Rush is a Band

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

Tue, Dec 1, 2020

Attention All Planets of the Solar Federation ...

Author Alexander Hellene's new Rush book Dreamers & Misfits: The Definitive Book About Rush Fans now available. Details here.
Martin Popoff's new book Driven: Rush in the '90s and "In the End" due out in April, now available for pre-order. Details here
New book Neil Peart: The Illustrated Quotes coming in January from FANTOONS, now available for pre-order. Details here.
Geddy Lee on Rush's legacy, life during the pandemic, and future plans in new interview. Details here.
20th annual Modern Drummer Festival took place on Saturday, September 12th (Neil Peart's birthday) and featured all-star Neil Peart tribute. Details here.
Rush Permanent Waves 40th anniversary box set NOW AVAILABLE. Details, formats, bonus content, tracklist, videos and more here.
Primus to cover Rush's A Farewell to Kings album in full on upcoming A Tribute to Kings tour - now RESCHEDULED FOR SUMMER 2021. Details here.
Neil Peart passed away from brain cancer on January 7th. A Night for Neil: The Neil Peart Memorial Celebration will take place April 17th (rescheduled from May 16, and again from Oct 17 due to COVID-19) in St. Catharines, ON. Details here.
Check out Rushisaband.com's searchable archive of Rush tour date listings, powered by TourDateSearch.com - which contains searchable tour date archives for OVER 1000 BANDS ...
Fri, Nov 27, 2020@11:27AM | comments

I hope all of my US readers had a happy Thanksgiving yesterday and are surviving the madness of Black Friday. Speaking of which, the Rush Backstage Club is running a Black Friday sale all week with discounts on selected items. The folks at FANTOONS are also running a sale where fans will get 25% off ALL of their officially licensed Rush merchandise (and all of their other stuff too) today through next week at their online store. Black Friday typically marks the beginning of the Holiday shopping season, and there's plenty of new Rush merchandise available this year for gift-giving, most notably the Permanent Waves 40th anniversary box set which released earlier in the year, and the first 2 books in Martin Popoff's 3-part Rush Across the Decades series; Anthem: Rush in the '70s, and Limelight: Rush in the '80s. The official Rush 2021 wall calendar celebrating the 40th anniversary of Moving Pictures also makes a great gift. There's also a brand new Rush book from author Alexander Hellene titled Dreamers & Misfits: The Definitive Book About Rush Fans, which just released on paperback earlier this week (it released as an eBook earlier in the month). The book is a celebration and analysis of Rush fans, as detailed in the Amazon description:

There Is Nothing Average About the Average Rush Fan!

Rush, the legendary Canadian progressive rock trio, has a legion of devoted fans. But what is it about the band that inspires such a loyal and dedicated fan base? And what is it about these fans that has created this powerful bond between artist and audience?

The story of these fans has never been told . . . until now.

- Exclusive interviews, including Donna Halper, the woman who broke Rush in the United States, and Ed Stenger, proprietor of RushIsABand.com, one of the biggest Rush fan sites on the internet.
- Detailed survey results illuminating what makes hundreds of Rush fans tick
- An exploration of the interest, politics, faith, and philosophy of the millions of people across the globe who find meaning in the music and lyrics of Rush
- In-depth fan profiles, where Rush fans tell their stories about what this band means to them
- Concert memories, personal anecdotes, and fan favorite songs and albums

Dreamers and Misfits presents a celebration of Rush's music and the fans who inspired and propelled the band to such dizzying heights.

One things is certain: there is nothing "average" about the average Rush fan.

The book also includes a foreword from RushIsABand.com's Ed Stenger (me). You can order your copy via Amazon at this location.

Neil Peart's original Slingerland drum kit ,which he used from Fly By Night through 2112, is going up for auction once again. Bonhams auctions is handling the sale of the kit with an expected selling price between $100-160K. You can get all the details via the Bonhams site at this location. The kit was originally purchased by Neil Peart in the summer of 1974 from Long & McQuade in Toronto, just after he joined Rush. It was then placed in storage in 1977 and was one of three drum kits donated by Neil Peart for Modern Drummer Magazine's Neil Peart Drumset Giveaway in 1987. The set ended up being awarded to New York drummer Mark Feldman who held onto it until auctioning it off on eBay to Dean Bobisud in 2009. Bobisud refurbished the kit (affectionately dubbed Chromey) and spent the next several years displaying the kit and raising money for charity with the help and support of other Rush fans (here's a 2011 interview with Bobisud where he discusses the kit and using it for charity). It has most recently been displayed at the Rhythm Discovery Center in Indianapolis. Bobisud posted the following message to the Chromey Facebook group earlier this week:

"To all the Rush fans and fans of 'Chromey,' I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of you, for your enthusiasm for the kit, and for your curiosity about the upcoming sale of it. I had to make a very difficult and heartbreaking decision to sell Chromey for a myriad of personal reasons. For 12 years I've enjoyed bringing the kit to various appearances and at the Rhythm Discovery Center. Over the years I realized how much I enjoyed sharing Chromey with the fans far more than owning it, and I'm always going to miss that heartwarming experience of seeing the fans excitement and how much the opportunity meant to them. Remember, it's Mr. Neil Peart we need to thank for putting this drum kit's history in place and blessing us with the opportunity to share it with others. From myself and all who have been on the "Chromey Crew," thank you all for so many years of joy celebrating Rush, Neil Peart, and this amazing drum kit."

Over the past few months, Ultimate Classic Rock has been posting excerpts from an interview they conducted with longtime Rush art director Hugh Syme where he discusses the history and background of Rush's album cover art. So far they've covered Counterparts, A Farewell to Kings, Caress of Steel, Hemispheres, Exit ... Stage Left, Power Windows, and Signals. This past week they released excerpts from the interview where Syme discusses the album art for both 2112 and Presto. Here is Syme explaining the trickiest part of creating the Presto cover:

... The trickiest part came when he introduces the rabbits themselves. A couple were taxidermic, but the rest were live - and the studio space, naturally, got messy. "We brought in the rabbits so they could spend the next four hours pissing and shitting all over [photographer] John Scarpati's gratefully concrete studio floor," Syme says. "They aren't models - we knew it was happening and would have to deal with it later. It was a fun day." ...

In this excerpt Syme talks about the 2112 cover art, which gave birth to the iconic Starman logo:

.. If you ask me, as an artist or an art director, how I feel about the cover, I look back on it as being pretty formative, pretty primitive," Syme tells UCR. "But I realize that I somehow intuitively managed to tap into my conversations with [drummer-lyricist] Neil [Peart] about the arc of his story: the content of the hero confronting the evil red star and the Solar Federation." The cover features the glowing star and a galactic backdrop, with the band name and album title hovering above. Ironically, the signature piece is found inside the gatefold, where the "Starman" character - depicted by Syme's "bare-assed" friend Bobby King - stands defiantly against the looming star. ...

On a related note, uDiscoverMusic.com posted an article on The Visual History Behind The Greatest Prog Rock Album Covers this past week, and included Syme's covers for both Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures.

Speaking of Syme, he along with drummer Dane Clark and live entertainment executive Andy Wilson, have just announced the launch of a new podcast called Music Buzzz. From the press release:

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. USA (Weds, November 25, 2020) --- Music Buzzz Podcast will launch in 2021 and feature candid discussions with those who are and have been a fly on the wall in the music business including industry veterans representing the segments of Musician, Design and Live. The new podcast is hosted by Dane Clark (drummer in the John Mellencamp band since 1996), Hugh Syme (world-renowned graphic artist who has created albums covers for Rush, Dream Theatre, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, The Band, Styx, Kiss, Whitesnake and more) and Andy Wilson (an entertainment executive in music and sports).

A special introductory, bonus episode featuring all three hosts interviewing each other about each other's careers is available now at Apple Podcasts, Spotify and at MusicBuzzzPodcast.com. The Season 1 interview episodes of the Music Buzzz Podcast will launch in early January. New episodes will continue to be released on a bi-weekly basis with occasional bonus episodes also dropped in for good measure....

You can get more information via their website at www.musicbuzzzpodcast.com.

Italian drummer, composer and music producer Francesco Vecchio has released a new book titled Neil Peart: An Introduction to His Drumming Style. The book is intended both for drummers who want to understand the basics of Neil Peart's drumming, and as a way for new drummers to approach the music of Rush. The book is currently available as an eBook, with a print edition becoming available on January 4th. You can get more information about the book via the author's blog at this location.

The Art of Guitar YouTube channel posted a new video this past week where Mike goes over Alex Lifeson's 26 Greatest Guitar Techniques (thanks John H).

Geddy Lee's one and only solo album My Favorite Headache was the subject of Classic Rock magazine's Album Of The Week Club review this past week, where it garnered 3.5/5 stars. The album celebrated the 20th anniversary of its November 14, 2000 release a couple of weeks ago.

