Rush is a Band

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

Thu, Oct 1, 2020

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Aug 28, 2020@2:53PM | comments

Rush 2021 Moving Pictures wall calendarBrownTrout Publishers has released their official 2021 Rush wall calendar which celebrates the upcoming 40th anniversary of the February, 1981 release of Rush's Moving Pictures album. From the Amazon description:

This official, 16-month calendar calendar includes a four-month (September-December) 2020 planner page, so get yours early! Calendar includes holidays, moon phases, image captions with locations and other information, the highest quality photography, and more. ...

The calendar includes images from the band's Moving Pictures era as seen here. It was officially released on August 1st and can now be ordered via Amazon and other online retailers.

Modern Drummer Festival 2020Last week Modern Drummer magazine announced details regarding their 20th annual Modern Drummer Festival. The virtual, livestreamed, pay-per-view event will pay tribute to the late Neil Peart and be produced by LiveXLive to air on what would have been Neil Peart's 68th birthday next month on September 12th. Tickets for the event went on sale this past Wednesday with packages starting at $14.99. VIP and Special-Offer Bundles will include merchandise, tickets, and subscriptions to LiveXLive and Modern Drummer. You can get all the details and find out how to get tickets via the press release.

Speaking of Neil Peart tributes, RUSHfest Scotland is sponsoring a crowdfunding campaign to help finance the production of an album of Rush songs played by Rush tribute bands and musicians from around the world. The album is titled TRIBUTES - SONGS FOR NEIL VOL.1 and is dedicated to Neil Peart, with plans to release it on what would have been his 68th birthday next month on September 12th. The following bands and musicians have confirmed to be on the album. 3 Snow Dogs (Brazil), Clockwork Angels (Scotland), Fleesh (Brazil), Jacob Moon (Canada), La Villa Strangiato (Italy), Lotus land (USA), Moving Pictures (Scotland), New World Men (Canada), The Rush tribute Project (USA), The Rushians (Netherlands) and Bravado (England). All profits from the album will be split equally between two charities - Glioblastoma Foundation Neil Peart Research Award in the USA and Cancer Support Scotland (registered charity SC012867). You can all the details and order your copy via the crowdfunding page at this location.

Music Radar posted their list of the 25 greatest basslines of all time as voted on by their readers, and Rush took BOTH of the top two spots with Freewill at #2, and YYZ topping the list at #1 (thanks RushFanForever):

Geddy Lee has spoken before of his efforts to augment his game, adding funk patterns and more rhythmic je ne sais quois, playing with his fingernails in a pseudo-flamenco style. As a band, Rush never sat still, chasing new sounds and avenues of songwriting. But first and foremost, Geddy Lee is a phenomenal rock bassist, and on YYZ, he lays down a tour de force of rock bass with a progressive jack-in-the-box line that sits square in the awkward pocket of 10/8, flattened fifths jarring the song to life, before opening out to the anthem and set-list staple that it would become. It all came from a jam between him and Neil Peart.

Actor Patrick Warburton was recently interviewed for High Times magazine to talk about acting, comedy, and getting high at Rush's final show:

The time of my scheduled phone interview with Patrick Warbuton came and went. When we finally connect, he apologizes for being the "consummate geek," missing our allotted window because he was watching a Rush documentary. "That's pretty 'High Times' right there," he quips. ... I remember I hadn't [smoked] in fifteen or twenty years when-speaking of that Rush documentary-I was going to the Staples Center for Rush's very last show ever. Alex Lifeson is a friend of mine, and I was in the backseat of a car with Robby Krieger-also a friend of mine. We had a driver, so I made myself a martini. Robby had a little pipe, and I thought to myself, "If I was waiting for the right moment to toke up, this is it." I took a hit or two, and it became an epic night. One of those nights that takes you back to when you're thirteen-years-old listening to "Twenty-One-Twelve" for the first time. Then you "come to" in the present moment and you're backstage with the band on their last night together. ... I met Alex [Lifeson] at an East Lake golf tournament in Georgia about ten or twelve years ago. ... Alex is such a wonderful man. He's so cool. The whole band-they're all family guys. They're very grounded, which you don't find [too often], and I think that's part of the secret to their longevity and their closeness. They've always kept it real. They focus on their families, their friendships, and they maintain them. ...

