A couple of weeks ago on Thursday, June 18th the Drum Channel's DC Live program hosted a live chat with Neil Peart, Doane Perry (Jethro Tull) and Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa). The trio chatted about drumming and answered some fan questions for about an hour and a half and then performed an unbelievable half-hour drum jam session. If you missed the show the first time around or want to watch it a again, you can do so at the Drum Channel website here. Thanks to AFarCryfromFBN for the heads up.
5 years ago yesterday Rush released their 8-song EP Feedback which featured the band covering songs that were influential for the band members during the 1960's. The album was released in celebration of the band's 30th anniversary and the tour in support of the album was dubbed the R30: 30th Anniversary Tour. On the tour Rush performed The Seeker, Heart Full of Soul, Crossroads and Summertime Blues from the album. Feedback peaked at #19 on the Billboard album charts.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Neil Peart news update: Neil's going to be a father again!
... With a nice long stretch of time at home in Southern California this year, I have been able to work on a good flow of prose writing, especially for the new cooking department, Bubba's Bar 'n' Grill....
But the real gem of this particular update is buried within Neil's usual prose about two-thirds into the update:
... At the same time, under that same marine layer, my wife Carrie was seven months pregnant. [Pause for sharp intake of breath and shiver of apprehension.] Our baby was growing and kicking, protected and insulated in its own oceanic fluid, its own marine layer. The anxious (not to say terrified) father kind of wished the baby could stay there, safe from harm, and not have to embark upon a life of menace and potential tragedy. He had lost before, and probably couldn't stand to lose again. People kept saying it was going to be all right, and he tried to keep telling himself that. Even in the June Gloom. ...
Neil and his wife Carrie are pregnant and look to be expecting baby sometime later this summer! As a Rush fan who watched helplessly from afar as Neil went through the dual tragedies of losing his only daughter Selena and wife Jackie over a decage ago, it's really wonderful to see that Neil has come to a place in his healing process where he is ready to be a father again. I know I don't typically get very emotional here, but I have to admit that I tear came to my eye when I read this latest update. A big congratulations to Carrie and Neil. It's not clear at this time how this big bit of news will affect any plans for Rush in the upcoming year, but my guess is that it may understandably delay things a little. We'll see. But for right now I feel nothing but joy for Neil and family. :)
As I'd mentioned above, Sirius/XM's The Boneyard will be featuring a Rush Interactive Countdown Weekend starting this evening at 6PM EST and running through the weekend. You can vote for your favorite Rush song by dropping them an email at Boneyard@siriusxm.com, then the Boneyard air staff will count down the top Rush songs all weekend.
The 2008 novel Primeval: Shadow Of The Jaguar by author Steven Seville contains several Rush references. The character Connor has 2112 on his mp3 player's playlist (page 43). In one part of the book the characters split up and are told to tune their radios to channel 2112 (pages 106,206). And in the acknowledgments the author states Nothing can survive in a vacuum, and as the song goes, no-one can exist all alone; he's obviously a Rush fan. Thanks to Power Windows for the info.
... got a little bit of (Pink) Floyd, a little bit of Rush, a little bit of blink in there. It's crazy, but it somehow sounds exactly like where we left off (in 2005). It's an amazing song...
DeLonge also recently told Rolling Stone (June 11th issue with Lady Gaga on the cover) the following regarding the song:
... One of our new songs sounds like we mixed Rush and post hardcore with some drums and bass beats....
There's a quick Neil Peart reference in the second episode of season two of the Japanese anime series K-On! which aired April 9th, 2009. When one of the characters goes to the music store to buy a Les Paul guitar, a Pearl Drums banner on the wall has been reworked to read Peart, the best reason to play drums. Check out a screenshot here. Thanks to Power Windows for the info and the screenshot.
Here are a couple of 2112 movie sightings courtesy Power Windows. In the trailer for the 2008 film Who's Your Monkey one of the characters is wearing a 2112 t-shirt. And in the 2008 film What Just Happened there's a scene late in the film where Robert DeNiro's character is trying to catch a plane home from Cannes and the plane's ID number is CS2112F.
Power Windows also reported on a Rush reference from Rifftrax.com, a website produced by the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 which creates downloadable audio commentaries to play over movies. During the Rifftrax for the horror film Saw, released May 13th, 2008, when investigators find the doctor's pen light at the scene of a victim of the jigsaw killer, Danny Glover states Get a rush on these prints. Bill Colbert quips Geddy Lee preferably.
