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, Oct 3, 2014@12:27PM | comments

It was another quiet week for Rush news other than last weekend's Grapes Under Pressure 3 charity wine trip to Stratus Vineyards hosted by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. Grapes for Humanity is an organization that helps to raise funds to benefit humanitarian causes around the world with the assistance of the international wine community, and Geddy Lee is a member of the board of directors. In recent years he and Alex Lifeson have conducted a number of charity auctions and events to raise money for the organization as part of an initiative that they cleverly call Grapes Under Pressure. The first 2 Grapes Under Pressure events took place in 2009 and 2011 respectively and helped raise thousands of dollars for charity. This past weekend Geddy and Alex hosted their 3rd Grapes Under Pressure event described as "Geddy and Alex's Excellent Harvest Adventure" on the Grapes For Humanity website:

Building on the phenomenal success and tremendous response from their first two extravaganzas, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson team up again for the third installment of their "not so annual" Excellent Harvest Adventure. Geddy and Alex will welcome you aboard our private train from Toronto's Union Station as we enjoy breakfast enroute to Stratus Vineyards. Stratus, a 62-acre beautifully modern winery near Niagara-on-the-Lake, combines science with tradition and relies on the centuries-old method of "assemblage" to produce wines of amazing depth and complexity while maintaining a reputation of being one of the world's most sustainable wineries. A champagne reception awaits you upon arrival at Stratus. As you tour this stunning property, guests can try their hand at picking grapes and learn about cutting-edge winemaking techniques while drinking and tasting the "The Best of Niagara" from a variety of local producers of wine, beer and food products. Award-winning Chef Michael Steh of The Chase will prepare a gourmet vintners lunch as special guest winemaker, JL Groulx, leads us through his handcrafted Stratus vintage selections. Participate in the excitement of a silent auction as well as other special surprises before the late afternoon train ride back to Toronto. ...

There are several great photos of Alex and Geddy from the day's events posted on Twitter using the hashtag #GUP3 which you can check out here. Phase 2 of Grapes Under Pressure 3 kicks off this evening with a huge online auction as described in this post from last week:

... Next week, Geddy & Alex will launch phase two of GUP3 which will boast the largest ever single auction of Rush signed & vintage paraphernalia including vintage instruments, vinyl test pressings, touring gear, rare autographed items and more.

In the meantime, we leave you with the first awesome item on the list: Geddy Lee's shoes worn on the R30 tour.

See them here @geddyimages and watch his instagram to see more items unveiled as we lead up to next Friday when you will be able to start bidding...!

Since then they've also added a photo of a signed, vintage Rush road case to the Instagram page that will also be included in the auction:

Rush vintage roadcase, signed by all 3 of us, will be available in #GUP3auction that starts tomorrow 10/3 6pm ET!

As I'd mentioned early last month, the August issue of Prog magazine featured the 100 Greatest Prog Albums Of All Time as chosen by their readers and a number of prog-rock artists. The covers of Rush's Hemispheres, 2112 and Moving Pictures albums are all pictured in the album cover collage artwork, and all 3 of these albums along with Rush's Permanent Waves and A Farewell to Kings albums made the list. John over at recently transcribed the entire article and made it available online here. Permanent Waves came in at #69, A Farewell to Kings at #53, Hemispheres at #23 and 2112 at #15. Here's what they had to say about Moving Pictures, which fared the best out of the 5 albums coming in at #13:

We Say: Rightly considered the jewel in the Rush crown - albeit a crown festooned with sparkling gems from throughout the band's glittering 30-year [sic] career. As with many groups populating our Top 20, it's difficult to choose between so many great works, but Moving Pictures truly stands out as a unique classic.

You Say: "It's the absolute best Rush album and the ultimate bridge between the 70s ambitious prog and the 80s new-wave prog." -Diogo Salles

Speaking of which, Music Radar posted their list of the 30 most influential prog drumming albums earlier this week and Moving Pictures took the top spot (thanks RushFanForever):

... As challenging as Peart's drum parts can be, he is an extremely physical and powerful drummer who never sacrifices volume and commitment for complexity. Moving Pictures captures the band at a creative peak, confident in their ability to handle complex arrangements even as they expanded the parameters of their sound. Essential listening.

A heavy metal all-star band called Metal Allegiance featuring members of Pantera, Megadeth, Anthrax and Testament played a set of classic metal songs including Rush's Tom Sawyer during Motorhead's recent Motörboat cruise, which took place last week. Tom Sawyer was performed by Joey Belladona (Anthrax) on vocals, Alex Skolnick (Testament) and Chris Broderick (Megadeth) on guitars, Frank Bello (Anthrax) on bass, and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Winery Dogs) on drums. You can check out the full set list here. Thanks to Nick M for the heads up.

Music Times celebrated the anniversary of the October 2, 1959 debut of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone with an article this past week highlighting 5 songs inspired by the show. Among the songs featured is Rush's Twilight Zone from their 2112 album:

There's no hiding that Rush and drummer/lyricist Neil Peart were hugely inspired by Serling and The Twilight Zone. However on an album that hosts the most famous of the prog rock band's conceptual journeys, "2112," why was the first single "The Twilight Zone" from the less memorable B-side? Peart has acknowledged the song is based on two sketches from the show in particular-"Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?" and "Stopover in A Quiet Town"-two great episodes that add up to one unusually boring Rush track. Serling's influence was put to better use apparently, as he is thanked in the liner notes for both Caress of Steel and A Farewell to Kings.

Styx's Lawrence Gowan was recently interviewed for TechnologyTell and spoke a bit about how Alex Lifeson ended up playing guitar on Gowan's 1990 solo album Lost Brotherhood:

I was managed by Ray Danniels in Canada and I was the second act behind Rush for the 14 years that I was with Ray. For Lost Brotherhood, because I was able to meet the Rush guys on plenty of occasions obviously being in the same office, there was a day where I just thought I'm going to ask Alex if he wants to check out one of the tracks on this album I'm (working) on. ... I had great all-star lineups already, and when I asked Alex he said, "Sure, I'll check it out." And once he did one song, he winded up playing on the entire album. That was great-he's just a fantastic guy, a phenomenal guitar player obviously, and one of the funniest human beings I've ever met. So getting the chance to work with him was great. ...

Boston's TD Garden organist Ron Poster is profiled in this recent article (thanks Mike H). Poster is known for his organ renditions of classic rock songs that he plays at Celtics and Bruins games, including plenty of Rush:

... "I find that the fans react well to current pop music. They also enjoy '80s and '90s rock. They also love music by Rush. I try to make everything I play a fan favorite. My job is about giving the fans what they want." ...

Reader John T let me know about a recent video news story posted at that profiles New York real estate agent Peter Lavinger and his huge collection of over 1400 autographed drumsticks. Among his collection are some sticks from Neil Peart - which get a mention at about the 2:34 mark of the video which you can check out here.

Tomorrow, October 4th marks the 2nd anniversary of the announcement that Rush was nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 2013 class. Back on that date, the CBC's The National posted this great video news story on Rush's nomination. It features Paul from The Canadian Music Scene giving the Rush fan perspective along with some photos from the April 15, 2011 protest at the Rock Hall, and mention of Toronto radio station 94.9 The Rock's petition to get Rush inducted. Rush was ultimately announced as one of the inductees a couple months later on December 11th, and were inducted on April 18, 2013.

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