Rush is a Band

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

Sat, Aug 13, 2022

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Jun 10, 2022@8:45AM | comments

UPDATE - 6/24@10:36AM: The full Sound and Vision Moving Pictures feature mentioned below is now available online here (thanks RushFanForever).

Kevin J. Anderson and the late Neil Peart's Clockwork Destiny - the 3rd and final novel in the Clockwork Angels trilogy - will be officially released this coming Tuesday, June 14th. The first 2 novels in the Trilogy - Clockwork Angels and Clockwork Lives - were released in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Clockwork Destiny is now available for pre-order via Amazon and the publisher website at wordfireshop.com, including a signed, LE Deluxe Edition available here. From the publisher's description:

The final volume in the New York Times-bestselling, award-winning steampunk trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson and legendary Rush drummer Neil Peart

In Clockwork Angels and Clockwork Lives, readers met the optimistic young hero Owen Hardy, as well as the more reluctant adventurer Marinda Peake, in an amazing world of airships and alchemy, fantastic carnivals and lost cities. Now Owen Hardy, retired and content in his quiet, perfect life with the beautiful Francesca, is pulled into one last adventure with his eager grandson Alain. This final mission for the Watchmaker will take them up to the frozen lands of Ultima Thule and the ends of the Earth. Marinda Peake must undertake a mission of her own, not only to compile the true life story of the mysterious Watchmaker, but also to stop a deadly new group of anarchists.

The Clockwork trilogy is based on the story and lyrics from the last album of musical titans Rush, with Anderson and Peart expanding the world, stories, and characters. The two developed the final novel in the trilogy in the last years of Peart's life, and more than a year after his passing, Anderson returned to that unfinished project, with the full support of Peart's wife, bringing Owen and Marinda's stories to a satisfying and stirring conclusion. ...

Author Kevin J. Anderson was this past week's guest on the Something for Nothing podcast, where he talks about plotting the book with Neil Peart, the long road it took to write it, and how it finally came to fruition. You can listen to the interview below or wherever you get your podcasts:

Anderson was also interviewed for the Rushfans YouTube channel and you can check out that interview as well below or on YouTube.

Rush's Alex Lifeson was recently interviewed for Classic Rock magazine to discuss his new Envy of None project and how it came about. He also addresses his future plans as they relate to the project and to himself personally:

... Lifeson ... is keen to clarify that this is more a project than a 'traditional' band: "Four musicians and songwriters got together and created something really beautiful. I love this record. It's juicy, it's trippy and it's beautiful on headphones. But Andy and I have ideas for other things, Maiah's doing a solo record and working on a film. We've all spoken about continuing to work on Envy Of None, because we enjoy working together. It's the work that's the driving force."

Lifeson recently sold a cottage he owned just outside Toronto where he had a small studio, and last month he auctioned the bulk of his envy-of-all guitar collection for charity. But while he's winnowing his gear, there's no sign of Lifeson quitting music just yet. In fact Envy Of None seems to have begun a new artistic phase for him, bringing a certainty and focus he was lacking beyond the lighted stage of Rush's very last show.

"My horizon has suddenly opened up and it's all sparkly," he enthuses. "I'm going in such a great direction at what I think of as this late stage in my life. I feel so creative, I can still play and translate what's up here [tapping his head] to here [holding up his left hand]. It's just so exciting for me at this point to be with other musicians and having a ball writing music."

You can read the entire interview online at this location. Envy of None released their self-titled, debut album back in April, and it's currently available for purchase and streaming worldwide via several different online retailers and services, including Amazon and the official Envy of None merch store. The album is available on CD, and black, white and blue vinyl (the latter is exclusive to North America), along with a limited-edition deluxe version featuring a five-track bonus CD and a 28-page booklet with exclusive content. John over at Cygnus-X1.net has scanned the album artwork and made the images available online here, along with the expanded liner notes and lyrics here. You can follow the Project via their website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news.

The June/July issue of Sound and Vision magazine includes a 7-page article on Rush's Moving Pictures album and corresponding 40th anniversary box set titled The Universal Dream. The article includes a couple of Alex Lifeson quotes, along with a breakdown of all the various album mixes over the years featuring interview snippets from Terry Brown and Rich Chycki, and a breakdown of each individual track. Here's the Alex Lifeson portion towards the beginning of the article (thanks RushFanForever):

... During this particular Zoom call, Lifeson is visibly perched in front of an impressive studio wall populated by row after endless row filled with some truly amazing gear. Naturally, I can't help but inquire about one particular guitar I spy that I'm 99.99 percent sure was responsible for one of the most moving sound sequences in the entirety of Rush's recorded C.V., a vaunted canon that spans almost five full decades. "Yeah, that's my Hentor, the guitar I used for the solo on 'Limelight,'" Lifeson clarifies with a nod and a grin, referring to the cheekily renamed hybrid Fender Stratocaster outfitted with a Floyd Rose vibrato arm. Besides its Envy of None deployment, said Hentor is indeed the guitar that supplied the thoughtful, elegiac solo in "Limelight," one of Rush's signature songs that Lifeson has told me on more than one occasion, "remains my favorite of all the guitar solos I've ever done." And that's the power of popular music right there, boiled down to a few sentences. Just by Lifeson's namechecking the 1981 song title "Limelight," many of us instantly conjure the vibe, tone, and feelings the song and its subject matter elicit, most especially the character of his emotive, note-sustained, and expertly restrained guitar solo. ...

