Last week skateboarding site crailtap.com launched a contest. They call it The Royal Drum Off:
New Contest Dogs! The Royal Drum Off. Who ever sends in the best video footage of themselves ripping a gnar drum solo, Neil Peart style, wins a package packed personally from Rudy Johnson. He'll be doing the judging too. Send your clip here by Monday the 6th of Feb.
Here's the latest entry. It's some dude playing air drums to Neil Peart's YYZ drum solo (from Exit ... Stage Left). It's really damn funny - especially his outfit (or lack thereof).
Want to enter the contest? Send submissions here. You could win this stunning prize package.
Many thanks to AyeAye for bringing this to my attention.
"Closer To The Heart" (season 3, episode 5, aired May 18th, 2003): "Bubbles is so devastated about not getting tickets to the RUSH concert that Ricky decides to bring Alex Lifeson (played by Alex Lifeson) to the park to perform a private concert." One scene of the episode was filmed during the October 22nd, 2002, Vapor Trails concert at Toronto's Air Canada Centre, as actor Mike Smith, who portrays Bubbles on the Nova Scotia, Canada, based comedy series, was filmed playing the part of a Rush roadie. As he walked on stage to hand Alex a new guitar, Geddy told the crowd "he is a new guy." The final scene of the episode features Alex and Bubbles playing "Closer To The Heart" on dual acoustic guitars.
And now without further adieu, I bring you "Closer to the Heart" in three installments. Enjoy.
After a lot of frustration, mixed messages and general confusion it looks like Rush fans have finally been receiving their copies of Rush: Chemistry; some having waited months after ordering. The feedback on the messageboards and in the Amazon reviews is mostly positive although there are a few criticisms that readers have consistently been bringing up. The primary complaint is of course all the chaos surrounding the distribution of the book. The next big criticism has to do with the lackluster quality of the pictures in the book; especially the fact that none are in color. when asked about this, the author Jon Collins (jonno on the Counterparts message board) said:
There was supposed to be a colour section for pics - somehow this was missed at the mastering stage... you can visit www.rockshotz.net to see some of them in colour! ... The publisher never wanted them and I fought hard to have them, but it wasn't something I kept badgering for in the final stages and he thought I wasn't that interested anymore, so he says! Lesson: never stop the badgering!
A lot of readers have also been critical regarding the minimal amount of "new" interviews. Counterparts Member PPG Wave remarks:
... I love the NEW interview comments strewn throughout the book (by Peter Collins, Tony Geranios, Rupert Hine, etc...).
My criticism is I just wish there were MORE of them.
I feel too much of the book is comprised of old magazine or radio interview quotes from the band. I've read/heard all this stuff before. In fact, I'm kind of surprised by all the pre-published text in this "new" book.
It also seems the author is at times drawing his own conclusions or painting his own scenarios based solely on what is inferred or suggested by the quotes (which are taken from all over the place. Guitar Player magazine, Rockline, World Premeir Radio Specials, etc...).
Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying it and I appreciate all that went into it. Again, I just wish there was more in the way of new interviews and not so many reprinted band quotes." ...
I feel the strongest chapters of the book are the ones covering Power Windows and Hold Your Fire (as they feature some great new interview quotes from Peter Collins). ...
But other than these 2 common criticisms, readers have had a lot of good things to say. Regarding Vapor trails MitA says:
... Jonno, thanks for the new insight into the difficulties with mastering of Vapor Trails. There has been a lot of speculation about it from those that only can surmise what happenned, but your book sheds new light on the matter from those "in the know". Thanks much !!!
One 5-star review at Amazon says:
... I've read other Rush books, and I found many of these details new. Granted, you can't change the 'story' - it IS a biography! So, some news is old news to the more 'learned' Rush fan. Yet, I never found myself skimming through pages, or saying to myself "I've read this 100 times before...zzzzz". The book kept my interest throughout. In fact, I had a hard time putting it down! Also of interest is the last chapter - a short bio on a ton of the people involved with Rush over the years... all those names you wondered about in the album credits... well, now you know! ...
Eric at Power Windows comprised a list of errors and errata which also may be helpful to anyone who has read or is planning to read the book:
When I read the book, I made notes of errors and errata which I meant to pass on to you. Here's my short list, might be useful to those reading it now.
Pg. 49: Regarding opening for Kiss on April 25, 1975 at the Detroit Michigan Palace, a poster exists (http://www.2112.net/powerwindows/tours/75apr25_handbill.jpg) for this same night for Kiss and Rush at the Charlotte Park center. Rush and Kiss were at the Michigan Palace on April 13th, though.
Pg 50: A conflict regarding when Rush played Massey Hall. The book says the 27th of June 1975, but on 27 June 1975 Rush played Centennial Hall, London, Ontario with Symphonic Slam as verified by ticket stub (http://www.2112.net/powerwindows/tours/75jun27_ticket.jpg).
