Archive: Blog Entries from October, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ari Gold of Adventures of Power interviews Neil Peart
12:01AM EST | link | comments (15) |

[Ari Gold "One on One" Interview with Neil Peart]

If you're a regular reader of this site, then you already know that the film Adventures of Power made its theatrical debut a few weeks ago in New York City. The movie chronicles the adventures of air-drummer extraordinaire Power (played by filmmaker Ari Gold) and contains a cameo from Neil Peart along with a slew of Rush references. Back in September we learned that Neil Peart and Ari Gold paid a visit to the Drum Channel studios to film an air drum-off video which was released to YouTube a couple of weeks ago. While in the studio they also sat down together for a one-on-one interview/discussion which was just posted to the Drum Channel website Friday afternoon. The 2 chat for nearly 25 minutes about their involvement with the film, air-drumming, how they were introduced to music and the importance of music education. The interview is then capped off with their Tom Sawyer air drum-off. Thanks to DigitalMan745 for the heads up.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:24AM EST | link | comments (33) |

The big news of the past week was Alex Lifeson's Tuesday appearance on the Rick Mercer Report. The six and a half minute segment followed Rick and Alex as they went out on a man date. They flew a plane to Niagara Freefall Indoor Skydiving and then hung out at Alex's night club The Orbit Room where Alex taught Rick a little guitar and the two played some Rock Band. You can view the clip at the CBC website or on YouTube. There are also several photos from their outing up on the Rick Mercer Report Facebook Page.

Speaking of Alex Lifeson, for the 4th year in a row Alex is participating in The Kidney Foundation of Canada's A Brush of Hope project. Alex Lifeson along with dozens of other Canadian celebrities have donated paintings to be auctioned off to raise money for the charity. The A Brush of Hope Gala will take place this coming Thursday, November 5th at the Delta Hotel in Fredricton, NB. Paintings from over 100 Canadian celebrities will be put up for auction on eBay from November 5th through the 15th. You can view Alex Lifeson's contributed painting by clicking on the thumbnail above.

Earlier this week we learned that Neil Peart's original Slingerland drum kit (which he used from Fly By Night through 2112) will be on display at the upcoming Percussive Arts Society show (PASIC) in Indianapolis the week of November 11-14. Fans will even be able to play the kit themselves with a donation of $10 to the American Cancer Society for 1 minute on the kit. For all the details check out this post. The kit had been put up for auction on eBay a couple of months ago and ended up being sold for over $25,000. Ever since the purchase Michael of NeilPeartDrumsticks.com has been working with the new owner of the kit to help restore it to a playable condition and organized the charity fundraiser.

Rush's upcoming Working Men compilation will be releaseed on November 17th in the US and is now available for pre-order on both CD and DVD. In last week's Friday Updates I listed the source DVDs for the audio of each track although the information was unconfirmed at the time. We now have separate confirmation of the source recordings along with a UK release date of Monday, November 16th via Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. From Rush in Rio: 2112, Closer to the Heart and YYZ. From R30: The Spirit of Radio, Dreamline, Subdivisions, One Little Victory (previously unreleased) and Working Men. From Snakes & Arrows Live: Limelight, Freewill, Far Cry and Tom Sawyer.

Paul NorthfieldI let you know yesterday that Matthew McGlynn recently interviewed former Rush engineer Paul Northfield for RecordingHacks.com and spoke at length with him about his experiences recording with Rush. Northfield is a prolific sound engineer and record producer who has worked on a number of Rush albums from Permanent Waves on through Vapor Trails. You can check out the interview at this link.

Graham Whieldon is a UK based digital artist who creates limited edition fine art prints inspired by the songs of Rush. He recently launched a website at macrographs.com where you can learn all about his paintings and purchase his prints. So far he has one completed painting for sale; a print inspired by Rush's epic song The Fountain of Lamneth from their Caress of Steel album. Also in the works is a painting inspired by the Rush song Red Barchetta with more to come in the future. You can see previews of his work by visiting the Macrographs website. I've also included some images from the Fountain of Lamneth print which you can view by clicking on the thumbnails above.

Humor site Cracked.com recently put up a Cracked Topics article on Progressive Rock which prominently features Rush. It's a satirical look at the genre of progressive rock including a number of hilarious images, graphs and pictograms. Funny stuff. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the release of 3 Rush albums. On October 29th in 1978 Hemispheres was released; Exit ... Stage Left was released in 1981; and Power Windows in 1985.

Neil Peart came in at #4 on Gigwise.com's list of the Greatest Drummers of All Time. Here's what they had to say:

One of Peart's perks is to use the bottom end of his drumsticks, apparently relating to when, many years back, his sticks broke and he couldn't afford new ones. Epic solos and his 360degree kit have marked Rush's lyricist out as one of the most respected percussionists in rock history. Peart has made use of a plethora of instruments to create as eclectic a sound as possible, including tubular bells, temple blocks triangles, timpani and drum machines.

Thanks to AnalogKid at Counterparts for the link.

I'd mentioned in a Friday Updates post earlier this month that Alex Lifeson was in attendance at Porcupine Tree's September 30th show in Toronto. RushFanForever pointed me to this photo of guitarist John Wesley and Alex Lifeson from backstage at the show that was posted on Wesley's MySpace page.

Female Rush fans were a topic of discussion on Derringer in the Morning on Toronto's Q107 this past Monday. You can listen to the clip at this link (thanks RushFanForever).

The film Adventures of Power - which features many a Rush reference along with an appearance from Neil himself - made its theatrical debut a few weeks ago in New York City. This week it gets released in Phoenix, AZ. For a complete list of theaters and show times, check out the official site at this link.

John at Cygnus-X1.net reports that he heard Jim Monaghan of WDHA-FM 105.5 in New Jersey mention that Geddy has picked the Yankees to win the World Series by a slim margin and that he expects the series to go 6 games. Monagham didn't mention how he heard this, but Geddy has been known to stop by the radio station in the past and he's done a lot of voice-over promos for the station.

Geddy Lee gets a mention in this recent LA Times interview with Dave Thomas:

... Your biggest hits on "SCTV" were the "Great White North" sketches you did with Rick Moranis, about two beer-swilling, regular-guy Canadians, launching catchphrases like "Take off, you hoser!" You even had a movie ["Strange Brew"] and a radio hit with "Rush" frontman Geddy Lee. Do people still come up to you humming that song?

Oh God, yeah. That became kind of a college, beer-drinking movie. So it stayed popular for way longer than Moranis and I ever thought it would.

Any idea why?

The list of Canadian icons is a short list. Bob and Doug became Canadian icons.

What's Geddy like?

He's a really nice guy. Very thoughtful and introspective. Rick went to school with him, which is why he appeared on that album. It was like, "We don't sing. So we need a singer for our song. So why don't we ask Geddy?" ...

Thanks to RushFanForever for the link.

There was a brief Rush reference in a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live. On the Friday, October 23rd show they had a skit involving guest Perry Caravello where one character in the skit is wearing a Rush starman t-shirt. You can watch the clip at this link and check out the screenshot by clicking on the thumbnail. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

EmotionDetector over at The Rush Forum saw Metallica in Toronto earlier this week and mentioned in a post that they kicked off their encore by playing about a minute of Rush's Working Man. Reader YtseRob2112 located a bootleg clip of this on YouTube which you can check out at this link and I've also included it below. There's also this audio file sent in by maxdistortion

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend and a happy Halloween!

