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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

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Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Dec 5, 2014@12:14PM | comments

Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart's Clockwork Angels graphic novel series saw the release of its sixth and final issue last month, and a single-volume, full-length graphic novel is also slated for release next spring. This past week Anderson also released a companion book to the graphic novel series via his Wordfire Press publishing label titled Clockwork Angels: The Comic Scripts. From the book's description:

... Clockwork Angels: The Comic Scripts pulls aside the creative curtain, showing the original scripts, panel by panel, interactions between author and artist, as well as all the secret "Easter eggs" intentionally planted throughout the images as a special treat for Rush fans. Clockwork Angels: The Comic Scripts is a fascinating book in its own right, to be studied by comic writers, Rush fans, Kevin J. Anderson fans-and anyone interested in a truly astonishing story of a young man's journey across a remarkable steampunk landscape with airships, pirates, alchemy, lost cities, a fabulous carnival, and a hero who insists on making his dreams come true.

You can purchase your copy of Clockwork Angels: The Comic Scripts at this location. Anderson is also working on 2 new Rush-related writing projects, one of which is a new companion novel to Clockwork Angels titled Clockwork Lives (as in the plural of life). The book will feature minor characters from Clockwork Angels and expand on their stories. Anderson revealed in a blog post recently that he and Neil Peart are now about two-thirds of the way finished with the novel although there's no word on a release date. He also tweeted out the following update earlier this week:

CLOCKWORK LIVES: The Sea Captain's Tale-writing going so well that I was *afraid* to get to the ending. My muse punched me in the gut.

The other project he's working on is an anthology of Rush-based stories that he'll be co-editing with John McFetridge for ECW Press (publisher of Clockwork Angels and Neil Peart's books). They have a team of award-winning and bestselling authors lined up to contribute short stories based on Rush songs, with Anderson himself contributing a novella titled 2113.

Speaking of Clockwork Angels, UK-based digital artist Graham Whieldon's latest creation for his website is an amazing Clockwork Angels-themed print titled The Anarchist which you can check out at the website. The artist is also running a Facebook contest where you can win your choice of Rush-inspired print by spotting the Rush references contained within The Anarchist:

... Within the Anarchist picture, I have painted 22 deliberate Rush references - excluding Clockwork Angels - from albums to anecdotes, songs to sidelines. Some are obvious and some are tenuous, some are clear and some are well hidden. But all are Rush related in some way, and you will have to examine your print closely to find every last one of them.

The first to email me 16 correct references and where they appear in the painting will be announced on the closing day and sent a Limited Edition Macrograph print from a choice of: The Anarchist, Red Barchetta, 2112 viii, Snow Dog, and The Fountain of Lamneth.

This competition will close at midday on Saturday 31st January 2015. No Clockwork Angels related answers will be accepted. In the event that nobody finds 16 references, the person with the most correct answers will win. An example of an acceptable correct answer would be: 'Face Up - bowler guy jacket'. ...

For all the details and to check out all of Whieldon's other Rush-themed digital paintings, visit the Macrographs website. You can also follow Macrographs on Facebook.

Robert Freedman is an author, journalist, communications professional and keeper of the Rush Vault website who released a new book from Algora Publishing a few months ago titled Rush: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence. This past week Brad Birzer at wrote an essay and review of the book titled The Saving Grace of Neil Peart. Birzer gives his very personal story about how Rush's music and lyrics affected his early life, and then goes on to give some high praise to Freedman's book:

.. In his outstanding 2014 book, ... author, philosopher, and media specialist Rob Freedman has attempted to explain not just Peart's popularity among his multitude of fans-some of the most dedicated in the music world-but also the Canuck drummer's actual set of ideas and explored beliefs in his books and lyrics. ... one can find three themes in all of Peart's lyrics: individualism; classical liberalism; and humanism. It's worth observing that Freedman has formal training in academic philosophy, and this shows in his penetrating discussion of the music as well as the words of Rush. ... At the risk of sounding cocky, I offer what I hope is high praise for Freedman. I wish I'd written this book. ...

