Archive: Blog Entries from February, 2006

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Opeth, Rush and prog-rock
12:23PM EST | link | comments (7) |

Opeth[Opeth doesn't mind prog label]

The Grand Rapids Press recently spoke with the guitarist and main songwriter of Swedish prog-metal band Opeth, Mikael Akerfeldt. In the article he discusses prog-rock and mentions Rush.

Prog rock never used to be fashionable. The genre typically was reserved for musicologists whose appreciation involved how Rush or Yes managed to weave a Phrygian mode melody into a 9/16 time signature. But complexity isn't quite so nerdy anymore, with the increasing popularity of bands such as Tool, Coheed and Cambria and The Mars Volta.

That being said, Opeth vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter Mikael Akerfeldt takes it as a compliment when his band is associated with such artists.

"There's nothing negative about prog rock anymore -- it used to be frowned upon," Akerfeldt said, calling from a tour stop in Raleigh, N.C. "We're pretty much alone in our field, mixing extreme metal music with progressive rock, or whatever. It's better to be lumped together with Rush than, you know, Britney Spears."


Veggie Lee: an insult to all of Rushdom
11:27AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Veggie Lee[SLOWPOKE Comic Strip: The Rush Riots of '06]

Slowpoke is a weekly cartoon by Jen Sorensen that appears in alternative newspapers and magazines around the country. This week's comic talks about the Rush Riots of '06 and features an eggplant that resembles Geddy Lee. Funny.


Monday, February 27, 2006 Update: Bubba's Book Club
4:35PM EST | link | comments (3) |

Roadshow[Neil's Picks for Quality Reading, Issue #4 - January, 2006]

Neil Peart has once again updated his website. This time there's some new material in the "Bubba's Book Club" section. It's a long discourse on Ernest Hemingway's Under Kilimanjaro. There's also a teaser ad for Neil's upcoming book Roadshow: Landscape With Drums, A Concert Tour by Motorcycle which shows the cover and has the tagline "Coming in September".

Rush TV Updates: SLC Punk, Harvey Birdman, Yo La Tengo
12:52PM EST | link | comments (0) |

I've added a few more videos to the Rush TV page. First up is a scene from the 1999 movie SLC Punk toward the end of the film when Heroin Bob dies and Stevo flashes back to their teenage years at the funeral. Stevo and Bob are playing D&D and listening to The Trees. Bob questions the coolness of it all and of Rush. Stevo says "Rush is a very good band. Their music is very complex and the perfection.." You can watch it here.

Next is the "Blackwatch Plaid" episode (#10) of Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law where the alert level in the office is raised to "Moving Pictures", the highest level, and the Moving Pictures album cover is displayed. You can watch the whole episode here.

And finally there is the video for "Sugarcube" by the band Yo La Tengo. In this video the band is forced by their record company to go to "Rock School" to learn to be rock stars. About 2 minutes into the video the teacher reads the lyrics to "Closer To The Heart" to an outdoor class while holding the "A Farewell To Kings" album cover. Watch the video here.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

The reviews are in for "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey"
11:01AM EST | link | comments (2) |

The heavy metal documentary, Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, which features Geddy Lee among many other hard rockers was released across Canada this weekend. Several reviews have already come out and are mostly positive. This one from Eye Weekly contains an interesting opinion from Geddy:

Evil and educational, this Canadian-made tribute to the heaviest of music contains a wealth of surefire conversation starters at your next social occasion. Here are my four favourites. No. 1: Geddy Lee thinks Blue Cheer was the first heavy metal band, while Lemmy favours Deep Purple. No. 2: Black Sabbath used the symbol of the cross to protect themselves from the forces of darkness, not to attract them. No. 3: Medieval Christians deemed the tritone -- the musical interval used in such songs as Metallica's "Enter Sandman" -- "the devil in music." And No. 4: Ronnie James Dio is no larger than the average garden gnome. ..

From JAM!:

... BOTTOM LINE: Much-maligned heavy metal gets a much-needed boost in Canadian filmmaker/longtime headbanger Sam Dunn's entertaining and informative documentary. Effectively Heavy Metal: 101, Dunn explains the appeal of this "outsider's music."

This one from is mixed in its opinion:

... a commercially astute idea tapping into a mass heavy-metal subculture that, apart from concert movies, has had relatively little documentary film attention. The idea of looking at the music from the perspective of a fan, and plugging it full of interviews with rock idols, is clearly a winner. ... Though arguably not hugely different than watching a MuchMusic special, Metal has the hook of its narrator, Sam Dunn, one of the three directors of the film, who has been a metal-head since he was 12 and has a graduate degree in anthropology. ... Too often, the anthropologist in the film nods off while the unabashed fan takes over. There is not even a basic attempt to distinguish between the musical genre and the subculture around it. ... There is a good deal of attention to heavy metal's sensational horror-movie trappings and often hostile relationship with Christianity. ...

This review from Metro gives the film 3 out 5 stars but with this caveat:

... if you're a lover of the metal music, you're going to want to add another star or two to this review. If you're not, be advised: It's kind of repetitive, not terribly insightful and filled with music that will not necessarily speak to you ...

The film will receive its U.S. premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW), set to take place March 10-19 in Austin, Texas.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Rush Tabcon Videos
1:13PM EST | link | comments (3) |

Rush Tabcon[Fan Videos: Rush Tabcon Videos]

Somebody recently uploaded a bunch of homemade videos from past Rush Tabcons to YouTube. You can check out all of them here. The quality of the videos is so-so, but they're still fun to watch and it's a good way to kill some time on a Saturday afternoon.

What are Rush Tabcons? From their website:

Rush TabCons are musical events that take place yearly around various parts of the United States. Their purpose is to allow musicians and fans of the rock group Rush to perform the band's music in a live setting.

The idea of a Rush TabCon first came about on the "rush-tabs" Mailing List by Sean Jones. The list, consisting of Rush fans that create tablature for the band's music, loved the idea, and the first TabCon took place in Milwaukee, Wisconson in 1997. Seven years later they're still going strong and have been held in the Midwest and on both coasts.

Best of all, you don't have to play like Geddy, Alex or Neil because performers of all skill levels are welcome. And you don't have to sing or play an instrument at all; spectators are welcome too!


Friday, February 24, 2006

Rush lyrical secrets revealed
4:12PM EST | link | comments (1) |

[Rush for Dummies]

Ok. Here's a bit of Rush silliness for a late Friday afternoon. Have a great weekend everybody!

The Flaming Lips, Rush and 2112
9:07AM EST | link | comments (0) |

EW Feb. 24In the February 24th issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine Rush is mentioned. There's a feature called What You Don't Know About...The Flaming Lips on page 62. Item 4 states:

4. They Get a Rush From Rush
Taking a break, (Steven) Drozd and co-producer Dave Fridmann agree that Rush's sci-fi prog classic 2112 is a sweet candidate for a surround-sound remix. "That track 'Discovery.' where he finds the guitar by the waterfall, would sound cool whizzing around your head, says Drozd. Fridmann sends an IM to a friend at Rush's label, Universal. "My guy is looking into it," reports Fridmann. You heard it here first.