Pg. 89: Typo at the top of the page, first line, the word "ab"
Pg. 115: Mentions Geddy working on Ken Ramm's Euphoria in 1985, but Euphoria was actually released in 1999 which you later discussed on page 180.
p. 147. Says Roll The Bones was released on Sept. 3, 1991, 17 years to the day after the debut album was released. But it was stated earlier in the book that the debut album was released well before Sept. 1974.
p. 164. The middle paragraph is out of place, discussing The Dexters where the surrounding paragraphs are discussing Victor; looks like an editing problem of cut and pasting. This paragraph seems to fit better on the previous page.
p. 182, give incorrect release date of My Favorite Headache as Oct. 24th, 2000. It was definately released on Nov. 14th, 2000.
p. 173, names a track on Test For Echo as "The Color of Night"
p. 176, the notes section, which should list the footnotes from the previous section (Time and Motion) is missing.
Neil Peart has finally updated his website once again! The News, Weather and Sports section contains all sorts of updates on the next Rush album and tour, and Neil's next book project. As far as the next studio album Neil says:
... just this past week Alex and Geddy and I have started work on some new songs. Although we are 3000 miles apart, the two of them at home in Toronto and me in California, last week I received an e-mail from Geddy saying that he and Alex had spent the day in his home studio, and not only did they have fun, but they also thought they'd written something good.
A couple of weeks ago I had written to both of them that I had spent some time at my Quebec place in November, and decided to see if I had any lyrical "muscles" built up. ... I spent five days sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace. A pile of papers grew in an ever-widening circle around me, and in the end ... I felt that I had about six half-decent ideas under construction. ... So when Geddy told me that he and Alex were starting to work on some music, he also asked if I could send them some words to work with. I took a deep breath and sent off my "babies," and now I'm waiting (somewhat anxiously) to hear their responses. ...
... Alex and Geddy and I plan to get together soon in person and make some serious plans for writing and recording this year. Hopefully we'll also get together soon with guitars and drums. ... the actual work is sure to take most of 2006 to accomplish, so although it's encouraging to know that some new Rush music is in the works, no one should hold their breath waiting to hear it. ...
Good news of course. However, Neil sounds not quite as optimistic as Alex and Geddy when it comes to a release date; they've been saying in many interviews that there may be an album by the fall. Neil makes it sound like he expects it to be later than that. And as far as a tour goes, Neil says ...
... Friends and strangers have informed me they have heard there are plans for a Rush tour this year, but I can only say, "It's news to me." In reality, any tour dates in 2006 are unlikely - maybe next year. ...
Neil also offers some insight into the progress of his next writing project:
... I am planning to travel up to Canada later this month, to spend some time in Quebec working on the final revision of Roadshow: Landscape With Drums, A Concert Tour by Motorcycle (at the urging of my editor, Paul McCarthy, I am once again using both subtitles) ... As for the Roadshow story, it looks like the book will have a September publication now, which means I will have to knuckle down and get it finished by the end of February. ...
So to sum up, new album and tour likely not until 2007 - new book this fall. He also does the weather and the sports. :)
EuCon'06 is coming Saturday, September 9th, to the Limelight Club in Crew, UK. This is the 10th anniversary of the first ever RUSH convention anywhere in the world, and tickets are expected to sell out! The event is supported by Anthem and SRO will have full support with merchandise and goodies to use as raffle and auction prizes. For more information, visit rusheucon.com. - Jan. 27, 2006
Neil Peart to be featured in April issue of Modern Drummer
In the back of this month's Modern Drummer magazine (March), where they preview next month's issue, they have a picture of Neil. The feature article is about drum soloing and Neil is the first described - his approach to soloing, how he creates his solo, etc. Most certainly it will be similar to his new DVD.
The seesaw continues; after 9 weeks on the Billboard music video chart R30 is still in the top 10 and has been since its debut at #2. Last week it moved back up to #3 and this week it fell 3 spots to #6.
The Canadian Music Scene website has been running a Rush sound survey to determine fans favorite Rush album for its sound. One of the entrants chose Rush's eponymous debut album. The interesting bit is why he chose it. Here's what he had to say:
I was interning that week at Toronto Sound under Terry Brown. I was also the tape op.
When the first muddy stuff done at Eastern was played at 7:00 AM in the morning we all thought the band was going big.
Their studio experience was very limited.
That whole project was done in about one day for pennies, including the rental of the 12 string acoustic from Long and McQuade.
The original guitar tracks were redone in first takes with a 100 watt Marshall head, one 4X12 bottom and a gibson 335 and was double tracked with a 15 IPS echo using a revox A77.
The drums were so muddy Terry ran them through a dolby A deliberatley over driven to add some highs to the drum kit..
Considering the time, budget and poor tracks, the album did amazingly well thanks to Terry Brown.
It truly sounded like shit, but Geddy turned Blue doing the one only take on Finding your way intro scream.
For a $1000.00 project at best I challenge any band to top that success.
We had lunch at the Thorncliffe mall nearby for $2.00 that day in October 1973.
Toronto Sound had previously recorded very well a lot of sessions with other Canadians acts.They sounded good but most went nowhere. It goes to show you how things can work out.
