Rush is a Band

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

Tue, May 30, 2023

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Feb 9, 2018@12:23PM | comments

Southern California fuzz rock pioneers Fu Manchu released their 12th studio album Clone Of The Universe today via their personal label At The Dojo Records. Rush's Alex Lifeson makes a guest appearance on the album's 18-minute, side-long centerpiece Il Mostro Atomico which you can listen to below or at this location. Fu Manchu's Scott Hill recently spoke with Revolver magazine about how the collaboration came to pass:

... Our manager is friends with his manager, and they were talking. Without asking us, our manager was like, "Hey, would Alex want to play on their new record?" His manager asked him and got back to our manager, like, "Oh yeah, he totally will. Send him a song!" When he told us, we were all like, "Holy shit!" We immediately reverted back to the Rush fans we were in seventh grade! [Laughs] So we sent him the four-track, which was a little lower than normal demo quality and he was like, "This is great. What do you want me to do on it?" We were like, "Holy shit, he's asking us?!? Dude, do whatever you want, wherever you want!" So we got in the studio and recorded the song, and then we sent it to him in Canada; he sent us back a bunch of stuff, and it all just sounded insane. He was like, "Use whatever you want," so we picked this one section of stuff that he did; it's in the first part where the band drops out - he's playing a really effected guitar riff along with the bass and drums, and then the bass and drums drop out. He's doing stuff with a bunch of different effects, all these sci-fi sounds and pick slides, and we were just flipping out listening to it. We still can't believe it! [Laughs] ... He could have been doing leads over it, and we would have been like, "Fuck yeah!" But he really added to it; that riff that he played, that wasn't even in the song! I remember leaving the studio that night after we first got it back from him, and we were all like, "Fuck, this is insane!" ...

Hill also spoke about his favorite Rush songs in the interview:

... "Subdivisions" [from 1982's Signals LP]. I would hear that song all the time at parties in the mid-Eighties. And from '80 - '87, all I listened to was hardcore punk rock stuff. That's it! No rock - but that Rush song, I would just listen to it all the time. I mean, I love "Fly By Night," I love "Working Man," I love all their songs with the gnarly riffs. But I really love "Subdivisions," I just love it. ... describes Lifeson's contribution to the epic Il Mostro Atomico track below:

... Lifeson's contributions can be heard in the first half of "Il Mostro Atomico." The song (whose Italian title translates to "The Atomic Monster") starts out with one of the band's signature bottom-heavy, fuzzed-out grooves. At the 3:58 mark, Lifeson plays a loose, bluesy riff over a hypnotic pattern from Fu Manchu bassist Brad Davis and drummer Scott Reeder. Around 4:15, the Rush guitarist adds adds some tasteful effects, giving his part a spacey, echo-y sound. As the rhythm section drops out, the riff continues to mutate, leading into a trippy ambient swell around 5:10. The full band kicks in around 5:53, and Fu Manchu's lead guitarist, Bob Balch, takes over with a fluid psychedelic solo. From there, the mostly instrumental song moves on through various sections, touching on boogie-friendly psych (listen for a Lifeson pick scrape at 7:04; a couple minutes later, Hill enters on vocals, howling "Light the throttle"); space rock bathed in synth-like guitars; and a dubby, percussion-accented breakdown. ...

You can listen to Il Mostro Atomico below or at this location. The band will play a couple of shows in Southern Cal this weekend to debut the album before hitting the road for a full tour early next month. For more information visit the Fu Manchu website at

Legendary progressive rock drummer Bill Bruford (YES, King Crimson, Genesis, etc.) has just released a new book titled Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer. Neil Peart penned a review of the book for the University of Michigan Press where he calls himself the "former drummer and lyricist" of Rush:

"After forty years of creating professional music, pretty much all of it to his taste (passing rare), Bill Bruford has laid down the torches - and tried to capture their flame in words. Begin by running your eyes down the list of Bill's collaborators. The expert performers and teachers will attract any reader with more than a passing affection for music. Simply put, it is a lights-out masterpiece of useful insight and passionate, reflective wisdom."

-Neil Peart, former drummer and lyricist, Rush

Geddy Lee recently took a trip to Australia, and paid a visit to the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney to grab some photos of a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo as seen in his most recent Instagram post at geddyimages.

Your intrepid wildlife photographer moving in for the capture!
#SulphurCrestedCockatoo #birdnerd #RoyalBotanicGardenSydney #Oz
#didisaybirdnerd ? 🤣

Geddy picked up the habits of bird watching and wildlife photography in recent years, and even donated one of his bird photos to the Canadian Wildlife Federation back in 2016. In addition to chasing birds around the world with his camera, Geddy is busy at work on his book project, Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass, due out this coming Fall.

