Rush's Permanent Waves will be the subject of an hour-long In The Studio with Redbeard rockumentary radio show the week of January 11th. The show will feature interview segments with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson presumably from past In The Studio interviews where they discuss the album. Permanent Waves celebrates its 30th anniversary this coming January 1st. In The Studioran a similar special celebrating the 35th anniversary of Rush's debut album back in April and did not include any new interview segments - just bits and pieces from old interviews. For a list of stations and air times go here. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.
Geddy Lee guest judge appearance at Gold Medal Plates
Nota Bene chef David Lee grabbed top honours at the 2009 Gold Medal Plates competition in Toronto - not just for a great dish but also for having enormous chutzpah.
His simple presentation of chicken skin with cartilage zigged where the complicated plates of his peers zagged.
In the annual contest, a backdrop for an Olympics fundraiser, 10 of Ontario's best chefs compete against each other. Lee moves on to compete against six Canadian chefs in Vancouver on Nov. 27.
The action happened Thursday in a cavernous room at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. High-rollers who donated an estimated $160,000 to support Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes moved from station to station to taste each chef's entry. A panel of tasters, including food writer James Chatto and musician Geddy Lee, sat in judgment of each dish and its wine pairing. ...
A photo of Geddy Lee and host Steven Page (Bare Naked Ladies) appeared in today's Toronto Sun. Reader Steve was kind enough to get us a scan (just click on the above thumbnail).
In another bit of SOCAN-related news, Alex Lifeson was involved with the SOCAN-sponsored Retail Council of Canada's 2009 golf tournament last month. He's pictured on the golf course in this news article. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.
Today marks the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season. There are many options for buying the perfect gift for your favorite Rush fan (including yourself!). There's always the official Rush store at the Rush Backstage Club. And if you can't find it there you can probably find it at Rush Swag, which collects all the Rush merchandise at Amazon.com into one convenient place. And for those rare collectible items, . Happy shopping everyone!
... he was cultivating a reputation around town as a major book hound. "Every rare book store seems to know Garrett," mused musician Geddy Lee, another book lover who knows Mr. Herman from the Toronto chapter of Grapes for Humanity, a charity of oenophiles that raises money for land-mine victims. "I was once at David Mason, hoping to buy this book, but it was already on hold for Garrett," the Rush singer said, bemused. "Everything was on hold for Garrett!" ...
Editor - You've done it now, Peter Hartlaub: You've ticked off Rush fans!
In response to Hartlaub's review "Kiss' music thunders, but theatrics lose their luster," Tuesday), OK, sure, Rush concerts probably do have a higher guy-to-girl audience ratio than even Kiss concerts, but at least guys that listen to Rush have a lot more on their minds than trying to extend the length of their tongues and giggling like schoolboys over the sexual innuendo of "You Make Me Rock Hard."
Be warned, Pete! Or someday Rush fans are going to hunt you down, give you a stern talking-to and then lecture you on the social implications of collectivism and individual freedoms.
- Ken Crews, San Francisco
Here's a bit of Rush triva/history that you may or may not be familiar with (I wasn't until just recently). Back in late 1996 Rush played a secret show at a small venue in Toronto as part of the Molson Canadian Blind Date promotion where a secret big name act would play a small club. The show took place on December 18, 1996 at The Phoenix Club in Toronto near the end of the first leg of the Test For Echo tour. A photo from this show is included in the Rush biography Merely Players (click thumbnail) and reader RushFanForever dug up this old review of the show:
No fog machines. No video screens. No fireworks screams. No laser beams. No floppy-eared bouncing Presto bunnies either. Tonight's Blind Date show at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto was a Rush fan's testimonial. Stripped of all the appealing high-tech sensory theatrics that are the band's calling cards, what lingered were three guys on a stage playing their guts out and enjoying every minute of it. Like slapping a CD on your player and slipping the headphones on,the distractions disappeared. The music and emotion coming in loud and clear.
"We're gonna play a whole bunch of absurd music for you tonight," said bass player Geddy Lee in his best English accent. And he wasn't joshin'. The 19-song set was a diverse sampling of Rush's 20 album magical mystery tour which pleased the loyal devotee as well as the enthusiastic newcomer. ...