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

New interview with former Rush engineer Paul Northfield
10:10PM EST | link | comments (8) |

Paul Northfield[RecordingHacks.com: Interview with Paul Northfield]

Paul Northfield is a prolific sound engineer and record producer who has worked on a number of Rush albums from Permanent Waves on through Vapor Trails. Matthew McGlynn recently interviewed Paul for RecordingHacks.com and spoke at length with him about his experiences recording with Rush. Here's an excerpt:

... In the case of Rush, their own experimental eccentricity was that they always wanted to record things differently each time. It drove me nuts. We'd get a drum sound and then, after we'd recorded a song, they'd say, "Ok, well, that sounded great, so what mic shall we use on this next song?" It took a while to convince them - a couple of albums, actually! - to convince them that a lot more sound change would come from performance and the way something sits in an arrangement, than changing mics for change's sake. ...

It's a very well-done interview which covers not only his work with Rush, but also with Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater and many other bands. You can check out the entire interview at this link.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rush-inspired fine art digital paintings
5:36PM EST | link | comments (19) |

[Macrographs: Fine Art Digital Paintings inspired by the works of Rush]

Graham Whieldon is a UK based digital artist who creates limited edition fine art prints inspired by the songs of Rush. He recently launched a website at macrographs.com where you can learn all about his paintings and purchase his prints. So far he has one completed painting for sale; a print inspired by Rush's epic song The Fountain of Lamneth from their Caress of Steel album. Also in the works is a painting inspired by the Rush song Red Barchetta with more to come in the future. You can see previews of his work by visiting the Macrographs website. I've also included some images from the Fountain of Lamneth print which you can view by clicking on the thumbnails above.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reminder: Alex Lifeson on the Rick Mercer Report tonight
10:28AM EST | link | comments (37) |

UPDATE - 11/2@1:28PM: Rick was interviewed on Toronto's Q107 and talked a little about Alex's appearance. You can listen to it at this link (thanks RushFanForever).

UPDATE - 10/28@10:44AM: It's on YouTube too (thanks RushFanForever).

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 10/28@9:53AM: The Alex Lifeson segment is now online. You can watch it here. It runs about 6 and a half minutes.

UPDATE - 10/27@4:01PM: You can watch a short promo clip for tonight's episode at the CBC's Rick Mercer video page (thanks RushFanForever). Here's the writeup for the episode:

Rick is on a man-date with Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson. They go indoor skydiving in Niagara Falls, and then hang out at Lifeson's Toronto bar, where Rick gets a guitar lesson.

----- snip -----

Last week we found out that Alex Lifeson will appear on the Rick Mercer Report tonight at 8PM on the CBC. The episode should also be posted on YouTube and at cbc.ca tomorrow morning sometime. This Niagara Falls Review article from last week described how Alex and Rick Mercer were spotted last Wednesday filming a segment for the show at Niagara Freefall Indoor Skydiving. A gallery of photos from the filming of the segment were posted to the Rick Mercer Report Facebook page last week. You can check those out at this link.

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Neil Peart's Slingerland drum kit to appear at PASIC
8:00AM EST | link | comments (32) |

Neil Peart's original Slingerland drum kit (which he used from Fly By Night through 2112) was put up for auction on eBay a couple of months ago and ended up being sold for over $25,000. Ever since the purchase Michael of NeilPeartDrumsticks.com has been working with the new owner of the kit to help restore it to a playable condition so it could be put on display. I'd mentioned on Friday that Michael had finally released all the details regarding when and where the kit would be displayed. The kit will be at the upcoming Percussive Arts Society show (PASIC) in Indianapolis the week of November 11-14 and people will even be able to play the kit themselves with a donation of $10 to the American Cancer Society for 1 minute on the kit. Here are all the details straight from Michael:

Hello All,

Well, the time has come. Some of you have caught word with the News sites announcing the upcoming PASIC show in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Myself and the newest owner of Neil Peart's 1974 Chrome Slingerland Drum Kit are going to PASIC within the next couple weeks. The exciting part is that we are going to let people play the actual kit. It will be in Indy the week of 11-14 November at the downtown Indiana Convention Center at PASIC 2009.

Daily admission to the exhibition hall for non-PAS members is $15. You need not be a member to come to PASIC and see the kit we have simply named "Chromey".

Chromey is being used to raise money for the American Cancer Society. We are going to allow people at the venue to play Chromey for $10 a minute and 100% goes to charity.

Yes, you can play the 1974 Chrome Slingerland Kit that Neil Peart used from 1974-1977 to record "Fly By Night", "Caress Of Steel", "2112", "All The World's A Stage", and was used on five consecutive US-Canadian Tours in support of those albums. The very same kit seen on the cover of ATWAS and used to record one of the most duplicated drum solos ever.

People who show up and wish to do the "Pay To Play" option will have the opportunity to play the kit in it's restored condition. We have made every attempt to replace every single part with an original vintage piece from that time or its modern replacement until we can find that vintage piece. It will all be there. The kit will be a bit of a "Frankenstein" in some sense as it will have all the pieces available that have been pictured on the kit from 1974-1977 when it was retired. So the kit is not one year specific but that should be fine as Neil really kept all the pieces as he added more on the kit. You will have the chance to choose which snare to play, either an original era Rogers Dynasonic or the 100% matched replica of the copper Slingerland Artist that Neil named "Number One", expertly replicated by Kevin Stroud of Illinois.

Not that we are being butts about this, butt if you choose to step into the booth to participate with the kit we ask that you please make a donation to ACS. Every penny is going to ACS. The kit owner has put a lot of money into this restoration project, and I have put a lot of hours into the restoration and we are not asking for you to pay us, we simply ask that you donate to the American Cancer Society, please.

What I mean is, if you are just wanting a photo and you wish to stand in front of the kit, please donate $3 per shot, to stand inside the kit only is $5 per shot, and to play the kit is $10 a minute. If you don't have a camera don't worry as we will have one to take your picture with as long as you have email for us to send it to you. If your outside our booth in the aisle it won't cost you a thing but I cannot guarantee you'll get the good shot you might be hoping for. This whole event is about raising money for the American Cancer Society so I am trying to get them everything we possibly can ... know what I mean.

So please, if you have the means and way to get there, come on down. We'd love to see you and of course meet you. At the moment we are in Booth #1254 which should be easy to find. Also while there drop by and check out the Guitar Center Booth which will have the Snakes & Arrow drum kit ... but you don't get to play it.

If all goes well as planned the kit will then travel around the block to the Percussive Arts Society Museum for a short term loan to be on display for all to see. More about that later.

If you don't plan on attending and would still like to donate, please drop by my website front page at www.neilpeartdrumsticks.com where you will find a link on the American Cancer Society logo to donate ... it will be greatly appreciated!

For those of you who don't already know the winners/owners of the kit and have really gotta know ... drop by as they too will be there to meet everyone along with myself.

Thanks for taking the time to read all of this!

RUSH ON!
-Michael

PS ... If you live in Indy and would like to volunteer to assist in our booth ... drop an email at michael747@neilpeartdrumsticks.com.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:21AM EST | link | comments (49) |

Bubba's Bar -n- Grill t-shirtThe Bubba's Bar -n- Grill section of Neil Peart's website received a major overhaul this past week. First and foremost Bubba's has a new manager; Neil's longtime friend and riding partner Brutus. You can read all about Brutus's management philosophy, email Brutus and sign up to receive updates at this link (just click on Talk to the Manager). You can also now purchase official Bubba's Bar -n- Grill merchandise via BubbaWares.com including a men's t-shirt, women's t-shirt, a tote bag, an apron and a baseball hat. There are also several new recipes and a new Bubba-Q section which is completely devoted to barbecue. So if you haven't checked it out yet, head on over to Bubba's and grab yourself a bite to eat!

