Rush is a Band

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

Mon, Mar 1, 2021

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Jan 29, 2021@12:15PM | comments

Make Weird Music will be hosting a new, live interview with Alex Lifeson on their YouTube channel tomorrow evening at 6PM EST. The interview will be hosted by Andre Cholmondeley (@guitartour) and topics of discussion will include the 25th anniversary of Lifeson's 1996 solo album Victor, and the 40th anniversary of Rush's Moving Pictures album. You can tune in to watch the interview live at this location.

Earlier this month, Rolling Stone magazine's Brian Hiatt interviewed Neil Peart's widow Carrie Nuttall, along with his bandmates and Rush manager Ray Danniels for a very revealing feature article discussing Peart's 3-year battle with cancer and his final years. As part of the feature, Geddy Lee was interviewed to talk about his special relationship with Peart, and Rolling Stone posted the interview online earlier today:

... The two of us really gravitated to each other. We really were like-minded almost from the beginning. When he first came into the band, we were just getting to know each other, not only as people but rhythmically. He was ambitious and I was ambitious. He loved to be hyperactive. I loved to be hyperactive. So in a sense, it was a marriage made in heaven. We looked at each other very much as equal parts of a whole. We really strove to create an individual style of rhythm section that suited the kind of music we were playing. Of course, having a three-piece, in a way, is heaven-sent because every time Alex broke into a solo, you have to get busy, so it doesn't sound like the bottom of the earth just fell away. So that really suited us quite well, and we got to a point onstage where we could really intuitively feel where each other wanted to go, even when we were improvising. One of the great joys of my life was playing in a rhythm section that consisted of only two people with that fellow, because we really jibed. We really were in sync. ...

The late Neil Peart grew up in the St. Catharines, Ontario community of Port Dalhousie, the lakefront home of Lakeside Park which inspired the lyrics to the 1975 Rush song of the same name. Last year the St. Catharines City Council, with the full support of the community, voted to name the newly rebuilt pavilion at Lakeside Park the Neil Peart Pavilion at Lakeside Park in honor of the hometown icon who passed away last January. The Council also established the Neil Peart Commemorative Task Force, with the objective to commission a public work of art commemorating Peart's life and legacy. Earlier this week the city officially began welcoming artists to submit requests for pre-qualification via the city's website, and will be accepting submissions through March 29th. From the press release:

... "The Neil Peart memorial is an important project in our community as it celebrates the life of an amazing musician, lyricist and author who called St. Catharines his hometown during his formative years," explains Mayor Walter Sendzik. "I am looking forward to seeing the vision artists have for the memorial, which will complement the Neil Peart Pavilion at Lakeside Park, as it will be a beacon for Rush fans to visit our community for years to come to celebrate and reflect on Neil Peart's amazing contribution to his craft." ... "This initiative has had the overwhelming support of the community with more than 25,000 people signing an online petition to honour Peart with a memorial in Port Dalhousie," said Manager of Business Planning and Strategic Services Eric Lamothe. "It is, therefore, something we at the City are very proud to support." ... "As a committee we're excited to finally be reaching out to artists," said Neil Peart Memorial Task Force Chair David DeRocco. "There's great anticipation to see what kind of creative and original ideas artists submit for this project. Neil set the bar incomparably high when it came to his own art, so we expect to receive some very inspired suggestions for what no doubt will become a mecca for his fans around the world." The artwork will be funded via a public fundraising campaign, which is set to launch in February at www.EngageSTC.ca/Neil-Peart. ...

More information will be released in the coming weeks via stcatharines.ca. On a related note, A Night for Neil: The Neil Peart Memorial Celebration concert and charity fundraiser has been postponed for a 3rd time due to COVID-19 restrictions, and will now take place on November 6th at the Meridian Centre in Neil Peart's hometown of St. Catharines, Ontario. The event had originally been planned to take place last year on May 16, was then postponed to October 17 of last year, and was then postponed again to this coming April 17. From the A Night for Neil Facebook page:

Event has been re-scheduled for Saturday, November 6th, 2021.

"Though we live in trying times, we're the ones who have to try..."

We hope this message finds you all healthy & safe as COVID-19 restrictions force us to once again postpone "A Night for Neil" until the Fall of 2021. The new date, with a flexible plan is scheduled for Saturday, November 6, 2021. Overtime Angels, in coordination with the Meridian Centre, will be evaluating any quarantine protocols or travel restrictions to Canada three months prior to the new date so that all the fans who have purchased tickets have a reasonable amount of time to reschedule any associated travel/hotel reservations. We are so grateful for our fans and appreciate your patience, understanding and heartfelt passion as we hope we can soon hold A Night for Neil - The Neil Peart Memorial Celebration. Tickets purchased for this event will be honored for the new date. Should you require a refund, they are available at point of purchase and may be done so 30 days prior to the event.