As the end of the month approaches, it's likely that Rush has already had (or are having very soon) their planned November band meeting in Los Angeles that Neil Peart had mentioned in his latest news update at NeilPeart.net. Hopefully we'll hear word of what came/comes out of their meeting sooner than later. One thing that Neil mentioned as being a possibility is Rush playing with an orchestra. There have been several classical tributes to Rush released in the past few years including The String Quartet Tribute to Rush's 2112. YouTuber brunofelix20 thought it would be neat to sync up the string quartet version of 2112 with Rush's version. You can listen to the impressive result below (the accompanying video is really cool too). This gives a small taste of what Rush with an orchestra might sound like:
Here are part 2 and part 3. Thanks to RushFanForever for letting me know about these.
That's it for this week. Have a great weekend!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Countdown to Liquor Day featuring Alex Lifeson DVD release
UPDATE - 12/1@1:30PM: Reader Will C let me know of a cheaper option for US customers who want to purchase this DVD. CDPlus.com is a Canadian CD/DVD seller that has FREE shipping for orders to the US and the DVD is listed at $29.99CAN shipped. Plus the site is having a 10% off special through December 6.
... Of course, there's the de rigueur appearance by Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, here playing a drunken, undercover cop posing as a transvestite in a gay-prostitute alley (centred around a Chip Wagon that serves alcohol -- man, Halifax is one weird town). ...
UPDATE - 11/24@10:16AM: A few photos of the event are online at this link. Alex and Geddy were in attendance and I included the photos of them. Just click on the thumbnails. Thanks to lilvictory for the heads up.
Michael Mosbach is the head of Rush's security as well as Neil Peart's friend and riding partner, and was one of the guest speakers at RushCon 9 in Toronto this past summer. A video of portions of his 2-hour talk were recently posted to the RushCon website. They are also starting to plan for RushCon 10 and would like you to take their survey. It sounds like they want to shake things up a little for the Con's 10th anniversary. You can take the survey at this link. Here's the interview:
20 years ago today Rush released their 13th studio album, 1989's Presto. The album was Rush's first with their current label Atlantic Records and was produced by Rupert Hine, who went on to also produce 1991's Roll the Bones. Presto peaked at #16 on the Billboard album charts and was certified Gold by the RIAA on January 11, 1990. It was recorded at Le Studio in Morin Heights and at McClear Place in Toronto in the Summer of 1989. The album's first single Show Don't Tell peaked at #1 on the US Mainstream Rock charts; The Pass went to #15 and Superconductor to #37. Here's the 4-and-a-half-star AllMusic review of the album:
After being slagged off for the electronic ambience of its predecessor releases such as 1985's Power Windows and 1984's Grace Under Pressure, Rush bounced back with their 13th release, Presto. Yet again the prog-rock trio proved that their tight guitar work and lyrical originality was not long lost or overlooked in an attempt to secure the latest technical flash. Rupert Hine's production work totally brings things to the forefront by molding solid piano breaks instead of the typical adventure-like synthesizers into Alex Lifeson's spellbinding guitar work. The sound quality is strong and thick, making the sounds of Presto complete. Neil Peart also makes headway with his natural percussion power, and Geddy Lee's trademark delivery of Peart's lyrical complexities shine like signature Rush perfectionism. Songs like "Scars" and "Superconductor" are sonically firm, but "Show Don't Tell" is the album's infectious standout that's heightened thanks to Lee's stunning vocal wizardry. Presto intelligently leads Rush into the '90s without musical bleakness. They weren't ones to be blinded by such creative mediocrity anyway.
... In addition to assembling a team of top recording engineers and musicians to assist on the recording, Peart has commissioned DW Drums to create a special hockey-themed drum kit specifically for his unique version of the song.
Peart's version of the theme song will be used during NHL broadcasts on both TSN and RDS throughout the remainder of the NHL season. Details on when the song will debut will be announced at a later date.
As Peart explains, "having started out as a Canadian kid who skated on his ankles, and never made a hockey team, it is particularly sweet to be invited to be a part of this national institution - if not on skates, then on drums, performing Canada's 'second national anthem.' At last I've made the Big Leagues!"
