UPDATE - 4/1@10:18AM: Here's a great article at Fox News (thanks marty from clayton) that does a wonderful job of explaining the important distinction between the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation - the entity which selects inductees every year - and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum itself.
MSNBC posted a great article yesterday titled Why the Rock Hall says: No Rush for you! by Tony Sclafani which discusses the snubbing of Rush and other progressive rock acts by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame selection committee. The author puts forth the question So who picked Run-DMC over Rush? and goes on to give a short history of the Rock Hall and its process for selecting inductees. The president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, Joel Peresman, is interviewed and addresses the absence of progressive rock acts:
... "Besides Pink Floyd, we really don't have much (progressive rock) in the Hall of Fame," Peresman continues. "We realize that. And we're taking a look to try and address some of those holes that we have in our place. So we just have to take a look at are we doing something right, wrong or indifferent." ...
I'm not sure I believe him. We'll see I guess. The article closes with this piece from Scott Rowley, the editor of the UK's Classic Rock magazine.
..."Rush and Yes and ELO are as good and as loved and as worthy as most of the acts in the Hall," noted Rowley via e-mail. "I think it's very damaging to the Hall of Fame's credibility to continually ignore bands that they perceive to be on 'the fringes,' whether they're prog, punk or metal acts. It makes you wonder if the selection committee is actually run by music fans.
"We're at a weird place in rock history where things aren't as compartmentalized as they used to be - where people used to define themselves as mods or rockers or punks or metalheads. Nowadays people have access to everything and pick what they like. The idea of 'a canon of rock music' - established and defined by a musical elite - seems more and more ridiculous and untenable."
Well said. The 2009 Induction Ceremony takes place this Saturday in beautiful Cleveland, OH. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.
Neil Peart has updated the News Page on his website, discussing time recently spent at his retreat in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec. He describes the recent installation of a cell phone tower close to his home there, and curses the intrusion of technology to his soulscape. He calls the red light from the tower the eye of satan and chronicles a quest he and his neighbor went on last winter to see the tower up close, complete with several beautiful photographs. You can read the the entire thing and check out the photos at this link. Thanks to Snoscootr for the heads up.
Monday, March 30, 2009
New early photo of Rush as Hadrian from the summer of 1969
UPDATE - 4/1@9:37AM: Readers Keith W and Scott B sent in scans (see right) of the page from their Visions books with the correctly-labeled Rush Hadrian photo. The caption states Rush with Mitch Bossi. Case closed!
UPDATE - 3/31@9:34AM: Apparently a correctly-labeled version (with Mitch Bossi instead of Lindy Young) of the Hadrian 1969 photo is included in the now-out-of-print 1988 Rush biography Visions. If anyone has this book and can scan the photo/caption for us, let me know.
UPDATE - 3/30@2:01PM: Reader RUSHGIRL corroborates the story as well. Apparently the earlier, accurate photo of Hadrian was put out there by Lindy Young himself partly to clear up the fact that the Hadrian 1969 photo was mislabeled and it wasn't him in the photo. He's also shared the photo with the makers of the Rush documentary due out later this year.
UPDATE - 3/30@1:42PM: Several of you have noted that in the earlierphoto of Hadrian - the one that's been floating around the net for as long as I can remember - the guys look markedly older than the later photo. I noticed this too and thought it was a bit odd. But I really had no other information to go on; that Hadrian 1969 photo has been around so long that most fans take it as the gospel truth. So then AnalogKidVideo emails me and tells me that the Hadrian 1969 photo was actually taken around 1971 and that the Lindy Young pictured isn't Lindy Young at all, but Mitch Bossi - information he claims was obtained from John Rutsey himself. Mitch Bossi was Rush's rhythm guitarist in early 1971 - so this would make a lot of sense and I tend to believe it. If true, that Hadrian 1969 photo isn't Hadrian nor is it 1969. It should be relabeled as Rush 1971! So here you go:
If anyone has evidence to the contrary - that the Hadrian 1969 photo is accurate - please let me know. But for now I think I'll go with this.
----- snip -----
Rush was formed back in 1968 by Alex Lifeson, Jeff Jones, and John Rutsey. Jones was soon replaced by Geddy Lee and the band would see several lineup changes and a couple of name changes until solidifying the Lifeson/Lee/Rutsey lineup in 1971. One of these incarnations was a band called Hadrian which was in existence from January through July of 1969. From January to May of that year Hadrian consisted of Geddy Lee on lead vocals and bass, Alex Lifeson on lead guitar, Lindy Young (Geddy's now brother-in-law) on keyboards and rhythm guitar, and John Rutsey on drums. There's been a photo of this lineup of Hadrian floating around the internet for years. Here it is:
In May of 1969, Geddy Lee was replaced by Joe Perna on bass/vocals for a couple of months before Hadrian broke up in July. I'd never seen a photo of this lineup and didn't know whether one even existed until reader RushFanForever recently discovered one while doing a Google image search. It came up on a genealogical page for the descendants of Salomon and Lydia Lindman (apparently these were Lindy Young's great grandparents). The photo is captioned as follows:
Joe Perna, Alex Lifeson, John Rutsey and Lindy Young (Louise's son) in the heavy metal group Hadrian (1969)
And here is the photo (for a higher-res version see here):
I have no reason to doubt the authenticity of this photo, and the images of Lifeson, Young and Rutsey certainly bear a resemblance to the trio from the earlier Hadrian photo, albeit with shorter hair. As an added bonus there's also this photo of Geddy's wife Nancy, Lindy and their sister Barbara with their mother Louise from 2006. Very interesting stuff.
Sometime in March of 1974, Rush and their management formed their own record company, Moon Records, and released Rush's self-title debut album in Canada. From wikipedia:
... Only 3,500 copies of the original Moon Records LP (catalog number MN-100) were pressed. The first version of the LP has a cream-coloured label with a blue Moon Records logo and black type. The album was soon picked up by WMMS, a radio station in Cleveland, Ohio. Donna Halper, a DJ working at the station, selected "Working Man" for her regular play list. Copies of the Moon Records album were imported to the Cleveland area and quickly sold out. The song's blue collar theme resonated with hard rock fans.
