Rush is a Band

A blog devoted to RUSH:
Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Fri, Nov 22, 2019

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Feb 22, 2008@11:11AM | comments

The Rush ticket peddlers gave us the last week off for President's Day. There were no pre-sales and no tickets go on sale this weekend. Next week we should expect to see pre-sales for the shows in St. Paul, Kansas City, St. Louis, Bristow and Charlotte - with regular ticket sales the following weekend. It also was recently announced that tickets for the Montreal show will go on sale through Admission.com on March 1st. So we should see pre-sales for that date next week as well (thanks to duss for the heads up). There's still been no official word on ticket sales for Toronto.

In my last poll I asked everyone how they were getting tickets for the tour. The results are in and it looks like over half of you took advantage of the Music Today pre-sales. About a quarter of RushIsABand readers used the regular ticket sales, and a third of you got tickets from either an online auction or broker. Now that most of us have our tickets our thoughts naturally start to drift towards questions about the setlist. How many songs off of Snakes & Arrows will they play this time? Will they play more old stuff? Will they play one of their epics? etcetera, etcetera... So I thought it'd be fun to conduct a series of setlist-related polls over the next several weeks. I'll first say that I don't have any sort of inside info on rehearsal setlists yet, although others have started some interesting rumors. I'll be sure to post anything that I do learn. But in the meantime we'll just have some fun speculating. For my first question I'll ask you which of Rush's epics - songs over 7 minutes long - would you most like to hear on the upcoming 2008 leg. Take the poll and let us know.

Wednesday we finally got confirmation that the Snakes & Arrows Live CD is indeed the audio from the Rotterdam shows. Last weekend Neil Peart added a new installment to his Bubba's Book Club - the first since last April. There's a new contest up at the Rush Backstage Club, Rush topped FilmCritic.com's list of bands whose music should be turned into a movie, and Rush was named Artist of the Year by the Progressive Rock Hall of Fame.

Rush.com is now advertising on their news page the fact that Rush has been working with Harmonix Music Systems - creators of the hugely popular video game Rock Band - to feature some of their music; something we've known here for a while now. They quote the Rock Band website's comments about the latest Rush song that's available to download for the game - Working Man (first mentioned back in this post:

As Rush songs go, this one's relatively simple: It's from the first album, the only one they made before Neil Peart brought in his brainiac lyrics and impossible drum parts. At the time Rush came off like a more low–brow Zeppelin, with down–to–earth anthems like this one. This seven–minute song is no cinch, however; the instrumental midsection is all but guaranteed to trip you up the first time through. Original Rush drummer John Rutsey promptly disappeared off the face of the earth, but "Working Man" didn't: It's one of the oldies that turns up regularly in their live shows. Maybe they'll even play it on their just–announced summer '08 tour.

Working Man was made available a couple weeks ago and Limelight early last month. Tom Sawyer is included with the game. Now if they're working so closely with Harmonix, why are all the versions of their songs in the game covers instead of the master tracks? One also wonders if this will make it more likely for the band to include Working Man in their setlist this spring. There's also a really cool Rock Band video of Tom Sawyer up on the Rock Band website in the Videos section.

The February 2008 issue of Guitar Player magazine includes a feature entitled 50 Essential Guitar DVDs. Included on the list is Rush's R30. Here's what they say about it:

Sure, the footage from Exit Stage Left is classic, and you can’t beat the wild Brazilian crowd in the Rush in Rio DVD, but if you can only get one Rush DVD it has to be R30. The setlist, sound quality, and camera angles just can’t be beat. The R30 Overture that opens the show has all-instrumental snippets of “Finding My Way,” “Anthem,” “Bastille Day,” “A Passage to Bangkok,” “Cygnus X-1,” and “Hemispheres,” plus a hilarious cameo from Jerry Stiller. The lack of vocals on this medley allows Alex Lifeson’s PRS-fueled guitar tones to really stand out. He and the boys run through a whole bunch of Rush favorites including “Xanadu,” “Subdivisions,” “Red Barchetta,” and “Tom Sawyer” (with a killer Lifeson solo). The show kicks ass from start to finish and Lifeson is in fine form the entire time with his trademark arpeggios, fiery solos, and a humongous tone that fills the arena. If the gig was all you got this would still be a must have. When you factor in all the DVD extras like a bunch of live-in-the-studio performances from back in the day and soundcheck footage, this is an amazing piece of work and a great example of Lifeson working his magic. Zoe. —MB

Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

Rock photographer Ross Halfin recently uploaded a bunch of new vintage Rush pics to his website. They're black-and-white photos from what looks like the late 70s and early 80s. Cool stuff. You can check them out here.

Reader John let me know that Cars.com's recently released list of their Top 10 Car Songs includes Rush's Red Barchetta at #10. Here's what they said about it:

In an era where large SUVs seem to block out the sun and the U.S. government is trying its darndest to regulate fuel economy, a 1981 sci-fi song about a nearly extinct Ferrari doesn't seem so far off. Although the abundant safety features in today's cars may not lead to the reckless driving mentioned in the song, it's a scary future for any sports-car nut.

