Archive: Blog Entries from February, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rush's Limelight featured in New Yorker satire piece on The Newer, Sexier Constitutions
6:47PM EST | link | comments (8) |

U.S. ConstitutionThe New Yorker's Zev Borow posted a satirical piece on The Newer, Sexier Constitutions to the magazine's website today. The article references a new study showing that the U.S. Constitution is losing its appeal as a model for constitutional drafters because of the availability of newer, sexier and more powerful models. From the article:

Canada has ratified the first update to its Charter of Freedoms and Rights since its adoption in 1982. Based on the song "Limelight" by its most famous native sons, the prog-rock band Rush, it protects Canadians' pursuit of "the universal dream"-provided that, as the song says, citizens "put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme." Ratification was briefly in jeopardy due to a heated debate in Ottawa's House of Commons over whether singer Geddy Lee in fact sings "theme" or "spleen," but Prime Minister Stephen Harper saved the day; he cast the deciding vote after checking the correct lyrics on the Internet. Afterward Harper told a relatively (for Canada at least) anxious nation, "that's why you get an iPhone." ...

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Rush's Working Man featured in new film Goon
6:04PM EST | link | comments (9) |

GoonGoon is a new film starring Seann William Scott that was released in Canada this past Friday, February 24 and depicts a nice but dimwitted man played by Scott who becomes the enforcer for a minor league hockey team. Rush's Working Man gets played towards the beginning of the film during a montage sequence where Scott's character is learning how to skate. The film will get a limited US release on March 30th and you can check out the trailer here. Thanks to Richard S for the heads up.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Neil Peart DW drum set for Studio City Sound recording session with Vertical Horizon
11:04AM EST | link | comments (70) |

UPDATE - 2/28@4:15PM: The full update was only a few more words than what was displayed in the preview (thanks hermy) so I've included it all below. They also reference this post as the source of the news, although it should be noted that the YouTube vid has been online for over a month.

UPDATE - 2/28@2:49PM: Vertical Horizon has semi-confirmed this via an update on their Pledge Music site. Although you need to make a pledge to see the whole update:

Okay this BIG news has come out online, and it's not definite yet ... but we're working to make it happen. I won't comment publicly online about it yet, but since it's out there I wanted you to see this. Neil and I are working on the scheduling, and DW has kindly made him a new kit to try and facilitate. Thanks for your support. Matt

----- snip -----

The 2012 NAMM show took place last month and there was one bit of Neil Peart news revealed that fell completely off the radar. Studio City Sound mixing engineer Tom Weir briefly interviewed John Good and Scott Donnell of Drum Workshop at the show and they revealed some news about a new custom Neil Peart drum set. Vertical Horizon is currently working on their new album at Studio City Sound in Los Angeles, and apparently DW made a custom kit for Neil for use in the recording sessions for the album, which will be engineered by Weir. So it looks like Neil will once again be making a guest appearance on the band's album - as he did for 2009's Burning the Days. At least that was my interpretation. It's also not clear whether Neil will be using this kit in any other capacity. You can watch the video below or at this link and judge for yourself. Thanks to Mark B for the heads up.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Rush official 2013 wall calendar artwork revealed
9:45PM EST | link | comments (7) |

NMR Distribution just recently started listing the 2013 Rush wall calendar on their website and have revealed the cover art. The 2013 cover uses the same artwork that was used on the Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage DVD/Blu-ray cover and has the words Rush Legacy written on it. The calendar will officially release sometime this summer and can already be pre-ordered through Amazon. The 2012 wall calendar has a Signals theme, celebrating the album's 30th anniversary, and can be ordered at this link. Thanks to nwaller2112 for the heads up.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rush's 2112 featured on BBC Radio 2's Sound of the 70s
8:59PM EST | link | comments (11) |

Rush's 2112 was the featured album on this week's edition of BBC Radio 2's Sound of the 70s earlier today. Host Johnny Walker discusses the band's history along with the history of the album, and featured some personal 2112 stories from listeners. You can listen to the program online at this link (just click on Listen Now). He begins discussing the album at about the 13-minute mark. Thanks to Gedfan and Frazer Leask for the heads up.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Neil Peart featured in April, 2012 issue of Motorcyclist magazine
10:08PM EST | link | comments (11) |

Motorcyclist April, 2012Neil Peart gets featured in the April, 2012 issue of Motorcyclist Magazine. The main feature is titled Workin' Them Angles and was written by Motorcyclist Editor and Neil Peart's friend Brian Catterson. Catterson discusses riding with Neil during the final leg of the Time Machine Tour last year in the one-page article. There's also a sidebar titled The Bike That Changed My Life where Neil talks about his BMW R1100GS:

... "In '98, this bike also carried me out of the utter darkness left by double family losses, on a 55,000-mile ride to the farthest points of North America, from Alaska to Belize. Thus it was the 'star' of the book Ghost Rider, about my journey through grief and sorrow to gradual healing. ...

John at Cygnus-X1.net has made a pdf scan of the feature which you can check out on his site here.

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Updates and other random Rush stuff
12:29PM EST | link | comments (17) |

UPDATE - 2/24@1:07PM: Here's a late addition to the updates. The death this past week of Canadian film and broadcast executive Pierre Juneau sparked a debate at the National Post's Full Comment forum on the merits of CanCon (Juneau was a key proponent of the regulations) which centers around Rush. It's titled Without CanCon, would there still be Rush?.

Clockwork AngelsWe received another bit of news regarding the release date of Clockwork Angels this past week. The latest edition of Classic Rock's Prog magazine includes a short, one-page feature on Rush, and at the end of the article they mention that Clockwork Angels is out in May via Roadrunner. This is consistent with the late April/early May rumors that I've been hearing for some time now, but it's always nice to see it in print. Many have been speculating that the album might be delayed since both the Clockwork Angels tour and the release of Kevin J. Anderson's novelization of the album won't happen until this Fall. But if the Prog article is correct this doesn't seem to be the case. The feature itself is just an extension of older interviews with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. They re-use pieces from those interviews but also include some new bits such as these comments from Geddy on the band's new Roadrunner label:

... There was something about the people at Roadrunner, they were so into rock, into what we're all about as opposed to some of the Atlantic guys. ... Frankly, we were very unhappy with the way we were treated at Atlantic UK, I don't think they really got us, so it was good to go somewhere that did. ...

The issue also contains the results of Prog's 2011 Readers' Poll. Geddy Lee won for Best Bassist, and Rush's Time Machine video took top honors in the Best DVD category. The cover is a collage of prog-rock artists and includes a small photo of Geddy Lee. You can read the entire piece by clicking on the thumbnail.

As I've been mentioning for a few weeks now, routing for a Fall tour in support of the Clockwork Angels album is underway and all signs point to a September kick-off. Although there hasn't been any official announcement yet, word of the Fall tour is slowly leaking out. Guitarist David Barrett of the Alex Lifeson-produced David Barrett Trio posted the following to his Facebook page last week:

Big Al needs the Gibson double neck back for summer rehearsals and the upcoming Rush tour in September, anyone else want to give me one, maybe Gibson? ... kicker is he's using it for a new Rush song, not Xanadu!

This seems to confirm the news of a Fall tour and - better yet - that Big Al will be resurrecting his Gibson double neck for one of the new Rush tunes! Maybe Lerxst will pull out Xanadu too while he's at it. And speaking of the David Barrett Trio, the band just finished up demos of 11 tracks and have shipped them off to big Al to check out. From David's Facebook page:

Pre-production this week, 11 tunes recorded, mixed, and delivered to Big Al. Thanks to the fearless rhythm section of Alexander 'Sascha' Tukatsch and Jason Farrar. Great sounds, mixing and engineering courtesy of BAHM, thank you Sascha.

Rush Sector box setsBack in November Rush released remastered versions of their first 15 albums in three Sector box sets. The mastering duties were handled by Masterdisk chief engineer Andy VanDette, who has been working with Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki on handling most of the mastering duties for Rush since Snakes & Arrows Live, having worked on that album along with Retrospective 3, the R30 Blu-ray and the Moving Pictures deluxe edition last year. VanDette spoke about his approach to remastering Rush's catalog in this article/interview for the Masterdisk website back in November. He was also recently interviewed for Ars Technica about the challenges of mastering music for iTunes in the digital age and repeatedly cited Rush's back catalog as an example. The article mentions that the iTunes mastering work for Rush's catalog is finished, and VanDette is waiting on final record label approval before the new remasters will be available; the versions currently available are converted from the 1997 remasters. You can read the entire article at this link. While on the subject of Sectors, information on obtaining replacements for the faulty Fly By Night and A Farewell to Kings discs was posted to Rush's Facebook page a couple of weeks back. I've already received the replacement disks myself as have several other fans and all the issues have been resolved.

Rush: Changing HemispheresBack in August of last year UK multimedia publisher Abstract Sounds Books released a 116-page hardcover book and 4-DVD set titled Rush: Changing Hemispheres in the UK. The set was not an official Rush release nor was it ever sanctioned by the band. It was later also released in the US as an import in November. Earlier this week John at Cygnus-X1.net posted a transcription of the book along with scans of the images to his website here. The book is simply a biography of the band containing information already available online, and is chock full of errors - both factual and typographical. From all that I've heard about the DVDs accompanying the book, they make the text look good in comparison. Needless to say, this is probably one purchase any Rush fan can easily skip. On the flip side, John's Cygnus-X1.net site also contains a transcription of Bryan Harrigan's 1984 Rush biography - the first Rush biography ever published - along with a transcription of Steve Gett's 1985 Rush biography Success Under Pressure. Just this past week John added scans of the photos from both books to the transcription pages which you can check out here (Rush biography) and here (Success Under Pressure). Thanks John!