"To have a music legend and a member of Canada's rock royalty like Neil Peart record his version of The Hockey Theme speaks volumes about the song's place in psyche of hockey fans across the country and around the world," said Mark Milliere, Vice-President, Production, TSN. "It is an honour to have Neil put his rock spin on this iconic tune and we're extremely excited to add his interpretation to our NHL ON TSN broadcasts." ...
It was a busy week for Rush news so I'll get right to it. Rush's Working Men live compilation was released earlier this week on both CD and DVD. The compilation is Rush's first live compilation and includes cuts from their 3 most recent live DVDs. 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. Here's the official UK press release from Noble PR which includes all the details regarding the release along with some great pics.
Backstage Secrets is a 5-part documentary from WhistleStop Productions which aired on HD TV in Canada last year. The documentary follows various members of the Rush road crew during a typical day out on the road with the band. It was shot in High Definition and Dolby 5.1 surround audio during the Canadian leg of the 2007 Snakes and Arrows tour. We learned last week that the series is finally available for purchase through a few online distributors including Amazon. You can purchase the documentary as a home-use 2-disc set for $24.95 at this link.
Rush once again gets used as an example and is prominently featured in the accompanying graphics in this iLounge article on album tagging, art and playlists in iTunes. Check it out at this link.
Here's something I thought was really cool. Reader acellofawareness let me know of a friend of his who spent 5 years tracking down the exact models of the 3 vintage television sets depicted on the cover of the Power Windows album. I included a photo of the 3 sets along with a high-res image of the album cover (click on the thumbnails). Very cool.
Also on the subject of Rush album covers, see if you can recognize the woman who graces the cover of this 1982 fashion magazine. Yes indeed, it is none other than model Paula Turnbull who is the woman depicted on the Permanent Waves album cover. Thanks to Power Windows for digging this one up.
... The nomination of Genesis is a decent start for progressive rock, but King Crimson, Yes, and Rush are still patiently waiting for nomination. One problem for progressive rock is that, in general, it's not a genre adored by rock critics. But regardless of whether you think 2112 or Relayer is a masterpiece, progressive rock's most notable characteristics (the odd time signature shifts, full albums broken into "acts" or "suites") are everywhere in rock. If a song by a rock band exceeds eight minutes, chances are high that there's going to be a Yes comparison. Even a band as critically adored as the Decemberists has garnered plenty of prog rock comparisons. ...
... Another dedicated non-wanker who's had a big effect on Failure is Alex Lifeson. In one of those "Here ya go, kid" moments, the legendary Rush guitarist presented her with one of his Paul Reed Smith guitars, just when she needed it most.
"There was like a six-month period where if I didn't have that guitar I don't know what I would have been doing," she says. "He gave me that guitar and a bag of pedals, and more importantly some real nice messages that trip through your head."
The helpful advice and colossal freebies from good samaritans like Lifeson, her "musical sugar daddy", have helped Failure turn her once-troubled life around to the point where you question the validity of her stage name. But she has no regrets about choosing that moniker-or anything else. ...
Crawdaddy! magazine posted an article earlier this week by columnist and Rush fan Max Mobley about his first time seeing Rush back when UFO opened for them. You can check it out at this link.
Reader misterjdbig sent me this courant.com article from William Weir which discusses the effects of modern recording technology on reducing mistakes in recording, and how this is not necessarily a good thing. He uses Rush as an example and references a discussion he found online at the Counterparts board. You can check it out at this link.
Back in 1987 shortly after the release of Hold Your Fire two British journalists performed a 30-minute interview with Alex Lifeson and released it as an interview CD in 1992 titled The Story of Kings. Reader Kevin noticed that the entire interview has been posted to YouTube at this link. It's a great interview so check it out if you get a chance.
Reader tcshan2112 let me know that on Monday's Howard Stern radio show, they played The Spirit of Radio as the bumper music after commercials. When they returned, Howard and Fred discussed the meaning of the song, and in particular how it takes a jab at radio salesmen.
Reader Andew W recently uploaded some live video that RedSectorA had filmed of Alex Lifeson playing with the Orbit Room house band The Dexters at the Capitol Event Theatre in Toronto on Nov 9, 2001. It's in 2 parts: part 1, part 2.
