Rush is a Band

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

Thu, Sep 19, 2019

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Oct 15, 2010@12:26PM | comments

Rush South American tourRush closes out the Time Machine Tour this weekend playing to fans in 2 countries where the band has never toured before. Tonight they'll play GEBA Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina and they'll close out the tour Sunday at the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile. To borrow a line from Rush's Countdown, the excitement among Rush fans in these 2 countries is so thick you could cut it with a knife. They've been waiting a long time for this. Preliminary ticket sales numbers for the Chile show suggest that about 35,000+ fans will be in attendance. With the tour soon ending, the focus now shifts to Rush's next endeavor - their upcoming studio album Clockwork Angels. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have been making the interview rounds among the South American press these last 2 weeks, and have given us a few updates regarding the album and their plans for releasing it. Until recently, the band had consistently been saying that they plan to finish recording the album in time for a Spring 2011 release followed by an extensive tour. But Geddy Lee revealed an apparent change in plans in a recent interview with Brazil's TV UOL:

The new album is still in production. We've recorded 2 songs so far. One of them called Caravan and the other one called Brought up to Believe [BU2B]. That's the beginning 2 songs of a whole kind of a concept album called Clockwork Angels. We have four other songs - five songs written but not recorded yet. And we still have a couple more songs that we want to write and then put the whole thing together. So I don't think the album will be ready for about a year.

This would push the album's release to the Fall of 2011, leaving several questions as to what the band will do in the interim. By piecing together information from interviews and several rumors I've heard, along with a big dose of speculation, here is what I think will happen over the next year or two. After the 2010 tour is over they will take a break until after the holidays then continue recording early next year. They'll then likely take the Time Machine Tour out for a second leg in the Spring/Summer of 2011 (hopefully with a few setlist changes). I'm guessing that this will be another 40-45 date tour and include several US/Canadian cities they missed the first time around along with a possible European leg. There's even a rumor that they are trying to negotiate some dates in Japan! Once their 2011 tour ends, they'll finish up the album in time for a Fall/Christmas release and then tour extensively in 2012 with some kind of 2112 tie-in. Sound reasonable? What does everybody think?

Regarding the Clockwork Angels album itself, Alex revealed some new information in a couple of recent interviews. Here's what he said in an interview with Brazil's

Anything can happen. There exists a good possibility that we'll have longer songs on the next album. We've written six songs, and one is approximately nine minutes. I think we'll have some "epic" songs on the album. It's not that we're trying to go back to the past, or to think about the future, it's more a question of what we feel and we write at the moment. (NOTE: katskahnne's translation)

And the following is from an interview with Chile's Radio Futuro:

It's difficult to know until we are in the studio and record it, that's how it starts shaping up and acquires its own life because of the changes that are made while you record it. I think we need to write 2 or 3 more songs to be able to finish the composition of the new album. From the six we have written, there are a couple that are very long. One of them is Clockwork Angels, and it's very long in particular, with various parts and in an epic style of composition, maybe like the ones we did before, those long pieces, with a more extended format. But there are also various melodic pieces; one of them is in acoustic format, very friendly. It's a good blend of many things. Until we have everything ready and a more consummate idea of the album, it is difficult to know how it will be, but it will have a lot of energy for sure.

What's new about Alex's comments in these interviews is his mention of there being a couple (as opposed to one) of very long songs, one being 9 minutes in length. He had already mentioned the Clockwork Angels piece in his The Morning Call interview from this past August. I now have reason to believe that this other long song may be the instrumental Unfinished Business or Unfinished Monkey Business, which I had first mentioned in a Friday updates post back in February.

Other than details regarding the new album, the other question in fans' minds is whether there will be some kind of DVD release of the Time Machine Tour. In Geddy's recent interview with Brazil's TV UOL he had this to say:

We record every night. We don't film every night but we have a lot of cameras around. So invariably by the time this show [Geddy may have meant to say this tour] is finished we'll put together some sort of live representation of it. What form that will take I'm not sure yet.

In light of the fact that it now seems quite likely that there will be a second leg of the Time Machine Tour, the band may hold off releasing anything until after that second leg. This would give them a chance to professionally film/record a couple of shows.

According to a new interview with Geddy and Neil from Argentinean newspaper Clarin (thanks jlorial), Neil Peart is indeed riding his motorcycle around South America. Here are some comments from Neil from the Google translation of the article:

... Tomorrow (referring to last Friday), Brutus and I begin our journey of 3,000 km, from Rio to Buenos Aires from one concert to another travel with him or with Michael, who have Bikes like mine (BMW GS), if I had a mechanical problem, I would go to one of their own and could continue to travel because I have a show waiting ... But after hundreds of concerts and hundreds of thousands of miles, never got anything wrong . And I'm not going to fall in South America ... I can say that'll be the only Canadian drummer who has arrived on a motorcycle ever to play in Buenos Aires. Dying to be there, both anxiety and fear. We welcome the prayers ... and welcome.

Hopefully Neil arrived OK!

