Rush is a Band

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

Wed, Feb 21, 2024

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Oct 23, 2020@10:56AM | comments

Rush's first tourbook was made available on the band's North American tour in support of 2112, and each subsequent tour after that point would also include one. So that means that none of the band's first 3 albums were represented with a tourbook ... until now. Earlier this week Rush announced that they had filled that missing gap with the release of a Missing Tourbooks Collection via the Rush Backstage Club. From the product listing:

While leafing through your Rush tourbook collection, have you ever noticed there are three studio album tours with no tourbook? We had to correct this! And correct we have done, with The Missing Tourbooks Collection. We went back in time, collecting photos, artwork, gear lists and much more from the tours for RUSH, Fly By Night, and Caress Of Steel. One benefit we had with this project is the ability to use modern 2020 printing techniques and materials, resulting in three unique tourbooks. The Fly By Night tourbook is HUGE, the RUSH tourbook feels great, and the Caress tourbook, well it just shines. ...

The collection can be purchased as a set of three for $79.99, which includes a bonus lithograph of the Fly By Night tourbook cover. You can also purchase each individually for $29.99 (Rush, Fly By Night, Caress of Steel).

The Kidney Foundation of Canada's annual A Brush of Hope charity auction fundraiser kicked off earlier this week and Alex Lifeson is once again one of the many Canadian celebrities participating by donating their original paintings. Alex's contribution this year is a 11"x14" acrylic painting titled Forked, which is now available for bidding on the eBay.ca website at this location. Alex explains the name of the painting in this Facebook post from Rush:

"A small point of interest, "Forked" was created entirely by using a fork, not brushes." - Alex Lifeson

Alex has participated in the auction nearly every year since 2006, including last year with his painting Minus 20 which ended up selling for over $13K CAD! The Brush of Hope online charity auction will run through Saturday, October 31st at Noon. For all the latest news and information be sure to follow A Brush of Hope on Facebook. You can also purchase Limited Edition signed prints of some of Lifeson's paintings from previous years, including last year's Minus 20 print here.

Spencer Davis 08072006 NSU 01British guitarist Spencer Davis of The Spencer Davis Group passed away this past week at the age of 81. Geddy Lee took some time out to remember the iconic guitarist via his official Instagram:

Last night I heard the sad news that the great Spencer Davis has passed away. It made me recall, when as a mere 14 year old, I first heard that infectious, repeating 2 note bass riff that drew me into that joyous song "Gimme Some Lovin". It was The Spencer Davis Group, with Stevie Winwood and his brother Muff, playing that groove on his Harmony H-22 Bass. That song along with "I'm a Man" "Keep on Running" and so many others made me run out to buy that album as it became a mainstay of my early listening days.

RIP Spencer - you brought so much great music to so many and I thank you.

Adventures of Power is a 2008 indie film which chronicles the adventures of air-drummer extraordinaire Power (played by filmmaker Ari Gold) and contains a cameo from Neil Peart along with a slew of Rush references including a Tom Sawyer air drum-off. In addition to the Neil Peart cameo, the film boasts an all-star cast including Michael McKean, Jane Lynch, Adrian Grenier and many others. Back in 2009 Neil Peart and Ari Gold paid a visit to the Drum Channel studios to record an interview discussing the movie, and also to film an air drum-off video which you can check out here. With so many musicians struggling to make ends meet due to the pandemic, Ari Gold has re-released the film with proceeds from every stream of the movie going to MusiCares. He'll be hosting monthly watch parties via adventuresofpower.com with special guests and prizes. You can watch the film on Amazon here, or purchase the film complete with bonus material here. To learn more about the movie, the charity, and how to get free tickets to the watch parties, visit adventuresofpower.com, and watch the film's trailer here.

Netflix launched a new docu-series earlier this month called Song Exploder; a televised version of the popular Song Exploder podcast, which features musicians talking about the creative process behind an individual song while deconstructing the song into its component parts. Episode 2 of the series focuses on Lin-Manuel Miranda's Wait for It from the musical Hamilton. At about the 13-minute mark, Hamilton's musical director/arranger Alex Lacamoire and Miranda discuss a part of the song where the the drums and guitar come in. Lacamoire talks about how he created those parts, and says that the drum part was inspired by John Bonham and "the guitar is, like, playing Rush. ... Dude, that's Rush, like, 1981". They then show a photo of Rush and proceed to play the isolated guitar track, which definitely sounds very Rush-like. You can watch the show on Netflix (subscription required) here. Lacomoire is a huge Rush fan, and completely geeked out when Geddy came to see Hamilton back in 2016 as seen in this post.