The record's popularity in Cleveland led to the re-release of the album by Mercury Records. The first Canadian Mercury release on the standard red Mercury label is nearly as rare as the Moon version. It also had the Moon number 'MN-100' between the run-out groves, indicating that it was pressed from the same metal parts as the Moon disc. A special thank you to Donna Halper was added to the album credits. At that point manager Ray Danniels scraped together an additional $9000 for producer Terry Brown to professionally re-mix all of the recordings for better sound quality. This remix version was used for later releases most of which used the Mercury "skyline" record label instead of the red label.
A later Moon Records version of undetermined origin has a pink label with gray moon craters. ...
The album peaked on the Billboard charts at 105 and was certified Gold by the RIAA on February 1, 1995. A remastered version of the album was released in 1997. And just this past summer, an alternate version of the song Working Man (with a different solo) was released for the Rock Band video game and later made available to the public for digital download on iTunes.
... Kind of like who we are. Like kind of Zeppelin, Van Halen you know hard rock-y, Rush-y, kind of progressive a little bit. Hard rock. Hard sophisticated rock," Hagar said, adding that "Joe Satriani, he's the doctor man. He is the professor, this guy he's awesome. ...
I have another set of old Rush magazine scans for you courtesy reader Kevin B. This first one is from a February 1981 issue of Hit Parader with Cheap Trick on the cover. It's a one-page feature titled Rock Hotline which details what Rush was up to at that time.
This second one is from a November, 1982 edition of Guitar Heroes magazine with Jimmy Page on the cover. It contains an Alex Lifeson interview in two parts; a short one-page standard interview and another page titled Alex Lifeson: Why I Swopped this Gibson for a Fender which shows Alex holding his Gibson ES-369.
Canadian television journalist and announcer Mark Dailey recently celebrated his 30 year anniversary at CityTV. Dailey is widely credited with delivering the title line during the chorus of Subdivsions although he denies this in a recent CityNews article:
That's been an urban myth for years. It's not my voice on 'Subdivisions' by Rush but I continue to get credit. I've tried to dispel it but won't go away. Geddy Lee says he doesn't remember.
In last week's Updates post I let you know that Rush was mentioned in the March 30th edition of People magazine in the Music section on page 47. It reads:
HOT CLASSIC ROCKERS RUSH
"They've got a new to-decade complilation, Retrospective III (1989-2008), and appear in the new comedy "I Love You Man". Clearly Rush is still getting plenty of love." - Chuck Arnold
Kozmo4Rush first alerted me regarding this and recently sent me a scan which you can view by clicking on the thumbnail above.
If Geddy grew up in the United States he probably would have got his ass kicked every single day of his young life. Lucky for him, he grew up in the quaint town of Willowdale, Toronto and ended up being the frontman in of the geekiest bands of all time.
Progressive arrangement aside, his lyrical content and extremely high vocal range give Mr. Lee the "geek" status with no questions asked. Even if you haven't heard any of Rush's music, being in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame should be enough of a red flag to let you know how deep this dork river flows. When Geddy and the guys dropped A Farewell to Kings back in 1977, Dungeons & Dragons fans were salivating in their parent's basements just waiting for a new 10-minute Rush track that uses Greek mythology to explain the title's double meaning.
I still can't believe that they have a song called "Cygnus X-1."
Back in December I alerted you that Alex Lifeson would be making an appearance in a Canadian vampire horror/comedy film from writer/director Rob Stefaniuk called Suck. The movie is due for release sometime this year and reader RushFan19 was lucky enough to see an early screening of the film in Toronto and gave the following report over at Counterparts regarding Alex Lifeson's role in the film:
Lifeson is a border officer and asks the band in question for passports. He puts on two rubber gloves,thinking he might have to do a cavity search but he doesn't. The vampire bass player says sorry i cant take off my glasses i had too much to drink at the gig last night.
Lifeson: Are you a band?
Lifeson: Really? I used to be in a band too! Man,that brings me back! Well kids,have fun!
And then the guy who is chasing the vampire bass player shows up at the border after...
... Written and directed by Stefaniuk, Suck is about a group of musical wannabees in search of immortality and a record deal. The rock band The Winners have sunk so low, they will do anything to make it big. After a life-changing encounter with a vampire, they rocket to stardom only to discover that fame and fortune are not all they're cracked up to be.
Stefaniuk (Phil the Alien) stars as the lead singer of The Winners, Jessica Pare (Wicker Park) plays bass and is the first band member to succumb to the blood lust. Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Halloween) plays a vampire hunter who is afraid of the dark and Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall) is the band's manager.
Coates, meanwhile, is the vampire who converts the band. Pope will play a club manager, Rollins, a radio show host, and Moby, the lead singer in the rock band Secretaries of Steak. Iggy Pop plays a music producer and Calico is a bar maid alongside Alice Cooper who plays a sinister bartender who haunts the lead singer. ...
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
VH1 Classic Retrospective 3 special now online with bonus footage
This past Saturday evening at 10PM VH1 Classic began airing a 1-hour Rush: Retrospective 3 Box Set special. The special featured several Rush music videos from the Retrospective 3 DVD and many that were not on the DVD as well. Interspersed throughout were interview segments where Geddy Lee talks about the particular songs and their videos. The special has been posted online with the longer, uncut interview segments with Geddy. You can also watch all of the complete videos that were discussed. Thanks to AnalogKidAudioVideo for the heads up.