FYI Music News posted a great article this past week on the history behind Bob & Doug McKenzie's breakthrough 1981 album The Great White North (thanks RushFanForever). The article talks about how Rick Moranis (aka Bob) had a chance encounter with his childhood friend Perry Goldberg, who - at the time - was the Marketing and Promotion Director for Rush's record label Anthem. The meeting sparked Goldberg to approach Anthem President Ray Danniels about recording an album with the comedy duo:

... "I was really excited with the idea, but I knew Ray's focus at the time was the launch of [Rush's] Moving Pictures," ... set for release on February 12, the day following its premiere with band bassist Geddy Lee was guesting on Rick Ringer's radio show on Toronto's CHUM-FM. Goldberg had constructed an elaborate launch campaign involving key rock FM stations nationwide that would send winners from each market to Rush's North American tour opening date at the 15,000-capacity Hollywood Sportatorium in Florida. He had spent months piecing the campaign together, working with broadcasters in major markets across Canada and figuring out the logistics of getting contest winners to Florida. Goldberg brought in an airline company and a major hotel chain to co-sponsor the promotion, so the big costs were off the table for Anthem and Rush. "Ray flies in," Goldberg remembers, and they met poolside the day of the show in sunny Florida, glad to be away from the biting cold in hometown Toronto. "Ray looks around at the contest winners who are having a lot of fun before the show and he has this big smile on his face and says 'and this isn't costing me any money, right?' "I tell him 'that's right', and he asks me what it would cost if Anthem did have to pay. I was young, in my 20s, and I hadn't given much thought to putting a number to the campaign, but for some reason that I can't explain, I pulled 'ten-thousand-dollars' out of the air. I wanted to impress Ray and for him to think that I was a really good negotiator (which is the hallmark of Danniels' career as the band's manager as we will see a little further into this story). "Ray still has this big grin and he says to me, 'OK, then you have a budget of exactly $10,000 to do the album with Bob & Doug. If it goes one penny over budget, that's coming out of your salary. Do we have an understanding?' I nodded and felt great because I just had this gut instinct that the album would be a big success." ... After a frenzy of scriptwriting, the album was recorded and Danniels took it to New York to cut a deal with Guenter Hensler, the head of PolyGram Records at the time. The label owned Mercury Records which had earned a mint signing Bachman-Turner Overdrive in the '70s and was earning as much or more now with Rush, another Canadian hard-rock ensemble. Danniels' opening gambit was to ask for a US$50,000 advance for a comedy album that may or may not become a winner. Back in those days, and perhaps these days too, comedy records weren't exactly top of the pops, but the album credits included Geddy Lee and the single Take Off had the sniff of a hit song to it. Hensler considered Danniels' asking number, probably weighed the money the company had made off Rush and offered US$35,000. Danniels kept a poker face and they shook hands on the deal. He was already ahead of the game and the album hadn't even been released. Mercury made a small fortune with the release, Danniels did too, and Bob & Doug became household names, and extremely well off ...

Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz recently chatted with Sabian for an in-depth conversation about some of his career highlights, cymbal selection, and his approach to recording drums. You can listen to the full interview online here (thanks RushFanForever).

Longtime Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider was recently interviewed for the Radio Check - Life In The Concert Touring Industry and spoke at length about his decades-worth of experiences touring with Rush.

Triumph frontman/guitarist Rik Emmett was recently interviewed for the Rock History Music YouTube channel and spoke a good bit about Rush's influence on Triumph and how much they owe to their fellow Canadian three-piece. You can listen to the podcast online here (thanks RushFanForever).

Music Radar posted their list of 10 of the greatest Gibson ES-335 guitar tones of all time this past week, and Alex Lifeson's 1968 Gibson ES-335 TD tone on Rush's Anthem made the cut at #8:

Lifeson with a Gibson semi-hollow guitar symbolises an entire era for Rush fans; whether it's a 335 or the Alpine White 355 that became even more iconic. He bought a 335 on the band's first tour, adding a Les Paul later. Along with the custom white 355 TD he got in 1976 they would become his main guitars until the later '70s, covering a truly classic era of progressive music. "I was using a Gibson ES-335 then," recalls Lifeson of his gear for the Fly By Night album, "and I had a Fender Twin and a Marshall 50-watt with a single 4x12 cabinet. An Echoplex was my only effect. In time he worked with Gibson on a hybrid Les Paul / ES mix; the Gibson Lifeson ES-Les Paul.

