Rush is a Band

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

Sat, May 18, 2024

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Oct 30, 2020@11:00AM | comments

The St. Catharines Standard posted an article last week profiling a committee that has been tasked with producing a Neil Peart memorial in the late drummer's hometown of Port Dalhousie. To help fund their efforts, they have been selling Rush-themed Lakeside Park t-shirts created by the Port Dalhousie Supply Company and - at the time of the article - had raised over $10K from sales of the shirts. Earlier this week I posted the article, urging folks to support the effort, and because of an influx of orders from RIAB readers they ended up crossing the $20K mark as described in this Facebook video post from Chris O'Connor at the Port Dalhousie Supply Company:

To the Rush is a Band Community;

THANK YOU, Thank you, Thank you! Today, because of your actions we have crossed the $20,000 mark on our journey to commemorate Neil Peart in Lakeside Park. But with such success we face a small issue... you cleared out our inventory! My video message below is one of thanks, but we are asking for your patience too. Our tiny team is working diligently to get your orders out ASAP. We've had to order more shirts which means some of your orders may be delayed by 3 weeks + delivery. Keep those orders coming! It will help with our future orders.

We sincerely appreciate your support and need it now more than ever as you bear with us as we fulfill your amazing turnout!

If you have any questions please email us on our website. We understand some of these orders may be time sensitive so please contact us and we will accommodate best we can.

Rest assured, if you placed an order, it will be fulfilled in the most expedited fashion!

Follow us on social to keep up with the story.

You're helping us bring this project to life!

In addition to running the Port Dalhousie Supply Company, Chris is a member of the task force. Here's an excerpt from the St. Catharines Standard article mentioned above:

Brisk sales of Lakeside Park T-shirts have members of a task force helping plan a memorial to Rush drummer Neil Peart hoping a fundraising drive will be just as successful. "We, as a committee, are trying to think big with this project, given Neil's stature as a musician and author," said task force chair David DeRocco. ... A GoFundMe account set up a while ago to help with preliminary planning, combined with the sale of Lakeside Park T-shirts by task force member Chris O'Connor, has collected more than $10,000. ... A larger campaign to raise money to pay for the actual memorial will come later. ... The task force hasn't settled on a recommended location for a memorial, DeRocco said, but it should be somewhere near the pavilion at Lakeside Park that earlier this year was named in Peart's honour. He said the form it eventually takes will depend on artists' responses to a request for proposals the city will issue. He believes it should keep in mind the fact Peart remained humble despite his rock star status, and likely wouldn't want something "garish." ... "We certainly want something that is photographic and reflects the beauty of the park and the imagery Neil created in the song 'Lakeside Park.'"

If you haven't already ordered one, the t-shirts can be purchased via for $29.99.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada's annual A Brush of Hope charity auction fundraiser kicked off last 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 website at this location with a current bid of over $6K. 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 end tomorrow at Noon, so get your bid in soon. 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.

Music writer Martin Popoff's Limelight: Rush in the '80s - the second book in his 3-part Rush Across the Decades series - officially released earlier this month. 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. A couple of reviews came out this past week including this video review from the Sea of Tranquility YouTube channel, and this review from Maclean's.

A new book from British author Richard Houghton titled Rush - The Day I Was There is slated for release 2 weeks from today on November 13th. The 378-page book features stories and memories from over 400 Rush fans. From the publisher's description:

... With previously unseen photos and fan memorabilia, Rush - The Day I Was There brings together over 400 previously unpublished eye witness accounts to allow the reader to take a journey back in time and recapture the experience of seeing live the greatest ever power trio in rock. ...

Orders made via the publisher before the November 13th release date will include a limited edition hardback copy signed by the author, with shipping available worldwide. For all the details and to place your order visit this location.

Over the past several weeks, Ultimate Classic Rock has been posting excerpts from an interview they conducted with longtime Rush art director Hugh Syme where he discusses the history and background of Rush's album cover art. So far they've covered Counterparts, A Farewell to Kings, and Caress of Steel. Over the past few weeks, 3 separate Rush albums celebrated release anniversaries; Hemispheres turned 42, Exit ... Stage Left turned 39, and Power Windows celebrated its 35th anniversary. In recognition of these milestones, this past week UCR posted 3 more excerpts from their interview where Syme discusses the artwork on these 3 classic Rush albums. Here's what he had to say about Hemispheres:

... on that album, there was a lot of discussion about Dionysus and Apollo and the left-brain, right-brain [theory]. We have a calculating side of our nature, and we have a free-spirited [side]." Syme was inspired by the suit-clad man on Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte's 1946 painting The Son of Man, and that figure folded perfectly into their conceptual framework. "[Peart] was a huge Magritte fan, too," he adds. "We discussed the [stoicism] of that man." The final image features a distinguished fellow - played by Syme's longtime friend Bobby King - standing rigidly on one side of a brain, with a nude, elegant man on the other. "We had this guy in a leotard, which just didn't suit rock 'n' roll," Syme says of the latter model, who'd been studying at the Toronto Ballet School. "But it was also a big gamble to say, 'Will anybody embrace a bare-assed guy on a cover?' It was a nod to the free spirit unshackled by clothing and that sort of thing. That became the device for creating contrast." ...