The website owner is a member at Counterparts and said that "I have confirmed from a very reliable source that even though he does not remember the person specifically, the details provided could only be from someone that was there and are indeed correct..." Cool. I've always loved that album - despite Neil Peart not being involved.
I just added another feature to the site. In addition to a Rush Music Videos page, I now have a Rush Live Videos page. As the name implies, on it I've compiled several live videos of Rush that I've dug up online. Enjoy.
I was under the impression that this was old news so I hadn't posted about it yet. I was half right. Back in September on the S.S. Professor tour, Neil Peart's drum tech Lorne Wheaton said that Neil would "make an appearance on the Cartoon Network/Adult Swim animated show Aqua Teen Hunger Force" - but he didn't say when. But as fans of the show know, there was also a movie based on the show in the works due out in 2006. And in a recent interview with ToyFare magazine, the show's creators Matt Maeillaro and Dave Willis also had this to say when asked "Are there any cool guests in the movie?"
TF: Are there any cool guests in the movie? Like does Zakk Wylde or Danzig return for a cameo? Matt: Um, we got Neil Peart to be in it. The drummer from Rush.
TF: No Geddy Lee though? Matt: No, we didn't get Geddy Lee. We didn't need him for this. We're waiting for the...
Dave: We're done with Geddy Lee.
Matt: We're waiting for the sequel for Geddy Lee.
Dave: Geddy Lee missed his opportunity. Now we'll put everyone in the movie, but Geddy Lee.
For those of you who don't know, Aqua Teen Hunger Force is an American animated comedy shown on Cartoon Network as part of its Adult Swim late-night programming block. The show's creators are big Rush fans and include several Rush references in the show. There's a good summary of these at Power Windows including this neat video montage. You can also watch the entire "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary" episode here.
Counterparts member roll the bones has posted yet another Eddie Trunk interview where Rush is discussed. This one is from back in April when Eddie had members of Anthrax on to discuss their upcoming reunion tour. They played Lakeside Park during a break which prompted a discussion about what was the best Rush live album. Eddie and Joey Belladonna think it's All the World's a Stage while Charlie Benante thinks it's Exit Stage Left. Eddie basically admits that Rush "lost it with him" after Permanent Waves - although he does like Rush in Rio. After listening to this interview Eddie "lost it with me". :)
As you may or may not know, Rush often toured with Kiss "back in the day". Both bands have fond memories of eachother on the road. Ace Frehley was recently on the Eddie Trunk radio show and Eddie brought up the fact that he had just interviewed Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. roll the bones, a member at Counterparts, taped this portion of the interview and was kind enough to post an mp3 of it. Here's a transcript I put together.
Eddie: I interviewed Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson not too long ago and Alex does an impression of you. I don't know if you know that.
Ace: Boy we had some funny times in the hotel room. He used to put a bag over his head and paint this crazy face on it... and smoke pot through the eye and ah ... god.
Eddie: He said that to me when - I looked at him and he said to me...
Ace: I got a polaroid of him with this bag on his head - it's the funniest... jesus
Eddie: 'Cuz Rush opened more shows for Kiss than any other group and I was telling them that you and I were friends and he looked at me with this big smile and he's like "oh man tell him I said hello". he goes "we had the best times on the road". he goes "it's 25 years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday". he goes "we had the best times".
In this article Dan Neil from the Los Angeles Times talks with Neil Peart about his new instructional dvd and the demise of the drum solo.
... The passing of rock drum solos was so unlamented that I might have missed it but for a new DVD by Neil Peart called "Anatomy of a Drum Solo." Peart is the drummer/percussionist for the arena rock institution Rush and is widely considered the greatest living rock drummer. By my calculation, Peart is also the most prolific drum soloist ever. In its astounding 31-year history with its original lineup, Rush has spent more time on the road than the Roman army, and there was always, always a drum solo in the show. At least there was the five times I saw them.So I called Neil Peart to ask: What happened to the drum solo?
"Rock drummers killed the solo themselves," Peart tells me when we meet at a coffee shop in Santa Monica. "It got to be so predictable and manipulative. They cheapened it by making it a clap-along or a boring ramble."
Oh yeah. Few things in music are so grating as a long, thrashing drum solo by some sweaty dude working his way around the trap kit (Tommy Lee, are you listening?). The trouble is, it was always so. One of the sacred texts of solo drumming is Ron Bushy's notoriously flatulent 2 1/2-minute tumble on Iron Butterfly's 1968 monster hit "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida."
"Even as a kid I hated that song," says Peart. "It was the anti-drum solo. There was no technique, no musicality, no dynamics at all."
If you owned this album, that's not incense you're smelling, it's shame.
Peart's larger point is that the rock drum solo, which emerged out of an honorable tradition of showmanship set by big band players such as Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich, rapidly descended into musical cynicism. Partly at fault was the economics of the arena itself. When rock bands started selling out 10,000-seat coliseums in one town after another, any sense of intimacy-or rock's rebellion-was swallowed by the vacancy of the venue itself. The drum solo became part of a repertoire of arena-rock tricks to pull huge and disconnected audiences into the show.