What's both funny and interesting about this is that Alex Lifeson mentioned this himself in a recent interview with Sound and Vision (he even mentions the "Discovery" track) 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. ...

Hat tip goes to Counterparts member timrockstad for "discovering" this news.

Yet another positive R30 review
8:30AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Glide Magazine: R30 Review]

They just keep rolling in ... Glide Magazine gives us the latest R30 review and, of course, it's positive. It concludes:

... This survey of 30 years of Rush history is necessary for any serious fan or as a brilliant "starter kit" for younger generations. Considering its humorous animated interludes (e.g. The "That Darn Dragon" short before "Tom Sawyer"), the concert footage - with a stunning drum solo by Neil Peart at the end of "Mystic Rhythms" - the engaging chronological interviews, and other added-bonus material, R30 is a Rush fan's raison de vivre.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

March 2006 Bass Player Magazine featuring Geddy Lee
8:08PM EST | link | comments (0) |

Bass Player March 2006As previously reported Geddy Lee is on the cover of the March 2006 issue of Bass Player Magazine. Here's a scan of the cover (thanks Counterparts member SickThing). Apparently he discusses the DVD Reissues (see the post below) among other things. The tagline is "Geddy Lee: Looking back while pushing forward."

New Life for Test For Echo Concert DVD and "complete" R30 Release
7:46PM EST | link | comments (0) |

AardschokUPDATE - 3/2@7:40PM: get the latest news regarding the DVD reissues here.

Power Windows reports that Geddy Lee was interviewed by Dutch Heavy Metal magazine Aardschok for their March 2006 issue and had some interesting things to say about upcoming DVD reissues and R30. From the interview:

... Alex Lifeson has made [the DVD reissues] his personal project. Some of it will be the recordings we just discussed, but we have other things in the vault as well, such as a concert that we recorded on the Test For Echo tour, with which we weren't satisfied at the time, but that's been replaced by its historical value ... The lion's share will come out in 2006 ... Some of the songs were dropped from R30 due to technical reasons but also we didn't want to have too many similarities with Rush In Rio. Why not? Well, I think now that it was a dumb decision of ours. In fact I regret not having put the whole show on those disks. But I promise you, all those songs that were cut will eventually see the light of day, in some shape or form. ...

Good news.

Hangin' with Rush Video
9:58AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Hangin' with Rush[VH1 Classic - Hangin' with Rush (in 4 parts)]

You can now watch the entire VH1 Classic Hangin' with Rush interview here. It's in 4 parts. If you were not aware, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson appeared on this VH1 Classic show hosted by Eddie Trunk back in mid-December. There's also a separate radio interview conducted by Eddie immemdiately after the TV interview available online as well.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Toddler Rush fan rocks out to Bastille Day
10:13AM EST | link | comments (2) |

Holly rocks out[Toddler rocks out to Rush's Bastille Day]

I just added this video to my Fan Videos page. It's the cutest thing over. Toddler Holly rocks out to Bastille Day - she really gets into it.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Close encounters of the Alex Lifeson kind ... and new album news
1:25PM EST | link | comments (2) |

Alex at the Orbit RoomUPDATE - 4/27@2:35PM: Neil Peart has posted an update to his website where he discusses the sketched out songs mentioned here.

moab over at Counterparts recently had a lifelong dream come true; he met his hero Alex Lifeson at the Orbit Room in Toronto! He recounted the entire experience over at Counterparts complete with photos and a short video! Here are some excerpts from his post including some very cool news regarding the new album.

... A few guys walked into the bar and none of them were Alex. "Where the hell is he?" I thought. At that moment I turned my head and there he was with a big smile on his face and his hand extended to shake my hand. ... I stood up shook his hand and leaned over to him and said "Thanks for inspiring me to pick up the guitar 24 years ago." He smiled and told us to sit down and that he would be back later. ... All of a sudden he shows back up and pulls up a chair right next to Rae and right across from me. Holy Shit! What do I say? I only had one line prepared. ... I just pray that it's not too much to drive him away. The band is playing so loud I anxiously wait for a song to end so I can ask him how the new album is going. Finally I get my chance. He seems to light up and tells me how well the writing is going and says they have 6 songs done and a few more sketched out. Oh my God!! I now have exclusive information on how the new album is going. This is huge news! ... Alex ended up sitting with us for 30 unforgettable minutes. He bought us drinks and chatted with us like we were old friends. Rae asked him if he was going to play with the band and Alex replied "I have to ask the band first." ... What a bonus! First I get to meet him, now I am going to see him play 10 feet away from me in a bar the size of a large living room. ... Little by little he started to play a few more licks with the band. ... We managed to snap some pictures and even take some video of him playing. ... So we walked to the back of the bar and before we even got back to his table he saw us coming and got up and hugged both of us. I said "Thanks for making my dream come true" and he smiled and seemed very flattered. Rae thanked him for taking the time to talk to us. He asked if I wanted him to sign the card I was holding. I said yes. He wrote "To John, Great meeting you...All the best... .Alex Lifeson." ... Alex absolutely exceeded all expectations of what I thought he would be like in person. He was down to earth, warm, genuine, and caring. Although I'm sure he wouldn't say we were his friends, he sure made us feel like we were for one special night. And that's good enough for me.

What an awesome story. You can view the short clip of Alex playing with the band here. So the boys have 6 songs completed and a few more sketched out! That is friggin' great news!! At that rate, they may very well have the album by summer ... which means a tour in the fall. :) We'll see.

Geddy Lee: Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk
10:26AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Geddy Lee: Drunk Driving Radio Public Service Announcement]

Here's a drunk driving radio public service announcement from Geddy Lee. It and many other PSAs from other celebrities can be heard at the National Association of Broadcasters site here. Thanks to Counterparts member TN John for finding this.


Monday, February 20, 2006

Rush fan: Jazz Pianist Judy Lewis
9:39AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Judy Lewis[A most unorthodox player]

From classical to jazz, rock to reggae; people of all types of musical backgrounds love Rush. Jazz pianist Judy Lewis is no exception. She's currently on tour with her jazz rock fusion band the New Judy Lewis Quartet. She recently had a talk with Ben Shalev of From the article:

... Lewis' transformation from a classical pianist into a jazz pianist was not easy. At first she tried, "to get into jazz in the accepted way - by listening to major pianists, and learning how to play bebop and standards." It took a few years before she understood this method did not suit her and that her musical preferences would take her in a completely different direction. "I actually barely listen to jazz," she says, as she points to the top shelf of her CD collection where her favorites are stored. "About 95 percent of the time, I listen to progressive rock and metal."

"Bands like Dream Theater, Rush, and Metallica - those are musicians who think in a symphonic fashion - they work with many layers of sound. It's really reminiscent of classical music and close to the way that I approach composition."

Lewis' last album, "No Expectations," released in 2004, exposes her love of rock: One track is entitled, "It is Now Officially a Big Rock Show." Another track is a tribute to Frank Zappa, including wild vocals. It begins like an old standard and is suddenly interrupted by a throbbing, certifiably metal rhythm. ...

