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Guitar Center Video for the Alex Lifeson R40 Les Paul Axcess

"In celebration of Rush's 40th Anniversary, Gibson Custom presents the Limited Edition Alex Lifeson R40 Les Paul Axcess offered in a run of 200 guitars with 5A quilt maple tops in a lush Ruby Red R40 finish. It also features a Limited Edition "Starman" R40 die-caste medallion covering the rhythm/treble switch access cavity. For more info visit: http://bit.ly/1Hn6L1g & http://www.rush.com/"

Rush R40 Tour News and Reviews

Rush's R40 Tour will visit 34 cities throughout North America this summer beginning May 8 in Tulsa, Oklahoma and finishing August 1 in Los Angeles, California. Click here for R40 Tour setlists and more; click here for the R40 Tour Book.  Here's the latest news and reviews from the road:

"The Art of Rush" - Now Available

The Art of Rush, a 272 page coffee table book that delves into the 40 year relationship with Rush and their longtime artist and illustrator Hugh Syme, was officially released on May 22. The stunning book begins with a foreword penned by Neil Peart, and contains original illustrations, paintings, photography, and the incredible stories behind each album that he has designed with the band since 1975.

The book’s narration was written by music journalist Stephen Humphries and includes in-depth interviews with each Rush band member, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart and artist Hugh Syme. The Art of Rush also contains entertaining anecdotes and commentary from a wide array of notable musicians, actors, athletes, writers, radio personalities and Rush insiders about their favourite Rush album covers, which clearly reveals how vital and impactful the visual representation of their music has been through the years.

The book was originally avaiable for preorder in one of three editions:
  • SOLD OUT: Roadcase Deluxe Limited Edition 1/100, numbered and signed by all 3 members of Rush & Hugh Syme.  The book will come in a hand-crafted road case designed by Anvil approx. 15" x 15" x 3" in size and will be enclosed in a custom slipcase, and more, for $995
  • SOLD OUT: Limited Special Edition 1/250, numbered and signed by all 3 members of the band and artist Hugh Syme, enclosed in a custom slipcase for $495
  • Classic Edition, the 272 page hardcover book for $99
The $995 Art of Rush - Deluxe Roadcase Edition and $495 Deluxe Slipcase Editions BOTH sold out in just over two hours after going on sale, and immediately started appearing on eBay for double the original sale price. If you were putting off buying the $99 standard edition, you might want to put your order in now...

For more information visit rush.com/the-art-of-rush/.

R40 Tour Book Wallpaper Images

I've added 31 new wallpaper images from the R40 Tour Book to my "Rush Art Gallery of Desktop Wallpaper" Tour Books page.   Included are the usual beautiful production photos, mixed with live photos from the last tour, recent rehearsal photos, and a few from the archives.  In addition, in case you missed my previous post, the complete tour book transcript is available here. Enjoy!

- Thanks to John Patuto at Cygnus-X1.net for sharing his raw scans!

Rush Featured on the cover of Classic Rock July 2015 - UPDATED WITH MORE

Rush is featured on the cover of the July 2015 issue of the UK's Classic Rock magazine, with the taglines "The Last Tour?", "The Last Interview?", "The Last Word."  You can order a copy here.
Classic Rock has also published online an interview with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson titled "We're coming towards the end".  Alex looks back on their career, what sacrifices they made over the last 40 years, including his memories dating back to their break-out gig with the New York Dolls in 1974, or being told by Heart's Roger Fisher that Heart would "blow them off the stage".  He also discusses how he has been suffering from arthritis for 10 years, and discusses Neil's with tendonitis. Of note is the fact that Geddy Lee is hoping to extend the R40 Tour into Europe in the spring of 2016, provided his bandmates are up to it.
Alex on how Neil took to the R40 Tour: "[Neil] was resistant to it until he started prepping [for the tour] and realised: hey, I can still play my drums pretty good! And then getting into rehearsals with us, there’s that whole camaraderie that he really adores. So when he’s back into the stream, he loves the swim."

