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, Aug 23, 2019@12:11PM | comments

UPDATE - 8/26@5:24PM: ALJ Innovations just posted to Facebook that they are planning on some encore showings of Cinema Strangiato. No details yet, but stay tuned to for showtimes.

The first annual Cinema Strangiato theatrical film experience hit movie theaters worldwide this past Wednesday night. The film brought Rush fans together for a special look into Rush's R40 Live tour, with new backstage footage, special guests, and performances. Several clips from the film are available in this post, and a good overview is given in this 8/10 review from the latest Classic Rock magazine:

Cinema Strangiato is a two-hour-20 feature (in selected cinemas worldwide, August 21 only) supported by Falling Down The Rabbit Hole - 10-minutes of Geddy Lee on his Big Beautiful Book Of Bass. Figuring you've seen the R40 Live DVD, the main film eschews its complete-show format and pairs its best bits (including those hilarious interlude videos) with extras, beginning with soundcheck footage of Jacob's Ladder. Roll The Bones is preceded by a new clip of Trailer Park Boys. There's Losing It in Newark, featuring violinist Johnny Dinklage. Producer Nick Raskulinecz and Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins speak up before YYZ. Tom and Denise Morello detail their other shared love. Then, after candid backstage footage of Neil Peart, Billy Corgan nails it by highlighting Rush's generosity.

As the review mentions, the majority of the film is a greatest hits package of performances from the previously-released R40 Live video, although the soundcheck footage of Jacob's Ladder is a welcome new addition, as is the Losing It performance with Jonathan Dinklage from the band's June 27, 2015 stop in Newark. The film is interspersed throughout with several outtakes, backstage footage, celebrity fan testimonials, backdrop videos, and new animations from FANTOONS. Another highlight took place just before the end credits, when they played some soundcheck footage of the band messing around on a "new" Rush song with Alex improvising on vocals, talking about a giant spider that he found in his room in Arizona that he named Snider (I have it on good authority that this is a true story). Someone was lucky enough to capture this on video and you can watch it below or on YouTube. The final words shown in the credits were, See you next year, which caused some fans to think that meant the band would reunite next year. No such luck unfortunately. This just references the fact that they expect Cinema Strangiato to be an annual thing, and they are already planning next year's event as Adam Jones (who edited the film) mentions in a recent Billboard article/interview:

... Jones, a Rush fan himself who worked at Rounder Records while the band was signed there, is hoping Cinema Strangiato will be just the first of many "posthumous" film projects culled from Rush's vaults. "After this we'll go back and see what we've got and assess for the next (possibility)," he says. "This is a good start, and I hope the fans enjoy what we've done and want more so we can look forward to the next years of this." ...

I also have it on good authority that there is no DVD/BD release planned for the film, due to it mostly just containing material that was already released on the R40 Live video. The film was also preceded by several announcements of upcoming Rush reissues including a Geddy Lee My Favorite Headache vinyl set that will release in time for Christmas, in addition to the already-announced Clockwork Angels Tour vinyl box set. Another advert confirmed the release of a Permanent Waves 40th anniversary box set at some point next year, presumably for the 2020 Christmas season; Anthem's Andy Curran first mentioned this planned release in an interview from October of last year.

As mentioned above, earlier this week Rush announced that they will be releasing a 5-LP vinyl box set edition of their 2013 Clockwork Angels Tour live album. The set will release on October 11th and is now available for pre-order via Amazon and other online retailers. From the Rush newsletter:

This live 5LP set is pressed on 180-gram vinyl, and includes an etching on the flipside. The set comes packaged in a two-piece telescopic box with a full-color booklet, and a code to download a high-definition digital version of the album. The band recorded concerts in 2012 in Phoenix, Dallas and San Antonio for a live album, and this set includes all 31 tracks from those recordings. This vinyl set also features the bonus tracks from the original CD release, including a version of the classic "Limelight" that the band recorded during soundcheck.

Earlier this year the band released vinyl box set versions of both Rush in Rio and Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland, and - as mentioned above - are also planning to release a Geddy Lee My Favorite Headache vinyl box set later this year.