Rush TV updates
8:02AM EST | link | comments (0) |

I've added a lot of stuff to the Rush TV page over the last week. The most recent additions are the CBC Tsunami Charity Telethon Closer to the Heart performance and the School of Rock 2112 clip. There's also the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary episode, the Freaks and Geeks I'm with the Band episode opening and the Trailer Park Boys charity guitar auction. I'll have even more stuff in the near future. Enjoy!


Sunday, February 19, 2006

New Music Videos!
10:32AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Fly by NightI just added several more videos to the Rush Music Videos page. You can now watch Fly by Night, Circumstances, Tom Sawyer (live version) and Superconductor. Enjoy.


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Guitar Player Magazine Alex Lifeson interview online
1:49PM EST | link | comments (7) |

Alex Lifeson - Guitar Player Magazine March 2006[Today's Tom Sawyer]

The full Guitar Player Magazine interview with Alex Lifeson from the March 2006 issue mentioned in this previous post is now available online. It's a really great article, touching on many different aspects of Rush's history and Alex's playing style. When asked about the lackluster reception of their 3rd album Caress of Steel and their subsequent breakthrough album 2112 Alex remarks:

We were very proud of Caress of Steel. We were experimenting with a lot of things-writing more extended songs, doing a whole theme on an album side, and so on. The record wasn't a great commercial success, but artistically it was-to us, at least. We were exploring and taking pretty big steps for the time. But management was concerned. Our record label, Mercury, was concerned, and I remember them thinking that it was probably wisest to take a couple steps back and do a record that was more like our first album with shorter, straight-ahead rock songs. We thought, "Listen, we're gonna do what we're gonna do. If it crashes and burns, so be it. At least we stuck to our guns, and did it the way we thought we should." The concept of 2112 came up, and it was our way of fighting against the establishment, and stating our creative independence. I figured that if it didn't work, I could get a job if I had to. Of course, that record came out, and it was instantly successful. It spoke to a lot of our fans, and, consequently, I think the record company thought, "You know what? These guys are doing what they think is right, so let's give them their space and hope for the best."

When asked about R40, Alex says:

I would love that. I don't play guitar as much as I used to, but, in so many ways, I enjoy playing more than I ever have. I used to really have to practice a lot to feel good about my playing, but I guess after playing for 40 years, you don't really have to think about it. Your hands just do things. That's remarkable. It's a fortunate gift to be able to play guitar. It's such a wonderful instrument. You can tune it any way you want, you can play up high, you can play down low, you can hit it hard, you can caress it. It's a great way to express yourself. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't play guitar for the rest of my life. There's really nothing like it.

Martin Popoff reviews R30
9:50AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[BW & BK: R30 Review]

The Brave Words and Bloody Knuckles site has another positive review of R30 (10 on a scale of 1-10). This one is notable because it's written by Martin Popoff, the heavy metal writer who penned Contents Under Pressure.

Heavy metal in the '80s was slammed for turning kids into cat-sacrificing Satanists. Because of hip-hop, a generation and a half care only about money to buy guns and guns to get more money. But Rush are the worst - Alex, Geddy and Neil would like nothing more than for you to loaf in front of the tube all day. Just as you've recovered from that yardstick of DVDs, Rush In Rio, the guys load up and bombard us with R30, which opens ecstatically not one way, but two. As you groove to the 'R30 Overture' introduction, an intimate instrumental medley of a bunch of killer old Rush riffs (Sabbath's done this too, remember?), you open yourself up to the plush physical elements of this crazy package: a four-fold gate, a Geddy pick, an Alex pick (wot, no Neil stick?), a big booklet of photos, a faux backstage pass (ha... like they'd want us backstage), and way stage right, a nifty gatefold 2CD version of the concert. Into the DVD, and you get the campfire-ready Frankfurt show in gorgeous fidelity, Neil's drums in particular captured sprightly and tightly (he naughtily overdrums 'Anthem' which back in '75, was already over-drummed, but he slow-simmers 'Animate'). It's too sick, the selection of songs, which also includes Feedback cover selections and lost years weirdness like 'Mystic Rhythms', 'Force Ten' and 'Dreamline', which now fit due to the leveling factor of a singular live sound. Onto DVD two and you get videos, soundcheck stuff, other live tracks (including 'Freewill' from the triumphant Toronto Rocks stand - AC/DC gets all the press, but Rush ruled as well). There's also the big Juno Awards career retro documentary, which includes all sorts of other-band testimonials, plus interview footage through out the years, which serves to highlight the discomfort an under-stated and shy Rush has talking about themselves. Capping it off, you get the first mention of the band Wireless in DVD format, although deeper satisfaction comes in Geddy mumbling the names of UFO, Pat Travers and Max Webster, the latter being a band fully equal to (or perhaps greater than?) Rush in terms of creative contribution to rock 'n' roll Canuckness.

Reader Response to Neil Peart's LA Times article
8:05AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Looking Into the Soul of a Good Drum Solo]

Here are some reader letters from the Los Angeles Times in response to Neil Peart's article (The Big Bang) on the drum solo from Jan. 22.

As a lifelong drummer, I read with great interest Dan Neil's column on the death of the drum solo ("The Big Bang," 800 Words, Jan. 22). I've never been a big fan of drum solos. Any overlong solo or soulless display of proficiency (on any instrument) borders on braggadocio and pretension. I also think audiences tire of overly long drum solos simply because there is no melody. Brevity may be the soul of wit, as the saying goes, but it is also the soul of a good drum solo.

- David Zimelis, Los Angeles

While neither a drummer, musicologist nor music critic, I've always been an ardent rock fan. I agree with Neil's praise of Charlie Watts and his remarks on the decline of rock concert intimacy, but I adamantly disagree with his and Neil Peart's take on Ron Bushy's landmark work in "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." As kids, my pals and I-and millions like us-thrilled to the heartbeat of that drum passage. The boys slapped their jeaned thighs raw, while the girls danced to that beat. It tapped into the spirit of the time. It was revolutionary, tribal, lusty, and we dug it to death.

Peart says, "You can't blame the audience for everything." Thanks, but give us credit for an honest emotional response. Could they play today, there'd be no "crush at the snack bar" during that drum solo.

- Hilary Hartman Kip, Van Nuys

Neil's observation on the demise of the drum solo was spot on. Before going to grad school in English, I was a drummer. I was surprised by Peart's reaction to Neil's suggestion: The drum solo does sound like billiard balls in a dryer. I think that sounds cool from time to time, but music that is based on an intellectual idea rather than force of passion has tended to be as popular as the Paris police in a Turkish neighborhood.

- Patrick Brady, Via the Internet


Friday, February 17, 2006

Aqua Teen Hunger Force #34 - "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary"
11:03AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Aqua Teen Hunger Force[Aqua Teen Hunger Force #34 - "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary"]

The entire Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode #34, Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary has been posted to YouTube. If you haven't seen it you're in for a treat. It contains several Rush references and is funny as hell. Here's some background from Power Windows:

... During the episode, Master Shake puts together a metal version of the "Birthday" song, hoping to cash in on royalties, and says "it came to Geddy and I in a dream...Geddy Lee...lead singer of Rush" as Meatwad chimes in with "Rush! Geddy Lee!" and starts singing "Fly By Night". Master Shake later promises that Geddy would arrive in person, and when he doesn't show, denies this by saying "Geddy who?", to which Meatwad responds "Of Rush...of salesman?...Of SALESMEN!" In a later scene, Meatwad sings the keyboard solo of "Tom Saywer" as we see Geddy's jet airplane which is shaped like a bass guitar and has the Fly By Night owl on the nose, and Meadwad says "Hi Geddy - The River!". ... This episode first aired two days before the release of Rush In Rio and was followed by the episode of SeaLab 2021 titled "The Policy" (see above, originally aired Nov. 3, 2002), after which Adult Swim made the comment that they had just aired two shows in a row with Rush references, and no they did not plan that, yet they included in parentheses "Caress of Swim".