I Love You Man opens in 2nd place with $18 million
I Love You Man was released this past weekend and ended up grossing an impressive $18 million and coming in 2nd just behind Knowing which grossed $25 million. The movie is filled with Rush references including a cameo from the band themselves. The movie stars self-proclaimed Rush fansPaul Rudd (Peter) and Jason Segel (Sydney). You may remember Segel from his role on the short-lived TV show Freaks and Geeks, which frequently referenced Rush. In the movie Sydney's man cave is adorned with Rush posters and the 2 characters bond through their mutual love of Rush. In one scene the two end up jamming out to Tom Sawyer in the man cave (Peter plays a Geddy Lee Signature Jazz Bass). Sydney calls up Peter at one point alerting him that the Rush fan club (what Rush fan club?) just emailed him about Rush playing an impromptu show at a small venue (unlikely!). While mulling over the offer, Peter exclaims I haven't seen them live since the Signals tour!. The two along with Peter's fiancee then all go to the concert where the real Rush make their cameo, playing Limelight. At the end of the film in the wedding scene (shown as the credits are rolling), Paul and Sydney stand in with the wedding band to play Limelight. This performance is included on the I Love You Man Soundtrack (you can listen to it here), along with the original Rush versions of Limelight and Tom Sawyer.
How I Met Your Mother is a US sitcom that runs Monday nights on CBS. In last night's episode (Season 4, episode 18 Old King Clancy) there is a Rush reference. Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), Marshall (Jason Segel - who also stars in I Love You Man) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) were talking with Robin (Cobie Smulders) about a sexual experience she had with a Canadian celebrity who got her back to his place by showing her a very unique collection but ruined the moment when this celebrity wanted to do a weird Canadian sex act. Over the course of the episode, the characters tried to guess the celebrity, the sex act and the items that this celebrity collected. At one point, Lily guessed anyone from the band Rush, a montreal meat pie and superhero lunchboxes. You can watch the entire episode online at this link (the Rush reference occurs at about the 16:40 mark). Thanks to Riff Raff for the heads up.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Metallica's James Hetfield talks Rock Hall, mentions Rush once again
... Hetfield's got an entire list of hard-rock acts that he believes should be joining Metallica in the Hall - and he's not afraid to ruffle a few feathers to help their cause.
"Motörhead for sure, Deep Purple, Rush, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and even stuff before that ... Steppenwolf. It's crazy that Ted Nugent is not there; that dude is about as rock and roll as it gets. Alice Cooper, Kiss ... that's a pretty good list," he said. "These are bands that represent history and mean a lot to so many people. I think that alone means they should be in there too." ...
In my last poll I asked everyone which of the 11 un-remastered songs on Vapor Trails could most benefit from a remaster. The results are in and the winner with 23% of the vote was Secret Touch. Following in a close 2nd and 3rd were Ceiling Unlimited (19%) and Freeze (17%). You can view the complete results here.
Reader lerxstcire let me know that Geddy Lee is featured in the April issue of Spin magazine for their In My Room feature. It's a two-page story with Geddy in his den at home in Toronto where he describes some of the more notable items in the room such as his Order of Canada medal, his dog, etc.
Rush has also made the March 30th edition of People magazine in the Music section on page 47. It reads:
HOT CLASSIC ROCKERS RUSH
"They've got a new to-decade complilation, Retrospective III (1989-2008), and appear in the new comedy "I Love You Man". Clearly Rush is still getting plenty of love." - Chuck Arnold
... Grohl also went on a confessional tear about his fondness for Rush back in his high school days. Hearing "2112″ for the first time, he said, was an epiphany. "It was, like, woah - drums! You could be, like, the leader, then take over the world." But Grohl admitted he had to keep his fandom secret due to the band's "questionable" cover art. "On the back [of the album], they're all in white silk, one dude is in a kimono, and the other has these gnarly Cameron Diaz disco pants where the seam is perfectly [lined] in the middle of both of his balls," he explained. "I didn't tell anybody that I liked this band because of that dude's fuckin' nuts! I was afraid my friends would beat me up." ...
Rush Radio is undergoing a site redesign and I'm happy to say are using rushisaband for their official news feed. If you've never checked out the site before, they are the only 128kbps internet station on the planet that plays nothing but Rush. What more do you need to know? Check it out here.
Reader hemisphire found this interesting article at PopDose.com which is part of a series titled The Producers. In this chapter - the third installment in the series - Epic Records producer Tom Werman describes some frustrating times at Epic in the early 70s including this story about how Rush was courted by the label:
... In another frustrating case, I received a cassette by a Canadian band from a young Toronto manager. It sounded very good to me - unusually musical and a little unorthodox. It was an FM-sounding band in the midst of a lot of AM-sounding tape submissions, and the guitar playing was particularly good. I traveled to Toronto to see this band, and had dinner with their manager, Ray Danniels, who had been a band booker in the Toronto area. Ray drove us out to a high school in nearby suburban Mississauga, where I saw Rush perform a brilliant set in the school auditorium, with original drummer John Rutsey. We met afterward, and I told the band and Ray that I was very impressed, and would like sign them to Epic.
When I returned to New York, I wrote up a memo recommending that we sign the band, and waited a couple of weeks while our business affairs department negotiated with Ray. When the A&R department wanted to sign a band, the practice was to supply the business affairs department with pertinent information; this would typically be the degree of excitement we felt for the band, the nature of the deal the band was seeking, and the names and numbers of their management and attorneys. After the initial meeting, business affairs got back to Don, informing him that the $75,000 advance the band wanted for a two-album deal was simply out of the question. Don didn't question their decision, so eventually Cliff Burnstein, who was then in A&R, signed Rush to Mercury Records, whose offices were just across Sixth Avenue from us, and naturally the rest is history. This kind of thing was becoming difficult for me to take. ...
While on the topic of Rush's early days, John over at Cygnus-x1.net recently posted scans of the legendary December, 1974 edition of Beetle Magazine which features a Rush article along with a bunch of goofy pics of the trio clowning around. You can check out the scans at this link.
Back in late January, Alex Lifeson made a guest appearance at the Trailer Park Boys Community Service Variety Show at Massey Hall in Toronto. He came out towards the end of the show to perform Closer to the Heart with the boys playing a Gibson Les Paul. It turns out the particular guitar he used was loaned out to him by Cosmo Music Store in Toronto. After the show Alex signed the guitar and gave it back to the shop. Reader Andrew is now the proud owner and wanted me to share some pics of the guitar along with this video of him playing it.
