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"Rush Art Director Hugh Syme on the Stories Behind the Band's Iconic Album Covers and His New Book 'Art of Rush'" - Billboard

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 released on May 22. Yesterday Billboard.com published Rush Art Director Hugh Syme on the Stories Behind the Band's Iconic Album Covers and His New Book 'Art of Rush' a new interview with Hugh were he discusses not only the book, but other topics regarding his relationship with Rush.
“I was pretty lucky. I was playing keyboards in another band on the same label and I was called down the hall, like the headmaster might do with a student, and I was asked if I might like to do an album cover for them. I was like, "Sure, I'll do a cover -- [aside] LIke these guys are gonna last." (laughs). That led to playing with them on a few albums and just developing a kind of mutual respect on a lot of levels, and we just kind of continued.”
- Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!

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 dates, setlists, tour book transcript, and more.

Here's the latest news and reviews from the road:

Kevin J. Anderson Rush night at Denver Hard Rock July 9th

Rush is playing the Pepsi Center in Denver on Saturday July 11th, and as a warm up, the Hard Rock Cafe Denver is hosting a Rush party Thursday, July 9th at 7 PM.  In attendance will be Colorado's own Kevin J. Anderson, who will also talk about his works which include the all new novel Clockwork Lives, set for release September 15th.  There will also be lots of Rush music, prize giveaways, and Kevin will have the Clockwork Angels novel in all formats including the comics, plus sneak peek booklets of Clockwork Lives.  Oh, and did you know, Alex's Steampunk amp cabinets from the Time Machine Tour as well as one of his guitars are on display at the Hard Rock Denver?  Yeah, pretty awesome.

22 Things You Learn Hanging Out With Rush - RollingStone

Rush is on the cover of the July issue of the RollingStone. on newstands now, with the cover feature "From Rush With Love; Is this the end of the road for the geek-rock gods? Yesterday Rollingstone.com posted the followup story 22 Things You Learn Hanging Out With Rush with even more from their cover-story interviews.

Included are some interesting points, including the fact that Rush considered doing a second Feedback album of cover tunes before the R40 tour but obviously decided against it, that Geddy (not Neil) was against playing Jacob's Ladder live on the R40 tour, how Alex tried to resurrect Fly By Night on the R40 tour, that Neil would like to turn Clockwork Angels into a movie, Alex's disappointment in current college radio playlists, and more.

Chris Squire 1948-2015 - Geddy Lee comments

Today we learned of the passing of Yes bassist and co-founder Chris Squire.  Geddy Lee has expressed his sentiments on Rush.com:
“Although we never met, I’m so sorry to hear about Chris Squire from Yes passing. As a bass player and innovator on the instrument he was a huge inspiration to me. Simply put, he was one of the greatest rock bassists of all time. My most sincere condolences to his family and friends.” — Geddy Lee

Introducing “Rush On Demand” powered by Qello Concerts

Rush and Qello Concerts just announced:
...“Rush On Demand,” providing full-length Rush concerts and documentaries streamed on demand to any device.

On the Qello Concerts Rush channel, fans get exclusive behind-the-scenes webisodes from the R40 Live tour. A new webisode airs each week through the end of the tour. Plus, Rush fans get access to Rush’s entire concert film catalog in one streaming destination—including Clockwork Angels, Rush in Rio, R30, Time Machine: Live in Cleveland, and more.

And with Qello Concerts, music lovers get the world’s largest collection of full-length concerts and documentaries spanning every genre. Watch on any connected device including: Apple TV, Roku, Playstation, Xbox, Samsung and Sony Smart TVs, all iOS, Google and Amazon devices, and on the web.

Rush on Demand with Qello will launch this Friday with the first backstage R40 webisode!

Kevin J. Anderson talks "Clockwork Lives", "2113", Rush and more

Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart's eagerly awaited followup to the Clockwork Angels novelization, titled Clockwork Lives, is set for release on September 15th.  The novel is available for preorder in hardback, and the Rush Backstage Club has just listed a limited edition hardcover which comes within a black linen slipcase that has a gold foil stamp of the alchemical symbols, and includes a ribbon bookmark inside the book.  Limited to 500 copies, this edition of the book will be hand numbered and have a bookplate signed by Neil Peart and Kevin J Anderson.