Reader Andy S located this article in the UK's Guardian where several music artists were asked to name the best working band or singer in the world today. One of the artists was Rush's Geddy Lee and here's what he had to say:
Geddy Lee of Rush on Radiohead
Describing someone as "the best" is something you do at school in grade 5, but Radiohead are the most interesting of the big groups. In terms of communication and reach, it has to be U2, but I like Radiohead's intricacy and melodic content. They've got a willingness to experiment with melody and texture that a lot of bands don't have. Plus, they manage to stay fresh. It's more about attitude than technology. I've often thought Radiohead carry on what began as progressive rock nearly 40 years ago. There's a similar spirit and willingness to explore.
It's literally impossible to talk about Canadian music and musicians without mentioning the genre's poster child, Rush. For over 35 years the trio of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart has pioneered new ground with just about every release, consistently displaying the band's technical prowess without sacrificing commercial appeal. The band's musical creativity has influenced countless younger acts to learn how to play their own respective instruments. And by the looks of it, the Rush machine doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The band just wrapped up the final leg of its Snakes & Arrows tour, and are reportedly headed back into the studio again sometime this fall.
Snakes & Arrows Live was directed by Pierre and François Lamoureux of FogoLabs. A full service production company based out of both Montreal and New York City, FogoLabs is not new to the IMDA/DVDA awards having won 8 Excellence Awards over the years, this their 9th, including 'Facility of The Year' two years running. "I always have a great time recording Rush. They play so well that it makes life easier even though you have 80 odd tracks for 3 musicians! Kudos go out to Rich Chycki and Alex Lifeson who mixed the music, to Andy VanDette who mastered the mixes and to Denis Normandeau, my audio partner of 9 years, who encoded the music to DTS-HDMA for the Blu-Ray here at FogoLabs." said François Lamoureux, president of FogoLabs after receiving the good news.
A complete list of the winners can be seen here. Thanks to lilvictory for the heads up.
The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win a unique orange Rush 2007 Snakes & Arrows tour poster from the June 25th Pittsburgh show. The contest ends on July 6th and you can sign up to enter at this link.
Rush Interactive Countdown Weekend on Sirius/XM's The Boneyard
The Boneyard wants you to vote now for your favorite Rush song by dropping us an email to Boneyard@siriusxm.com. Then the Boneyard air staff will count down the Rush songs all weekend that get the most votes - in the order you placed them. The countdown begins Friday June 26 with Cane at 6pm eastern/3 pacific.
To promote the event, Geddy Lee will be appearing on The Boneyard's Lou Brutus show at 5PM EST today although it's not clear whether this will be a live appearance or a previously-taped interview. The interview will apparently also be re-run tomorrow and Friday as well. Thanks to rushfanatic500 for the heads up.
Coming soon to NeilPeart.net: Bubba's Bar 'n' Grill
You may have noticed a new big ad on the home page of Neil Peart's official site announcing the impending launch of Bubba's Bar 'n' Grill. It depicts a lit-up neon sign at night which reads Opening Soon! Bubba's Bar 'n' Grill: Good Simple Food. There is otherwise no indication of what this all means, but one can theorize that whatever it is it'll have to do with food in some way. Indeed, back in the Official Announcement Concerning the Illustrated Roadshow Companion, Neil wrote about a possible new addition to his website called Chef Ellwood's Kitchen:
.... Cooking, for example, might become a new department on the Web site called "Chef Ellwood's Kitchen." Or sports cars -- I have written a fair amount about motorcycles and motorcycling, but relatively little about cars, though four-wheelers have fascinated me since boyhood, and absorbed much time and interest in my life. Over the past year I have been forging a sometimes rocky relationship with a 1964 Aston Martin DB5, and it has engendered plenty of stories -- at least for people interested in that sort of thing. Perhaps I'll open a new department called "Bubba's Garage." ...
Cool. So maybe we can look forward to some cooking tips from Chef Elwood. Stay tuned... Thanks to hermy and Andrew Olson for the heads up.
The rock band Rush resonates widely for musician-fans and others interested in structural complexity, individualism, and a range of literary and stylistic influences. The group has explored such genres as heavy metal and hard rock, progressive and synth-rock, and post-progressive "power trio," along with various secondary influences. However, the band has also wandered among such lyrical interests as relationships, fantasy-adventure, classical mythology, European and world history, science-fiction, libertarianism, atheism, science, and technology.