In addition to Overtime Angels, the charities chosen by the Peart Family as beneficiaries of this event are: St. Catharines Hospital and Walker Cancer Centre, The Juravinski Hospital & Cancer Centre in Hamilton, and the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie. Please follow the event on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and/or subscribe to the email list at this location to get the latest information.

Back in October Rush released the Missing Tourbooks Collection; newly-created tourbooks for the band's first 3 tours which didn't originally have a tourbook created. From the product description:

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). John over at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed and scanned the debut album tourbook and made it available online (scans, transcript).

Ernest Cline's critically-acclaimed, 2011 sci-fi book Ready Player One is held in high esteem by Rush fans due to the multitude of Rush references it contains, including a particularly significant plot point involving the band's 2112 album. Unfortunately, the 2018 film based on the book did not include these references other than a couple of Rush t-shirts/posters (although one of the film's trailers did feature Tom Sawyer). This past November Cline published a sequel to the book titled Ready Player Two, which is currently available to purchase here. The book picks up where Ready Player One left off after a deranged A.I. takes control of the OASIS, with a slew of new pop culture references. Unfortunately there's only one Rush reference; Wade Watts (aka Parzival) lives at 2112 Monsalvat Boulevard in the real world of the book (Monsalvat was the mythical castle of the Knights of the Roundtable searching for the Holy Grail in Richard Wagner's opera, Parzival). Thanks to Eric at Power Windows for the report.

The new book from British author Richard Houghton titled Rush - The Day I Was There released back in November and is now available to purchase via Amazon. The 378-page book features stories and memories from over 400 Rush fans as detailed in the book'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.

Classic Rock magazine posted an article titled a beginner's guide to the thrilling, topsy-turvy world of the concept album this past week, and Rush's 2112 gets a mention:

... The concept behind Rush's 1976 album 2112 is obliquely echoed in the plotline of Queen's theatrical extravaganza We Will Rock You. 2112's storyline is simplicity itself: man finds guitar, powers-that-be don't like guitar, man gets all upset, has funny dream, tops himself. It's set in the year, er, 2112 and the Overture can't resist quoting from Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture in its final headlong sprint. And while this isn't the story of We Will Rock You, its dystopian vision of a future bereft of loud guitars and rock music is certainly familiar. Not all concept albums have a discernible linear story - and perhaps that's where we need to draw the line between the concept album and the rock opera. ...

Culture Sonar posted an article this past week titled What's The Common Thread Among the Most Influential Rock Groups and Rush gets a mention (thanks Alowishus A).

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association website posted their playlist of the Top 100 Flying Songs now on Pandora, Spotify this past week, and 2 Rush songs made the cut:

57. Fly by Night recognizes the genius of Rush drummer and writer Neil Peart, who died of cancer in January 2020. Bassist Geddy Lee sings Peart's poignant lyrics, "Fly by night, away from here, Change my life again, Fly by night, goodbye my dear, My ship isn't coming and I just can't pretend."

99. Headlong Flight by Rush from the album "Clockwork Angels" is a hard rock tune suggested by multiengine CFI, Civil Air Patrol member, and Southwest Airlines agent David Sullivan. The song pays homage to aviation with lyrics about stoking the "fire on the big Steel wheels" that "Steer the airship right across the stars.

Prog-rock instrumental band Liquid Tension Experiment will be releasing their 3rd album - Liquid Tension Experiment 3 - in March. The band consists of Dream Theater alum Mike Portnoy, Jordan Rudess, and John Petrucci along with prog legend Tony Levin. Portnoy was recently interviewed by Revolver magazine to list off some of his favorite heavy metal instrumentals, and he of course includes Rush's La Villa Strangiato:

In putting this list together I noticed that half the choices are kind of "band" instrumentals and the other half are more "guitar hero" oriented. I'll start with the band list, and at the top is this song. It's no secret that it's pretty much my favorite instrumental of all time, and my favorite Rush song of all time. To me, "La Villa Strangiato" is the benchmark of their abilities, showcasing all three virtuosos. Neil [Peart] and Geddy [Lee] are so tight on it, and then Alex [Lifeson]'s big solo in the middle is just incredible. Obviously "YYZ" is the more well-known Rush instrumental, but as far as I'm concerned, "La Villa Strangiato" is the benchmark of virtuosity and, as a drummer, always the ultimate challenge to try to tackle.

Don't forget to tune in to Alex Lifeson's live interview with Make Weird Music tomorrow evening at 6PM at this location:

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

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