Speaking of the tour, last Friday Pollstar released their list of the 100 top selling concert tours of 2010 (PDF) so far. Topping the list was AC/DC with 1,820,962 tickets sold worldwide this year. Rush's Time Machine Tour came in at #33 with a total of 350,342 tickets sold through September 30th. That comes out to an average of 9,220 tickets per show (they played 38 shows in that time frame). Rush's 4 shows in South America this month should boost this number up considerably - likely over 450,000. So their year end ranking will probably be a bit higher. Pollstar also lists Rush's average ticket price so far as being $71.58. I'm unsure exactly where Pollstar gets their numbers because they seem to be off a bit - not only for Rush but for other artists too. I'm still awaiting the specific attendance figures for most shows from Billboard Boxscore, but so far they've only released data for one date; the Toronto show at the Air Canada Centre on July 17th. This show sold out all 12,191 of its seats and netted $1,258,740 CND. Hopefully figures for all the other dates will start to trickle in soon.

Last month VH1 Classic premiered the 2112/Moving Pictures Classic Albums special during their Rush Hashanah celebration. The documentary covered the making of these 2 classic rock albums and included commentary from all three members of Rush along with producer Terry Brown, Taylor Hawkins of The Foo Fighters, Rolling Stone journalist David Fricke and many others. The special was released to DVD/Blu-ray 2 weeks ago and you can order your copy on both DVD and Blu-ray, along with a special DVD/Blu-ray combo package that also includes both the 2112 and Moving Pictures CDs (4 discs total). The DVD has a total running time of 112 minutes including 50 minutes of bonus footage not included in the VH1 Classic broadcast. You can check out a couple of preview videos in this post. The DVD/Blu-ray is getting some great reviews in the press. Here's one from music critic Sterling Whitaker's We Will Rock You Blog.

There have been plenty of celebrity sightings at Rush shows these past few months. There were a slew of them at the 2 Los Angeles shows and I personally spotted Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria at the Columbus show. Stevie D and Josh Todd of American hard rockers Buckcherry were at Rush's show in Pittsburgh last month. Stevie D tweeted about it and included this short little video (WARNING: multiple F-bomb alert). Thanks to my bro-in-law Gary for the heads up.

A couple of weeks ago the list of nominees for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2011 was announced via the Rock Hall website and - as expected - Rush was not on the list. While never making the list of nominees for induction, Rush always seems to make everyone's list of the greatest Rock Hall snubs - as in this list compiled for a article that was posted last week titled Presenting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Most Egregious Snubs (thanks Ryan). Here's what they said:

If Kiss is the most controversial name on the list, Canadian progressive rock group Rush comes in a tight second. Despite hits such as "Tom Sawyer," "Limelight" and "Subdivisions," the group has always staunchly remained on the fringes of the mainstream, relying instead on a more independent approach to their careers. To his credit, founding member Alex Lifeson doesn't seem to mind the snub, once saying, "I couldn't care less. Look who's up for induction; it's a joke." Still, good luck meeting a casual Rush fan. More likely, mention you like the drums to "Tom Sawyer" and they'll pontificate on their favorite bootleg until you walk away.

Reader mattybro pointed me to an article at titled the Top 12 Head Banging Car Cruising Songs. Rush's Red Barchetta made their list at #12. Here's what they had to say about it:

Although this is not as heavy as other songs on the list, Rush is an iconic band and Geddy Lee always introduces the song as being about a car. As many of you know, the song does pick up enough to be worthy of this list. The song describes a future in which many classes of vehicles have been prohibited by "the Motor Law." The narrator's uncle has kept one of these illicit vehicles (the titular red barchetta sportscar) in pristine condition for some "fifty-odd years" and keeps it hidden at his secret country home (previously a farm before the enactment of the aforementioned Motor Law).

Kelly D let me know about an article at titled 5 Things for Which Canadians Should Be Thankful. At #3 on their list are Canadian rockers Nickelback. Rush gets a little mention in their writeup:

You'd think the country that brought the world both Rush and Alanis Morissette would be all rocked out! But somehow, Canadians keep managing to top themselves! Need proof? I give you Nickelback! Itís true. ...

I can't tell if they're being serious or sarcastic.

Last month internationally recognized wine expert Mark Oldman released his new book Oldman's Brave New World of Wine. The book features Alex Lifeson along with dozens of other celebrity wine lovers discussing their favorite wines and wine-based experiences. Oldman was recently interviewed by Joe Roberts of who asks him about Rush:

1WineDude : OK, I've got to ask this first: youíre getting front-row seats to RUSH concerts in N.J. and hanging out with Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee? How does that go down? That's so awesomely beyond awesome that "awesome" doesn't describe its awesomeness...

Mark Oldman: That show was electrifying - both for the audience and, it seemed, for the band. Rush is shredding it better than ever and experiencing more love than ever before. Last year I had the opportunity to interview Alex in his wine cellar, so stay tuned for a fun video of that launching on my site in a few weeks.

I can't wait to see that video!

Last week I mentioned how longtime reader Gary Ortiz (aka glortiz) passed away recently. His family has set up a memorial fund in Gary's honor at Wright-Patterson AFB Credit Union. For details on how you can contribute to the fund please send an email to

Canadian sports network TSN debuted a new opening montage video to introduce the hockey games they televised Wednesday night featuring Rush's Caravan as the theme music. The video shows several hockey players talking about how the Stanley Cup is their ultimate goal and using the line from the song I can't stop thinking big as Caravan plays in the background. TSN famously collaborated with Rush's Neil Peart earlier this year when they introduced a new drum-centric version of the iconic Hockey Theme during a Toronto Maple Leafs game back in January. You can watch the 2 minute opening montage video below or at this link:

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