While on the subject of Rush transcriptions, both John at Cygnus-X1.net and Eric at Power Windows have been working very hard over the past year transcribing and scanning any Rush magazine article/interview they can get their hands on. This past summer the Power Windows site added an extensive Rush Transcription Archive containing hundreds of transcripts of Rush related magazine and newspaper articles, radio programs, concert reviews, tour books and more, dating back as far as 1974 and listed in chronological order. And the Cygnus-X1.net site has a similar section devoted to transcriptions of anything and everything Rush-related including his ongoing Rush: A Brief History of Time series containing article/interview transcriptions. Both John and Eric do an incredible job with this stuff and are continually updating their archives and adding new material - so much so that it's hard to keep up with it all! The best way to follow all of their updates to these sections of their sites is to follow them on Twitter (Power Windows, Cygnus-X1.net) or Facebook (Power Windows, Cygnus-X1.net). I also try to re-tweet or share these on the RIAB Facebook page and Twitter Feed whenever I come across them. Speaking of which, the RIAB Facebook page just recently topped 4000 likes and the Twitter Feed is closing in on 6000 followers!

Back on March 28, 2010 Rush was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. The ceremony aired on CBC Radio but wasn't televised, and an audio version was posted online shortly thereafter. However, there wasn't any video available until just this past week when the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame website added video of the ceremony to Rush's page in their Virtual Hall of Fame. Included are the 15-minute video of Dave Bidini's introduction of the band where he reads from his book For Those About the Rock, along with Rush's acceptance of the award and Neil Peart's speech. There's also Jacob Moon's performance of Subdivisions, Les Claypool's performance of The Spirit of Radio and Alexis on Fire's performance of Tom Sawyer. It should be noted that Alexis on Fire's performance had not been included in the original CBC broadcast due to technical issues, so this is the first time it's seen the light of day.

Rush Moving Pictures 1000-piece jigsaw puzzleThe Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win a 1000-piece Moving Pictures jigsaw puzzle:

Win this rare Moving Pictures Puzzle! Previously sold in the Rush Backstage Club store, this puzzle is no longer available, so the only way to get your hands on this item is by winning this contest.

For all the details and to enter just go to this link. They are also currently running a big sale on a number of items.

Reader Hal S let me know that Chicago-based independent comic artist Seamus Patrick Burke has finished his second print collection of his Oh Goodie! online comic. It's entitled Working Man and is very Rush-influenced, as demonstrated by the cover. He's taking pre-orders (with personalization options) through kickstarter at this link. For more details you can check out Burke's blog and OhGoodie.net.

LA Weekly compiled their list of the Top 20 Worst Bands of All Time and Rush made their list at #9 (thanks Erik R). Here's what LA Weekly's Kai Flanders had to say about Rush:

You realize that Jason Segel's character's obsession with Rush in I Love You Man is tongue in cheek, right? It's often said that people either love Rush or hate them, but a more accurate statement is that most people hate Rush, while a scattered few really love them. Sort of like anchovies; in fact, it's quite fair to call Rush the anchovies of rock music. Then there's the fact that "drummer Neil Peart generally consents only to speak to the drum press," a pantheon that includes in its entirety Modern Drummer and Not So Modern Drummer, if we're not mistaken. -Kai Flanders

Whatever. I've seen worse - amateurs. :)

Noisecreep.com posted thier list of 10 Heavy Metal Concept Albums That Should Be Made Into Movies yesterday and Rush's 2112 makes the cut:

2112, Rush (1976)
Sacred as this song is, it's surely cinematic enough to have movie adaptation potential. A man, one of many under the thumb of a super-oppressive regime, unearths a musical instrument (forbidden in this fictional world), discovers beauty, and realizes all that he and his fellow citizens are being robbed of. If Ayn Rand were still alive, she'd be a great consultant; if Stanley Kubrick were alive, there's your director.

And Guyspeed.com posted their list of 10 Badass Fictional Characters In Popular Music and Rush's Tom Sawyer made the list at #7 (thanks John at Cygnus-X1.net):

It's Rush's iconic anthem to Mark Twain's character of the same name. Tom Sawyer is basically about a guy who won't bend to society's wants and needs and does what he wants. A nonconformist if you will. Neil Pert describes him has modern day rebel with a purpose. Sounds good to us.

Apparently Geddy Lee has a side job working for Google according to this recent article on Google Affiliate programs at the Publishers Weekly website:

... at least two booksellers in New England who recently tried to sign up were unable to submit their applications. On February 9 on a Google site intended to help affiliates, Geddy Lee answered questions about how to set up an affiliate site by stating, "The Google eBooks program is currently not accepting new applications at this time." He also noted that the directions to become an affiliate will be updated soon. Contacted by PW, a Google rep said the company was not prepared to talk about new plans for the program at this point. ...

Interesting. Rush must not be paying Geddy enough. :)

Guitarist Paul Gilbert (Racer X, Mr. Big) recently penned an article for Premier Guitar magazine (thanks HighFidelityRob) discussing his hearing loss and how musicians can avoid damaging their ears. It's a fun read and very tongue-in-cheek at times. Gilbert creates a list of Don'ts including this one: Don't crank up your headphones to concert volume while air-drumming to Rush albums every night before you go to bed. Too late for me... :)

Speaking of Mr. Big, frontman Eric Martin was recently interviewed by Nikki Blakk for 107.7 The Bone. He talks a bit about touring with Rush back in the 90s at the 9-minute mark of the interview here (thanks RUSHHEAD666 at The Rush Forum).

What do you get when you cross the year 2012 with food expiration dates? Extremely well-preserved groceries of course; groceries that will last well into the 22nd century and very possibly be eaten by residents of MegaDon in 2112. Want proof? Just check out the photos readers Tim H and Richard S sent me. :)

The Israeli premiere of the Rush documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage will take place this coming Sunday, February 26th at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque at 10 p.m. The debut will be followed by midnight screenings on March 2, 9, 23. and 30. You can read a Jerusalem Post article on the screening here and find the event on Facebook here.

The latest edition of Esquire magazine contains an interview with Mad Men's Jon Hamm, and there's a Rush Limelight reference towards the end of the article which you can read online here (thanks George):

... So, having failed in my duties as an investigator, having left myself without a scoop on so much as the comings and goings of January Jones in episode one, scene one, I'm forced to admit to Jon Hamm that I'd been listening to the radio, cranking it, really, pitching the lyrics of "Limelight" as high and hard as my throat would allow, wondering if by some miracle my working knowledge of the song might not provide me some particular window into Hamm's fame. Geddy Lee once said:

Living on a lighted stage
Approaches the unreal
For those who think and feel
In touch with some reality
Beyond the gilded cage...

Living in a fish-eye lens,
Caught in the camera eye.
I have no heart to lie,
I can't pretend a stranger
Is a long-awaited friend.

Just download it. The song fits Hamm. Hamm fits the song. ...

A city block in Kingston, ON will soon be named for hometown favorites The Tragically Hip. The news prompted The Toronto Standard to speculate on what other Canadian bands might also get streets/landmarks named after them - including Rush (thanks RushFanForever):

Geddy Lee and Rush; Willowdale, Rogers Centre's Premium Dugout
Possible Name: Rush Road, Geddy Lee Way
Odds: Very Likely. Rush and frontman Geddy Lee are so iconically Canadian, that it may be one of the reasons why the band was scandalously omitted from being inducted in this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In fact, Geddy Lee is such a devoted fan of the Toronto Blue Jays, that he can often be spotted sitting right behind home plate at most home games. Rush's near-40-year musical legacy may be enough to carry them to the streets, so to speak, but before that happens, expect the Jays to rename the Premium Dugout section, "the Lee-mium Dugout." Or something.

Back in August online drum magazine iDrum kicked off a contest where the winner would get a complete Neil Peart Evolution Snare Collection along with a set of Neil's Sabian Paragon cymbals and a brick of Neil's custom ProMark drumsticks. I'm happy to announce that RIAB reader Ed W was the lucky winner of the contest and sent along this photo of himself with all of his swag. Congrats Ed!

This past week Rush's A Show of Hands video celebrated the 23rd anniversary of its release back on February 21, 1989. It was recorded at the Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England on April 21, 23, and 24, 1988 on the Hold Your Fire tour. Reader and Rock Band Network member Michael recently created a custom Rock Band live cut of Territories off of A Show of Hands to celebrate the event and posted a video to YouTube here. Today is the 30th anniversary of Rush's YYZ losing the Rock Instrumental Grammy back in 1982 to The Police's Behind My Camel. And this coming Sunday, February 26th marks the 15th anniversary of Rush receiving the Order of Canada, the highest civilian award from the Canadian government, for significant achievement in important fields of human endeavor. You can watch the video of the induction ceremony below or at this link.

That's all for this week. Have a Rush-tastic weekend everybody!

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Masterdisk chief engineer Andy VanDette on mastering the Rush catalog for iTunes
10:40AM EST | link | comments (16) |

Rush Sector box setsBack in November Rush released remastered versions of their first 15 albums in three Sector box sets. The mastering duties were handled by Masterdisk chief engineer Andy VanDette, who has been working with Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki on handling most of the mastering duties for Rush since Snakes & Arrows Live, having worked on that album along with Retrospective 3, the R30 Blu-ray and the Moving Pictures deluxe edition last year. VanDette spoke about his approach to remastering Rush's catalog in this article/interview for the Masterdisk website back in November. He was also recently interviewed for Ars Technica (thanks Kevin) about the challenges of mastering music for iTunes in the digital age and repeatedly cited Rush's back catalog as an example.