Neil Peart will be appearing in the upcoming Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie as discussed in this previous post.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Italian Rush forum
10:02AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Limbo - The Italians Rush Forum]

Speak Italian? Love Rush? Then I have the site for you: Limbo - the first Italian language Rush forum. Luca, one of the site founders, recently contacted me to let me know that the forum just launched and that they also plan on starting the first Italian language Rush fansite. Since I don't speak Italian (I am half-Italian though) I'll have to take their word for it that it's the first. I have no reason to doubt them though - I'm certainly not aware of any others. Good for them. I wish them luck. Some other international Rush forums are Test for Echo out of Brazil, Germany's Das Deutsche Rush forum and Poland's Hemispheres.

Flashy new Anatomy of a Drum Solo page at Hudson Music
9:10AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Hudson Music: Anatomy of a Drum Solo]

Hudson Music recently upgraded their website to a more "Flashy" design. Each product, including Anatomy of a Drum Solo, has its own page containing detailed product info, videos, photos and more. Neat.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Neil Peart article in April Modern Drummer Magazine
10:05PM EST | link | comments (0) |

Modern Drummer April 2006[Neil Peart: Soloing In The Shadows Of Giants]

Neil Peart is featured on the cover of April's issue of Modern Drummer Magazine which is a special edition focusing on the drum solo. Neil also pens an article on drum solos entitled Soloing In The Shadows Of Giants. Here are a few excerpts:

Four score years ago (give or take), our forefathers brought forth the drum solo. The people watched and listened, danced and cheered, and it was good. ... pioneers like Baby Dodds, Chick Webb, and Big Sid Catlett passed the sticks down to Gene Krupa, ... By the mid-'60s, so many giants had come before, pushing the frontiers of what had come to be known as jazz music. Buddy Rich's amazing technique and musicality had raised the drum solo to an even higher level of artistry and popular appreciation, ... drum solos began to bloom in rock music too, in concerts and recordings. ... The drum solo is a tradition handed down to us, our heritage, as it were, and it is a heritage worth celebrating. Giants have come before us, and giants will come after, but even while us mere mortals play in their shadows, we can be inspired to aim just a little higher every day-or every night. ...

The issue will hit newstands on March 8. Thanks to cygnus x-2 at Counterparts for the heads up.

Trailer Park Boys "Closer to the Heart" guitar auction
9:56AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Bubbles at The Puck Bunny Charity Ball[Trailer Park Boys "Closer to the Heart" guitar auction]

UPDATE - 2/15@3:40PM: I just found out where/when this is from. It's from The Puck Bunny Charity Ball in Vancouver, BC which was held on February 4th of this month.

I'm not sure where/when this is from but it's a video of Bubbles and company from The Trailer Park Boys auctioning off the guitar that "Liquor and Whores" and "Closer to The Heart" was played on. Looks like the bidding got up to $6000! There's also a video of him performing the song at the same event here. You can view the entire Trailer Park Boys Closer to the Heart episode here.

RushCon 2006 Dates Announced!
7:41AM EST | link | comments (2) |


Good news! The 6th annual RushCon convention will be held July 14-16, 2006 in Toronto, Ontario. You can celebrate Bastille Day with hundreds of fellow Rush fans! The theme for RushCon 6 is based upon RUSH's classic 1976 album, 2112.

I've never been able to attend RushCon but am hoping to make this year my first. I think the fact that the theme is based on my favorite album of all time is a sign; I must go. I really have no excuse. I'm in Cleveland and can make the drive to Toronto in 5 or 6 hours. So I have about 5 months to convince my wife to let me go. Wish me luck. :)


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Rush Blog Roundup
2:48PM EST | link | comments (0) |

I heart RushI know - I haven't done this in a while. There just hasn't been that much Rush-related blogosphere chatter lately... at least interesting chatter. You'll always find references to Geddy, Alex and Neil on bloggers' top 10 (or bottom 10) lists - and people often like to quote Rush lyrics or relate Rush news that they've heard. But interesting Rush tidbits have been hard to come by in the last month or so. That said, here's what I've found. Oh yeah- Happy Valentine's Day!

alagbon needs to go to bed:

I just looked quickly at the MSN news page, and clicked on a headline that said "Rush to rebuild in New Orleans" with the thought "When the hell did Geddy Lee become a building contractor and why didn't I hear about this before?" coursing through my over-tired brain. (Of course the article had nothing to do with any Canadian prog-metal band.) Time disappears when you're fooling around online, and then it catches up with you bigtime. ...

When Sandy listens to a Rush song, all he hears are the drums:

... when I first started listening to Rush, I quickly discovered ... that Neil Peart, the drummer of this strange sounding yet addictive progressive threesome was probably the best drummer I'd ever heard in my short life.

I began to listen more and more to every song on Presto, my first Rush album (Rush fans will laugh that I was introduced to the band with Presto, arguably a strange and softer departure from their hard rock foundation), and discovered the layered compositions of jazz, rock, samba, Brazillian . . . even the Afro-Cuban sounds of Peart's percussion in every song.

Then, after listening to 2112 for the first time, it was sealed: there was no better drummer on the planet than Neil Peart (save, of course, Max Roach).

To this day, every time I hear a Rush song, I'm really only listening to the drums. (I usually only listen to drums in most songs, which is why popular music usually bores me -- 4/4, 4/4, 4/4, blah blah blah . . . ).

Anyway, I've since read nearly every article or book Peart has written or been interviewed for regarding Rush, his motorcycle travels, and most of all drumming. When asked why he drums with such a dynamic precision, he simply says "because otherwise I'd get bored." ...

thebside talks about being a closet Rush nerd and thinks that Neil Peart has a lot in common with his digital version in Bobby Standridge's Digital Man Video:

I'm was a closet Rush Nerd in highschool. (It's recently been explained to me that being a nerd is better than being a geek. As a friend put it, "Nerds are smart. Geeks eat their own bugars.") Being a drummer, Neil Peart's playing really turned my crank for a while. What's astounding about him is his ability/insistence on playing everything live note for note how he recorded it. So in a way, when you go see Rush in concert, you are going to see Neil Peart the machine, and watch him reproduce exactly what he did in the studio. It's kind of like he renders, in real time, the drumming performance for each song. In that way he shares a lot with his virtual self in this video.

I still think Neil's great, and Rush is a Canadian national treasure. Once a Rush Nerd, always a Rush Nerd.