That's it for this week. Have a great weekend everybody!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
CBC Canadian music history documentaries available on DVD
The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win an 11" x 17" Feedback promo poster. The contest ends on November 29th and you can sign up to enter at this link. Thanks to hermy for the heads up.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Neil Peart and John Good of Drum Workshop talk drum shells
In the latest issue of Edge Magazine - the official Drum Workshop newsletter - Neil Peart discusses the finer points of drum shell construction with DW's John Good. You can download a PDF of the issue at this link (PDF 5MB). The article is on pages 14-15. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.
Rush Working Men CD/DVD compilation released today
Rush's Working Men live compilation gets released today on both CD and DVD in the US. It was released on Friday in parts of Europe and yesterday in the UK. The compilation is Rush's first live compilation and includes cuts from their 3 most recent live DVDs. 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. Here's the official UK press release from Noble PR which includes all the details regarding the release along with some great pics (thanks Power Windows).
Monday, November 16, 2009
Rush: The Documentary sneak peek shown at Windsor film festival
UPDATE - 11/17@9:16AM: I have a couple of quick updates. I'm pretty certain now that the portion of the clip with Alex talking to his parents was taken from the 1973 Allan King documentary Come On Children which Alex was involved with. The way it's described sounds exactly like one scene from the film and reader RushFanForever confirmed with Martin Popoff (who is also involved with the Rush documentary) that they did indeed use several clips from that film. Also, RushFanForever located this short audio interview with Dunn and McFadyen from the Windsor Film Festival where they mention that one of the chapters in the Rush documentary is titled Revenge of the Nerds.
... They said no one (other than them and Rush and some insiders I guess) had seen the footage. In the clip , there was footage of Geddy (current) and Geddy's mother (talking about Geddy when he was younger and how worried she was when he quit school,etc). Also, some footage of Alex (high school age) sitting at a table with his parents, talking about his future and that he wanted to quit school. His parents were trying to convince him to go to university. There was also footage from a show Rush did at a high school, with John Rustey on drums. Pretty neat. I asked them when they expect to be finished and when it will be released and I didn't get a firm answer, but they said they are still working on it and The Toronto Film festival was mentioned, for a premiere of the documentary. They said possibly January, but it sounded like next year sometime, is when it will be out on DVD. They want to get some footage for at the end of the documentary of Rush in the studio working on their next album, I think, before they finish it off. Just thought I'd share that with you guys. It was pretty cool to see these 2 guys and be able to interact with them a bit. They are are cool guys and you could tell they respect Rush a lot. ...
So it definitely sounds like they have some great home movies from the guys to share in the documentary and - more surprisingly - some early footage of the band with John Rutsey. This seems to confirm something I'd already heard on very good authority; that the filmmakers had gotten their hands on some pro-shot footage taken from a Canadian Bandstand gig the band played at Laura Secord High School in St. Catharines, ON in 1974 (no joke!). If this is true (and I can't think of any other high school gig pre-Peart that they would have quality footage of), it is a pretty big deal since there has never been any publicly released footage of the band playing with Rutsey on drums. As for the release date for the film, that still sounds dependent on many factors including what comes out of Rush's band meeting this month. The filmmakers seem to really want to include some footage of the guys in the studio; hopefully Rush will oblige them. It would be nice if Scot and Sam would post this preview somewhere online so we can all see it! (hint, hint)
UPDATE - 11/17@4:56PM: Reader UltimoGuitarist watched Alex present and had this to report:
Alex was pretty nervous in front of all those people without a guitar in hand from what I could tell. He stumbled on his words a little bit, and his voice was pretty shaky, and it looked really obvious that his speech was being read on a screen. He also made a joke and paused for laughter and you could hear crickets chirp. Felt bad for him, but it's good that he would attempt to do something outside of his comfort zone like that.
There's still no video of this available as far as I know.
Backstage Secrets is a 5-part documentary from WhistleStop Productions which aired on HD TV in Canada last year. The documentary follows various members of the Rush road crew during a typical day out on the road with the band. It was shot in High Definition and Dolby 5.1 surround audio during the Canadian leg of the 2007 Snakes and Arrows tour. We learned yesterday that the series is finally available for purchase through a few online distributors including Amazon. You can purchase the documentary as a home-use 2-disc set for $24.95 at this link.
Rush's Working Men compilation will be released this coming Tuesday November 17th in the US and Canada. In Germany and other parts of Europe it released today and those in the UK will be able to get their copies on Monday.
