Rush News

"Why Rush’s Record Label Changed the ‘Caress of Steel’ Cover Art" - Ultimate Classic Rock

Today UCR.com have posted a new interview with Rush art director Hugh Syme, where he talks about the Caress of Steel Album cover. 

"I was a huge [M.C. Escher] fan.  My original drawings were in pencil: clean, monochromatic, simple homages to Escher. But when the record label got ahold of these, they thought it wasn't rock and roll enough, so they added this chromium lettering and swung the tint of the whole image over to a brown sepia tone — none of which was requested or under my purview at the time.  When the band said, 'What happened?,' I said, 'I don't know,'" he adds. "That began the premise that they would consider most A&R people attending their sessions — and, more so, their comments — as unwelcome. Because they weren't interested. And when they realized that other people were meddling in the process when it came to my art, they said, 'Don't listen to anyone. We're talking to you directly.' That set up a feature in my life.  That album worked out well. I don't look back fondly on the outcome, but that's OK," he says. "It was more just me being indulgent — art directors are pretty selfish. We do what we want to do, and what a gift it was to work with a band like Rush. They — excuse the quote — allowed that deviation from any norms because that's what they aspired to do themselves as artists."



Read More: Why Rush's Record Label Changed the 'Caress of Steel' Cover Art | https://ultimateclassicrock.com/rush-caress-of-steel-album-art/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

Big Sugar's "Hemi-Vision" 25th Anniversary Edition featuring foreword by Alex Lifeson

Canadian rock band Big Sugar are releasing the 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of their album Hemi-Vision next Friday, September 25th, and Rush's Alex Lifeson is providing a foreword to the liner notes:
"A deluxe edition reissue of Hemi-Vision will touch down September 25 through Universal Music Canada digitally, on CD and as a 2xLP set pressed to 180-gram bright green and orange vinyl.  The deluxe package puts the original album alongside six previously unreleased bonus tracks, rare photos and memorabilia from the band's archives, and extensive liner notes by Gordie Johnson with a foreword from Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson." - exclaim.ca

Fumanchu released "Working Man" digitally, proceeds benefit Brain Tumor Research

Today the band Funmanchu announced:

"In Tribute to The Professor, Neil Peart, we are releasing our version of RUSH's 'Working Man' that we recorded January 2020. All Proceeds will benefit Brain Tumor Research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in his memory. Members of our band and our manager were in the audience on August 1, 2015 when this was the final song played by Neil, Geddy and Alex. We are forever grateful for all of the music and memories. Thanks to Carl Saff for donating his mastering services and to David Medel for donating his art services. Thanks to Jim Monroe for the studio time, engineering & mixing hook up. Thanks to Meg and everyone in the Rush family. Thanks to John Raso for going the extra mile to help us get this out. This is a digital release only...for now"

Click here to get it from Amazon.

Modern Drummer Festival with tribute to Neil Peart - Saturday, September 12th

Drumming royalty will gather virtually this weekend to honor late Rush member Neil Peart. The Police drummer Stewart Copeland, Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith and Chicago’s Danny Seraphine are among the artists who will pay tribute to Peart’s genius as part of a one-night-only online concert, produced by LiveXLive.

The event streams live this Saturday on Neil's birthday, September 12th, at 8 p.m. ET and will be available to watch on LiveXLive.com and Fite.tv. A ticket to the pay-per-view event costs $12.99 (tickets available here) and lets you stream the show from your phone, tablet or computer. You can also watch it on your TV through the Fite TV app, which lets you cast the action onto the screen via Apple TV, Roku Streaming Stick, Fire TV and more.

Other performers for the night include Cindy Blackman-Santana, Thomas Lang, Alex Gonzalez (Manå), Jim Riley (Rascal Flatts), Dom Famularo, Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge), Keith Carlock, Todd Sucherman (Styx), Kenny Aronoff, Gregg Bissonette (Ringo Starr), Ray Luzier (Korn), and Kristina Schiano. The event will also feature appearances by Carl Palmer, Eric Singer, and Mike Portnoy, among others.

