Rush is a Band

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

Mon, Aug 3, 2020

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Aug 14, 2009@10:27AM | comments

According to an unconfirmed report (from a good source though), Neil Peart is a new daddy to a bouncing baby girl! We've all been anxiously awaiting this news since we first learned in a News update earlier this summer that Neil and Carrie were expecting. A big congrats to the happy couple on behalf of all RIAB readers.

In another piece of Neil Peart news, Neil's original Slingerland drum kit (which he used from Fly By Night through 2112) was put up for auction on eBay by owners Main Drag Music in Brooklyn, New York last week. The auction ended on Sunday and the winning bid was for $25,100! According to Michael of - who knows the new owner - the plan is to put the kit in some kind of museum, possibly the Percussive Arts Society Museum in Indianapolis.

Today is also the 35th anniversary of Neil Peart's first show as a member of Rush. They played the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. Neil wrote about this experience in Roadshow:

... Among the sleek buildings that indicated Pittsburgh's successful transition from Iron City to a technological center, I caught a glimpse of the low dome of the Civic Center Arena. That was where Alex and Geddy and I had played our first show together, on August 14, 1974, opening for Manfred Mann's Earth Band and Uriah Heep in front of about 11,000 people. Among the many memories of that life-chaning experience, I would never forget standing on the floor beside stage left while Uriah Heep played 'Stealin'.' The big dark building, colored lights on the heroic figuries up on the stage, the roaring audience, the sheet electricity in that place. Halfway through their show, the retractable dome of the Civic Arena had peeled back, open to the summer night...

On Tuesday Rush's Grace Under Pressure Tour video was released as a standalone audio CD. Rush recorded this show back on September 21, 1984 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto and later released the video on both VHS and LaserDisc. In 2006 they released a remastered DVD version of the concert as part of the Replay X3 Box Set which also included a bonus audio CD of the Grace Under Pressure Tour video. They later made the DVD available to be purchased as a separate item.

Also on Tuesday, the Paul Rudd and Jason Segel bro-mantic comedy I Love You Man was released to Blu-ray and DVD. The movie is filled with Rush references including a cameo from the band where they perform Limelight during a concert scene. You can watch an extended clip of the scene here. The 2-disc set includes an 18-minute Making Of feature, outtakes, extended and deleted scenes, a gag reel and commentary from director John Hamburg and actors Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. You can purchase your copy at this link. Reader RushFanForever also located this recent interview with directory John Hamburg where he has a lot to say about working with Rush on the movie.

Yesterday I let you know about the City Sonic Project - a collaboration between Toronto documentary film companies White Pine Pictures and Kensington Communications. The project pairs Canadian music artists with award-winning Canadian filmmakers to create short documentary films about the artists' connection to places where their musical lives were transformed. One of the 13 short films pairs Geddy Lee with director Bruce McDonald. Geddy is followed as he takes viewers on a tour inside the legendary Massey Hall (where All the World's a Stage was recorded). All 13 films will have their world premier as part of the Toronto International Film Festival's TIFF in Concert program at Yonge and Dundas Square which runs from September 10th through the 19th. New films will premiere each day of the Festival and all City Sonic screenings are free to the public. Keep an eye on the City Sonic website for details and screening times.

On Tuesday night I was a guest on internet radio talk show Used Bin Radio. I had a great time talking Rush for about half an hour with hosts Brad and Joe. If you missed the show there is a podcast available at this link. My part starts in at about the 35-minute mark.

Legendary guitarist, inventor and studio wizard Les Paul died yesterday at the age of 94. Besides being an accomplished musician and entertainer, he was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar and is credited with inventing or discovering many recording innovations. Alex Lifeson is one of the many artists to use Gibson Les Paul guitars over the years.

The October 2009 issue of Guitar World magazine features an interview with Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci. When asked about the track The Count of Tuscany off of their new album Black Clouds & Silver Linings he says the following:

...indicates a big-time Rush influence. They have always had the ability to write majestic-sounding music, very royal and uplifting....

Later, when talking about different band influences that each member brings to the band, he says that he and Jordan Rudess ...grew up in the same town and share similar influences of Iron Maiden and Rush. Thanks to Michael G for the heads up.

Dream Theater's James LaBrie was also recently interviewed by Edmonton's Vue Weekly. From the article:

Dream Theater's James LaBrie grew up loving Rush. While that may not be a stretch for an Ontario teen of the '70s, these days he can also boast some common ground with Geddy Lee. Not only do both gentlemen lend distinctive voices to their respective prog-rock bands, but both have also sung the national anthem at major league gamesóand gotten stage fright doing it.

