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Pop Culture References Update - December 2014

Time for the latest Rush References in Pop Culture update. There haven't been too many since my last update, but there have been a few:
  • Starting with today, December 12th, the Scary Gary comic strip by Mark Buford includes two Rush references: when Scary Gary goes down to his "man cave", the clock reads approximately 9:12 (21:12 in military time) and a Rush bumper sticker is seen on his refrigerator.
  • During the November 23rd episode of CSI: Las Vegas, two CSI techs discuss an impression of a championship football ring left in wax at a crime scene, for a game whose final score was 21-12.
  • Not sure if this qualifies as pop-culture, but Rush fans are everywhere as demonstrated by this YouTube product review for a carpentry vise by "Half-Inch Shy", where he is wearing a t-shirt which reads "Keep Calm and Listen to YYZ".
  • As previously posted, the book Finding Jesus by Winston Rowantree was published on October 28.  Essentially a book of "Where's Waldo"-esqe illustrations but with amusing cultural references, one of the illustrations is "A Woman at a Prog Rock Show" which features a Rush show, complete with dozens of Rush references
  • And finally, during the Seinfeld episode "The Old Man" which aired February 18, 1993, while leaving the Taxi cab with Kramer, Newman is holding a stack of albums which includes All The World's A Stage.
Thanks to Gray Vinson, James Clark, Scott Sheppard, Steve Jarvis,  Agustin Brizuela and G-man for the headsup!  If you've seen something else where that I may have missed, please feel free to email any suggestions.

Rock Cellar Magazine December 2014 Cover Feature - Neil Peart: The World’s Audience

Neil Peart is featured on the cover of the December issue of Rock Cellar magazine.  Yesterday RockCellarMagazine.com posted an exclusive interview with Neil where he talks about his latest book, Far And Near: On Days Like These which you can pickup here.

Rush to reissue all 14 Mercury Albums On Vinyl, plus 3 5.1 Blu-Ray Editions, in 2015

Today Rush.com has announced that in addition to the recent vinyl reissue of the debut album, beginning in January all 14 of Rush's Mercury era albums (studio and live albums through A Show of Hands) will be reissued on vinyl in chronological order in 2015. This is great news to audiophiles and collectors. All vinyl reissues will also include a code for a 320kbps MP4 vinyl ripped Digital Audio album download.

In addition, three of those albums, Fly By Night, A Farewell to Kings, and Signals, will also be released as a standalone Blu-Ray Pure Audio version with 96kHz / 24-bit 5.1 surround sound and stereo. Previously, these three albums were only available with their 5.1 surround sound mix as part of the Sectors boxed sets released in late 2011.

Fly By Night Coming to Blu-ray-Audio

Musictap.net is reporting that Rush's 1975 album Fly By Night will be released as a "blu-ray-audio remaster" as well as vinyl on January 27th.  Preorder links coming soon...

This will be the second such high resolution release of Fly By Night in just over three years; it was released as a 5.1 surround sound DVD as part of the Sectors 1 boxed set in late 2011.

- Thanks to Ed at RushIsABand for the headsup!

Neil Peart's "News Weather and Sports" - December (July) 2014

Neil Peart has just updated his website with the latest issue of "News Weather & Sports." From July but apparently not published until now, this issue is titled "Bamm Bamm and the Lemon Slug".  Neil tells of his competing in the "24 Hours of LeMons", an endurance racing series for low-budget enthusiasts such as Neil.  You can check it out here.

Rush R40 Collectors Box Opens at #2 on Billboard's Music Videos Chart

Rush's R40 40th Anniversary Collectors Box Set was released November 11th, and is available on both DVD and Blu-Ray.  The collection opened up at #2 on Billboard's music video sales chart.

Click here for the linernotes, including a new essay written for this collection by music journalist Martin Popoff.

R40 contains Rush's five most recent live videos (Rush in Rio, R30, Snakes & Arrows Live, Time Machine, Clockwork Angels Tour), as well as an R40 bonus disc containing oft-requested items from the vault as well as a 56 page hardback book.

The gem of this collection is the bonus disc, containing the complete Laura Secord Secondary School 1974 footage of which only three tracks have been previously available.  Other rarities include Lock And Key 88 (an outtake previously only available on select versions of the A Show of Hands laserdisk), the Passaic NJ Capitol Theatre show from 1976 (previously seen in Beyond The Lighted Stage), and Rush at the Molson Amphitheatre in 1997 (a portion of the previously shelved Different Stages video), as well as the I Still Love You Man video from the Time Machine Tour and footage of the the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction in 2013.  For additional details view the official press release.