Neil Peart: The Illustrated Quotes coming November 17th

Neil Peart: The Illustrated Quotes, the latest book produced by Fantoons, is set for hardcover release November 17, 2020.  Co-written by David Calcano and Lindsay Lee who chose some of their favorites quotes and created elegant single panel cartoons as a love letter to Neil Peart’s written word.  Click here to order.


"Forever Terry: A Legacy in Letters" featuring epilogue by Geddy Lee

Hitting bookstores today, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope, the book Forever Terry: A Legacy in Letters recounts the inspiration, dedication, and perseverance that Terry Fox embodied, and gives voice to an icon whose example spoke much louder than his words. Comprising 40 letters from 40 contributors including an epilogue written by Geddy Lee, and edited by Terry's younger brother Darrell on behalf of the Fox family, Forever Terry pays tribute to Terry's legacy, as seen through the eyes of celebrated Canadians.  Author proceeds support the Terry Fox Foundation, which has raised over $800 million for cancer research. - Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!


Storied: The Geddy Lee Baseball Collection

"Storied" is a new collection of 22 videos narrated by Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, released on YouTube, Spotify and on Pro Athlete's website.   Below is Chapter 5 which tells the story of the Geddy Lee Baseball Collection! - Thanks to Rosmakloma for the headsup!

"Ready Player Two" coming in November

Ready Player Two: A Novel by Ernest Cline, the sequel to the Rush fan favorite Ready Player One, is coming November 24th.  As the first novel included many Rush references including a major plotline centered around "2112", it is likely the sequel will similarly include some Rush.

Geddy Lee: My 10 Favorite Bassists - RollingStone.com

The players that Lee chose for his list — from Sixties and Seventies rock gods like John Entwistle and John Paul Jones to Motown legend James Jamerson and jazz-rock virtuosos like Jaco Pastorius — all had a hand in making the bass that much cooler. They’re a diverse set of players, but Lee says that they all share a particular dual skill set.  From John Entwistle to Les Claypool, the prog-rock legend runs down his personal low-end pantheon, click here for more. - July 2, 2020

Limelight: Rush in the ’80s (Rush Across the Decades #2) by Martin Popoff Coming October 13th

Limelight: Rush in the ’80s (Rush Across the Decades) , book two in the three part Rush biography collection by Martin Popoff, is set for release on October 13th, 2020 from ECW Press. Preorder the hardcover edition at Amazon.

"In the follow-up to Anthem: Rush in the ’70s, Martin Popoff brings together canon analysis, cultural context, and extensive firsthand interviews to celebrate Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart at the peak of their persuasive power. Rush was one of the most celebrated hard rock acts of the ’80s, and the second book of Popoff’s staggeringly comprehensive three-part series takes readers from Permanent Waves to Presto, while bringing new insight to Moving Pictures, their crowning glory. Limelight: Rush in the ’80s is a celebration of fame, of the pushback against that fame, of fortunes made ― and spent …

In the latter half of the decade, as Rush adopts keyboard technology and gets pert and poppy, there’s an uproar amongst diehards, but the band finds a whole new crop of listeners. Limelight charts a dizzying period in the band’s career, built of explosive excitement but also exhaustion, a state that would lead, as the ’90s dawned, to the band questioning everything they previously believed, and each member eying the oncoming decade with trepidation and suspicion."

Modern Drummer Legends Vol. 1 – Neil Peart

Coming September 15th, Modern Drummer magazine is publishing an anthology of all 9 of Neil Peart's Modern Drummer cover interviews.  The special issue also includes the complete contents of his May 2020 Modern Drummer tribute issue, an analysis of Peart’s performances on every Rush studio album, a survey of the evolution of his famous live drumkits, an in-depth look at his seven self-penned books, remembrances and impressions from dozens of leading drummers, transcriptions of deep Rush cuts, Neil discussing the Snakes & Arrows track “Malignant Narcissism”, and “A Life Changed Forever”: a super-fan’s heartfelt story.  Order here.

