Rush is a Band

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

Wed, May 31, 2023

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Nov 13, 2020@10:51AM | comments

A new Rush book from author Alexander Hellene titled Dreamers & Misfits: The Definitive Book About Rush Fans has just been released and is now available for purchase as an eBook, with the paperback edition due out soon. The book is a celebration and analysis of Rush fans, as detailed in the Amazon description:

There Is Nothing Average About the Average Rush Fan!

Rush, the legendary Canadian progressive rock trio, has a legion of devoted fans. But what is it about the band that inspires such a loyal and dedicated fan base? And what is it about these fans that has created this powerful bond between artist and audience?

The story of these fans has never been told . . . until now.

- Exclusive interviews, including Donna Halper, the woman who broke Rush in the United States, and Ed Stenger, proprietor of, one of the biggest Rush fan sites on the internet.
- Detailed survey results illuminating what makes hundreds of Rush fans tick
- An exploration of the interest, politics, faith, and philosophy of the millions of people across the globe who find meaning in the music and lyrics of Rush
- In-depth fan profiles, where Rush fans tell their stories about what this band means to them
- Concert memories, personal anecdotes, and fan favorite songs and albums

Dreamers and Misfits presents a celebration of Rush's music and the fans who inspired and propelled the band to such dizzying heights.

One things is certain: there is nothing "average" about the average Rush fan.

The book also includes a foreword from's Ed Stenger (me). The eBook edition can currently be purchased via Amazon at this location with the paperback edition becoming available within the next couple of weeks.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 2020 Induction Ceremony took place this past Saturday evening and aired on HBO and HBO Max. Due to COVID-19, this year's ceremony had to forego the traditional live format, and instead consisted of pre-recorded segments in a documentary-style format. The ceremony also included the traditional In Memoriam segment, where the Rock Hall paid tribute to the many artists that we've lost in the past year. The segment kicked off with an extensive tribute to Eddie Van Halen, before diving into the tributes for all the individual artists. In most cases they just displayed a photo of the deceased artist for a few seconds, but when they came to Neil Peart, they showed some live video of Peart on his kit. After a few seconds of that, they broke in with some video of the late Ginger Baker drumming (Baker died in October, 2019 just a few months before Peart), and then went back and forth between the pair for about 30 seconds, creating a virtual drum battle. They then ended with a side-by-side photo of the two legendary drummers. It was a fitting pairing, as Peart often cited Baker as one of his biggest drum influences. The ceremony is currently available to watch on HBO and HBO Max for subscribers, with the Peart/Baker portion coming in at around the 1:20:30 mark.

UFO is releasing a special deluxe reissue of their 1979 classic album Strangers in the Night next Friday, November 20. The latest edition of Classic Rock magazine (issue 282) features a glowing review of the set from Philip Wilding which includes a sampling of the liner notes with a quote from Geddy Lee (thanks RushFanForever):

... "I'm backstage", says Geddy Lee, "and there's no sign of UFO, and they're on stage in five minutes. In the parking lot there's a car with its trunk open and a guy handing out beers - this is the Bible Belt in 1977; no alcohol on a Sunday - and there, in full stage gear, are UFO drinking as much as they can before they have to go on. They were pretty good that night too." ...

Canadian actor Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) gave a shout-out to Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass during his introduction to the Giller Prize, Canada's major literary prize, on CBC earlier this week (NOTE: the book wasn't nominated for any award). McCormack gave his introduction at the Vancouver public library, and after explaining that the library contains all the best works of Canadian literature, he says the following:

... in fact I just checked [a book] out for after the show (reaches off camera and grabs copy of Geddy's book). Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass (holds it up to the camera). I know that it's not technically literature, but ... it is so freakin' awesome! ...

You can watch video of McCormack's shout-out on YouTube here (thanks Carmele P).

Rolling Stone posted their list of the 80 Greatest Albums of 1980 earlier this week, and Rush's Permanent Waves made the cut at #39 (thanks RushFanForever):

Just two short years after their high-concept, progressive-rock masterpiece Hemispheres, Rush redefined what prog would mean for themselves and an entire generation by filtering their unabashedly geeky ideas through New Wave aesthetics on Permanent Waves. What resulted was a pair of future FM staples, the joyous, reggae-tinged "The Spirit of Radio," and "Freewill"; the beautifully streamlined and openhearted "Entre Nous"; the understated ballad "Different Strings"; and two lengthier tracks that gave prog a sleek Eighties facelift. Permanent Waves would hit Number Four in the U.S. and pave the way for the career-defining Moving Pictures one year later. -H.S.