On Sunday we found out about a new documentary from filmmaker Paul Miilm which explores the Niagara music scene of the late 60's and early 70's of which Neil Peart played a major part. It's titled The Big Story of Small Potatoes and will be released sometime this month according to the film's website. Neil Peart was not interviewed for the documentary but Jimmy Johnson, who later became a guitar tech for Alex Lifeson, is interviewed. The film makes reference to several bands that Neil played in including JR Flood - which has a portion of their song Giant Killer (which Neil plays on) included on the soundtrack. The film's website also includes a list of several bands that Neil purportedly played with.
Reader ddrylie noticed that DW Drums is releasing a new version of their Snakes & Arrows snare drum. This new version's finish is described asBirdseye Maple w/ Walnut inlay, Candy Black Burst and Black Nickel Hardware. It's currently available for pre-order at a number of online vendors.
Rush biographer Jon Collins recently posted to his website that a paperback version of his 2006 book Chemistry is in the works. The contents of the paperback version will be identical to the hard cover although it will include corrections. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.
Technology consultant, author, Rush fan and RIAB reader Phil Simon recently posted an article to his blog titled Project Management Lessons from Rush where he uses rush lyrics to relate some points about IT projects. You can check it out at this link. And if you are interested, check out his book Why New Systems Fail: Theory and Practice Collide. While the subject matter is not directly Rush-related (obviously), Phil intersperses Rush references throughout the book.
Rush Tour Forum member abdabs recently saw Guy Fieri of the Food Network during a live performance at the Metropolitan Food and Entertainment Show in Washington DC. During a cooking demo he was cutting up bell peppers really fast and fancy with the whole audience cheering him on. At one point he looked up and said kinda like a Rush drum solo.
This next Rush reference (and the screengrab) comes from Power Windows. During the November 2nd episode of Adult Swim's The Venture Bros, titled Perchance To Dean, Dr. Venture introduces his son Dean to progressive rock, explaining that all of his greatest ideas were hatched while listening to King Crimson, Yes, etc. After falling into a Floyd Hole during a long session of Prog Rock, Dean is found passed out on the floor with various album covers strewn about, including Rush's 2112, and possibly Hemispheres.
Also from Power Windows, in the opening scene of the November 4th episode of Gary Unmarried (Gary Tries To Do It All), Gary complains about the cost of his daughter's youth orchestra by saying ... it seemed pretty expensive, I could see if the orchestra played a little Rush or AC/DC or something.... You can watch the full episode online at CBS.com.
Salon.com contributor (and RIAB reader) Bob Calhoun posted to the Open Salon blog earlier this week an article titled 2012 vs. 2112: CGI Apocalypse vs. the Ayn Rand Rock Opera. The article was inspired by this weekend's release of the apocalyptic thriller 2012. Calhoun suggests that the filmmaker should have instead made a movie based on Rush's 2112 and then goes on to describe the story behind the song and its political overtones in relation to Ayn Rand and Objectivism. There's also this cool graphic accompanying the article.
UPDATE - 11/13@10:10AM: Here's an interview with Robb Wells, JP Tremblay, and Mike Smith (aka the Trailer Park Boys) where they talk with Zach Feldberg at Showcase about the show (thanks State of Grace).
... The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour is a genre-breaking and highly innovative mix of narrative and sketch comedy that builds on the success of Trailer Park Boys and follows in the proud tradition of such comedy classics as Monty Python's Flying Circus and the more recent British import The League of Gentlemen.
Transformed through innovative costumes and make up, Mike Smith, Robb Wells and JP Tremblay play many of the quirky characters in the series. The Drunk and On Drugs Happy Funtime Hour opens as the three boys 'wake up' after shooting has wrapped on their new TV series - a children's show filmed in the sleepy town of Port Cockerton called The Happy Funtime Hour. Production on the series was going smoothly until Alex Lifeson, hired to play a German scientist who teaches children about nutrition, goes too far and assumes the personality of his character after synthesizing a powerful and addictive hallucinogen from local berries. Chaos ensues as the cast unknowingly ingests the drug and begin to believe they really are the characters they are portraying on the show - including deranged pirates, playboys from a 1980's television show and a group of not-very-super, superheroes.
