Rush is a Band

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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Sat, Oct 23, 2021

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Oct 10, 2014@12:35PM | comments

This past week's Rush news was dominated by some new interviews with both Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart, along with another NeilPeart.net news update and the GUP3 charity auction. A couple of weeks ago Alex Lifeson participated in the Scott Medlock-Robby Krieger Invitational Charity Golf Tournament and All-Star Concert and gave a few, short red carpet interviews while attending the event. 3 of these interviews surfaced online over the past week, the first of which was with Argentinian rock journalist Lucas H. Gordon which I'd posted last weekend. In that interview Alex talks about the importance of participating in charity events, performing in Argentina with the flu, and more. You can watch this short, 2:30-minute interview on YouTube at this link. 2 more short interviews with Alex from the tournament then surfaced later in the week. Indie Power spoke with Alex for a little over a minute about his musical influences, and 70s-era rock music. You can check out that interview at this location. The second interview also runs about a minute and was filmed by Alex Kluft. Lifeson was asked about Rush's anticipated R40 tour and reiterated what he'd mentioned in his Rolling Stone interview earlier this year; that the band plans to tour in the spring and that the tour would last about a year. You can check out that interview below or at this location. For complete coverage of the Scott Medlock-Robby Krieger Invitational Golf Tournament and All-Star Concert including photos and video, check out this post.

Phil Simon recently interviewed Neil Peart for the Huffington Post to talk about his new book Far and Near: On Days Like These and the interview was posted online yesterday. Neil describes some of the themes contained in his new book and compares writing to music:

... Writing and music have to be learned over time and practiced. The great thing about live performance, at least in music (and that prose writers miss out on), is that you have an audience to judge how well you're doing. That's one of the great things that we've had. Our background is in performance and I've come to realize in more recent years that our songs were written to play live. It seems like a simple thing but it's not. Our songs were not written to be listened to in headphones or on the radio. They were written to be played. ...

You can read the entire interview online here and order your copy of Neil Peart's Far and Near at this location. The book is a follow-up to Peart's 2011 book Far and Away: A Prize Every Time and is another collection of his NeilPeart.net blog posts since that last book was released. A couple of weeks ago interviewer Phil Simon collected some fan questions to ask Neil via his website. The Huffington Post piece was written specifically to focus on Neil's book, but Phil let me know that he should have a few of those questions along with Neil's responses posted on his personal website (philsimon.com) within a week or two.

Speaking of NeilPeart.net blog posts, Neil posted his latest update earlier this week. The October, 2014 entry is titled Science Island and in it Neil describes a recent visit to Lac St. Brutus in the Laurentian Mountains. He recounts a trip to one particular island on the lake with his 5-year-old daughter Olivia. Olivia dubbed the island Science Island because of all of the scientific discussions about geology, meteorology, and biology she had with her father when visiting the island's natural wonders. Neil also talks a bit about rowing, swimming and other lake-related activities, along with a visit to his neighbor's (a few lakes away) house - someone Rush fans may be familiar with - former Rush engineer Paul Northfield. During the visit, the 2 spoke about a nearby Rush historical landmark:

... That night the subject of Le Studio's abandonment and ruination came up, and the very next day I had an email from Meghan at our office asking me to do an interview for the guys at Banger Films (makers of the Beyond the Lighted Stage documentary). They were making a show about one of the Guys at Work, Geddy, and wanted to talk to me. It was immediately obvious where that interview had to take place. ...

Neil then talks about visiting the abandoned studio that is so important to the history of Rush, and all of the memories and emotions it stirred up. He teases the news that Banger Films (the guys who brought us Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage) is making some kind of documentary/show about Geddy Lee, but never really reveals any other details about it:

... Those reflections from over two decades ago make a good segue to the part of the story the Banger guys wanted me to address: one of the Guys at Work, Geddy. Having said that Le Studio was the most important place in my life, it follows that the most important collaboration in my life has been with Geddy. That's all I really wanted to say on camera-though I don't think those actual words occurred to me until later. In any case, the interviewer, Sam, had his eye on "the show" they were making. Naturally enough, he was looking for some incisive remarks from me, maybe some kind of "dirt"-if not blood. Preferably bad blood. He was careful about it, trying to bring me around to that sort of nitty-gritty by apologizing for "being like a three-year-old, asking the same question again and again." But a complex relationship that has endured for over forty years is not going to be defined in a sound bite. It's like asking a spouse of that duration to define the other-tread carefully! ...

I've been unable to find any further information online regarding this supposed Geddy documentary, so if anyone hears anything, let us know. In addition to all the great Le Studio memories, the update also includes a number of amazing photographs of Neil in and around the grounds of the abandoned studio. It's definitely worth checking out. You can read the entire thing online at this location.

