Rush is a Band

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

Fri, Dec 13, 2019

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Jul 5, 2019@10:41AM | comments

Last month Rush and Anthem/Trafalgar announced the first annual Cinema Strangiato - a theatrical film experience that will bring Rush fans together for a special look into Rush's R40 Live tour, with new backstage footage, special guests, and performances. Cinema Strangiato will hit theaters worldwide for one night only on August 21st and tickets are now available at this location. There's also an official, 1-minute trailer for the film which you can watch on YouTube at this location. For all the details and to sign up for email updates, visit www.cinemastrangiato.com. From the film's synopsis page:

The Holy Trinity of Rock returns to the big screen on Wednesday, August 21, when the first "Annual Exercise in Fan Indulgence" Cinema Strangiato brings Rush fans together in movie theatres worldwide. Featuring R40+, this global fan event will give audiences a special look into some of the best performances from R40 LIVE, including songs such as "Closer to the Heart", "Subdivisions", "Tom Sawyer" and more, as well as unreleased backstage moments and candid footage left on the cutting room floor. R40+ also includes unseen soundcheck performances of the fan-favorite "Jacob's Ladder", exclusive new interviews with Tom Morello, Billy Corgan, Taylor Hawkins, producer Nick Raskulinecz, violinist Jonathan Dinklage and more. As a special bonus, fans will get a glimpse into the madness and passion that went in to the making of Geddy Lee's new book, Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass - featuring a brand-new interview from the man himself.

Longtime guitar tech and close friend of The Who's Peter Townshend, Alan Rogan, passed away this past week. Geddy Lee met Rogan back in 2014 in London when he guested with The Who for their 50th anniversary concert. The pair developed a friendship over their mutual love of vintage guitars, and Rogan ended up being interviewed for Geddy's Big Beautiful Book of Bass. Geddy posted a tribute to Rogan on his Instagram page yesterday as seen here:

Funko first introduced their Rush Funko Pop! vinyl figurines as a pre-release during Fan Expo Canada last summer, and just recently made them available in wide release, although retailers have had trouble keeping them in stock. They are now also available via Amazon and you can order your set online at this location. For those not familiar with Funko, their Pop! Vinyl line are figures modeled in a style similar to the Japanese Chibi style, typically depicting licensed characters from franchises and other pop culture entities. You can find out more about Funko and their Pop! vinyl figures at funko.com, and pre-order your set here.

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 last month 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. ...

Anthem CEO Helen Murphy was recently interviewed for Billboard (thanks RushFanForever) to talk about the company's rebranding and spoke a bit about how she was sure to get Rush's blessing before making the name change official:

We own Anthem Entertainment, but the first thing I did -- before I said anything to anybody -- was to ask the permission of Ray Danniels. And he came back about three weeks later and gave me his blessing. Rush gave me their blessing, too, but no candles or ceremonies.

Rush "discoverer" Donna Halper recently attended a conference in Toronto about the impact of the media on our lives, and ran into many of her old Rush contacts including Bob Roper. Roper is the Canadian record promoter who sent Donna the copy of Rush's debut record back in 1974, which she put in the rotation on Cleveland's WMMS where she was a music director. This ultimately led to Rush getting an American record deal, and the rest - as they say - is history. Donna tells the whole story in a blog post from this past week titled The Virtue of Altruism... or How a Simple Act of Kindness Helped Rush to Get Discovered.

... Normally, record promoters only sent me a record that was "theirs"-- in other words, an artist who was signed to their label. The hope was that airplay in the States might lead to success (and a record deal with a US label), which would, in turn, create greater demand in Canada. (Back then, Canadian bands were often frustrated by the fact that in order to become popular, they had to first have a hit in the US, at which time, Canadian radio stations would embrace their music.) But Rush couldn't get much airplay in Toronto (or anywhere else in Canada). They diligently played area clubs, but beyond getting a local following, nothing else happened; nor did any major label sign them to a contract.

And then, Bob Roper, who was familiar with the band and believed they had some talent, sent me a copy of their album. He didn't have to. He wasn't going to benefit in any way from doing so. It was just a good deed, by a good person trying to help three young musicians to get some exposure in the States. And when I opened the envelope and played "Working Man" for the first time, I immediately understood why Roper thought these guys had potential. ... if there's a lesson to be learned it's that sometimes, doing a good deed can have long-lasting results. I championed the band and encouraged other radio stations to play them. I (courteously) contacted critics and reviewers who were negative about Rush, and let them know I thought they were wrong. And along with other fans, I fought to help Rush to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and ultimately to (finally) get inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But none of it would ever have happened if a certain Canadian record promoter hadn't decided to do a simple act of kindness and make sure Rush's album ended up on my desk. And as a result of what Bob Roper did back in mid-May 1974, so many people's lives were changed for the better, including mine.

For the past two years, Jacob Moon and David Barrett have performed a free concert of Rush and Rush-inspired music at the Lee Lifeson Art Park in Toronto's Willowdale neighborhood. They plan to continue the FREE, crowdfunded event this year on Wednesday, July 24th, but they need your help to reach their goal of $3,113 to cover the costs associated with advertising, production, rehearsal, promotion, permit fees and personnel, so go help them out! Just like last year, the event will be livestreamed. To learn more about the event, its background/history and the crowdfunding campaign, go to this location.

Ultimate-Guitar.com posted their list of the Top 12 Drummers That Are Great Songwriters this past week and Neil Peart made the list:

Progressive rock legends Rush have changed the landscape of the music world, creating one-of-a-kind art during their 5-decade long career. But although not their original member, drummer Neil Peart is responsible for writing a huge portion of the band's lyrics, as well as a certain portion of their music. His drumming and writing input has been such a big part of Rush's music that the band decided to call it a day after he broke the news that he won't be able to perform anymore due to his health issues.

UDiscoverMusic.com posted their list of 50 Legendary Bass Players You Need To Know this past week and Rush's Geddy Lee made the cut at #15:

Any mid-to-late Rush track evinces how Geddy Lee could do fiendish complexity while still rocking hard enough to drive a power trio (watch him talk to uDiscover Music about his time with the band. Instrumental tracks like 'YYZ' and 'La Villa Strangiato' tend to have Lee's greatest licks, but don't forget that he was usually doing all this while playing keyboard parts with his feet.

Greensboro's Coliseum Complex recently celebrated its 60th anniversary and to commemorate the milestone, Greensboro.com posted a list of highlights from the venue's past including Rush's April 22, 1986 show where Blue Oyster Cult opened up:

Canadian prog-rockers Rush and American rockers Blue Oyster Cult proved an irresistible combination for a young Doug Davis. "Blue Oyster Cult had two floodlights on 50-foot posts, and during 'Godzilla' they came on like the eyes of Godzilla," he says. "It was pretty awesome for an 18 year old." Rush took the stage after an introductory movie featuring cast members from the comedy show "SCTV." The band performed many of its best-known songs, including "The Spirit of Radio," "Limelight," "Closer to the Heart," and "Tom Sawyer." "They never put on a bad show," says Davis, who performs with the Vagabond Saints' Society, the Plaids, and other Winston-Salem bands.

In celebration of Canada Day this past Monday, CBC Music posted their list of 15 star-studded performances of 'O Canada', including Geddy Lee's 1993 performance at the MLB All-star game in Baltimore as seen in this video.

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

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