All next week Sirius/XM Classic Rewind will be rebroadcasting Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson's appearance on XM's "Artist Confidential" from back in 2004. The one hour performance was recorded on August 3, 2004 and includes a Q&A with Geddy and Alex along with acoustic renditions of "Heart Full of Soul" and "Resist". The episode will air Monday, March 23rd at 9PM EST on Channel 15/Classic Rewind, and repeat Tues 3/24 12:00 pm ET; Wed 3/25 12:00 am ET; Thurs 3/26 2:00 pm ET; and Sat 3/28 9:00 am ET. Thanks to Power Windows for the news.
It's that time of year again, time for classic rock stations across the nation to conduct their annual March Madness battle of the bands competitions. Reader Scott P sent me this link to WDVE's Greatest Band Ever bracket. Rush is up against Jethro Tull in round one. You know what to do. If you know of any more of these contests, let me know about them so we can use the power of riab readers to bring victory for Rush.
Reader The Clansman 2112 wanted me to give everyone a reminder regarding his 2nd annual rushisaband Fantasy Baseball League. There are a couple of spots left if you want to join up and Draft Day is this Sunday so people have to get in quickly and set their pre-draft rankings. It's free to join and he's offering up prizes again for the top 3 spots with stripped down categories to make it simpler than the one last year and to reward the people who actually play throughout the year. Only serious managers need apply! To join up go to this link and use the League ID 150315 with Password atmsite.
UPDATE - 3/21@8:00AM:RushFanForever alerts us about this clip where Paul Rudd and Jason Segal were interviewed back on March 5th to promote the film on MuchMusic and at the end of the interview a mystery caller by the name of Alex spoke with the guys. Yes - it was Lerxst. You can check out the video at this link.
... Rudd and Segel were both somewhat nervous to work with other castmembers - namely, the gentlemen of the legendary prog-rock group Rush. "They're so mysterious," says Rudd, who was worried Geddy Lee and company would get tired of playing "Limelight" 40 takes in a row. If anyone knows what that was like, it was Rudd and Segel, who had to film their hysterical "Tom Sawyer' cover over two 14-hour days. "'Tom Sawyer' still haunts me a tiny bit," says Segel.
Most of the reviews have been very positive and never neglect to mention Rush as in this New York Times review (thanks naturalscience):
... Interest blooms into camaraderie when the men discover a mutual love of the band Rush, which, between this and its appearance last year on "The Colbert Report," is definitely riding a pop cultural wave. ...
While on the surface, I Love You, Man is a comedy about the difficulty of finding male friends, writer-director John Hamburg confesses it's really just "a love letter" to legendary Canadian rock band Rush.
"Y'know, I'm not hiding anything with this," says Hamburg, who was in a Rush tribute band called Luv Rynos. "How many times do characters say 'Rush is the greatest band of all time!' or 'Can you believe that concert? They were amazing!' ...
I had absolutely no experience or knowledge of Rush. I knew it existed - that was about it. That made it interesting for me. John Hamburg gave me a CD at the beginning of the movie. It was almost good, because I was supposed to be the outsider - and I was the outsider. I enjoyed the concert date. What do people call the band? Prog rock? The musicality seems pretty complicated, which makes it interesting listening in hour 11, listening to the same songs over and over again.
The movie was even featured on VH1 Classic's That Metal Show last week as their movie pick of the week because of Rush's involvement. They interviewed the 2 co-stars and also showed a short clip from the movie where their characters are at a Rush show while the band jams out Limelight. You can check out the video here.
If you get a chance to see the movie, let us know what you think. I've also updated the site poll to ask you all what you think about Rush's involvement with the movie? Take the Poll and let us know. I'll have my regular Friday Updates and other random Rush stuff post up either later today or tomorrow morning.
VH1 Classic will begin airing a 1-hour Rush: Retrospective 3 Box Set special starting Saturday from 3 to 4 PM EST. It will be re-broadcast several times throughout the week. Check your local TV listings for air times. The special will feature new interviews from the band along with several videos from the Retrospective 3 DVD. Thanks to Sean for the heads up.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
DRUM! Magazine receives over 1000 questions for Neil Peart
Back in February I mentioned that Neil Peart had agreed to answer questions from DRUM! Magazine readers for a cover feature in their June 2009 issue. The magazine had set up a mailbox to accept questions and given fans until March 15th to send theirs in. The campaign is now over and they ended up receiving over 1000 responses! From the press release:
... The emailed questions have varied from the most basic to the highly complex in regard to Peart's drumming approach. During an initial audit, many questions posed to Peart focused on how his influences have been as well as more technical, such as how he developed such a diverse left hand approach.
"We were very intrigued by the initial results," said Phil Hood, publisher and one of the founders of DRUM! Magazine. "Neil is just one of those drummers appreciated by drummers of all ages and walks of life so we anticipate a really diverse and cool story. As previously announced, Andy Doerschuk, editor and another founder of DRUM!, will take the questions and create and integrated editorial cover story. ...
... Fans who want to be ensured of getting a copy of the special June issue can subscribe at www.drumsub.com.
... There isn't. None. There's lots of unreleased live material. Hours. Months. But there's no [studio] material that we've recorded and not released. It's like this: if we're working on a song where we don't love it enough to put it on the record, we throw it away. If we're disappointed in them, we trash them.
The April 2009 issue of Premier Guitar Magazine contains a 6-page interview with Alex Lifeson. The interview focuses mostly on Alex's gear including the various guitars he's used over the years and how Lerxst goes about choosing which guitar to use on a particular song or out on tour. He also touches on Rush's plans for the upcoming year and a possible future solo project:
... Well this tour, it really, well... it killed us! We did 120 shows on this tour. The show is over three hours, and we're no spring chickens, that's for sure. So we decided we would take a year off and get it out of our systems. Whether Geddy and I get together sometime in the spring and do a little bit of casual writing, that's fine. And we probably will-we get a little antsy. But I don't think we'll get into anything until the fall, and whether that's going to be a new record or another tour or what exactly, I'm really not sure. I'm assuming at this point we would be working on another album. ....