Geddy on what could bring on the end of touring: "if anything is going to mean that we can’t tour any more like we used to, it’s more than likely going to be the arthritis. Because that’s something that will directly affect his ability to play. And if I was going out on stage and I could not play the way I want to play, or the way I have played in the past, there is no way I would want to do it; I would not want to go out there and be a shadow of my former self. "

Will there be another Rush album?: Alex: "...I’d love to make another record. It’s such a fun experience to make a record.I’m sure if we start coming up with some stuff, Neil would be right in there. He’d love that."  Geddy: "Do I feel like we have the mojo to do more records? Absolutely. But I can’t tell you that the other guys agree. I’m not a hundred per cent sure that Neil agrees, I’m pretty sure Alex agrees."
In addition, Classic Rock has posted an "EXCLUSIVE: RusH Q&A - The Bonus bits", 'The bits of our interview with the Canadian prog legends that didn't make it into the magazine'.  You can read it here (watch out, there are some R40 setlist spoilers). Included are comments about many of the band's releases over the years, songs that did or didn't work, thoughts on playing old "pretentious" proggy songs on tour, their plans for when the music is finally over, and more info regarding the chances of the R40 tour coming to Europe:
Geddy: There’s nothing on the cards right now. I would say that there are those of us that would prefer to do some dates in the UK and even some European dates, and there’s an opportunity, once we get rolling, to see what we might want to add. But let’s just say that at this point that Neil’s made it clear that he’s good with this US tour being the last group of dates.

Alex: You never know. These past couple of months have been pivotal. It’s shown us, after a year and a half off, how much we really love doing what we’re doing. I think that’s really important in Neil’s case. But when you’ve only got so much time to play with it’s tough....But I’ll say one thing: Geddy feels it’s important that we go back at this time to the UK, to acknowledge the support you’ve given us for all these years. And I agree with him.
- Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!

Hemispheres Vinyl Reissue - Now Available

As announced last fall, Rush is reissuing the complete Mercury era albums on 200-gram heavyweight vinyl in chronological order throughout 2015.

The next release to hit store shelves is Hemispheres hitting store shelves today, May 19th. 

Eventually the vinyl reissues will include all studio and live albums through A Show of Hands.  Previous vinyl reissues include Rush reDISCovered, Fly By Night (vinyl and blu-ray pure audio in 5.1 surround sound), Caress of Steel, the 2112 hologram edition. and A Farewell To Kings (vinyl and blu-ray pure audio in 5.1 surround sound).  These vinyl reissues also include a 320kbps MP4 vinyl ripped Digital Audio album download, and can also be purchased separately as high resolution Digital Audio

RUSH R40 Opening Night Contest from Power Windows

AND THE WINNER IS: Congratulations to Andy Hays, the ONLY person who correctly guessed the opening song.  However, Andy has graciously offered to pass it on to the runner up: the winner is Jeff Travis of Modesto who guessed both the second and third songs.  Jeff, check your mail later this week for your Chronicles DVD. 
The time is now again!  The R40 Tour starts one week from today in Tulsa, and to celebrate, I'm having a contest for Power Windows readers where I am giving away a Rush DVD. Correctly guess the first TWO songs of the opening night of the R40 Tour, in the order they are played, and you will be in the running to win Rush's Chronicles DVD Collection.  To enter, simply email your answers (song 1, song 2), along with your name and mailing address, to rushr40songs@yahoo.com.

And here's some fine print:
  1. Only one entry per email address (if you change your mind, the last entry received from a given address will be your final answer), and entries received after showtime will be ignored, so please don't bother.
  2. Winner will be randomly drawn from correct entries, but if there are no correct entries/no one correctly guesses the first two songs, winner will be based on the opening song.
  3. If the band opens with a medley or throws us a curve ball, then yours truly will take that into account in considering the final winner.
Good luck!

Rush 'R40 Live: 40th Anniversary' Tour Book Transcript

"As the three of us discussed the songs we would play, it was all about how we and the fans might be able to live it all again - just this once. Because it was quite a ride, wasn't it?" - Neil Peart, "Live It All Again"
Neil Peart has written another outstanding essay which is included in the R40 tour book. In addition, Alex Lifeson tells us some stories from the earlier days, such as renting a car and returning it with 11,000 miles on it, and Geddy talks about his latest obsession, collecting basses.

You can check it out here: Rush 'R40 Live: 40th Anniversary' Tour Book.

- Thanks to John Patuto for sharing the transcript!

Les Claypool: 10 bassists that blew my mind

Yesterday MusicRadar posted an interview with Primus' Les Claypool where he talks about his 10 favorite bassists.  Coming in at #1 is Geddy Lee:

DW Drums' "Not Tom Sawyer Contest"

DW Drums has launched a new contest in honor of Rush's 40th Anniversary Tour.  You are invited to film yourself doing your very best tribute to legendary Rush drummer, Neil Peart. Just make a video of yourself playing along to your favorite Rush song for a chance to win a Performance Series Time Machine Snare!  Visit DW Drums for details. - Thanks to Rosmakloma for the headsup!

Opening Night in Tulsa Setlist

Beginning with the Hartford show of the Vapor Trails Tour in 2002, we have been your source for the opening night setlist, as the show takes place.  That was the case tonight as well, as we posted the opening night setlist from Tulsa live. A HUGE thanks to Ryan Wasell for providing pictures and setlist updates!

