Rush is a Band

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

Wed, Feb 28, 2024

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Jan 5, 2024@11:15AM | comments

The latest episode of Strombo's (aka George Stroumboulopoulos) YouTube show Strombo's Lit on his @TheStromboShow channel features a new, 30-minute interview with Geddy Lee where the pair discuss his best-selling memoir My Effin' Life. From the video description:

... our first read for 2024 is Geddy Lee's latest 'My Effin Life,' a no-holds-barred journey as gritty and real as the essence of rock n' roll itself, filled with tales of love, loss, and the hard-hitting truths of life. I'm thrilled to bring to you an exclusive chat I had with Geddy right from my home. Geddy's going to peel back the layers on some deeply personal stuff - like his parents' immigrant journey after the horrors of the Holocaust, the meteoric rise of Rush (yeah, the legendary Canadian band that has sold over 40 million records!), and some heartfelt stories about the people he holds dear. ...

You can watch the entire interview below or on YouTube. Speaking of My Effin' Life, new interviews and book reviews continued to trickle in over the past few weeks, including this short interview with Geddy for StreetsOfToronto.com, and this glowing review from Policy magazine. Author and Rush fan Phil Simon also wrote a piece for Racket Publishing this past week where he makes a prediction about generative AI and book publishing in 2024, and he uses My Effin' Life to illustrate his point. You can check that out online here.

Alex Lifeson's Envy of None project with Andy Curran, guitarist Alfio Annibalini and vocalist Maiah Wynne released their self-titled, debut album back in April of '22, 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. This past summer the band officially released their first EP That Was Then, This Is Now via Kscope Records. The EP includes one newly-recorded track titled That Was Then (official, animated music video here), remixes of Dumkoptf and Dog's Life, Lethe River, and You'll Be Sorry, which was previously released as part of the deluxe edition of their 2022 self-titled debut. So what's in store for the project in 2024? Andy Curran was asked that question in a recent interview with Blabbermouth.net and had the following to say:

... "It's going to be a busy one. ENVY OF NONE has about six or seven songs that are quite far along; almost, I would say, getting close to three-quarters. In early February, Maiah is flying into Toronto, and we're going to try to wrap up those tracks. Our goal is to get something out in the middle of the year or fall." ...

Whether the release will be a full album or just an EP is yet to be determined. You can read the entire interview online here.

This coming Sunday, January 7th, will be the 4th anniversary of the tragic passing of Neil Peart. To commemorate the occasion, Rush tribute band YYNOT will be hosting their 2nd annual Bubba Bash in celebration of The Professor at the Keswick Theatre outside Philly (Glenside, PA) tomorrow evening. Just like last year, the show will be "In Celebration of Neil Peart", and feature 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), Seven Antonopoulos (Opiate for the Masses), and more. All proceeds from the show will go to benefit Cedars Sinai Hospital, and you can send along your donation here. YYNOT has made a name for itself in recent years for being one of the premier Rush tribute bands, as well as a great prog-rock band in their own right with a trio of albums of original material under their belt. The band along with hosts Cathy Rankin and Michael Mosbach (Neil Peart's good friend and Rush security) were interviewed by the Rushfans YouTube channel last week to talk about the event, and you can watch that interview at this location. Unfortunately, the show has SOLD OUT, so if you don't have your tickets yet, you are out of luck. However, the show is being filmed, so we should be seeing some videos posted at some point. On that note, you can check out some videos from last year's inaugural event on YYNOT's YouTube channel here.

Speaking of Bubba Bash, one of the featured guests that will be sitting in with YYNOT is Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, who never passes on an opportunity to sit in on a Rush cover. Speaking of which, progressive jam band Umphrey's McGee celebrated their 25th anniversary by playing a three-date residency at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago on the last three nights of December. The band's regular drummer Kris Myers is recuperating from a shoulder injury and was unable to perform at all three shows, so the band recruited several guest drummers to sit in, including the aforementioned Mike Portnoy. Portnoy sat in for the December 29th show on covers of Pink Floyd's In The Flesh and Another Brick In The Wall, The Beatles' You Never Give Me Your Money, and Abacab by Genesis. He also sat in for the encore, which included a cover of Spinal Tap's Big Bottom (!!) and Rush's YYZ as seen in this video (YYZ begins around the 7-minute mark).

The latest episode of Queen's official YouTube series Queen The Greatest Live! (Queen Live In The 21st Century - Episode 45) features Brian May and Roger Taylor explaining how the Queen live show has changed and evolved in the 21st Century. In one of the featured clips, Brian May is talking about what he thinks makes up a good concert light show, and he brings up Rush's light show as a prime example (thanks Andrew S):

... I remember going to a Rush show years and years ago. And the guy [Rush lighting director Howard Ungerleider] played his lighting desk like it was a piano. Everything that you saw when you looked up at the stage came out "bang bang bang!" in time with every single note (and there are a lot of notes in a Rush show [laughs]!), and the lights were completely tied into that - it was amazing. It was magical - I never forgot that. ...

KISS guitarist Ace Frehley recently sat down with Ultimate-Guitar.com to chat about his upcoming studio album 10,000 Volts, and the subject of KISS opening acts came up. Rush opened up for KISS on multiple tours during the mid '70s, and when asked about his memories of those tours he had this to say:

Well, #1, I loved Rush. #2, I'm really good friends with all the guys. I'm heartbroken that Neil Peart passed away - because we were good friends. But after the show, I would say eight out of ten evenings, those three guys would come to my room or Peter's room... or we had a hospitality suite in the hotel - and we'd all drink beer and smoke pot. Alex [Lifeson] used to dress up with a bag over his head and we'd just entertain each other - and get loaded. A lot of times, I'd just be rolling around on the floor - it was hysterical. Peter Criss used to do this imitation of this crazy, drugged-out doctor - called Dr. Rosenbloom. And he'd put glasses on and he'd mess up his hair. It was like we'd take turns getting up on this little podium that we had set up in the room - that's how we entertained ourselves and got through the tour... if we weren't hanging out with chicks. Once chicks came in, that broke up the party a little sooner than we anticipated!"

The Iron Claw is a new film from A24 which tells the story of the Von Erich brothers, who made history in the intensely competitive world of professional wrestling in the early 1980s. The film's trailer first released back in October and prominently featured Rush's Tom Sawyer throughout, as does the film itself, which released to theaters last week. The Tom Sawyer inclusion prompted screenwriter David Hayter to reveal via this Tweet that he had originally wrote a screenplay for Marvel's Black Widow back in 2004 that included the song, as described in this ComicBookMovie.com article (thanks Jodeo).

This past week's episode of Rush Roundtable on the Rushfans YouTube channel featured the return of their Great Take, or Let's Debate series. Host Ryder provides the panel with his hot takes about Rush, and the panel then decides if his takes are a great take or if they would like to debate it:

That's all for this week. Happy New Year everybody, and have a great weekend too!!

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