Rush is a Band

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

Wed, Jun 26, 2019

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Jun 7, 2019@11:36AM | comments

UPDATE - 6/9@4:41PM: The Big Slick Celebrity party and show took place at the Sprint Center last night, but Alex Lifeson's participation was fairly limited. He only showed up during this, all-star rendition of Hey Jude, although he's difficult to spot (thanks to Dave B for the heads up):

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UPDATE - 6/8@10:22AM: Alex Lifeson took part in the Big Slick Celebrity Softball Game at Kaufman Stadium prior to the Royals' game last night as part of the Big Slick Celebrity Weekend Children's Mercy charity fundraiser mentioned below. There's a party and show at the Sprint Center tonight - hopefully Alex will perform. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the photo.

Geddy Lee wrapped up his 10-city Big Beautiful Book of Bass Canadian signing tour earlier this week at the Théâtre Rialto in Montreal. The Montreal signing event also included an interview and Q&A session conducted by writer/broadcaster Daniel Richler (who is credited as a "text and editorial collaborator" in the book) which is available to watch online here and here. Geddy's Canadian signing tour kicked off on May 23rd in Victoria, and worked its way east across Canada over the past 2 weeks. CTV News was on hand for the tour kick off in Victoria and posted a short video news segment including some footage of fans and a short interview with Geddy which you can watch at this location. The Times-Colonist also published an article covering the event where they spoke with some of the fans who were in attendance. Ged then moved on to Vancouver and Calgary, where he opened up his Big Beautiful Bass Exhibition at Studio Bell with an interview and Q&A session conducted by Daniel Richler. You can watch a video of Geddy showing off the exhibit below or at this location, and check out this gallery of photos. Geddy also spoke to Rob Brown on CBC Radio's The Homestretch for an interview previewing the Calgary event. From Calgary, he moved on to Edmonton and Winnipeg, where he took some time out to speak with CTV's Renee Rodgers about the book. Last week Geddy continued on to several signing events in Ontario, including a stop at the Ottawa International Writers Festival where he was interviewed by Allan Neal. That interview is available for listening as a podcast on the CBC's Ottawa All in a Day radio show website, and portions of the interview are included in this print article. This past weekend Ged did a signing at CosmoFest in Richmond Hill where he showed up with Dave Grohl, who actually drove him to the event as seen on Twitter and described in this blog post. Geddy will now make his way across the pond for a 5-city European signing tour beginning tomorrow in London. He'll then make his way to Manchester and Glasgow in the UK, along with an event in Amsterdam and another in Hamburg, including a Q&A session hosted by Philip Wilding at the Manchester event. You can get all the details and purchase tickets for the various events here. There's also this new interview with Geddy from Classic Rock where he discusses the book (thanks RushFanForever).

Dave Bidini's West End Phoenix monthly community newspaper for Toronto's West End held a Double or Nothing concert fundraiser last Friday evening at Junction Craft Brewery in Toronto and Rush's Alex Lifeson was in attendance. Alex along with Chris Walla from Death Cab for Cutie and others sat in with the Rheostatics to perform several songs including Gordon Lightfoot's The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Camper Van Beethoven's Take the Skinheads Bowling, The Ramones' Blitzkreig Bop and others (but no Rush). Here's some video of Alex jamming on a solo while sitting in with the Rheostatics, and there's also this huge gallery of photos including several of Alex. For some background, the West End Phoenix launched back in October, 2017 and Alex Lifeson contributes a "storytelling comic" titled The Meaning of Lifeson to the publication, which is illustrated by artist Casey McGlynn. The paper held a fundraiser last year as well, which Alex also participated in as seen in this post.

Speaking of Alex Lifeson and fundraisers, the 2019 Big Slick Celebrity Weekend charity fundraiser for Children's Mercy takes place at several locations across Kansas City this weekend, and Alex Lifeson will be one of the many celebrity participants. The fundraiser started nine years ago as a poker tournament organized by actors Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis, and has since grew into a multi-day event that includes a live auction, celebrity softball game, bowling tournament, VIP party and live show. The event has raised over $8 million for Children's Mercy Hospital since its inception. For all the details including ticket information, visit the website at bigslickkc.org.

