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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Thu, Feb 29, 2024

Rush's Limelight being played at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland

Thu, Jul 21, 2016@10:43AM | comments

UPDATE - 7/22@11:01AM: Some more on this from FYI Music News, who coincidentally were interviewing Pegi Cecconi of SRO/Anthem this week for an upcoming Industry Profile. They spoke with Cecconi about the use of Limelight at the RNC:

... By coincidence, FYI yesterday interviewed Pegi Cecconi of SRO/Anthem (for an upcoming Industry Profile), a crucial figure in Rush's rise from bar band to Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. She brought up the topic, noting that "after some cover band did 'Limelight,' I must have got 20 phone calls and 100 e-mails from Rush fans, pointing this out. They were completely outraged. Twelve hours later, I get something from Geddy [Lee] - 'take it down, pull it down, get rid of it.'

I got back to him, saying 'it has been on there for 12 hours. Just so you know, it is a cover band and they can claim it is their federal right. There is nothing we can do.' ...

----- snip -----

The Republican National Convention has been taking place this past week in Cleveland, and the LA Times has been keeping track of the music being played on the convention floor using a Spotify playlist as seen here. One of the songs that is regularly being played is Rush's Limelight. Their song selections have garnered a lot of attention this week in that most of the artists involved have protested the association of their music with the Republican party, most notably Queen in regards to their use of We Are the Champions. Blue Nation Review wrote an article about this yesterday titled SONG THEFT: Why the Playlist at the GOP Convention Is More Newsworthy Than the Speakers and Rush gets a lengthy mention:

... The house band has also played (multiple times) "Limelight" by Rush - a band that has long had a following among libertarians, due to the strong philosophical influences of Ayn Rand in the Canadian power trio's early output. But people grow and change over time, and Rush drummer/lyricist Neil Peart has more recently said that this was a stage of life in his 20's, a valuable one, but one from which he has further grown and learned.

In 2010, the band sent a cease-and-desist letter to Rand Paul, an avowed major fan of theirs, after he used "Tom Sawyer" for his Senate campaign. (And in 2012, they also sent a cease-and-desist notice to another "Rush" ... Limbaugh, that is.)

But they still weren't done with Rand Paul: In 2015, Peart publicly declared that as a new U.S. citizen he would never vote for Paul - and they'd even had to send another cease-and-desist order for Rand even quoting their anti-egalitarian classic "The Trees." He even declared that Paul "hates women and brown people" - as do Republicans in general, Neil said. He also described former President George W. Bush as "an instrument of evil," and denounced the GOP for "the whole health-care thing - denying mercy to suffering people? What?" ...

Apparently at the end of last night's activities at the RNC at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, a cover band took the stage and performed a lackluster cover of Limelight which garnered swift reaction from the Twitterverse as seen in this article titled Cover Band at RNC Butchers Rush's 'Limelight'; The Internet is Not Amused:

You can check out all of the snarky Twitter responses here.