Archive: Blog Entries from April, 2006

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Blue Jays catcher Gregg Zaun and Geddy Lee
9:25AM EST | link | comments (4) |

Gregg Zaun[Big league life, all dressed]

The Toronto Star recently conducted an interview with fan-favorite Toronto Blue Jays catcher Gregg Zaun. When asked about his taste in music he had this to say:

Predominantly hard rock. Right now, this year, I'm listening to a lot of Rush and Jefferson Starship/Airplane old stuff. I met (Rush's) Geddy Lee the other night. We were over at Barberian's Steak House and he was having dinner with Randy Johnson and I'd told the waiter how much of a fan I was and, sure enough, here he comes. I'd been trying to get his attention for two years. I've been waving at him. He sits behind home plate a lot.

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Amy Poehler interview from Giant Magazine
9:40AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Giant Magazine Amy Poehler interviewThere's a very short interview with SNL regular Amy Poehler in the April/May issue of Giant Magazine (their 1st annual music issue). They ask her about the first record she ever bought and here's what she had to say:

Rush's Signals, because I liked that song "Subdivisions". [Singing] "Sub-Di-visions/ in the high school halls/ in the shopping malls." Dratch [Rachel Dratch - another SNL cast member]and I still sing it every once in a while since she does a great Geddy Lee.

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Friday, April 28, 2006

Neil Peart A Work in Progress Videos
11:00AM EST | link | comments (4) |

YouTube user lmpec recently uploaded some videos from Neil Peart's A Work in Progress instructional DVD. Here are all the A Work in Progress clips, including these new ones, that I currently have up on the Rush TV page:

[Carve Away the Stone] NEW
[Virtuality] NEW
[Limbo] NEW
[Dog Years] NEW
[Time and Motion] NEW
[Totem] NEW
[The Color of Right] NEW
[Half the World] NEW
[Resist] NEW
[Driven]
[Test for Echo]

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Neil Peart reading excerpts from his books
9:40AM EST | link | comments (2) |

I can't believe I never noticed this before. If you dig deep enough on Neil Peart's website in the Books section, you can listen to the Professor himself reading an excerpt from each of his books. Credit Andrew Olson for noticing this. Here are Andrew's instructions for reading the excerpts from his Neil Peart blog:

To hear Neil read an excerpt from each of his three published books, do the following:

1. Go to http://www.neilpeart.net.
2. Enter the site.
3. Click Books.
4. Select one of the book images.
5. Under Audio Excerpt, click Play.*

* For Ghost Rider, you will need to wait a moment for the Flash intro to play. After the intro plays, click Listen to Excerpt.

The excerpts are all several minutes long too. Great stuff.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

New album news from NeilPeart.net!
10:40AM EST | link | comments (2) |

[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS - April 26, 2006]

UPDATE - 5/22@3:12PM: In a May 2006 interview with entertainment newspaper More Sugar, Geddy Lee stated that he anticipates a new album by early 2007 and a tour shortly after.

Neil Peart has updated the "News" section of his website for the first time since January. He writes about meeting with Geddy and Alex in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec in early March to discuss the next album. Back in February, a lucky fan ran into Alex at The Orbit Room and learned from Alex that they had 6 songs sketched out already at that point. Apparently Alex brought a CD with the song sketches on them with him to the meeting with Neil and Geddy. Here's what Neil had to say about the songs:

... We gathered before the fire in the living room and started listening. As the songs played out, the response we all shared was a sense of clarity - for Alex and Geddy, playing the songs for me that first time threw their strengths and weaknesses into sharp contrast, and they kept saying things like, "I know what we have to do here." Same for me, lyrically - I was very gratified to hear parts that worked, saying "Yeah" when I heard Geddy sing a line just perfectly, while also knowing right away what I could improve upon.

There were five song sketches - guitar, vocals, and drum machine - and I liked them all. I also noticed those songs already seemed to have a sort of unity, a stylistic approach of chord structures, rhythms, and vocal delivery that I could only describe as "spiritual." I'll say no more about that aspect until we get farther into it, but it was wonderful that after thirty years of working together, we could still find different paths to explore together. ...

Neil only mentions 5 songs so perhaps one was dropped or is still a work in progress. He sounds very pumped - which is a good thing. What I thought was really interesting was his description of the stylistic unity of the songs as "spiritual". He then had this to say as to how the recording process will proceed. It looks like they'll be in the studio in May:

... So now I'm going to spend the month of May in Toronto, where we have rented a small studio. It will be great to have the opportunity to work together on those songs, and hopefully some new ones, too. For me, after spending more than a year working on my book, Roadshow, it will be nice to take off the "author" hat (BMW Motorcycles baseball cap) and put on my "lyricist" hat (the old cowboy special, given to me by a fan in Dallas, that I always think helps keep my versifying down-to-earth) and my "drummer" hat (African prayer cap).