There is a special edition of R40 available at both RushBackstageClub.com and BestBuy.com, which includes an 'R40 Completest' DVD which contains additional content from the original R30 release, that is not included in the standard R40 release.  The DVD edition 'R40 Completest' DVD contains: a) the eight songs not included on the original R30 DVD release; b) the Anthem "Church" video; and c) three songs from Molson Amphitheatre, June 30, 1996 which are in addition to those found on the standard R40 "Bonus Disc".   The Blu-Ray edition 'R40 Completest' DVD also contains the Anthem "Church" video and the three added tracks from Molson '96, but instead of the eight R30 tracks (which are already on the R30 Blu-Ray), it contains the bonus features found on the original R30 "Deluxe Edition" DVD which, while they are already included in the DVD edition, were not included on the Blu-Ray release in 2009 (and hence are not included in standard R40 Blu-Ray edition either).


Rush Lighting Director Howard Ungerleider - 2014 Parnelli Vision Award Honoree

As announced in the October issue of PLSN news, Howard Ungerleider received the Parnelli Visionary Award at the 14th annual Parnelli Awards ceremony, held last night (Nov. 22) in Las Vegas.
"While perhaps best known as the visual designer behind four decades of Rush concerts, he’s also worked with the likes of Blue Öyster Cult, Van Halen, Queensrÿche, Tesla, Rod Stewart, Supertramp, Def Leppard and Alicia Keys, among others. His work on the corporate side has been just as innovative, creating custom environments for companies ranging from General Motors and Mercedes-Benz to the Buffalo Sabres hockey team."
PLSN has also shared a 14 minute video interview with Geddy and Alex regarding Howard's work which you can view here.

Stewart Copeland's Lost Jam with Lifeson and Peart

You might recall a couple of years ago when Neil Peart, Primus' Les Claypool, Tool's Danny Carey, and Stuart Copeland jammed at Copeland's house and recorded the track Count Drumula.  A video of the session can be seen here.  

In a new interview with Radio.com, Stewart Copeland discusses a similar epic jam session with not only Neil Peart but also Alex Lifeson, and what happened to the recordings of that night:
"Well, I had one tragedy. I had the Rush guys, Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson, over here, and we jammed through the night. We banged every drum, Neil and I had the drum battle from hell, Alex played every guitar, cello, horn, it was just music all night. And then I started cutting it and putting it together, and Les Claypool came over and he sang [Rush's 1975 epic] “By-Tor and the Snow Dog” or something like that over the sessions. And so I’m editing it together, and I pull out my fancy-schmancy film-scoring tools, my orchestral samples, and built this huge track. And then my hard drive crashed! And I sent it to two or three different “drive doctors,” who all charged a fortune, and none of them could rescue the disc. And I hadn’t even done a rough mix. I was a little crushed by all that. That kind of popped the balloon on the whole thing."
- Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!

Geddy Lee Reveals Plan to Fix Favorite Baseball Team - RollingStone.com

In another new interview with RollingStone.com, Geddy Lee talks baseball:
"From singing the praises of new Cubs manager Joe Maddon ("He's brilliant") to fending off fantasy baseball questions ("Too early. Way too early,") he gave us his quick takes on the Major League Baseball season that was, and, of course, what he expects from his beloved Toronto Blue Jays in 2015."
Click here for more.

Alex Lifeson Limited Edition Signed Prints for the Kidney Foundation

Two of Alex Lifeson's paintings which were auctioned off for the Kidney Foundation of Canada are now available as a limited edition print individually numbered and signed by Alex.  What a great Christmas gift for Rush fans which also will raise money for a great cause!
"The Kidney Foundation of Canada - Atlantic Branch and Alex have teamed up to produce these two limited edition set of prints. Only 300 prints have been made of Self Portrait #1 and only 200 prints have been made of Greek Salad. Each print is numbered and Alex Lifeson has personally signed each individual print. That's right, each print has Alex Lifeson's ORIGINAL signature on it. The print is on high quality, heavy stock. In addition, each print comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, signed by the Executive Director of the Atlantic Canada Branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, confirming that the print that you have purchased is one of only 300. The certificate also shows the print number (eg. Print No. 33 Limited Edition of 300). The certificate is printed on linen paper, making it ideal for framing with the art print or for displaying on its own."
Click here for more information and to purchase! - Thanks Trina for the headsup! 

Nickelback channels Rush on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Trying to get some Rush coolness to rub off on them, during Nickelback's performance last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live, drummer Daniel Adair was spotted wearing a bootleg Rush tshirt- Thanks to Tod O'Donnell for the headsup!

"4 Seemingly Normal Things That Are Inexplicably Hard to Find" - Cracked.com

Last Thursday Cracked.com posted the hilarious "4 Seemingly Normal Things That Are Inexplicably Hard to Find", essentially a spoof of Where's Waldo? but with amusing cultural references.

The feature promotes the release of Finding Jesus by Winston Rowantree, a collection of such illustrations published last month. 

One of the examples posted is "A Woman at a Prog Rock Show", and the illustration features a Rush show, complete with dozens of Rush references. - Thanks to Joe Pesch for the headsup!