In addition, Kevin J Anderson's Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel, from a story and lyrics by Neil Peart with artwork by Nick Robles, is set for release on July 21st, and earlier this year Kevin announced the upcoming publication of the anthology 2113: Stories Inspired by the Music of Rush

Last week I spoke to Kevin about Clockwork Lives, 2113 and more.

Q: Is Clockwork Lives a sequel to Clockwork Angels, or is it more of a companion book in the same universe?  Do characters from Clockwork Angels appear in Clockwork Lives?
It’s not really a sequel at all, but it does take some explaining. Clockwork Lives is a novel in its own right, a story wrapped around a steampunk Canterbury Tales, and some of those tales are of familiar characters from Clockwork Angels (Golson the Strongman, The Fortune Teller, Guerrero the pickpocket, for example) and there are also many cross connections and cameos. You can read it on its own, but if you have read Clockwork Angels, you will get a bigger smile on your face.
Q: Many fans felt that the novel Clockwork Angels was too short, especially when compared to your typical epics. Was this a conscious decision to keep it short? Did you feel a need to cater to those that perhaps were not avid readers, or was it just a case of sticking closely to the lyrical material without overly expanding on it?
Well, that’s better than readers thinking it was too long! Clockwork Angels was consciously an homage to Voltaire’s novel Candide, which is a very short novel, and I also wanted to follow the specific cycle of the story as told in the lyrics. I wrote it without really paying attention to the length; the book turned out exactly as long as it did. (For comparison, though, Clockwork Lives is significantly longer, and people will still complain because we didn’t include this story, or that story.)
Q: Is there a chance that we might see yet another return to the steampunk world of The Watchmaker in the years to come?
Come on, now, we haven’t even published this one yet! If you read the Afterword in "The Bookseller’s Tale" (the teaser excerpt that we released a month ago), you’ll see how the whole story came about and why and how it was written. I adore this universe and I find it absolutely exhilarating, and Neil was an excellent collaborator. But as for other stories in the future, we’ll have to see how the readers enjoy this one.
Q: Earlier this year you announced that you have written a new novella titled "2113" for the upcoming anthology 2113: Stories Inspired by the Music of Rush. Is there a tentative release date for this anthology at this time?
It has been completed and delivered, and ECW has a tentative release date of next April (2016).
Q: Although it might be stating the obvious, I assume that "2113" is a direct sequel to the song "2112", after the elder race has returned and assumed control?
You might be safe in assuming that—but it’s more than just a direct sequel, and I guarantee there will be some very cool surprises.
Q: Your first book, Resurrection Inc. (published in 1988), was almost a novelization of the Rush song The Body Electric. When I read it, besides the obvious Body Electric influence, I noticed many references to other songs from Grace Under Pressure. Would you agree, and if so what was it about that album that spawned such creativity in your writing?
Resurrection, Inc was inspired by much more than The Body Electric, but the whole Grace Under Pressure album. “Someone to talk to and someone to sweep the floor”—that’s the Servants. The Enemy Within is all about the main character, “are we the last ones left alive” is all about the Wakers. In the recent ECW reissue of Resurrection, Inc, I wrote an extensive foreword about how the book was influenced by Rush. I noted that in the acknowledgments of the original publication, and that’s how Neil and I got in touch more than 25 years ago.
Q: Although it was itself inspired by a short story, it seems to me that the world described in "Red Barchetta" would be ripe for the pen. Besides those works mentioned above, have you considered writing a novelization of any other Rush songs?
As an aside, we are reprinting that original story, "A Nice Morning Drive”, in the 2113 anthology. Rush songs have inspired many of my stories and novels (some directly and some tangentially), but I haven’t looked at doing any others in particular. (I have plenty of my own books under development, and I don’t want to spend all my time with Rush!)
Q: Besides the short story "Drumbeats" (co-written with Neil Peart in 1994, republished as an "Expanded Edition" ebook in 2010), did you and Neil ever make a serious attempt to collaborate before finally working together on Clockwork Angels?
We were thinking about it for a long time, and when I was writing my novel Hopscotch (2002), we did talk about doing a novel/CD crossover, but that never happened (in part because of the many things happening in his life at the time), but the published novel is dedicated in part to Neil.
Q: As an avid reader, I'm interested in learning who are some of your favorite authors, both past and present?  What is your all time favorite novel?
Frank Herbert and Ray Bradbury in the Sci-Fi field, and more recently Dan Simmons, but in mainstream fiction I love Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove is my favorite book ever), and The Godfather, Shōgun…good, ambitious stories.
Q: Getting back to Rush, what are your top five favorite Rush albums, in no particular order?
Top five? Clockwork Angels, Grace Under Pressure (both for obvious reasons), Hold Your Fire and Roll the Bones really inspired me, and then probably 2112 because it was what turned me on to them in the first place when I was in high school. You might be surprised that I didn’t put Moving Pictures there, but it’s primarily because I have listened to it SOOOOOO much that I’ve had to retire it for now and let it rest.
Q: Besides Rush, what are some of your favorite bands/albums?
The golden age of Kansas (Leftoverture, Point of Know Return), Styx (The Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight), and Alan Parsons (I, Robot; Pyramid) shaped me entirely. More currently, Dream Theater, Tool, Kamelot…and I am unabashedly, completely in love with the spectacle and lovely voice of Within Temptation.

