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 10, 2015@12:12PM | comments

Rush's R40 Live tour kicks off in just 4 weeks from today on Friday, May 8th at the BOK Center in Tulsa. Rush began full band rehearsals out in Los Angeles back on March 30th as Geddy Lee had revealed in his That Metal Show interview back in February. Geddy and Alex headed out to LA two Sundays ago on March 29th to meet up with Neil Peart, and one lucky fan was on their flight from Toronto to LAX as seen in this Facebook photo. Geddy and Alex took some time out from rehearsals this past Monday for a visit to Fretted Americana in Beverly Hills for some guitar shopping along with an impromptu jam session. From the Fretted Americana Twitter feed:

Speaking of guitar shopping, a couple of photos showing Geddy Lee playing on a new, seafoam green jazz bass appeared on Facebook last week. It's unclear exactly when/where these were taken, but they look to be recent. According to one fan who was at Fretted Americana on Monday and chatted briefly with Alex, the band apparently has prepped about 35 songs for the tour, although they won't be playing them all each night. They'll instead be alternating out as many as 6 or 7 per night for a solid 3-hour set. They did something similar on the last tour, although with only 3 or 4 songs. So it sounds like they have the setlist nailed down for the most part. Speaking of which, animator Norma V. Toraya (aka Crankbunny) has done some work for Rush on recent tours and looks to be doing some work for the R40 Live tour as well, and she may have given away a potential setlist clue via her Instagram account earlier this week. She put up a post this past Wednesday that included an #R40 hashtag, and showed a computer screen with some animation software running. There were a few movie (.mov) files listed where the filenames contain the words Geddy, Alex and Neil, and in the upper left of the photo was an audio file referencing the title of a Rush song. The Instagram account in question has since been made private, but if you are itching to know what the potential spoiler was, just ask around. It isn't a huge spoiler (assuming it even is a spoiler) in the grand scheme of things since it's not a deep track or anything they haven't played live before. Speaking of songs the band has never played live before, that was the theme of the latest iteration of The Rush Petition - the site that collects setlist requests from Rush fans. The petition asked fans to choose up to 5 Rush songs that have never been played live that they'd like to see pulled out on the R40 Live tour. They collected votes from nearly 5000 Rush fans with the top 5 vote getters being Losing It, Different Strings, Cut To The Chase, The Fountain of Lamneth and Vapor Trail (full results here). Hopefully the band got some ideas from the petition when compiling their setlist, as they have admitted to doing in the past. Neil Peart's Sirius XM interview from back in February along with Alex Lifeson's Q107 interview tend to indicate that the tour will take a retrospective look at Rush's 40-year career and include a good bit of older material that the band will alternate from night to night in some way. There won't be any new material played, string section or opening band (they haven't had an opening band in over 20 years), and it sounds as if things will be stripped down a bit compared to other tours, with Neil not opting for a spinning kit or full V-drums setup this go-around. The tour also sounds like it will be very fan-focused - almost like a fan appreciation tour. Rush even requested fan photo submissions via a couple of weeks ago to celebrate the band's 40th anniversary, with the assumption being that they'll be using these photos in some shape or form on the R40 Live tour (not confirmed). We can also probably safely assume that they will be taping the show at some point given that they've captured every tour since Vapor Trails for later release on DVD. They generally tend to tape shows towards the end of a tour, like to have an extra day of rest beforehand, and tend to tape a couple back-to-back shows - one show as backup and another as primary. This would make one of the west coast shows such as LA a very likely possibility (although the Toronto shows might work as well). Although there are still some rumors swirling around, there hasn't been any solid movement on adding any dates and/or legs to the tour.

Rush will be continuing their 12 Months of Rush vinyl reissue campaign 1 week from this coming Tuesday with the release of A Farewell to Kings on vinyl and Blu-ray Audio on April 21st. Rush is releasing all of the Mercury-era Rush albums on vinyl along with a few select titles on Blu-ray audio throughout 2015. The 12 Months of Rush will see the band releasing one or two titles a month throughout the year. They started with Fly By Night in January (Vinyl, Blu-ray Audio), Caress of Steel in February, and both 2112 and All the World's a Stage last month on vinyl. The 2112 vinyl reissue is a special Hologram Edition as described in this press release and seen in this 1-minute demo video. Sales from the vinyl edition of 2112 ended up propelling the album back into the Billboard 200 in its first week of release at #149; it was also #2 on the Vinyl Albums chart. All titles are reissued on high-quality vinyl with a 320kbps MP4 Digital Audio download code, with Fly By Night, A Farewell to Kings and Signals also having a Blu-ray Audio release. The rest of the reissue titles will be released throughout the remainder of the year and can be ordered/pre-ordered at the links below:


Fly By Night (01/27/15) - Vinyl | Blu-ray Audio
Caress of Steel (02/17/15) - Vinyl
2112: Hologram Edition (03/17/15) - Vinyl
All the World's a Stage (03/17/15) - Vinyl


A Farewell to Kings (04/21/15) - Vinyl | Blu-ray Audio
Hemispheres (05/19/15) - Vinyl
Permanent Waves (06/16/15) - Vinyl
Moving Pictures (07/21/15) - Vinyl
Exit ... Stage Left (07/21/15) - Vinyl
Signals (08/18/15) - Vinyl | Blu-ray Audio
Grace Under Pressure (09/15/15) - Vinyl
Power Windows (10/20/15) - Vinyl
Hold Your Fire (11/17/15) - Vinyl
A Show of Hands (12/1/15) - Vinyl

Humble Bundle is running a special bundle highlighting books from Kevin J. Anderson's Wordfire Press publishing company. The way it works is that you pay what you want for the bundle, and if you pay at least $15 you'll get a total of 16 books (total value of $88) including Anderson's 1994 collaboration with Neil Peart - the short story Drumbeats. A portion of the proceeds goes to charity and the rest gets divvied up among the various authors. You can get all the details at Anderson's blog here. The bundle will only be available for another 5 days, so get yours now.

