Rush is a Band

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

Mon, May 20, 2024

Updates and other random Rush stuff

Fri, Apr 5, 2024@10:31AM | comments

Late last year Alex Lifeson and Mojotone announced the launch of LERXST Amplifiers - a new family of amplifiers inspired by the Rush guitarist's five decades of musical exploration on the guitar. The initial launch included an OMEGA amplifier head, CHI amplifier head and combo, and an accompanying range of matching guitar cabinets, along with a new drive pedal called the Lerxst By-Tor. They have since expanded on those initial offerings, and earlier this week announced the launch of The Snow Dog octave fuzz pedal. The Snow Dog utilizes the Lerxst two-in-one pedal format to provide a versatile array of modern and vintage fuzz sounds with a footswitchable upper octave effect. It is available now for $295 as a limited-run of 500 pedals available exclusively through the LERXST Reverb Store and also includes a tour pass signed by Alex. You can watch a demonstration of the pedal in action via Reverb's YouTube channel here. From the press release:

... With this latest creation, Lerxst revisits the early part of Alex's tone journey when he was a young player inspired by the fuzz-driven guitar heroes of the late 1960s. Looking to make a bold statement with his own playing, Alex found himself chasing the sounds that he was hearing on records by Hendrix, Beck, Page, and more. "My introduction to fuzz was before I had any on my face," he says. "My first pedal was the glorious Fuzz Face and 'In A Gadda Da Vida' never sounded better!" ..."I use distortion, fuzz, and overdrive pedals and plug-ins when I'm looking for that kind of specific sound for the projects I work on and am having fun with both the By-Tor and Snow Dog pedals," Alex says. "But it's the Snow Dog that really screams. It can produce the most horrific fuzz in the Universe!" ...

Actor Joe Flaherty passed away this past week at the age of 82. Flaherty was best known for his work on the Canadian sketch comedy SCTV from 1976 to 1984, as Harold Weir on Freaks and Geeks, and for his role as Donald the heckler in Happy Gilmore. Most Rush fans remember Joe as Count Floyd on SCTV, a role he would reprise for a short film that Rush played on the Grace Under Pressure tour leading into The Weapon as seen in this video. Flaherty's role on the short-lived NBC comedy Freaks and Geeks also included a Rush reference in one scene with actor Jason Segal (playing Nick), as seen here. Rush posted a short tribute to Flaherty via Instagram, saying the following:

Sad to hear that Joe Flaherty passed away today. He was an hilarious part of the SCTV show that RUSH watched endlessly on our tour buses - Joe was generous and kind enough to lend his talents to film a video introduction with his character Count Floyd - for our song - The Weapon - a highlight on the Signals tour and beyond ... RIP Joe.. we love ya!

The New York Times online game Connections had a Rush-related clue for their March 20th puzzle. The idea of the game is to find connections between 4 of 16 things listed out in a grid of tiles. Four of the tiles were Creamsicle, Journeyman, Rushmore, and Kisscam - which all begin with a rock band in the name (Cream, Journey, Rush, KISS) as seen in the screenshots. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

Rushfest Brasil takes place next weekend on April 12-14 in S.R. Mampituba, Criciuma/SC, as described in this article. For all the details visit the Rushfest Facebook page.

Classic Rock magazine's Dave Everley wrote a piece this past week highlighting how Rush survived adversity in the 1990s and early 2000s in the wake of Neil Peart's personal tragedies:

... June 28, 2002, was one of the most emotional nights in Rush's long and illustrious history. The band were kicking off the tour in support of their 17th studio album, Vapor Trails, at the Meadows Music Centre in Hartford, Connecticut. Vapor Trails was the Canadians' first since 1996's Test For Echo; this show was their first live appearance in over five years. The build-up of emotion was intrinsically tied to the reasons for their lengthy absence. On August 10, 1997, drummer Neil Peart's teenage daughter, Selena Taylor, had been killed in a car crash. Less than a year later, on June 20, 1998, his wife Jackie succumbed to cancer. Devastated by this double tragedy, Peart effectively quit music. "Consider me retired," he told Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. He underlined his point by embarking on an 14-month, 60,000-mile North American solo road trip on his BMW R1100GS motorbike. "As the years went by, both Geddy and I thought it was unlikely that we would be working together as Rush," admitted Alex Lifeson in 2002. "I felt that we had a terrific run, this wonderful experience that's very unique even in the rock world, and if that's the way it's going to end, then I have to accept it and move on." Yet here Rush were once again. Peart's re-emergence from solitude and grief had sparked the band's own resurrection. And it wasn't just onstage that emotions ran high. Some members of the audience were in tears before the show had even started, while an ovation greeted the mere unveiling of Peart's mammoth drumkit. ... posted an article yesterday in celebration of World Drummer's Day, where they feature five of the most legendary drummers in music history, one of whom is Rush's Neil Peart:

... Speak to any drumming nerd and Neil Peart will always feature in the conversation. He's the punchline of this classic joke: "How many drummers does it take to change a lightbulb?" "Five: One to screw the bulb in, and four to talk about how much better Neil Peart could've done it." How did he get to be this venerated? Simple. He was the drummer and lyricist of the much celebrated prog rock band Rush. Beloved by music nerd for a reason, Rush put out incredibly technically complicated music that, despite its jaw dropping theory, was always great to listen to. ...

Classic Rock posted an article this past week where they highlight Alex Lifeson's "brilliant acting career". The Rush guitarist has had bit parts in several films over the past couple of decades, along with several cameos on The Trailer Park Boys, and a regular role in the CBC comedy Crawford. From the article:

... "It's fun to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation," Lifeson told the Globe & Mail [paywalled link] in 2018. "If you have a little bit of confidence and you just get out of your own way, these things can happen. The same thing happened when I got asked to do a small role in a TV show, Crawford, a new comedy on CBC from Mike Clattenburg, who created Trailer Park Boys. "I thought I couldn't do it - that it was something for real actors. But I ended up doing a few episodes. It definitely was not in my comfort zone. But if you throw a challenge at yourself and dive into it, it can be really gratifying." ...

Consequence of Sound posted their list of the 100 Greatest Bassists of All Time this past week, and Rush's Geddy Lee cracked the top 10 at #6:

Geddy Lee has proven to be fantastic bassist, but so much more. Playing bass, keyboards, bass pedals, even guitar on his double-neck, all while fronting RUSH as the vocalist. He writes and even tells the stories of the prolific professor Neil Peart's mind-blowing lyrical theater, all while shredding through otherwise very heady prog-rock songs, often in 5/4 and 7/4 odd time signatures. It's like doing math while in literary class, yet enjoying every moment of it! If there is a PhD in rock bass, it belongs to Geddy Lee. - David Ellefson (Dieth, Kings of Trash)

Geddy has an iconic tone that's both dirty and clean. He created memorable basslines with unconventional harmonic movement, and reinvented himself through stylistic changes over the years. - Steve Blanco (Imperial Triumphant)

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