Click here for the R40 Opening Night in Tulsa Setlist

Google Map Route of the R40 Tour

"Keep on riding North and West...then circle South and East..."

In case you need help planning your roadtrips this summer:


CMRRA Congratulates Board Member Pegi Cecconi for MMF Award

SRO/Anthem's Pegi Cecconi was presented with the Brian Chater Pioneer Award on Tuesday (May 5) by the Music Manager Forum (MMF) and will be honoured with the inaugural Brian Chater Leadership Award by the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) at their Gala in Toronto on June 15. 

Ms. Cecconi’s career began while she was still in high school, where she worked as a social convener booking bands through Ray Danniels’ agency. Danniels would go on to found SRO Management, and after Pegi graduated she became SRO’s first employee.   Of course, SRO has been managing Rush since the very beginning.  For more, visit CMRRA.ca.

Steve Shutt: "Me and Geddy Lee" - The Slapshot Diaries

Retired Montreal Canadiens Steve Shutt recently shared a story of attending a concert with Geddy Lee as part of the The Slapshot Diaries, a new website project from filmmaker Mike Downie and musician/author Dave Bidini in partnership with Toronto-based FUSE Marketing.

Shutt, who attended Fisherville Junior High in Willowdale with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, shared his story of seeing The Mandala concert at the North York Centennial Area with Geddy Lee in 1967.  The concert made a huge impact on them.  Apparently Alex Lifeson was not present with Geddy, although he was also at this concert and was similarly impacted, as told at the bottom of this post. 
"We were both 14 years old going to Fisherville Junior High in Willowdale in 1966, right at the start of the psychedelic era. We were good friends and, like everyone, we bought all the newest albums, tried to look like hippies, and even took the bus and subway down to Yorkville to see what we had to look like to be cool.

"We went to our first really big show at North York Centennial Arena featuring the two hottest bands in Toronto: The Mandala and The Paupers. The Mandala started the show with their great Blue-Eyed Soul Review. They were dressed in trademark cherry-striped suits. Joey Cherowski was on organ, Whitey Glann on drums, Dominic Trianio on guitar and Don Elliot was on bass. George Oliver sang and danced and jumped around on stage in a frenzy, which earned him his trade mark as the hardest working singer in soul music. The only time he slowed down was when he did the splits and ripped the ass out of his pants, which he changed while the band played an instrumental, the song 'Toronto ’67'. Both me and Ged couldn’t believe what we were seeing. This was great, this was unbelievable. We watched in awe as they finished their set.

"The next band were The Paupers. They started their set with their new hit song Magic People. There was a sound: the fuzz bass played by Denny Gerrard. Me and Geddy looked at each other and decided right then that we were going to play bass, too. Denny stood in his sluggo cap and pounded out an amazing riff that nobody had ever heard before. Little did we know that, during the show, the group, led by Skip Prokop and Adam Mitchell, would let Denny loose to do a 10 min bass solo. When he finished, completely exhausted, he left everyone in the audience stunned by what they’d just heard.

"That week, we begged, borrowed and maybe stole money to buy our own bass guitars and two small amps. I took my bass home and started practicing. I read my 'Introduction to Bass Playing' book. I did scales and learned how to tune the bass. After a couple of weeks, I thought I was getting the hang of playing and sounding pretty good, so I went over to Geddy’s house to show him. When I got there, he had his bass out and one of those old portable record players where, when you opened it up, the speaker would be in the lid. I got out my bass out and said “'kay, let’s do some scales.' Geddy looked at me and said, 'Um, I can’t do scales.' My confidence started to rise. 'I’ll show you,' I told him. 'Just follow me.' Maybe I did have some talent.

"Geddy said, 'Wait, before we do that, let’s listen to this record.' I told him that would be fine. The record started on the cheap portable player and he said, 'Listen, can you hear the bass?' Then he said, 'Look at this,' and started playing. His bass came alive. It pounded the speakers of the 12″ amp and sounded great. I didn’t know if he was copying the record or not because I couldn’t even hear the bass on the record. He did the same thing on the next song and the next one after that. I went home and put my bass away and I don’t think that I ever picked it up again. I guess, looking back, it would have been tough for anyone to compare with the best bass guitar player in the world. I think that both of us made the right decision."
Alex Lifeson was also present at this concert, and met Mandala's guitarist, Domenic Troiano, after the show.  Back in 2013, in a press release announcing the annual Domenic Troiano Guitar Awards, Alex was quoted as saying:
"On June 30, 1967, I saw the Mandala at the North York Centennial Arena. At the side of the stage Donny gave me his autograph and his Mandala button. He told me how important it was to keep practicing and if I worked hard, I might get the chance to stand on stage and play for people some day. I was beaming. He was my first real inspiration and to this day I have a deep love and admiration for a man who truly knew the meaning of soul. I am proud to be a humble part of his enduring influence".
- Thanks to RushIsABand for the headsup!