The latest edition of Classic Rock magazine (issue #266) hit newsstands this past week and includes a feature where they join Geddy Lee on the UK leg of his Big Beautiful Book of Bass signing tour this past June. Philip Wilding follows Geddy around and interviews both him and Rush fans attending the events. Here's a passage describing the scene in the lead-up to Geddy's June 8th signing at London's Picadilly:

It's a balmy Saturday afternoon in London's Piccadilly, and the queue snaking out of the door of Waterstones bookshop goes around the corner, then disappears into an alleyway and doubles back on itself. It's like a slowly moving tableau of the history of Rush; every album cover represented on worn cotton, spread across a series of bellies, some more pronounced than others. Following this happy throng through the shop and down the stairs to the basement, I find a grinning Geddy Lee standing there, a marker pen in hand ready to sign literally hundreds of copies of his book, Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book Of Bass. Grown men walk through the door, see that the one-time Rush frontman is just a few feet away and gasp. One drops his iPhone, many nudge the person next to them and laugh almost hysterically. By the time they get to the signing table, Lee's manager Meg almost has to remind them to take a breath. Some freeze as they approach, glassy-eyed until Lee prompts them with: "Where have you come from today?" and "Do you play the bass?" There are people here from the US, from Brazil, from all over the UK, just waiting for their short moment in the light next to Lee. One man tries to tell Geddy how he saw him live with Rush and was convinced that Geddy was winking at him. Geddy sizes him up with a nod and says: "You're kind of a good-looking guy, might have happened." The man is so deliriously happy with this response that he's led away looking like he's been tasered. ...

Here are some comments from Wilding's chat with Geddy describing his feelings about the signing events:

... "Let's be honest," Geddy says, "I'd rather be playing music for three hours a night with my two goofy friends than doing this, but in lieu of that, this is kind of a nice thing." ... "I like meeting the fans. I like it when the families come, I like seeing three generations. The other day this guy said: "I brought my dad. He's eighty-two, he's never done a fist-bump.' I said: 'I'll teach him, don't worry.' Lot of tears, too, which kind of makes me well up. I had a woman come up to me and she said that the music really helped get her through a tough time in university. I said: 'I'm glad the music meant something to you,' and then she burst into tears! But its a really nice human experience for me, that the band has meant so much to them and they're never going to see that band." ...

The article also offhandedly mentions that Neil Peart is working on a new book, but does not provide any details or timetable. Note that Geddy also said Neil was working on a new book project in another Classic Rock interview from nearly a year ago, so it doesn't sound like much progress is being made unfortunately. John over at has transcribed/scanned the article and made it available online here. Geddy plans on hosting more signing events through the end of this year, although nothing's been officially announced yet.

The third annual Rush Camp event/fundraiser will take place over Labor Day weekend next week at Independent Lake Camp in North East Pennsylvania, and feature performances by David Barrett, Brandon Dyke, Solar Federation and Second Contact. Speaking of which, freelance writer Matt Crossman wrote a piece for the latest issue of Success magazine where his editor challenges him to attempt to break his own personal record for monthly revenue. Crossman takes up the challenge and chronicles each step of his journey for the article. Crossman happens to be a Rush fan, and toward the end of the month he was taking a break from his work to search for Rush news online, and he stumbled on Rush Camp:

... I felt like a bear finding out about Honey Camp. I started daydreaming about going to Rush Camp and writing a story. I'm a sucker for a good subculture story, and I know an editor who is looking for this kind of story. But it's far easier to pitch a subculture I am an observer of rather than a member, in the same way I can say whatever I want about my family but you can't. Before I could type the first sentence of a pitch, doubt kicked in-real, legitimate, 1,000-pound-weight-on-my-chest doubt. My No. 1 inviolate rule for pitching is "don't pitch anything that makes me look like a fool." And "send me to Rush Camp" sounds... well, it sounds ridiculous. I can't pitch that can I? ...

He did end up pitching the idea, and on the last day of his challenge his pitch was accepted, pushing him over the top of his goal for the month:

... A few days went by with no response. I assumed the editor hated Rush (concerts are 99.999 percent men) and thought the idea was so foolish she was going to revoke the other assignments I owed her. Finally she responds. Not only does she buy the pitch, she hints it might be worth twice as much as I was hoping. We agree to revisit the fee after I attend Rush Camp and set a "placeholder" price at $500 more than what I hoped for. The agreement comes on the last day, two hours before the deadline. It pushes my total to $22,600. Even if I take out the running start-the two stories on Day 1 that prompted the quest, plus the fee for this story-I still set a new personal. My longtime friends will think it's absolutely hilarious that Rush Camp pushed me over the edge. ...

For more RushCamp details visit the Overtime Angels website and check them out on Facebook. is running a poll to determine the best progressive rock band of all time, and Rush has made it to the final 4. They are currently up against Pink Floyd and winning by a small margin, so go vote for Rush.

Beth Roars is a popular (175K subscribers) YouTube channel where vocal coach Beth listens to performances from various rock bands and makes comments on the vocals. One of her most recent videos features Rush's 2010 performance of Time Stand Still from the Time Machine tour as seen in this video.

Here's Snider featuring Alex Lifeson on vocals from Wednesday night's Cinema Strangiato film:

Alex Lifeson will be celebrating his 66th birthday this coming Tuesday, August 27th. Happy early birthday Lerxst!! That's all for this week. Have a great weekend!