Rush is a Band

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

Tue, Jul 23, 2024

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Apr 20, 2012@12:13PM | comments removed/disabled

UPDATE - 4/21@5:08PM: The Rush Music Today site now lists all 10 of the dates that are going on sale this week; Manchester, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Newark, Brooklyn, Boston, Buffalo, Anaheim and LA. Although the link is currently hidden, to sign up for (or login with your account from previous tours) the Music Today Rush Fan Community just go to this link. I now have all 33 of the shows loaded into the RIAB tour page, and will be continually updating the listings with pre-sale/on-sale information as it comes in - so check back regularly. I also have the interactive tour map up and running again on the tour page.

UPDATE - 4/20@9:32PM: New poll! In the last poll I asked everyone what they thought of the 30-second Headlong Flight preview clip and about 85% of you said you loved it (full results). Now that we've had a few days to digest it, what do you think of the full version of the song? Take the poll and let us know.

UPDATE - 4/20@1:39PM: John over at has transcribed the entire Alex Lifeson High Times interview and made it available online here! Alex speaks very frankly about his feelings regarding marijuana on both a personal and political level:

I do [support legalization]. In fact, the Liberal Party in Canada just endorsed legalization, and I think that's a very smart move on their part. Meanwhile, the current Conservative government wants to bring back more stringent laws and rules against pot. Personally, I just think, at the end of the day, who cares if people want to smoke some pot? More trouble happens with alcohol than with pot, so we have to start viewing the issue more sensibly. ... I don't want to get political, but our whole drug policy is out of whack. Billions of dollars are spent on it - and, really, the only people who profit from it are the underworld, for lack of a better term. So why not put that money into controlling the quality and putting more money into the coffers for our social programs, for people who need health care, who are starving ...

He also expands on the inclusion of strings on Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album:

All of our records are thematic, but this one is a little more of an old-fashioned concept album in the tradition of 2112 and Hemispheres. We just recorded a string section yesterday for five of the songs-we still have to sit down and see what we'll use from that, but it sounded fantastic. Rush hasn't used strings in a while, and it's really added a lot of emotional impact to the songs.

Thanks John!!

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Whew! What an exciting week for Rush fans! On Wednesday Rush made available the full 7:20-minute version of Headlong Flight for streaming online via Then in the wee hours of yesterday morning they posted the official 2012 Clockwork Angels tour announcement along with dates and pre-sale/on-sale information. As an added bonus, they also posted the official video for Headlong Flight to YouTube. Yesterday was also the official radio release of Headlong Flight and fans reported hearing the tune on a number of stations - both the 4:50-minute radio edit and the full 7:20-minute version. The tour will kick off on September 7th at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH and run through December 2nd at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX. There will be 3 legs to the tour consisting of 12, 12, and 9 dates respectively, making a total of 33 dates. You can view the entire itinerary in this post or at, and both LiveNation and Ticketmaster now have most of the dates listed on their sites as well. Pre-sales for several of the shows will begin this coming Monday and Tuesday with regular on-sales kicking off next Friday, April 27th and Saturday, April 28th. There will be a fan pre-sale that should be officially announced via the newsletter within the next few days, along with Citi Card pre-sales and VIP packages (package details here). So if you haven't signed up for the newsletter yet, you can do so at Currently no information regarding the timing of the VIP pre-sales is given on the Ticketmaster or Live Nation websites, but judging by past experience, these will kick-off on Monday or Tuesday morning; I'll be going with that assumption until we learn otherwise. The fan pre-sale will once again be handled by Music Today, who just updated their website this morning with some Clockwork Angels tour branding and the first batch of pre-sales. So far they have the pre-sales for Manchester, Chicago, Philadelphia, Newark, Boston, Buffalo and Anaheim listed, all of which will kick-off beginning Monday at 12PM (local venue time). For a guide to all the different pre-sales, check out my pre-sales guide. The information contained in the guide pertains to the 2011 tour, but it should also be applicable to the 2012 tour for the most part. I'll be updating the guide as we get more updated information. I've also begun loading all of the dates along with all the pre-sale/on-sale information into the tour section. They should all be in there by the end of the weekend.