.... You know, I just did a big renovation in my studio, and Rich Chycki, who engineered the last couple of records and DVDs, has moved in with me so we're planning on doing a lot of things. I'd like to do a little bit more producing, working with some other artists, and I've thought about doing another solo project... that's definitely along there somewhere on the stovetop. We'll see.
You can read the entire interview online at this link. Thanks to interviewer Max Mobley for the heads up.
The April 2009 issue of Blender magazine features Geddy Lee in their Dear Superstar column where readers submit questions for their favorite rockers. The 4-page spread includes 17 bizarre questions from fans along with Geddy's witty responses. No great insights in this article, but it's definitely a fun read. You can check out a scan of the article by clicking on the thumbnails above. Thanks to RicBass4003 for the scans.
I have a couple more Geddy Lee radio interviews to share with you. If you missed the initial batch from the week of the Retrospective 3 release you can check those out at this link. The first interview is from Classic Rock 94.7 which you can check out at this link or by using the player below (thanks jarad2112). The second one is from Geddy's appearance on the Bob and Tom show which aired yesterday morning. Alex was originally supposed to do this interview a couple weeks ago but had to cancel due to illness. You can check it out at this link (thanks tst4eko). Both interviews are about 10 minutes long and cover all the usual subjects; no groundbreaking news or information.
After literally months of examination and discussions with the artists, due to the age and fragility of most of original first-generation analog masters to classic Rush titles, we've had to cancel plans to release the titles we had planned. They have deemed that the original masters should not be used for any future re-mastering, and we have to respect that decision. We apparently lucked out big-time with Permanent Waves as it was in pristine condition. Sorry for the bad news but we're not feeling so hot about it ourselves. I believe another indie label is now looking into releasing some Rush titles in the future but mastered from copy tapes." - Best regards, Michael Grantham
Geddy Lee is featured on page 66 in the Music section of the March 20th edition of Entertainment Weekly. The article is a full page spread titled Three Rounds With...Geddy Lee and subtitled Rush's resident wine expert discusses his band's new hits collection and movie cameo. You can check out a full page scan of the article by clicking on the thumbnail to your right. Thanks to ReGorLaTroy for the scan and the heads up.
... We eventually ended up at the Manager's Forum dinner honoring Ray Danniels, who guides the career of Rush. They say Rush gets no respect, that the mainstream press doesn't cover the threesome and it's not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. IT DOESN'T MATTER! I get more e-mail about Rush than almost any other act. People telling me about their exploits, how Neil Peart is the best drummer in the world. It's all about fans, and Rush has them. And Geddy was there, about seven feet away. Do you still get a rush when you're in the vicinity of rock stars? I do. With his granny glasses, wisp of hair on his chin and that seen it all, but humorous expression, it was unmistakably the guy who knows today's Tom Sawyer. Cool!
And Ray financed the act's first album, which got picked up by WMMS in Cleveland. And then the band broke. Randy Lennox joked that the 5,000 copies sold independently was once again a significant figure. Got a laugh. But when it was lamented that the old system was broken, I laughed. Good riddance! To major labels and radio! A great band like Rush can break without them. But there are very few great bands, and the road is longer, a heavier slog than ever before.
Author, radio consultant, historian and - most importantly to us - Rush discovererDonna Halper sent me this rare Rush photo (and also posted it to her Facebook page) and wanted me to share it with all of you. Here's the photo along with Donna's description:
It was taken in 1974, at WMMS in Cleveland, right after Rush were signed to Mercury Records. On the left is Matt the Cat, one of the DJ's at WMMS-FM, then the three very young members of Rush, then me with the original Rush album, my boss John Gorman, and the Mercury Records promotion man Don George. I didn't realize the photo still existed-- it was taken for the music industry trade publications (Billboard, Record World) and was recently located by my former Program Director, John Gorman. (And I still have the dress, and it actually still fits!)
Registration for both RushCon 9 and Rush RatCon 2009 is now open. RatCon 2009 will take place in Baltimore the weekend of June 12th and feature Donna Halper as a guest speaker along with a bevy of other activities. For all the details and to register online go to the RatCon website at this link. RushCon 9 will take place in Toronto the weekend of July 24th and feature Michael Mosbach and Martin Popoff as guest speakers alongside a mess of of other nifty activities. For details and registration visit the RushCon website.
Several weeks back I mentioned how you could submit questions for Geddy Lee that were supposed to appear in a future issue of Blender. It looks like the April issue contains a 4-page spread on Rush including an interview with Geddy Lee where he answers some of these questions. Thanks to Scott_PA for the heads up.
Reader The Clansman 2112 wanted me to let you all know about his 2nd annual rushisaband Fantasy Baseball League. It's free to join and he's offering up prizes again for the top 3 spots with stripped down catagories to make it simpler from the one last year and to reward the people who actually play throughout the year. Only serious managers need apply! To join up go to this link and use the League ID 150315 with Password atmsite.
robh777 let me know that Rush got a mention on the Howard Stern show recently. One of the hosts of That Metal Show on VH1 ClassicJim Florentine was a guest on the show and the two discussed who had the better fans: Rush or Kiss.
Speaking of That Metal Show, reader sndtatro let me know that on the season 2 premier episode of the show during the Stump The Trunk portion, one of the audience members asked the question who sang "I Think I'm Going Bald" and what album did it come off of? Being the huge Rush fan that he is, host Eddie Trunk was able to easily answer both questions. The video is available at this link.
Speaking of I Think I'm Going Bald, readers Jim and Kyle McPhillips are once again cutting their hair for charity. Jim and his son Kyle would appreciate your help in raising money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Last year their goal was $1,000 and they ended up raising close to $3,000 in less than a week! Because of the tough economy, this year their goal is just $500. To help them out and find out more about the charity visit this link.