As the series unfolds, Robb, Mike and JP must deal with the bizarre cast of hallucinating children's show characters, a dysfunctional crime family that runs the town, and a dangerous cult, all while trying to piece together what has happened to them and get out of Port Cockerton alive. ...
Thanks to Paul N for the heads up.
Backstage Secrets Rush documentary now available for purchase
Backstage Secrets is a 5-part documentary from WhistleStop Productions which aired on HD TV in Canada last year. The documentary follows various members of the Rush road crew during a typical day out on the road with the band. It was shot in High Definition and Dolby 5.1 surround audio during the Canadian leg of the 2007 Snakes and Arrows tour. The 1st part of the documentary has been floating around YouTube for some time now and can be seen at this link and others. Since it first aired there has been much speculation as to when and where it might be available for purchase. It turns out that it's actually been available to purchase on DVD for some time now although this information seems to have fallen underneath everybody's radar. The copyright for the series is owned by High Fidelity HDTV Media Inc. who is partnered with several online DVD distributors including Amazon. You can purchase the documentary as a home-use 2-disc set for $24.95 at this link. It's also available to purchase for non-profit and institutional use. Here's the trailer for the documentary:
Thanks to the ever-vigilant RushFanForever for the heads up.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Neil Peart's Slingerland, Snakes & Arrows kits at PASIC this week
The Gemini Awards are annual television broadcasting industry awards in Canada akin to the USA's Emmy Awards. The 24th annual Gemini Awards ceremony will take place this Saturday, November 14th at the Stampede Corral in Alberta, Canada and be broadcast live on Global and Showcase. In a press release released earlier today it was revealed that Alex Lifeson will be one of the presenters at the ceremony and that the Trailer Park Boys will be recognized with a special tribute. One can assume from this that there's a good chance that Alex will be the one presenting their award given his friendship with the guys and previous involvement with the show. If you will be in Calgary this weekend tickets are still available at this link. Thanks to Will C for the heads up.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Geddy Lee confirmed as guest judge for Canadian chef cook-off
... rocker Geddy Lee is (hopefully) saving up his appetite. He's confirmed as a "guest judge" at the great Canadian chef cook-off known as the "Gold Medal Plates," happening next week at the Convention Centre.
Gold Medal Plates is the ultimate celebration of Canadian Excellence in cuisine, wine, entertainment and athletic achievement. Celebrating in six cities across Canada in 2009, Gold Medal Plates will feature superb wines and the premier chefs in each city, paired with Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes, in a competition to crown a gold, silver and bronze medal culinary team in each city, and subsequently nation-wide.
Founded in 2003, the goal of Gold Medal Plates is to raise substantial funds for Canada's high performance athletes, while celebrating Canadian excellence. Since 2004, this event has received tremendous support and accolades all across Canada, and generated a combined net total of $2.8 million for Canada's Olympic and Paralympic athletes!
UPDATE - 11/9@4:17PM:Andrew Olson spoke with director Paul Miil via email and he confirmed that Neil was indeed the drummer on the soundtrack version of the J.R. Flood song. He also added that while it's not the entire song, it is enough to get an idea of what their sound was like.