I like all of those hats, and all of those jobs, but it's especially the drumming I'm looking forward to right now. Lately I've been getting all inspired about "hitting things with sticks," driving around listening to Steve Smith's recorded work (to keep me humble) and enjoying a couple of sessions of "drum duets" with my friends Chris Stankee and Gregg Bissonette (another humbling, but inspiring experience). ...

This is all very good news.

Related Posts:
[Close encounters of the Alex Lifeson kind ... and new album news]
[New album, tour and book: NeilPeart.net News Update!]

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New Live Videos from SARStock Toronto Rocks concert
10:17AM EST | link | comments (2) |

Alex, Neil at SARStocklmpec over at YouTube recently uploaded a few live videos of Rush performing at the SARStock Toronto Rocks benefit concert back in the summer of 2003. Here are all the live videos from the concert that I currently have up on the Rush Live Videos page:

[Limelight] NEW
[Limelight (MuchMusic version)]
[Paint it Black] NEW
[Spirit of Radio] NEW
[Freewill]

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Rush and interpretive dance?
3:11PM EST | link | comments (2) |

[New Forms of Dance]

Syracuse Contemporary Dance Company isn't afraid to use genres of music not typically associated with your typical dance troupe; such as Rush! From the article:

... In twin programs this weekend, Cajun, zydeco and the sounds of African drumming will reverberate through the Civic Center's Carrier Theater. And here is a real first - a ballet on belly dancing.

The inclusion of fresh music partially stems from the troupe's desire to reach out to new audiences and create fresh creative opportunities. More significantly, says artistic director Mary Pat D'Angelo, "We want people to see they connect. In my work, 'Jazz Roots,' we use African drumming to connect to the roots of jazz." ...

...In another example, Maiya Newstead Silver uses Rush music and the multidimensional character of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer to explore the notion of hatred and the manner in which a person can become the thing he or she hates by the nature of influence. Its title is "Don't Hate the Game, Hate Tom." The connection here is Irish step dancing. ...

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New Live Video: Mystic Rhythms from R30
10:30AM EST | link | comments (1) |

[Mystic Rhythms live from R30]

I've added a live video of Mystic Rhythms from R30 to the Rush Live Videos page. You can watch it here.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

2112.net in the Spotlight
3:52PM EST | link | comments (0) |

[RUSH Fan Site Spotlighted On UNITED ROCK RADIO]

2112.net, home of several Rush fan sites including one of my favs Power Windows, will be spotlighted on United Rock Radio tomorrow night (Wednesday, April 26) at midnight EST. From Blabbermouth:

... The spotlight takes place on a feature called "Worldwide Web in Rock", which spotlights fan made rock/music websites worthy of attention.

2112.net is a portal to several fan made websites dedicated to all things concerning the Canadian prog trio.

Devon Jones, host of the "Double DJ" show, says: "2112.net is great for several reasons. It allows for multiple RUSH sites to be linked together, while maintaining generally separate purposes. RUSH fans will love this ever-so-growing portal of sites. 2112.net is also a tremendous support of the growth of Internet radio, which is the future of independent, non-corporate airplay."

RUSH fans are encouraged to tune in Wednesday night at midnight (EST) to hear more about RUSH and 2112.net, its history, and its web sites. RUSH fans are also encouraged to send in their favorite RUSH or general music requests at doubledj@unitedrock.com before Wednesday evening.

The feature coincides with the Island Records release of "Rush / Gold". A compilation of RUSH's album collection with Mercury Records (1974 to 1987).

United Rock Radio is a free, 24/7 live Internet Radio station that can be listened to from anywhere in the world. You can read about this feature, the DJs, and listen live at www.unitedrock.com.

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Vote for Rush!
3:43PM EST | link | comments (0) |

Vote[Paste's 100 Best Living Songwriters Poll]

Paste Magazine is conducting a reader survey to determine the 100 greatest living songwriters. You can vote online for up to 20 artists from a list of nearly 400 including Rush (listed under N as Neil Peart/Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson), or you can write in your own. I found myself having trouble narrowing down my choices to 20. The results will be published in the June/July issue. You can vote here.

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New Live Video: Closer to the Heart live in Rio
10:00AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Closer to the Heart live from Rush in Rio]

I found this video of Closer to the Heart from Rush in Rio on YouTube and added it to the Rush Live Videos page. You can watch it here. Enjoy.

