Rush News

30 Years Ago Today: "Countdown"

Thirty years ago today, RUSH were eyewitnesses to the historic first launch of Space Shuttle Columbia from Red Sector A, and later captured the event in the song 'Countdown', which is 'Dedicated with thanks to astronauts Young & Crippen and all the people of NASA for their inspiration and cooperation'.
"We were there! It wasn't easy, but we made it! We had a long-standing invitation to the first launch, and always swore that we would be there no matter what. Little did we know!

"On April 9th we flew into Orlando on a day off, checked into a hotel, and slept until about four A.M., when we had to leave for our rendezvous at the Air Force Base near the Cape.
There we met our liaison man, who conducted us safely into the "V.I.P." zone (Red Sector A) in the pre-dawn hours. We stood around, listening to the announcements, as the sun rose higher and hotter in the sky. We were due to play that night in Dallas, so we couldn't wait much longer. Finally they announced that the launch would be scrubbed for that day. The computers weren't speaking!  Well, we ran for the car, and our daring driver sped off, around the traffic jams, down the median of the highway, and got us to the airport barely in time.

"The next night we had a show in San Antonio, after which we drove off immediately, clambered into a hired jet, and flew straight back to Florida. This time the launch took place on schedule, and it was SOMETHING!! (More about that in the song.) Again we raced backed to the plane, and flew off once more, back to Fort Worth where we had a show that night. Fortunately the day after that was a day off, so we had a chance to catch up on all that sleep!

"I remember thinking to myself as we flew back to Fort Worth after a couple days without sleep: "We've got to write a song about this!" It was an incredible thing to witness, truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I can only hope that the song comes even close to capturing the excitement and awe that we felt that morning." - Neil Peart, "Stories From Signals", Signals Tourbook

1 comment:

  1. Love the story recap. With the ending of the shuttle program, I was hoping the band would include Countdown in the 2010-11 tour setlist as a retro/see-ya tribute. Perhaps because of the loss of Columbia that inspired it, they opted not to. Would be interesting to hear how much they considered including it.