Reader Matthew W has been running a Rush discussion on Yahoo since 2004 called Rush Song of the Week. They spent 3 years discussing all of Rush's songs and now are taking a step back and discussing an album a month. They are currently up to A Show of Hands. It is not too late if anyone wants to join the discussion. You can check out the group at this link.
In the latest issue of the British music magazine Word there's an interview with Emily Procter, the blonde actress from CSI: Miami and The West Wing. Procter talks about her own band and says at one point, I'm a huge Rush fan -- the more complicated and difficult the better.... Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.
Reader Jay let us know that The Acoustic Storm syndicated radio show will be playing some Rush on their Sunday, March 22nd broadcast. For a list of stations that carry the show check out this link.
Here's a tragic story from Guitar World magazine regarding a Rush-autographed guitar. Apparently one of the Guitar World staff asked Alex and Geddy to autograph his guitar and he left it next to his desk. Some office idiot, not knowing the guitar's owner, gave it away! The recipient, a non-Rush fan, managed to erase the autograph with nail varnish remover! Oh the humanity!! :) Thanks to Mark M for the heads up.
I received a bunch of emails about this next item but reader TMMB was the first. On a recent edition of Red Eye on Fox News, the guest was Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R) and he was asked by host Greg Gutfeld if the Democrats ever attack him for listening to Rush (Limbaugh). He relayed a story of how he was asked by a different cable show this same question and his reply was who doesn't love Canadian power rock trios?. He then said I did not know that digging 2112 or Moving Pictures was somehow imputing my motives as a Republican politician. Gutfeld replied I am not a fan of prog rock so I would say it does. Thaddeus came back with Well, I could have brought up Triumph but the reporter would have been completely confused. Thaddeus is a very witty guy. :) You can check out the video on YouTube at this link:
Earlier this weekBW&BK reported that Rush would be guests on Toronto's preeminent classic rock station Q107 this evening at 9PM EST. It turns out that this guest appearance isn't a guest appearance at all, but just a pre-taped radio special; the same one that aired on Y106 out of Columbus, IN over the past weekend which you can listen to in this post (I also included it below for convenience). That said, it's a well done special and worth listening if you missed it before. Nothing to see here ... move along! :)
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Neil Peart's Roadshow Illustrated Companion update
.... Somehow, I had imagined the Illustrated Companion would more-or-less assemble itself - Brutus would gather the images; Hugh would select the best of them; my editor Paul McCarthy would choose passages from Roadshow to accompany the pictures; and the publishers (my friends at Rounder Books) would put it all together.
Well . . . dream on. ....
... In the past few years, while I was involved with all of those other projects, my book publishers became a little over-excited, and started listing the title of the Roadshow Illustrated Companion as if it were already a reality - including it in the "other books by" column at the front of the paperback edition of Roadshow, and even, apparently, taking advance orders for it!
Well, short version - it's probably not going to happen.
Or, as may be clear by now, it is happening right here, right now.
In any case, I do apologize for any inconvenience or false expectations.
Someday I would like to assemble some of my "News, Weather, and Sports" stories into a proper book - it would be especially nice to be able to present the photographs with higher resolution and greater layout flexibility. Plus, with the physical reality of a book, a CD, or a DVD, it is always nice to make something you can hold in your hands.
But for now, here is where it's at . .
So he's basically saying that the book will more than likely not come to pass. But the good news is that he's thoroughly enjoying regularly writing and posting pictures to his website and sounds eager to do more with this medium. Thanks to Brad O for the heads up.
Retrospective 3 debuts at #47 in its first week of release
UPDATE - 3/16@12:17PM: Sorry for the late report, but this ended up just being a repeat performance of the November, 2008 interview which you can watch here.
Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson will be guests on the CBC's The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos this coming Friday, March 13th at 11PM. In case you miss the interview, it should be up on the show's website Friday evening at this link. Geddy and Alex were just on the show this past November as well, and if you missed that one you can watch it here. Thanks to Ray V for the heads up.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Rush manager Ray Danniels to receive Music Managers Forum award
Last week the Music Managers Forum Canada (MMF Canada) announced that longtime Rush manager Ray Danniels would be the recipient of the 3rd annual MMF Canada Honour Roll Award. The award is presented each year during Canadian Music Week and celebrates an individual's outstanding excellence and achievements within the music and artist management community. The award reception will take place tomorrow evening at Bymark Restaurant. Jam! Music recently interviewed Ray about the award and he had this to say:
... "I never called my company after myself, I never wanted to be a public figure, so it's hard for me to talk about myself," ... "But I look at the recognition on this, and I say this is the recognition for what Rush has done in the last 20 years."
That's only half the time that Danniels, 56, has spent with the band. He began managing Rush when he was just 16 and was growing up alongside them in Toronto.
"It just happened," he recalled. "If you're going to quit school to manage a rock and roll band, you better have the right one."
... Danniels aggressively shopped Rush's music to record labels but they weren't interested. So he released the music himself.
"No one wanted to sign them at that level, so I became a record company," he recalled. "Same on the publishing side, no one had any interest in them, and I was just determined.
"Listen to that first album (1974's 'Rush'), these were songs written by kids. To this day, it gets a ton of airplay. It still stands up. And these guys were barely able to get into bars. If they hadn't lowered the drinking age in Ontario, they wouldn't have been able to play a club."...
...[Rush] has been defying expectations of late. Their most recent album, 2007's "Snakes & Arrows," debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard charts, selling about 93,000 copies in its first week.
The band followed that with extremely successful tours in consecutive summers.
Danniels says he's astounded by Rush's longevity.
"I didn't ever think that I'd still be doing this with the same partners, same band, for so long," he said. "That's the best part of the story."
