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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

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Excerpts from Prog magazine's Rush cover story

Mon, Apr 22, 2013@2:23PM | comments removed/disabled

The latest issue of Prog magazine went on sale last week, and the issue contains a 14-page Rush cover feature which includes 45 stories from 45 incredible years together. There are a lot of interesting bits of trivia and tales from the band's early days that not every Rush fan may have heard about. Here's some background on By-tor and the Snow Dog:

The track, from the band's 1975 album Fly By Night, was the first Rush epic. "People think we're such a serious band," Geddy says. "But really, we're just your typical idiots, and By-tor and the Snow Dog was a joke that got out of control. Our manager Ray had two dogs, and Howard Ungerleider, our lighting guy, called them Biter and Snow Dog. We must have been high one day, imagining a song about these two dogs. And then Neil went ahead and wrote it. But the guys at our record company weren't happy. They signed the band that was on the first album, and they said, 'This is not the same - what is this By-tor shit? You were talking about Working Man and now you're talking about this crazy stuff.' It was a bit of hiccup in the plan they had for us. ... The title of the first part of By-tor and the Snow Dog is a mystery to all three members of Rush. Geddy: "I don't know what 'tobes' are. I assumed that Neil knew, and there must be such a place in mythology. I just went with it." Alex: "I think the Tobes of Hades is kind of like the waiting room to Hell!" Neil: "Nobody know what it means - that's what I love about it. But it's something that my friend's father used to say: 'It's hotter than the Tobes of Hades!'"

Geddy Lee also finally addresses claims by The Runaways that Rush were jerks to them when they opened for Rush back in 1977, as was dramatized in the movie biopic The Runaways. Jett said the following in a 2010 interview with JAM! Music:

... Joan Jett says members of Rush were anything but polite Canucks when the Runaways opened for them in the 1970s. In the new film biopic about the band titled The Runaways, Jett (played by Kristen Stewart) is derided by an unidentified rock group they're opening for. She later retaliates by breaking into their dressing room and urinating on one of their guitars. Jett doesn't hesitate to identify the real-life inspiration for the scene. "Rush! They sat on the side of the stage and laughed at us," Jett says. "That sort of stuff pisses me off." ...

Here's what Geddy had to say about it:

"The Runaways had a ginormous chip on their shoulders. I remember that show. We had trouble with our gear so our soundcheck got delayed and The Runaways never got one. But we were always good to whoever was opening for us. We had no bias against them because they were girls - none of that bullshit. I know they said that we were laughing at them when they played, but quite frankly they were too shitty to listen to. And 40 years later they have a story to tell about it. Who knew?"

A special, limited edition hardback version of the issue is also available which contains an additional 12 pages of Rush coverage. A big thanks to Tony R for the excerpts.

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