Q&A: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson Talk R40, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Future of Rush - Radio.com

Radio.com has just posted a new Q&A with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson where they talk about the new R40 collection, specifically the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony bonus feature and Alex's acceptance speech.  Other topics include cameo roles the duo have taken in the last few years, the concert videos, and Alex also squashes old rumors that Sarah McLachlan contributed to a shelved followup solo album to Victor.  Alex also states that when they go out on tour next, "ideally, we’d go out with a couple of new songs, and revisit some old stuff, maybe stuff we haven’t previously played," and regarding playing deeper cuts live, goes on to add "I think there are songs that are real fan favorites that we’ve avoided for a long time. And I think if we plan to go back out, we would have a very close review of some of those songs." Check out the full interview here. - Thanks to Ed at RushIsABand for the headsup!

Geddy Lee on Q103's "Out Of The Box"

Last night, Geddy Lee appeared on New York's Q104.3's "Out of the Box" with Jonathan 'JC' Clarke to talk about the R40 Collector's Boxed Set.  The eight minute interview is available for your viewing pleasure here.



Geddy Lee Answers Your Twitter Questions - Rollingstone

Today RollingStone.com posted "Rush's Geddy Lee Answers Your Twitter Questions" with the tagline "the singer reveals Neil Peart's post-show smell, his reaction to the band's Rock Hall induction and if he'll attend your yoga class".  Check it out here.

Legends of Classic Rock - Jeff Woods with Neil Peart

This weekend on Jeff Wood's radio show, Legends of Classic Rock, Neil Peart sits down with Woods for an hour to discuss the new R40 video collection as well as his latest book Far and Near – On Days Like These.

Click here for stations and showtimes.

CBC Music Celebrates Rush's R40 with Rush Week

To commemorate the release of Rush's R40 Video Collection, CBC Canada has offered up a host of special features, including a new retrospective piece written by Dave Bidini.

Kim Mitchell with Lorne Wheaton (Neil Peart’s Drum Tech) - Q107 Podcast

Today Lorne Wheaton appeared on Toronto's Q107 with Kim Mitchell. Check out the full interview here.

“Clockwork Angels” Comic Book #6 of 6 (the final issue) now available

The final chapter of the six part Clockwork Angels comic book series was released yesterday, November 12th.  The standard comic store cover series can still be ordered directly from Boom! Studios at this link, and the limited edition cover featuring key lyrics from Rush songs that are tied to the comic is also available via BOOM! Studios as well as the Rush Backstage Club.
"Once, he was just a boy tending to the apple orchards. Now, Owen Hardy is flying a magnificent airship across the skies of Albion! In the course of this adventure he learns a secret about his own family, one that will take him to the hallowed Seven Cities!"

Geddy Lee Performs at The Who's Concert for Teenage Cancer Trust

Last night Geddy Lee was one of the guest performers at The Who's concert for Teenage Cancer Trust at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire.   Today's review in London's Guardian newspaper noted "Rush’s Geddy Lee’s leather-lunged take on The Seeker confirms that when the Who rock, they really rock," and Rollingstone reported "Geddy Lee put in a laidback performance on 'The Seeker.' The Rush singer, who had flown in from Canada especially for the gig and celebrates his own band's 40th anniversary this year, also played bass and later said he was 'thrilled to support the Teenage Cancer Trust while celebrating the music of the Who, a band that changed my life.'"

Geddy Lee's performance of "The Seeker", which was covered by Rush performed on Feedback,  can be seen in these fan filmed video recordings here, here, here and here (embedded below) .  An extensive gallery of photos from the event is available here.
"An evening of music in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust
The house band for the evening is The Who's band featuring Simon Townshend, Zak Starkey, Pino Palladino, Billy Nicholls, Frank Simes, Loren Gold and John Coury, and they will be joined onstage by some of the best artists in the world all performing Who classics.

"Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Liam Gallagher, Ricky Wilson from the Kaiser Chiefs, Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield, Geddy Lee from Rush, The Strypes, Brody Dalle, Tom Odell, Amy Macdonald, Andy Burrows and Rizzle Kicks as well more to be announced soon, have chosen their favourite WHO songs to perform in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust."
The evening's setlist and list of performers was as follows:  
'I Can't Explain' - Andy Burrows; 'The Kids Are Alright' - Wilko Johnson + The Strypes; 'Getting In Tune' - Tom Odell; 'Behind Blue Eyes' - Amy Macdonald;  'Who Are You?' - Rizzle Kicks; 'You Better You Bet' - Rich Hall; '5.15' - Ricky Wilson; 'Bell Boy' - Ricky Wilson + Phil Daniels; 'Love Reign O'er Me' - Joe Elliott; 'Acid Queen' - Sheila Ferguson; 'The Seeker' - Geddy Lee; 'Baba O'Riley' - Leslie Mendelson; 'My Generation' - Liam Gallagher; 'Naked Eye' - Eddie Vedder; 'Won't Get Fooled Again' - Eddie Vedder; 'Listening To You' - Eddie Vedder; 'Substitute' - Roger Daltrey; 'Young Man Blues' - Roger Daltrey