... [VanDette] recently completed a project remastering the bulk of Rush's back catalogue. As part of the process, VanDette created special versions of each song specifically for uploading to the iTunes Store. He described the often lengthy, trial-and-error process of trying to make iTunes tracks sound as close as possible to polished CD remasters. ...

... The constraints of vinyl aren't a concern when mastering for a CD, so it's possible to boost overall levels as well as low frequencies without ruining the rest of the mix. "While remastering the classic Rush albums, I added as much LF as I could, always aware not to cloud the classic 'ping' on Neil's snare, muddle Geddy's voice, or bury Alex's guitar," he said.

"These are some finely balanced mixes, even 35 years later," VanDette said. "I wanted to make sure the listener still heard the classic album come through, without it being too loud, boomy, or modern sounding." ...

... Creating iTunes-specific masters for Rush's albums required a more nuanced approach than just boosting the bass. "The delicate mix balances of a Rush album dictated that I could only 'nudge' the bottom, not really boost it," VanDette explained. "For iTunes mastering I focused on making up for the losses created by the iTunes AAC algorithm. Generally, I heard changes in level, bottom, top, punch, and imaging."

But not every album, or even every song, could be treated the same way. "On a live album I found the center image was lower, making Geddy's vocal too low in the mix," VanDette said. "It was rare to be able to use one static setting for an entire album." ...

... The mastering work for Rush's catalogue is finished, and VanDette is waiting on final record label approval before the new remasters will be available on iTunes. (The versions currently available are converted from remasters done in 1997.) ...

So it looks like we can expect some re-remastered versions of Rush's back catalog on iTunes in the near future. You can read the entire article at this link. While on the subject of Sectors, information on obtaining replacements for the faulty Fly By Night and A Farewell to Kings discs was posted to Rush's Facebook page a couple of weeks back. I've already received the replacement disks myself as have several other fans and all the issues have been resolved.

Related Posts:
[Rush Sector box sets replacement disks update]
[Rush acknowledges flaws in Sector box sets]
[In the Studio with Redbeard special on Rush Sector box sets]
[Masterdisk chief engineer Andy VanDette on the Rush Sector box sets]
[Rush Sector box sets release open thread]
[Rush Sector box sets preview video now online]
[Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki on Clockwork Angels recording, Sector box sets]
[Rush 6-disc Sector box sets; Fly by Night, A Farewell to Kings, Signals in 5.1 coming November 21st]
[Rush 5-CD Sector box sets to release November 21st]

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Video of Rush's March, 2010 induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame now available
2:30PM EST | link | comments (17) |

Back on March 28, 2010 Rush was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. The ceremony aired on CBC Radio but wasn't televised, and an audio version was posted online shortly thereafter. However, there wasn't any video available until just recently when the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame website added video of the ceremony to Rush's page in their Virtual Hall of Fame (thanks RushFanForever). Included are the 15-minute video of Dave Bidini's introduction of the band where he reads from his book For Those About the Rock, along with Rush's acceptance of the award and Neil Peart's speech. There's also Jacob Moon's performance of Subdivisions, Les Claypool's performance of The Spirit of Radio and Alexis on Fire's performance of Tom Sawyer. It should be noted that Alexis on Fire's performance had not been included in the original CBC broadcast due to technical issues, so this is the first time it's seen the light of day.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New contest at the Rush Backstage Club
12:24PM EST | link | comments (20) |

Rush Moving Pictures 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle[Win A Moving Pictures Puzzle!]

The Rush Backstage Club is running a new contest where you could win a 1000-piece Moving Pictures jigsaw puzzle:

Win this rare Moving Pictures Puzzle! Previously sold in the Rush Backstage Club store, this puzzle is no longer available, so the only way to get your hands on this item is by winning this contest.

For all the details and to enter just go to this link.

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Rush Changing Hemispheres book transcription at Cygnus-X1.net
9:49AM EST | link | comments (11) |

Rush: Changing HemispheresBack in August of last year UK multimedia publisher Abstract Sounds Books released a 116-page hardcover book and 4-DVD set titled Rush: Changing Hemispheres in the UK. The set was not an official Rush release nor was it ever sanctioned by the band. It was later also released in the US as an import in November. John at Cygnus-X1.net has taken the time to diligently transcribe the text of the book along with scans of the pictures and posted them to his website here. The book is simply a biography of the band containing information already available online, and is chock full of errors - both factual and typographical. John fixed the typos but left the rest intact. From what others have been saying about the DVDs accompanying the book, they make the text look good in comparison. Needless to say, this is probably one purchase any Rush fan can easily skip. Many thanks to John for taking the time to transcribe it.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Clockwork Angels due out in May according to new Prog magazine Rush feature
12:05PM EST | link | comments (36) |

I had mentioned in my recent Friday Rush updates post that the latest edition of Classic Rock's Prog magazine includes interviews with the hottest acts in prog today including Rush. The piece on Rush is only one page and is just an extension of older interviews with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. They re-use pieces from those interviews but also include some new bits such as these comments from Geddy on the band's new Roadrunner label:

... There was something about the people at Roadrunner, they were so into rock, into what we're all about as opposed to some of the Atlantic guys. ... Frankly, we were very unhappy with the way we were treated at Atlantic UK, I don't think they really got us, so it was good to go somewhere that did. ...

They also mention at the end of the article that Clockwork Angels is out in May via Roadrunner, which is consistent with the late April/early May rumors that I'd been hearing from other sources. Many had speculated that the release might be delayed since Kevin J. Anderson's novelization of the album is not due out until the Fall, but if the Prog article is correct this doesn't seem to be the case. You can read the entire piece by clicking on the thumbnail. The issue also contains the results of their 2011 Readers' Poll. Geddy Lee won for Best Bassist, and Rush's Time Machine video took top honors in the Best DVD category. The cover is a collage of prog-rock artists and includes a small photo of Geddy Lee. Thanks to Tony R for the scan.

Related Posts:
[Kevin J. Anderson's novelization of Rush's Clockwork Angels album due out this Fall from ECW Press]
[Author Kevin J. Anderson to write novelization of Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album]
[Rush Clockwork Angels, 2012 tour rumor update]
[Geddy Lee talks Moog Taurus pedals in new in-studio interview]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels in new Classic Rock interview]
[Rush's Clockwork Angels album/tour most-anticipated of 2012]
[Rush wraps up Clockwork Angels recording]
[Alex Lifeson talks Clockwork Angels in new Guitar World interview]
[Guitar World readers vote Rush's Clockwork Angels as the most anticipated album of 2012]
[New Billboard interview with Geddy Lee]
[Alex Lifeson Planet Rock interview now online]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in latest issue of Rolling Stone]
[Clockwork Angels update: writing completed, recording underway]
[Alex Lifeson Humble and Fred podcast interview now online]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels, 2012 tour in new Rolling Stone interview]

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:52AM EST | link | comments (70) |

UPDATE - 2/18@9:04AM: David Barrett posted the following to his Facebook page last night:

Big Al needs the Gibson double neck back for summer rehearsals and the upcoming Rush tour in September, anyone else want to give me one, maybe Gibson?

This seems to confirm what we already knew - that Rush will tour in the Fall. And I hope he's not teasing about Al needing his double-neck for Summer rehearsals!!

----- snip -----

Clockwork AngelsLast week we learned that sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson would be writing a novelization of Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album. Anderson posted the news to his Facebook page last Thursday:

... I worked together with Neil to flesh out the epic story told over the course of the music, as well as the artist Hugh Syme whose paintings fill the CD booklet. In a young man's quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. To whet your appetite, Rush released the first two tracks, "Caravan" and "BU2B"-listen to those songs to get an idea of the story's beginning.

I'm writing the chapters now, incorporating the lyrics into the narrative, and having a fantastic time. More details to come, but for now-to quote a line from Caravan: "I can't stop thinking big."

Earlier this week we received the news that Neil Peart's current publisher ECW Press will be releasing the book sometime this coming Fall. From the official ECW Press Twitter feed:

Exciting news: This fall, we'll be publishing a collaboration between Neil Peart of Rush and @thekja! http://bit.ly/yBat18

So it looks like the book release won't coincide with the album release this Spring, assuming they still are planning on a late April release for the album (I'm not hearing any evidence to the contrary). In any case, routing for a Fall tour in support of the album is underway and all signs point to a September kick-off.

Geddy Lee in Sunshine Sketches of a Little TownGeddy Lee made a cameo appearance in the CBC's film adaptation of Stephen Leacock's Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town this past Sunday. Geddy's character appears throughout the film but is always shown sitting in a barber chair with a towel over his head and a disguised voice. He only reveals himself at the end of the movie during the credits as pictured here. The entire film is now online at the CBC website and there's also this behind the scenes video where you can see Geddy at about the 2:35 mark.

Geddy Lee talks Moog TaurusSpeaking of Geddy, last month Moog Music posted the first of a 3-part video interview with Geddy Lee where he talks about Moog Taurus Pedals. The interview was conducted late last year from the recording studio where the band was working on Clockwork Angels. In the first installment Geddy spoke about his first introduction to the Taurus sound, how it influenced Rush's song construction back in the '70s, and the new Moog Minitaur. Geddy also mentions how much of a fan of the Taurus pedals their producer Nick Raskulinecz is and revealed that they used them on a few of the tracks on the new album. You can check out part 1 of the video on YouTube. Parts 2 and 3 of the interview have since been posted to the Moog Music website (part 2, part 3). Part 2 is nearly 5 minutes long and Geddy talks about learning to play with his feet and attempting to get MIDI-like capabilities out of his Taurus 1. Part 3 is about 3 minutes long and Geddy talks about the reintroduction of the Moog Taurus Pedals, performing with them live, and relays a funny story involving the Moog Taurus Pedals and a pregnant friend; the taurus pedals makes babies come faster! You can check out the videos at the Moog Music website (part 2, part 3).