In some closing remarks, Terry Brown sums up the brilliance of the album, and the author looks ahead to a possible Signals box set, mentioning Chycki's desire to also give it the Atmos treatment:

... To call Moving Pictures an album for the ages might just be an understatement. "Moving Pictures doesn't seem to have aged," Brown points out. "It still sounds as fresh as it did when we finished it. It's a combination of great tunes, great performances, and that magical chemistry of three guys who loved to play. During the recording, the boys were always pushing themselves beyond the benchmark achieved on the previous album [Permanent Waves]. It was a very creative and rewarding two months." If UME continues to follow the chronology of Rush's catalog for its Super Deluxe Edition agenda, one can only hope 1982's above-noted Signals will be next on the 40th anniversary slate to get the full-on Atmos treatment. Lest we forget, the template for this maneuver is already in place, given the 5.1 mixes Chycki did for the bonus Signals DVD included in the 2011 Sector 3 box set later transferred into Dolby True HD and DTS-HD 5.1 options for the 2015 Signals High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray edition. Concludes Chycki, "I'd love to do Signals in Atmos. Everybody likes to use the buzzword immersive, and it definitely applies here because Moving Pictures in Atmos draws the listener into a more enveloping listening experience. Atmos is more three-dimensional, and more engaging. It's the next, natural step." ...

Rush's Moving Pictures 40th anniversary box set officially released back in April, and is currently available for purchase as a 3-CD set, a Deluxe vinyl edition, and a Super Deluxe Edition. John at Cygnus-X1.net has transcribed the liner notes and scanned all the images from the set and made them available online here. You can get all the details regarding the box set via the press release at Rush.com and order your copy today via Amazon (Super Deluxe, Deluxe vinyl edition, 3-CD edition) and other retailers.

A newly revised and expanded edition of Bradley Birzer's 2015 book Neil Peart: Cultural Repercussions releases this coming Tuesday, June 14th and is now available for pre-order. The book is a biographical, in-depth examination of the words, ideas and professional life of Neil Peart, and the author has revised and expanded the original edition to incorporate Peart's final years. From the publisher's description:

In January 2020, the world lost not only one of the greatest drummers, but also one of the most insightful lyricists. And a brilliant writer. Though Neil Peart was universally lauded as drummer for legendary rock band Rush, few studies have been devoted to his writings. Yet, Peart was very much a man of his words. He wrote lyrics, travelogues, essays, cultural criticism, short stories, and fantasy novels. The themes in his writings are timeless: personal journeys, exploration, excellence, growth, philosophy, art, satisfaction and happiness, religion, politics, individualism, natural history, life, love, loss, redemption, and beauty. Peart wanted every person to persevere through individual trials, find unique gifts and abilities and, ultimately, true happiness. He did not just profess such things; he lived them. Never satisfied with second best or any form of defeat, Peart challenged himself to live up to his own philosophy. And he always succeeded with grace, which earned him even more fervent admirers. Since his death in 2020, Neil Peart has continued to inspire thousands through his music, his words, and his example. This book-revised and expanded to incorporate Peart's final years-carefully examines the influence that his life, his witness, and his words have had on others. Neil Peart lived life to the fullest, and he made us each better for it.

The revised edition also includes a new cover featuring a photograph of Peart taken by longtime RIAB reader and mega Rush fan Kelly D. A different photo by Kelly D also graced the cover of the original edition.

Ultimate-guitar.com posted their list of 20 Famous Guitar Players You'd Want to Take Lessons From last Friday, and Rush's Alex Lifeson made the cut at #13:

Aside from forming one of the biggest rock bands of all time and creating some of the best music in modern history, Alex Lifeson also seems like an incredibly awesome guy. We believe that lessons with him would be fun, pleasant, and extremely useful.

Marc Edelstein wrote an article this past week for PopMatters describing his firsthand experience as a 14-year-old Rush fan attending Rush's November 28, 1981 show at the Hollywood Sportatorium in Pemproke Pines, FL where a small riot occurred outside the venue. Neil Peart was late to the show due to missing a flight, which in turn caused some crowd control issues resulting in the use of tear gas by local police. 22 people, including 11 police officers were injured and 2 fans were arrested:

... Standing dead-center amid this agitated horde, we couldn't see everything taking place up front. Contemporary police reports indicate that fans began throwing rocks and bottles at officers. Dozens of bottles were indeed flying overhead; where they landed, nobody knows. (Though one of them apparently brained a classmate of ours named David, who wound up in the ER and missed the show.) Then, when the gates finally opened, crashers scaled the walls and bum-rushed the arena doors. Fences were torn down, and at least one police car was overturned. If not yet a full-fledged riot, it was certainly the genesis of one. Suddenly there were two green Broward Sheriff's Office helicopters circling high above. Spotlights raked the crowd and several large smoky POPS! burst somewhere up front. Nobody knew what was happening, but the mob kept its cool. For the moment. Then we smelled baby powder. If you've never had the pleasure of being tear-gassed, here's a quick primer. American law enforcement generally employs the weakest of five grades, designed to irritate and disperse crowds without serious incapacitation. All decent and civil-like, until your eyes start watering, your throat closes up, and you can't breathe. The only thing that helps, barring a good gas mask? Hocking, spitting, and evacuating the affected area at top speed. Four-and-a-half feet tall. Seven thousand intoxicated lunatics in front of us, 7,000 behind. Throw in some tear gas, and stir vigorously. When the forward 7,000 abruptly turned and stampeded directly toward your gentle scribe, he had but one conscious thought: "I'm dead." ...

It's hard to believe, but this coming Sunday, June 12th will be the 10th anniversary of the North American release of Rush's final album - Clockwork Angels. Here's the band performing the album's closing track - The Garden - from the Clockwork Angels Tour concert video:

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

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