"Rush Backstage Club Newsletters 1980 - 1994" Now Available

Rush Backstage Club first announced the "Rush Backstage Club Newsletters 1980 - 1994" was to be released May 29th to coincide with the Permanent Waves 40th Anniversary reissue.   The book has been delayed, and now has a ship date of June 19th.
Before the days of digital, Rush fans had to work hard to stay updated on current news for their favorite band. In 1980, The Rush Backstage Club was created to deliver, via regular mail service, band news, tour dates, fan Q&A's, merchandise catalogs, and a young Neil Peart's reflections. Over the years, there were over thirty newsletters released, some were full of timelines from Neil, some contained tentative upcoming tour dates, and some were merely merchandise catalogs. We have reprinted and bound the most meaningful of these newsletters in a 9" X 12", 72-page folio.

This folio is printed in Canada on heavy art paper, with open-stitch binding on the spine. Along with actual newsletters, there are a couple of other visual features, as well as a couple hand-typed notes from Neil to their management company SRO. There is an Introduction written by Ray Wawrzyniak, and Foreword written by Patrick McLoughlin.

All North American orders will receive FREE shipping on this item! Order now 👉 https://bit.ly/2JJnMxw

Alex Lifeson's "Victor" 25th Anniversary Expanded Edition Coming?

In a new interview with Ultimate-Guitar.com, when asked if he has heard from Alex Lifeson, drummer Marco Minnemann let slip "We've been in touch just recently actually, just a few days ago literally, because he's re-releasing an album called Victor he did 20 years ago; that's going to be re-released as a 20th-anniversary edition, and one of the songs we did is on it as a bonus track."

As Victor was released in January 1996, we can assume that it is actually a 25th Anniversary Edition, that he is speaking of, although no official announcement has been made.

Hugh Syme on the Undercovers Podcast

Better late than never, somehow I missed this when it was first announced.   Rush's long time creative director Hugh Syme is featured on episode 17 the Undercovers podcast, which premiered May 18, 2019.  Hugh speaks at length about Rush first, before moving on to other bands he has worked with in his career.   Available below, as well as on on your favorite podcast player as listed here.
"Hugh Syme is one of the most acclaimed album designers in history - his 40+ years with Rush as well as his work with Dream Theater, Megadeth and so many more."

Artists and albums discussed: Rush (11:37), Hemispheres (18:25), Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Signals (22:03), Test For Echo (31:15), Bon Jovi – New Jersey (35:30), Warrant – Cherry Pie (39:35), Whitesnake (44:03), Aerosmith – Get A Grip (47:25), Def Leppard – Retroactive (53:30), Megadeth - Youthenasia (55:05), Megadeth – Countdown to Extinction (58:00), Dream Theater – Distance Over Time (1:00:53), Dream Theater - Octovarian (1:04:05), Iron Maiden – X-Factor (107:11), KISS – Revenge (1:10:37), Alice Cooper – A Fistful of Alice (1:11:35) Billy Thorpe (1:15:35).

"Growth Rings: A Short film narrated by Neil Peart"

Edge Factor just published a new video which Neil Peart co-wrote with Jeremy Bout (Edge Factor) and did his own voice over.  The short film "Growth Rings", created in collaboration with DW Drums, is available below.
"Growth Rings" Co-written by Jeremy Bout and recorded by Neil Peart of RUSH, one of the greatest drummers of all time, this short film honors the way in which music marks moments in our lives. Just as the life of a tree can be understood through it's growth rings, we can look at the milestones and eras of our lives and reminiscence of the songs and bands that resonated with us during those times.

-Thanks to Rosmakloma for the headsup!