"Asking the audience to clap along can be part of a really sincere desire to include the audience in the music or the performance," says Peart, "or it can be just like pressing a button. It can be a beautiful thing or an ugly thing."
So what started out as a virtuoso exploration of an instrument's solo potential became, almost immediately, rock's 7th-inning stretch.
The other big problem with drum solos? The audience. It became clear to me after watching Peart's explanatory DVD that civilians-which is to say non-drummers-don't really understand what they're hearing. In one section of Peart's "Der Trommler" solo, he keeps waltz time, 3/4 rhythm (PA-tah-tah, PA-tah-tah) with his feet, while playing lightning-fast 6/8 and 7/8 drum fills across his other drums. In terms of physical coordination, this is something like playing badminton with two rackets while typing with your feet. But if you hadn't been enlightened, you might think it just sounds like billiard balls in a dryer.
Peart amiably disagrees, wincing at the suggestion that the audience somehow just doesn't get it. "Drumming shouldn't be something you need an education to appreciate." After all, he says, "You can't blame the audience for everything."
Here's the latest news item in the ongoing Alex Lifeson vs. the Ritz-Carlton drama. It talks about how Geddy and Neil are now also plaintiffs in the case. Nothing new here really - except it does a pretty good job of summarizing things up to this point.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Rush Backstage Club Contest: Win a Neil Peart Poster!
We have 5 of these posters to give away. This is from Neil's new "Anatomy Of A Drum Solo" DVD, which we have for sale in the DVD section of the site. The poster is 24" X 36" and shows Neil at his 30th Anniversary drum kit. Good luck!!
The winners will be announced on February 1st, 2006.
A new documentary called A Headbanger's Journey which features Geddy Lee of Rush and many other metal greats will be released across Canada on Feb. 24. The film from Seville Pictures is directed by Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen and Jessica Joy Wise. From the article:
... The documentary follows Sam Dunn, a professional anthropologist, long-time heavy metal fan and practitioner through his own band, as he searches for the source of the mythology surrounding this music maligned and cursed by some, but adored by millions worldwide who cling to it like the cross itself. Over the course of his worldwide trek, he examines metal's obsession with some of life's most provocative subjects - sex, religion, violence and death .... it is a fast-paced blast through the genre's origins, through doom and thrash, through the saccharine hair metal phase, through the notorious black metal blight of the late '90s, right up until the metalcore revolution shaking the music industry's foundations today. Metal is louder, faster, more intrusive and more insidiously invasive today than its ever been, and "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey" tells us why, for once, from the point of view of a true metalhead, an insider who lives it, breathes it, and nails the complex tale dead-on. Casual fan or ardent student of metal's million permutations, this documentary will inform relentlessly. ...
... You can watch the trailer, find more information about the release and read the directors' blog at www.metalhistory.com.
The film received excellent reviews at a number of international film festivals and is set to be released worldwide including the US (by Warner) and the UK (by Momentum). Sounds cool.
With a name like Red Sector 2112 how could it not be Rush-inspired? This first person shoot-em-up game for the Pocket PC looks a lot like Doom. From the description:
The year is 2112. Decades of neglect had reaped havoc upon the inhabitants of planet Earth. ... Earth's resources are at an all time low and can no longer sustain the uncontrollable population growth ... man began a massive collaborative construction program on neighbouring planet Mars. Within 25 years of stepping foot on the planet over 10% of Earth's inhabitants were relocated with promises of a better life for their friends, families and children. ... However, we weren't the only life force that had plans for Mars. Alien beings from a far off galaxy had already taken an interest in our solar system and it wasn't long before the threat of little green men became a reality. ... In order to get the upper hand man built the ultimate fighting machine in his own form. This being was part android, part human, whose sole purpose was to protect human life and seek out and destroy the enemy.
A new Yahoo! Group dedicated to The Orbit Room (Alex Lifeson's Toronto nightclub) has just started up. It's described as:
... an opportunity for fans of the bands and of the club to stay up to date with one another and share experiences via message postings and a chat room. It also has a Files page on which you can read current and past articles about the club and the bands who play there, and on which you can see the current electronic version of our monthly newsletter. There's also a Photos page with pics of the bands and where you can post pictures of your fun times in Orbit. Once you have joined this group you can access all these features and more.
Wow. Everything that you ever wanted to know about Neil Peart's drumsticks can be found on this site. It's chock full of great pics of drumsticks and drumsets from every tour (and pre-Rush too), not to mention many great pictures of the Professor himself. The site owner is also on the lookout for fan pics. So if you have any, send them in. Cool site.
Here is another blogcritics review of R30 from guest reviewer, Fumo Verde.
... For me, Rush was the band that inspired me and really got me into the music that I enjoy today. This deluxe edition gives the fan a chance to possibly sit back and watch these guys in action, but as I said before, with Rush it's truly hard be still. Here is a band whose melodies get you moving and the lyrics get you thinking. Once your body and mind are in motion your spirit will ignite, bringing it closer to the heart, and once that happens, oh babies, what a RUSH.