Music writer Martin Popoff's Limelight: Rush in the '80s - the second book in his 3-part Rush Across the Decades series - officially released last week. The first book in the series was Anthem: Rush in the '70s, which released back in May, and the third book will be titled Driven: Rush in the '90s and "In the End", which is currently slated for release in April. You can order your copy of Limelight: Rush in the '80s via Amazon and other online retailers. The author is also accepting orders for signed editions of the book via this link. The imitation-leather bound book comes in at 375 pages and includes two full-color photo inserts, with 16 pages of the band on tour and in the studio. Popoff was interviewed this past week for Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon to speak about the book, and City News 1130's John Ackerman also spoke with Popoff:

... gone were the long, prog-rock epics of the `70s in favour of shorter, more radio-friendly fare like "Tom Sawyer" and "Subdivisions." The `80s also saw the band adopt shorter song structures and move away from the heavy rock that put them on the map in the first place. "[That was] at a time when they could have gone heavier, like New Wave of British Heavy Metal or the start of, you know, the heavy metal that's sort of starting in California, so, it was quite a surprise to a lot of people." As the band changed its sound, Popoff notes it also began to enjoy a new level of popularity. "They became the it band. They became the band, you know, in the high school hallways, that everybody's saying, 'Oh, you know, [I'm] going to the Rush concert tonight,' that kind of thing. This is when they broke it wide open." ...

Earlier this week various actors from Marvel's Avenger movies, directors Joe and Antony Russo, and Senator Kamala Harris hosted a Zoom-based reunion fundraiser for the Joe Biden Presidential campaign, and Paul Rudd (aka Ant-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) was one of the participating actors. During the call Rudd was asked to name his personal favorite Rush song, and what he thinks would be Ant-Man's favorite. He said that Scott (Ant-Man) Lang would chose Subdivisions (because ants are "sub-divided" into three sections - the head, thorax and abdomen). He chose his personal favorite as Red Barchetta. Rudd and actor Jason Segal famously played a pair of Rush-fan friends in the 2009 film I Love You, Man, which featured a cameo from Rush themselves for a concert scene.

Season 8 of the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs kicked off this past week, and Ultimate Classic Rock marked the occasion by taking a look at Eight Greatest Classic-Rock Moments in the show. One of the episodes they looked at was Season 3, Episode 21, which was titled Rush and featured the Rush t-shirt wearing superfan Johnny Atkins:

You guys need to get a clue, there's only one band on the planet that matters: Rush," burnout Johnny Atkins tells his classmates. "They're not the canned garbage you listen to. They're real. They're from Canada. It's super-cold so they have to rock super-hard to stay warm." Played with totally awesome aplomb by Sean Marquette, who is so obviously a decade older than any high-school kid should be, Atkins always wears a Rush shirt. When he takes Erica to his Corolla and pops in Moving Pictures, "Tom Sawyer" opens her mind to the prog-rock kings.

Triumph frontman Rik Emmett was recently interviewed by Mike McCurlie for a streaming event at The Westdale in Hamilton, ON, and spoke a bit about his friendship with Alex Lifeson at around the 30-minute mark. You can watch/listen online here (thanks RushFanForever).

Shri Baratan (aka Nonviolenze) is an Indian-born, Houston-based singer/songwriter/artist who has combined his love for music with a natural talent for art. He recently spoke with Eastern Eye about his new album Ghosts of War and also had him select ten songs that he loves. One of his choices was Rush's Tom Sawyer (thanks RushFanForever):

This incredible rock song is brilliantly constructed and features one of the best drummers, Neil Peart, that walked the face of the earth. The lead and bass guitar work are unforgettable. The song maintains a super energetic beat and builds us to a crescendo before crossing the finish line.

Sweetwater has posted a new instructional video with guitarist Nick Bowcott (ex-Grim Reaper) where he demonstrates how to play the Rush classic Tom Sawyer. You can check out the instructional video on YouTube here (thanks Brave Words).

Total Guitar magazine recently posted their list of the greatest guitar songs of the 21st century and Rush's Caravan off of Clockwork Angels made the cut (thanks RushFanForever).

Chilean prog rockers Aisles released a cover of Rush's Red Sector A last week, and spoke to Prog magazine about why they chose the song:

... "We chose this song because we thought that our current global situation, involving the pandemic, violence and intolerance between different world views, is reflected perfectly on the apocalyptic sensation of Red Sector A," the band say. "Also, it's a brilliant song from an under appreciated era of Rush, the mid and late 80s." ...

You can listen to the track on YouTube at this location (thanks RushFanForever).

Ultimate Classic Rock posted another excerpt from their recent interview with longtime Rush art director Hugh Syme this past week. In this latest installment he discusses the cover art of the Counterparts album, which celebrated the 27th anniversary of its 1993 release this past week. Here he is talking about the original plan and how it shifted after a conversation with Neil Peart:

... "The cover for Counterparts almost became an exploded mechanical diagram of a sink and a tap and a drain trap," Syme says. "It was going be a literal illustration of counter parts - even more silly." But the art director's vision for the project shifted after getting in the weeds with Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. "We passed on [the counter parts] because we started discovering these dualities: yin and yang, salt and pepper, tortoise and hare, ribbed and lubricated, slap and tickle; lock, stock and barrel," he says. "We had a lot of fun - Neil and I spent about six or eight weeks calling each other, saying, 'I've got three more. I've got two more.' We built a whole archive - it became what I eventually illustrated as 'The Prayer.' Inside the package there was this big, folded poster that showed all these visuals. We couldn't decide on any one of them, so we said, 'Let's just do them all.'" ...

Last week UCR posted a portion of the interview where the A Farewell to Kings cover was discussed, and earlier this month, they featured a portion of the interview where Syme discusses the Caress of Steel album artwork. Here's a live version of the fourth single off of Counterparts - Animate from the R30 tour:

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

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