The July, 2020 issue of Music Legends magazine was a special edition featuring Rush. John at has transcribed the issue's main feature and made it available on line here. The complete magazine is also available online as a pdf at this location.

Guitar World posted an article this past week featuring a list of 45 tips for bass players as given by a wide range of bass legends. The tips were taken from past issues of the magazine, and a quote from Geddy Lee in the November/December 1988 issue is included (thanks RushFanForever):

"The freedom of the trio is that you're allowed to be as busy as the thing can take. Obviously you have to use taste and discretion where and when you're being busy. You really have to serve the song the best way possible. If it serves the song to be busy, that's fine, but if it best serves the song to be a bit more fundamental and groove-oriented, then you have to do that."

Business Insider posted an article this past week on the stories behind 12 iconic band logos, including Rush's Starman logo:

Appearing for the first time on the 1976 album "2112," the "Starman" logo created by Rush's longtime artist Hugh Syme has become synonymous with the band's identity. The logo was created as a combination of the concept album's two key players: the Solar Federation trying to suppress creative thought and the man trying to promote creativity and the arts. Syme told uDiscoverMusic that, "The evolution of the star and man was Neil [Peart's] and mine's first true collaboration. He simply described the Red Star Of The Solar Federation as being all that is contrary to free thought and creativity, and the man as our hero. I simply combined the two. Never was this intended to be the band's brand or logo, with such a strong and enduring association with all things Rush."

Business Insider also posted their list of the 20 best drum solos ever this past week and Neil Peart's O Baterista solo made the cut at #3 (thanks RushFanForever):

Neil Peart is considered by many to be the greatest drummer of all time and his virtuosic drum solos help prove why, specifically his "O Baterista" solo during the 2003 Rush in Rio concert. Peart effortlessly transitions through numerous movements, such as a 3/4 waltz on the toms, a Latin-influenced solo on his electric kit and auxiliary percussion, and finally an upbeat jazz solo honoring two of his heroes, Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. The solo shows off Peart's endurance and precision. But perhaps the most significant aspect is the independence between his hands and feet. In one section, for example, not only is he playing different time signatures (three with his feet, four with his hands) but he's playing at different tempos. Peart uses this skill to produce a myriad of sounds and textures that, instead of sounding sloppy or overwhelming, fit like pieces of a puzzle to create one cohesive composition. Some people discredit Peart's solos for being too orchestrated and rehearsed, but there's no doubt that they changed the way drum solos are crafted forever.

Ultimate Classic Rock posted an article yesterday where they pick the most underrated track from each of Rush's 19 studio albums, kicking things off with Take a Friend from Rush's 1974 debut:

Without their drum god and master conceptualist Neil Peart, Rush were still embryonic. Their self-titled debut lacks the signature progginess and imagination that flourished a couple years down the line, but the record's fuzzy blues-rock attack resulted in some charming - if derivative - moments. "Working Man" and "Finding My Way" come closest to reaching classic status, but fans who run hot and cold on Rush may want to revisit "Take a Friend," the trio's twangiest tune. After a series of spiraling arpeggios, the track settles into some pleasingly rowdy Zeppelin-meets-Skynyrd riffage.

The Sea of Tranquility YouTube channel's Pete Pardo and special guest co-host Guitar Hack each discuss their favorite 10 guitar solos from Rush's Alex Lifeson in this video that was posted earlier this week (thanks RushFanForever).

YouTuber Garren Lazar is known for creating videos of the Peanuts gang synced up with various rock songs, including some Rush tracks. In the past he's done Tom Sawyer, Xanadu, The Spirit of Radio and 2112. For his latest creation, he synced up Subdivisions with some Peanuts gang footage, as seen in this video.

In a bit of sad news, longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek passed away earlier this week at age 80. Jeopardy! has had a long-running love affair with Rush, and have used the band in MANY clues over the last several years, most recently this past summer. That's all for this week. Have a great weekend!