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Rush Gold compilation releases today
9:40AM EST | link | comments (0) |

As previously reported, Mercury Records is releasing another Rush compilation today. It's titled Gold and is just a 2-disc repackaging of the twin 1997 compilations Retrospective 1 and Retrospective 2. The only difference being that Something for Nothing was dropped and replaced with Working Man. Even the cover art is just a Hugh Syme re-working of the Retrospective cover. This might be a good thing to buy for somebody who you're trying to turn on to Rush. Or perhaps you're a Rush fan from way back who has lost touch with their music and needs to rekindle the fire. Or you might be a Rush completist - someone who absolutely has to have everything that Rush puts out. Otherwise, I don't see the point. Just buy the entire Rush catalog instead. :)

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

New Live Video: The Weapon from the Grace Under Pressure video
8:50AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Grace Under Pressure Tour[The Weapon live from the Grace Under Pressure Tour video]

I've added a live video of The Weapon from the Grace Under Pressure Tour video to the Rush Live Videos page. This was filmed at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada on September 21, 1984. You can watch the video here. The Grace Under Pressure Tour video will be included as part of the upcoming Rush Replay X 3 box set. Thanks to DVDManiac over at YouTube for making this available.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

New Live Videos: R30 Overture and Roll the Bones from R30
10:54AM EST | link | comments (0) |

I've added 2 videos from R30 to the Rush Live Videos page courtesy Flatliner450 over at YouTube. You can watch the R30 Overture medley here and Roll the Bones here.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

New Music Video: Manhatten Project
9:20AM EST | link | comments (3) |

[Manhatten Project Music Video (live)]

Update - 4/21@10:25AM: Richard just said in the comments that This IS, without a doubt, the performance from the HYF Tour that is on ASOH Video. It was NOT filmed in 1986. That "database" is incorrect. I thought that might be the case. I have my doubts about the accuracy of that database. But I don't have the ASOH video so I couldn't verify. Thanks Richard!

I've added the video for Manhatten Project to the Rush Music Videos page. This is a live version that, according to the Music Video Database, was released in 1986 - which means it must have been filmed during the Power Windows tour (as opposed to the Show of Hands version). It features several cutaways to the animated movie that played during the song in concert. Many thanks to Flatliner450 over at YouTube for making this and several other Rush videos available. You can watch the video here.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Vintage Rush pics
11:19AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Alex Lifeson - Newcastle City Hall in the UK - 1978-9[RickWalton.com: Rush Gallery]

Photographer Rick Walton has several very cool pics of Rush and other artists posted on his site. The Rush pics are from Newcastle City Hall in the UK circa 1978/79.

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Vote for Alex!
9:25AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[The Legends of Class Rock: Top 40 Classic Rock Guitarists]

Calgary's Q107FM is running an online poll to determine the top 40 guitarists of classic rock. Alex Lifeson is in the running along with 100 other classic rock guitarists. You can vote for up to 3 artists or write somebody in. The results will be posted on May 8.

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Geddy Lee on Pugly Awards advisory board
9:15AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[2nd Annual Pugly Awards to Launch May 1st; Online Competition to Recognize Best and Worst in City's New Development]

Pugly Awards? Yeah. Geddy Lee is on the advisory board for the 2nd annual Toronto Pugly Awards. What are the Pugly Awards? From the article:

... The second annual online competition to recognize the City's best known, most loved and least liked new developments launches May 1st with a media conference to be held at Toronto's Spoke Club.
Sponsored by Tricon Capital Group Inc. and Cecconi Simone Inc., The Pugly Awards are an online competition created to recognize the best and worst residential and commercial developments of 2005. According to organizers, the awards last year received approximately 10,000 votes and this year's competition will once again give the people of Toronto an opportunity to be heard; to shun the mediocre and celebrate the truly great.

Co-founders Gary Berman and Anna Simone, together with the Puglies' Advisory Board members and Toronto Mayor David Miller will attend the Media Launch and introduce the fifteen buildings to be voted on by the public during the month-long program.

Voting for the 2006 Pugly nominees may be done online at www.puglytoronto.com from May 1 to May 31. The winners (and losers) will be announced June 6th. ...

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Alex Lifeson backstage with Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson
9:15AM EST | link | comments (4) |

E.J., Satriani and AlexAlex Lifeson was caught on film hanging out backstage with fellow guitar legends Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson at their show in Toronto last Wednesday at Massey hall.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Alex Lifeson makes top guitarists list
3:12PM EST | link | comments (1) |

WNCX out of my hometown of Cleveland has been counting down the top 20 guitarists of all time. They're at #9 currently. They featured Alex Lifeson at #14 last week, but I missed it. I have no clue how this list was derived but here's what they have so far.

#20 Peter Townshend
#19 Neil Schon
#18 Billy Gibbons
#17 Ritchie Blackmore
#16 Lindsey Buckingham
#15 Joe Walsh
#14 Alex Lifeson
#13 Brian May
#12 Jeff Beck
#11 Angus Young
#10 Phil Keagg
#9 Tony Iommi

I don't place much stock in lists like these, but there you have it.