A new documentary from filmmaker Paul Miilm explores the Niagara music scene of the late 60's and early 70's of which Neil Peart played a major part. It's titled The Big Story of Small Potatoes and will be released sometime this month according to the film's website. Neil Peart was not interviewed for the documentary but Jimmy Johnson, who later became a guitar tech for Alex Lifeson, is interviewed. The film makes reference to several bands that Neil played in including JR Flood - which has their song Giant Killer (not known if Neil played on this) included on the soundtrack. The film's website also includes a list of several bands that Neil purportedly played with:
* Mumblin Sumpthin circa 1967 (St. Catharines micro-band) * Strength circa 1967-68 (micro-band) (Neil possibly sat in) * Wayne and the Younger Generation circa 1966-67 (falls band) was called The Devil's Diciples (sic) early 1966 * The Younger Generation circa 1967 * The Majority circa 1967- Dec 69 (falls/St. Catharines band) From The Younger Generation Rick Jones creation. There was a line-up of The Majority previous to this one, but no one remembers who. * David circa 1970 (after Skinner's version of The Majority for a couple gigs -- micro-band) * JR Flood circa 1968 - July 1971; Aug 1971 - Dec 1971 (different lineup) (St. Catharines/Falls band) * Hush circa 1971-74
The big news item of this past week took the form of a NeilPeart.net news update where Neil revealed that he and his bandmates will get together sometime this month to discuss the future of Rush:
... In this autumn of 2009, the three of us are poised on another kind of "reinvention." We have agreed to meet in Los Angeles in November, and discuss our future. ... these are parlous times in the music business, so our time-honored pattern of touring, recording, and touring is no longer the obvious way to do things. ... Because of that reality, record company advances that used to pay for album projects are a thing of the past, so if that was what we wanted to do, we'd be on our own. ... To this point, the three of us haven't even discussed what we might discuss, so to speak-so our ideas and shared enthusiasm for the entity of Rush will be fresh, spontaneous, and quite likely exciting. For myself, I'm open to anything we can all agree on (I've pointed out before that in a three-piece band, we need consensus, not democracy-it's no good having one outvoted and unhappy member). My favorite group activity is always songwriting and recording, and I've got some lyrical ideas and those new drumming frontiers to explore. However, those rhythmic concepts would also be inspiring for a new drum solo, if we decided to do a tour of some kind, maybe with an orchestra. We could write and record just a few songs, and release them some way. Or there were a couple of film-and-music projects we had discussed in the past. In any case, there are enough possibilities for future collaboration, and I am curious to see what we'll come up with. ...
In last week's Friday Updates post I'd mentioned that Geddy had picked the Yankees to win the World Series by a slim margin and that he expected the series to go 6 games. Geddy was dead on! The series came to a close Wednesday night with the Yankees winning 4 games to 2! The man knows his baseball.
Canadian rock lyric legend PYE DUBOIS, writer of a handful of RUSH lyrics along with almost all the lyrics for MAX WEBSTER and much of the KIM MITCHELL catalogue has gone missing. "It's unusual for Pye not to call once in a while, and even more unusual for him not to return my calls, usually within a couple hours," notes a concerned Martin Popoff, Editor In Chief at BW&BK, and friend of Dubois, who lives only a couple blocks from Popoff. "And then recently I've tried to call, and his line has been disconnected." Dubois has been in ill health the last few years, which has added to the concern of his friends in both Rush and Max Webster. Of note, attempt was made to contact Pye for participation in the recent one-off Max Webster reunion show, but he was unresponsive. Dubois enthusiastically took part in the band's reunion shows earlier in the '00s, providing what some called the highlight of the show with his hippie-vibed spoken word skills.
This was over 2 years ago and was the last I'd heard about it until just recently. JAM! gave an update in a recent article discussing the false reports of the death of punk drummer Chuck Biscuits:
... Toronto rocker Kim Mitchell, meanwhile, experienced a situation similar to the Biscuits death hoax several years ago, when reports circulated in the blogosphere and on Facebook and MySpace that Pye Dubois, his longtime collaborator, had died.
At the time, Dubois and Mitchell weren't speaking to one another after having a falling out. Dubois had become reclusive, Mitchell said, and when friends couldn't reach him for days at a time, rumours began to spread that he had died.
When Mitchell heard the news, he was understandably upset.
"I felt horrible," Mitchell recalled in a telephone interview from Edmonton. "I panicked a bit. ... Because I thought: 'Holy crap, I wrote a ton of music with this guy, and he's holding a grudge against me to the point where (he won't) notify me that he's really ill."'
Fortunately, Mitchell still had channels of reaching Dubois and verified that he was OK.
"Funny how before something's checked it can explode into nonsense," he said. "In seconds, it's all over the planet." ...
It good to finally get some confirmation that everything is ok. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.
Reader mattyyz alerted me to a quick Rush reference on this recent episode of PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge. The Rush reference happens at about the 3:55 mark. You can check it out on YouTube at this link.
Metal Tim pointed me to this 1977 interview with AC/DC's former vocalist - the late Bon Scott. Bon mentions opening for Rush. You can watch it on YouTube at this link.