Nearly four years ago I posted an inspiring story about Samantha Dyar - a then 16-year-old Rush fan who had been diagnosed with cancer back in August of 2007. 3 months into her treatment she was approached by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and asked how they could help to make her wish come true. Samantha's wish was to meet her favorite band - Rush. This marked the first time Rush had ever been approached for a Make-A-Wish request, and the guys enthusiastically agreed. Samantha relayed to me her incredible story of meeting the band and hanging out backstage at Rush's Charlotte, NC stop on the Snakes & Arrows tour, which I shared with everyone in this post. Four years later, Samantha is a happy and healthy International Affairs and Political Science major at the University of Georgia. She is currently involved with UGA Miracle - a non-profit organization that raises money to donate to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta - a local Children's Miracle Network hospital. Samantha is currently asking for donations to help her raise money for UGA Miracle, and with the help of several Rush fans from this site, The Rush Forum and others, Samantha was able to far surpass her original goal of raising $1,000. As of this post her new goal is $3,500 and she's very close to making it. Please help out if you can. You can donate at Samantha's personal donation page here. Make sure to read Samantha's make-a-wish Rush story if you haven't already. And here's a bootleg video of Rush's July 20, 2008 Charlotte performance of Mission - which Geddy dedicated to Samm. Samm can be seen backstage on Geddy's side at about the 1-minute mark. Note her reaction when Geddy dedicates the song to her! :)

The latest edition of Classic Rock's Prog magazine went on sale this past Wednesday. The issue includes exclusive interviews with the hottest acts in prog today including Rush, and also contains the results of their 2011 Readers' Poll. Geddy Lee won for Best Bassist, and Rush's Time Machine video took top honors in the Best DVD category. The cover is a collage of prog-rock artists and includes a small photo of Geddy Lee.

Sector box setRush ABC 1974Rush Time Machine 2011 Live in ClevelandSpeaking of Prog magazine, the December, 2011 issue contains a very short review from Jerry Ewing of the 3 recent Rush releases - Time Machine, ABC 1974 and Sectors. He has great things to say about Time Machine and likes ABC 1974 too, but argues that Sectors probably isn't worth the money:

... Which leaves us with Sectors: three volumes of back catalogue housed in "flight cases". In the face of the recent Pink Floyd Immersion extravaganzas, one can't help feeling Rush have missed a trick here. They look good, but despite being nicely recreated vinyl replicas and coming with booklets packed with photos, lyrics and juicy album information, only one album in each box - Fly By Night, A Farewell To Kings and Signals - is in 5.1, the rest just normal stereo. At £3O apiece, that's £90 for the set. Does that constitute value for money?

You can read the entire transcription of the review at the Power Windows site. Speaking of Sectors, information on obtaining replacements for the faulty Fly By Night and A Farewell to Kings discs was posted to Rush's Facebook page last week.

PopMatters posted their list of the 10 Best Progressive Rock Albums of the 2000s earlier this week. Rush did not make the list, but Porcupine Tree's 2007 album Fear of a Blank Planet topped the list at #1. You may recall that Alex Lifeson plays a solo on the album's 17-minute epic track Anesthetize. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

The Grammy Awards took place this past weekend and in the run-up to the ceremony the Digital Music News posted an article where they list 54 Artists That Somehow Never Won a Grammy (thanks William M). Rush makes their list at #19 and is in good company. Some other great rock acts who never received a Grammy are The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who and Queen!

Mike Ragogna of the Huffington Post recently interviewed James Young of Styx to discuss the band's new live DVD The Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight - Live (thanks RushFanForever). He mentions Rush's playing of Moving Pictures in its entirety on their Time Machine tour as part of the inspiration for the DVD - although he gets his albums mixed up:

MR: Okay, let's chat about your new DVD, The Grand Illusion / Pieces Of Eight Live. What inspired you guys to celebrate this period with a live series of concerts and DVD release?

JY: Well, it was a concert promoter along with our manager that hatched up the idea of us doing this. Rush had just done a two-hour show where they put their 2112 album in the middle of it, so other people were doing it as well. ...

Toronto-based rock band Danko Jones has posted another installment (episode 16) of their official podcast online. The episode features singer/guitarist Patrick Pentland of Sloan and comedian/punk rock singer Nick Flanagan. Among the topics of discussion are tattoos, first impressions, celebrity reporting, stand-up comedians and drummers Max Weinberg and Neil Peart. It is available for free download via iTunes. Thanks to BW&BK for the heads up.

Reader Brian C is a student at the Texas Tech School of Law and one of his History of Oil & Gas Law II test essay questions - which happened to be released on 2.1.12 - was no doubt compiled by a Rush fan:

An operator, Lee Oil, circulates a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) to all working interest owners to cover the proposed drilling of wells to a "depth of 2,000 feet or the Clockwork formation, whichever is less." All parties assent and execute the JOA. One well, Well 1, is drilled under the "Initial Well" provision and is a success. Some time after the JOA is executed, Lee Oil circulates an Authorization for Expenditure (AFE) to cover costs to a second well, Well 2. This AFE is not executed. However, several non-operators contribute their proportionate share of the costs. Two non-operators who are signatories to the JOA, Peart Petroleum and Lifeson Gas, do not assent to the second AFE, do not sign the document, and do not contribute their proportionate share to cover the costs of Well 2. Lee Oil drills Well 2 to a depth of 2,112 feet and brings in a producing well. With respect to Well 2, Lee Oil now treats Peart and Lifeson as non-consent working interest owners under the terms of the JOA. A dispute arises over whether or not the terms of the JOA apply, particularly the non-consent penalty. The operator argues to the court that the AFE for Well 2 has modified the express terms of the JOA to cover a well drilled to 2,000 feet or more. The two non-operators argue that the AFE has not modified the JOA and that they are not subject to the non-consent penalty. Has the AFE modified the express terms of the JOA?

Continuing on the law theme, Rush fan and lawyer Sean Harrington managed to slip some Rush lyrics into a recent law review article he wrote on digital forensics. He begins the introduction with the Test for Echo lyric put your message in a modem and throw it in the Cyber Sea. You can check it out at this link.

In the wake of Madonna's Super Bowl XLVII halftime show appearance a couple of weeks back, Rolling Stone magazine asked its web readers who should play the halftime show next year. Rush made their list at #7 (thanks Silas):

Prog-rock legends Rush are a bit of a long shot for the Super Bowl, but if they had the chance, there's no doubt the Canadian rockers would deliver a full-on stadium spectacle with crowd pleasers like "Tom Sawyer" and "Spirit of the Radio."

Here's part 2 and part 3 of Geddy's Moog Music interview:

That's it for this week. Thanks to everyone who helped out Samantha by donating to UGA Miracle. Have a great weekend everyone!

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Parts 2 and 3 of Geddy Lee Moog Music interview now online
2:03PM EST | link | comments (5) |

Geddy Lee talks Moog TaurusLast month Moog Music posted the first of a 3-part video interview with Geddy Lee where Geddy talks about Moog Taurus Pedals. The interview was conducted late last year from the recording studio where the band was working on Clockwork Angels. In the first installment Geddy spoke about his first introduction to the Taurus sound, how it influenced Rush's song construction back in the '70s, and the new Moog Minitaur. Geddy also mentions how much of a fan of the Taurus pedals their producer Nick Raskulinecz is and revealed that they used them on a few of the tracks on the new album. You can check out part 1 of the video on YouTube. Parts 2 and 3 of the interview have since been posted to the Moog Music website (part 2, part 3). Part 2 is nearly 5 minutes long and Geddy talks about learning to play with his feet and attempting to get MIDI-like capabilities out of his Taurus 1. Part 3 is about 3 minutes long and Geddy talks about the reintroduction of the Moog Taurus Pedals, performing with them live, and relays a funny story involving the Moog Taurus Pedals and a pregnant friend; the taurus pedals makes babies come faster! You can check out part 2 and part 3 below:

Thanks to bryce for the heads up.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Update on Rush make-a-wish recipient Samantha Dyar
12:21PM EST | link | comments (35) |

UPDATE - 2/16@10:57PM: From Samm:

Dear Friends,

I wish that I could put into words what I am feeling. I never thought that my total would reach $3,000 in 4 days. I just am...shocked. Thank you so much. I wish that I could say more, but i can't put it into words. I was informed tonight that I am one of the top fundraisers in Miracle at the moment. I have a hard time taking credit because it is all you guys. Some of the best people in the world have given so much to something i care so much about. I just can't express my gratitude. I really can't. Just thank you. I never expected this. My co-chair for the committee I'm on in miracle says that I alone have raised almost half of our committee total. And it is all thanks to you. You guys are amazing. Truly amazing.
*A spirit with a vision is a dream
With a mission*

Love,
Samm

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 2/16@11:13AM: Samantha's new goal is now $2,000 and she's less than $500 away! So please give if you can. Here's a bootleg video of Rush's July 20, 2008 Charlotte performance (thanks Sean) of Mission - which Geddy dedicated to Samm. Samm can be seen backstage on Geddy's side at about the 1-minute mark. Note her reaction when Geddy dedicates the song to her! :)

UPDATE - 2/15@5:36PM: Thanks to everyone's generous donations, Samantha has surpassed her goal of raising $1,000!! You guys are awesome. :)