Thanks Eric!
Thank you Kevin!

New Sabian Paragon Cymbals For Rush R40 Tour & 10 Years Of Paragon

Today Sabian Cymbals announced the release of four new Paragon models to commemorate 40 years of RUSH and the band’s R40 tour – and 10 years of the SABIAN Paragon line.
New 17", 19" and 22" Crashes round out the line’s offering of crash cymbals, providing larger sizes that are so popular with drummers today. In addition, new 15" Paragon Hi-Hats also fill a need for larger hats.

The new Paragon Crashes are medium weight models with large bells to boost volume, a combination of wide-groove and pinpoint lathing for increased brightness and explosive response, and hand hammered bells for increased musicality. The medium weight Hats offer fast and crisp response, and well-defined sticking.

Designed with RUSH drummer Neil Peart, Paragon cymbals deliver musicality and power in cymbals that are always dynamic and responsive. For more information, please visit sabian.com/paragon.
- Thanks to Rosmakloma for the headsup!

It took 40 years, but Rush finally made the cover of the RollingStone

It took 40 years and what may be their final tour ("of this magnitude"), but Rush finally made the cover of the RollingStone.  The issue will hit newsstands will hit newsstands on Friday, June 19th.  You can read the cover feature story here: "From Rush With Love; Is this the end of the road for the geek-rock gods?".
"For the in-depth, career-spanning cover story, senior writer Brian Hiatt ­trailed the band to early tour rehearsals in Los Angeles and soundchecks in Tulsa, Oklahoma, interviewing Neil Peart, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson about their lives and careers, from their childhoods to their Eighties evolution to the recording of 2012's Clockwork Angels. Throughout the story, one question looms: Can their current run of shows, which kicked off May 8th in Tulsa, really be their 'last major tour of this magnitude,' as they've called it? The band members themselves don't seem altogether sure." - RollingStone.com, June 15, 2015

Permanent Waves 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 Permanent Waves, which hits store shelves today, June 16th. 

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, A Farewell To Kings (vinyl and blu-ray pure audio in 5.1 surround sound), and Hemispheres.  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

Modern Drummer Magazine announces their "Neil Peart Artist Pack"

Today Modern Drummer magazine announced the publication of its "Neil Peart Artist Pack", an interactive app which contains their complete Neil Peart articles and advertisements which ran in Modern Drummer over the decades from 1980 through 2011.
"This exclusive digital download is more than just an ordinary PDF; it’s a chance to experience decades of content on one of the most influential drummers of all time—right at your fingertips. With an interactive table of contents, you can navigate the Artist Pack on your mobile phone, tablet, or desktop computer with ease. You will experience the articles and advertisements as they originally appeared in Modern Drummer magazine, from Peart’s first feature in 1980 to the 2011 cover story on the drummer’s award-winning three-DVD set, Taking Center Stage: A Lifetime of Live Performance.  The Neil Peart Artist Pack includes more than 200 pages of articles about Neil Peart, articles by Neil Peart, cover-story interviews, transcriptions, classic advertisements, and more."
To purchase the app click here. - Thanks to Rosmakloma for the headsup!

Neil Peart's "News Weather and Sports" - June 2015

Neil Peart has updated his website with the latest issue of "News Weather & Sports." Titled "Backstage Byways", you can read it here.  Neil writes about the R40 tour warmups and his motorcycle adventures on the first leg of the tour, and tells of his 5-year old daughter Olivia's first Rush concert:
It was also Olivia’s first Rush concert, and she loved it. I had thought she might last a song or two, but she danced and air-drummed right to the end. Manager Ray arranged a “box” for them, high up over everything, and Olivia couldn’t get over all the people.