Reader mrdriven alerted me toa a Rush sighting in the 2007 book The Enlightened Bracketologist - The Final Four of Everything. Under the topic of Long Songs 32 studio songs of at least 10 minutes in length are listed. On pages 55-56 Rush's The Camera Eye goes up against Pink Floyd's Echoes and unfortunately loses.

The King of Kong is a recently-released documentary from filmmaker Seth Gordon. The film follows a pair of diehard video game fans as they compete to break World Records on classic arcade games. ReelzChannel recently sat down with the filmmakers and one of the subjects of the film - Steve Wiebe - for an interview. There's one scene in the movie where Steve - also a drummer in addition to a video game nut - plays Neil Peart's The Rhythm Method drum solo. The interviewer asks him about it and they talk at length about it and how it fits into the film:

Steve, in the a scene in where you're playing the drums, is that from RUSH?

Cunningham: Yes. Wow!

Wiebe: You’ve heard the Rush solo. I’m very influenced by Neil Peart.

Is that "The Rhythm Method?"

Wiebe: I haven’t had any lawsuits from Neil yet. [Laughs]

Gordon: I want to talk more to that because I think that figures in a really interesting way with his ability to beat one of the two guys in the world that can play Donkey Kong at a totally elite level. When he was nine years old, he figured out that drum solo by working with Irv.

Steve: With Irv, my friend.

Gordon: Now DVD’s are sold that teach you how to play that solo, but he figured it out when he was nine.

That’s remarkable. Neil Peart is recognized as one of the greatest drummers of all time.

Gordon: And the way he figured it out was he broke it down into patterns that you have to execute in order and the way to beat Kong is by recognizing the patterns that are executing, that are random, and navigating your way through it, grouping everything so you can maximize the points and get a million and the kill screen. I think that Rush was an example of the thing that makes him uniquely able to play this game the way he does. It’s sort of like his Jedi pattern recognition gift.

Wiebe: Neil’s very technical too.

He’s The Professor.

Cunningham: That was a moment for us in filming because whenever you’re following someone, it’s like are they going to be compelling enough? Are audiences going to want to follow them? Steve is absolutely Steve: kind of a normal guy. And we spent a couple of days interviewing him and I had heard and he told us about how he was a drummer in a band. And I was actually downstairs because I was interviewing Derek (Wiebe's son) whose drum set he’s on. I don’t know if you noticed but that’s a Costco kid's drum set that he’s wailing on. I’m downstairs interviewing Derek and Seth’s like, “Sure I’ll go up and shoot what he’s doing," and all of a sudden this noise starts coming out and Derek, his son, who loves when he plays drums and is learning how to play too, he just takes off up the stairs to go follow him and I walk into this room and here is a grown man on a drum set that’s like this big, wailing away. It was those moments that we started to think wait a minute, he’s not just some normal father of two. There’s an amazing talent there. There’s just a different type of talent; you have to dig deep to find it. And that was one of those moments for us. And Seth when we got back, he’s like, “I hope I got that sound. It was so loud in there.” We listened to it.

Gordon: It sounds pretty good.

Cunningham: Yeah. It captured it great.

Thanks to Brent for the heads up.

Roger Schlueter of the Belleville News-Democrat runs a column where he answers questions from readers. Earlier this month he was asked about a legendary mid-70s Rush show at Belleville Area College. He didn't initially get much information but was soon inundated with emails from folks with information about the show. He then posted this follow-up article where he presents his proof that they did indeed appear there on April 18th, 1975. It's an interesting little story. Thanks to Spindrifter for the heads up.

KnuckleBonz is an online company that creates realistic hi-end sculptures of various rock musicians. They currently don't have any Rush sculptures, but they have opened up voting to determine who should be the next addition to their Rock Iconz line of sculptures. You know what to do. To submit your vote for Rush send email to tellus@knucklebonz.com. Thanks to Peart#1 for the heads up.

Speaking of sculptures of Rush, reader Patrick W pointed me to this story in the Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper about Canadians who are dedicated to getting statues of famous Canadians erected in and around Toronto. They list Geddy Lee among their suggestions for people to honor with a statue.

Sean related an interesting story to me regarding Neil Peart's original Tama Kit. The kit apparently is currently owned by a guy named Adam Roderick who won it in the Modern Drummer giveaway back in the 1980s. He uses the kit in tribute shows to Rush with his band Trilogy, but does not promote the fact that he uses Neil's old kit; it's sort of a little secret for those in the know. So if you're interested in seeing the kit up close and personal, go see Trilogy - that kit you will see is no replica, it's the real deal. Here are a couple videos of the kit in action with Trilogy; Armor and Sword, Chemistry.

And since it's the weekend, I'll end with a Rush beer reference. Reader scottc let me know about a website out of Minneapolis called Brew 52 that is dedicated to sampling a Minnesota brewed beer each week (a noble cause indeed). This week's beer is Flat Earth Cygnus X-1. From the description:

This robust English style porter has an add twist, rye. Rye is used in making Canadian whiskey. It was created as a tribute to our favorite band - Rush. Cygnus X-1 has a creamy mocha chocolate flavor with a hint of spice. It has a slightly dry finish leaving you wanting more. English hops balance out this 6.5% ABV beer. Now Available year round! SRM - 25, ABV 6.5%, IBU 40

Sounds tasty. Have a great weekend everybody!

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