"I was reading one time that Geddy Lee, he was saying out of all the years that they played all over the world, and playing in front of 20 000 people a night, he was never so nervous as when he sang for the Toronto Blue Jays game, a baseball game, and he had to walk out there and sing the national anthem," LaBrie says. "And I thought, 'Wow, that's so true,' because I remember walking out on [Maple Leaf] ice and going, 'Wow, this is really bizarre. This is totally different.' You're out there, it's naked, it's you and your voice and it's you singing to a crowd of whateveró18 000 peopleóby yourself. But it was still cool. I had a great time doing it.

"It was [stage fright]" he laughs. "I could understand where Geddy Lee was coming from. It was almost like your first gig, to go out there and go, 'Holy shit, why am I getting nervous? I've done this many times before.'" ...

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

Progressive metal band Tool is currently on tour and for at least one show have been playing the opening riff to Rush's A Passage to Bangkok to open their song Rosetta Stoned as seen in this YouTube video (thanks Craig). Rush and specifically Alex Lifeson are big Tool fans. Alex said the following regarding Tool's album Aenima in a Guitar World interview a few years ago:

Adam Jones is a fabulous guitarist and songwriter, and Tool are such a powerful band. You know itís Tool when you hear them, because theyíre intensely dynamic, yet heavy, even when theyíre playing is light. I listened to this album over and over; I donít do that very often. Tool have an interesting, intelligent approach to song construction and lyrics. Itís just too bad we donít hear from them more often.

Indeed, it looks like Alex hung out with Adam Jones, Maynard James Keenan and comic book author Steve Niles when Tool played Toronto recently. Niles is a friend of Tool and toured with them for 2 weeks, even playing guitar on 46 & 2 at the Toronto show. He posted this photo of him, Adam, Alex and Maynard at dinner in Toronto. Thanks to bobcat for the photo and the heads up.

Rush gets a mention in this Las Vegas Review-Journal article about bands with a rabid fanbase. Here's what they said:

A Rush fan is like the rock 'n' roll equivalent of the Trekkie, and I'm talking about the kind that can speak fluent Klingon and knows Spock's mom's maiden name. Write anything about this band, and you will get responses from all over the world. I used to poke fun of the undeniable geekiness of Geddy Lee and Co. -- seriously, Rush is like hard rock's pocket protector -- but have come around after seeing them live. Their last two Vegas gigs were among the best shows of the year in '07 and '08 respectively. The nerds officially have had their revenge.

Thanks to RushFanForever for the link. ran a poll recently to determine the Top 100 Singers According to You. Geddy Lee made a decent showing coming in at #42.

Sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson is a huge Rush fan and has drawn inspiration from Rush for a number of his writings. His 1988 Rush-inspired novel Ressurection, Inc. even drew the attention of Neil Peart and the 2 have been friends ever since, even collaborating on the 1994 short story Drumbeats. Neil also wrote the introduction to Anderson's 2006 short story compilation Landscapes. In his latest book The Edge of the World Anderson takes a stab at fantasy and dedicates it to his friend Neil Peart. The book is heavily influenced by Rush and prog rock and even contains a companion CD of music by prog rock band Roswell Six called Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon. Thanks to Power Windows for the information.

I have several old Rush article scans to share with you courtesy of a couple of members of the Counterparts message board.

The first is from the March, 1978 edition of the New Musical Express. It's by the controversial writer Barry Miles and is titled Rush: Is Everybody Feelin' all RIGHT? (Geddit...?). It's the article where Rush was essentially accused of being fascists, greatly upsetting the band. You can check it out by viewing the thumbnails.

The next is from the May, 1979 edition of the New Musical Express. It's by John Hamblett and is titled Rock Against Right-Wing Rock Being Called Fascist. It addresses the previous article, giving Peart a chance to defend himself against accusations of Rush being fascist.

These next 2 article are from the June 1977 and May, 1983 issue of Sounds Magazine respectively. They're by Geoff Barton and you can check them out by clicking on the thumbnails.

Geddy Lee is one of many famous Canadians included in a commercial supporting Canadian general interest magazine The Walrus. The magazine publishes long form journalism on Canadian and international affairs, along with fiction and poetry by Canadian writers. It was launched in September 2003 as an attempt to create a Canadian equivalent to American magazines such as Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly or The New Yorker. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up. Here's the video of the commercial on YouTube:

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