Earlier this week we found out that Alex Lifeson will appear on the Rick Mercer Report this coming Tuesday October 27th at 8PM on the CBC. The episode also will be posted on YouTube and at cbc.ca the following morning. This Niagara Falls Review article that we learned about last week described how Alex and Rick Mercer were spotted last Wednesday filming a segment for the show at Niagara Freefall Indoor Skydiving. Wednesday evening a gallery of photos from the filming of the segment were posted to the Rick Mercer Report Facebook page. You can check those out at this link.

Dickie PetersonBlue Cheer bass player and frontman Dickie Peterson died this past October 12th at the age of 61 after a battle with cancer. Blue Cheer fan and our favorite drummer Neil Peart wrote a short piece for RollingStone.com earlier this week in remembrance of Peterson titled Louder Than God: Rush's Neil Peart Remembers Blue Cheer's Dickie Peterson.

Neil Peart's original Slingerland drum kit (which he used from Fly By Night through 2112) was put up for auction on eBay by owners Main Drag Music in Brooklyn, New York a couple of months ago and the kit ended up being sold for $25,100! Michael of NeilPeartDrumsticks.com knows the new owner of the kit and has been working with them to help restore the kit to a playable condition. Their plan was to put it on a special display sometime next month where folks would actually be able to play the kit themselves, and there are some exciting new details on this front. Just check out Michael's site for all the details.

For their August 2009 issue Classic Rock's quarterly Prog magazine featured 4 separate collectible Rush covers covering different eras of the band along with a 9-page feature story on Rush titled Making Waves where Alex Lifeson was interviewed. I'd featured a few scans and several excerpts from the article back in August and have referenced it several times since. John at Cygnus-X1.net recently transcribed the entire article including the side article on the Rush documentary and posted it to his website along with all the images and covers from the feature. You can check it out at this link. It's a great article and while much of the information in it is now outdated, it's well worth taking the time to read.

Rush's upcoming Working Men compilation will release this coming November 17th and is now available for pre-order on both CD and DVD. Since we first learned the tracklist a couple of weeks ago, several of us were wondering which DVD each track would be sourced from. snaker over at Counterparts claims to have obtained this information. From Rush in Rio: 2112, Closer to the Heart and YYZ. From R30: The Spirit of Radio, Dreamline, Subdivisions, One Little Victory (previously unreleased) and Working Men. From Snakes & Arrows Live: Limelight, Freewill, Far Cry and Tom Sawyer.

Back in August I let you know about the upcoming book Rush, Rock Music, and the Middle Class: Dreaming in Middletown by musicologist Chris McDonald. The book is now in stock at several retailers including Amazon.com and can also be purchased directly from the publisher. You can order your copy at this link.

We have a Geddy spotting! Reader grazza saw Geddy with his nose in a glass of red at Splendido Restaurant on Harbor Street in Toronto Tuesday night. It's nice to see that Geddy is enjoying himself. Now start work on that new album Geddy! ;)

The film Adventures of Power - which features many a Rush reference along with an appearance from Neil himself - made its theatrical debut a couple of weeks ago in New York City. This week it gets released in Salt Lake City, UT and Austin, TX. For a complete list of theaters and show times, check out the official site at this link.

Rush TabconThe 2009 Rush Mid-West TabCon will take place all this weekend at St. Francis High School in St. Francis, WI. Load-in and gear setup will start today at around 4PM. Spectators coming to the gig are welcome to hang out and join the performers for dinner after setup, but other than a possible
sound check, no music will be performed. The music starts at 9AM on both Saturday and Sunday and ends around 7PM on Saturday and 2PM on Sunday. For more information be sure to visit the Rush TabCon website and to view videos of past performances, check out the Rush TabCon page on YouTube.

Online music magazine Consequence of Sound recently compiled their list of The Top Ten Songs About Writing. Coming in at #10 is Rush's Losing It. Here's what they have to say:

We're starting things off with a classic. Rush is the true music nerd's band. With complex, often strange arrangements and lyrical content, Rush is for serious enthusiasts only. Here, Rush makes a stand against some of that and try to paint a truly poetic picture to break anyone's heart. They compare the life of a washed up ballerina looking for her lost fame, who finds only "the echoes of old applause" as "she limps across the floor", to a washed up writer in the midst of heavy writer's block. Geddy Lee and company eschew the old logic of, "better to have loved and lost than ever loved it all." instead they proclaim "sadder still to watch it die/than never to have known it". For a band as grandiose as Rush, this song tends to swing toward the corny side. And ending it with a Hemingway title (For Whom The Bell Tolls) surely doesn't help. But as for as metaphors go, being compared to a dancer isn't so bad for writers.

The new Vertical Horizon album Burning The Days, which features Neil Peart on 3 songs, released last month. Neil plays drums on the tracks Save Me From Myself, Even Now (which he also wrote the lyrics for) and Welcome to the Bottom. In last week's Friday Updates Post I pointed you to this video interview with Vertical Horizon frontman and founder Matt Scannell where Matt spoke about Neil's involvement with the album. Scannell was also recently interviewed for an article in Thursday's Worcester Telegram and Gazette. Matt is a Worcester native and talks about his childhood memories of Rush:

... When he thinks of Rush, Scannell can't help but think of his "childhood buddy" and "best friend on the planet" James Levine, who lived next door to him (and played in bands together) growing up.

"We would get the new Rush record and go over to his dad's turntable and we start spinning and looking through the artwork and obsessing over every little moment. We had the tour books. We had the posters. He had a huge poster of Neil Peart's drum set up on his wall. They were it. That was the band." ...

He then goes on to describe the series of events leading up to Neil's guest appearance on the album and how he reconnected with his childhood friend. Thanks to mystress aynn at Counterparts for the link.

Back in May I informed you that recently reunited Canadian thrash metal band Sacrifice would include a cover of Rush's Anthem on the bonus edition of their upcoming album The Ones I Condemn. Then just a couple of weeks after that BW&BN reported that the band had pulled the song from the album for an undisclosed reason. Now they are reporting that the album will be released in Canada by Sonic Unyon Records this coming Tuesday, October 27th and that the Canadian release will contain the Anthem cover. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

Reader Ken (aka The Clansman 2112) wanted me to give everyone the final standings of his rushisaband fantasy baseball league that I'd first mentioned back in this post from the Spring.

1) Team Corporate
2) Bytor and The Clansman
3) Cygnus X1

A big thanks from Ken for everyone who participated.

Rush roadie Tony Geranios (aka Jack Secret) recently posted a great gallery of pics from the R30 rehearsals to his Facebook page. You can check it out at this link.

You may recall that back in the summer I was a guest on the weekly internet radio talk show Used Bin Radio. Our own RushFanForever (aka Darren) recently called into the show and spoke at length with hosts Brad and Joe about Rush and The Larger Bowl, rushisaband.com, Manic Street Preachers and many other topics. You can listen to the podcast at this link. Darren's part starts at about the 1:30 mark.

Reader Dan in Tulsa, OK sent me some really cool pics of the Rush-themed 40th birthday cake his wife made for him. I'm digging the Inukshuk. Speaking of which, RushFanForever pointed me to this neat little Inukshuk ice mold. :)

DigitalMan745 found this bootleg video on YouTube of a Poison soundcheck from over the summer where guitarist C.C. DeVille plays a minute or so of Rush's La Villa Strangiato.

