Rush is a Band

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

Thu, Feb 25, 2021

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Feb 19, 2021@11:21AM | comments

This past Friday, February 12th, Rush's Moving Pictures album celebrated its 40th anniversary. Over the past several years, Rush has released 40th anniversary editions of 2112, A Farewell to Kings, Hemispheres, and Permanent Waves, so it had been expected that they'd give Moving Pictures a similar treatment. However, based on a new banner ad being displayed on the Rush Backstage Club website, along with the lack of news about a potential release in the lead-up to the anniversary, it's now looking a bit less likely that a 40th anniversary box set will be coming any time soon. The banner ad in question has a tagline reading Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Moving Pictures; Limited Quantity Archive Items & New Moving Pictures T-Shirt Now Available and is pushing older Moving Pictures merchandise including the band's special 30th anniversary edition of the album. It's unlikely they'd be doing this if they had any other major release celebrating the anniversary planned in the near future. Former Anthem-Ole AR rep Andy Curran was heavily involved with the production of all the other 40th anniversary box sets, and the fact that he is no longer working for Anthem could be a factor as well. All that being said, the ad could just be them taking advantage of the anniversary to unload some old merch, and they could certainly still release something closer to the end of the year to take advantage of the Holiday buying season. Exit ... Stage Left will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this coming October, so maybe they'll tie that into the release somehow as well? We shall see. More information as we learn it.

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) hosted a Virtual Gala Concert yesterday evening in support of the VSO and the VSO School of Music. Rush's Geddy Lee, Itzhak Perlman, k.d. lang and many others took part in the event via pre-recorded video segments. The Show Must Go On: Stories of Resilience was streamed via TheConcertHall.ca and you can watch a short preview video that features a quick glimpse of Geddy Lee's segment online here.

A couple of weeks ago, Andre Cholmondeley hosted a new, live interview with Alex Lifeson on the Make Weird Music YouTube channel. Topics of the extensive interview included the 25th anniversary of Lifeson's 1996 solo album Victor, the 40th anniversary of Rush's Moving Pictures album, his many side projects, future plans and much, much more. You can watch the interview on YouTube here, and the full interview transcript is also now available on the Make Weird Music website. Here's what Alex said about the possibility of touring again:

... Honestly I think [touring is] very unlikely, I don't think anybody is going to get back on the road for a while yet - probably for another year. ... But I gotta say that I'll be 68 - if that happens! - in a year from now. I don't know... At this age I don't really have an interest in doing it. We toured for 40 years. I've lived in hotels for 40 years. I was away from the people I love and that's all part of it and I don't regret it. It was great. That's the price you pay. I hardly saw my dad when I was growing up because he had three jobs to pay the mortgages. We looked after ourselves. He wanted to get a leg up so he worked like a maniac! We all make that sacrifice I think in whatever we love, and our passion. After spending 40 years of doing that ... Honestly, I don't see myself sitting in a hotel room with the remote in my hand going through channels just because I have to wait for sound check or I don't feel like going out because I don't know what to do in town and all of that stuff. That's kind of out of my life now. The fact that we've been off the road for over five years, I don't really miss it. I love playing! I do a couple of gigs here and there, locally, and it's always a treat to get up and play in front of an audience. But I can't say that I have this gnawing desire to get up and do it. I did it! 40 years is a long time to be in a band and touring the way we did. Very very few bands that have done that. ... Never say never, right? You never know! I don't know if Geddy feels the same way I do. I think he'd be up to playing something live, whatever form that is, but we haven't really gotten to that point in the conversation. ...

Alex also brought up that he's thinking of selling a good portion of his guitar collection to raise money for some charities he's involved with:

... what I'd like to do sometime in the near future is to sell my collection. I would keep a handful of instruments but I'd love to sell my collection for some charities that I'm involved with. I think that would be really a great way for these fabulous instruments that have been so sweet and dear to me to carry on and do something very powerful and positive for the world. That's something that I've been exploring in fact in the last few days. ...

Overtime Angels announced earlier this week that the Muskoka and St. Catharines' Peart families will be hosting the first annual Peart Family Memorial Golf Tournament to benefit the RVH Cancer Centre this coming September. From the Facebook post:

On September 13, 2021, the Muskoka and St. Catharines' Peart families will be hosting the first annual "Peart Family Memorial Golf Tournament" to benefit the RVH Cancer Centre. As many of you know, organizing an event like this takes help from many donors and volunteers. Sponsors are needed for several of the day's events to help make this event successful and lower the costs of overhead so the majority of funds raised can go directly to RVH. This is a PAID INVITATION only event. Unregistered golfers will not be permitted into the event. If you would like to golf, or can put together a team (there is only room for ONE more team of four and TWO spots are available on the OTA golf team!) it is $350(CAD) per player and there is NO room left for volunteers. Please reach out as soon as possible if you would like to put together a team, or if you are a single player looking to join a team (this is on a first come basis). In the event that Covid restrictions still will not allow travel between the two countries, your entry fee will be reimbursed. OTA has offered to sponsor water bottles for golfers and volunteers and would like to give our Campers the chance to participate in the event without being there. These water bottles will have the OTA Logo on them and given out to those in attendance. The cost of the water bottles is $500 (roughly $395 American dollars). The Peart's are creating a brochure and your names will be listed as sponsors! I will grab a brochure for each of the sponsors and mail them to you when we get home! If you would like to participate please send your donations to OTA's PayPal account at overtimeangelscharity@gmail.com In the 'add a comment" section, please put "NEP Water Bottle Sponsorship". Thanks to all of our Campers and supporters who ALWAYS step up when needed! The gifts that you give, indeed!