Geddy Lee will be contributing the epilogue to an upcoming book on the legacy of Terry Fox which celebrates the 40th anniversary of his Marathon of Hope. The book is titled Forever Terry: A Legacy in Letters and is slated for release this coming Tuesday, September 1st. From the book's description:

... [the book] recounts the inspiration, dedication, and perseverance that Terry Fox embodied, and gives voice to an icon whose example spoke much louder than his words. Comprising 40 letters from 40 contributors, and edited by Terry's younger brother Darrell on behalf of the Fox family, Forever Terry pays tribute to Terry's legacy, as seen through the eyes of celebrated Canadians ranging from Margaret Atwood, Bobby Orr, Perdita Felicien, Jann Arden, and Christine Sinclair, to those who accompanied Terry on his run, Terry Fox Run organizers, participants, supporters, and cancer champions. Appearing alongside never-before-seen photos of their hero, their reflections reveal connections that readers would never have expected, and offer a glimpse into the way goodness and greatness inspire more of the same. ...

Classic Rock magazine posted their list of the 20 best rock albums of 1976 this past week and Rush's 2112 was included (thanks RushFanForever):

Much has been made about the fact that the long-running Queen musical had basically the same storyline as Rush's brilliant conceptual piece. Forsaking the myths and legends of their earlier output, Messrs Peart, Lifeson and Lee managed to encapsulate a bleak vision of the future. Neil Peart's striking (Ayn Rand-influenced) lyrics are relayed over a musical backdrop of such technical proficiency that it's nothing short of staggering.

Stacker posted an article earlier this week on the Best-selling bands of the '80s, then and now, and Rush gets a mention.

Thin Lizzy will be releasing a rarities-filled career-spanning box set entitled Rock Legends on October 23rd. The 6CD/1DVD package will include 74 previously-unreleased recordings along with replicas of the bands tour programs bound into a hard-backed book, the very sought-after Phil Lynott Poetry books, 4 prints by legendary Lizzy cover artist Jim Fitzpatrick and a book containing quotes by all the members of the band about their experiences playing with Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy. The book also features comments from famous fans such as Slash, Lemmy, Joe Elliot, James Hetfield, Ian Gillan, Henry Rollins, Billy Corgan, Bobby Gillespie, Craig Finn, John McEnroe, Pat Cash, and Rush's Geddy Lee.

67 years ago yesterday our favorite guitarist - Alexandar Zivojinovich (aka Alex Lifeson) - was born in Fernie, British Columbia to Serbian immigrants, Nenad and Melanija Zivojinovich. Geddy Lee took some time out to wish his buddy a happy birthday via Instagram yesterday, sharing a few of his favorite photos of himself with Lerxst:

View this post on Instagram

So, it's time again to celebrate the birth of the funniest man alive, my BFF, the talented and supremely idiotic Alex Lifeson!! Please enjoy these pics of the manchild through the ages. Starting with 2004 when someone foolishly invited us to throw out the first pitch at Arlington Stadium in Texas, then a flashback to the late 70's at Shepperton Studios rehearsing for our UK Tour, "Behind the Scenes" during The Trolls video shoot in 2012, and finally my bud and me in Reykjavik, Iceland 2013, having one last drink together before heading home after the Clockwork Angels Tour. #LekeLerxstBigAl #funniestmanalive #Didwewin #HappyBirthdayBFF #trollsarepeopletoo #orarethey #Hmmnotsomuch #blahblahblah @rush

A post shared by Geddy Lee (@geddyimages) on

In celebration of the occasion, here's some video of a teenage Alex arguing with his parents over his future as a musician back in 1972. It's taken from the Alan King documentary Come on Children. Happy birthday Lerxst!! May you have many more, blah, blah, blah.

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

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