throughout 2015. The 12 Months of Rush as they are calling it will see the band releasing one or two titles a month throughout the year. They started with Fly By Night in January (Vinyl, Blu-ray Audio), Caress of Steel in February, and last Tuesday the reissue campaign continued with the release of 2112 and All the World's a Stage on vinyl. The 2112 vinyl reissue is a special Hologram Edition as described in this Rush.com press release and seen in this 1-minute demo video. Becca James of the A.V. Club featured the 2112: Hologram Edition in this article earlier in the week, saying the following:
... This month, and on my birthday no less, UMe released 2112 on high fidelity 200 gram vinyl, with a custom, hand-drawn hologram of the Red Star Of The Federation in the album's dead wax runout of side two. All you have to do to see it is shine a flashlight directly above your turntable while the record plays. As a pivotal point in Rush's career-2112 is easily the first record where Geddy, Neil, and Alex truly found their collective sound-it's a great item for any fan or record collector alike. ...
All titles are reissued on high-quality vinyl with a 320kbps MP4 Digital Audio download code, with Fly By Night, A Farewell to Kings and Signals also having a Blu-ray Audio release. The rest of the reissue titles will be released throughout the remainder of the year and can be pre-ordered at the links below:
A Farewell to Kings (04/21/15) - Vinyl | Blu-ray Audio
Hemispheres (05/19/15) - Vinyl
Permanent Waves (06/16/15) - Vinyl
Moving Pictures (07/21/15) - Vinyl
Exit ... Stage Left (07/21/15) - Vinyl
Signals (08/18/15) - Vinyl | Blu-ray Audio
Grace Under Pressure (09/15/15) - Vinyl
Power Windows (10/20/15) - Vinyl
Hold Your Fire (11/17/15) - Vinyl
A Show of Hands (12/1/15) - Vinyl
Ready Player One is the critically-acclaimed, 2011 sci-fi book from author, self-described seventies/eighties protonerd and Rush fan Ernest Cline. Ready Player One makes several references to '80s pop culture, with particular attention to cult films, classic arcade video games and music. The book contains several references to Rush including a particularly significant reference to the band's 2112 album. The Hollywood Reporter reported earlier this week that legendary director Steven Spielberg has been tapped to direct the film, with comic book movie writer Zak Penn working with Cline on the script. It'll be interesting to see how many (if any at all) of the Rush references, along with the many other references to '80s-era films and pop culture will end up making it into the movie. This subject was addressed in an Ars Technica article discussing the Spielberg announcement:
... Adapting the book to the screen is a tall order, not so much for the complexity of the narrative but rather for the sheer number of different things for which rights would have to be negotiated. Without giving away any of the plot, staying true to the book would mean needing to show parts of War Games, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Blade Runner-not to mention assorted songs from dozens of artists (including probably all of Rush's 2112 album, plus the artwork). And that's not even getting into the video game licenses or dozens of obscure Japanese TV shows referenced or shown in the book. ...
The 2nd annual RushFest Scotland will take place in 3 weeks on Saturday, April 18th from 1PM to 3AM at the Dreadnought Rock in Bathgate. Last year's inaugural event took place on May, 17 2014 and raised £3,284.58 for MacMillan Cancer Support, which will also be the charity supported for this year's event. They are also giving away a bottle of 12 year old Macallan whiskey signed by Neil Peart to one lucky donor on their Just Giving page. Be sure to check out the flyer for all the details and keep up with RushFest Scotland on Facebook and at their website for all the latest news and to purchase tickets.
Rolling Stone magazine recently interviewed MLB Network analyst and former MLB All-star Sean Casey to talk about the upcoming baseball season along with a few other topics (thanks RushFanForever). At one point he's asked about music in the clubhouse and relayed the following story:
... Kent Mercker loved Rush, and every time we'd take off on a road trip, he'd play "Tom Sawyer," and do the whole Neil Peart thing; you know, standing up playing the drums. So whenever I hear that song, I just think of Kent and [Ken Griffey] Junior and Barry Larkin and Kearns and I having some drinks, taking off. That's one of the things I miss most about the game, to be honest - listening to music with the guys on the plane. ...
While on the subject of the upcoming MLB season, reader The Clansman 2112 wanted me to let you all know that a few spots are open for his annual rushisaband Fantasy Baseball League. It's a 20 Team Roto League where they don't play for money - just for fun and bragging rights, so it's free to join. The live draft will take place this coming Sunday evening. To sign up just click on this link; the league ID number is 24578 and the password is atmsite. If you have trouble with the link or have any questions just shoot an email to email@example.com.
Earlier this week satirical e-greeting site SomeEcards posted a list of 9 Fitbit Badges for the extremely lazy, one of which had a Rush theme (thanks Jim). The Rush-themed badge shows a drummer and drumset with Rush written on the bass drum along with these words:
You've earned the Rush badge! Your resting heart rate is faster than a Neil Peart drum solo. Rock on!
It's that time of year again, time for classic rock stations across the nation to conduct their annual March Madness battle of the bands/artists competitions. This year Ultimate Classic Rock is running a March Drum Madness bracket poll and Neil Peart is one of the top seeds. Over the last couple of weeks he defeated Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres and legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker to advance to the 3rd round. Stay tuned to Ultimate Classic Rock to find out who he'll be up against in round 3.
Ultimate Classic Rock also posted a new list this past week, where they tick off the Top 100 '90s Rock Albums. All three of Rush's '90s-era albums made the cut: Roll the Bones, Counterparts, and Test for Echo.
Mashable posted a list of 27 songs that are all about that bass earlier this week and Rush's YYZ made the cut (thanks Bill G).
As I'd mentioned at the beginning of the post, Rush was the recipient of the 2015 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award at the 2015 Juno Gala Dinner & Awards ceremony in Hamilton, ON back on March 14th. The Award recognizes outstanding Canadian artists whose contributions have positively enhanced the social fabric of Canada. Denise Donlon along with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi presented the Award to Geddy Lee who was on hand to accept it on behalf of the band. Rush manager Ray Danniels was also presented an Award at the ceremony. Universal Music Canada CEO Randy Lennox presented Ray Danniels with the 2015 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award recognizing individuals who have made a significant impact on the Canadian music industry. The complete 2015 Juno Gala Dinner & Awards ceremony is now available online at this location, including both Rush's (Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart accepted via pre-taped video) and Ray Danniels's acceptance speeches, tribute videos and introductory speeches (thanks Don C). The Ray Danniels portion runs from 1:12:00 through 1:31:30, and the Rush portion runs from 2:34:15 to 2:48:00. Each of the introductory induction videos can also be seen separately online (Ray Danniels intro video, Rush intro video). For complete coverage of the evening's festivities including backstage photos and video of Geddy Lee and Ray Danniels, check out this post.
That's all for this week. Have a great weekend! R40 Live is just 6 weeks away!!