The new Paul Rudd and Jason Segal film I Love You Man releases next Friday, March 20th. As I'd reported previously, the movie contains many Rush references including a cameo from the band themselves. Geddy recently spoke a bit about this cameo in his Q104.3 radio interview with Jim Kerr last week and expressed how much he and the band enjoyed participating. The soundtrack for the movie is now available for pre-order and - as expected - it will contain a couple of Rush songs: Tom Sawyer and Limelight along with an amusing cover of Limelight as performed by Rudd and Segal which you can listen to using the player below. You can check out the complete tracklist at this link. Thanks to axe for the heads up.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Rush Retrospective 3 Y106 radio special now online
In my Friday updates post I mentioned that Y106 in Columbus, IN would be airing a 1-hour long special on Saturday in celebration of the release of Retrospective 3. The special has now been posted on the station's website at this link in 3 segments. They play several songs from the compilation interspersed with interview segments with all three band members taken from various interviews over the past 20 years. Songs included are The Seeker, The Pass, Dreamline, Nobody's Hero, Half the World, One Little Victory, Far Cry and the Colbert Report performance of Tom Sawyer. You can listen to it at the provided link or by using the player below. Thanks to pariah dog for the heads up.
According to BW&BK, Rush will be guests on Toronto's preeminent classic rock station Q107 this coming Thursday, March 12th at 9PM EST. The band will be discussing their 35th anniversary, playing rare tracks and promoting their recently-released Retrospective 3 greatest hits package. More details as they become available.
The news this past week was of course dominated by the Tuesday release of Rush's Atlantic-era greatest hits package Retrospective 3. Geddy Lee was on the radio interview circuit this week promoting the release and I've been keeping track of these in my radio interviews roundup post. He was supposed to be on the Bob and Tom show this morning and probably a few others - just keep an ear out to your local rock stations. Probably the best (and longest) interview thus far was the one from the Jim Kerr Rock and Roll Morning Show on Q104.3 in New York yesterday morning. It was a bit longer than normal and they have video available which you can watch at this link. Otherwise most of the interviews are not very noteworthy and seldom last more than 5 or 10 minutes. Reader Collin B also let me know that Y106 in Columbus, IN will be airing a 1-hour long special in celebration of Retrospective 3 where they will be playing songs from the compilation interspersed with interview segments. And Allmusic.com recently posted their review of the album and it's very positive. Here's an excerpt:
... what really transpires through this listen is the feeling that Rush are still very much a band; they reached the end of a lull only to get hungry again, reached for a new zenith, and shook off the complacency of their position as a ponderous and progressive veteran stadium juggernaut. In turn, they became a taut, wily rock & roll band again, putting on epic shows and creating thought-provoking, ass-shaking hard rock records. This is the latest evidence. Here's hoping there is a Retrospective, Vol. 4.
Earlier today we got the details regarding this year's RushCon fan convention. We already knew that the event would take place the weekend of July 24-26th in Toronto. In addition to all the usual RushCon events, this year there will be 2 exciting guest speakers; Michael Mosbach and Martin Popoff. The theme of this year's convention is Elevate From The Norm. You can check out the flyer with the complete details at this link.
Speaking of charity, reader Mark W (aka AFarCryfromFBN) wanted to thank all the RIAB members who supported his effort to raise money for the March of Dimes, March for Babies. There are still over 50 days left until the walk, so please take a moment to check out Mark's site and give if you are able.
The Chicago Tribune crossword puzzle from Friday, February 27th had a nice little Geddy reference. The 4 down clue was Lee of Rush. You can check it out at this link. Thanks to ort for the heads up.
I have another old Rush article scan for you from reader Kevin B. This one is from a February, 1977 issue of Circus magazine. It's an interview with Geddy Lee promoting the All The World's a Stage live album. You can check out the article by clicking on the thumbnails above.
Reader Tom B sent me this very early ad for Rush's first album which appeared in the October 12th issue of Billboard Magazine. It's interesting to see some of the names of the venues they played back then.
The details regarding this year's RushCon fan convention were just sent out via the RushCon newsletter. We already knew that the event would take place the weekend of July 24-26th in Toronto. In addition to all the usual RushCon events, this year there will be 2 exciting guest speakers; Michael Mosbach and Martin Popoff. Michael (aka Praetorian) has been Rush's head of security for 11 years and is the close friend and riding partner of Neil Peart. Martin is a rock journalist, critic and author who has written numerous books documenting various heavy metal and hard rock bands including the Rush biography Contents Under Pressure. He is also the co-founder of Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles magazine. The theme of this year's convention is Elevate From The Norm. You can check out the flyer with the complete details at this link.
UPDATE - 3/5@2:49PM: Reader Wayne K. let us know that Geddy was on 97Rock in Buffalo today and that the interview is up at this link.
UPDATE - 3/5@12:59PM: Reader jt let me know that Geddy appeared in place of Alex on 103.5 The Fox in Denver this morning. He had also been on yesterday as well but had to cut the interview short because he was choking on something apparently? I heard the interview and it's nothing spectacular. It's about 7 minutes long and Geddy talks about his influences, caring for his voice and how Neil's tragedy affected the band.
Reader hermy let me know that Geddy was on KQRS out of St. Paul, MN this morning as well. The rebroadcast of their morning show is now up on their website at this link (go about 1/3 in on clip 2).
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UPDATE - 3/5@9:36AM: The Geddy Lee interview from the Jim Kerr Rock and Roll Morning Show on Q104.3 in New York has been posted online. Better yet, they have video of the interview rather than just the audio. You can check it out in three parts at this link.
From what I've been hearing, it sounds like Alex is a little under the weather and his interviews have either been postponed or Geddy is filling in. This is why Alex wasn't on the Bob and Tom show yesterday (thanks Devon). I'm hearing conflicting reports; one saying that Geddy will appear in his place either today or tomorrow and another saying Alex will appear tomorrow. JayBird also reports that Geddy was on Rock98 in Baltimore this morning.
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Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeon are on the radio interview circuit this week promoting Retrospective 3. These interviews tend to be very short and have little in the way of new information, and the DJs conducting the interviews are usually (there are exceptions) pretty clueless. Geddy did most (all?) of the interviews today. He was on WCSX out of Detroit this morning and the interview can be heard online at this link. He also appeared on the Mark and Brian show which you can listen to here (it's listed in their On Demand player). Apparently he was also on 103.5 The Fox in Denver although I had originally heard that Alex was supposed to do that interview. Actually Alex was also supposed to have been on the Bob and Tom show this morning (list of affiliate stations here) but apparently that didn't happen. The producer of the Jim Kerr Rock and Roll Morning Show emailed me to confirm that Geddy Lee will indeed be in the studio tomorrow morning bright and early at 7AM on Q104.3 in New York. You can listen live at this link. I'm sure there are a few others I missed, so keep your eyes/ears open for more and let us know what you find out. I'll keep adding any new interview links/info to this post as I learn of it.