Nearly four years ago I posted an inspiring story about Samantha Dyar - a then 16-year-old Rush fan who had been diagnosed with cancer back in August of 2007. 3 months into her treatment she was approached by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and asked how they could help to make her wish come true. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. They've granted wishes to 1000s of children since their inception in 1980 and are run entirely on donations. Samantha's wish was to meet her favorite band - Rush. This marked the first time Rush had ever been approached for a Make-A-Wish request, and the guys enthusiastically agreed. Samantha relayed to me her incredible story of meeting the band and hanging out backstage at Rush's Charlotte, NC stop on the Snakes & Arrows tour, which I shared with everyone in this post. Four years later, Samantha is a happy and healthy International Affairs and Political Science major at the University of Georgia. She is currently involved with UGA Miracle - a non-profit organization that raises money to donate to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta - a local Children's Miracle Network hospital. The hospitals they raise money for are completely run on donations and are also non-profit. One of them, Egleston, was the hospital where Samantha received her treatment and that helped save her life. It takes $1,000,000 a day to open the doors of each of the three Children's Healthcare of Atlanta hospitals and it takes $20,000 to save one child's life. Samantha is asking for donations to help her raise $1,000 for UGA Miracle. Please help out if you can. You can donate at Samantha's personal donation page here. And be sure to read Samantha's make-a-wish Rush story if you haven't already.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Kevin J. Anderson's novelization of Rush's Clockwork Angels album due out this Fall from ECW Press
10:22AM EST | link | comments (37) |

Clockwork AngelsLast week we learned that sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson would be writing a novelization of Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album. Anderson posted the news to his Facebook page last Thursday:

... I worked together with Neil to flesh out the epic story told over the course of the music, as well as the artist Hugh Syme whose paintings fill the CD booklet. In a young man's quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. To whet your appetite, Rush released the first two tracks, "Caravan" and "BU2B"-listen to those songs to get an idea of the story's beginning.

I'm writing the chapters now, incorporating the lyrics into the narrative, and having a fantastic time. More details to come, but for now-to quote a line from Caravan: "I can't stop thinking big."

We now also have some more details regarding the book's release. Neil Peart's current publisher ECW Press will be releasing the book sometime this coming Fall as revealed by this tweet from yesterday (thanks Rush92):

Exciting news: This fall, we'll be publishing a collaboration between Neil Peart of Rush and @thekja! http://bit.ly/yBat18

So it looks like the book will be released long after the album's release this Spring, and should more closely coincide with the band's tour this Fall. Anderson is a huge Rush fan and has drawn inspiration from Rush for a number of his writings. His 1988 Rush-inspired novel Ressurection, Inc. drew the attention of Neil Peart and the 2 have been friends ever since, even collaborating on the 1994 short story Drumbeats. Neil also wrote the introduction to Anderson's 2006 short story compilation Landscapes. So what's your opinion of the novelization idea? Take the poll and let us know.

Related Posts:
[Author Kevin J. Anderson to write novelization of Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album]
[Rush Clockwork Angels, 2012 tour rumor update]
[Geddy Lee talks Moog Taurus pedals in new in-studio interview]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels in new Classic Rock interview]
[Rush's Clockwork Angels album/tour most-anticipated of 2012]
[Rush wraps up Clockwork Angels recording]
[Alex Lifeson talks Clockwork Angels in new Guitar World interview]
[Guitar World readers vote Rush's Clockwork Angels as the most anticipated album of 2012]
[New Billboard interview with Geddy Lee]
[Alex Lifeson Planet Rock interview now online]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in latest issue of Rolling Stone]
[Clockwork Angels update: writing completed, recording underway]
[Alex Lifeson Humble and Fred podcast interview now online]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels, 2012 tour in new Rolling Stone interview]

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Win an autographed copy of Neil Peart's Far and Away
11:18AM EST | link | comments (11) |

[The 2-1-12 Neil Peart Hudson Handout!]

Neil Peart, Hudson Music and the Definitive Recording Guide have teamed up to sponsor a contest where one lucky fan will get booked and mugged, winning an autographed copy of Neil Peart's latest book Far and Away: A Prize Every Time along with an autographed Bubba's coffee mug. The winner will be drawn on February 28th, 2012 and notified by email. Just enter your name and email address in the form located here.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:56AM EST | link | comments (29) |

UPDATE - 2/11@1:06PM: You can check out Geddy Lee at about the 2:35 mark of this behind the scenes video for Sunshine Sketches of a Small Town (thanks VapourTrail).

Clockwork AngelsThe big news of this past week was yesterday's announcement by sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson that he will be writing a novelization of Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album! From Anderson's Facebook page:

... For more than twenty years, Neil and I have wanted to collaborate on something MAJOR, a way we could tie together our imaginations, and at last that's happening.

I'm writing the novelization of Rush's forthcoming album Clockwork Angels, their first new CD in five years. Imagine if someone had written the novel of The Wall, Tommy, or Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band when those classic albums were released. For Rush fans, CLOCKWORK ANGELS is that project.

I worked together with Neil to flesh out the epic story told over the course of the music, as well as the artist Hugh Syme whose paintings fill the CD booklet. In a young man's quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. To whet your appetite, Rush released the first two tracks, "Caravan" and "BU2B"-listen to those songs to get an idea of the story's beginning.

I'm writing the chapters now, incorporating the lyrics into the narrative, and having a fantastic time. More details to come, but for now-to quote a line from Caravan: "I can't stop thinking big."

Anderson is a huge Rush fan and has drawn inspiration from Rush for a number of his writings. His 1988 Rush-inspired novel Ressurection, Inc. drew the attention of Neil Peart and the 2 have been friends ever since, even collaborating on the 1994 short story Drumbeats. Neil also wrote the introduction to Anderson's 2006 short story compilation Landscapes. Anderson's announcement certainly lends weight to the notion that Clockwork Angels will be conceptual in nature as Alex Lifeson explains in this recent Guitar World interview:

... Alex Lifeson stops short of calling Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels a concept record, but he does admit that a theme runs through most the songs. "We have Caravan and BU2B; both of which we released already and played on the Time Machine tour," he says, referring to the group's extensive 2010-2011 outing. "Those two, along with three other songs, form a suite. The story of Clockwork Angels is in those five tracks." ...

Geddy Lee also adds the following in his recent Classic Rock interview:

... the title track is shaping up to be a classic Rush epic. "That song is a longer piece ... "There's a story going on," confirms Lee. "When we had discussions about themes for the album it was connected to the idea of a different kind of future and the whole aesthetic of steampunk, which is so cool. It's a futuristic point of view that's rooted in the past, which makes it so interesting. When you look at the steampunk designs they all look Victorian yet fast-forwarded in some magical way to the future. The idea of building a story around that world appealed to us. The Time Machine tour really was a preview of that. We jumped the gun a bit and got too excited and couldn't hold it back." ...

In light of the news that there will be a novelization of Clockwork Angels I thought I'd start a new poll asking everyone what they think of the idea and whether they'll read the book. Take the poll and let us know. For all the results from past rushisaband.com polls, view the poll archive. In other album-related news, it's assumed that the band is busily working on finishing up the mixing of Clockwork Angels and that we can still look forward to a release around late April. There are some signs that the band's new label Roadrunner Records is starting to slowly ramp up a promotional campaign for the album. Yesterday they released a video of several Roadrunner-signed heavy metal and progressive rock artists sharing their memories of Rush and why they love the band. The video contains interview segments with members of Opeth, Mastodon, Staind and Machine Head and you can watch it online at this link. Hopefully we'll see a single released in the coming weeks. Ultimate Classic Rock posted an article on the album earlier this week, but it only contained recycled information that was already well-known. On the tour front it looks like the band is definitely routing dates for a Fall tour, as several sources have reported that Rush has holds on dates at a number of venues for September and October. It's way too early to read too much into these reports, but at this point it looks like the band may be in the Midwest in September and the Southeast in October. More as I learn it.

Rush Sector box setsThis past week there was finally some movement on obtaining replacements for the faulty Fly By Night and A Farewell to Kings discs in the Sector 1 and Sector 2 box sets respectively. The Sector box sets were released back in late November, and the flaws in the disks were immediately noticed by Rush fans worldwide. In early December Rush acknowledged the flaws via an official message posted on Rush.com and on their Facebook page. The message indicated that instructions on obtaining replacement disks would soon follow. It took a little over 2 months, but those instructions were finally posted earlier this week:

Replacement 'Fly By Night' CD's and 'A Farewell To Kings' DVDs are now available.

For US & Canadian fans, please contact Universal customer services team on:
e-mail: FishersCustSvc@umusic.com
Phone: 1-800-288-5942

For fans in the UK & Ireland please contact:
UK e-mail: mk.customerservices@umusic.com
UK Phone: +44 (0) 845 250 0965

For fans in Germany please contact:
Germany e-mail: rush@universal-music.de

For fans in any other country please contact your original Sector store where you made the purchase for assistance in getting your replacement discs.

Universal will ensure corrected discs get to the Sector-buying fans worldwide as soon as they possibly can.

Fans who have reported calling the 800 number in the US were simply asked to give their name, number and address and told that they'd be contacted later. Apparently they are still working on how to distribute the disks. Others who have sent messages to the provided email address have received replies saying that they'd be sending the replacements as soon as possible - hopefully in the next couple of weeks. If you use the email address, be sure to include your mailing address so they can send you the disks. Reader ReGorLaTroy contacted Amazon US directly and was assured by them that the Sector box sets now in stock are the corrected versions. So if you still need to purchase a copy of the sets, then if you buy them through Amazon you should be getting the corrected versions now. On a related note, the February/March edition of Sound and Vision magazine contains a review of the three 5.1 surround sound disks included in the Sector box sets - namely Fly By Night, A Farewell to Kings and Signals. The reviews are very good overall and there are no mention of the flaws, so I assume they reviewed the corrected disks. You can read a scan of the review here (thanks Jeff B).

