Archive: Blog Entries from August, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
1:18PM EST | link | comments (58) |

We had a good chunk of Rush news to report this past week as we head into the Labor Day weekend here in the US. The final chapter (presumably) of the Alex Lifeson versus the Ritz Carlton case came to a close last weekwith the parties involved reaching a confidential settlement. We unearthed some old photos of Geddy and Alex in shorts from an 80s tennis charity event, causing a lot of excitement among many of the female RIAB members. There's yet another Rock Band-like video game called Rock Revolution soon to be released that will feature Rush's The Spirit of Radio as one of the tracks. Speaking of Rock Band, Tuesday's planned release of Rush's Moving Pictures for download for the game was delayed indefinitely as they iron out some technical difficulties. Earlier today I updated you on the upcoming Buddy Rich Memorial Concert and we learned that the event will be taped in High-def for DVD release in 2009 and also streamed live on the Drum Channel. And we got attendance numbers for one more show from the 2008 tour; Toronto's numbers are in and it was the most-attended and highest grossing show thus far with a sold-out 15,949 tickets sold and gross sales of $900,480.

It was also Alex Lifeson's 55th birthday this past Wednesday. All 3 members of the band are now 55 so I thought I'd ask you which of the three do you think has aged better - Geddy, Alex or Neil. Take the poll and let us know.

In light of the rumored Atlantic-era greatest hits package coming out next year, possibly marking the end of Rush's involvement with the label - I asked you in my last poll what was your favorite Atlantic-era Rush album. With nearly 48% of the vote, Snakes and Arrows blew away the competition. Rounding out the rest of the pack was Counterparts (15%), Presto (11%), Vapor Trails (11%), Roll the Bones (10%) and Test for Echo (5%). Feedback received only 1 lonely vote.

Speaking of the Atlantic rumor, Classic Rock Magazine weighed in with this blog post (thanks lilvictory for the link) last Saturday:

A spokesperson for Rush has contacted Classic Rock to deny web reports that the band are quitting Atlantic Records for the independent Canadian company Rounder. In fact, Rush are still contracted to Atlantic for one more album. Rounder - whose roster includes George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Alison Krauss, The Tragically Hip and Bruce Cockburn - will be issuing the trio's upcoming Snakes & Arrows Live DVD, but that's as far as the arrangement goes.

I should point out that this really doesn't contradict anything I had previously reported. From what I'm hearing, that one last album will be an Atlantic-era greatest hits package - I'm still pretty certain of this piece of information. Whether they end up with Rounder Records, back with Atlantic or with someone else - only time will tell. It should be noted that the band already has a working relationship with Rounder so an extension of that relationship is certainly plausible. Rounder was involved with Rush in Rio, the R30 DVD, Neil Peart's Anatomy of a Drum Solo, his book Roadshow and will be issuing the upcoming Snakes & Arrows Live DVD.

Speaking of the Snakes & Arrows Live DVD, Rush sent out a newsletter the other day with the following teaser regarding the DVD:

The Snakes and Arrow Live DVD will be released in late fall 2008. Stay tuned to RUSH.COM for more details in the coming weeks!

The last we heard, the tentative working release date for the DVD was November 4th. I would not be at all surprised if this gets pushed out a few weeks. I'd venture to guess that it will definitely be out before Christmas though. I'm sure many a Rush fan will be receiving this in their stocking come the holidays.

The Rush.com site has been rather quiet of late, but they did manage to recently post one more gallery to the Multimedia: Rush on the Road section titled B Sides from Indy. Thanks to Snoscootr for the heads up.

In my last update I mentioned that I had recently added a Rush Tribute Bands section to my links page. Several folks sent in links to some of their favorite tribute bands and I've been slowly adding them. So if you are in, or are a fan of a Rush tribute band, send me a link so I can add them to the page. Steve Turnbull of UK-based tribute band Tom Sawyer alerted me to his band and even offered to give away 2 pairs of tickets to their upcoming September 13th gig at The Point in Cardiff to 2 lucky RIAB readers. If you are in the UK and are interested in checking them out, shoot me an email - first come, first serve.

Reader Brian alerted me to a segment on a recent broadcast of the Adam Carolla show called Weed Walking. In the segment one of Carolla's crew attended the LA show at the Nokia and asked Rush fans some trivia questions with some humorous results. You can listen to the segment at this link.

A recent article at Shacknews.com highlights how the popularity of video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band are helping to turn people on to new music that they wouldn't normally listen to. There's a minor Rush reference/slam:

... Rock Band, and the music games like it, have formed a direct connection between the gaming and music industries, an unprecedented synergy of entertainment. And though the corporations may be profiting the most, the consumers are also gaining something in the transaction.

It's the power to get your friend into Bowie. To get your mom singing Radiohead. To show your girlfriend why Rush really is cool.

On second thought, nothing may be that powerful.

Thanks to bassman4001 for the heads up.

In March I mentioned how Rainn Wilson (aka Dwight Schrute of The Office) got to sit behind Neil Peart's kit while researching his role in the recently released film The Rocker. When asked about this in a new interview at EyeWeekly.com Rainn had this to say:

It's ridiculous. He [Neil Peart] is the greatest rock drummer of all time and he let me sit behind his kit. The guys in Rush are big Office fans, by the way. They were warming up for their show at the Hershey Centre, where we shot the big concert scene at the end of the film.

Thanks to ghost__rider for the heads up.

It's good to know that MegaDeth's Dave Mustaine has passed on some good musical tastes to his son. Via Blabbermouth.net:

MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine has posted the following message in the "Forums" section of the band's official web site:

"I am writing this while sitting in my studio, and Justis [Dave's 16-year-old son] and his friend from school, Ryan (a drummer) are in the lounge room blasting KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and now RUSH for songs for their band, and I have some rare 'extra time,' so I wanted to make a post about last week and what we are doing next week. ...