My contact at Atlantic Records has asked me to let everyone know that Rush will be in the Atlantic Records office tomorrow and they wanted to take the opportunity to submit a few questions to Geddy Lee for a fan Q&A session. Geddy will be going through and answering a few of these questions on video which will then be posted on the Rush.com website at a later date. Just send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be taking submissions until 2:00PM EST tomorrow.
UPDATE - 3/4@5:02PM: You can listen to the Geddy Lee WCSX (Detroit) interview at this link, and the Mark and Brian Geddy interview at this link (it's listed in their On Demand player).
UPDATE - 3/4@10:15AM: As I'd mentioned below, Alex and Geddy are doing the radio interview circuit over the next couple of days. I'm getting some conflicting reports as to exactly when/where all the interviews will happen so just keep an ear open to your local classic rock stations. So far I've heard that Alex was supposed to be on the Bob and Tom show this morning (list of affiliate stations here). If anybody heard the interview or has any details, let us know. I also heard that Geddy was scheduled to appear on the Mark and Brian show this morning (list of affiliate stations here). If anybody heard that interview or has any details, let us know as well. Reader Malignant Narcissist also alerted me that he heard a promo that Rush would be in the studio on Q104.3 in New York City tomorrow. I'm sure they'll be doing other interviews too. There are often a lot of last minute scheduling changes, so there's really no telling when they'll show up.
A couple of quick items regarding Retrospective 3 itself. Several of you have pointed out that the Colbert Report performance of Tom Sawyer and Stephen Colbert's interview with the band that appears on the DVD is an extended version. There's an extra question where Stephen asks the band about Where's My Thing? being Part 4 of the Gangster of Boats Trilogy. :) There's also some confusion regarding the Ghost of a Chance live track. It's listed as coming from Roll the Bones (1993) when the album was actually released in 1991. And this has caused some to question whether the track might actually be from an earlier tour. It's not - it's from the Snakes & Arrows tour Atlanta show. The 1993 seems to just be a typo.
Also reader Jeff H (aka local_guitarist, aka RedSectorA) has scanned the Retrospective 3 album art which you can check out here.
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Rush's Atantic-era greatest hits package Rush: Retrospective 3 officially releases today although many fans who ordered online via Rush.com or the Rush Backstage Club have already received their copies. Probably the most anticipated detail regarding the release is the fact that it contains remixed/remastered versions of One Little Victory and Earthshine from the Vapor Trails album. There's also a previously unreleased track of Ghost of a Chance from the Snakes & Arrows tour and - on the DVD - a previously unreleased video of Secret Touch from the R30 tour. Also included on the DVD is Rush's Colbert Report performance of Tom Sawyer along with Stephen Colbert's interview with the band. To promote the release VH1 Classic will be airingRush in Rio all this week along with the band's That Metal Show appearance, and they will also be airing a commercial. It also looks like Alex and Geddy will be doing some radio interviews over the next few days. Alex was supposed to be on 103.5 The Fox in Denver this morning (thanks John T) and Geddy is scheduled to appear on 95.5 KLOS tomorrow on the Mark and Brian show (thanks Analogkid1123). If you've received your copy, let us know what you think.
Back in December Alex Lifeson performed at the 4th annual Andy Kim Christmas Show at The Mod Club in Toronto, ON. Chartattack.com sat down with Alex at the show for an interview and recently posted the video on YouTube. Alex talks with Chartattack's Kate Harper about his involvement with the Andy Kim Christmas Show, Rush's Snakes & Arrows tour, his favorite Rush songs, and Rush's plans for their next album. The segment runs about 4 and a half minutes and includes several video snippets of Alex playing at the show. You can watch it at this link and I've also included it below. Thanks to DubLife for the heads up.
Signed Neil Peart DW drum head charity auction ends today!
* 1 pair of 1995 Pro-Mark Neil Peart Signature 747 Drumsticks * 1 pair of 2006 Pro-Mark R30 Limited Edition Green Ink Drumsticks (900 pairs made - valued at $500) * 1 pair of 2007 Pro-Mark Snakes & Arrows Tour Drumsticks (retail version) (These three pairs are collector drumsticks and were not personally used by Mr. Peart)
... Neil donated the 14" drum head to help raise money for Southern California Deputy Sheriff Robert "Bobby" Corrales who has been battling leukemia for the last nine months. Bobby is of Chinese-Mexican ancestry and finding a bone marrow match has been a serious challenge. As of today, they still have not located a donor.
Bobby is a very giving person to his community and the job he serves. In recognizing this, Neil donated this signed drum head to help raise money for Bobby and his family. Great for any Rush fan or collector or someone wanting to help out a person in a crisis who would be there to help you out in a time of crisis. Buyer to pay shipping and handling charges. If you have any further questions, please email or call John at 805.338.0892. PayPal prefered.
90% of the proceeds will go directly to Bobby and the other 10% to the T.J. Martell Foundation to help fight cancer. ...
Back in December I mentioned that Geddy Lee was featured in a short interview in issue #40 of the UK's Bass Guitar Magazine. The issue contained a list of the 40 best bass lines ever and Rush's Digital Man came in at #38. Reader RedSectorA scanned the article for us and you can check it out by clicking on the thumbnails. Geddy talks about his different bass guitars and style of playing. When asked what he thought about Digital Man making the top 40 bass lines he had this to say:
Oh, that's really cool. Yes, it's probably one of our more interesting bass parts, the fans definitely like it. I love that bassline and I always enjoy playing it, but it's a bit tricky to get it right every time, I'll tell you!