On the Exit ... Stage Left cover, Syme explains why Rush nixed a proposed nod to Snagglepuss:

... "I wanted to do nothing more than just a solid black cover with a pink tail - and probably the back of Snagglepuss' ankle," he tells UCR. "A complete nod to Snagglepuss: I just wanted to keep it real pop-art - graphic and simple." But that dream died after the animation studio got involved. "We got in touch with Hanna-Barbera, who owned the rights," he adds. "But apparently the ask on that was prohibitive, so that was quickly nixed. I even asked, 'Can I at least put a pink tail on there somewhere?' No one's gonna know.' There were too many legal beagles on that one saying, 'No, better not.'" After that plan fell apart, Syme pivoted to another lighthearted idea: reviving visuals from Rush's own visual universe. ...

For the Power Windows album, Syme talks about how Geddy Lee was the driving force behind including the televisions in the artwork:

... At Lee's insistence, Syme revised the artwork to include a trio of televisions - adding another veneer of visual meaning. (He admits, with a laugh, "I remember feeling somewhere between annoyed and challenged when I heard this was a client requirement.") "We only alluded to the Marshall McLuhan aspect of the TVs when we started talking about what was then our power window," he notes. "[Today], it's a handheld cell phone or tablet or laptop or whatever. [Then] our power window to the world was a TV. It was controlling everything from our taste to our concept of what was news. So the TV became important, but the pun of a lone character with the misguided notion that he could control the room with his remote control was more important to me than the TVs." Tasked with finding the perfect televisions, Syme scoped out some vintage "collectors item" Philco sets at a Toronto store called the Red Indian. "They were very generous to let me photograph those for reference," he says. "I had to go back and re-gesso the canvas carefully in the area where I was gonna feature these TVs because they were not in the original photo." ...

Also in celebration of the Power Windows 35th anniversary, In the Studio With Redbeard posted an old episode of In the Studio where Redbeard talks with Geddy, Alex and Neil about the album. You can listen to the episode online here.

Former UFO bassist Pete Way passed away this past summer at the age of 69 after sustaining life-threatening injuries in an accident earlier this summer. Way played with UFO from 1969 to 1982, briefly in 1988-1989 and once again from 1991 to 2008. He was also known as a founding member of Waysted and Fastway, and played with the Michael Schenker Group and Ozzy Osbourne as well. The September issue of Classic Rock magazine (issue 280) included a feature where other artists pay tribute to Way, including Rush's Geddy Lee. This past week the magazine posted the entire tribute article online at this location:

... By the time of Lights Out in '77, UFO were making waves in America, where they opened for Rush, who were touring A Farewell To Kings. Although Rush didn't fully share UFO's hedonistic streak, the two bands got on famously. "On one occasion when we played Xanadu, Pete and Phil snuck up through the dry ice and nailed a pair of slippers to the stage beside my foot pedals," Geddy Lee says with a smile. "Pete fell off the stage twice during that tour. We were in our dressing room, and his bass just vanished from the mix - 'Uh-oh, Pete's gone over the edge again.' "Pete and I spent a lot of time together on the tour and I enjoyed his company," Lee continues. "He was a very different kind of musician to me - this guy in skin-tight pants with his shag haircut and playing his big Thunderbird bass, with a really heavy bottom end. He described it to me once as 'three-quarters nice, one quarter not very nice'." ...

Exclaim! posted an article this past week where several Canadian artists show off some of their favorite albums from their record collections. Kevin Comeau and Cody Bowles of prog-rock duo Crown Lands each chose a Rush album (thanks RushFanForever):

When we asked retro-minded rock duo Crown Lands to share their most treasured albums, Kevin Comeau and Cody Bowles each submitted their own photo - holding a different Rush album. Bowles says, "Caress of Steel, to me, has the most consistent goosebump-inducing vocal deliveries from Geddy Lee, some of my favourite drum tones, and my all-time favourite Rush song 'The Fountain of Lamneth' caps it off. What a killer album." As for Kevin, he reveals, "A Farewell to Kings changed my life. It set me off on the path I find myself on today. This is my favourite Rush record. 'Xanadu' is the closest thing to magic I've ever heard."

Guitar World posted an article this past week titled Why Canada is home to some of the world's most exciting hard-rock guitar players. The article includes interview snippets with members of some newer Canadian bands known for their six-string work, and Rush's Alex Lifeson gets a mention:

... "I prefer guitar players who are able to tell stories through what they play," says PUP guitarist Steve Sladowski, who cites Mitchell and Bruce Cockburn as some of his favorite Canadian players. "Even someone like Alex Lifeson is somehow an understated guitar player. Playing in Rush, in a power trio, he's happy to play what needs to be there. There's some way of playing this really technical music and really proggy but never overplaying."

Speaking of Lerxst, posted their list of the 25 Most Underrated Guitarists of All Time last Friday and Rush's Alex Lifeson came in at #1:

And on the top spot, we have the almighty Alex Lifeson of Rush. Now, we here all aware of his impeccable guitar playing and composing skills. However, it seems that he never got enough time under the spotlight since everyone's been focusing on Geddy Lee and Neil Peart. So the UG community and UG have decided to pay tribute to one of the most innovative, influential, and underrated guitar players of all time. Just take a listen to La Villa Strangiato and witness Alex's greatness.

Classic Rock magazine is putting together a list of the greatest live albums ever and are asking readers to help them out via this online poll (thanks RushFanForever). Rush's All the World's a Stage and Exit ... Stage Left are in the running, so go vote! Speaking of Exit ... Stage Left, since yesterday was the 39th anniversary of the album's 1981 release, here's ByTor/In The End/In The Mood/2112 Finale from the Exit ... Stage Left video:

That's all for this week. Have a great weekend and don't forget to VOTE!