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Battlescar
12:25PM EST | link | comments (2) |

Kim Mitchell[Kim Mitchell performing Battlescar live in 1989]

Max Webster was a 70s era Canadian band that had several ties to Rush. They signed with SRO Productions (the management arm of Anthem Records) in 1975 and often toured with Rush in the late 70s. The guitarist and lead vocalist, Kim Mitchell, cowrote most of Max Webster's songs with Pye Dubois, who also collaborated with Neil Peart on many Rush songs.

In 1980, Max Webster collaborated with Rush on a song titled Battlescar that appeared on the Max Webster album Universal Juveniles. The recording featured the full lineups of Rush and Max Webster playing/recording together, with Geddy Lee and Kim Mitchell sharing lead vocals.

I recently located a video of Kim Mitchell performing the song live in 1989. This version has three drummers and Kim on guitar, with Peter Fredette tackling Geddy's vocal part. You can watch the performance here and listen to the original version (courtesy Virtual Songs) of the song using the player below.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Rush Replay X 3 now available for preorder
11:17AM EST | link | comments (1) |

[Preorder Rush Replay X 3 at Amazon]

Rush Replay X 3 is now available for preorder at Amazon. The list price is $39.98; about what was expected.

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Aye Carumba! Chespirito and 2112
10:37AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Roberto Gomez Bolanos (aka Chespirito) is a Mexican writer, actor, comedian, and songwriter who served as the inspiration for The Simpsons character the Bumblebee Man. He continuously starred in shows on Mexican television from 1970 to 1995 and became well known throughout Latin America. He also put out a few albums. One of these (Chespirito y sus Canciones) contained a song entitled Los Astronautas which uses the intro to 2112 note for note. The rest of the song is just plain goofy - and in Spanish of course. Thanks to reader Luis for digging up this little "gem". You can listen to the first couple minutes of the song using the player above or access it directly here:

[Los Astronautas]

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Anthem parting ways with the CRIA
8:55AM EST | link | comments (1) |

[Radio rules spark indie record label argument]

Here's some news regarding Rush's record company, Anthem:

Six leading independent record companies, including those representing Rush and Sarah McLachlan, have left the Canadian Recording Industry Association over a disagreement about radio content rules and grants for emerging artists. ...

... The six companies - Nettwerk Records, Aquarius Records, the Children's Group, Linus Entertainment, Anthem Records and True North Records - want greater support for up-and-coming artists. "(CRIA is) looking out for their best interest, and their best interest is multinationals that are not Canadian," said Ric Arboit, president of Vancouver-based Nettwerk Records. ...

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

New Music Video: Mission
9:10AM EST | link | comments (1) |

[Mission Music Video]

A few days ago I added the video for Marathon to the Rush Music Videos page. You can watch the video here. I also just added the video for Mission which you can watch here. Both videos are live videos used to promote the band's A Show of Hands live album and VHS concert video which will be included in the upcoming Rush DVD Box set, Rush Replay X 3.

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Friday, April 14, 2006

Neil Peart tops former Stereophonics drummer's interview wish list
10:50AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Stuart Cable[Stuart Cable chats to I Like Music]

British Digital TV station, Kerrang TV, will be featuring a countdown of the top 100 metal and rock music videos ever this Easter. Former Stereophonics drummer Stuart Cable will be hosting. ilikemusic.com recently spoke with Stuart. He discussed rock videos, why he was sacked from Stereophonics and several other topics. When asked about his "interview wish list" he had this to say:

... Probably one of my heroes from music really, the awkward thing is half of my heroes are f***king dead. I'd love to interview the drummer from Rush, Neil Peart. To have a chat with him that'd be really cool. And someone like Jack Nicholson would be really fun. To do an hour special with Jack. ...

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New Music Video: Stick It Out
9:55AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Stick It Out[Stick It Out Music Video]

I've just added the video for Stick It Out to the Music Videos page. You can watch it here. Stick It Out is one of two videos made for the Counterparts album. The other is for Nobody's Hero which you can watch here. Stick It Out also appeared on the Beavis and Butthead episode Plastic Surgin and will be featured on the soon-to-be-released DVD Beavis and Butthead Volume 2.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Neil Peart compliments Avenged Sevenfold drummer
1:19PM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Avenged member says band takes live shows seriously]

Avenged Sevenfold is a metal band from Huntington Beach, CA. The San Antonio Express-News recently conducted an interview with The Rev (aka James Sullivan), the band's drummer. In the interview he talks about compliments he's gotten from other musicians, including Neil Peart:

... "Metallica came to one of our shows, and it was amazing," Rev says. "They were my favorite band when I was growing up. We're playing some dates with them in Europe in June. They said they were big fans of the music and didn't give a (care) what we looked like. Mike Portnoy, who is Dream Theater's drummer, said he was thrown off by our image but really liked us once he heard us.