Rush friend and former Max Webster frontman Kim Mitchell is currently a DJ at Toronto's Q107 Classic Rock radio. Kim periodically posts a short guitar lesson to the Q107 YouTube channel and for his latest lesson (#23) Kim teaches the opening to Rush's Fly By Night (thanks RushFanForever).

There's also this older lesson (#3 from March, 2008) where he teaches In The Mood.

That's all for this week. Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Neil Peart remembers Blue Cheer's Dickie Peterson
4:52PM EST | link | comments (15) |

Dickie Peterson["Louder Than God": Rush's Neil Peart Remembers Blue Cheer's Dickie Peterson]

Blue Cheer bass player and frontman Dickie Peterson died this past October 12th at the age of 61 after a battle with cancer. Blue Cheer fan and our favorite drummer Neil Peart wrote a short piece for RollingStone.com in remembrance of Peterson. Here's an excerpt:

... In 2004, my bandmates and I celebrated our thirtieth anniversary by recording an album of covers, Feedback, to pay tribute to our early influences. We combined the Who's and Blue Cheer's versions of "Summertime Blues," and ended with me playing the innovative drum pattern from Blue Cheer's "Just a Little Bit," from Outsideinside, which I had never forgotten.

So Blue Cheer made an enduring impression on this once-young drummer, and definitely played their part in shaping Rush's beginnings - a loud power trio with a fortress of amps, cannonades of drums, and a bass player's high voice trying to pierce the darkness. That would be my bandmate Geddy, who remarked that Blue Cheer might well have been the first heavy metal band.

Dickie Peterson was present at the creation - stood at the roaring heart of the creation, a primal scream through wild hair, bass hung low, in an aural apocalypse of defiant energy. His music left deafening echoes in a thousand other bands in the following decades, thrilling some, angering others, and disturbing everything - like art is supposed to do. ...

You can read the entire article at this link. Geddy's remark about Blue Cheer that Neil refers to is from the documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey. You can watch the clip where Geddy makes the remark here:

Thanks to Eric at Power Windows for the heads up.

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Alex Lifeson to appear on the Rick Mercer Report next Tuesday
10:46AM EST | link | comments (10) |

UPDATE - 10/22@9:56AM: Reader Matthew noticed that a bunch of photos of Alex and Rick from the video segment have been posted to the Rick Mercer Report Facebook page.

Last week we learned that Alex Lifeson will be appearing on an upcoming episode of the Rick Mercer Report. This Niagara Falls Review article described how Alex and Rick Mercer were spotted last Wednesday filming a segment for the show at Niagara Freefall Indoor Skydiving. I now can confirm (thanks RushFanForever) that the segment will air this coming Tuesday October 27th at 8PM on the CBC. It also will be posted on YouTube and at cbc.ca the following morning.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Official Bubba's Bar -n- Grill merchandise at NeilPeart.net
6:27PM EST | link | comments (9) |

Bubba's Bar -n- Grill t-shirt[Bubba's Bar -n- Grill Official Merchandise Store]

UPDATE - 10/21@9:55AM: The official announcement regarding all the Bubba's Bar -n- Grill changes went out last night via the Rush newsletter. If you didn't receive your copy you can check out the web version of the newsletter at this link.

UPDATE - 10/20@7:41PM: Reader thomas pointed out a couple of other new items to the Bubba's Bar -n- Grill that I had totally missed. Inside the menu jukebox if you click on Bubba-Q it'll take you to a new page devoted completely to barbecue. Also, if you click on Talk to the manager you'll see a message from the new manager, Neil's friend and riding partner Brutus. You can even sign up to receive email updates! Very cool.

Back in July of this year, Neil Peart launched the Bubba's Bar -n- Grill section of his website at NeilPeart.net. It was created to showcase Neil's love of cooking along with several of his own recipes. Just recently he started listing it as under New Management (Brutus) and added a Buy Bubba-Wares! link. When you click on this link it brings you to Bubbawares.com where you can buy Bubba's Bar -n- Grill merchandise including a men's t-shirt, women's t-shirt, a tote bag, an apron and a baseball hat. The site looks to be an offshoot of the Rush Backstage Club, but the only way to get there is through Neil's site or by directly accessing bubbawares.com. Thanks to thomas for the heads up.

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Classic Rock's Prog feature on Rush now available online
9:17AM EST | link | comments (12) |

Classic Rock presents ... Prog cover[Classic Rock Presents: PROG: Rush Through Time]

For their August 2009 issue Classic Rock's quarterly Prog magazine featured 4 separate collectible Rush covers covering different eras of the band along with a 9-page feature story on Rush titled Making Waves where Alex Lifeson was interviewed. I'd featured a few scans and several excerpts from the article back in August and have referenced it several times since. John at Cygnus-X1.net recently transcribed the entire article including the side article on the Rush documentary and posted it to his website along with all the images and covers from the feature. You can check it out at this link. It's a great article and while much of the information in it is now outdated, it's well worth taking the time to read.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:08PM EST | link | comments (44) |

Alex Lifeson and Rick MercerThere's not too much to report in Rush news this week other than the fact that Alex Lifeson will be appearing on an upcoming episode of the Rick Mercer Report. According to this Niagara Falls Review article Alex and Rick Mercer were spotted Wednesday filming a segment for an upcoming episode at Niagara Freefall Indoor Skydiving. There's no word yet on when the episode will air. Both Geddy Lee and Neil Peart have also appeared on the Rick Mercer Report. Neil did a segment back in 2006 where he gave Rick some drum lessons. You can watch the video here. And Geddy appeared on the program back in January of 2004 for his now famous Tobogganing Safety tips video which you can watch here.

Rush's upcoming Working Men compilation will release this coming November 17th and is now available for pre-order on both CD and DVD. The R30 Blu-ray full concert re-release - which was originally slated to release on November 17th - has been delayed until December 8th according to Amazon.com. Amazon's entry for the R30 re-release on standard DVD has also disappeared (it actually replaced the Blu-ray entry and the old Blu-ray entry is gone) and I've just confirmed with Anthem that it will only be available on Blu-ray. Looks like we'll all have to finally break down and buy a blu-ray player.

Earlier this week we learned that Stephen Clare and Trevor Adams of Halifax Magazine are conducting an internet poll of writers, readers and literary luminaries to determine the top 100 Atlantic Canadian books ever written. They then plan on publishing the results in an upcoming book titled Spindrift: The 100 Greatest Atlantic Canadian Books Ever Written. They are also running a contest to guess what the top 5 books will be. According to QuillandQuire.com one of the writers polled was Neil Peart. You can check out Neil's top ten list in this post.

Adventure of PowerSpeaking of Neil Peart, the film Adventures of Power - which features many a Rush reference along with an appearance from Neil himself - made its theatrical debut last weekend in New York City. This weekend it will make its West Coast debut at the Laemmle's Sunset 5 in Los Angeles. The film's charity release parties in New York and Los Angeles have been a big success and they'll be launching an online auction later today which will include signed instruments from Neil Peart, Metallica, Judas Priest and many others. The film received an enthusiastic drums up from the Los Angeles Times. Last weekend we were treated to a great air drum-off video of Power versus Neil Peart which was recorded at the Drum Channel studios a few weeks ago. If you haven't seen it yet, you can check it out here. For a complete list of theaters and show times for the movie, check out the official site at this link.

The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win a signed 24" X 36" Test For Echo poster. The contest ends on October 28th and you can sign up to enter at this link.