In celebration of the tour announcement, the Rush Backstage Club is now selling an official Clockwork Angels t-shirt. There also will be a vinyl version of the album available which you can pre-order here. Here's the official PR Newswire press release for the tour. It contains these comments from Neil Peart regarding Headlong Flight:

... "In late 2011, my drum teacher Freddie Gruber, towards the end of his long and adventurous 84 years, was reminiscing among friends and former students. Often he would shake his head and say, 'I had quite a ride. I wish I could do it all again.' That is not a feeling I have ever shared about the past -- I remain glad that I don't have to do it all again. While working on the lyrics for 'Headlong Flight,' the last song written for Clockwork Angels, I tried to summarize my character's life and adventures. My own ambivalence colored the verses, while Freddie's words inspired the chorus 'I wish that I could live it all again.'" ...

Neil Peart had also touched on this in his latest news update at this past January. On a related note, Neil Peart fansite operator Andrew Olson posted a video over the weekend of Neil Peart's speech from Freddie Gruber's memorial this past November (thanks Paul N). Apparently the video was taken by a student of Freddie's from the 1970s on November 13, 2011 at the Sportsman's Lodge in Sherman Oaks, California where the memorial was held. You can watch the video on YouTube at this link.

The full version of Tom Sawyer from the upcoming Sonic Elements Rush tribute XYZ: A Tribute To Rush was posted online at earlier this week. The cover features John Wesley (Porcupine Tree) on vocals and guitars, Billy Sherwood (Yes) on bass, Dave Kerzner on keys and Neil Peart Drums by Sonic Reality. You can listen to it on SoundCloud at this link. Tom Sawyer is just one of 5 tracks from the EP which releases tomorrow, April 21st and can be pre-ordered via as a digital download or a physical CD. The other 4 featured tracks are Red Barchetta, YYZ, Limelight and a bonus track titled Trifecta. Other performers include Rik Emmett (Triumph), Randy McStine, and Matt Dorsey. Trifecta is an original track written by Billy Sherwood and Dave Kerzner that uses the drum track from YYZ. You can listen to samples from the project on SoundCloud, and check out all the track details at the esoundz website listing.

Just in time for 4/20, Alex Lifeson is featured for an interview in the June, 2012 issue of High Times magazine (thanks Shrimp Cot):

High Times Interview with Rush Guitarist Alex Lifeson
A rock legend recalls high times on and off the road, including the time our first issue inspired the creation of a legendary pot song.
By David Bienenstock

Last weekend Guns N' Roses was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Former Guns drummers Steven Adler and Matt Sorum spoke with Rolling Stone's Brian Hiatt after the induction and talked about their surprise and remorse that some of their rock heroes such as KISS, Rush and Deep Purple have yet to be inducted. Here are Adler's comments:

... "It's such an honor to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame, but then I found out that KISS isn't in here, and then I found out the other day that RUSH isn't in there," says Adler. "They've got to be inducted. If it wasn't for those bands and a couple other ones, there wouldn't be a Guns N' Roses." ...

You can watch video of their interview at this link. Just last month, Guns guitarist Slash made similar comments in a Toronto Globe and Mail interview leading up to the induction. And on a related topic, Donna Halper was interviewed by Jim Richards of Toronto's News Talk 1010 this past Monday, April 16th. In the interview Donna talks about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions and why she believes Rush has not been nominated yet. You can get the podcast at this link - just scroll down to the April 16 2012 Podcast. Thanks to Eric at Power Windows for the heads up.

Every day throughout the month of April, is revealing 3 songs from their list of the Top 100 Classic Rock Songs. Earlier this week they posted Rush's Tom Sawyer at #48 on their list:

... The unmistakeable sonic boom synthesizer intro of 'Tom Sawyer' launches side one of 1981's landmark 'Moving Pictures.' ... From the band's perspective, every single second of 'Tom Sawyer' would be hard fought for in the studio as they worked to get things exactly right. ... Fortunately their efforts paid off and 'Tom Sawyer' was quite well received, to put it mildly. The positive reception however, came as a complete shock to the band. Rush bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee recalls that "when we wrote it, we had no idea that it would touch such a nerve with people." ...

On this past Saturday's episode of VH1 Classic's That Metal Show there was a Rush question during the Stump the Trunk segment. One audience member asked Eddie the following question:

Rush have a 4-part song called Fear. It was the subtitle on 4 other songs. What are those songs and what part of Fear were they?

Eddie had no clue and ended up getting a little testy with the contestant. He mentioned being gone for that period of Rush (1980s and beyond). You can watch the entire episode online at this link; the Rush question comes in at about the 32:30 mark. Thanks to Sean for the heads up.