“There must be two-thousand-and-eighteen people,” she said.

Ray laughed and told her, “Actually there are about eleven thousand!”

Olivia looked puzzled, “Are they all here to see my dad and Uncle Alex and Uncle Geddy?”

When Ray assured her they were, she said, “That’s too silly.”

Then she wondered, “Do they know he’s my dad?”

Ray laughed and said, “They probably do.”

During intermission she came backstage and ran up to me, arms raised for me to pick her up. Still wearing her big red “ear defenders,” she was so excited that she bounced in my arms.

“Daddy! It was great! I only didn’t like the shipwreck” (rearscreen video in “The Wreckers,” to her an echo of the dark beginning of Frozen, a movie she finds rightly unbearable) “and the explosion!” (Pyro-man Boom-Boom’s fireworks in “Far Cry.”)

Hugh Syme discusses his "Life Sentence"

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 released on May 22. Yesterday the Daily Tribune (Michigan) published a new interview with Hugh were he discussed the book.
“From the very beginning I could sense that this band tried to make every album they do musically different, and felt the same way about the artwork.  I didn’t want a logo to overpower everything, as it does in the case of Megadeth or Yes and so many other bands who’ve got a logo that needs to be front and center.  I was just kind of lucky to find a band that was also willing to deviate from the norm every time and that allowed me the luxury and a lot of latitude to respond to each title as a unique event and not get stuck into one sort of style. We weren’t stuck in any kind of template.”
Click here for more. - Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!

Rush to film R40 LIVE tour in YYZ

Today Rush confirmed that they will indeed be filming both nights of their upcoming two night sold out stand in Toronto on June 17 & 19.
"It is the first time the band will have filmed in their hometown in almost 20 years with the recording in 1997 at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre on the Test for Echo tour. Prior to that, the band filmed a concert video and later released an accompanying album for the Grace Under Pressure tour in 1984 at Maple Leaf Gardens."

Geddy Lee Featured in June 2015 "Toronto Life"

Geddy Lee is featured in the June 2015 issue of Toronto Life magazine.  In the Navigator section, you'll find "The List Ten things Geddy Lee can’t live without". - Thanks to Barb Trainor for the headsup!

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee guest stars in Future User "Voodoo Juju" video

Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee guest star in Future User's new "Voodoo Juju" video. Frontman/bassist Tim Commerford explains:
"I got the idea for the video after I ruptured a disc in my back and needed emergency surgery.  As someone who often goes under the knife, I've always been a bit overwhelmed by the process, paperwork, approvals and costs. Luckily, I have insurance, but it got me thinking about all the people in this country who can't afford medical treatment. I read an article recently that said there are over 40 million uninsured people living in the States, which is insane. I talked my doctor into letting me shoot the surgery, then explained the concept to Tom (Morello), who was totally into the idea. And of course, you can't talk about universal health care without bringing Canada into the conversation, so I called Geddy (Lee) and Alex (Lifeson) and asked if they'd be part of it and was blown away when they said yes. And all that footage of my back being opened up is real, no joke."
Check out the video below.  For more visit blabbermouth.net.

Win a Trip to See Rush R40 Tour In Vegas from Live Nation

"RUSH is getting ready to kick off the #R40LIVE 40th Anniversary Tour and you could be there!"

"Submit your favorite #R40Memories PLUS ENTER for a chance to win a flyaway to see RUSH LIVE in Las Vegas PLUS a Meet & Greet, merch pack, and cash card for your trip!"

For more info visit https://livenation.votigo.com/fbsweeps/sweeps/RUSH-R40LIVE-Kickoff-Sweepstakes

Novel “Ellison and Amos” inspired by Neil Peart

Author of the novel Ellison and Amos, Charlie Gibbons joined KTVA's Daybreak Thursday to talk about what went into writing his newest book:
It’s a book about a rock-and-roll legend who loses everything of meaning and embarks on a journey on the back of a motorcycle only to face his greatest fear: The fan. The drummer from Rush, Neil Peart, inspires the story.
"He’s a big mentor, inspiration for me and my writing over the years,” Gibbons said. “When the opportunity came to come to Alaska and experience Alaska and all of its wonder, everything just kind of sprouted from there.”
Gibbons came up with the idea for the book after going through a personal turmoil similar to Peart.  Published in March 2013, the book is available here.  For more info visit ktva.com

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/"

"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/.