Steve discusses discovering Rush and gives praise to his favorite Rush album:

Thanks to MTV, in 1984, Canadian "power trio" Rush became my favorite band. I still remember the video for "Distant Early Warning" showing a small boy gleefully riding an atomic missle above the Earth at full speed--a chilling analogy to the then-current threat of the Cold War looming large in the 1980's. I was in fifth grade and the only other person I knew who dug Rush was my friend Jamie who was a super-brainiac. Jamie and I would talk about how awesome Rush was and how eventually we would start a band together and make music like them when we were older. ...

... "Grace Under Pressure" was my first and will always be my favorite Rush album, followed closely by "Moving Pictures". This was the cd that further instilled in me a love for good synthesizers and all things futuristic. While Rush never succumbed to the minimalistic and synth-driven New Wave style of music popular at the time, they began to incorporate more technology into their sound to compliment their increasingly forward-thinking lyrical content. Along with Neil Peart's infinitely superb drumming, Geddy Lee's distinctive voice and deep bass riffs, and Alex Lifeson's dynamic guitars, the inclusion of electronics greatly enhanced and updated the Rush sound creating a dense, atmospheric style of thinking-man's rock. Funny thing is, some of the guys coming up in Detroit around the time, who pretty much created the first true techno music, give props to Rush as a huge influence!

In addition to "Grace Under Pressure" being my favorite Rush release, this is hands down their most impressive cover art, painted by artist Hugh Syme. The depiction of a bald, cyborgian head looking into the horizon of a stormy sky and beautifully swirling waters (with strange debris-like objects floating above) truly captures the music, mood and title of this landmark album.

Micko describes what it was like to meet Geddy and Alex on the R30 tour. (picture to right - notice Alex's Trailer Park Boys t-shirt)

... I managed to see RUSH for the first time in Birmingham Sept 11th 2004, after being a lifelong follower of the band. I even managed to get to meet Alex and Geddy at the 'Meet and Greet' session there (Friends in high places etc.). Neil still doesn't do them. It was a strange but brilliant moment to meet Alex and Geddy (I'm in the middle!) My friend Dino (in the Roll the Bones t-shirt) was literally shaking. Stephen Wills (in the 2112 t-shirt) who was half our age was the coolest of us all!

There were no autographs allowed, but the crew supplied us with a disposable camera to take the snapshot with. Geddy and Alex couldn't have been friendlier. One thing I vividly remember was how rough Alex hand were..of course, he's a guitarist! I presented him with a RORY GALLAGHER live boxset from his Irish fans, he seemed to like that and then it was over. That was the day I met my childhood heroes. For anyone under thirty, it would be like meeting Dave Grohl!

New Radio Host on "The Bone" is a Rush fan
10:26AM EST | link | comments (0) |


The Bay area radio station 107.7 The Bone has a new afternoon drive radio host that Rush fans should enjoy. From the press release:

"Bay Area Boneheads are going to have a very nice companion to listen to on their way home from work," said 107.7 The Bone Program Director Larry Sharp. "We're thrilled to have Nikki [Black] on board."

Some of her favorite bands include The Ramones, Metallica, AC/DC, Rush and Pink Floyd. A fan of the Bay Area's football and baseball teams, in her spare time she enjoys water skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding, traveling and most of all, going to rock concerts.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Rush: Chemistry Book Update
10:05AM EST | link | comments (1) |

[Rush Addendum updated]

The author of Rush: Chemistry, Jon Collins, recently posted this to his blog:

For Rush readers, I have put together a printable PDF of the addendum entries found to date. There are 22 of them, we shall know in time if there are any more to be found. Of these:

- Ten are dating or timing errors
- Seven are typos and editing errors
- Five are factual inaccuracies

Truth be told, I was feeling more than slightly uncomfortable about the number of errors found in this book. As I was flicking through to put together the above addendum, I started remembering exactly how much of a mountain of information (some inaccurate) that I waded through to compile the book itself. It didn't make me any less regretful of the errors, in particular the inexcusable typos (Getty! Argh!), but I do still believe that we did everything we could to get it as accurate as we possibly could at the time. In a word, sorry.

Oh well, onward and upward. Thanks to all those people who have pointed out the mistakes above. As indicated, the next reprint (due imminently) will fix the first ten issues in the text, leaving twelve which will probably now have to wait for the paperback.

It sounds to me that Jon is genuinely concerned about these errors (as minor as they may be) and is doing everything in his power to get them corrected. And it should be noted that reader feedback so far has been very positive. For a summary of reader feedback from Amazon and the Counterparts messageboard, check out this post. On a personal note, I've finally received my own copy of the book and am looking forward to diving into it.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Win a pair of Neil Peart's R30/30th Anniversary drumsticks!
8:01AM EST | link | comments (2) |

Neil Peart R30 is running a new contest in celebration of the 15th anniversary of Neil Peart joining the Pro-mark family. On February 11, 1991 after over 17 years of using Pro-Mark Rock-747s, Neil agreed to an official endorsement arrangement with Pro-Mark Drumsticks.

The contest runs until midnight on February 26th. The winner will receive a pair of Neil Peart R30 drumsticks, among other prizes. Visit for all the details.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

March 2006 Bass Player Magazine features Geddy Lee
8:18AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Bass Player March 2006The March 2006 issue of Bass Player Magazine has Geddy Lee on the cover and a feature article covering Geddy Lee and Rush. The previous month's issue contains a transcription of Freewill and a brief interview with Geddy where he discusses recording the song.


Friday, February 10, 2006

Happy 25th anniversary Moving Pictures
1:03PM EST | link | comments (5) |

[Rush - Moving Pictures (wikipedia)]

UPDATE - 2/11@9:45AM: I've had a couple people contact me regarding conflicting release dates for the album. So far I've seen 4 different dates, all in February of 1981 - so at least they agree on the month. :)

  • The Rush Calendar says Feb. 9.
  • Power Windows says Feb. 12 (this is the one I'm currently going with)
  • wikipedia says Feb. 28 (I'd bet that this is way off)
  • says Feb. 7.

25 years ago this Sunday (February 12, 1981) Rush released their 8th and most commercially successful studio album, Moving Pictures. The album was recorded and mixed at Le Studio, Morin Heights, Quebec and was certified quadruple-platinum on January 27, 1995. From wikipedia:

... Following the formula of their previous album, Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures follows a more radio-friendly format and includes the hit single Tom Sawyer, as well other radio standards such as Red Barchetta and Limelight.

With a title reference to Mark Twain's fictional character, Tom Sawyer is an abstract commentary on a free-thinking "modern day warrior". Likely Rush's best-selling single, lyrics for this track were written in collaboration with Max Webster lyricist Pye Dubois.

The second song on Moving Pictures is Red Barchetta. Displaying Neil Peart's literary style of lyric writing, Red Barchetta is a futuristic tale of a youth who "borrows" his uncle's disused, classic roadster for a Sunday drive. Lyrics were inspired by the short story A Nice Morning Drive [1] by Richard S. Foster. Peart, however, has reported that the car that inspired the song's title is a Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta.

Also included on the record is the Grammy-nominated instrumental YYZ. The song's title is the IATA Airport Code for Toronto Pearson International Airport. It is played repeatedly in Morse code (-.-- -.-- --..) at the beginning of the song. A staple within their live-performance repertoire, YYZ is widely seen as a signature Rush song, and one of the band's most popular instrumentals.

