Rush is a Band

A blog devoted to RUSH:
Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Fri, Jun 2, 2023

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, May 13, 2016@12:12PM | comments

UPDATE - 5/13@6:34PM: Here's some video of a portion of Pearl Jam's Rush shout-out at last night's show, including the Fly By Night snippet.

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Geddy Lee was spotted side-stage at last night's Pearl Jam concert at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. At one point in their performance, singer Eddie Vedder acknowledged Geddy and the band played a couple of snippets of Rush Songs. From the forum:

... (Ed refers to the line [in Cropduster] "Let the fluency set it down". It comes from an Italian friend's idea of an American colloquialism. Ed talks about cities and their 'erections' or monuments. He says Rush is monumental. (Geddy Lee is sitting on the monitor wing). The audience cheers loudly. Mike plays a couple of chords from "Fly By Night". Jeff plays a couple of notes from Cygnus X-1. Ed says we have been a band for twenty five years but if we wanted to play a Rush song we would probably have to play for another twenty five. Geddy laughs. Ed continues "they have XYZ (sic) we are more like LMNOP. Getting back to monuments and erections we have the Space Needle and you have the CN tower. This next song was written underneath the Space Needle.") ...

Reader Dan R attended the show and sent me this photo of Geddy sitting at the side of the stage. Bernard Chan of the Geddy Lee Fan Club Facebook group also was at the show and posted this photo of Ged wandering around backstage after the show, and included this caption:

Geddy at the Pearl Jam concert last night at the ACC in Toronto. Eddie Vedder gave him quite a tribute / introduction and the crowd roared their appreciation. Ged sat at the side of the stage with some of PJ's crew. Here is a photo I snapped of Geddy leaving the area at the end of the show.

Although Geddy is currently at home in Toronto, earlier this year, he paid a visit to the Falkland Islands and spent some time watching and photographing the penguins that reside there. Last month Geddy donated one of his penguin photos to the Canadian Wildlife Federation who then sold 100 limited-edition, signed prints of the photo to raise money for the organization. Marion Franck of The Davis Enterprise happened to be visiting the Falklands at the same time as Geddy and mentioned it in a column this past week titled Fly by night: Tales of the Falklands and the people who visit (thanks RushFanForever):

... The second story is about a musician who was traveling in the Falklands at the same time as we were, not a Beatle or a Rolling Stone, but someone well known enough that small ripples of excitement accompanied his moves around the islands.

My husband and I, clueless, were assigned repeatedly to a four-person table with him and his wife at one of the lodges. Locals had an unspoken agreement not to fuss, so the musician probably thought he was successfully traveling incognito. As far as I was concerned, he was. Only on our last day together did I learn his name from another tourist: Geddy Lee, lead singer for Rush.

I had never heard of Rush. I didn't think to snap a photo.

When I got home, I discovered that three members of my jam group are such Geddy fans that their voices got louder when they talked about him. My son carries half-a-dozen songs by Rush on his cell phone. I sure wish I'd taken that picture. ...

Last week Billboard released their list of the Top 40 Money-Makers of 2015 and Rush made the cut at number 16 with $12 million in total revenue for the year:

The Canadian prog-rockers celebrated their 40th anniversary with the 34-date North American R40 Tour, which earned $10.7 million. Not surprisingly, the trio sold more albums than track downloads stateside.

The vast bulk of the $12 million came from touring - namely $10.7M, with $806.3K due to sales, $122.8K from streaming, and $334.6K due to publishing. You can check out the entire list and see how Rush compared to everyone else at this location.

Alex Lifeson's Guitar Connoisseur Magazine interview from back in March, previously only available via the Apple News app, is now also available for reading at the Guitar Connoisseur Magazine website here. The interview was conducted by Toronto guitarist David Barrett of the David Barrett Trio, who Alex Lifeson has worked with as a producer in the past. The article is titled Alex Lifeson: Songwriter, Producer & Musician and in it Alex talks about his solo on Clockwork Angels' The Garden, his R40 Live tour rig setup, his various signature guitars, his early guitar influences and the possibility of him ever making another solo album:

... What I enjoyed most about making [Victor] was the variety of the material. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to explore and expand on certain genres of music that were not necessarily open to me within the context of Rush. The workload was relentless, and I seemed to be working on that album every day for a year, but it was enormously satisfying for me as a songwriter, producer, and musician. I don't have the same drive to jump into a project like Victor at the moment, but I do have hours of material that does inspire me to at least consider such a thing. ...