"And I got a big compliment from (Rush drummer) Neil Peart, who said something like I was one of the best working drummers today." ...

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Xanadu live pre-release
11:15AM EST | link | comments (2) |

Wow. MitA just keeps 'em coming. You'll definitely want to check this one out! A BIG thanks to MitA for this one. Here's what he has to say about the recording:

Here is a history-making, earliest performance, a live 'pre-release' of Xanadu, recorded live prior to the "A Farewell To Kings" recording sessions, and a whole three (3) weeks prior to the previous record-holder of June 2, 1977. This performance is from May 10th, 1977, Milwaukee . It is a remix that I made of the source recording, to eliminate the 60Hz hum, as well as some subtle boom-reduction.

I hope you enjoy it, and enjoy hearing the different Alex intro as well as the alternative lyrics not found on the studio recording!!

Cheers! - MitA

You can listen to it using the player above or access it directly here:

[Xanadu live 'pre-release' - earliest on record - 5-10-1977]

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R30 on INHD TV
9:47AM EST | link | comments (0) |

From Power Windows:

Comcast digital cable will be airing R-30 on INHD TV Friday May 12 from 9-11 PM (full concert airing), and replay at 1 am a few hrs later on the 13th. HD TV viewers, check your local cable providers for listings. - Apr. 12, 2006

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Grace Under Pressure audio preview from MitA
9:25AM EST | link | comments (1) |

MitA

For those of you who are chomping at the bit for the release of Rush Replay X 3, MitA offers up these 2 audio files from the VHS home video release of Grace Under Pressure. MitA remarks that they are "remixed, and fully inferior to the upcoming official DVD-release". :) Use the player above to listen to the files or access them directly at these links:

[Finding My Way Under Pressure]
[The Enemy Under Pressure]

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

New Music Videos: The Body Electric and Marathon
11:15AM EST | link | comments (0) |

I've added 2 new music videos to the Rush Music Videos page; The Body Electric and Marathon. The Body Electric was one of 5 music videos made for the Grace Under Pressure album - the most for any single Rush album. You can watch it here. The video for Marathon is a live version used to promote the band's A Show of Hands live album and VHS concert video. You can watch the video here. As you probably well know by now, the A Show of Hands concert video will be included in the upcoming Rush DVD Box set, Rush Replay X 3.

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Countdown
7:55AM EST | link | comments (2) |

Space Shuttle Columbia25 years ago today, the first NASA space shuttle, Columbia, embarked on her maiden voyage. This is a special day in Rush history as the band had the honor of witnessing this spectacular event. This excerpt from the Jon Collins Rush biography, Chemistry discusses this experience:

On April 10, a day off, the band took a jaunt to the Kennedy Space Center to watch the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia, invited by NASA director Gerry Griffin. Due to computer problems the launch had to be postponed until two days later, when the band was playing Fort Worth in Texas, but nothing was going to prevent the threesome from attending. "It was an amazing thing, an ammazing sight to witness," said Alex, who watched with the others from the viewing area called Red Sector A. "I've never heard anything so loud in my life. Your pants are flapping, you could feel the ground vibrating and this was three miles away. That's the closest you could get." "Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said Neil. As a token of their appreciation, the band planned on the spot to write a song about the experience. They made it to the Texas gig - just!

The song ended up being titled Countdown and was the last track on the album Signals. The dedication for the song reads: Dedicated with thanks to astronauts Young & Crippen and all the people of NASA for their inspiration and cooperation. They also made a video for the song which includes a lot of footage of the launch. You can watch it here. Here's an excerpt from the lyrics:

Scorching blast of golden fire
As it slowly leaves the ground
Tears away with a mighty force
The air is shattered by the awesome sound

Like a pillar of cloud, the smoke lingers
High in the air
In fascination - with the eyes of the world
We stare...

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Neil Peart: Riding The Golden Lion
2:55PM EST | link | comments (1) |

Riding the Golden Lion[Excerpt from Riding The Golden Lion by Neil Peart]

I'm a big fan of Neil Peart's books; I've read and enjoyed all three, and it seems that each subsequent book is better than the last. He's currently working on his 4th book, Roadshow: Landscape With Drums, A Concert Tour by Motorcycle which is due out in September. If you've read his books you're probably aware that prior to publishing his first book, The Masked Rider, Neil wrote several privately distributed books. The Power Windows site has obtained an excerpt from one of these, Riding The Golden Lion. From the site:

As many die-hard Rush fans know, Neil Peart wrote five books which he distributed privately before publishing his first mass produced book, The Masked Rider. So far, only the cover of one of these private editions, The African Drum, has been widely seen, and only the titles of the other books have been known. I received an email from a fellow fan who has all of Neil Peart's privately published books. These are obviously extremenly rare, and he was kind enough to scan the cover and transcribe the first seven pages of Riding the Golden Lion. Enjoy! - Apr. 11, 2006

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Rush Replay X 3 info on official Rush site
1:41PM EST | link | comments (0) |

Rush Replay[Rush Replay X 3 Preview Movie]

UPDATE - 4/17@11:20AM: Rush Replay X 3 is now available for preorder through Amazon.