Classic Rock magazine recently ran an article written by guitarist Mick Box (Uriah Heep) and Mick spoke about being interviewed for the upcoming Rush Documentary:

I was recently interviewed about the Canadian band Rush for the film Rush: The Documentary. The reason I was asked was quite simply, Rush supported Uriah Heep coast to coast throughout the USA, when we were huge over there, and this eventually broke them. It was an on-camera chat about my memories of Rush touring with us. The very first concert Rush played with Neil Peart as their drummer, in 1974, was supporting Heep. Of course they went on to great things and I really enjoy listening to them, and for a three piece they are incredibly powerful.

You can read the entire interview at this link. Thanks to meuste for the heads up. While on the subject of the Rush documentary, I've been hearing some tasty rumors regarding some vintage (pre-Neil, pre-1974) videos that have been dug up for use in the film. Remember my April Fool's joke from earlier this year? Well, it seems that the joke may have been on me. :)

Little Kids RockLittle Kids Rock is a nonprofit organization that provides free instruments and lessons to children in under-served public schools. They are conducting an online charity auction that will run through October 21st and several well-known musicians including Neil Peart have donated items for the auction. Neil's contribution is a pair of signed Pro-Mark drumsticks. You can check out all the items and place your bid at this link. The online portion of the auction will end at 10PM on October 21st and bidding will then continue via silent auction format at the organization's Right to Rock Celebration in New York on October 22nd. Neil has participated in past auctions for the charity. Thanks to Genaro G for the heads up.

Last October a team of St. Catherine, Ontario artists unveiled a project where they had created a series of double-sided banners featuring famous St. Cathariners and hung them up at various locations downtown. One of these banners is our favorite St. Catheriner, Neil Peart. You can check out a picture of Neil's banner, which is hanging outside police headquarters, at this link. Reader july141789 recently noticed that the St. Catharines Downtown website now has a page up describing all the banners. Here's what they say about Neil Peart:

World famous musician, Neil Peart is best known as the drummer and lyricist for the rock band Rush. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, his father became parts manager for Dalziel Equipment, a farm machinery supplier, and in 1956 the family moved to Port Dalhousie (now part of St. Catharines). From a young age he showed an interest in music, he started playing piano and soon set his sights on drumming. Peart worked the occasional odd job. However, his true ambition was to become a professional musician. During adolescence, he floated from regional band to regional band and dropped out of high school to pursue a career as a full-time drummer. After a discouraging stint in England, Peart returned home, where he joined local Toronto band Rush in the summer of 1974. The band has gone on to win countless awards for their recordings and Peart has become one the most respected rock drummers of all time. Peart is known for his astounding musical performances and for his technical proficiency and stamina.

You can read their complete bio of Neil Peart at this link.

Last month the CBC ran a couple of documentaries exploring the Canadian music scene in the '70s and '80s titled This Beat Goes On and Rise Up. Reader RushFanForever recently located an older article that I'd missed before which features a 15-minute promo video for This Beat Goes On including interview segments from Geddy Lee talking about the band Rough Trade, and a later feature discussing Rush and Closer to the Heart.

Reader dan let me know that Eric Singer and Paul Stanley of KISS - who was recently nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - were recently interviewed for Q104.3. When asked about bands that they think should be inducted into the Rock Hall that haven't been, Singer immediately mentioned Rush. You can listen to the interview at this link; Rush is mentioned at around the 1:10 mark.

According to Nicola B at the National Midday Sun messageboard, a contestant on the British TV Show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? last week announced that he wanted to win the money so he could take himself and his kids to Canada to see Rush next time they played. :)

There was yet another Rush reference from commentator Andy Levy on the Fox News Channel show Red Eye last Wednesday, October 7. This time Levy ended his opening remarks with a passage from Rush's Distant Early Warning.

Reader Zitro let me know that Rush was featured at Once Upon a Win this past Wednesday.

Reader GedHed was looking through Steven Wilson's complete discography and noticed the following entry:

Vapour Trail Lullaby
October 2006
Published: via MySpace.com
Players: Steven Wilson
Track: Vapour Trail Lullaby (6:24)

Note by SW: I found this on a CDR of demos from around 2000, and it's an early version of the song that was later recorded for the first Blackfield album with a much more stripped down piano and string quartet arrangement. Here I was obviously going for something a bit more epic (the full version lasts about 16 minutes, but this is the first 6). After Rush called their album "Vapour Trails" I changed the title of the Blackfield version to just Lullaby.

The new Vertical Horizon album Burning The Days, which features Neil Peart on 3 songs, released last month. Neil plays drums on the tracks Save Me From Myself, Even Now (which he also wrote the lyrics for) and Welcome to the Bottom. Vertical Horizon frontman and founder Matt Scannell is a good friend of Neil's and recently spoke about Neil's involvement with the album for an interview with ABC News Radio (thanks sbabsovitch). You can watch the video of the interview here:

That's all for this week. Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

New contest at the Rush Backstage Club
5:36PM EST | link | comments (7) |

[Win A Test For Echo Poster!]

The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win a 24" X 36" Test For Echo poster. The contest ends on October 28th and you can sign up to enter at this link. Thanks to thomas for the heads up.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Alex Lifeson to appear on the Rick Mercer Report
7:34PM EST | link | comments (14) |

Alex Lifeson and Rick Mercer[What a Rush: Rick Mercer, Alex Lifeson go freefallin']

Alex Lifeson will soon be making an appearance on the Rick Mercer Report according to this Niagara Falls Review article. Alex and Rick Mercer were spotted earlier today filming a segment for an upcoming episode at Niagara Freefall Indoor Skydiving. From the article:

When it came time for their 'man date,' Canadian comic Rick Mercer and rock legend Alex Lifeson went straight to the Honeymoon Capital.

The odd couple were in town Wednesday filming a segment for The Rick Mercer Report, donning flappy flight gear to tackle the Niagara Freefall Indoor Skydiving.

With cameras rolling, the duo floated atop 140 mp/h winds generated by a jet engine at the Stanley Avenue attraction.

"All we've been told is that it's harder than it looks," said Lifeson, who co-founded Rush more than 40 years ago with bassist Geddy Lee (drummer Neil Peart joined in the mid '70s). "It's the string that's over the jet engine that's disconcerting."

"I just find standing over a jet engine disconcerting," added Mercer.

The segment finds Mercer and Lifeson hitting the town for a guys night out. Mercer had heard about the Niagara attraction from a coworker, and decided to freefall with the guy who riffed on "Freewill."

"Alex is apparently up for anything ... or crazy, I haven't determined yet."

The crew arrived in town just before noon and quickly shot the segment before either Rush or Mercer fans got wind. ...

There's no word yet on when the episode will air. Both Geddy Lee and Neil Peart have also appeared on the Rick Mercer Report. Neil did a segment back in 2006 where he gave Rick some drum lessons. You can watch the video here. And Geddy appeared on the program back in January of 2004 for his now famous Tobogganing Safety tips video which you can watch here. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Neil Peart's top ten Atlantic Canadian books
11:24AM EST | link | comments (16) |

Stephen Clare and Trevor Adams of Halifax Magazine are conducting an internet poll of writers, readers and literary luminaries to determine the top 100 Atlantic Canadian books ever written. They then plan on publishing the results in an upcoming book titled Spindrift: The 100 Greatest Atlantic Canadian Books Ever Written. They are also running a contest to guess what the top 5 books will be. According to QuillandQuire.com one of the writers polled was Neil Peart. Here is Neil's top 10 list:

Barometer Rising by Hugh MacLennan
The Colony of Unrequited Dreams: A Novel by Wayne Johnston
The Custodian of Paradise: A Novel by Wayne Johnston
Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie Macdonald
The Way the Crow Flies: A Novel by Ann-Marie Macdonald
The Republic of Nothing by Lesley Choyce
An Avalanche of Ocean: The Life and Times of a Nova Scotia Immigrant by Lesley Choyce
Shipping News: A Novel by E. Annie Proulx
Architects Are Here by Michael Winter
The Wreckage by Michael Crummey

Thanks to Andrew Olson for the heads up.