We are looking for short articles (of around twenty pages) to add to this proposed anthology for the series that began with "Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing" (2000), but since 2005 has also included (see http://www.opencourtbooks.com/categories/pcp.htm) music-related books about hip hop, Bob Dylan, U2, the Beatles, the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Radiohead, and Jimmy Buffett. Writers in philosophy, musicology, economics, and psychology have already committed to "Rush and Philosophy," and they are exploring the following areas from across Rush's career (1974- ):
-personal tragedies, self-determination, and Sartre -the anthropic cosmological principle and atheism -Canadianness in Anglo-American genres and in lyrics and images -tribute projects of the band's music in death metal, trip-hop, and classical strings -the band's combination of secular humanism and mysticism -libertarianism and left-libertarianism, rather than "right-wing" -the cognitive function of riffs and other music in expressing difficult ideas -a roundtable on political economy, Ayn Rand, and Rush's "2112"
Contributions from women, minorities, and people from outside of North America are most welcome!
Deadline for one-page abstracts: July 19, 2009 Deadline for completed first-drafts: August 31, 2009
Please send to Durrell Bowman and Jim Berti: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
RatCon 2009took place this past weekend at Club Xanadu in Severna Park, MD (outside Baltimore) and was a huge success. Yours truly attended the Saturday festivities and had a blast. You can check out all the details and see a few pics in this post. Rush discovererDonna Halper was in attendance and shared her Rush discovery story with everyone, chatted about her experiences with Rush (and other subjects) and graciously answered all of our questions. She gave us an update on the ceremony for Rush's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame which many readers have asked me about recently. It looks like the ceremony will not happen this year but likely will occur sometime next year. They are still working out the details.
Now that RatCon 2009 is in the books, we have RushCon 9 to look forward to. The event will take place the weekend of July 24-26th in Toronto, ON. 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 and the tribute band will be RushCon veterans Limelight. So how many RushCons have you been too? Take the Poll and let us know. Here are the results of the last poll where I asked everyone what instrument(s) do you play?
Longtime reader Spindrifter has a baby cousin named Livia Hope Fortner who has Cystic Fibrosis. Livia's parents set up a website dedicated to Livia with the goal to raise awareness about Cystic Fibrosis and Spindrifter wanted me to ask everyone to check out the website if you have a spare moment and consider donating if you are able.
American alt-rockers Better Than Ezra were guests on Elliot in the Morning this past Tuesday. Apparently they like to crank up Rush on the tour bus ... at 7AM in the morning! You can listen to the podcast at this link. The Rush part begins at around the 6:30 mark. Thanks to Gabby for the heads up.
Reader Jess let me know that comedian Artie Lange was recently on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show and made a humorous Rush reference which you can check out in this vid at about the 8-minute mark.
Reader Richard P let me know about a new book from author J. Maarten Troost called Lost on Planet China. Troost is a half-Dutch/half-Czech, Holland-born Canadian citizen who currently lives in California but is thinking of uprooting his family to China. He travels to strange places, takes root for years and writes about them. Being Canadian-born he was a Rush fan as a kid but was one of those fans who lost touch with the band after the release of Signals. In this latest book he visits Tai Shan which is the most climbed mountain in the world and the inspiration for the Rush song Tai Shan, and talks a bit about Rush in this excerpt (PDF file).
Reader RushFanForever pointed me to a recent interview with current Smashing Pumpkins bassist Ginger Pooley where Ginger talks about how Geddy Lee was her biggest influence. You can watch the interview at this link. The Geddy Lee bit occurs at the 1:45 mark.
Dave Aronberg is currently a state Senator from Florida and is also running for Attorney General. In a blog post on tambabay.com he is asked 5 questions, the last of which is who is the greatest rock and roll band in history. His anwer is an emphatic Rush! And you know he's a serious fan because he pronounces Neil Peart's name correctly. :) Good for him. Thanks to earthshined for the heads up.
UPDATE - 6/19@9:44AM: If you missed the show it will be rebroadcast as an on-demand event this coming Tuesday, June 23rd. You can also now purchase a Neil Peart Master Class for $14.95 which features a series of 10 lessons.
UPDATE - 6/18@10:48PM: I just had to say just how amazing this is. This is Neil Peart live like you've never seen him before. Wow.
UPDATE - 6/18@10:39PM: The chat portion of the show is over. It's drum jam time now...
UPDATE - 6/18@9:05PM: It has begun! The three guys started off with a little hand drum session and are being introduced by Don Lombardi ...
During a warm-up session with Neil Peart, Terry Bozzio, and Joey Heredia, the Drum Channel crew was so impressed, we started rolling the cameras and managed to capture this amazing musical performance.
We call this "Part 1" of the Neil Peart Drum Jam. The full length jam can be found as a "Bonus Lesson" in Neil's Master Class titled Frontiers of Composition and Articulation - available on DC later this week.