Will work for Rush tickets! Author and RIAB reader Phil Simon is offering to speak for "free" at your organization... but there's one important catch:

Readers of my books and blogs know that I'm an obsessive Rush fan. I mean, restraining orders. While I'll be there in Las Vegas for the November 23rd show, one just doesn't cut it. My current speaking schedule has me missing Rush by a few days or weeks in several places.

So, here's the deal: I'll come to your organization or conference to do a one-hour talk about whatever you like. I'll waive my normal fee. I'll only ask that you do the following:

* buy a decent number of copies of The Age of the Platform (discounted)
* cover my travel expenses (flight, hotel, parking, a bit of food)
* buy my Rush ticket (usually about $120 USD)

Clever plan. If you feel like taking Phil up on his offer, you can contact him through his website. Phil Simon is a sought-after speaker, author of four management books, and a recognized technology expert who consults companies on how to optimize their use of technology. He also loves to stick a bunch of Rush references in all of his books. :)

The Broadcast Newsroom website posted a short article Wednesday highlighting the fact that Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album was mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood. The article also includes a photo of Geddy and Alex with mastering engineer Brian "Big Bass" Gardner.

Rush's La Villa Strangiato gets a mention in this Stereophile magazine blog post (thanks The Matching Mole) from Ariel Bitran on the Audio Deske Vinyl Cleaner:

Before playing "La Villa Strangiato" from side 2 of the Rush LP Hemispheres, On a Higher Note's Philip O'Hanlon advised me to go get my record cleaned by the Audio Deske Vinyl Cleaner. I told him, "I just did!" ... this same experience happened to me at least five different times during the New York hifi show. Maybe it is because my records actually are filthy, or maybe it is because that Audio Deske Vinyl Cleaner ($3895), really just is that awesome and easy to use that everyone had to sell it to me.

Last summer I reported that Boston-based heavy metal band Steel Assassin would include a cover of Rush's Red Sector A on their forthcoming album WWII: Metal Of Honor which is due out on May 15th. The band recently posted the Red Sector A cover to YouTube at this link. In a recent interview with Mathias Madder from High Roller, guitarist Mike Mooney comments:

I actually made a demo of the song about five years ago basically for my own purposes. I've always loved the way Geddy (Lee) sings that song, there's a hopelessness and longing in his voice that is brilliant, but there's also a quality of urgency that I thought would translate well to metal, so I basically changed up the tempos and really kept everything else the same. I call Rush my 'desert island' band, meaning if I were ever stranded on desert island and could only listen to one artist, it would be Rush. Kevin and I are both huge fans all the way back to their earliest days. Their writing in a lot of ways is very metal, but they are so much more diverse than just that. 'Red Sector A' also ties in rather neatly with the military concept of our record. We were at my house combing through some demos for the new record, when I came across my old version of it, and all at once it struck me, this would be an awesome addition to the World War II theme. I began the campaign right then to have this song on the album, Kevin instantly agreed and the rest would follow. Lyrically and musically it's a perfect compliment to this record and the whole band is really excited about it.

Thanks to Metal Tim at BW&BK for the heads up and above quote.

As I'd mentioned above, the Headlong Flight single was officially released to radio yesterday and has been starting to get some steady rotation on rock radio stations everywhere. The Rolling Stone article with the exclusive online premiere of the track from this past Wednesday contains some background on the song's genesis:

"Headlong Flight," the first single from Rush's 20th studio album Clockwork Angels, is one of the trio's most hard-charging numbers in recent years. "'Headlong Flight' was one of those songs that was a joy to write and record from beginning to end," says frontman Geddy Lee. "Alex [Lifeson] and I had blast jamming in my home studio one day before the second leg of the Time Machine tour, and I did not revisit that jam until a year later. Alex and I assembled the song to be an instrumental and its original title was 'Take That Lampshade Off Yo Head!," but once we saw the lyrics Neil [Peart] had written, I knew that the spirit of the lyrics matched the instrumental perfectly and it was just a matter of making them fit and writing the melodies."

The full 7:20-version of Headlong Flight will be available for purchase as a download next Tuesday, April 24th in the US/Canada; April 22nd in the UK; and some parts of Europe should have it as early as today. The video for Headlong Flight that posted yesterday is titled as the Official Lyric Video. It has a number of visuals that display the lyrics to the song interspersed with old performance video of Rush and some other steampunk visuals. Here it is:

What a crazy week it has been! Next week it'll get even crazier with the first batch of pre-sales. Have a great weekend and start saving up your cash for Rush tickets. :)

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