Thanks to B-Man for the heads up.

Reader bassman4001 sent me this highway sign which points to Rush City. Snoscootr wants me to see if you can find the Rush reference in this pic that his sister took at a train museum in Pennsylvania. And reader Mahogie got a surprise Rush sighting when he picked up his drycleaning recently (see if you can find the 2112).

Some of you may recall the Slowpoke comic strip from a couple of years back which featured an Eggplant shaped like Geddy Lee's head. Well, it looks like Veggie Lee has reared his ugly vegetable head once again. Thanks to JediSushiChef for the link.

It's good to know that hot chicks like Carmen Elektra (and all the female readers of RIAB of course) like Rush (thanks 1ouroboros).

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Buddy Rich Memorial Concert updates
11:51AM EST | link | comments (20) |

Back in March we learned that Cathy Rich and Neil Peart were putting together another Buddy Rich Memorial Concert after a 10-year hiatus. The event will take place at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on Saturday, October 18th and feature a number of drum virtuosos and musicians including Neil, Nick Rich with the Buddy Rich Band, John Blackwell, Terry Bozio, Chad Smith, Jeff Berlin, Will Lee and Tommy Igoe. A few more details about the event recently came to light via this article at Sabian.com:

... Cathy Rich daughter of late, legendary drummer Buddy Rich, announced plans for the 2008 Buddy Rich Memorial Concert to be held at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on October 18th. Produced by Cathy's company Scabeba Entertainment, and drumming icon Neil Peart of Rush, this years show promises to be the biggest and best of all.

"After a ten year hiatus, we are coming back with a vengeance", said Rich. "We started doing these concerts in 1989 and they were the first of their kind. I originally had the idea of having all the greatest drummers in the world sitting in with my fathers big band, playing his charts with their own unique spin. We were very successful, and then everyone in the drum world started doing their own version of the show. We decided to take a break until we could come back with something special and different. I think we have achieved that goal with this year's show.. Our last concert was in 1998 with Phil Collins".

This years line up is a veritable who's who of iconic drum virtuosos, it includes SABIAN artists:
Terry Bozzio formerly of Frank Zappas band and his own platinum selling band, Missing Persons. Terry went on to revolutionize drumming with his one man shows and clinics featuring his sea of drums and percussion.

Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith

This is also the debut of Buddy's 23 year old grandson Nick Rich playing for the first time in his grandfather's big band. Nick is an in demand drummer on the west coast, having recently recorded with platinum selling artist Ray J.

Neil Peart will also perform.

Joining Buddy's Big Band will be Late Show with David Letterman bass player Will Lee. Bassist Jeff Berlin will appear as a special guest. More surprises will be added.
What makes this years show unique is the artists having big band arrangements made of some of their most popular hits, as well as playing their favorite Buddy Rich charts, and the fact that it will be streamed live globally by the Drum Channel, and recorded in Hi Def for worldwide release. ...

You can also listen to an mp3 of a commercial for the event at this link. The big news here is that the concert will be recorded in High-def for later release in 2009! The event will be sponsored by Sabian Cymbals and tickets can be purchased at this link.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tour attendance and sales figures update: Toronto
5:29PM EST | link | comments (35) |

The official Billboard Boxscore attendance and sales figures for the July 9th Toronto show were released yesterday. And for this show they sold a LOT of tickets - nearly 16,000, grossing over $900,000 and selling out! That makes the Toronto show by far the most-attended show on the tour and also the highest grossing. The least-attended show for the tour remains the Atlantic City date with only 4,327 tickets sold. With the Toronto numbers, the average attendance for reported dates rises a bit to 8,222 tickets sold out of 10,424 available and the average gross sales rises to $536,046. We are still missing data from the 4 late-May Canadian dates, the Milwaukee date, the Atlanta show and Indianapolis, but otherwise the data from all dates on the 2008 leg has been reported. Hopefully those will be forthcoming soon so we can do a final analysis. Many thanks to Mark S for providing the numbers. I've added the Toronto figure to the tour section, the Toronto open thread and also repeated it below.

Wed, Jul 9: Molson Amphitheatre - Toronto, ON
Attendance / Capacity: 15,949 / 15,949
Gross Ticket Sales: $900,480

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Alex!
9:05AM EST | link | comments (116) |

Alex young and oldOn this day back in 1953, our favorite guitarist - Alexandar Zivojinovich (aka Alex Lifeson) - was born in Fernie, British Columbia. Alex is the baby of Rush - he was the last one to turn 55! Happy birthday Lerxst! May you have many more. Next up is Neil, who'll turn 56 on September 12th.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Moving Pictures download release for Rock Band delayed
11:37AM EST | link | comments (29) |

UPDATE - 9/19@8:29PM: After a 4-week delay, Harmonix has finally worked out all the bugs and will be releasing the Moving Pictures album for download next Tuesday, September 23rd. Here's the official announcement from the Rock Band forum:

Looks like the technicals have been taken care of. Rush's "Moving Pictures" comes out for real next week! In addition we have tracks from Bad Religion, The Cult, Hot Hot Heat, Kasabian, Sleater-Kinney, and Stone Roses!

Rush's Moving Pictures Full Album

Tom Sawyer (orig version)
Red Barchetta
YYZ
Limelight (orig version)
The Camera Eye
Witch Hunt
Vital Signs

The full album will be available for $10.99 (880 Microsoft Points) or $1.99 (160 Microsoft Points) per track individually. ...