This past weekend the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in Superbowl 52. It seems like every single Rush fan watching the game noticed that just before halftime the score was 21-12 in favor of the Eagles for about 30 seconds until they kicked the extra point and made it 22-12. Rush fans then proceeded to clog up all of their friends' news feeds on social media with screen shots of the score ... kind of like this one. Although the 21-12 score was spotted by just about every Rush fan watching the game, only a few eagle-eyed (see what I did there?) Rush fans noticed that during the halftime show, one of Justin Timberlake's guitarists was playing an Alex Lifeson Signature ES-Les Paul as seen in this screenshot (thanks Arthur G). On an indirectly related note, Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage appeared in a Superbowl ad for Doritos where he rapid-fire lip syncs a Busta Rhymes rap. Loudwire pointed out that this wasn't Dinklage's first go at rap lip syncing, noting his appearance in a Rush tour video a few years back:

... During the band's 2015 tour, Geddy Lee and the boys through the power of a video screen delivered the rap breakdown in "Roll the Bones" that included a number of celebrity rappers getting in on the fun. Among those sharing their admiration for Rush through the power of rap include I Love You Man co-stars Paul Rudd and Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, the Trailer Park Boys, Tom Morello, Les Claypool, Chad Smith and yes, Peter Dinklage. Watch in the video above as Dinklage "kicks some gluteus max," as he and the other celebrity rappers bring it for fans attending the Rush show. ...

There was a Rush Subdivisions reference on a recent episode of The CW's Archies Comics-inspired series Riverdale (Season 2, Episode 10 - Chapter Twenty-Three: The Blackboard Jungle). When confronted about being transferred to a new High School, Jughead quotes Rush's Subdivisions saying, "So our choices are conform or be cast out" as seen in this screenshot (thanks Eric at Power Windows). Speaking of Subdivisions, the iconic music video for the song gets a mention in this introductory video for a Kickstarter campaign to create a miniature replica of an 80s-era Tempest arcade game; Tempest is prominently featured in the Subdivision video (thanks Bill S).

This past week author Martin Popoff reviewed the 5 best metal albums of 1978 as chosen by viewers for the Banger TV YouTube channel. Coming in at #5 on the list was Rush's Hemispheres. The album will celebrate the 40th anniversary since its release this year, which means we'll likely see a 40th anniversary box set of some kind come Christmas.

Reader Mike T recently spotted an interesting Rush-themed poster/sign at the Mouthful Eatery - a Peruvian fusion restaurant in Thousand Oaks, CA. The sign features the Rush explosion logo along with the caption "GREAT FOR PROGRESSIVE ROCK", and underneath that, "Not so great for handcrafted sandwiches" as seen in this photo. posted their list of 10 Things You May Have Not Known About Rush this past week. If you are a regular RIAB reader, then you probably knew all this stuff already though. :) contributor and major Rush fan Dave Banks posted an article earlier this week profiling some of the new official Rush merchandise available from FANTOONS, including their recently released book Where's Geddy, Alex, and Neil? Vol. I which you can purchase at Amazon here. Speaking of FANTOONS, they had a ton of fun with their Rush pop-up shop on Cruise to the Edge this past week. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and check out all of their official Rush merchancise on Etsy.

Guitarist Eric Johnson was recently interviewed by Ultimate Classic Rock to discuss his 1990 breakthrough album Ah Via Musicom (thanks RushFanForever). The album's success found Johnson on the road touring extensively, including a stint of shows opening for Rush on their Roll the Bones tour:

... "Those guys were really nice. We had just gotten finished doing six weeks in Europe and we were all coming home from Europe," he says. "As we landed back in the States, we were like, Oh great, we get to go home! Then we got a call, 'Well, do you want to open for Rush for six weeks?' We said, 'When does that tour start?' They said, 'Tomorrow.' [Laughs] So we never got to go home. We were out for like three more months nonstop. But we did it anyhow and it was a nice opportunity. They had big crowds every night, so it was a very nice opportunity and it was good getting to know those guys." Johnson admits there wasn't too much hero worship going on at the time-- mainly because he wasn't all that familiar with the power trio's music. "I didn't really listen to their stuff -- not that they weren't really good. ...

Another band that opened for Rush on their Roll the Bones tour (and Presto tour) was Mr. Big. Yesterday we learned the sad news that Mr. Big drummer and founding member Pat Torpey had passed away at age 64 on Wednesday from complications of Parkinson's disease. RIP.

Here's Fu Manchu's Il Mostro Atomico featuring Alex Lifeson:

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