Speaking of Alex, this coming Tuesday, May 17th, Lerxst will be participating as one of the panel members for an evening of discussion on the importance of popular music to the creative life of Canada, and the need to preserve the archival record of its creators and distributors. The event will take place at Innis Town Hall, Innis College, at the University of Toronto and will run from 6-8PM with doors opening at 5:30PM, and a wine and cheese reception immediately following at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. The discussion will be moderated by Denise Donlon and also included on the panel are Martin Melhuish, Tom Cochrane, Lorraine Segato, and Rob Bowman. Space is limited and you can reserve tickets by calling 416-978-3600 or sending an e-mail to

A copy of Hugh Syme's Art of Rush book signed by all three members of Rush is one of the items up for bidding in the 2016 New Canvas of Life - The Art of Transplantation, a month-long online auction to raise funds and awareness for organ donations and transplants. The auction benefits the Multi-Organ Transplant Program, University Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre and Aeolian Hall. The online bidding kicked off earlier this week and will run through 9PM on May 25th. You can view the Art of Rush book and place your bid here.

Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart's Clockwork Lives novel has been selected as a finalist in the 25th annual 2016 Colorado Book Awards in the SciFi/Fantasy category (thanks RushFanForever). You can celebrate and hear brief readings by the winners next Saturday, May 21, 2016 at the PACE Center from 5-7PM (reserve tickets here).

Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci was recently interviewed by Music Aficionado and offers up his recommendations on some of his favorite songs, albums, solos and more. Here's what he had to say about Alex Lifeson's solo on Rush's instrumental masterpiece La Villa Strangiato (thanks RushFanForever):

Alex Lifeson's solo is unbelievable. It starts with this really kind of mellow breakdown, and then he builds it up with this great phrasing that's kind of bluesy, kind of melodic. By the end he's just like a rocket ship taking off. To me it's the perfect example of dynamic guitar playing and how to build a solo. Absolutely ridiculous. My first concert ever was Rush at the Nassau Coliseum, and when they played this it was a religious experience. I can still put myself back there and remember having my mind completely blown. Like, what the hell is going on?

Detroit-based prog rockers Tiles new double album Pretending to Run released back on April 15th and is available to purchase here. Pretending to Run includes guest appearances from Kim Mitchell (Max Webster), Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Winery Dogs), Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and many others, and it was produced by former Rush producer Terry Brown, who also produced their last 2 studio albums (Window Dressing and Fly Paper). Rush album artist Hugh Syme also does all the album artwork for Tiles (he also played piano and keyboard on a few tracks), and Alex Lifeson performed on one of the tracks from the band's last studio album. For for more information on Tiles and Pretending to Run, including upcoming tour dates and purchase information, check out the press release.

A couple of members of the band 3 Doors Down were recently interviewed by The Newtown Bee to discuss their new album and tour, and had some nice things to say about Alex Lifeson, who produced and played on a few of the band's songs back in 2000:

... It's funny, as we got a bit bigger we saw bands who were behind us, and how these baby bands thought they were rock stars. Then you start working with bands who have been at this for 30 or 40 years, and you really see what being rock stars is all about. You know if I really want to be around for 40 years or more, I want to be acting like (Rush guitarist) Alex Lifeson. We got to work with him really early in our career and he's a freakin' rock god. But he's the nicest dude you'll ever meet. ...

This past Monday, May 9th was the 23rd anniversary of Rush's induction as Musicians of the Millennium by the The Harvard Lampoon. The induction ceremony took place back on May 9th, 1993 at Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA and all three members of Rush attended. The event was covered by the CBC in this news story that has been available on YouTube for several years. The entire 25-minute ceremony was videotaped by Rush fans Kacy Ray and Fric Simpson from Miami Springs who drove thirty hours and spent $230 to see it. They dug up the video a few years back and made it available on YouTube here.

That's all for this week. Happy Friday the 13th! Have a great weekend everybody!!!