Limelight is another perennial radio favorite. Lyrics are autobiographical, based on Peart's own dissatisfactions with fame and its intrusions into daily life. The song contains two self-references-one, the line "All the world's indeed a stage", references their live album All The World's a Stage (as well as the famous line by William Shakespeare) while the line "caught in the camera eye" references the next track, The Camera Eye which would become Rush's last song to clock at over ten minutes.

The sixth song, Witch Hunt initially features voices and sound effects before jumping into the rock section of the song. The song would become a part of the Fear series of songs, which includes "The Weapon" from Signals, The Enemy Within from Grace Under Pressure, and Freeze from Vapor Trails.

Rounding out the album, Vital Signs shows distinct reggae flavor, the experimentation with which was likely inspired by The Police. Reggae influences would later creep into tracks found on the band's next studio release, Signals. ...


Thursday, February 9, 2006

R30 slips out of the top 10 on Billboard Music Video charts
1:23PM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Billboard Top Music Video Chart]

10 and out; after 11 weeks on the Billboard music video chart R30 has finally fell out of the top 10. Last week was its tenth week on the charts where it was at #9. This week it fell 3 spots to #12.

Juneau musicians honoring prog-rock with "Tom Sawyer" concert
1:14PM EST | link | comments (3) |

Juneau [Juneau's progressive force]

NOTE: registration required to view the article. Use tempuser/tempuser courtesy bugmenot.

This Friday, Feb. 10, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall on West Willoughby Avenue in Juneau, Alaska a group of local musicians will put on a concert tribute to progressive rock entitled, appropriately, Tom Sawyer. From the article.

Last August, Andy Engstrom and Ward F. Ward started thinking about paying homage to some of the bands that inspired them to play music ... such as Rush, Kansas and Dream Theater, so-called "progressive" performance-oriented music that was technically challenging and not necessarily played to death on mainstream radio.

They rounded up a handful of like-minded musicians ... and started rehearsing in September.

The name they chose for the show: "Tom Sawyer," in honor of the song from the 1981 Rush album "Moving Pictures."...

... In the spirit of the over-the-top compositions, the show will include an elaborate multimedia stage show. Patrick Race at Lucid Reverie is putting together some movie clips and images to go with the show and will screen them on 12-by-12-foot video screens on both sides of the amplifier stacks. Two hand-held camera operators will be recording additional live video of the crowd. ... The videos will be sold later this year to support those projects. ...

... "Ward and I wanted to hand-pick musicians that weren't only composers in the same style that we liked, but were also master musicians," Engstrom said. "And yes, the material is extremely difficult and very challenging, but we wanted something that was going to be rewarding for the audience to hear and see and also rewarding for ourselves to put together. There's really no time for anybody to relax in any of these songs."

This almost makes me want to live in Alaska! I'm definitely going to try to get my hands on some video from this show when it becomes available.

Rush covers to be included in the show are Tom sawyer and Spirit of Radio. They'll also be doing Dream Theater's Pull Me Under and Another Day; Kansas's Carry on my Wayward Son; Ozzy's Perry Mason and Diary of a Madman; Saga's On the Loose; and Led Zeppelin's Kashmir.

Piano Tribute to Rush Review
7:38AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Review: The Piano Tribute to Rush]

Here's a review of the Piano Tribute to Rush that was recently released. It's from the Marquette Tribute out of Wisconsin. Here's the whole thing:

Oftentimes, tributes to great bands simply do no justice to the actual songs. The Piano Tribute to Rush, however, begs to differ. The tracks add a new and unique sound to the original songs while at the same time staying true to them.

Some of the bigger hits included are "Tom Sawyer," "Fly By Night" and "Trees." The beginning of the album creates a Charlie Brown-like feeling with the upbeat melodies of "Limelight" and "Closer to the Heart."

The piano version of "Spirit of Radio," although noticeably different than the original, still captures the foot-tapping melody of the song. Another difference occurs in the second track, "New World Man," which adds a hint of techno music to accompany the piano.

The Piano Tribute to Rush is an album to listen to when you feel like relaxing and taking a break from the rock songs while still enjoying your favorite classics. Rush has been around for nearly three decades, and it doesn't seem like they're slowing down yet. All tracks on the tribute were performed by Todd Mark Rubenstein.

Grade: AB

~ James Teats


Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Alex Lifeson plays guitar on John Kastner solo album
8:11PM EST | link | comments (0) |

John Kastner[John Kastner Is Busy On Multiple Musical Fronts]

According to chartattack John Kastner, founder of the Montreal alternative rock band The Doughboys, and currently fronting Canadian punk band All Systems Go!, is putting out his first solo album and guess who plays guitar on it? From the article:

... His solo debut, Have You Seen Lucky, combines elements from each period of his two-decade pop-punk career. The album, scheduled to be released in late spring, boasts contributions from an impressive cast of musicians, including Lee Ving (Fear), Alex Lifeson (Rush), Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo), Trevor McGregor (Treble Charger), Adam Franklin (Swervedriver), Michel Langevin (Voivod) and Jonathan Cummins (Bionic/Doughboys). Cummins' appearance marks the first time the two former Doughboys guitarists have worked together in eight years. ...

John's bio page on his personal website also has this to say:

... John Kastner is a busy man. Since moving to Los Angeles with his wife Nicole Deboer he has co-founded Cobraside distribution, toured and recorded with his band All Systems Go, scored film soundtracks (including Phil the Alien, the indie hit of last year's Toronto International Film Festival) and written songs with numerous rock legends (Marc Lanegan, Evan Dando, etc.). Now he has recorded his first solo recorded, "Have You Seen Lucky", which he describes as "a cross between everything I've done over the past 20 years. Alex from Rush plays guitar on it and Lee Ving from Fear sings on it - so it's really all over the place. That's my crazy 70's upbringing in a nutshell". ...

This will not be the first collaboration between Kastner and Lifeson. In March of 2003 Alex worked with Kastner's punk band, All Systems Go on the Facination Unknown single. From Power Windows:

According to Anthem Records, this "was just something fun he did that was for his own enjoyment and not be confused with 'work'". Alex later teamed up with All Systems Go guitarist/vocalist John Kastner and Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy to perform two covers, The Beatles' "Rain" and Neil Young's "Don't Cry No Tears", at the White Ribbon benefit concert against violence against women held at The Phoenix in Toronto on June 7, 2005.

"Alex is simply a good friend of mine. We're both from Canada and have been friends for very long. Because he also has a studio over there, I thought it would be a good idea to send him our single. He then re-mixed the track in his studio and sent me the result...his version distinguishes itself very much from the original. His mix has this Rush Feeling, meanders and has more effects. That's also precisely what I wanted, so yes, I am very satisfied." - All Systems Go guitarist/vocalist John Kastner,, March 6, 2003

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson interview in Metal Edge Magazine
1:00PM EST | link | comments (0) |

April 2006 Metal Edge Magazine[Metal Edge Magazine April 2006]

According to Counterparts member RedSectorA, the April 2006 issue of Metal Edge Magazine has an interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.