Geddy Lee appears on latest Eddie Trunk podcast

The latest Eddie Trunk podcast includes a short interview with Geddy Lee beginning at the 38 minute mark which was recorded before his appearance on the season premiere of That Metal Show back in February.  You can listen to it here - Thanks to Ed at RushIsABand for the headsup!

Rush Reference on "The Goldbergs"

Last night on the ABC sitcom "The Goldbergs" (season 2, episode 23, "Bill/Murray", full episode online here), Erica Goldberg goes to see her high school guidance counselor (played by SNL alum Tim Meadows), who has various motivational posters on his wall, including a Rush poster, and says "It's like my posters say: 'reach for the stars,' 'hang in there,' and that's the band Rush, because I'm the cool guidance counselor who shows up at the high school basketball games in a casual polo."

You can watch the full episode here on ABC.go.com, and you can see the Rush related scene below. - Thanks to Mark Daniels, Donald Schwabbauer and John Patuto for the headsup!

Cover Rush to win $5,000, 2 Tickets and Meet & Greet with Rush at R40 Live in Los Angeles, CA and more!

After 40 years together, 20 gold and platinum studio albums, Rush is giving their fans a chance to cover 10 songs from their iconic catalog. Their publishing company ole is looking for creative, contemporary covers. Both covers with vocals and instrumentals will be accepted.

Choose from these songs:
Working Man, Fly By Night, Closer to the Heart, The Spirit of Radio, Freewill, Limelight, Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, New World Man, Time Stand Still
Grand Prize Winner will receive: $5,000, 2 tickets to the R40 Live 40th Anniversary Tour show in Los Angeles, CA on August 1st, 2015, 2 Meet & Greet passes to the R40 Live 40th Anniversary Tour show in Los Angeles, CA on August 1st, 2015, A meeting with OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT Creative Rep, A Limited edition Rush Fender Squier Bass, A lyric video of the Winner’s Cover on ole’s YouTube channel

2nd Place Winner will win: $3,000 plus a Rush Swag Prize Pack

3rd Place Winner will win: $1,000 plus a Rush Swag Prize Pack

3 Popular Vote Winners will win Pro status on Indaba Music

For more info and to enter click here.

What Makes Rush So Unique? - Fender.com

Fender.com has posted a new interview with Geddy Lee titled "What Makes Rush So Unique?" Geddy looks back on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, the band's work ethic, his influences and his growing bass collection.  Of the R40 tour, he says:
“I owe our fans so much as they have helped float us support us for over 40 years now.  They’re growing devotion to us is not something that I take lightly. I really do appreciate it, and you know, you can never make them all happy— it’s not possible, but we try. I think that the best way for us to try is just to be ourselves. I think our real fans understand that if we disappear for a couple years, it’s because we really need to. If we do things a particular way or if we don’t play that album on a particular tour, that’s just not where we are at the moment and that also comes as part of being a Rush fan.”

Geddy Lee talks about Fender's new Geddy Lee Jazz Bass

Geddy Lee talks about Fender's new U.S.A. Geddy Lee Jazz Bass, combining the specs and features of his three favorite Fender basses.

The Geddy Lee Jazz Bass has been a staple in the Fender line since 1998, but earlier this year, Fender announced the addition of the U.S.A. version.

The new U.S.A. Geddy Lee Jazz Bass is a unique version that combines the specs and features of Lee’s three favorite basses — two Fender Custom Shop versions of his signature model and the original sleek black ’72 Jazz Bass that he discovered at a pawn shop in Kalamazoo, Mich.

More product details here: http://bit.ly/GeddyLee-JazzBass-YT2

Alex Lifeson Shares the Story Behind "Closer to the Heart"

Today GuitarWorld.com posted a short interview with Alex Lifeson where he discusses the process of writing "Closer To The Heart" off of 1977's A Farewell To Kings.
“All of our early albums were written on acoustic guitar. When Geddy [Lee, bass and vocals] and I would write the music, we’d sit down with a cassette recorder and two acoustic guitars, in spite of the fact that we were a hard rock band.

"‘Closer to the Heart’ is a sweet, ballady type of song, but we mix it up. It takes an interesting course as the arrangement builds. Once we got the basic arrangement down, we knew that the intro would be acoustic, and then we took it up a notch dynamically and brought the whole band in.

"The 12-string intro gives it the illusion of being an acoustic piece, and then the rhythm section comes in and the song changes into a kickin’ rock tune.”
- Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!