UPDATE - 6/14@6:12PM: I ended up going to RatCon for the Saturday festivities and had an absolute blast. I think I can speak for all the RatCon attendees when I say how grateful I am to LanceTheShred, PetieLee, Kelly D and everyone else who was responsible for putting RatCon together or contributed in some way. I am also extremely grateful to Donna Halper for taking the time out of her busy schedule to share her Rush discovery story with everyone, to chat about her experiences with Rush (and other subjects) and to graciously and patiently answer all of our questions. She is truly a wonderful and inspirational person as well as an entertaining speaker. And a big shout out to a great Rush tribute band Cygnals who blew us all away with their performance last night. I also wanted to say thanks for all of the kind words from everyone regarding the website; I am truly humbled. It was great to finally meet many of you and put faces to screennames. :) I'll have some pics to post later.
I thought I'd open up a thread just for RatCon so that those going can connect with the rest of us and let us know what we are missing.
What:RatCon 2009 When: Friday, June 12th to Sunday, June 14th Where: Club Xanadu - The Shred's House, Severna Park, Maryland Why: Rush
Rush fans. We believe we have sorted our technical issues getting this video up. We will be uploading the Rush interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson next Monday, June 15th. Thank you again for your patience! Team Qtube".
Reader marshman98 spotted a 2112 reference on an episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon late last week. They have a gameshow bit called Spin the Wheel of Carpet Samples and after the first contestant spun the wheel she was given a score of 2112 which Fallon pronounced as Two thousand one hundred and twelve. There must a Rush fan on the writing staff. You can watch a video at this link.
Grapes for Humanity is a charitable organization that leverages the international wine community to raise funds to benefit humanitarian causes around the world. Reader RushFanForever recently became aware that Geddy Lee is a member of the board of directors for the organization and is shown pictured on their website at this link.
That's a really tough one. :) Thanks to RushFanForever for the link.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that recently reunited Canadian thrash metal band Sacrifice will include a cover of Rush's Anthem on the bonus edition of their upcoming album The Ones I Condemn. According to BW&BN, the band has pulled the song from the album for an undisclosed reason but frontman Rob Urbinati claims that We will release it digitally or vinyl, or both; it will see the light of day! Thanks to B-Man for the heads up.
Slim over at Counterparts recently uploaded a couple of old Rush article scans. The first is from the July, 1979 issue of Beat Instrumental magazine and catches up with Geddy Lee on the Hemispheres tour.
The next article is from the July 1983 issue of an obscure British magazine called Music U.K.. It's an interview with Alex Lifeson by journalist Max Kay.
The 2010 Rush wall calendar will be released this coming July 15th and is now available for pre-order through Amazon at this link. The calendar will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Rush's 1980 classic Permanent Waves and feature several photos from that era. You can view a preview by clicking on the thumbnail above.
I Love You Man movie featuring Rush now available for pre-order
A couple of weeks ago I let you know about a new rock-and-roll-themed amusement park that will be built in Eloy, Arizona between Phoenix and Tucson called Decades Music Theme Park. It's currently still in the planning stages and they hope to begin construction next year with a target opening date in the fall of 2013. The park will feature interconnected Lands and Districts that represent each decade of rock music with interactive thrill rides, live music and other attractions including a Rush-themed concert hall. When I first reported the news the park's website had the name of the concert hall misspelled as the Spirit of the Radio Concert Hall rather than The Spirit of Radio Concert Hall. Apparently their website was flooded with emails from Rush fans about this small mistake along with many other comments/suggestions. The theme park's founder and Chief Creative Officer Marty West contacted me to let me know how much he appreciated everyone's feedback and that they had fixed their website. The description of the concert hall is now correctly titled and reads as follows:
The Spirit of Radio Concert Hall Modeled from the Rush greatest hits album cover art "The Spirit of Radio"(Which originated from The album "Permanent Waves" released in 1980), this venue will be a more intimate indoor music theater. It will include 2,000 seats and serve as a regular space for tribute band performances, battle of the band competitions, a "New Artists' Exposure Series" and bands with smaller audience draws. We also hope to lure the VH1 Music Awards to host their annual event at this site on a rotating basis.
Mr. West also let me know that - as many had speculated - the facade of the building will look like the old radio depicted on the cover of Rush's The Spirit of Radio greatest hits package. Better yet, I made the suggestion (as many of you folks did) that they make the hall seat 2112 rather than 2000 and he loved the idea! He also sent along a few pictures which you can check out by clicking the thumbnails at the top of the post.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Rock Band Unplugged for the PSP featuring The Trees released
The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win a special limited edition copy of Rush - The Complete Tourbooks! From the site:
This is an ULTRA-LIMITED edition of "Rush - The Complete Tourbooks". This book is one of only 5 copies debossed with a special red foil on the cover. This is a 400 page coffee table book with all of Rush's tour books to date, a total of 15 books. The books have been reproduced and bound together in a black, cloth-wrapped 12" X 12" book. Every cover of every book is printed on cover stock. The front cover is debossed in black and red foil with the starman logo. There is a two-page introduction written by Neil Peart, detailing his involvement in the design and content of every Rush tour book going back to 1977.