Thanks to Corruption for the heads up.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 8/27@4:19PM: It looks like the release of Moving Pictures for Rock Band will not occur this week and may be delayed as much as a couple of weeks. Here's the official announcement:

... Unfortunately, due to unforeseen technical difficulties, we won't be able to release Rush's "Moving Pictures" this week. We'll be working on it as hard as we can, but it looks like it could be a couple of weeks to fix. In the meantime we will be moving around our schedule so we still have DLC coming out each week (including this week, info to follow in another announcement). ...

Thanks to Danny for the heads up.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 8/26@3:37PM: Still no update from Harmonix. However, the original thread where they announced the delay has finally been shut down after reaching over 1300 posts! Crazy Rush fans ... :)

Today Harmonix Music Systems released Rush's Moving Pictures album for download for the Rock Band video game ... or ... it was supposed to have released it for download today. Apparently there are some technical difficulties having to do with the vocal track on YYZ ... the problem being that there is no vocal track on YYZ. :) YYZ happens to be the first instrumental track to be released for Rock Band. As of this post there still is no word on when the issue will be resolved. Last week Harmonix announced that Moving Pictures would be the 4th full album to be released as downloadable content for the popular game. All tracks are original master track recordings. The plan was to release the album for the XBox today and PlayStation on Thursday. Hopefully they'll work things out soon. Thanks to Justin for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Rush and Rock Band update; Moving Pictures released next week, The Trees vault edition for Rock Band 2]
[Rush plays Rock Band!]
[Rush and Rock Band news updates]
[Rush + Rock Band online sweepstakes]
[The Trees rumored for Rock Band 2]
[Working Man, Closer to the Heart master tracks for Rock Band]
[Rock Band: Moving Pictures to be made available for download]

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Monday, August 25, 2008

The Spirit of Radio to be included on Rock Revolution video game
10:56AM EST | link | comments (21) |

Rock RevolutionRock Revolution is an upcoming video game from Konami which falls into the same category as the very popular Guitar Hero and Rock Band video games from Harmonix Music Systems; the player plays along with the music on specialized controllers directed by on-screen instructions. The track list for the game was recently leaked and one of the featured tracks will be Rush's The Spirit of Radio. You can see the complete leaked tracklist at this location. One of the featured tracks on Guitar Hero 2 was YYZ and Tom Sawyer was featured on the original Rock Band. Since then, Rush songs have become a favorite among players of the game and Harmonix has since released several tracks for download including Limelight, Working Man, Closer to the Heart and will be releasing the entire Moving Pictures album for download this week. Rock Revolution is slated for release this coming October 14th for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 with releases for the Nintendo DS and Wii planned at a later date. Thanks to B-Man for the heads up.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vintage Geddy and Alex pics from Celebrity Tennis Charity Event
9:57AM EST | link | comments (58) |

Reader Domenic N recently sent me some vintage pictures of Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee from a Wayne Gretzky Celebrity Tennis Charity Event that took place in 1986 and 1987 in Brantford, Ontario. All the money raised at these events were donated to charity. Other celebrities in attendance were Rob Lowe, Platinum Blonde, David Foster, Frank Bonner (Herb Tarlek from WKRP in Cincinnati), Shannon Tweed, Mike Reno from Loverboy, Alan Thick and many NHL Hockey stars. You can view a slideshow of the images using the player below.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Alex Lifeson vs. the Ritz-Carlton: settlement reached
10:17AM EST | link | comments (28) |

Justin and Al in court[Ritz-Carlton settles lawsuit with Rush guitarist's son]

Most Rush fans are already aware that Alex Lifeson and his son Justin were arrested in Naples, FL on New Year's eve 2004 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Naples, Florida. After a lengthy court battle, the multiple felonies the two were charged with were eventually reduced to misdemeanors and Alex and his son filed a counter suit which proved to be unsuccessful at first. However, earlier this year a federal appeals court overruled the lower court saying it was wrong to dismiss one of the negligence claim made by Justin in the countersuit. In the latest development - and hopefully the final one - Justin and the Ritz-Carlton have agreed to a confidential settlement. From the Naply Daily News:

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit involving a rock band Rush guitarist's son who was punched and hit with Tasers at a 2003 New Year's Eve party at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples, after attorneys agreed to a settlement.

U.S. District Judge John E. Steele, who sits in Fort Myers, recently dismissed the lawsuit.

He did so on the same day attorneys for Alex Zivojinovich - best known as guitarist Alex Lifeson Zivojinovich's son, Justin, and the hotel and its night manager filed a notice of settlement involving events at a $500-a-plate, black-tie party that rang in 2004.

Attorney Michael R.N. McDonnell of Naples, who represented Zivojinovich, declined comment, saying only, "It's resolved. Everything is confidential."

Attorney Judith Mercier of Fort Lauderdale, who represented the beachfront Ritz-Carlton in North Naples, and night-shift manager Frank Barner, haven't been available to comment. ...

So it sounds like it may be finally over. If you want all the details of the case, I suggest checking out this great running history over at the Power Windows site. Thanks to robertkincaid96 for the heads up.

Related Posts:
[Alex Lifeson versus the Ritz-Carlton: One Little Victory]
[Alex Lifeson versus the Ritz-Carlton: Alex reacts to case dismissal]
[The latest Alex versus the Ritz-Carlton news: case dismissed]
[The latest Alex versus the Ritz-Carlton news]
[Alex Lifeson on the Ritz Carlton incident in Ontario Golf Magazine]
[Latest Alex vs. Ritz-Carlton News]
[Alex Lifeson mentioned in article about ... spit]
[Alex Lifeson vs. The Ritz-Carlton News]
[Alex Lifeson "Makes History"]
[New Year's Eve at the Orbit Room]
[Latest Alex vs. Ritz-Carlton News]

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:04AM EST | link | comments (28) |

UPDATE - 8/22@5:06PM: John at Cygnus-X1.net has posted the English translation of the Cuerdas 2112-based comic strip over at his site here. He did a really nice job.