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Rush Working Men DVD compilation available for pre-order
9:39AM EST | link | comments (9) |

A couple of weeks ago we learned several more details regarding Rush's upcoming CD/DVD compilation Working Men including the tracklist and cover art. For all the details check out this post. The compilation will be available on both CD and DVD this coming November 17th. The CD has been available for pre-order at Amazon for a few weeks now and the DVD is also now available for pre-order. It will include 11 cuts from Rush's 3 most recent concert DVDs (Rush in Rio, R30, Snakes & Arrows Live) and the previously unreleased version of One Little Victory from R30, which will also appear on the upcoming R30 full concert re-release. You can pre-order your copy of the Working Men DVD at this link. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Power versus Peart Tom Sawyer air drum-off
9:10PM EST | link | comments (28) |

The indie film Adventure of Power made its theatrical debut this weekend in New York City. The movie chronicles the adventures of air-drummer extraordinaire Power (played by filmmaker Ari Gold) and contains a cameo from Neil Peart along with a slew of Rush references. A few weeks ago we learned that Neil Peart and Ari Gold paid a visit to the Drum Channel studios to film an air drum-off video. The video was finally released to YouTube late yesterday. Here it is: Power vs. Peart!

For a complete list of theaters and show times for Adventures of Power check out the official site at this link. Thanks to Ari himself for the heads up.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:12AM EST | link | comments (19) |

Adventure of PowerIt's been a quiet week in Rush-land. Probably the biggest piece of news is tonight's theatrical debut of the indie film Adventures of Power which features Neil Peart. If you are not yet familiar with the movie, I had first mentioned it way back in February of 2008. The film - written by, directed by and starring Ari Gold - first premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and has been making the film festival rounds ever since to rave reviews. The movie chronicles the adventures of air-drummer extraordinaire Power (played by Gold) and contains a cameo from Neil Peart along with a slew of Rush references. The film will finally be making its theatrical debut this evening in New York City at the AMC Loews Village 7. The Drum Channel and Adventures of Power will also be sponsoring a charity event and release party this coming Tuesday, October 13th at the El Cid in Los Angeles. Since Ari mentioned in a twitter post a few weeks ago that Neil Peart would be helping out with his charity and Neil lives in LA, chances are that Pratt will be in attendance. For a complete list of theaters and show times check out the official site at this link.

Speaking of Neil Peart, Zitro let me know that on last Friday night the Drum Channel posted the following to their Facebook page:

Neil Peart was in the studio today... yes, he practices too....

The Drum Channel also recently posted a new preview video of Neil Peart's Master Class to their YouTube channel which you can check out at this link. Thanks to RushFanForever for the link.

For the 4th year in a row Alex Lifeson is participating in The Kidney Foundation of Canada's A Brush of Hope project. Alex Lifeson along with dozens of other Canadian celebrities have donated paintings to be auctioned off to raise money for the charity. The A Brush of Hope Gala will take place on November 5th at the Delta Hotel in Fredricton, NB. Paintings from over 100 Canadian celebrities will be put up for auction on eBay from November 5th through the 15th. Below is Alex Lifeson's contributed painting:

Recent Rock and Roll of Hall of Fame inductees Metallica are currently on tour in support of their latest album Death Magnetic. Guitarist Kirk Hammett recently spoke with John Soeder of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and when asked which artists he would like to see get into the Rock Hall had this to say:

Man, I would love to see Rush in the Hall of Fame, as well as Motorhead and Deep Purple. Those are three that come to mind, only because I'm a hard-rock guy, and those bands had a lot to contribute to the genre.

Those bands have been around a lot longer than we have. It's almost embarrassing that we're in the Hall of Fame and they're not. But everyone has their opinions. There's a bit of a bureaucracy and there's a bit of politics that come along with it.

Hammett said the same thing back in January when Metallica first learned they were to be inducted as did bandmate James Hetfield. Hetfield even went so far as to mention Rush in his acceptance speech.

Neil Peart's original Slingerland drum kit (which he used from Fly By Night through 2112) was put up for auction on eBay by owners Main Drag Music in Brooklyn, New York a couple of months ago and the kit ended up being sold for $25,100! Michael of NeilPeartDrumsticks.com knows the new owner of the kit and has been working with them to help restore the kit to a playable condition. He recently posted an update on the kit's restoration status along with a couple of pics to the Counterparts Messageboard. There's also a complete gallery of pics related to the project on Michael's Facebook page. They plan on putting it on a special display sometime in November where folks will actually be able to play the kit themselves. Keep checking Michael's site over the next few weeks for updates.

Reader Curtis L let me know that Rush in Rio is included on Amazon.com's list of The 100 Greatest Live Albums of All Time. It came in at number 91.

October 2009 Rhythm MagazineThe October 2009 edition of UK drum magazine Rhythm contains the results of their reader's poll to determine the 50 Greatest Drummers of All Time. Neil Peart came in 4th behind Keith Moon (3rd), Buddy Rich (2nd) and John Bonham (1st). Thanks to DavidR for the heads up.

DRUM! Magazine has an article posted on their website titled Double Bass Legends: A Short History. Neil Peart gets a mention. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

Caught in the Act is one of Rush's better quality video bootlegs from the early days. It's an audience-filmed 8mm that was shot in Passaic, NJ on December 10, 1976 on the All the World's a Stage tour. Over the last year or so several videos from this bootleg have found their way to YouTube and other video-sharing sites (thanks DrummerDad2112 for alerting me). I've added the ones I could find to my bootleg live videos section. You can check out Bastille Day, Anthem, Lakeside Park, 2112 and In The Mood. For this performance of 2112, Discovery was cut and Oracle is missing. Here's 2112!

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend everybody!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Adventures of Power theatrical debut this weekend
5:42PM EST | link | comments (22) |

Adventure of PowerIf you are not yet familiar with the movie Adventures of Power, I had first mentioned it way back in February of 2008. The film - written by, directed by and starring Ari Gold - first premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and has been making the film festival rounds ever since to rave reviews. The movie chronicles the adventures of air-drummer extraordinaire Power (played by Gold) and contains a cameo from Neil Peart along with a slew of Rush references. The film will finally be making its theatrical debut this Friday in New York City at the AMC Loews Village 7. There's also a New York City film release party this evening at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn that is open to the public. This Huffington Post article written by Gold from yesterday describes the movie and how it came to be. Here's an excerpt:

... When I was eight and heard the band Rush, I tried to drum along. After my mother's death twelve years later, while I was living in my aunt's basement in a mining town in the Southwest, I began to take notes about an air-drumming character. Though I was lonely and lost, I loved this broken little white/Hispanic/Native town, with its mix of cowboys, copper-miners, and curmudgeonly hippies, and I wondered how an air-drummer would fit in if he grew up here. Probably not very well. ...