Permanent Waves 40th Anniversary Edition Coming May 29th

The Permanent Waves 40th Anniversary Edition is now available.  Released May 29th, it is available in three package options: 2c edition, 3LP edition, or the Super Deluxe Edition.

All versions include the original album remastered in 2015 at Abbey Road Studios (previously released as part of the 12 months of Rush vinyl editions), and bonus content made up of various live recordings captured during the Permanent Waves tour.

1. Beneath, Between & Behind (Live in Manchester)
2. By-Tor & The Snow Dog (Live in London)
3. Xanadu (Live in London)
4. The Spirit Of Radio (Live in Manchester)
5. Natural Science (Live in Manchester)
6. The Trees (Live in Manchester)
7. Cygnus X-1 (Live in London)
8. Cygnus X-1 Book II (Live in London)
9. Closer To The Heart (Live in Manchester)
10. Jacob's Ladder (Live in Missouri)
11. Freewill (Live in London)

From the Super Deluxe Edition:

Celebrating 40 years of Rush’s Permanent Waves, the Super Deluxe Edition will feature two CDs, three 180-gram audiophile black vinyl LPs and a 40-page hardcover book filled with reimagined artwork by original album designer Hugh Syme, unreleased photos from the band’s archive and an exclusive twelve-thousand plus word essay. The Abbey Road Mastering Studios 2015 album remaster is made available on CD for the first time. CD 2 is loaded with unreleased bonus live tracks from three stops on the Permanent Waves World Tour 1980: Manchester Apollo, Manchester, England; Hammersmith Odeon, London, England; and Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, Missouri, all newly mixed by the band’s longtime producer Terry Brown.

Permanent Waves is the band’s first of many iconic visits to Le Studio recording studio in Morin Heights, Quebec which has been nicknamed Rush’s Abbey Road Studios. A blank sheet of Le Studio letterhead was newly discovered, so the first of many collectibles included is a 20-page 5”x7” Le Studio notepad. The two replica tour programs represent the official Permanent Waves World Tour 1980 program and with the inclusion of U.K. performances the very rare, unofficial The Words & Pictures Volume II UK-only tour program is included. The Super Deluxe Edition’s finishing touches feature 3 band member replica backstage laminates, a 24”x36” double-sided poster showcasing the original album cover model and photos of each band member recording at Le Studio, and three Neil Peart handwritten lyric sheets for “The Spirit Of Radio,” “Entre Nous” and “Natural Science.”

Permanent Waves is the band’s first departure from in-depth, ten-minute plus conceptual song crafting and is deemed as a poignant moment they reinvented themselves and their sound. “We’ve taken it (the conceptual album) to its logical limit and it’s time to do something else,” remarked Geddy Lee. To further reinvent themselves, the band opted to record at Le Studio in Quebec which has been highly credited in the evolution of the Rush sound and would soon become their home away from home for future albums to come. Giving birth to two of the band’s most important songs in their stable, “The Spirit Of Radio” along with “Freewill” offered fans a long overdue experience: regular radio play. Additionally, the album features the cinematic “Jacob’s Ladder,” the album’s third single “Entre Nous,” the Geddy Lee lyric penned “Different Strings” and the barometer for pure progressive rock “Natural Science.”

Alex Lifeson guest appearance on Big Sugar's Eternity Now

Buy Now
Alex Lifeson performs on the title track of Big Sugar's latest album, Eternity Now, released this past Friday May 8th.  Big Sugar's Gordie Johnson explained:
"That was not an accident! Alex Lifeson is on the title track. He's on the title track of my life and career trajectory. He was one of the first supporters of Big Sugar and one of the greatest mentors that I've had. And he's such a down-to-earth chill guy. He saw us coming up, liked our music, and would do things like 'Hey, man, here's a double-neck guitar. Why don't you take the Xanadu guitar and use it for a while?' Like, who does that? So I texted him and I had to explain myself because it's such a Rush knock-off. I got the Taurus Moog pedals in there and gave it the full Moving Pictures treatment. But he not only sent me a wicked guitar solo but a bunch of overdubs-acoustic guitars and banjos and all kinds of other production to put in the track. It got way Rushier. And I'm good with it. ... He still plays great. And when he sits down to play, only one sound comes out of that amp." - Global News, May 8, 2020
Check out the track below:


Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!