The contest ends on June 22nd and you can sign up to enter at this link. Thanks to lilvictory for the heads up.
The June 2009 issue of Classic Rock's new quarterly magazine Prog features an article titled The Top 50 Prog Albums Of All Time and the list includes 4 Rush albums. Also in the issue is an 8-page feature on Rush album art written by Nicky Wire of the Manic Street Preachers. You can check out scans of both articles in this post.
Reader Chad let me know that there is an interview with Rush in the March/April 2009 issue of Fireworks magazine.
The latest issue of Rolling Stone (June 11th issue with Lady Gaga on the cover) contains an interview with Blink 182. On page 20 towards the end of the article they discuss their next album and Tom DeLonge states the following:
... One of our new songs sounds like we mixed Rush and post hardcore with some drums and bass beats....
... The Canadian rock band Rush had a song on its 1981 release Moving Pictures entitled 'Limelight.' It incorporates this idea of esse quam videri:
Living in the limelight The universal dream For those who wish to seem Those who wish to be Must put aside the alienation Get on with the fascination The real relation The underlying theme
Some of us may find our futures in the 'limelight' or high-profile positions that demand compromise and exude pressure. And some of us may spend our days in more reserved situations. Either way we still have immense control over our destiny-we have the choice to be the best you or me that we can be. ...
Well said. You can read the entire speech at this link. Thanks to circumstantial tree at The Rush Forum for the heads up.
Doug Walters of the Charleston City Paper has been writing a series of articles on life-changing albums. Album #6 in the series is Rush's 2112. Here's an excerpt:
...Giant monstrous humbucker guitar blasting away with all that trippy delay. Big bold bass snaking everywhere but still holding everything together confidently. And the drums? 2112 is one of the albums that set the bar for rock drumming on planet Earth. Percussion you could have never even imagined in your wildest dreams. So clean. So tight. And yet so effortlessly fluid at the same time. ...
Playbill: It's a fact that one of your two children is named for Geddy Lee of the rock band Rush. Was Rush instrumental in getting you to the stage?
Spencer: Their song "Tom Sawyer" really started it for me. I was in fourth grade living in Texas, my mom was driving me to the swimming pool, and I heard that song on the radio. I was just like, "What is this?" We heard the drum solo, and I pretty much said to my mom, "Mom, I want to play drums." I mowed a hell of a lot of lawns, and had a garage sale and sold all my "Star Wars" stuff and bought a drum set, and I see that moment as the beginning of the artistic journey for me. There's no way I would have gotten the shows I've done if I hadn't gotten my start in music at such a young age. ...
Supergroup Chickenfoot were interviewed on Boston's WAAF with DJ Mistress Carrie prior to the band's May 26, 2009 concert at the Middle East club in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The band were asked questions pertaining to which period of a band's career they preferred based on a characteristic of the band or one of its members. One of the questions that came up was Which Rush is better - Neil Peart with or without the moustache?. You can watch their responses at this YouTube link. A couple of weekends ago Alex Lifeson took Chickenfoot members Sammy Hagar and Chad Smith out on the town in Toronto the night before Chickenfoot's show at The Mod Club Theatre in Toronto, for which Alex was in attendance. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.
UPDATE - 6/4@8:54PM: Reader RushFanForever discovered that this interview is actually a combination of 2 separate interviews each with Alex and Geddy. The Geddy portion is from the January 2004 issue of Guitar World. I'm still not sure exactly which issue the Alex piece originated in, but both Alex and Geddy's interviews were later combined and included in the Rush Guitar Legends special edition that was published back in December of 2007.
UPDATE - 6/3@2:22PM: I forgot to mention that it was recently announced that Rush will also be one of the featured artists on Guitar Hero 5 which is due out in September, although the specific song has not been revealed. Thanks to Jim for the heads up.
Toronto Life magazine's Daily Dish reported yesterday that Toronto restaurant Barberian's Steakhouse hosted 29 wine connoisseurs including Geddy Lee in its wine cellar last Thursday evening to celebrate the 150th birthday of the French Burgundy winemaker Maison Louis Jadot. Geddy can be seen pictured in the photo accompanying the article on the right side of the table 7th from the top (click on the thumbnail for the pic).