I've added several links to some more videos over on my Rush Music Videos page. The new ones are Anthem, Closer to the Heart, Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, Afterimage, Red Sector A, The Enemy Within, The Big Money, Mystic Rhythms, Time Stand Still and Lock and Key. Enjoy.
Somebody posted the entire footage of Rush's appearance at SARStock over at YouTube. SARStock was a benefit concert for SARS headlined by the Rolling Stones in Toronto from the summer of 2003. For more info about SARStock see this page at Power Windows.
Closer to the heart sweetheart charm bracelet, I see red ruby jade "Y" necklace, Limelight lime green dangle earrings; these are just a few of the items at Between Sun and Moon - an online handcrafted jewelry store with Rush-inspired merchandise. And just in time for Valentine's Day too.
This article is subtitled "It's not always done out of malice, but when our anger flies -- so does our spittle." And, of course, it refers to Lerxst and his incident at the Ritz-Carlton.
... We have seen that in sports and in life through the years -- human hatred reduced to spittle. It's our venom. Our viscous vitriol. Our mobile bile. There are countless instances of inhospitable spittle. In the early 1990s, an AIDS patient in Ohio spat his infected blood at a nurse and law officers. In the late 1990s, rapper Foxy Brown was accused of spitting at a couple of hotel employees. Last year a man spit in the face of Jane Fonda in Kansas City. Alex Lifeson, guitarist for the band Rush, allegedly spit in the face of a deputy sheriff at a Fort Myers hotel. ...
This has been covered before. But here's the latest article on the subject.
Rock legends RUSH are seeking damages for "tens of millions of dollars" for loss of earnings in the wake of guitarist ALEX LIFESON's arrest after a New Year's Eve scuffle with police two years ago (31DEC03).
Lifeson, along with bassist/vocalist GEDDY LEE and drummer NEIL PEART are suing Florida police for reduced touring performances and recordings after the scandal.
The guitarist claims the three Collier County sheriff's deputies were the aggressors in fight at the plush Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Naples, Florida.
The fracas broke out when officers attempted to arrest Lifeson's son, JUSTIN ZIVOJINOVICH, for disorderly behaviour. Both received a year's probation for the incident last April (05).
But Lifeson continues to maintain his innocence and has vowed to fight police until justice is served.
He tells Classic Rock magazine, "Aged 50, and in one of the finest hotels in America - it's insane to suggest that I would pick some fight with three huge cops.
"My nose was punched in and broken, I was tazered six times. But I was never going to let them get away with that.
"Although their evidence was so flimsy, our lives were dragged through a nightmare for 15 months.
"I spent $300,000 fighting the thing, but was advised to accept (the plea bargain). It wasn't about the money, more exposing the things the police so often get away with."
It's been a while since I've done this so some of these posts are from back around Christmas. I'll try and be more timely in the future. So without further adieu I bring you these Rush tidbits from the blogosphere.
... The twelve-year-old wanted an acoustic guitar and a new CD player. Either I must finally acclimate myself at 36 to a grudging appreciation for Rush or grow new scar tissue over the eardrums, but either way Geddy Lee is wailing tinnily from the upstairs over a cacaphony of discordant chords that either are, or are not, coming from the stereo. ...
It's Christmas Eve and as I sit here...alone, I have been watching [R30] ... I first discovered this incredible band back in 1977 after the 2112 album came out. ... When I heard the 2112 Overture and listened to the way Alex Lifeson made his guitar sing, I was completely sold and I have been a Rush fan ever since that day. ... Watching Rush perform some of their classics really brings back memories and just like in 1977, I get inspired all over again. I would love to do a movie and have every song in the soundtrack be by Rush. Who knows, maybe I'll do just that. ...
banjeroomeets the "greatest drummer in the world" ... on a bus! It's not who you think:
... There was a couple at the back of the bus where I was sitting. He was tall and sort of handsome, but very rough, and missing teeth. He was sitting with a pudgy homely woman with glasses and black hair streaked with grey, and they were holding hands tightly, fingers interlocked. ... He said he used to do repair work on the buses in this city. But before that, he did his Masters in Music. When I asked him what instrument, he said "all of them", and informed me that he was, in particular, an incredible drummer. He said he was once in a drumming workshop with Phil Collins and "that guy from Rush" (Neil Peart), and he kicked both their asses. Neil would play a piece, and then everyone in the workshop had to copy what he did, and it was timed, and they were rated on accuracy and speed. But the bus guy, he said "I did everything that guy from Rush did, and then added my own stuff, and still came in under time, and they all wanted to know how I did that. And Neil said 'You could be the best drummer in the world' and I said 'Thanks'." ...
... Women want John King because they are guaranteed a lecture on the merits of Neil Peart's drumming, Alex Lifeson's guitar work and the soaring majesty of Geddy Lee's voice. Make no mistake: Rush is sexy. ...