Anthem: Rush in the 1970s (Rush Across the Decades) by Martin Popoff Now Available

Anthem: Rush in the 1970s (Rush Across the Decades), the first of a three part Rush biography collection by Martin Popoff, hits bookstores today from ECW Press.  Order the hardcover edition at Amazon.
"With extensive, first-hand reflections from Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart, as well as from family, friends, and fellow musicians, Anthem: Rush in the ’70s is a detailed portrait of Canada’s greatest rock ambassadors. The first of three volumes, Anthem puts the band’s catalog, from their self-titled debut to 1978’s Hemispheres (the next volume resumes with the release of Permanent Waves) into both Canadian and general pop culture context, and presents the trio of quintessentially dependable, courteous Canucks as generators of incendiary, groundbreaking rock ’n’ roll." 
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Like Geezer Butler in Black Sabbath, to reiterate, Geddy indeed began on guitar. Alex, however, missed this part of Lee’s evolution.

“I didn’t know Ged when he played guitar. So the transition was already completed by the time we started jamming together and playing. Because that’s what we did after school. We’d plug into his amp and play. There was one guitar and one bass. So I’m not really sure about that transition. I’m sure he was interested in guitar like everybody was interested in guitar. But once we actually started playing and learning instruments, that was his chosen one. Just think John Rutsey in that early days―the drums became his thing but I don’t know if in his heart he wanted to be a drummer. I think he wanted to be a guitarist as well. But everybody had their job that they sort of gravitated to.”

Says Geddy, “I was nominated to be the bass player when the first band I was in, the bass player couldn’t be in our band. I think his parent’s prohibited him or something, and we had no bass player so they said, ‘You play bass’ and I said okay, and that was how simple it was. That happens to a lot of bass players. Everyone wants to be a guitar player, but I was happy to be bass player. Bass player is like being a major league catcher. It’s the quickest way to the majors. Nobody wants to be a bass player. It’s a great instrument, it really is, awesome way to spend your time. I had teachers you know; I’m just carrying on the tradition of Jack Bruce, Jack Cassidy, Chris Squire, a fine tradition of noisy bass players that refuse to stay in the background. So I feel that’s my sacred duty, to carry on what they started.”

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson Appear in Gordon Lightfoot Documentary "If You Could Read My Mind"

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson appear in If You Could Read My Mind, a documentary on Gordon Lightfoot, streaming on-demand this summer.  Directed by Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni, the film chronicles present-day Lightfoot performing a show and signing autographs as he fondly looks back on his nearly six-decade career — from his coffeehouse performance days in Ontario, Canada, to his rise to international fame in the Seventies.  “He is one of the greatest examples of timeless singer-songwriter,” Lee says in the clip, sitting alongside his bandmate Alex Lifeson. - Rollingstone.com, May 5, 2020

"Stronger Together" Benefit Airs Sunday, including Geddy Lee

UPDATE: "Stronger Together" special raises over $6 million for Food Banks Canada - Canadian Press, April 27, 2020

Geddy Lee is one of a slew of performers included in this Sunday's (April 26) Stronger Together benefit for COVID-19 relief airing on Canada's CBC as well as other platforms.  Broadcast in conjunction with Bell Media, Corus Entertainment and Rogers Sports & Media, the broadcast will be available world-wide to support front-line workers across Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.  For a complete list of performers click here.  For info on how to watch, click here.

Update: Geddy provided a 30 second isolation video titled "Remember how comforting music can be", which you can view below.  In addition, he took part in a group sing along of Bill Withers' classic "Lean On Me" along with the other Canadian Artists making up "ArtistsCAN".