Rush is a Band

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

Mon, Feb 6, 2023

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Jan 20, 2023@10:46AM | comments

In commemoration of the 3-year anniversary of the passing of Neil Peart, Rush tribute band YYNOT hosted a charity concert back on January 7th dubbed Bubba Bash 2023 at the Keswick Theatre outside Philly (Glenside, PA). The show featured YYNOT along with special guests Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, etc.), Frank Bello (Anthrax), Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall, Overkill, etc.), Jon Dinklage (Clockwork Angels string ensemble), Joe Bergamini (drum instructor, author, etc.), John Wesley (Porcupine Tree), and Seven Antonopoulos (Opiate for the Masses). Loudwire.com posted this great summary of the concert last week:

... YYNOT opened up the night running through some of the Rush classics such as "The Spirit of Radio," "YYZ" and more before starting to bring out the night's specials guests. Anthrax's Frank Bello and Porcupine Tree's John Wesley were first up, getting a chance to rock out "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight," ... Bergamini joined the band for "Vital Signs," before Opiate for the Masses drummer Seven Antonopoulos took his spot behind the kit for "Freewill" and "Closer to the Heart." Overkill's Bittner took his turn behind the kit on "Natural Science" and "Red Barchetta," giving way to Dinklage for "Losing It." Portnoy then got the epic penultimate climax on drums for the night nimbly working his way through "2112 Part 1: Overture," "2112 Part 2: The Temples of Syrinx" and "La Villa Strangiato." YYNOT then closed out the night with "By-Tor & The Snow Dog / In the Mood / 2112 Part VII: Grand Finale." ...

The concert and associated fundraiser raised over $30K to benefit Cedars Sinai Hospital, and you can add to that total by sending along your donation here. A few more videos from the performance were posted online this past week, including this video of YYNOT performing Losing It with Jonathan Dinklage on electric violin, and this video of Jason Bittner and YYNOT performing Natural Science.

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. Back in 2020 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 in January of 2020. 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. Back in January of 2021 the Task Force officially began welcoming artists to submit requests for pre-qualification via the city's website, and revealed the finalists in September of 2021 along with the launch of a fundraising campaign for the Memorial. This past November the Task Force finally revealed that the artist who will have the honor of creating the memorial is Morgan MacDonald of The Newfoundland Bronze Foundry. The project and its timelines are contingent on the Task Force raising the $1 million required for completion, and donations of any size can be made online at stcatharines.ca/neilpeart. The sooner the Task Force can achieve its fundraising objectives, the sooner the community and fans will be able to see the results. So give if you can. They are also opening up pre-orders for more of their very popular, Rush-themed Lakeside Park t-shirts that they first introduced back in 2020; the original run of these shirts helped the Task Force raise over $20K. They will be accepting pre-orders for the t-shirts via ptdalhousie.com up through February 17th, and then hope to start shipping out the shirts in early March. On a related note, the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre recently underwent a $75K renovation. Several new exhibits are slowly coming online, including a collection of photographs that capture the people of St. Catharines during significant times, from the 1800s to present day, including photos of the city's most famous product, Neil Peart, performing at a local high school in the early '70s.

Veteran music video director Bruce Gowers passed away earlier this week at the age of 82 due to complications from an acute respiratory infection. Gowers is best known to Rush fans for directing the iconic Le Studio music videos for Tom Sawyer and Limelight.

10-year-old bass player Ellen Alaverdyan has been charming YouTube viewers with her impressive bass covers since the early days of the Pandemic, and was recently profiled in Spin magazine for an interview feature. When asked about musicians she'd like to meet in person, she answered, "It would be either Geddy Lee, Bootsy Collins, or Richard Bona." One of Alaverdyan's more impressive videos was her cover of Rush's Tom Sawyer, which you can check out on YouTube here.

BraveWords.com posted their list of 10 Hard Rock Songs That Were Made Up On The Spot this past week, and Rush's YYZ made the cut:

... While Lifeson's licks take up prime real estate on this song, this is still a drum and bass extravaganza, including a section of the tune where everything drops out for the drum and bass to have their own featured solos. Once Lifeson's guitar comes soaring in, it's almost as if you're taking flight right along with him, seeing the world from the sky before bringing things back down to the Earth for the final instrumental sections. While this was never meant to be played on the radio by any stretch, this is the most pure rock and roll experience that Rush can get. It might not have any lyrics to sing along to, but you don't need words when you have melodies that are this compact.

The Baker City Herald posted a story this past week on 25 successful musicians who retired early, one of whom is Rush's Neil Peart:

Often considered one of the most virtuosic drummers in rock history, Neil Peart gave the prog-rock band Rush a distinctive and pummeling edge. Peart was also responsible for many of the band's highfalutin and philosophical lyrics. Rush played its last show together in 2015 before it was revealed in the band's documentary, "Time Stand Still," that Peart had been suffering immense pain and had to retire consequently.

Classic Rock magazine recently featured Porcupine Tree's 2007 album Fear of a Blank Planet in their Album of the Week Club Review. Rush's Alex Lifeson made a guest appearance on the album, playing a solo on the track Anesthetize:

... Anesthetize is a supremely moody piece that digs into the emptiness at the heart of a technologically spoilt, emotionally starved generation, featuring a solo from Rush legend Alex Lifeson, and is an astonishing, 18-minute tour-de-force ...

Longtime WMMR DJ Pierre Robert posted an article this past week where he lists off his 40 Favorite Moments from the Past 40 Years at WMMR, and one of these moments involved a Geddy Lee interview from back on December 18, 2000 (thanks RushFanForever). Geddy came into the studio and spoke about his My Favorite Headache solo album in front of a live audience.

That's it for this week. Enjoy your weekend everybody!!

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