The official Rush site, Rush.com has finally posted something about Rush Replay X 3. There's no new information yet except they did reveal the album art and have a short little preview movie. Note that at the end of the preview movie the subtext reads that the dvd is "available now". That's wrong; it comes out June 13.

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New Live Video: La Villa Strangiato at Pinkpop Festival - 1979
11:03AM EST | link | comments (5) |

Rush PinkPop Festival[La Villa Strangiato at Pinkpop 1979]

This little gem was found on YouTube. It's a live performance of La Villa Strangiato from a June 4, 1979 show at the PinkPop festival in Geleen, Holand; the last performance of the Hemispheres European tour. The video poster (workingman) says the following regarding the video:

This was the last performance of the European tour in 1979.
Alex Lifeson hurt his finger because he had a very wild night with his wife, his finger came between the mattress and the bed. Info came from: Tjerk Lammers, he was their press manager from WEA record company at that time.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Vintage Rush pics from Exit ... Stage Left tour
3:28PM EST | link | comments (5) |

Wembley Arena, Nov. 5, 1981 ticket[Rush, Wembley Empire Pool, London 5th Nov '81]

In anticipation of the release of the Rush DVD box set Rush Replay X 3 on June 13, I thought these pics from the Exit ... Stage Left tour might be a nice way to whet our appetites. They're from a show in London at the Wembley Arena back on November 5, 1981. And, in case that's not enough, here's a video excerpt of By-tor and the Snow Dog from the Exit ... Stage Left VHS tape. Enjoy. Only a little over 2 months until Rush Replay X 3 is released!

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Sunday, April 9, 2006

The Week in Review
3:55PM EST | link | comments (0) |

Just in case you missed anything, I thought I'd review some of the posts from the last week or so. The big news of course is the confirmation that Rush will be releasing their 3 concert videos as a DVD box set on June 13. It will be entitled Rush Replay X 3 and will include a previously unreleased audio CD version of Grace Under Pressure and, hopefully, some other as-yet-to-be-determined extras.

In a recent interview with acoustic guitar mag Frets Magazine, Alex and Geddy revealed that Geddy wrote the introductory guitar portion of Closer to the Heart.

A release date for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie, which will feature the voice of Neil Peart, has been set for this September.

Toronto-based musicians workshop GuitarWorkshop Plus will be featuring Alex Lifeson as a guest instructor this summer.

The video for Promise from the Alex Lifeson solo project, Victor, is now up on the Rush Music Videos page. You can watch it here.

Some live videos from the VH1 R30 concert special have been posted to the Rush Live Videos page. You can watch Red Barchetta, Subdivisions and The Spirit of Radio.

The Rush Backstage Club is running another contest. This time it's for an autographed Different Stages poster.

You can listen to a cover of Dream Theater performing Jacob's Ladder live at a recent show in Toronto here.

You can watch a video of 11-year-old drummer prodigy Jason Hartless performing YYZ live with his band here.

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Saturday, April 8, 2006

Working Man among the 100 best guitar solos
9:22AM EST | link | comments (2) |

[100 Greatest Guitar Solos]

Guitar World magazine recently ran a poll where readers were asked what they thought was the best guitar solo of all time. A couple of weeks ago about.com listed all the solos in their Guitar section along with the tablature for the songs. Alex Lifeson's Working Man solo made the cut at #94. This is a great solo, but I can think of several other Rush solos that should have also made the cut. This is a reader's poll however, and as the about.com resident guitar expert put it, ... The results surely reflect the magazine's demographic (no jazz guitar solos, for example) .... These types of polls tend to be more of a popularity contest than anything else. Jimmy Page's Stairway to Heaven solo was #1 by the way.

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Rush on MySpace??
8:49AM EST | link | comments (1) |

[Rush MySpace Page]

... well - it's not really them. But it's good for a laugh. Some of the errors in the bio are pretty bad; Fly by Night doesn't exist, John Rutsey becomes John Rusty, Peart is spelled Pert, etc. It basically reads like a really bad 4th-grade term paper. What's worse is that some of the people who have left comments seem to think that this page is for real.

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Thursday, April 6, 2006

DVD Reissues details: Rush Replay X 3
9:11AM EST | link | comments (16) |

Rush Replay[Rush Boxes Up Vintage Concert Videos]

UPDATE - 5/24@10:25AM: Technical details (tracklisting, running time, etc.) are now available also.