This week the Rush news covered a wide range of subjects including YYZ covers (both a death metal version and a toy instrument version), comic books, farm equipment and video games.

Saturday we learned that progressive death metal pioneers Atheist will include a cover of Rush's YYZ on their upcoming album. Also in the YYZ cover department, internet tribute band Plastica posted a hilarious video to YouTube of 3 of the members performing YYZ on toy instruments along with plenty of empty beer bottles and funny hats. Check it out here.

Wednesday I posted some scans of a Spanish comic strip based on Rush's 2112 called Cuerdas (Strings). It was written by Rush fan Pepe Gonzalez between November of 1985 and February of 1986. You can check out the scans in this post. John over at Cygnus-X1.net originally dug these up and is working on posting an English translation.

Back before Neil Peart joined Rush he worked for his father's farm equipment supply store Dalziel Equipment as a parts manager. Yesterday reader Dino sent me some scans of a Dalziel Equipment newsletter from 1973 which includes pictures of both Neil and his father Glen. You can check out the scans in this post. Many readers noted the family resemblance between Glen Peart and his son but reader Lamb Saag also noted a striking resemblance between Alex Lifeson and sales manager Hugh Doherty ... and created this funny/creepy image.

On the Rush and Rock Band front, we finally got confirmation yesterday that Harmonix will be releasing the entire Moving Pictures album for download for their popular Rock Band video game. It will be available next Tuesday, August 26th at the Xbox Marketplace and Thursday, August 29th at the PlayStation Store. As of right now it's not clear whether all the songs will be master track original versions or not; this has been confirmed only for Tom Sawyer and Limelight thus far All tracks are master track original recordings.

The Songs for Tibet benefit album which features a newly-recorded live version of Rush's Hope, is now available on both CD and on iTunes. You can also purchase Hope on its own at this location. This version of Hope is slightly different than the original and was recorded at the May 25th show in Regina. You can listen to a 55-second sample clip of the song at this link. The album is also available for both download (free but includes ads) and streaming at We7.com at this link (thanks Jeff T). Reader speckbrot also alerted me that it looks like iTunes has been blocked in China because of this album. You can read the full story at this link.

Just as a reminder, last month I let you know about how Rush had donated $100,000 to Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation, sponsoring the construction of a house in The Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans dubbed The House that Rush Built. Including the band's contribution, there's now close to $103,000 donated toward the house. If you are willing and able to help them out, you can donate at this link.

The Buddy Rich Memorial Concert is just 2 short months away. It will take place at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on October 18th and plenty of tickets are still available. The event is being organized by Cathy Rich and Neil Peart and will feature many artists including Neil, Nick Rich with the Buddy Rich Band, John Blackwell, Terry Bozio, Chad Smith, Jeff Berlin, Will Lee and Tommy Igoe.

Back in March we were all pleasantly surprised when Geddy and Alex showed up at the Foo Fighters show in Toronto and played YYZ with drummer Taylor Hawkins. Reader Armee pointed out the Foo Fighters will once again be playing Toronto on September 6th. Could the boys possibly make another guest appearance? We can only hope.

This upcoming Wednesday, August 27th will be our favorite guitar hero Alex Lifeson's 55th birthday. Alex is the young one in the band; he's the last to turn 55. Neil turned 55 last September and Geddy just crossed the speed limit last month. Happy birthday Lerxst!

Canadian rockers Sloan were recently interviewed in the July/August issue of Tape Op magazine. Here're a couple of quotes from the interview from members Jay Gerguson and Chris Murphy:

Jay Gerguson : "I want to say that the most "punk" band from Canada, ever, is Rush. They made these berserk records. People kept telling them to tone it down and they said (In defiant punk voice) "Fuck Yooooouuu" And they had their own label."

Chris Murphy "Yeah, they started it all. That was waaaay before Minor Threat."

Thanks to therockstar30 over at Counterparts for the heads up.

I recently located an article from a few weeks ago over at 411mania.com where the contributors list their top 5 progressive rock bands of all time. Only Rush and Pink Floyd are featured on each of the 5 lists.

You may have noticed that in the nationally-syndicated Chicago Tribune Sunday crossword puzzle this past weekend there was a Rush reference. #60 Down was the Drummer of Rush. I think you know the answer. Thanks to Wayne K for the heads up.

A few weeks ago I promised that I'd be spending some of my downtime revamping the videos section of the site. As a first step I went through all the Rush Music Videos and the Rush TV section and fixed any vids that were missing or not working (there were plenty). I also added a bunch of new ones. So if you haven't checked out these pages in a while, take a minute to do so. Here's one little gem that I never get tired of watching. It's the full video of Rush's 1974 appearance on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert:

Have a great weekend everybody!

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rush and Rock Band update; Moving Pictures released next week, The Trees vault edition for Rock Band 2
12:29PM EST | link | comments (42) |

UPDATE - 8/22@12:08PM: I just realized that I am a dumbass. :) The blog post on the Rock Band forum explicitly states that the album is comprised entirely of original master recordings. So there you go.

UPDATE - 8/21@4:32PM: Here's the official posting at the Rock Band forum:

As we have announced in the first issue of the Rock Band Community Zine, next week's DLC - for Tuesday, August 26th, will be Rush's Moving Pictures.

Here's the track-list:

Tom Sawyer (Original Version)
Red Barchetta
YYZ
Limelight (Original Version)
The Camera Eye
Witch Hunt
Vital Signs

The album, which is comprised entirely of original master recordings, will be available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms and will cost $10.99 (880 Microsoft Points) for the full album, or $2 (160 MSP) for the individual tracks.