... It strikes me as funny that in thinking about when that song was part of the soundtrack of my young life, it was 1987. Seventeen years have passed ... and it did not have much impact for me at the time, as I was too young to conceive of a life where you weren't perpetually looking forward to your next birthday. When getting older meant new and exciting things like getting your driver's license, graduating, moving out on your own, being served in a pub. (Legally!) It was at a time when your skills and abilities in general grew from year to year. I was learning to play bass guitar at the time, playing and practicing every day. And I got better all the time. My body seemingly took care of itself; I never worried about physical maladies, and ate whatever I wanted with no negative effect. Things do change.
But I know that even if the good old days were golden days, the past is a terrible place to live. I realize at the time I had my share of issues and problems, certainly different than I do now, but I'm know that they were just as troubling. So I'm not That Guy, the one tenaciously hanging on the end of the bar, talking about how things were so much better when he was younger, brasher, better. Let us know that Nostalgia is the device that paves the potholes over on Memory Lane. ...
This article at antimusic.com discussing Neil Peart's Anatomy of a Drum Solo isn't really a critical review but it is informative. It essentially describes the contents of the DVD. So if you're thinking of buying it, this is probably worth a read. You may also want to check out some of the reviews over at Amazon.com. Some highlights from the article:
Using "Der Trommler," a live drum solo performed and recorded during Rush's 2004 European tour, as a framework, Peart talks candidly and in great detail about each section of the nine-minute tour-de-force. ... Produced by the award-winning team of Rob Wallis and Paul Siegel, the three hour and twenty-two minute set also includes several exclusive interactive features. In addition, Neil's entire performance of "Der Trommler" has been transcribed note-for-note and is included on the disc as a printable PDF file.
Additional chapters and material on "Anatomy of a Drum Solo" include:"Exploration #1" and "Exploration #2" completely improvised workouts at the drums, each over thirty-minutes long.
"Ich Bin Ein Hamburger" a never-before-released solo recorded in Hamburg, Germany in September, 2004.
"O Baterista" Neil's Grammy® Award-nominated solo (previously released on the Rush in Rio DVD).
Live Rush performances of "Tom Sawyer" and "Subdivisions" from the 2004 European Tour shot from the perspective of the drum cameras.
A previously unreleased solo from Rush's 1994 Counterparts Tour.
Extensive Bonus Materials, including interviews with Lorne Wheaton (Neil's drum tech) and Paul Northfield (Rush co-producer and engineer), video of Lorne setting up and talking about Neil's drumkit, a full-color booklet, a photo gallery and more.
Representing the popular and influential drummer's first video release in over a decade, "Anatomy Of A Drum Solo" carries a suggested retail price of $49.95 ...
There has been a lot of confusion about the US release of the new Rush book, Chemistry by Jon Collins. I believe it was originally scheduled to be released 11/15 by Amazon but kept being pushed back, frustrating many Rush fans who had pre-ordered the book in the process. Amazon now only states that it "has not yet been released". However, here's a message from the author himself via the Counterparts message board:
FYI I understand that the book has just been released from US customs and is winging its way to Amazon, who *should* start shipping next week!
Also FYI, all but about 300 of the books Amazon are receiving, have already been pre-ordered, and the next shipment is due in March so I'd get in quick if you haven't ordered already :-)
I haven't ordered my copy yet but sounds like I should really soon. This review from progarchives was very positive as is most of the buzz on Counterparts. Anyone who has already gotten their hands on a copy let us know what you think.
Here is some more Rush pre-release coolness courtesy of MitA. I'm not sure of the details but these were both recorded Dec. 5, 1974. The first is an early version of Best I Can and the second is a modified version of Working Man containing snippets of By-Tor and the Snow Dog. Fantastic.
Here is an excerpt from a Canadian TV show from the 80s called Picture Comes to Life. In it they discuss the making of Rush's The Big Money music video which, at the time, used state of the art video animation. It's pretty amazing to see how far we've come over the last 20 years. Much thanks to Greg over at Counterparts for digging this up.
The February issue of Sound & Vision magazine has a short interview with Alex Lifeson. It's available online. In it he discusses mixing R30 and Rush in Rio and how they differ. He also said this when asked about remixing Rush's studio catalog in surround:
It's something that I think we [the band] will discuss. I really love the format now. Surround is a great, uplifiting experience, and I think we have some records that we'd consider doing that way. Again, we haven't spoken about any of this yet. But on my own, I'm thinking something like 2112 is pretty obvious. We're coming up on the 30th anniversary of 2112 in 2006, so that might be interesting. For example, "Discovery" [Part III of the title track], has running water, and you could be sitting right by that little stream, you know .... It would be quite dramatic and dynamic.
Probably the safe thing to say is that I'm much more open to doing this as long as the integrity of the original content isn't messed with.
This would be the coolest thing ever. I hope he can convince Geddy and Neil to along with it.
"Invisible airwaves will crackle with life" when VH1 Classic presents the world television premiere of "Rush R-30," a DVD concert performance from the band's $21 million grossing sell-out 30th Anniversary Tour. The concert will air as part of VH1 Classic's salute to Rush the weekend of Friday, January 13. ...