I was lucky enough to see the movie early in 2008 and wrote this little review in my original post describing the film:

Adventures of Power is a quirky, unconventional movie in the tradition of Napolean Dynamite (picture Napolean Dynamite meets Footloose meets Rocky) which only takes itself half-seriously most of the time but is also surprisingly touching at times. I'll attempt to summarize it while keeping a straight face; believe me - a difficult thing to do ... this movie is hilarious. It follows Power (played by Ari Gold), a nerdy copper miner from Lode, New Mexico who has a passion for drumming. He became hooked on the drums after hearing Tom Sawyer on the radio after his mother's funeral when he was a boy. The problem is that his father never allowed him to learn to play the drums - so he instead air-drums. Power lives in his hippie Aunt's (played by Jane Lynch) basement, which he has transformed into a shrine to Rush and Neil Peart (his hero). The highlight of his week is displaying his air-drumming prowess on talent night at his aunt's bar. Unfortunately nobody in his small town seems to appreciate his skill except for a local boy who Power has taken under his wing after the boy's father died. After the miners - led by Power's father (played by Michael McKean) - go on strike Power heads to Mexico to participate in an air-drum-off. While there he nearly dies attempting to air-drum Tom Sawyer and is spotted by an air-drum trainer (played by Steven Williams) from New Jersey who asks him to come to Newark to train with his air-drum team. The rest of the film chronicles Power's adventures getting to Newark and training for the ultimate air-drumming competition. Also starring in the film is Adrian Grenier as Power's rival and a sort of quasi-villain, and Shoshannah Stern as Power's love interest. I won't reveal the details of Neil Peart's cameo so as to not spoil anything, but he shows up towards the end of the film and says a couple of lines.

For a complete list of theaters and show times check out the official site at this link. Here's the trailer:

I highly recommend this film to anyone, especially Rush fans.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Alex Lifeson to participate in Kidney Foundation's A Brush of Hope
8:39PM EST | link | comments (18) |

UPDATE - 10/9@7:22AM: Alex's painting has been posted to the Kidney Foundation of Canada's website (thanks katskahnne):

----- snip -----

A Brush of HopeFor the 4th year in a row Alex Lifeson is participating in The Kidney Foundation of Canada's A Brush of Hope project. Alex Lifeson along with dozens of other Canadian celebrities have donated paintings to be auctioned off to raise money for the charity. The A Brush of Hope Gala will take place on November 5th at the Delta Hotel in Fredricton, NB. Paintings from over 100 Canadian celebrities will be put up for auction on eBay from November 5th through the 15th. From the website:

After three years of being based in Ontario, A Brush of Hope is now coming to New Brunswick!

Alex Lifeson (RUSH), Red Green (Steve Smith), Jessica Holmes, Rita MacNeil and Stompin' Tom Connors are just a few of the celebrities who have taken up brushes and paints to create small masterpieces to help the nearly 2 million Canadians who either have kidney
disease or are at risk.

To own these one-of-a-kind, hand crafted works:

  • Go to eBay.ca on November 5th
  • Type in kidney foundation into the search field
  • Bid away!

Visit our page on Facebook and invite your friends to join in the bidding!

"It is through the support by all of us that the Kidney Foundation of Canada can continue to provide hope for those who are not so fortunate and must live with this debilitating condition. I urge you to take the time to help in any way you can, whether by donation or some other method to realize the dream of a cure. Even a little goes a long way..." - Alex Lifeson

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Updates and other random Rush stuff
10:24AM EST | link | comments (57) |

UPDATE - 10/2@7:54PM: Oops! Several folks pointed out that I was missing Bravado from the poll. If you already voted and want to change your vote just shoot me an email.

This past week we learned several more details regarding Rush's upcoming CD/DVD compilation Working Men including the tracklist and cover art. For all the details check out this post. The compilation will be available on both CD and DVD this coming November 17th, and the CD is already available for pre-order at this link. It will include 11 cuts from their 3 most recent concert DVDs (Rush in Rio, R30, Snakes & Arrows Live) and the previously unreleased version of One Little Victory from R30, which will also appear on the upcoming R30 full concert re-release.

Speaking of the R30 full concert re-release, Power Windows recently reported that the release has been delayed until sometime in December although Amazon.com still has the release date listed as November 17th. Both the Blu-ray and DVD versions are now available for pre-order. So which of the 8 missing tracks are you most excited to see on the R30 re-release? Take the Poll and let us know (thanks to thedigitalman for the poll idea). Here are the results of the last poll where I asked everyone what their favorite September-released Rush album was. Signals was the clear winner with 35% of the vote and coming in a respectable 2nd was A Farewell to Kings with 21%.

With the upcoming release of yet another compilation album less than 1 year since the release of Retrospective 3, several fans have been wondering how this affects the band's obligations to their current record company Atlantic Records. Since the release of 2007's Snakes & Arrows I'd been consistently hearing that Rush owed Atlantic one more album but began to doubt this information with each subsequent release under Atlantic. Power Windows decided to go right to source and ask the band's management this question, and received the clarification that Rush owes Atlantic one more studio album. So neither compilation album nor Snakes & Arrows Live counts towards fulfilling this obligation, and it therefore looks like we can be guaranteed at least one more Rush studio album with Atlantic.

Grapes Under PressureA couple of weeks ago Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson launched an auction of rock memorabilia on eBay as part of their Grapes Under Pressure initiative in support of Grapes for Humanity, an organization that helps to raise funds to benefit humanitarian causes around the world with the assistance of the international wine community. Geddy Lee is a member of the board of directors for the organization. The online auction ended this past Sunday and was a huge success. The actual Grapes Under Pressure fundraising event took place this past Saturday at the Tawse Winery in Vineland as described in this Sun Media article:

... Around 50 wine-lovers from Toronto descended on the Tawse winery in Vineland, each paying a minimum of $750 a ticket to pick grapes and enjoy some local wine at the Grapes for Humanity event.

"This is a way to celebrate Ontario wines and help people at the same time," said Geddy Lee, the lead singer of Rush and a director with Grapes for Humanity. "People feel really good when they do this, knowing they have helped someone on the other side of the world they have never met." ...

...Geddy said there are many people within the wine community with the capacity to make in a difference in the lives of less fortunate people around the world. ...

... "These are not light-weights. These are the kinds of people who really know their wines. They are lovers of European wine," Lee said. "The reactions that we're getting is that yes, this is fantastic wine and it's being made in their own backyard."

Lee hopes the Grapes Under Pressure event will become an annual or bi-annual fundraiser, but said it is too early to tell.

"It's going to depend on my work schedule and Tony's work schedule, but this has been really successful so I want to see it continue," he said.

Thanks to lilvictory for the heads up.

The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win a Snakes & Arrows MVI (not signed). The contest ends on October 13th and you can sign up to enter at this link. Thanks to thomas for the heads up.

Last week we learned that Rush was once again left off the list of nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll of Fame. After the nominees were announced, RollingStone.com asked their readers what other acts they thought had been overlooked by the Rock Hall. The results were recently posted and the surprise winner of the poll was none other than Weird Al Yankovic! But coming in a close second was a favorite Canadian trio. You can check out the complete list at this link. On this same subject, Time magazine recently compiled a list of the Top 10 Rock Hall of Fame Snubs and Rush comes in at number 8. Here's what they had to say:

Rolling Stone has called Rush fans the "Trekkies" of rock - they defend their Canadian rock heroes vehemently. The band certainly has carved out a place in rock history. With 24 consecutive gold or platinum albums, they trail only The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Aerosmith. But commercial success belies a career that took the occasional wrong turn. Critics cite the band's over-fascination with synthesizers in the 1980s, but fans say the period is simply proof that Rush doesn't care about convention. That independent streak might keep Rush from the Hall, but it doesn't seem to bother them in the slightest - guitarist Alex Lifeson called the Hall selection process a "joke."

Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

Rush: A Brief History of TimeSpeaking of John at Cygnus-X1.net, he recently posted the third installment of his Rush: A Brief History of Time series where he compiles scans of old Rush articles. You can check this latest batch out at this link. He has also combined all the items from the 3 installments and presented them on one page here. There are some real gems in this collection so a highly suggest that you check it out.

Last week Alex Lifeson's GarageBand Learn To Play Artist Lessons for Tom Sawyer and Limelight were made available for purchase at the Lesson Store for Apple's GarageBand software. A short preview video of Alex's Tom Sawyer lesson has been posted at the Apple GarageBand site. You can also watch it at this link. In the latest episode of the MacBreak Weekly podcast they discuss GarageBand, Alex's artist lesson and Rush in general from about the 22-30 minute mark. You can listen to and download the podcast at this link.

While on the subject of Lerxst, I'd posted last week about Alex Lifeson's cameo in the latest Trailer Park Boys movie - Countdown to Liquor Day - which opened for theatrical release in Canada last Friday. Alex plays a cross-dressing cop in the film as he described in a recent Prog interview. Trailer Park Boys creator/director Mike Clattenburg was recently interviewed by suite101.com and this to say regarding Alex Lifeson's involvement with the series and the films:

S101: I have to ask: how did you get Alex Lifeson in a dress?

"It goes way back to when we first started. The show came out and no one really liked it, everyone thought 'What is this cheap garbage?' Trailer Park Boys was a slow-burn: the audience had to get used to the characters and it's shot on a Handycam. It looks really cheap and people didn't realize that was by design. But once they got past that and tuned into the humour, they got it. But we didn't realize it: we thought, 'Oh my God, no one's getting our stuff.'

"Then I heard from a friend who said, 'There's a very prominent rock star who's a big fan of Trailer Park Boys. Can I give him your email?'

"So Alex sent me the sweetest email, saying 'I love the characters; I find the show very, very funny. Great work, congratulations. Alex Lifeson.'

"We sent emails back and forth, and I found that Alex is an actor in his own right: he's really good at sketching characters and I think that's why he appreciated the show. I find musicians tuned into our show long before most other people did. Musicians have an unusual sense of humour.

"I asked Lifeson to appear on an episode - called 'Closer to the Heart' - wrote the script and sent it to him. He came to town and the very first scene we did with Alex was in a car and we started improvising. Wells hit him with, 'Why don't you play your big, fancy f*****g guitar or whatever it is the fk you do!' and Lifeson loved it.

"Because you could go one of two ways: one is a Rush love-in, or you can flip it. And Ricky doesn't get it; he thinks Alex is from April Wine.

"So I asked Alex if he wanted to play a cop in the first film, and he said, 'Sure.' And we wanted to bring him back for the 2nd film and I thought, 'How do we put a twist on that? Maybe he's in disguise.' We shot that scene in one night and he was wonderful."

S101: How did you get past the fanboy thing?

"I never did. One time I was at his house at 3 am banging on pots and pans in his kitchen and I think we woke his wife up. But I admire Rush so much and, in particular, Alex. He doesn't make you feel that way; he makes you feel comfortable, but he's such a shining artist that I had to look at my feet sometimes."

Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.

In last Friday's Updates Post I'd mentioned how Porcupine Tree has been touring the US in support of their new album The Incident and that Neil Peart was in attendance at the band's September 19th show at the Nokia in Los Angeles and also attended the after party. According to reader Jason Y not only was Neil at the LA show, but he attended all 4 of the west coast shows in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. He rode his bike from show to show with Porcupine Tree guitarist John Wesley. The band played at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto on Wednesday and - just as we'd anticipated - Alex Lifeson was spotted although he did not make an onstage guest appearance (thanks RUSHGIRL).

Warning: this next item is for mature audiences only ... seriously. Reader Lamb Saag noticed that Rush's 2010 Wall Calendar - which has the girl from the Permanent Waves cover on the front - has made this Amazon.com list of the skankiest upskirt on Amazon!. I had no idea Amazon sold that kind of stuff!

unktehila located this Boston Globe article about how celestial bodies such as asteroids and comets are named. The article mentions how each member of Rush has a minor planet named after them (Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart). More notable than that tidbit is the fact that they use this really cool photoshopped picture of Rush as planets in the article.

The band Phish will be holding their annual 3-day festival in Indio, CA - Festival 8 - this coming Halloween. The band has a Halloween tradition called a musical costume where they use the second of their 3 sets to cover another band's album in its entirety. On the band's website they are currently showing an animation depicting the album covers of the 99 possible albums that they might cover this Halloween. The website is slowly eliminating the albums with knives, arrows, axes, etc. all in Halloween fun. One of the albums in the running is Rush's Moving Pictures. Thanks to azwildcat for the news.

Mike Nieland from Guitar Center wanted me to let everyone know that Neil Peart's DW Snakes & Arrows Tour Kit will be the centerpiece of their booth at this year's Percussion Arts Society (PASIC) show in Indianapolis, IN. The show runs from November 11-14 and details can be found online at www.pasic.org. You can check out the flyer by clicking on the thumbnail to your right.

Back on September 15, 1990 Rush (minus Neil Peart) played at a charity tennis event at the North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, California called the Music & Tennis Festival. Also on the the bill were prog-rockers Kansas. At one point in their set Alex Lifeson made a guest appearance on guitar for their classic hit Carry On Wayward Son. RushFanForever located this bootleg audio of the performance that was posted to YouTube.

RushFanForever also located these old Rush concert photos from a 1977 show with Ted Nugent. Included is one photo of the boys backstage chatting with the Motor City Madman.

Fox News Channel's The Live Desk used Rush's The Big Money as the lead-in music for a story last Friday. Thanks to amoderndaywarrior2112 for the heads up.

Reader ladlenitz wanted me to let everyone know about his fantasy hocky league at Yahoo Sports. Serious Rush/hockey fans only. The league ID is 238970, and the password is gedalneil. Slots are available for the first nine comers. You can sign up at this link.

You may remember how I reported a few months ago that Alex Lifeson was in attendance at the sold out Chickenfoot show at The Mod Club Theatre in Toronto back in late May. Chickenfoot is the recently-formed supergroup consisting of vocalist Sammy Hagar (Van Halen), bassist Michael Anthony (Van Halen), guitarist Joe Satriani and drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers). The band just wrapped up their tour earlier this week at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, CA and during soundcheck jammed out to Rush's The Spirit of Radio as seen in this video that was posted to YouTube (thanks C Sanders). The Rush part starts at around the 5:30 mark.

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Alex Lifeson's GarageBand instructional video preview
9:50AM EST | link | comments (29) |

UPDATE - 10/1@11:49AM: In the latest episode of the MacBreak Weekly podcast they discuss GarageBand, Alex's artist lesson and Rush in general from about the 22-30 minute mark. You can listen to and download the podcast at this link. Thanks to Stephen D for the heads up.

Last week Alex Lifeson's GarageBand Learn To Play Artist Lessons for Tom Sawyer and Limelight were made available for purchase at the Lesson Store for Apple's GarageBand software. A short preview video of Alex's Tom Sawyer lesson has been posted at the Apple GarageBand site. You can also watch it below or at this link (thanks RushFanForever).

GarageBand is a software application that allows users to create music or podcasts, and is included in all shipments of iLife. The most recent version of the software (iLife '09) includes music instruction, allowing users to buy instructional videos by several popular artists such as Sting, Norah Jones and Ben Folds. Alex Lifeson described how he recorded the instructional videos for the software in his recent Classic Rock presents ... Prog interview.

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