Keeping on the subject of Neil Peart, today is apparently Hug a Drummer Day and in celebration of this momentous occasion, The New Zealand Herald posted their list of the top 10 drummers of all time. Neil Peart came in at #2 behind Led Zeppelin's John Bonham:

Drummer and lyricist for Rush, Peart has received numerous awards for his musical performances. He is known for his stamina and technical ability. Bandmate Geddy Lee called him "the professor on the drum kit."

Geddy Lee's shoesGeddy Lee and Alex Lifeson's Grapes Under Pressure 3 charity eBay auction kicked off last Friday evening and has been going full steam ahead ever since, with a number of rare and wonderful Rush memorabilia up for bidding. Here's the latest update from Rush.com:

The Grapes Under Pressure eBay auction has been fast and furious since went live on Friday! Some of the standouts include 53 bids for a signed Different Stages promo photo, 27 bids for a signed Moving Pictures Live test pressing, and 15 bids for Geddy's home studio used Ovation acoustic guitar. Things will really start to heat up as we move towards auction closing times on Monday evening, Oct. 13th.

You can watch the action here: http://bit.ly/GUP3auction

Or even better, join in the fun and make a bid! It's all for a good cause.

Included in the auction are:

- An autographed Geddy Lee Custom Shop Relic Fender Jazz Bass (limited edition, only 50 of these basses have been built as an exact replica of Geddy's stage bass).
- An autographed Alex Lifeson Signature Gibson Axcess Les Paul Guitar signed by Alex, Geddy and Neil.
- A Rush autographed DW Snare Drum with NHL Logos Limited Edition, one of only 6 built.

ALL proceeds will be directed to Grapes for Humanity, Canada www.grapesforhumanity.com

Grapes for Humanity Canada is proud to partner with Magna Children at Risk, and proceeds for this exclusive event will go directly to rebuild health care facilities in the Philippines which were damaged by the Haiyan Typhoon.

Thanks for your support!

Geddy & Alex
#GUP3auction

You can check out all the cool, signed items and place your bid on eBay here. And be sure to follow all the action on Twitter using the hashtag #GUP3auction.

The Rush EUCon 2014 Rush fan convention takes place this weekend at The Box in Crewe. Activities will include a quiz & raffle, a charity auction, a Rush Idol contest, and a performance from Italian Rush tribute band La Villa Strangiato. For all the details and to register just visit the website at rusheucon.co.uk, and for all the latest news you can follow Rush EUCon on Facebook and Twitter.

Hand-crafted acoustic guitar maker Loucin Guitars of Oakville, ON announced a couple weeks ago that they had added Rush's Alex Lifeson as their newest client and are currently crafting him a custom LD model made out of a beautiful Indian Rosewood set with tons of gorgeous sapwood. They've been posting their progress constructing the guitar on Twitter including some stunning photographs which you can check out here. Geddy Lee also seems to have a new toy to play with according to a post on the Netherlands-based Paul's Bass Matters Facebook page (thanks Michael B):

Today was a good day. It doesn't happen too often that you can make an all-time basshero happy with a new instrument, but today we did just that. Canadian rocklegend Geddy Lee has just bought this extreme beauty of a bass from us. Wow. We are looking forward to hearing what this baby can do in the hands of a man that's only been playing the worlds' biggest stages for 40 years... Today was a good day.

Radio.com posted their list of 10 Album Covers You Can Actually Visit this past Friday and Rush's Moving Pictures album cover - which depicts a scene in front of the Ontario Legislative Building at Queen's Park in downtown Toronto - made the cut.

OC Weekly posted their list of The 10 Best Prog Metal Bands this past week (thanks John at Cygnus-X1.net) and Rush came out on top:

Make no mistake about it, Rush is not a heavy metal band, in the purest sense, but by all accounts they are almost as responsible for the sound and evolution of metal as much as Deep Purple, or even Black Sabbath. ...

Here's Alex Lifeson's short interview from the Scott Medlock-Robby Krieger Invitational Golf Tournament and All-Star Concert where he mentions the R40 tour:

It's been 2 weeks since I've implemented the new Disqus-based comment system on the site, and - for the most part - the feedback has been positive. I know it's a big change from the old system, but give it a chance if you haven't tried it out yet. If you are having any issues signing in, check out this login troubleshooting guide, particularly this part on enabling cookies. Remember that all the comments from the old system have been imported into the new system, and Disqus allows you to link up your old comments with the new account based on email address if you so desire. To do this - after you sign in with whatever social media account you want to use (or with a Disqus account) - just go to your Disqus profile and Edit Settings. Then click on the Merging tab. The system will locate any existing RIAB comments which used your email address (assuming it's the same as your email for whatever account you signed in with) and ask you whether you want to merge these into your new account. These comments will then be listed as belonging to you from that point on. If you have any other questions or concerns, let me know. Have a great weekend!!

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