YardBarker.com posted a list of the 20 best instrumental songs of all time this past week and Rush's YYZ made the cut:

Off the commercially successful Moving Pictures, this is the first of several Rush instrumental songs that was nominated for a Grammy Award. While it's a complete band effort, the song truly highlights to the talent of bassist Geddy Lee and especially late, legendary drummer Neil Peart -- both of whom co-wrote the piece. In terms of Peart's performance, it's one that influenced many a youngster to pick the sticks and sit down beyond a drum kit.

Rush sound engineer Richard Chycki recently gave interviews to both Sonic Perspectives and Produce Like A Pro, and talks about his experience working with Rush and other legendary acts (thanks RushFanForever).

Rhythm magazine's first post-COVID issue (Issue #297) includes a special cover feature tribute to the late Neil Peart. The issue was mailed out to subscribers last Friday and hit newsstands this past week. The magazine's tagline reads as follows:

Neil Peart. How Rush's prog pioneer inspired a generation. With special tributes from Danny Carey, Mike Portnoy, Tim "Herb" Alexander, Craig Blundell, Peter Erskine and many more ...

It also includes details from Neil's former drum tech Lorne Wheaton about Neil's kit setup, as well as interviews with some of Neil's cohorts and friends, and Pete Riley breaks down how to play the drum parts for the Rush classics The Spirit of Radio and Tom Sawyer. Rhythm has also been posting several supplemental videos for the issue to their YouTube channel as seen below, and John over at Cygnus-X1.net has posted a few selected excerpts from the issue which you can check out here. For more details and subscription information, visit rhythmdrumnetwork.com.

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

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Sun, Nov 22, 2020@5:32PM | comments
Rhythm Magazine 297 Neil Peart tribute issue - rhythmdrumnetwork.comRhythm magazine's first post-COVID issue (Issue #297) includes a special cover feature tribute to the late Neil Peart. The issue was mailed out to subscribers on Friday and will be in stores this coming week ...
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Sat, Nov 21, 2020@3:52PM | comments
Neil Peart Slingerland kitNeil Peart's original Slingerland drum kit ,which he used from "Fly By Night" through "2112", is going up for auction once again. Bonhams auctions is handling the sale of the kit with an expected selling price between $100-160K. ...
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Fri, Nov 20, 2020@11:52AM | comments
Neil Peart Drumset Scholarship - Hudson Music, PASFriday Rush updates! Hudson Music and PAS announce Neil Peart Drumset Scholarship, Martin Popoff's upcoming book "Driven: Rush in the '90s and 'In the End'" due out in April, and more ...
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Mon, Nov 16, 2020@10:03PM | comments
Neil Peart Drumset Scholarship - Hudson Music, PASHudson Music has just announced via their Facebook page that they are sponsoring a Neil Peart Drumset Scholarship in partnership with the Percussive Arts Society (PAS.org), and will begin accepting applications in March ...
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Sun, Nov 15, 2020@10:25AM | comments
Martin Popoff's Driven: Rush in the '90s and 'In the End'The third and final book in Martin Popoff's 3-part "Rush Across the Decades" series - "Driven: Rush in the '90s and 'In the End'" - is slated for release on April 27th and is now available for pre-order ...
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Fri, Nov 13, 2020@10:51AM | comments
Dreamers and Misfits by Alexander HelleneFriday Rush updates! New Rush book "Dreamers & Misfits: The Definitive Book About Rush Fans" now available, Neil Peart and Ginger Baker honored with special tribute during Rock Hall induction ceremony "In Memoriam" segment, and more ...
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Thu, Nov 12, 2020@10:14AM | comments
Dreamers and Misfits by Alexander HelleneA new Rush book from author Alexander Hellene titled "Dreamers & Misfits: The Definitive Book About Rush Fans" has just been released and is now available for purchase as an eBook, with the paperback edition due out soon ...
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Sun, Nov 8, 2020@11:34AM | comments
Ginger Baker and Neil Peart honored at 2020 Rock Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony - screenshot courtesy HBO/Rock and Roll Hall of FameThe Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 2020 Induction Ceremony took place yesterday evening and included an "In Memoriam" segment with a special tribute to legendary drummers Neil Peart and Ginger Baker ...
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Fri, Nov 6, 2020@10:58AM | comments
Alex Lifeson 2020 A Brush of Hope charity painting - ForkedFriday Rush updates! Alex Lifeson's "A Brush of Hope" charity auction painting sells for $7,373 CAD, Rock Hall induction ceremony "In Memoriam" to include Neil Peart, Rhythm Magazine's Neil Peart tribute issue, and more ...
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