New Fan Videos
9:36AM EST | link | comments (0) |

I've added several new items to the Fan Videos page. Here they are:

[There's No Escape from Dungeons & Dragons]
This video combines several live-action roleplaying clips with other random footage (including Triumph the Insult Dog) and displays the "nerdiness" of Dungeons & Dragons. The music is appropriately Rush's Subdivisions.

[Firefly Music Video - Driven]
This fan put together scenes from the hit sci-fi channel TV show Firefly with Rush's Driven as the background music.

[Dueling Buddies With Dueling Banjos featuring Geddy Lee]
Well... not really featuring Geddy Lee but he does make an appearance at the end. This is a little animated video of two Dueling Buddies to the tune of Dueling Banjos. Special guest appearance by Gordon Lightfoot, Geddy Lee, and a raccoon.

[Tom Sawyer cover]
A band called Rockbox performing a cover of Tom Sawyer


Tuesday, February 7, 2006

New Feature: Rush TV
10:33AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Geddy Sledding[Rush TV]

Things are pretty slow in the Rush news department lately. It looks like the boys are hunkered down working on the new album - which is a good thing. So to fill the void, I've put together yet another videos page. This one I call Pause, Rewind, Replay: Rush TV. It consists of Rush-related videos from TV and other sources including interviews, documentaries, television show appearances, etc.

And since it's the middle of winter and prime sledding weather (at least where I'm at in Cleveland, OH) I thought I'd feature this humorous video piece from the CBC's Rick Mercer report which aired in January of 2004. In it Geddy Lee gives some togogganing safety tips.


Monday, February 6, 2006

Neil Peart's Ghost Rider movie and tv rights
3:25PM EST | link | comments (8) |

Here's some old but cool news from PRWEB via Counterparts member DrumDragon regarding Neil Peart's best-selling book Ghost Rider. This info was released nearly a year and a half ago but many of you (like me) may not be aware of it:

Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) July 12, 2004 -- Cathy Rich, daughter of legendary jazz drummer Buddy Rich has acquired the film and television rights to produce the Neil Peart bio "GHOST RIDER" through her production company Scabeba Entertainment. The Drainie-Taylor biography prize finalist was also chosen as one of the five most exceptional biographies of the year.

Neil Peart, internationally best-selling author, lyricist and Hall of Fame drummer for the renowned rock band RUSH, is the most successful band in Canadian rock music. RUSH has recently made history by becoming the first band to celebrate 30 years together with the original members and they are currently on the RUSH 30th Anniversary World Tour.

"GHOST RIDER" is a bold, brilliantly written, intense, exciting, and ultimately triumphant narrative memoir from a gifted writer and musician, who started out as a man reduced to trying to stay alive by staying on the move. Within a ten-month period, Neil Peart suffered family losses so devastating that they left him a ghost, physically a man, but with nothing.

Rich states that she is "thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to collaborate on such an inspiring story of personal triumph". Rich and Peart became friends in 1992 when Neil appeared on the Buddy Rich Memorial Scholarship concert, in his first foray outside of RUSH. They also collaborated on the Grammy-nominated CD's "Burning for Buddy", parts 1 and 2.

Scabeba Entertainment is currently in pre-production on the life story of Buddy Rich, produced by Steven Soderbergh and Miramax Films.

It'd be really cool to see this movie made but I'm not holding my breath. I've not been able to find any up-to-date news regarding this. If you have, let me know.

Alex Lifeson and Rock Aid Armenia
9:28AM EST | link | comments (6) |

Rock Aid Armenia[Rock Aid Armenia - Smoke on the Water with Alex Lifeson]

Back in late 1989 several heavy metal and hard rock artists gathered at the now historic Metropolis Studios in London for a project to raise money to help those affected by the December 7th, 1988 earthquake in Gyumri, Armenia. It was called Rock Aid Armenia - The Earthquake Album and was released in 1990.

This humanitarian album project consisted of original tracks by the bands of the different contributors (including The Spirit of Radio from Rush) and a popular re-recording of one of Deep Purple's famous hit songs Smoke on the water, with different vocalists singing each verse. Contributors includeed Bryan Adams, Geoff Beauchamp, Ritchie Blackmore, Bruce Dickinson, Jeff Downes, Keith Emerson, Ian Gillan, Dave Gilmour, John Paul Jones, Tony Iommi, Jon Lord, Brian May, Paul Rodgers, Chris Squire, Roger Taylor and Rush's own Alex Lifeson.

Here's a video of the Smoke on the Water recording. Thanks to Counterparts member YtseRob2112 for digging this up.

Onstage Magazine Rush article from 2002
7:37AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Onstage magazine[Rush Rolls Again]

This is an article from Onstage magazine from September 2002 conducted just prior to the Vapor Trails tour. Good article. Thanks to Counterparts members tascam for the link and Sweetmiracle for the scan.


Sunday, February 5, 2006

Heavy metal documentary featuring Geddy Lee: Update
5:20PM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Heavy Metal Documentary 'A Headbanger's Journey' To Receive U.S. Premiere At SXSW FILM FESTIVAL]

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Geddy Lee would be featured in a heavy metal documentary entitled A Headbanger's Journey. The film will be released across Canada on February 24th. According to, it was just announced that the film will receive its U.S. premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW), set to take place March 10-19 in Austin, Texas. Here's some background on the film:

... 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

New live video: Working Man from Rush in Rio
9:27AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Working Man - Live in Rio]

I just found this live video on YouTube. It's Working Man from Rush in Rio - most of it at least; it cuts out during Alex's solo. I also recently posted this video of selected excerpts from Rush in Rio including the animated opening sequence, One Little Victory, New World Man, Earthshine, YYZ and Tom Sawyer; and you can also watch the entire YYZ performance here.


Saturday, February 4, 2006

2 new fan-created computer animated videos
11:05AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Mystic Rhythms 3-D computer animated video]

[Presto 2-D computer animated video]

Counterparts member Duke travels created these 2 computer animated Rush videos. One is a 3-D animated tribute to Mystic Rhythms which attempts to "show the mysterious but dead logical sense of the song." The second is a "funny and heartwarming" 2-D tribute to Presto.

If you like these, I have these and plenty more fan-created Rush videos linked on my Fan Videos page.


Friday, February 3, 2006

Early Rush festival shows around the Michigan area
3:55PM EST | link | comments (0) |

Toledo Pop Festival[Michigan Area Rock Festivals: 1967-1972]

Some random Rush fan emailed Eric at Power Windows this info. According to this site which has a record of rock festivals in the Michigan area from 1967-1972, Rush played the following 3 festivals:

* August 3, 1969 Sportsmans's Park. Mt. Clemens, Michigan ("Mt. Clemens Pop Festival")

* August 26, 1969 State Park Roll-Air-Rink. Saginaw, Michigan ("Second Annual Saginaw Pop Festival")

* September 14, 1969 Toledo Raceway Park. Toledo, Ohio ("Toledo Pop Festival")

They played with some cool bands including MC5, Alice Cooper, The Stooges and The Amboy Dukes (Ted Nugent's first band). Cool. I was just an embryo at that time.