I'm still trying to find out if only Tom Sawyer and Limelight are master track originals or not.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 8/21@2:17PM: More stuff is coming in ... Part 2 of the Rock Band interview with Rush is now up at the Rock Band website at this link. Part 1 can be viewed here in case you had missed it. The guys appropriately discuss their album Moving Pictures; the individual songs as well as the making of the album.

UPDATE - 8/21@2:03PM: I just received the first issue of the Rock Band Community eZine and they confirm that Moving Pictures will be released next week. They indicate that Tom Sawyer and Limelight will be the Original Version. Both songs are already available for the game as cover versions. They don't indicate that the other 5 songs are also the original versions, but maybe they just wanted to emphasize that the previously released songs are master tracks. I'll try and verify this.

----- snip -----

A couple of months ago I'd mentioned that the next full album to be made available for download for the Rock Band video game would be Rush's Moving Pictures. It had only been reported as a rumor in Game Informer magazine and no release date was given. However, according to a commercial that was aired today on VH1 Classic, the album will be released next week for both the XBox and PlayStation. Here's a transcript of the commercial followed by a grainy, no-audio video:

Now Rock Band rocks harder. All seven tracks from Rush's classic album, Moving Pictures - including "Tom Sawyer" and "YYZ" - can be downloaded from Xbox Marketplace on Tuesday, August 26 and at the PlayStation Store on Thursday, August 28. For more info, go to RockBand.com

Apparently the commercial was aired a little prematurely. Typically the weekly downloadable content isn't announced until Friday, and there's no news of this at all on the Rock Band website. Since all the recent downloadable Rush songs released for Rock Band (Working Man vault edition, Closer to the Heart) have been master tracks, it is assumed that the Moving Pictures tracks will be as well. Thanks to Byte for the heads up.

Last month we learned that Rush's The Trees would be one of the featured tracks on the upcoming successor to Rock Band, Rock Band 2. It now looks like this version will be a vault edition - much like the version of Working Man that was released last month. GameWorld Network was recently allowed to preview the game and wrote up a review with screenshots on their website. In one of the screenshots The Trees (Vault Edition) is listed. Although what this means exactly is unclear. The Working Man vault edition had an alternate guitar solo, but there's no telling what this The Trees vault edition may have. Thanks to David D for the heads up.

And lastly, on the Community section of the Rock Band website they are running a poll where they ask the question What would you most like to see more of as game tracks or DLC (downloadable content)?. The possible selections are:

1) Heavy and extreme metal
2) Punk and indie rock
3) Classic rock hits
4) Songs with female singers
5) Older (late 60s & early 70s) music
6) Brand new stuff
7) Rush
8) All the above

Rush currently has a respectable 7% of the vote, which is impressive considering they were the only individual band listed. I think this tells you a bit about how much the Rock Band developers love and respect Rush too. You have to be a registered member of the site to vote. So register and go vote for Rush!

Related Posts:

[Rush plays Rock Band!]
[Rush and Rock Band news updates]
[Rush + Rock Band online sweepstakes]
[The Trees rumored for Rock Band 2]
[Working Man, Closer to the Heart master tracks for Rock Band]
[Rock Band: Moving Pictures to be made available for download]

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Neil Peart, parts manager
9:54AM EST | link | comments (36) |

For those of you who know a little about the early history of Rush you are no doubt aware that before Neil Peart was known as a drum god he was Neil Peart, parts manager. After an unsuccessful eighteen month stint as an aspiring drummer in London, England back in the early 70s Peart returned to his hometown of St. Catharines, Ontario and worked for his father selling tractor parts at Dalziel Equipment. Reader Dino sent me some scans of a Dalziel Equipment newsletter from 1973 which includes pictures of both Neil and his father Glen. You can see the full-size scans by clicking on the thumbnails above. If you want to know more about this part of Neil's life and his earlier years, read Neil's 2004 autobiography/travelogue Traveling Music.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Spanish comic based on Rush's 2112
12:11PM EST | link | comments (33) |

UPDATE - 8/22@5:06PM: John at Cygnus-X1.net has posted the English translation of the Cuerdas 2112-based comic strip over at his site here. He did a really nice job.

John over at Cygnus-X1.net recently got hold of a really neat Spanish comic strip based on Rush's 2112 called Cuerdas (Strings). It was written by Rush fan Pepe Gonzalez between November of 1985 and February of 1986. Here's John's loose translation of the introduction:

CUERDAS
Creado entre noviembre de 1985 y febrero de 1986, esta historia basada en 2112, pretende recrear la lucha entre el poder establecido y la imaginacion individual, que no el individualismo, cosa con la que se ha malinterpretado en ocasiones la filosofia de este gran trio.

Evidentemente, este comic se hizo con mucha ilusion y poca tecnica, por lo que no seas demasiado riguroso en la critica.

STRINGS
Created between November of 1985 and February of 1986, this story, based on 2112, aims to recreate the fight between the established power and individual imagination, not individualism, which is the idea that has often been misinterpreted as the philosophy of this great trio.

Obviously, this comic took control of much illusion and little technique, therefore please do not be too rigorous in your criticism.

I've also included all 5 panels of the strip (in Spanish) which you can view by clicking the thumnbnails above or viewing them at John's site here. John is working on translating these into English as well.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

All-toy Rush YYZ tribute from Plastica
10:17AM EST | link | comments (79) |

Plastica is an internet-based 80s rock tribute band who has lately been covering some songs using only toy instruments and posting the videos to YouTube. Their first offering was an all-toy cover of Metallica's Master of Puppets (their version is dubbed Master of Pop-Tarts) and their most recent video is a YYZ (Y Y ME) tribute which you can check out here.