Ultimate Classic Rock posted an article this past week where they ranked all of Rush's live albums. Topping their list was 1998's Different Stages (thanks RushFanForever):

'Different Stages' is a messy marvel, both in source and in sound. The three-disc set spans the 'Test of Echo' and 'Counterparts' treks, along with a full London show from the 'Farewell to Kings' era. And there's a fitting whiplash quality to the full 202-minute affair, as the band bounces from proggy instrumentals ("Leave That Thing Alone") to earnest balladry ("Resist") to one of Peart's requisite drum showcases ("The Rhythm Method," which incorporates dated sample-triggering). Many of the '90s cuts are heavier onstage, with Lifeson's guitar crunch drawing out extra muscle from "Dreamline" and "Driven." And the sound quality expertly dances that fine line between polish and power - capturing the snap of each Peart tom-tom fill and the low-end grit of every Lee bass lick.

On a related note, iHeartRadio.com's Carter Alan posted a list of the Top 25 Indispensable Live Albums Of Classic Rock yesterday and Rush's All the World's a Stage made the cut at #24:

Released in the heart of the 'Seventies Double-Live-Album' craze, Rush's 1976 offering had to be a two-record set - no way that one album could have handled a 15-minute "2112" and similarly-lengthy "Working Man/Finding My Way," then have any room left for some other early-catalog treats. A fiery in-concert bookend of Rush's earliest phase.

Earlier this week uDiscoverMusic.com posted an article titled Weighty In The Eighties: When Prog Rock Went Pop which discusses how various prog rock bands - including Rush - fared in the new wave, MTV-driven musical climate of the 1980s (thanks RushFanForever):

... after years of side-long science fiction-themed suites, Rush had started slanting toward accessibility with "Spirit of Radio." The steady-rolling arena-rock anthem made Permanent Waves the Canucks' first real hit album in the US. Something was in the air, and by the following year, prog was making its peace with the New Wave era in a major way. ... Rush didn't waste any time mounting the next attack. Moving Pictures arrived in February of '81, onboarding New Wave influences. The synth riffs of "Tom Sawyer" - the ultimate ode to alienated teens - exist at the center of a Venn diagram with Rick Wakeman's Minimoog licks at one end and Gary Numan's futuristic robo-pop hooks at the other, while "Limelight" wins the Grand Irony award by fusing irresistible AOR guitar lines to a song about the downside of fame, insuring Rush's radio ubiquity forevermore. Between them, the two singles not only cemented Rush's rock-star status, they attracted a whole new audience that might have fled in terror from older Rush songs with titles like "By-Tor and the Snow Dog." ... [in September 1982] Rush delivered Signals, where Geddy Lee's synths challenged Alex Lifeson's guitar for the spotlight on tunes that fully assimilated the New Wave influences hinted at on Moving Pictures. Especially overt is Rush's professed admiration of The Police's reggae-rock hybrid, most audible on the percolating futurism of "New World Man," the band's only US. Top 40 single ever. ...

Podcasts have soared in popularity in recent years, particularly during the past COVID year. Whatever your range of interests may be, there's probably a podcast (or ten) for it. For us Rush fans, two podcasts in particular have come online over the last year that have done a really great job in finding and interviewing some really interesting guests that have some tie-in to Rush, including ex-roadies, authors, musicians and more; the Something for Nothing podcast, and the 2 Guys Talking Rush (aka 2GTR) podcast. I was a guest on the Something for Nothing podcast this past summer and am scheduled to appear on 2GTR in the near future. Recent episodes of the Something for Nothing podcast have featured guests such as Donna Halper, FANTOONS' David Calcano, and - most recently - Time Stand Still director Dale Heslip. The 2 Guys Talking Rush podcast has recently featured Rush FOH engineer Brad Madix, filmmaker Ari Gold, Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider, and photographer/writer/musician Craig Murray Renwick. I'll be highlighting these and any other Rush podcasts I come across on a more regular basis in my Friday Rush updates posts going forward. But in the meantime, take some time to catch up on past episodes of these excellent podcasts (Something for Nothing, 2GTR).

Earlier this month Drum Workshop hosted Drum Day LA - a free online event showcasing new products from DW, Gretsch, PDP and Latin Percussion, artist performances and more. The livestreamed event also included a factory tour with Drum Workshop VP John Good. Earlier this week DrumChannel.com posted a video excerpt from the livestream where John Good and Russ Kunkel (The Immediate Family, legendary session drummer) visit the Drum Workshop's John Good Gallery and reminisced on their experiences with the late Neil Peart. The 2-minute video is titled Remembering Neil Peart and you can check it out on YouTube here.

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Moving Pictures and to honor the late Neil Peart, Consequence of Sound gathered four renowned drummers via Zoom to discuss the album and Peart's legacy. Taking part in the round-table discussion were Mike Portnoy, Charlie Benante, Matt Halpern and Arejay Hale (thanks RushFanForever).

That's all for this week. Stay warm and have a great weekend everyone!

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