UPDATE - 5/16@3:05PM: It has been confirmed that Lock and Key will NOT be included on the A Show of Hands DVD included in the Rush Replay X 3 box set.

UPDATE - 4/17@11:20AM: Rush Replay X 3 is now available for preorder through Amazon.

UPDATE - 4/11@1:50PM: The offical Rush site has posted a little preview movie for Rush Replay X 3. They also revealed the artwork for the dvd.

There are finally some details regarding the DVD reissues. The previously reported release date of June 13 has been confirmed. In addition, we now have a title and confirmation that it will be a box set. Here are the details from Billboard.com:

Three vintage Rush home videos will make their DVD debut as part of the boxed set "Rush Replay X 3," due June 13 via Mercury/UME. The collection will include 1982's "Exit ... Stage Left," 1985's "Grace Under Pressure" and 1991's "A Show of Hands," plus a previously unreleased audio CD version of "Grace Under Pressure."

As previously reported, Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson created new stereo mixes for the releases, which are presented in 5.1 Surround Sound. Tour booklets from the three concerts have also been reprinted for the set.

Filmed in 1981 in Montreal, "Exit ... Stage Left" spotlights Rush in its early career heyday as it performs such tracks as "Red Barchetta," "YYZ," "Tom Sawyer," "Limelight" and "Closer to the Heart."

"Grace Under Pressure" was taped in Rush's Toronto homebase and blends hits like "New World Man" and "The Spirit of Radio" with more uncommon fare like "Witch Hunt," "The Enemy Within" and "The Weapon." The latter track is accompanied by a video featuring actor Joe Flaherty as his "SCTV" character Count Floyd.

"A Show of Hands" was taped in 1988 in Birmingham, England, and was issued in tandem with a live album of the same name. Peart's nightly drum solo appears here for the first time on an official release. Other highlights include "Turn the Page," "Marathon" and a closing medley of "2112"/"La Villa Strangiato"/"In the Mood."

Rush is in the early stages of work on its first studio album since 2002's "Vapor Trails."

The only extra alluded to is the previously unreleased audio CD version of "Grace Under Pressure". I'm hoping there'll be something else though. We'll see.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Rush March Bandness 2006 Summary
7:26PM EST | link | comments (2) |

For those of you who have been keeping up with all the many March Bandness competitions that have been going on all over the net at various radio station sites, I have some good news. As you may know,
earlier this month Buffalo's 97 Rock ran a contest where Rush was defeated by Lynyrd Skynyrd in round 3 (Elite 8). Well it turns out that Rush got their revenge over Skynyrd, defeating them in the championship match of Rock 105's Rock and Roll National Championship. Last week they lost to Led Zeppelin in the championship round of WCSX's (Detroit) March Bandness but prior to that they won it all in the KSHE95 (St. Louis) March Bandness competition. Not a bad showing for a band that's not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. :)

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Jason Hartless performing YYZ
12:35PM EST | link | comments (3) |

Jason Hartless[Video: Jason Hartless performing YYZ]

Back in early December I posted about 11-year-old drummer prodigy Jason Hartless and how he had played a 12 hour charity gig for Toys for Tots in Detroit. Not surprisingly he's a big Neil Peart fan. On one newscast covering the gig the closing bars of YYZ could clearly be heard. I just found his MySpace page (thanks to reader Marc) and there's a video of him and his band performing YYZ live at The Irock Concert Club in Detroit last November. You can watch it here. Truly amazing.

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Dream Theater covers Jacob's Ladder
9:45AM EST | link | comments (4) |

Dream Theater[Dream Theater - Jacob's Ladder]

If you're a Rush fan, you've probably heard of Dream Theater whether you like them or not. They're a progressive metal band formed by three students at the Berklee College of Music in 1985. To say they are huge Rush fans is an understatement and they often cover Rush tunes at their shows. On March 22 they played a show in Toronto and covered Rush's Jacob's Ladder. You can listen to a bootleg version of the performance here or use the player below.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2006

New Rush Backstage Contest
10:52AM EST | link | comments (0) |

Different Stages Poster[Win an autographed Different Stages poster!]

One of these days I'll win the Rush Backstage Club Contest... I just know it. Not this time though. Somebody else won and it wasn't me. However, they're now running a new contest! This time the prize is an autographed Different Stages poster. Here are the details from the site:

This poster is 18" X 36" and is signed by Alex and Geddy. A nice addition for any collector. 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 May 1st, 2006.

Good luck!