This past Tuesday was the 15th anniversary of Neil Peart's appearance on Politically Incorrect. If you've never seen it before you can watch it at this link. And today happens to be the 15th anniversary of Neil Peart receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Buddy Rich Scholarship Concert back in 1994. Here's a video of Neil performing Cotton Tail at the 1991 Buddy Rich Memorial Concert:
Have a great weekend everybody!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Bidding now open for Alex Lifeson's A Brush of Hope painting
"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
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Neil Peart news update: Rush to discuss future plans this month
Neil Peart has once again updated the News page on his website. He begins by detailing some of his recent explorations in drumming:
... Inevitably, though, at some point I will be overwhelmed by a strong desire to play the drums for real, and that fever came upon me in late summer of this year. As often happens, the urge was sparked by listening to a couple of great drummers: Jack DeJohnette and Ian Wallace. Some musicians react to another player's greatness with envy, or even despair-like Eric Clapton's claim that he wanted to burn his guitar after hearing Jimi Hendrix, or Miles Davis allegedly making Wynton Marsalis want to smash his horn. But for me, hearing another drummer who impresses me (a long list) makes me want to go home and play. That's how it was when I was a kid, and it's still true today-not just an urge to practice and get better, but a response to inspiration. ...
He also made an early October visit to Quebec and waxed nostalgic about previous Autumns there with his bandmates:
... Back in the early '80s, my bandmates and I were recording at nearby Le Studio (working there had introduced me to the Laurentian region, where I have had a home for almost thirty years). The studio's guest house overlooked a small lake, with a steep wooded mountainside rising behind it, and that was the view from our breakfast table. .... One afternoon when the studio crew were busy with some technical job, Alex and Geddy and I rowed across the lake and climbed that mountainside, up to where I knew a ski trail crossed its high ridge. ... I took out my Swiss Army knife and started carving our new band name into the smooth gray bark of a beech tree. It has long been our habit to invent sub-groups that encourage us to write and play in a different character than "us," and the early '80s version was a new-wave outfit called The Fabulous Men (responsible for such songs as "Vital Signs" and "Digital Man"). ... Somewhere up on that mountain in Quebec, along the Portageur ski trail, there's a beech tree with "The Fabulous Men" carved into it (if it hasn't grown over or fallen down in over twenty-five years). ...
Once he was finished reminiscing about the band's past he had a bit to say about the future of Rush:
... In this autumn of 2009, the three of us are poised on another kind of "reinvention." We have agreed to meet in Los Angeles in November, and discuss our future. We learned many years ago that when we finish one long project-like a two-year tour following a year or so of writing and recording for Snakes and Arrows-we don't make any further plans for a while. It's good to feel truly free for a time, and to clear your mind to focus on what you'd really like to do next.
Of course, these are parlous times in the music business, so our time-honored pattern of touring, recording, and touring is no longer the obvious way to do things. The music world-or at least the business of it-is very different now, even since 2006, when we began work on Snakes and Arrows. The importance of "the album" is not what it was, and there is currently a reversion to a musical climate rather like the 1950s, when only "the song" matters. Radio, downloads, and "shuffle" settings are inimical to collected works. Because of that reality, record company advances that used to pay for album projects are a thing of the past, so if that was what we wanted to do, we'd be on our own. ...
Neil seems very open-minded as to the course the band may take as demonstrated in this paragraph:
... To this point, the three of us haven't even discussed what we might discuss, so to speak-so our ideas and shared enthusiasm for the entity of Rush will be fresh, spontaneous, and quite likely exciting. For myself, I'm open to anything we can all agree on (I've pointed out before that in a three-piece band, we need consensus, not democracy-it's no good having one outvoted and unhappy member). My favorite group activity is always songwriting and recording, and I've got some lyrical ideas and those new drumming frontiers to explore. However, those rhythmic concepts would also be inspiring for a new drum solo, if we decided to do a tour of some kind, maybe with an orchestra. We could write and record just a few songs, and release them some way. Or there were a couple of film-and-music projects we had discussed in the past. In any case, there are enough possibilities for future collaboration, and I am curious to see what we'll come up with. ...
While this is good news and very exciting, it's all a bit nebulous as of the moment. It'll be interesting to hear what comes out of the band's November meeting. Thanks to Andrew Olson for the heads up.
The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win a signed copy of Neil Peart's book The Masked Rider. The contest ends on November 12th and you can sign up to enter at this link. Thanks to mrdriven for the heads up.