Update - 2/4@8:45AM: Wow. These posters started a long discussion at Counterparts about whether the Rush referred to was the Rush. Most biographical accounts of Rush say that the band was defunct during this period and could not have possibly played these festivals. Member Peter Griffin dug up this information:

Here's an interesting lead... I found a site with MC5 concert posters,
and they have a page for the third festival in Toledo (they probably
have the others, just haven't looked yet). At the bottom of the page
for the Toledo poster is reads: Not the same Rush from Canada that
would gain fame in the 70s

I'm sure this would hold true for the other posters. Although this
means it's not "our" Rush, it's interesting to know that they weren't
the first Rush to have some success.

Interesting to say the least. I wonder what this other Rush was like and who was in it.

R30 still in the top 10 on Billboard Music Video charts
8:17AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Billboard Top Music Video Chart]

Still hangin' on; after 10 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 was at #6 and this week it fell 3 spots to #9.

Video of highschool marching band playing YYZ
8:01AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Ledford Senior Highschool marching band: YYZ - part 1]

[Ledford Senior Highschool marching band: YYZ - part 2]

Back in December I had a post about the Jordan-Elbridge Marching Eagles highschool marching band performing 2112. MitA had obtained a recording and posted it online. Apparently they weren't the only marching band (or the first) to perform Rush. I recently found this video online of the 2000 Ledford Senior Highschool marching band from Davidson County, NC performing their arrangement of YYZ. Enjoy.

Beavis, Butthead and Rush
7:41AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Beavis and Butthead[Beavis and Butthead - Plastic Surgin']

Back in December of 1994, a Beavis and Butthead episode aired which featured the boys watching Rush's Stick it Out video. When Beavis realizes it's Rush, he starts singing "Invisible airwaves crackle with life, bright antenna bristle with the energy". The episode was titled Plastic Surgin'. The premise; Beavis & Butthead go to a plastic surgeon to get wiener implants. Here it is in its entirety. Thanks to Expos at youtube for making this available.


Thursday, February 2, 2006

Eddie Trunk Radio Interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson
1:14PM EST | link | comments (1) |

Alex, Eddie and Geddy[Eddie Trunk Radio Interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson]

In December of last year, Eddie Trunk interviewed Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson for the VH1 Classic show, Hangin' With. Immediately after this interview he conducted a second, totally separate radio-only interview with the guys. The interview was recently posted to Eddie Trunk's website. It's about 26 minutes long and you can listen to it at the link above. It's a really great interview - worth listening to.

New Feature: Rush Fan Videos
12:54PM EST | link | comments (1) |

[Enter ... Stage Right: Rush Fan Videos]

In my neverending quest to find Rush music and live videos online, I often come across many fan-created videos. Most of these consist of one or more persons filming themselves playing along on guitar or drums to some random Rush song although a few defy description. Some are of a very high quality, others aren't. Either way, they're fun to watch. So I've compiled yet another video page; this one I call Enter ... Stage Right: Rush Fan Videos. Enjoy. And if you spot any other fan-created videos, please pass them along.


Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Guitar Player Magazine features Alex Lifeson on cover
9:24PM EST | link | comments (3) |

Alex Lifeson - Guitar Player Magazine March 2006The March 2006 issue of Guitar Player Magazine is on newstands now and features the mug of our favorite guitarist, Alex Lifeson, on the cover. The tagline as reported at Power Windows is progressive rock's transcendent guitarist riffs on 30 years of Rush, meeting Jimmy Page...and more.. Thanks to Counterparts member Sweetmiracle for providing a scan of the cover.

UPDATE - 2/2@9:10PM: Here's an excerpt provided by Counterparts member rattler2004 where Alex talks about meeting Jimmy Page:

I saw Led Zeppelin in Toronto in 1969 after waiting in line for 15 hours. We sat on the floor in front of Jimmy about three people back. I was so impressed. I wanted to look like him, and play like him, and be just like him. If there was any single person I ever wanted to meet, it was him, but I never thought I would have the opportunity.

Well, Geddy met Robert Plant in Morocco a few years ago, and Robert invited us to the Page/Plant show in Toronto. When we went backstage, Jimmy came into the room, and I started shaking. I was that excited. He was so sweet, and so charming, and engaging. It was incredible. I brought a copy of my record, Victor, and I built up the nerve to give it to him. I had written in it that he was such an inspiration, and that his influence was all over the record. I said, 'I hope you don't mind, but this is my solo record and I'd like you to have it.' He stood up and gave me a hug and thanked me. We walked down to the stage with them, and they had set up a couple of chairs for us by the [monitoring mixing] board. Jimmy kept looking over and smiling at me when he would play these great signature parts. He played so well. Just incredible. I was like a kid. I can picture the dressing room, with Robert sitting across from me, and Jimmy sitting to my left asking me questions. I can take myself right back there, and he's a hero! He was everything I hoped he would be. I'll never ever forget that

New Rush Backstage Contest
7:52PM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Rush Backstage Club: WIN A SIGNED RUSH IN RIO DVD!!]

Well, the bad news is that I didn't win one of the Neil Peart posters from the last contest ... but the good news is that they're running another one! This time they're giving away an autographed Rush in Rio DVD - signed by Geddy and Alex.

RUSH IN RIO features the legendary trio performing before a crowd of over 60,000 ecstatic fans at the world famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This DVD was autographed by Geddy and Alex during the 30th Anniversary Tour in 2004. Just fill out the information below and you will be entered in the random drawing. All people placing orders from the site will be automatically entered in the draw as well. Good Luck!!

The winner will be announced on March 1st, 2006.

Good luck!

New Music Video: Vital Signs
11:02AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Rush Music Video: Vital Signs]

I just found this video for Vital Signs on youtube. I'd never seen this before. Very cool. Thanks to youtube user Expos for making this available.

Sebastian Bach on his "short but very cool" R30 appearance
7:37AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[SEBASTIAN BACH Is Honored To Be Featured On New RUSH DVD]

If you've seen Rush's R30 DVD you know that on Disc 2 one of the features is the full video of their Canadian Music Hall of Fame induction. This includes a short history of Rush and interviews with many famous Canadian Rush fans including former Skid Row frontman and Toronto native Sebastian Bach. On his website Bach recently posted this message:

"I make a very short but very cool appearance on the brand new RUSH DVD: 'R30'! What an honor it is to be included on a retrospective of the career of one of my favorite bands of all time.

"Trivia note: the DVD was produced by my old friend Rich Chycki, who was my guitar player in the mid 1980s in Toronto. We recorded many songs together, including 'Saved By Love Again', which is the song I sent to SKID ROW which made them hire me. After I left the band (which was first called 'HOPE' then it was called 'SEBASTIAN'), Rich hired a cool singer from Northern Ontario named Kevin. I remember Rich introducing me to Kevin at one of my soundchecks at Rock'N'Roll Heaven in Toronto circa mid-'80s. Kevin joined the band with Rich and they changed the name from 'SEBASTIAN' to 'WINTER ROSE'. They re-recorded 'Saved By Love Again' and the other songs I did with Rich and eventually released the material in Japan. Kevin changed his name to James LaBrie and joined DREAM THEATER! The rest is prog-rock history!

"Congrats, Rich, on producing 'R30'. Great job!"





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