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New Live Videos: from the R30 VH1 TV special
9:50AM EST | link | comments (0) |

[Red Barchetta live from R30]
[Subdivisions live from R30]
[The Spirit of Radio live from R30]

I located these 3 live videos from the R30 VH1 concert TV special on YouTube. The special has been airing on VH1 and MuchMusic over the last few months. It's a 1-hour abbreviated version of the R30 concert DVD. Enjoy.

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Monday, April 3, 2006

Shadows Fall drummer and Dream Theater jam some Rush
10:14PM EST | link | comments (1) |

Jason Bittner[SHADOWS FALL Drummer Jams With DREAM THEATER In Connecticut]

Shadows Fall drummer Jason Bittner is an up-and-coming star in the metal drummer world; he was named as the #1 metal drummer of 2005 by Modern Drummer magazine. It's no surprise that one of his heroes is Neil Peart. From this Modern Drummer interview:

... One thing that I've heard from other drummers who have heard me play over the years is that I'm consistent. Once I create a part, I don't change or deviate. One of my heroes, who I've learned that concept from, is Neil Peart. He's one of the most consistent drummers I've ever seen in my life. Every time I see him play, he's flawless, and he knows exactly what he's going to play. I'm not the fastest double bass drummer, and I'm not the most intricate double bass drummer. But I try to develop parts that fit the music and that will create excitement. ...

Bittner recently got to play onstage at the Dream Theater 20th anniversary show in Wallingford, CT last Wednesday. And yes, a little Rush was played. Here's what Bittner had to say about the experience (via Blabbermouth:

... Last Wednesday (March 29) Matt [Bachand, guitar], Jon [Donais, guitar] (and their ladies) and I headed out to Wallingford, CT to catch the DREAM THEATER 20th anniversary show!! As some of you might now, Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER drummer) invited Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX) up on stage two weeks ago to do a drum 'duet/solo', and it was amazing - I heard it!!! Well, on this night, I was the lucky one that Mike shared his kit with, and it was one of my favorite moments on stage as a drummer. Our 'solo' was basically worked out in the dressing room half hour prior to taking the stage.... We soloed back and forth a bit, played some 'famous' drum parts ('Walk This Way', 'Good Times Bad Times', etc.) then John Petrucci (DREAM THEATER guitarist) joined us from the side stage to help us rip through material by RUSH, MAIDEN, METALLICA, SLAYER, PANTERA, VAN HALEN, and DREAM THEATER, then we soloed a ltitle more, and ended with 'Moby Dick' and finally, the drum solo section from 'Tom Sawyer'... It was truly and inspriring moment, and I thank Mike and DREAM THEATER immensely for allowing me to step on the stage with them. The next night my wife and I went to see the show in Boston, and once again, they were incredible. ...

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New Music Video: Promise from Victor (Alex Lifeson Solo Project)
11:01AM EST | link | comments (1) |

Victor - Promise[Victor - Promise Music Video]

Just over 10 years ago (January of 1996) Alex Lifeson released his first and only solo CD; Victor. It was recorded during Rush's 3-year hiatus between Counterparts and Test for Echo and featured Edwin of I Mother Earth on most of the vocals. Other musicians that appeared on the album include Bill Bell, Blake Manning, Peter Cardinali, Dalbello, Alex's son Adrian and Les Claypool of Primus. The album did not receive much support from the record company and peaked at 99 on the Billboard 200. One music video was made for the album for the track, Promise. You can watch the video here

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Saturday, April 1, 2006

New album title and the departure of Neil Peart from Rush
7:25AM EST | link | comments (3) |

Rush Animal[Preview Page for New Rush Album]

UPDATE - 4/1210:55AM Eric over at Power Windows has obtained a copy of another track off the new album.

With a working title of "New Rush Song", the track hearkens back to earlier Rush, yet contains a witty chorus which die-hard Rush fans will thoroughly relate to... When asked about the new Rush song, guitarist Alex Lifeson quipped, "Well, its better than dinner at the Ritz!"

To hear the track click here.

--- snip ---

I'm sad to have to report that Neil Peart, drummer of Rush for over 30 years, will be leaving the band in order to perform his dream of opening a chain of Kufi stores across Canada. The split was purported to be amiable. Wasting no time, Geddy and Alex have replaced Neil Peart with Animal from The Muppets. They reportedly wanted to move away from the complex and orderly drumming style of Peart and move towards a more raw Keith-Moon-esque sound. Animal fits the bill perfectly as demonstrated in this early Drum Duel video with Buddy Rich from the Muppet Show circa 1978. Members of Animal's old band, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, are disappointed but understand that this is an opportunity that would be difficult to pass up. Animal will be performing most of the drum duties on the new album which, according to an anonymous source at Auntiem Records, will tentatively be title Zombo. The first single is titled Anagram for Zombo and will be released this summer. In other news, it's April Fool's Day and you're witnessing the webmaster's lame attempt at humor. Be careful today. :)

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