The book is available for purchase at this location and would make a great Christmas gift for any Rush fan.

After releasing a series of instrumental singles back in 2011 including Hollowbody, Sonar and Disappearance, the Alex Lifeson-produced David Barrett Trio released their first full-length studio album back in early 2013. The self-titled album was produced by Alex Lifeson, Rich Chycki, and Alan Parsons. Earlier this week the band released their first live DVD/CD A Whisper To Thunder, which was captured in April, 2013 at a live performance in Toronto. The show was in support of The Trio's first release and featured a state-of-the-art, stadium level spectacle of light and sound, with a laser show designed by long-time Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider. For all the details and to purchase your copy, just visit In addition to the live CD/DVD, The Trio has been working on their second studio album which is slated for release on February 15, 2015. The new album is titled DB32 (David Barrett Trio II) and features 9 new instrumental songs along with a ballad titled Coppermine which features vocals from Michael Sadler (Saga). Alex Lifeson offered plenty of support and guidance throughout the making of the album. This past summer he visited the studio for a recording session with celtic guitar virtuoso Tony McManus who guests on the new album, and the session was documented in this Facebook photo gallery. You can keep up with The Trio by following them on Facebook, and purchase DB3 music on Amazon.

It looks like Neil Peart has been hanging out at the Drum Channel Studios according to this Facebook post from drumming internet sensation Cobus Potgieter (thanks Jackson P):

I walked into this room today to practice before heading out to Indonesia tomorrow for Sabian Day 2014, and I see this familiar set-up, surrounded by a few personal items and some used signature series Pro-Mark sticks.. never a dull moment at DrumChannel :)

Speaking of Neil, Jared Max wrote an article earlier this week on former New York Jets receiver Wayne Chrebet's recent enshrinement in the New York Jets Ring of Honor, and referenced the writings of Neil Peart at one point:

... I am reminded of a passage written by one of my heroes and role models, Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. Four years before Chrebet began his NFL career, Peart responded to the saying "There are no failures of talent, only failures of character. He wrote, "Sure there are a lot of talented people who don't achieve artistic or world success. But, I think there's usually a reason - a failure inside them. The important thing is: if you fail once, or your luck is bad this time, the dream is still there. A dream is only over if you give it up - or if it comes true." ...

And continuing with the Neil Peart news, Yahoo! Music posted their list of 10 legendary rock drummers this past week and - not surprisingly - Neil Peart made the cut:

10. Neil Peart - Rush: Ah, Rush. From his Taurus Pedals to the hundred drums he hides behind, Peart delivered an over-the-top style that was perfect for a rock trio from Canada. He had lots of space to fill and threw together the kind of rolls that aspiring drummers took to heart. What kid growing up in the late-'70s/'80s/'90s didn't try the roll from "Tom Sawyer," only to learn it took even more drums to comfortably fulfill? Overkill as sport!

Hirsute History brand t-shirts create t-shirt designs featuring the hair of famous people, and they just added Geddy Lee to their inventory. You can check out Geddy's Hirsute History shirt here (thanks James B).

Oxford University Press recently posted an interview with keytar player V.J. Manzo and said the following when asked what his favorite song to play on his keytar is:

My favorite song to play on the keytar is "Tom Sawyer" by Rush. The keyboard lick in the middle is iconic, and with a keytar, the audience can actually see the notes I'm playing. The musical figure itself works out nicely to be played with one hand, which is ideal for the keytar!

Now that the holiday season is in full swing I'll be offering up some gift ideas for Rush fans in my Friday Rush updates posts over the next few weeks. First up is this cool Rush 2112 mug which you can fill up with your favorite hot beverage to keep you warm on those cold winter nights ahead. And to go along with that, this Rush Starman hoodie is also handy to have as the temperatures start to dip. On that note, I think it is once again about time for some celebrity winter advice from Geddy Lee.

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