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is a sequence of stories by Canadian author Stephen Leacock that was first published 100 years ago in 1912. It is generally considered to be one of the most enduring classics of Canadian humorous literature. In celebration of the 100th anniversary, the CBC will be airing a film adaptation of the book this coming Sunday, February 12th. Canadian actress Jill Hennessy appears in the film and was interviewed for the CBC yesterday morning to discuss her role. About 4:25 into her interview she reveals that Geddy Lee makes some kind of mysterious cameo appearance in the film:

... and even Geddy Lee makes a cameo appearance. At the very end - stay for the credits - Geddy Lee will reveal himself. No spoiler, but he is - well, he's supposed to be throughout - but you see him at the end of the film. ...

You can watch the CBC interview online at this link.

Decanter - March, 2012Speaking of Geddy Lee, he is featured in the March, 2012 issue of the UK wine magazine Decanter for a short interview in their My Passion For Wine column. Geddy talks about how he first became a collector and what his current preferences are. Here's a brief excerpt:

... I was introduced to fine wine while touring in the late 1970s. Alex Lifeson (Rush's lead guitarist) had a big interest in wine so promoters would sometimes give us wine as gifts... Alex and I always reward ourselves after a show with a good bottle of wine. It's a kind of hobby of mine to find a good bottle in whatever city we're touring in and surprise Alex with that. ...

Rush - Time Machine 2011: Live in ClevelandThe list of 2012 Juno Award nominees (the Canadian equivalent of the US Grammy Awards) was announced Tuesday morning. Rush's live concert video Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland was nominated for Music DVD of the Year. Winners will be announced at the Juno Awards Ceremony at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, ON on April 1st. Rush won a Juno award in this category for Rush in Rio back in 2004 and last year for Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage.

Instrumental progressive rock band 4Front will be releasing their third album Malice in Wonderland on March 1st. 4Front's drummer is Hudson Music's senior drum editor Joe Bergamini. Bergamini co-produced and conducted the interviews on Neil Peart's Taking Center Stage: A Lifetime of Live Performance instructional DVD. The band is heavily influenced by Rush and other progressive rock acts and the new album includes a tribute track to Rush titled Many Places in a Rush. Rush album artist Hugh Syme also did the cover art for Malice in Wonderland. You can pre-order the album at Bergamini's website here, and it will also eventually be made available for digital download via iTunes, Amazon and other outlets. You can follow 4Front on Facebook here and watch this video of the band performing Blur from their 1998 album Gravity.

The latest edition of Classic Rock's Prog magazine goes on sale this coming Wednesday, February 15th. The issue includes exclusive interviews with the hottest acts in prog today including Rush, and also contains the results of their 2011 Readers' Poll. Geddy Lee won for Best Bassist, and Rush's Time Machine video took top honors in the Best DVD category. The cover is a collage of prog-rock artists and includes a small photo of Geddy Lee.

Toronto Rush GuideReader and Apple Developer Steven Rae is a Rush fan born and bred in Toronto. He recently developed a Toronto Rush Guide app for the iPhone and iPad. The guide is extremely detailed and includes maps and descriptions for each location. It includes all the obvious landmarks like the site where the photo was taken for the Moving Pictures album cover. But there are also several obscure ones like the route a very young Geddy and Alex used to travel to/from each others houses to play music. You can purchase the app for just $1.99 for the iPhone or iPad via the iTunes app store.

Back in 2007 there was a Rush reference on the BBC comedy series Saxondale. In Episode 13 which first aired on September 28, 2007 there are several references to Rush's Caress of Steel album. The opening of The Necromancer, Part III, Return of the Prince was played a few times. Towards the end of the show Mags is chatting with Saxondale and is recounting a recent psychic cleansing experience she had. She then says, Bugger this, I want to listen to a bit of Rush, so I put on Caress of Steel, the Necromancer part III, Return of the Prince .... She continues on and then Saxondale interrupts her saying, SHHHH, you had me at Caress of Steel, the Necromancer part III, Return of the Prince. There's now video of this scene available on YouTube (thanks MickO) if you haven't seen it before.

Reader interceptor let me know that a few Rush road crew members received Tour Link 2011 Top Dawg Awards at the group's annual awards show on Saturday, January 28th in the Ballroom at Talking Stick Resort. The awards are bestowed upon the very best of the best in the touring community as voted on by their peers every year. Rush Front of House Engineer Brad Madix, Video Director Dave Davidian and Lighting Designer Howard Ungerleider won awards this year. Congrats guys!

Online satirical news site The Spoof posted an article earlier this week titled Rush: Why Do You Dorks Like This Band?, which features a perplexed non-Rush fan wondering why all of us dorks like Rush. :)

Reader Ronnie in Cumbria England noticed a recent Lord of the Rings-inspired Rush reference at memebase.com.

Signed Rush guitar - AeroplanIf you are a frequent flyer and looking to cash in on some of your miles, Aeroplan has a DOT Studio guitar signed by Rush available for just 260,000 miles. 100% of the proceeds go to War Child Canada - an Aeroplan Beyond Miles charity. Thanks to Eric D for the heads up.

Andrew Olson has posted 3 new replica Neil Peart drum kits to his Neil Peart fan site; Tom Hildreth's Chrome Ddrum Reflex kit, Sam Kesteven's Chromey Replica, and Shawn Freeman's Chromey Replica. He's also added some new functionality to his replica kits page, adding a slide show that plays on the main page and voting options for every kit.

Last year members of the Swedish metal band In Flames opened a new restaurant in Gothenburg, Sweden named Restaurant 2112 as a tribute to Rush's 2112 album. Blabbermouth.net reported earlier this week (thanks John at Cygnus-X1.net) that the restaurant has been nominated for a Best Restaurant award by the Swedish magazine Nöjesguiden Göteborg. For more information on the restaurant and to check out some pictures you can go to their website or visit them on Facebook. There's also this video interview from Metal Hammer magazine on location at the restaurant with co-owner Peter Iwers.

Spanish reader Brett sent along this impromptu interview of guitarist Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers) from PopCandies TV. Dave is driving in his car and the interviewer asks him about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Dave then explains how much of a travesty it is that Rush hasn't been inducted.

Baltimore-based Rush tribute band Blame Canada will be making their debut performance this coming Saturday, February 11 in Baltimore, MD at The 8x10. For more information visit their website and visit The 8x10's website for ticket information.

Here's the video mentioned above of members of Opeth, Mastodon, Staind and Machine Head sharing their Rush memories and proclaiming their love for the band:

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

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Geddy Lee cameo in CBC film Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town
4:49PM EST | link | comments (6) |

UPDATE - 2/25@1:10PM: Here's video of just Geddy's cameo at the end (thanks Gis Bun):

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 2/14@9:28AM: Geddy Lee in Sunshine Sketches of a Little TownThe entire film is now online at the CBC website (thanks RushFanForever). Geddy Lee's character appears throughout the film sitting in a barber chair but with a towel over his head and a disguised voice. He only reveals himself at the end of the movie during the credits as pictured here.

UPDATE - 2/11@1:02PM: You can check out Geddy Lee at about the 2:35 mark of this behind the scenes video (thanks VapourTrail).

----- snip -----

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is a sequence of stories by Canadian author Stephen Leacock that was first published 100 years ago in 1912. It is generally considered to be one of the most enduring classics of Canadian humorous literature. In celebration of the 100th anniversary, the CBC will be airing a film adaptation of the book this coming Sunday, February 12th. Canadian actress Jill Hennessy appears in the film and was interviewed for the CBC this morning to discuss her role. About 4:25 into her interview she reveals that Geddy Lee makes some kind of mysterious cameo appearance in the film:

... and even Geddy Lee makes a cameo appearance. At the very end - stay for the credits - Geddy Lee will reveal himself. No spoiler, but he is - well, he's supposed to be throughout - but you see him at the end of the film. ...

You can watch the CBC interview online at this link. Thanks to Fred N for the heads up.

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Author Kevin J. Anderson to write novelization of Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album
12:36PM EST | link | comments (61) |

Clockwork AngelsSci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson is a huge Rush fan and has drawn inspiration from Rush for a number of his writings. His 1988 Rush-inspired novel Ressurection, Inc. drew the attention of Neil Peart and the 2 have been friends ever since, even collaborating on the 1994 short story Drumbeats. Neil also wrote the introduction to Anderson's 2006 short story compilation Landscapes. Anderson just announced via his Facebook page the incredibly awesome news that he will be writing a novelization of Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album!

After dropping hints for a while, finally the big announcement, a new project unlike any other I've ever done...and something that I consider very cool.

Most of you are aware of my long-standing friendship with Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist from the legendary rock band Rush, as well as how much Rush has influenced my work. My first novel Resurrection, Inc. was closely inspired by the Rush album "Grace Under Pressure," and I can point to dozens of other novels and stories that bear a clear Rush influence.

For more than twenty years, Neil and I have wanted to collaborate on something MAJOR, a way we could tie together our imaginations, and at last that's happening.

I'm writing the novelization of Rush's forthcoming album Clockwork Angels, their first new CD in five years. Imagine if someone had written the novel of The Wall, Tommy, or Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band when those classic albums were released. For Rush fans, CLOCKWORK ANGELS is that project.

I worked together with Neil to flesh out the epic story told over the course of the music, as well as the artist Hugh Syme whose paintings fill the CD booklet. In a young man's quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy, with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. To whet your appetite, Rush released the first two tracks, "Caravan" and "BU2B"-listen to those songs to get an idea of the story's beginning.

I'm writing the chapters now, incorporating the lyrics into the narrative, and having a fantastic time. More details to come, but for now-to quote a line from Caravan: "I can't stop thinking big."

Wow. Thanks to Richard S for the heads up.