Impressive. Next up from Plastica will be a Dream Theater tribute. Thanks to Matt G for the heads up.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

New Atheist album will include a cover of YYZ
9:24AM EST | link | comments (175) |

According to Blabbermouth.net the new album from progressive death metal pioneers Atheist will include a cover of Rush's YYZ. Vocalist Kelly Shaefer:

On the new ATHEIST record we are going to record a blazing cover of the brilliant 'YYZ' from RUSH. As you all know, we have long been fans of RUSH, and we know this cover is a bit outside the box of what most metal bands do, but then again as a band we are very outside the box of what most metal bands do. And I can confirm that it will fucking destroy, and when people hear [Steve] Flynn's [drums] version of this tune. He renders me speechless. He has always claimed Neil Peart as a major influence, and so it makes perfect sense to cover this amazing piece of music. ...

Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:31AM EST | link | comments (56) |

UPDATE - 8/15@3:32PM: It looks like that old Rush poster image originated from the Power Windows site here and is courtesy of Ron Fritts Historical Research Collection.

The big news this week was the rumor that Rush will be ending their nearly 20-year relationship with Atlantic Records by releasing an Atlantic-era greatest hits package next year. The band is also rumored to be in negotiations with Rounder Records to release all new music exclusively through their label. None of this is official yet and I'll be sure to report any more details as I learn them.

In light of the rumored end to Rush's Atlantic relationship, for my next poll I thought I'd ask everyone what their favorite Atlantic-era Rush studio album is. Take the poll and let us know.

In my last poll I asked you all whether you preferred the 2007 leg setlist of the 2008 leg setlist. By about a 3 to 2 margin the 2008 leg won out.

Earlier this week Neil Peart updated the Bubba's Book Club section of his website where he reviews and recommends books that he's been reading. Neil reviews 4 books in this installment.

The latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine included reader reactions to their first-ever Rush feature. Jeff Nilsen of Boston seemed to sum up the feelings of most Rush fans with these 3 short sentences:

Finally, a story on Rush. Thank you. And fuck you.

Sean let me know about this recent photo gallery feature at MSN.com titled Fabulous and 50 which features over-50 celebrities including Rush. Here's what they said:

The Rush boys -- Geddy Lee, 55, Alex Lifeson, 54, and Neil Peart, 55: This trio has rocked North America (they're Canadian) for 40 years, including their successful, just-concluded 2008 tour. Lee was just 15 when he joined the band in '68, at the behest of lifelong pal Lifeson.

The hard-rocking Rush members have influenced bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica and Primus, and show no signs of slowing down themselves. Not so fly by night after all.

Alex also will soon be 55 (on August 27th) and Neil Peart will turn 56 this coming September 12th.

Comcast.net has a feature up on their site covering the 40 Greatest Album Covers Of All Time. Rush's Moving Pictures came in at number 17. Thanks to Doug B for the heads up.

Reader ou812112 pointed me to an article at The Onion's AV Club website titled Is This Music?: 29 terrific instrumentals by bands that usually sing. Rush's YYZ came it at number 3 and here's what they said about it:

Instrumental tracks often seem like breathers for bands, but with Rush, nothing is ever that simple. "YYZ" takes its name from the airport code for the band's hometown, Toronto, and the song itself translates the letters into Morse code and uses that as the basis for its rhythms. But if you just want to listen to it rather than do the math, it still rocks pretty hard.

The Rock Art Show is a traveling art show presented by local radio stations featuring over 150 framed drawings, paintings, lyrics, photographs, animation cels, album art and other art forms from Rock artists. The show features 3 Rush items and is currently on tour in case you want to check it out. Thanks to AFarCryfromFBN for the news.

Readers glortiz and Zitro recently took a trip to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, OH to take a look at Neil Peart's R30 kit and bike. They took a bunch of pics and allowed me to share them all with you.

I've finally started a Rush Tribute Band section to my links page. I'll be slowly adding bands to the list. So if you have a Rush tribute band and would like me to list your website, let me know

An unnamed reader sent me this image (see right) of an old poster advertising a Rush show from back in the early days (the poster is courtesy of Ron Fritts Historical Research Collection). The show advertised took place on February 27, 1975 at the Travis St. Electric Co. in Dallas, Texas. The cost of a ticket was only $3 ... and free beer too! Times sure have changed. :)

Have a great weekend everybody!

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rush to end Atlantic relationship with new greatest hits package; in negotiations with Rounder Records
9:42AM EST | link | comments (86) |

Rush has been with Atlantic Records since 1989's Presto and have released a total of 7 studio and 3 live albums under this label. But I'm now hearing that this relationship will finally come to a close with the release of a greatest hits record next year. This will be the first greatest hits package with Atlantic and will cover the band's 20-year history with the label. It will be titled Rush: 1989-2009 and will include some previously unreleased live Atlantic tracks in addition to several studio hits from the last 20 years. The band is currently in negotiations with Rounder Records to release all new music exclusively through their label although nothing has been finalized yet. Rounder is one of the biggest independent record labels in the United States. Some other artists they represent are Bruce Cockburn, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Alison Krauss, They Might Be Giants, and The Tragically Hip. More details as I learn them.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rolling Stone readers react to Rush feature
10:41PM EST | link | comments (34) |

Rolling Stone #1059Several weeks ago Rush was featured in Rolling Stone magazine (with Barack Obama on the cover) with a 4-page article/interview titled Rush Never Sleeps. Rush had been persona non grata in the pages of Rolling Stone ever since the early days back in the 70s, so this overwhelmingly positive and complimentary article came as quite a surprise to just about everyone. In the latest issue of the magazine (issue #1059 with Robert Downey Junior on the cover) there were four letters to the editor (in the Correspondence section) referring to the Rush feature:

Barackamania has struck RS, as readers raved over his second appearance on our cover in five months. But equally enthralled were the fans of Rush, who sent more than 100 letters praising (begrudgingly) our first-ever feature on the oft-ignored group.