... "Rush R-30" will air Friday, January 13 at 9 pm, Saturday, January 14 at 10 am and 10 pm and Sunday, January 15 at 9 am and 9 pm*.
In addition, VH1 Classic will air encore presentations of "Hangin' With Rush," featuring in-studio interviews with band members Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson discussing the Frankfurt concert, new album and tour plans for 2006 and how they were paid only ten dollars for their first performance as a band in a church basement in 1968.
"Hangin' With Rush" will air Friday, January 13 at 3 pm and 3 am and Saturday, January 14 at 9 am and 9 pm.
This is amusing. Uncyclopedia is the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Their Rush entry is pretty funny. Here's how it begins:
The most famous Canadian trio to help in the fight against the heathens during the Crusades (other Canadian trios that participated include: Triumph, the Smurfs, and the Coors twins). Geddy Lee, their leader and best swordsman, is credited for killing Muhammed in the great battle of 2112 BC by lulling him to sleep with his Barry White impression then attacking him with three red flaming balls (he then looked down and saw, to his horror, that two of the balls were his)....
It just gets worse from there... :)
The Dino Awards: R30 wins DVD of the year; The "Lifeson" Award
The Dinosaur Rock Guitar forums have handed out their awards for 2005 and given R30 DVD of the year. They also have a "Lifeson" Award for "wimping out when you could clearly do so much better". Although I disagree the premise that wimping out when you could clearly do much better has anything to do with Alex Lifeson, this year the award goes to Vivian Campbell. These guys also named Vapor Trails as the most disappointing album of 2002, so what do they know? :)
Sunday, January 8, 2006
Neil Peart article in Canadian Geographic Magazine
The latest issue of Canadian Geographic magazine focuses on music and contains a section entitled Tunescapes where songwriters reflect on geography and music. One of these Tunescapes is written by Neil Peart and titled My Laurentian soulscape. In it he discusses his love of Quebec's Laurentian Mountains, home of Le Studio in Morin-Heights where Rush recorded both Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures. He loved the area so much he purchased a log cabin there and the area continued to serve as an inspiration in his lyric-writing. It's a great article. Unfortunately it's not available online currently, so you'll have to buy a copy if you want to read the whole thing.
Friday, January 6, 2006
15-year-old rock prodigy, Nick Sterling, cites Rush as influence
Ready or not, a new generation of young rockers is scorching through classic rock, grabbing inspiration from a full spectrum of music that includes the blues, classical, and the finely crafted tunes of the singer-songwriters of the '60s and '70s.
One at the head of the pack is fifteen-year-old Nick Sterling who made his first CD at the age of ten, appropriatey called Ten, that's just been re-released.
His newest CD, Life Goes On, frantically rocks with a series of cuts that are all written and sung by young Sterling. Nick's a bit of a prodigy it seems and the liner notes mention that, along with being the CD's producer and engineer, he also laid down all the instrument tracks. ...
When asked about his influences he states:
Well, most of my favorite bands are classic rock groups from the '70s, such as Boston, Queen, Rush, Yes, and Journey, so I suppose I have learned a lot about songwriting from listening to those groups. I think the classic rock groups had a lot of talent.
Mental Vortex, a member over at Counterparts and also a member of the Rush tribute band Solar Federation has a bunch of transcribed Guitar For The Practicing Musician articles posted on his site complete with scans of pics. Sweet. Here they are:
VH1 Classic will be airing a one-hour special highlighting portions of R30 on their VH1 Classic in Concert series. The show is only 1 hour long so it's not the entire concert. If for some reason you haven't bought the DVD yet, you may want to check this out. :)
R30 clawing its way back up the Billboard Video charts
After 6 weeks on the Billboard music video chart R30 is still in the top 10 and has been since its debut at #2. 2 weeks ago it had dropped to #10 but is now climbing back up. Last week it was #9 and this week it moved up a few notches to #6.
Contrary to published reports, Zoe Vision/Rounder Records "has no plans whatsoever" to release the DVD version of RUSH's classic "Exit...Stage Left", a representative for the company told BLABBERMOUTH.NET. It is, however, still believed that the "Exit...Stage Left" DVD will surface later in the year via another label. ...
So the long and short of it is that Zoe Vision/Rounder Records will not be releasing the DVD version of Exit... Stage Left on March 7 as previously reported via the Power Windows site. But it (and the other live recordings) will likely be released via another label sometime later in the year. This jibes with what Alex Lifeson previously stated in recent interviews:
... "Everything's been remixed to 5.1, and that was the intention -- to keep it all intact, except for the remix," guitarist Alex Lifeson tells Billboard.com. "So it's available in surround." It remains to be decided if the releases will be made available individually or packaged together. "I'm guessing a box set -- that would make more sense," Lifeson says.
Lifeson says he enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane while refurbishing the material. "It was interesting to see the development in the arrangements, and how our sound changed over the course of a decade," he says. "I definitely found it fascinating, looking at that. And how the stage show changed over the years -- of course, [in] 10 years a lot of stuff changes. But it was a little fascinating to watch that, actually." ...