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[Rush Clockwork Angels, 2012 tour rumor update]
[Geddy Lee talks Moog Taurus pedals in new in-studio interview]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels in new Classic Rock interview]
[Rush's Clockwork Angels album/tour most-anticipated of 2012]
[Rush wraps up Clockwork Angels recording]
[Alex Lifeson talks Clockwork Angels in new Guitar World interview]
[Guitar World readers vote Rush's Clockwork Angels as the most anticipated album of 2012]
[New Billboard interview with Geddy Lee]
[Alex Lifeson Planet Rock interview now online]
[Rush Clockwork Angels feature in latest issue of Rolling Stone]
[Clockwork Angels update: writing completed, recording underway]
[Alex Lifeson Humble and Fred podcast interview now online]
[Geddy Lee talks Clockwork Angels, 2012 tour in new Rolling Stone interview]

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Members of Opeth, Mastodon, Staind and Machine Head share their memories of Rush and why they love the band
9:56AM EST | link | comments (10) |

Back in August of last year, Rush announced that they had signed with Roadrunner Records - also the label of many heavy metal and progressive rock bands that have been heavily influenced by Rush, including Opeth, Mastodon, Staind and Machine Head. MusicRadar.com posted a video interview this morning where members of these bands discuss their memories of Rush and why they love the band so much. You can watch the video below or at this link. Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Geddy Lee featured in the March issue of Decanter magazine
1:24PM EST | link | comments (8) |

Decanter - March, 2012Geddy Lee is featured in the March, 2012 issue of the UK wine magazine Decanter for a short interview in their My Passion For Wine column. Geddy talks about how he first became a collector and what his current preferences are. Here's a brief excerpt:

... I was introduced to fine wine while touring in the late 1970s. Alex Lifeson (Rush's lead guitarist) had a big interest in wine so promoters would sometimes give us wine as gifts... Alex and I always reward ourselves after a show with a good bottle of wine. It's a kind of hobby of mine to find a good bottle in whatever city we're touring in and surprise Alex with that. ...

Thanks to Power Windows for the heads up and the excerpt.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rush's Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland nominated for Juno Award for Music DVD of the Year
12:45PM EST | link | comments (16) |

UPDATE - 3/31@7:53PM: Rush loses out to Feist in the Music DVD of the Year category. :(

Rush - Time Machine 2011: Live in ClevelandThe list of 2012 Juno Award nominees (the Canadian equivalent of the US Grammy Awards) was announced this morning. Rush's live concert video Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland was nominated for Music DVD of the Year. Winners will be announced at the Juno Awards Ceremony at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, ON on April 1st. Rush won a Juno award in this category for Rush in Rio back in 2004 and last year for Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Rush Sector box sets replacement disks update
12:07PM EST | link | comments (8) |

UPDATE - 2/9@1:18PM: Fans who have reported calling the 800 number in the US have been getting asked to give their name, number and address and told that they'd get back to them. Apparently they are still working on how to distribute the disks. I sent a message to the email address given and received a reply that they'd be sending the replacements as soon as possible, but no further information. At this point I'm not aware of anyone who has actually received the replacements yet. If you have, please let me know.

UPDATE - 2/7@6:56PM: From the Rush Facebook page:

Replacement 'Fly By Night' CD's and 'A Farewell To Kings' DVDs are now available.

For US & Canadian fans, please contact Universal customer services team on:
e-mail: FishersCustSvc@umusic.com
Phone: 1-800-288-5942

For fans in the UK & Ireland please contact:
UK e-mail: mk.customerservices@umusic.com
UK Phone: +44 (0) 845 250 0965

For fans in Germany please contact:
Germany e-mail: rush@universal-music.de

For fans in any other country please contact your original Sector store where you made the purchase for assistance in getting your replacement discs.
Universal will ensure corrected discs get to the Sector-buying fans worldwide as soon as they possibly can.

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 2/6@7:51PM: Reader ReGorLaTroy contacted Amazon US and was assured by them that the Sector box sets now in stock are the corrected versions. They have sent him a shipping label and return authorization form and have promised to replace his box sets with the newer, corrected versions (he has to return the old ones). So if you purchased your sets through Amazon, it sounds like you can bypass Universal altogether and get replacement box sets by contacting them.

Rush Sector box setsBack in December Rush acknowledged some technical flaws with the Sector box sets, which were released in late November. They posted an official message on Rush.com and on their Facebook page which read as follows:

We are aware of some slight technical issues surrounding the CD of 'Fly By Night' inside the Sector 1 box set release and the DVD for 'A Farewell To Kings' inside the Sector 2 box set that some fans are experiencing. It stems from a production flaw and it is currently being addressed. As soon as production is completed a formal announcement of how to replace the discs will follow shortly. Please be aware that there may be a time delay in shipping and receiving the disc and we sincerely apologize for this inconvenience - Geddy, Alex & Neil

It's been over 2 months since this message was posted and fans have been patiently waiting for an update ever since. Since the box sets were released via Universal Records, there was little Rush themselves could do to expedite matters. They have been waiting along with the rest us. However, there may finally be some movement on the issue as Amazon's UK listings for the Sector 1 and Sector 2 box sets now includes the following message (thanks Neil H):

Please note. There are known technical issues on some stock of the Rush box sets: the CD of "Fly By Night" inside the Sector 1 box set release and the DVD for "A Farewell To Kings" inside the Sector 2 box set. The problem has been fixed with all new stock, but customers who believe they have received faulty stock can obtain replacement discs by emailing mk.customerservices@umusic.com.

Note that the actual message on the site uses the incorrect email address mk.customerservices@umsic.com - it should be mk.customerservices@umusic.com. There currently is no corresponding message posted on the US or Canadian Amazon listings for the box sets, and after emailing the address above, I was informed that this particular email address was only for replacing disks purchased in the UK and Ireland. I'm still waiting on word regarding a similar email address being set up for US and Canadian purchasers. So if you purchased the sets in the UK or Ireland and think that you have the flawed disks, just send an email to mk.customerservices@umusic.com to obtain replacement disks.

Related Posts:
[Rush acknowledges flaws in Sector box sets]
[In the Studio with Redbeard special on Rush Sector box sets]
[Masterdisk chief engineer Andy VanDette on the Rush Sector box sets]
[Rush Sector box sets release open thread]
[Rush Sector box sets preview video now online]
[Rush sound engineer Rich Chycki on Clockwork Angels recording, Sector box sets]
[Rush 6-disc Sector box sets; Fly by Night, A Farewell to Kings, Signals in 5.1 coming November 21st]
[Rush 5-CD Sector box sets to release November 21st]

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Instrumental prog-rock band 4Front to include Rush tribute on new album Malice in Wonderland
4:53PM EST | link | comments (13) |

4Front - Malice in WonderlandInstrumental progressive rock band 4Front will be releasing their third album Malice in Wonderland on March 1st. 4Front's drummer is Hudson Music's senior drum editor Joe Bergamini. Bergamini co-produced and conducted the interviews on Neil Peart's Taking Center Stage: A Lifetime of Live Performance instructional DVD. The band is heavily influenced by Rush and other progressive rock acts and the new album includes a tribute track to Rush titled Many Places in a Rush. Rush album artist Hugh Syme also did the cover art for Malice in Wonderland. You can pre-order the album at Bergamini's website here, and it will also eventually be made available for digital download via iTunes, Amazon and other outlets. You can follow 4Front on Facebook here and watch this video of the band performing Blur from their 1998 album Gravity. Thanks to John at Cygnus-X1.net for the heads up.

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Updates and other random Rush stuff
11:36AM EST | link | comments (9) |

2112 listening partyThe Rush community suffered a terrible blow last week with the untimely passing of longtime Rush friend and photographer Andrew MacNaughtan, so it was very timely that we all were able to come together to celebrate a spontaneous National Rush Holiday this past Wednesday, February 1st - 2.1.12 - to lift our spirits a bit. The Interwebs were all abuzz on Wednesday with fans proclaiming their love of Rush and wishing everyone a Happy 2.1.12 Day, and several rock news sites covered the event. UltimateClassicRock.com acknowledged the day with this article; metal Historian Jeff Wagner penned an article for NoiseCreep.com in celebration of Rush Day; the Cleveland Plain Dealer declared It's 2-1-12, or National Rush Day: Some of your friends and family will shortly lose their minds; the OC Weekly posted a story titled Rush Fans, Rejoice: Today is 2112; GeeksOfDoom.com declared that It's 2-1-12 So Crank Up '2112' For Rush Day!; the Cards That Never Were blog created a set of 2.1.12 baseball cards; Reverb Music compiled a list of the 11 best songs for 2.1.12 in an article titled These Go To Eleven: The 11 best Rush songs for 2.1.12; and MediaPost's Cory Treffiletti wrote an article where he talked Rush, '2112,' And My Missed Mobile Interaction. To help facilitate the celebration, the folks at RushCon teamed up with the Rush Radio website to sponsor a 2112 listening party Wednesday evening at 9:12PM - 2/1/12 21:12. In a weird but completely unplanned (I assume) coincidence, on Wednesday evening's episode of American Idol contestant David Weed attempted to sing Rush's Tom Sawyer for his audition. David gave it his best effort but the judges weren't impressed and he was dismissed. They also played Tom Sawyer as he walked out of the audition. It was the first (and likely the last) time any Rush had ever been heard or even mentioned on American Idol. You can watch David's audition on YouTube at this link. The theme of this week's updates is definitely 2112 since that album (and number) seemed to be popping up everywhere over the past week, and not only in relation to 2.1.12 Day.

There was a 2112 reference on the latest episode (season 1, episode 4 - Cal Sweeney) of the new Fox TV series Alcatraz which aired Monday night. The focus of the episode is a bank robber named Calvin Sweeney who has a prison id number of 2112. You can check out a couple of screenshots by clicking on the thumbnails.