Rush, At Long Last

It took you 30 years to cover rock's best-kept secret: :Rush Never Sleeps" [RS 1056/1057]. But it's nice to see such an unbiased feature on such an "uncool" band.

- Steven Peterson, Toronto

Thanks for the excellent article on Rush. But I'm a little bummed to learn that I'm among a legion of nerds. I guess that explains my lack of success with the ladies.

- Ken Maas, San Leandro, Ca

Six pages of rush in RS? The apocalypse cometh.

- J. Sukitch Woodland Hills, Ca

Finally, a story on Rush. Thank you. And fuck you.

- Jeff Nilsen, Boston

That last one was my favorite. Thanks to Henry Gale at Counterparts and Lerxster for the heads up.

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Neil Peart's recommended reading updated
1:07AM EST | link | comments (47) |

[Bubba's Book Club: ISSUE 10 - August, 2008]

Neil Peart has updated the Bubba's Book Club section of his website where he reviews and recommends books that he's been reading. In this - his tenth installment since the launch of his site - Neil reviews the following books: The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, The Custodian of Paradise by Wayne Johnston; The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell; Zen and Now: On the Trail of Robert Pirsig and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Mark Richardson; and A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World by Tony Horwitz. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Neil Peart on Lessons with the Greats -- Drums
10:42AM EST | link | comments (74) |

Lessons with the Greats -- Drums was a paperback book and CD written by John Xepoleas that was published back in 1997 but is currently out of print (you can still get it used though). The book contains written transcriptions, audio examples, and text from Neil Peart and several other drumming greats. Andrew Olson recently added Neil Peart's audio examples that were included on the CD that came with the book to his Neil Peart site. You can check them all out and download them at this link. Many thanks to Andy for taking the time to do this.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:45PM EST | link | comments (113) |

Since internet access is easy to come by these days, the fact that I'm on vacation hasn't really slowed down my blogging too much. Even so, it's been fairly quiet on the Rush front this week. There are few things to report though.

Late last Thursday we got the first post-tour news update from Neil Peart via his website. Neil had a lot of great things to say about the tour although he's looking forward to a few weeks of rest and relaxation. Judging by Neil's update, I see no reason to doubt that Rush will be back with more new music and another tour in the near future.

Rush was the subject of a cover and 7-page feature article in the August, 2008 edition of the UK's Classic Rock Magazine, out on newsstands now. Thanks to reader freewilly Niels I was able to obtain scans of the article which you can check out in this post. It's a wonderful article and interview with this interesting revelation from Alex Lifeson regarding the band's next album:

We really need to sit down and decide what we want to do with our next record. Whether we do an album or whether we just write songs over a period of time and release them as we go along. That's kind of attractive to me.

So Rush might do something unconventional for their next release of new material. Very intriguing. We'll have to watch this closely.

Last weekend I let you know that Wired.com's Scott Thill decided to ask his readers whether they thought that Rush should be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His plan was to then forward the responses on to his contact at the Rock Hall. This site and several other Rush sites posted the link and over the last week the story was flooded with hundreds of comments from Rush fans. To check out all the comments or to leave one of your own if you haven't yet, just go to this link.

Rush will be featured in a new book on progressive metal, due out in the fall of 2009 from Bazillion Points Publishing.

The Songs for Tibet benefit album which features a newly-recorded live version of Rush's Hope, is now available on iTunes at this link. You can also purchase Hope on its own at this location. This version of Hope is slightly different than the original and was recorded at the May 25th show in Regina. You can listen to a 55-second sample clip of the song at this link. The album project was organized by the Art of Peace Foundation. It will be available to order on CD this coming Tuesday, August 12th. You can view the entire tracklist and pre-order the album at this link.

Reader ladlenitz started a fantasy football league on Yahoo for Rush fans only called Distant Two-Minute Warning. The league ID number is 282368 and the password is bangkok. The only two requirements to join are that you must be a serious Rush fan and not be a newcomer to fantasy football.

Last October I let you know about a documentary on Rush tribute bands which aired on E! in Canada called For the Love of Rush. It had been viewable online at this link for Canadian residents, but has now also been posted to YouTube in 6 parts at this link so everybody can watch it (until they take it down at least!). It's worth checking out if you've never seen it. Thanks to grizz for the heads up.

Reader Stephen let me know about a Rush reference on the Fox News Channel show Red Eye from August 7th. One of the show's commentators Andy Levy declared Peart the greatest drummer ever and host Greg Gutfeld added, their new tour is killer. You can watch the clip at this link.

Neil Peart is pictured with his bike and kit at the AMA museum in the Snapshots section of the September, 2008 issue of the American Motorcyclist Association's American Motorcyclist magazine and credited as the world's greatest drummer. Later on in an article titled Seeing Stars, his bike is pictured by itself with a little blurb about his 55,000 mile trip and the tragedies that started it. Thanks to hseldon for the heads up.

Longtime reader hermy recently had successful surgery to remove a tumor on his brain behind his eye. Let's all send out our thoughts and prayers to him and his family and wish him a speedy recovery.

I now return to my regularly-scheduled vacation. Have a great weekend everybody!