Rush's 4-LP vinyl edition of their 2011 live release Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland had been slated to hit stores today, but the release date has now been pushed back one week to next Friday, June 14th; you can pre-order it here. The album was first released on CD in 2011, but this is the first time it has ever been made available on vinyl. Highlights include the band's performance of the entire Moving Pictures album and previews of Caravan and BU2B, two songs that would eventually appear on the band's 2012 album Clockwork Angels. Earlier this year, Rush released their 2003 live album Rush in Rio on vinyl.

Back in May of 2014, rights management company ole announced that they had purchased Core Music, the 40-year home of Rush's music publishing, and that they would be managing the music publishing affairs of the band for the foreseeable future. Then in November of 2015 they took things one step further, acquiring Rush's record label and home for over 40 years - Anthem Entertainment Group. The band has been under the ole label since then, and in the latest turn of events, ole announced earlier this week that they would be rebranding themselves using the iconic Anthem name:

ole, the Canadian music publishing company, is being rebranded as Anthem Entertainment. Founded in 2004, ole has grown into one of the largest independent music publishers through a diversified portfolio that includes, hip-hop, rock and country as well as a significant presence in film, TV and production music. About six months ago, former founder and CEO Robert Ott left the company and was replaced by longtime music industry executive Helen Murphy. In choosing a new name, Murphy went with an acquired brand Anthem that it purchased in 2015, the record label that included Rush on its roster. ...

You can check out the new company website at anthementertainment.com.

Prog Magazine announced the nominees for their 2019 Progressive Music Awards earlier this week, and Rush's Hemispheres 40th anniversary box set - released this past December - has been nominated in the Reissue of the Year category. You can cast your vote for Rush online at this location. The 2019 Progressive Music Awards will return to the Underglobe, beneath Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on London's Southbank, on Thursday September 12th (which happens to be Neil Peart's birthday). For all the details and to vote in all the other categories visit loudersound.com.

There was a Rush Fly by Night sighting at Apple's WWDC 2019 conference this past week. Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, was demonstrating some new features and Rush's Fly by Night can be seen in his playlist as shown in this screenshot (thanks Dominic N) and at about the 33-minute mark of this video (thanks Patrick H). Federighi is a big Rush fan and has featured Rush and Rush music in several demos over the past several years.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer posted their list of the 80 greatest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame songs of the 1980s yesterday and two Rush songs made the cut:

34. Rush - "Tom Sawyer": For as larger than life as "Tom Sawyer" sounds, it's one of Rush's tightest tunes. Rush was masterful at putting together material discovered at jam sessions into amazing songs. "Tom Sawyer" is just that, merging elements of progressive rock with the hard rock of the 1980s. It's a force of nature.

68. Rush - "Limelight": "Limelight" may not be the ultimate Rush song (We'll get to that in a bit). But it is probably the ultimate Neil Peart track. The song details the introverted Peart's struggles with fame. Lyrically, it's quite emotional. Musically, it's downright intoxicating, thanks Peart's jazz drumming and Alex Lifeson's guitar sound that creates a new wave vibe.

Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher was recently interviewed for Ultimate-Guitar.com and spoke about a number of subjects including his musical influences. When asked to put together his dream band he listed off John Bonham on drums, Geezer Butler on bass, Chris Cornell on vocals and Alex Lifeson on guitar.

Guitarist Paul Gilbert played a show at the Rockpile in Toronto last week as described in this review. He treated fans to a cover of Rush's Fly by Night as seen in this video, where he "sings" the vocal parts using his guitar (thanks RushFanForever).

Here's an Alex Lifeson solo from last weekend's West End Phoenix fundraiser event:

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

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