Sorry about the confusion. I'll keep you updated as I find out more.
The Charleston Post and Courier gives Rush's R30 another very positive review; it gets an 'A'. Here're some excerpts:
These days, with the marketing machine being what it is, it seems that a lot of record companies will use any excuse to release a greatest hits collection for a band, even if another "best of" collection had just been released the previous year. ... How nice then that the classic rock band Rush decided that if it was going to celebrate a career milestone, in this case its 30th year as a band, it was going to give fans a package that would top anything they had done previously. That wouldn't be easy. Rush released an excellent 2-DVD live release, "Rush in Rio," just two years ago. ... "R30" is every bit as good as the "Rush in Rio" DVD set, and features Rush band members Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart performing songs from the band's 30 years together. ... To set itself apart from the "Rush in Rio" DVD, not only does the "R30" set contain 2-CD and 2-DVD versions of a concert filmed in September 2004 in Frankfurt, Germany, but also a slew of extras, ... The extras were really unnecessary, what with the quality of the concert presented in this package. ...
Chartattack.com just announced the release of Rick Moranis's 2nd album on February 7. Unfortunately, Geddy Lee will not be making a cameo on this one. ;) From the article:
Rick Moranis - best-known for his many characters on SCTV as well as starring roles in Ghostbusters and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids - will have his Grammy-nominated The Agoraphobic Cowboy album released by Warner Music Canada on February 7.
The comic country music record, written and performed by Moranis and produced by Tony Scherr, was originally released on Moranis' website and has been nominated for best comedy album for this year's Grammy Awards.
... The Agoraphobic Cowboy isn't Moranis' first album, as he teamed up with SCTV and "McKenzie brothers" partner Dave Thomas to release the multi-platinum The Great White North in 1982. The record included the single "Take Off," which featured a cameo from Rush singer Geddy Lee. ...
UPDATE - 1/5@9:29AM: The March 7 release date rumor is false. Read the entire update here.
Here's the latest news from the Power Windows site regarding the Exit ... Stage Left DVD.
Delay...Stage Left: Apparently someone at Zoe/Rounder jumped the gun when originally giving a release date of February 7th; the Exit Stage Left DVD now has a tentative release date of March 7th in the US. No other details are available at this time. - Jan. 3, 2006
Congratulations to Rush - they finally made it into the Hall of Fame... sortof. Actually it's just the Bone of Fame. 93.3 The Bone out of Dallas inducts one band every year into its Bone of Fame. Here're the details from their website:
The Bonehead Nation has spoken. Congratulations to Rush!, your 2005 inductee into the Bone Of Fame. Each year the Bonehead Nation honors one Bone-A-Fide band that's made a lifetime contribution to the Best Music Ever Made and Rush certainly fits that bill. Their 30 year career has definitely influenced us, changed our lives and etched lifelong memories that will forever make us shout "HELL YEAH!
I found this over at The Dexters website. For those of you who don't know, The Dexters are the house band at Alex Lifeson's Orbit Room nightclub in Toronto. It's a video of Alex giving a tour of The Orbit Room "office". Very funny.
This is the video that they played right before they took the stage after the intermission during the R30 tour. Although technically not a "music video" I think I'll go ahead and add the link to the Rush Music Videos page. Enjoy.
I stumbled upon this mini-documentary video of Rush at SARStock back in 2003. It's on the official Rush site, but I'm not sure who produced it or where it came from. It's pretty cool though. It may be footage from one of the documentaries Four Flicks or Toronto Rocks. It has backstage footage of the band, a few interviews, concert footage, etc. Really neat. For anyone wanting background on SARStock and Rush's appearance there, there's a great page over at Power Windows with all the details.
Here's my first new feature of 2006. I thought it'd be nice to have all of the Rush MTV-style music videos that I could find online all in one place. So I collected some links and threw together a Rush Music Videos page. For starters I have the following 7 videos courtesy youtube.com: A Farewell to Kings, The Trees, Limelight, Subdivisions, Countdown, Distant Early Warning, Roll the Bones. I'll be adding more as I find them. And if you know of any others please contact me.
Happy New Year everybody! 2005 was a great year for Rush and its fans - 2006 looks to be even better. We'll start off the year with the re-release of the bands older live shows, starting with Exit... Stage Left tentatively to be released on Feb. 7. The band will also begin work on their next studio album, hopefully to be released later this fall with a tour to follow. We also may see a new book from Neil Peart; tentatively entitled Roadshow: A Concert Tour By Motorcycle, Neil claims it's near the final revision stage so we might see it released this year as well.
As far as the site goes, it has far exceeded any of my expectations. It's only been up for a little over 2 months and traffic to the site is increasing daily and a lot of positive feedback is coming in. My goal of making the site a centralized location for easily obtainable (RSS feeds, etc.) and up-to-date Rush info seems to be on track. I should also have a few more features in place in the coming months. As always, thanks for stopping by and I welcome any and all feedback. Peace, and have a great 2006!