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

2004 Billboard Magazine spotlight on Rush
10:43AM EST | link | comments (134) |

Billboard Spotlight on Rush - 30th Anniversary: May 15th, 2004 -- Volume 116, Number 20[Billboard Spotlight on Rush - 30th Anniversary: May 15th, 2004 -- Volume 116, Number 20]

Back in May of 2004 Billboard Magazine ran an amazing tribute to Rush in celebration of their 30th anniversary. The issue included Rush on the cover along with several articles, interviews and tributes. With all of Rush's recent press attention, John over at Cygnus-x1.net decided it would be a good idea to revisit this feature:

The collection of articles and tributes that appeared in that issue were heart-warming and inspirational to read and further solidified the amazing and influential career that Rush has been blessed with. So, with that in mind, I've transcribed all of the Rush-related articles that appeared in that edition of Billboard magazine. Additionally, I've scanned all the images that accompanied those articles as well as all of the tributes and advertisements for Rush that were listed.

You can check out this wonderful collection at this link. Many thanks to John for taking the time to do this.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Songs for Tibet now available on iTunes
11:40AM EST | link | comments (63) |

The Songs for Tibet benefit album which features a newly-recorded live version of Rush's Hope, is now available on iTunes at this link. You can also purchase Hope on its own at this location. This version of Hope is slightly different than the original and was recorded at the May 25th show in Regina. You can listen to a 55-second sample clip of the song at this link. Here's the entire tracklist:

Disc: 1

1. Hide & Seek 2 (Imogen Heap)
2. Send Your Love - Art of Peace Remix (Sting)
3. Versions of Violence - Recorded in dressing room in Cologne, Germany (Alanis Morissette)
4. Belief (John Mayer)
5. Better (Regina Spektor)
6. We Are All Made of Stars - 2008 (Moby)
7. Making Noise (Damien Rice & The Cheshire Project)
8. More Than This - Campfire Take (Vanessa Carlton)
9. Nothing Fades- Kosen Rufu Version (Duncan Sheik)
10. Where Are You Going - Live in Barcelona (Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds)

Disc: 2

1. Song Of Sand - Great City Version (Suzanne Vega)
2. All The Good In This Life (Garbage)
3. Hope - Live for The Art of Peace (Rush)
4. Madonna On The Curb - Peace Mix (Jonatha Brooke)
5. In These Times - the Concord Mix (Joan Armatrading)
6. All My Mistakes - Featuring Tarira (Teitur )
7. Alive In The World (Jackson Browne)
8. Better Way - Live in Six Fours les Plage (Ben Harper)
9. The Heart Of The Matter Underlying Mix (Rupert Hine)
10. To Heal - and Restore Broken Bodies (Underworld)

The album project was organized by the Art of Peace Foundation. It will be available to order on CD next Tuesday, August 12th. You can pre-order it at this link.

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Rush will be featured in new book on progressive metal
3:19PM EST | link | comments (48) |

According to Blabbermouth.net, music writer and metal maniac Jeff Wagner will be releasing the first definitive book on progressive metal via Bazillion Points Publishing in the fall of 2009:

... Beginning with the hugely influential mid-1970s efforts of Canadian band RUSH, Wagner's book explores the shared lineage of prog rock and metal. He unfurls the huge tapestry and examines the sounds and styles created during the genre's 40-year history, including: the "Big Three" - QUEENSRCHE, FATES WARNING, and DREAM THEATER; extreme prog pioneers VOIVOD and CELTIC FROST; Norway's post-black metal avant garde; and of course the huge global movement of Big Three-worshippers in the 1990s. The vastness of what can be considered "progressive metal" has proven to be one of the most viable, malleable forms in all of modern music. ...

I've always considered Rush to be the first progressive metal band. They took the progressive approach of late 60s and early 70s bands like Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Genesis and Yes; and cranked it up a notch, pioneering a whole new sound. Granted they moved away from this in the 80s and beyond, it's definitely accurate to say they were the first and most influential progressive metal band. This sounds like it should be an interesting book.

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Wired.com: should Rush be inducted in the Rock Hall of Fame?
9:54PM EST | link | comments (103) |

[Settle the Beef: Does Rush Deserve the Hall of Fame?]

Inspired by Stephen Colbert's question on the subject from Rush's recent appearance on his show, Wired.com's Scott Thill decided to ask his readers whether they thought that Rush should be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's a subject that has frustrated many of us Rush fans ever since the band became eligible for induction back in 1999. Some of us feel very strongly about it, while many other Rush fans just don't care and say to hell with the Rock Hall!. Either way, Thill has invited us all to chime in with our opinions:

... I decided to ask my contact at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland if the institution would field some questions on the matter. They agreed, so here I am, Rush fans and haters, asking for your help.

If you could ask the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame about a Rush candidacy, what would you ask? Tell us below and we'll sift through the queries and lob the best three at Cleveland and see what comes up.

And just because you don't like the band doesn't mean you're not invited. We're taking questions from either side of the Rush divide. A question like "Will you please never induct the band?" can win out over "When will you induct the band?" given enough volume and momentum. ...

I'm sure many of you have an opinion one way or the other on the subject, so go let Wired.com and the Rock Hall know how you feel at this link.

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Rush Classic Rock Magazine feature article scans
8:10AM EST | link | comments (132) |

Classic Rock August 2007I'd mentioned in a post a couple weeks back that Rush was the subject of a cover and 7-page feature article in the August, 2008 edition of the UK's Classic Rock Magazine. The issue is out on newsstands now and reader freewilly Niels was kind enough to scan the article for us. The scans are at the bottom of the post.

Peter Makowski sat down with Rush before the May 10th show at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, NV and interviewed all three members. It's a very complimentary article with a lot of great interview segments and photos. What has to be the most interesting snippet in my eyes is this revelation from Alex Lifeson when asked about their next studio album:

We really need to sit down and decide what we want to do with our next record. Whether we do an album or whether we just write songs over a period of time and release them as we go along. That's kind of attractive to me.

Very interesting indeed. This tells me that they have fulfilled their obligations regarding their contract with Atlantic records, and may do something unconventional for their next release of new material. We shall see.

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