There was a Rush poster spotted in a scene from this past Monday night's season finale of AMC's Better Call Saul (Season 1, Episode 10 - Marco). In the episode, Saul goes back to his hometown of Cicero, IL (suburban Chicago) to relive some old times with his small-time crook friend Marco, and Marco's basement apartment has a Rush 2112 poster clearly displayed on the wall as seen here. This is the second Rush poster seen on the show this season. Back in episode 4 (Hero) a Rush poster is prominently displayed in the background as Saul chats with a cohort while smoking a bong (screenshot here).

The world famous Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is well-known for their symphonic interpretations of classic rock songs and have released a number of compilation albums over the past several years where they cover the music of Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Queen, Rush and many others. Their 2012 album The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays the Music of Rush included dramatic reinterpretations of 9 Rush classics including Tom Sawyer, The Spirit Of Radio, Red Barchetta, and Limelight. Last Tuesday, March 31st they released a new compilation entitled The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays Prog Rock Classics which includes their version of Rush's Red Barchetta with a guest appearance by Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith. You can listen to the track on YouTube at this location. The album also features covers of tracks by Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, The Moody Blues and Jethro Tull. In addition to Adrian Smith, the album includes guest drummer Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson), keyboardist Patrick Moraz (Yes, Moody Blues), guitarist Guthrie Govan and the late Three Dog Night keyboardist Jimmy Greenspoon. You can order your copy on Amazon here.

David Bottrill is the Canadian record producer behind the 2013 remix version of Rush's 2002 album Vapor Trails, and was the guest on the latest episode of the Rushcast podcast. David talks with host Jay Mantis for over 30 minutes about being a Rush fan, his experience remixing Vapor Trails, how he ended up getting hired, his thoughts about the album, some of his current projects and more. You can listen to the entire interview below or at this location.

Q107 DJ and former Max Webster frontman Kim Mitchell heaped praise on Alex Lifeson's arpeggiating (playing a chord as a series of ascending or descending notes) abilities on his radio show earlier this week, using a clip from Limelight to demonstrate his point, and the station featured the sound clip on their website here.

Author Patrick Hicks wrote an article for the Huffington Post this past week titled Rush and me where he talks about his Rush fandom and how the band has influenced his life and career. He tells a tale that's familiar to many Rush fans:

... It started when a friend loaned her copy of Moving Pictures to me. I'd heard "Tom Sawyer" on the radio many times before (who hasn't?) but when I started to read the lyrics on this, their most commercially successful album, I began to realize these guys had a lot more going on than killer riffs and amazing drum fills. Here were songs that made allusions to Mark Twain and Shakespeare while nodding to writers I'd never heard of before. ... And so it went for the better part of six months. I bought their albums and read the lyrics before listening to the music. Along the way, I found songs that were inspired by JRR Tolkien ("Rivendell"), Samuel Taylor Coleridge ("Xanadu"), and they also sang about the final days of Ernst Hemingway ("Losing It"). Walt Whitman even made a brief appearance in the title of "The Body Electric." I wanted to read the books that had inspired these songs ...

The 2nd annual RushFest Scotland will take place next Saturday, April 18th from 1PM to 3AM at the Dreadnought Rock in Bathgate. Last year's inaugural event took place on May, 17 2014 and raised £3,284.58 for MacMillan Cancer Support, which will also be the charity supported for this year's event. They are also giving away a bottle of 12 year old Macallan whiskey signed by Neil Peart to one lucky donor on their Just Giving page. Be sure to check out the flyer for all the details and keep up with RushFest Scotland on Facebook and at their website for all the latest news and to purchase tickets.

Andrew Sacher at posted a review of sorts last week for New York trio Crying's new song Patriot, which contains a lot of Rush influence (thanks Bob K). The review references a series of tweets from the band where they talk about their love of Rush and at one point jokingly mention that their new album is, "shaping up to be a great Rush tribute album".

... they're also huge fans of... Rush. And that's pretty apparent from their new single "Patriot," which is a departure from their earlier material. The song opens with an intro that bears an uncanny resemblance to Rush's "The Spirit of Radio," and the chorus bring in synths that recall Rush's mid-'80s new wave period. ...

You can read the entire review and listen to Patriot at this location.

Yahoo! Tech posted an article earlier this week where they list the 10 best movies you can stream on Netflix right now and coming in at #1 is the Rush documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage (thanks TEJager910). What makes this list particular interesting is that it isn't based on any singular person's opinion, but instead is based on average ratings across IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes and Netflix.

SiriusXM is celebrating International Guitar Month with a different guitar-related theme each day this April, with all of their rock channels weighing in. On April 7th they featured RockBar's Best Bass Guitarists and making the list along with John Entwistle and John Paul Jones was Geddy Lee (thanks @groangamer).

Last year photographer Glen Wexler sat down with for an interview where he discussed his career shooting album covers, including Rush's Hold Your Fire. Glen relates how the original actor chosen to play the juggler was Dennis Hopper, and that the set piece still exists in his garage. You can read the entire interview online here (thanks RushFanForever). Hold Your Fire will be reissued on vinyl this coming fall on November 17th and can be pre-ordered here.

This coming Wednesday, April 15th marks the 4th anniversary of when Rush filmed their 2011 show at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on the Time Machine Tour. The video was then released on DVD and Blu-ray later that year on December 20th. Here's the intro video and The Spirit of Radio from Time Machine 2011 - Live in Cleveland:

That's all for this week. Only 4 weeks until R40 Live! Have a great weekend everyone!!