Here's a satirical article from The Awl which took a recent prediction from New York Times columnist Gail Collins regarding the year 2112 and contrasted it with Neil Peart's vision of that year:

New York Times columnist Gail Collins was, as always, highly enjoyable yesterday as she predicted that, come the year 2112, history students would be reading "on their vaporphones" about the precedent set when known philander and serial husband New Gingrich won the Republican primary in super-conservative South Carolina. But her ideas run counter to the conventional thinking about what the world will be like a hundred years from now. The definitive source of future-casting for the year 2112 is, of course, Neil Peart, the (totally sick!) drummer and (philosophically ambitious!) lyricist for the great Canadian prog-metal band, Rush. ...

Reader Brian K let me know that in Saturday night's NHL All Star Skills competition, Team Alfredson defeated Team Chara 21-12. Coincidence? I think not. :)

Reader RushFanForever recently pointed me to the website for the Northumberland Rock and Roll Experience - a multi-faceted music facility based in Port Hope, Ontario Canada. The facility contains areas for guitar instruction, a retail shop, a rehearsal space and an extensive collection of rock and roll memorabilia including several Rush items as pictured here.

Neil Peart penned a touching tribute to his late friend Andrew MacNaughtan at NeilPeart.net earlier this week. As I'd mentioned above, MacNaughtan passed away suddenly last week of a heart attack in Los Angeles.

... apart from the personal memories, it is his own art that will endure. Not long before his untimely passing, Andrew published a book of fine-art photographs titled Grace, based on his travels in East Africa. (Like a fair portion of his work in recent years, it was done to benefit others-Andrew contributed generously to worthy causes like the Casey House hospice and Art Gives Hope.)

In addition, his portraits and live shots of nearly every major Canadian performer of the past twenty-five years will be viewed forever-a rich national archive of our arts and entertainment history.

Many will feel fortunate to have known Andrew, and perhaps myself more than most-introducing me to Carrie was a life-changing gift. But even long after all of us who knew Andrew are gone, his name, his unique creative "eye," and his beautiful and perceptive images will live on.

You can read the entire thing at this location. Andrew's obituary was posted online earlier this week, and the funeral took place yesterday.

Sam DannielsOn a happier note, sit-skier Sam Danniels - son of Rush manager Ray Danniels - won a Gold Medal in Mono Skiing at the X Games earlier this week. The 25-year-old Danniels has been a paraplegic since he was 19 when he broke his back in a mountain bike accident. You can watch the race on YouTube at this link. Thanks to Toronto Writer for the heads up.

411 Mania posted their list of the Top Ten Songs About Guys (thanks Power Windows) and Rush's Tom Sawyer made the list at #3:

... Released on Mercury Records and PolyGram in 1981 on the Moving Pictures album, "Tom Sawyer" was written about the Mark Twain character of the same name. The song was written by Lee, Peart, and guitarist Alex Lifeson in collaboration with Canadian lyricist Pye Dubois (the lyricist of Max Webster), who also co-wrote other Rush songs such as "Force Ten," "Between Sun and Moon," and "Test For Echo." According to the US radio show In the Studio with Redbeard (which devoted an entire episode to the making of Moving Pictures), "Tom Sawyer" came about during a summer rehearsal holiday that Rush spent at Ronnie Hawkins' farm outside Toronto. Peart was presented with a poem by Dubois named "Louis the Lawyer" (often cited as "Louis the Warrior") that he modified and expanded. Lee and Lifeson then helped set the poem to music. The unique growling sound heard in the song came from Lee's fiddling with his Oberheim OB-X synthesizer.In the December 1985 Rush Backstage Club newsletter, drummer and lyricist Neil Peart said:

Tom Sawyer was a collaboration between myself and Pye Dubois, an excellent lyricist who wrote the lyrics for Max Webster. His original lyrics were kind of a portrait of a modern day rebel, a free-spirited individualist striding through the world wide-eyed and purposeful. I added the themes of reconciling the boy and man in myself, and the difference between what people are and what others perceive them to be - namely me I guess.

Geddy Lee has referred to the track as the band's "defining piece of music...from the early '80s". It is one of Rush's best-known songs and is a staple of classic rock radio. It reached 25 in the UK singles chart in October 1981, and in the US peaked at #44 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at 8 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. In 2009 it was named the 19th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1. "Tom Sawyer" was one of five Rush songs inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on March 28, 2010. ...

The 11th and final episode of the heavy metal documentary show Metal Evolution aired last weekend in Canada on MuchMoreMusic and will air this weekend on VH1 Classic in the US. The episode focuses on the Progressive Metal genre of heavy metal and heavily features Rush, including an entire 10-minute segment on the band's contribution to the genre with interview segments with all 3 members along with former producer Terry Brown. The show is the brainchild of Rush documentary and Time Machine video filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen and builds on the mission first put forth in their groundbreaking Metal: A Headbanger's Journey documentary - in which Geddy Lee had appeared. Geddy Lee had previously made an appearance in episode 2 of Metal Evolution to discuss the contributions of American garage rock band Blue Cheer to the origins of heavy metal. Geddy's brother Allan Weinrib is the production manager for the show and has been the Executive Producer and Head of Production and Development at Banger Films (Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen's film production company) since December of last year. The entire Progressive Metal episode was posted to YouTube earlier this week in five parts posted to the VH1 website. The second segment is the one completely dedicated to Rush and the band also is heavily featured in the last segment.

That's all for this week. Thanks to everyone for making 2.1.12 Day a huge success. The enthusiasm of Rush fans never ceases to amaze me. :)

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

American Idol contestant sings Rush's Tom Sawyer
10:04PM EST | link | comments (52) |

UPDATE - 2/2@3:26PM: From the CBS News Celebrity Circuit recap of American Idol (thanks Power Windows):

... From the rushes came David Weed, who looked like Napoleon Dynamite's best friend and sang, well, Rush. After he had finished his finely high-pitched attempt at mimicking Rush, Jackson asked him if he really thought he sounded like Rush's lead singer, Geddy Lee. Weed explained that he hoped he sounded a little different. Jackson retorted that yes, Lee is good. ...

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 2/2@11:36AM: From Rolling Stone's recap of the episode (thanks John at Cygnus-X1.net):

.... Next up is David Weed, who thinks that singing Rush on a show built on the songs of Katy Perry and Stevie Wonder is a good choice. The only thing his version of Geddy Lee will win him is a lifetime of never getting laid. ...

----- snip -----

UPDATE - 2/2@6:25AM: Here's the video of the audition:

----- snip -----

As a fitting tribute to 2.1.12 Day, a contestant (David Weed) on this evening's episode of the reality show American Idol attempted to sing Rush's Tom Sawyer for his audition. After his very poor performance (in the judge's minds at least) judge Randy Jackson asked him if he thought Geddy Lee sounded like he did and the contestant said I'm hoping I don't sound exactly like him. Jackson then said yeah...he actually sounds really good. They then played Tom Sawyer in the background as the contestant walked out of the audition. Thanks to hermy for the heads up.

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Happy 2.1.12 day!
6:26AM EST | link | comments (40) |

2112 listening partyUPDATE - 2/7@11:13AM: Examiner.com: 'Mean Deviation' author Jeff Wagner celebrates 'Rush Day' with Cape Cod Rock! (thanks RushFanForever).
Guitar World: Author Jeff Wagner Picks His Top 5 Rush Albums (thanks RushFanForever).

UPDATE - 2/2@8:42AM: MediaPost: Rush, '2112,' And My Missed Mobile Interaction.

UPDATE - 2/1@10:09PM: UltimateClassicRock.com: Fans Celebrate Rush Day on 2.1.12.

UPDATE - 2/1@5:36PM: NoiseCreep: Rush Day 2-1-12: Metal Historian Jeff Wagner on the Canadian Legends.

UPDATE - 2/1@2:53PM: Cleveland Plain Dealer: It's 2-1-12, or National Rush Day: Some of your friends and family will shortly lose their minds.

UPDATE - 2/1@2:05PM: OC Weekly: Rush Fans, Rejoice: Today is 2112.

UPDATE - 2/1@1:40PM: GeeksOfDoom.com: It's 2-1-12 So Crank Up '2112' For Rush Day!.

UPDATE - 2/1@1:14PM: 2.1.12 baseball cards!

UPDATE - 2/1@9:48AM: Reverb Music has compiled a list of the 11 best songs for 2.1.12: These Go To Eleven: The 11 best Rush songs for 2.1.12.

Today is February 1st, 2012 - or 2.1.12 here in the United States; 2112 day! The Rush fan community suffered a terrible blow last week with the passing of Rush photographer Andrew MacNaughtan, so we can certainly use any excuse to help lift our spirits. So kick back, crank up 2112 and celebrate all things Rush with your fellow Rush fans. To honor the memory of Andrew MacNaughtan, please give to his Art Gives Hope charity if you are able, and take a moment to appreciate all of the great photographs he's taken of our favorite band over the years. To help facilitate the celebration, the folks at RushCon are teaming up with the Rush Radio website to sponsor a 2112 listening party this evening at 9:12PM - 2/1/12 21:12. From the RushCon newsletter:

SYNC UP. ROCK OUT. THE 2112 LISTENING PARTY.

Tune into RushRadio.org on Wednesday February 1, 2012, at 9:12pm (in your time zone) for the world's largest streaming Rush listening party! Simultaneously, join fans across the world in an online chat (tinychat.com/rushcon) as we crank this epic album and fill the world with our music. This is the closest we will get to the year 2112 in our lifetime, so celebrate and assume control!

The party will repeat 4 times, starting at 9:12pm EST, then at 9:12pm Central, Mountain, and Pacific timezones. So everyone will have a chance to join! Or heck, come for all 4 hours! The more Rush fans the better!

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