Rush is a Band

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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Tue, Jul 23, 2024

Donna Halper Rush Hollywood Walk of Fame speech

Fri, Jun 25, 2010@7:25PM | comments removed/disabled

Rush Walk of Fame Speech (Donna L. Halper, 25 June 2010)

I was raised to believe that values like ethics and loyalty matter, and the story of my friendship with RUSH involves both. In 1974, when I was the music director at WMMS in Cleveland, a Canadian record promoter named Bob Roper sent me an album that would go on to change my life. It was a band called Rush, and even though his label had refused to sign them, he wanted me to give them a listen. I did, and as most Rush fans know, I was impressed. WMMS began playing "Working Man" along with several other songs from the album, and soon, other stations were playing Rush too. By the summer of 1974, they had a U.S. recording contract.

I liked the members of Rush from the beginning. I found them very sincere and down-to-earth. Of course they wanted to become famous-- what rock band didn't? But they were not just in it for the money. They took pride in their music. In those days, I was sort of a Big Sister to them, but as time passed, they became the confident, professional and very successful band we all know, and they didn't need a Big Sister. They could have forgotten me at that point, since my contributions to their career were no longer necessary.

But as I said, this is about ethics and loyalty. For the past 37 years, we have kept in touch. I've defended them when critics were dismissive. And in return, they have never forgotten that I was there for them in the formative years of their career. And now, I have the privilege to see their work as musicians rewarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

I stand here today speaking not just for myself but for millions of fans, all of whom want me to say "thank you." There's the guy in Japan who learned English so he could better appreciate the lyrics of Rush songs-- I've heard similar stories from fans in Chile, Brazil, Finland, Israel, Mexico and elsewhere. There are entire Rush families -- baby boomers who introduced their kids to Rush and now they all attend concerts together. Rush fans are liberals, conservatives, people of faith, secular humanists... but their loyalty to Rush is something they all share.

For nearly four decades, the members of Rush have remained true to themselves and true to their music. They have never allowed success to spoil them. They have never lost their integrity. And in a world where it often seems the good guys never win, Rush are living proof that sometimes, good people DO finish first.

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