Rush News

Rush Tragedy - Andrew MacNaughtan Dead of Heart Attack at 47

We are saddened to pass along the tragic news that Rush's long time friend and photographer, Andrew MacNaughtan, passed away of an apparent heart attack yesterday in Los Angeles at the age of 47.  He will be missed! 
"We're deeply shocked and heartbroken to learn of the sudden passing of our close friend and long-time photographer, Andrew MacNaughtan. He was a sweet person and a very talented artist. Words cannot describe how much he will be missed. – Geddy, Alex & Neil" -, January 26, 2012
Here is a portion of tonight's story from the Toronto Star:
"Toronto photographer Andrew MacNaughtan, longtime documenter of Rush’s exploits and the man behind dozens of iconic portraits of Canadian celebrities, passed away suddenly in Los Angeles on Wednesday.  MacNaughtan, in his mid-40s, reportedly suffered a heart attack while in California shooting his old friends, Rush....MacNaughtan’s sharply designed photographs, familiar to most Canadians from magazines and album covers even if they never knew his name, constitute a veritable Who’s Who of CanCon star power. He shot everyone from Bryan Adams, Celine Dion and the Tragically Hip to Peter Mansbridge, Margaret Atwood and the Trailer Park Boys during his career. A three-time Juno winner for album design, he also directed the occasional music video for such artists as Great Big Sea and Michael BublĂ©. (He won a fourth Juno for Music DVD of the Year for Rush in Rio.)   MacNaughtan’s most recent work was nevertheless something of a departure. He published a collection of photographs taken during his travels in Kenya and Tanzania [in November 2010] entitled Grace: Africa in Photographs. Proceeds from the book went to Art Gives Hope, a charity MacNaughtan founded in 2006." - Toronto Star, January 26, 2012
Andrew MacNaughtan started his career from the most auspicious of beginnings.  A huge Rush fan, he knocked on Geddy Lee's front door at the age of 17 and asked for a autograph!  Andrew also started his own Rush fan club, and through Howard Ungerleider he submitted to the band live photos he had taken.  The band loved them and they appeared in the Grace Under Pressure tour book.  That led to a full time gig shooting the Power Windows tour, and it wasn't long before he was shooting album covers for other artists.  His first studio photos of Rush appeared in the Presto album jacket; he is responsible for suggesting to Geddy that he wear his glasses for the photo shoot.  Andrew discussed how he got involved with the band in an interview with The Spirit of Rush fanzine in 1991 which you can read here.  More recently, to promote Rush In Rio Andrew was interviewed in 2003 by Brad Parmerter for, which you can read here.

Neil Peart has written a memorial for Andrew MacNaughtan at  Neil starts at the beginning of their relationship, remember how Andrew's live photos of Rush had caught his eye ("they were more vivid, somehow—highlighting both the drama of the rock stage and the personalities of the players"), through the years when Andrew was with the band as both personal tour assistant and photographer ("As for Andrew’s own nicknames, Alex, Geddy, and I...finally settled on 'Zulu.' Perhaps because he was the 'anti-Zulu.'...another of Andrew’s self-confessed qualities was his extreme 'whiteness.' I used to joke that making dinner for him was always easy: meat, potatoes, and over-cooked vegetables"), through the later years including introducing Neil to his wife Carrie. 

 Related News

Rolling Stone Readers' Poll: Geddy Lee #10 Most Unique Voice has just posted the results of their latest Readers' Poll: "Which Singer Has The Most Unique Voice?"  Coming in at #10 is Geddy Lee:
"Stephen Malkmus said it best: "What about the voice of Geddy Lee? How did it get so high? I wonder if he speaks like an ordinary guy?" I'll answer the last question first: Yes, Geddy speaks with an ordinary voice. In fact, his speaking voice is, if anything, a little on the deep side. You'd never know from talking to him that he's capable of hitting such amazing high notes. Lee's unconventional voice sometimes makes it tougher for Rush to appeal to a first-time listener, but it's hard to imagine the group with any other singer at the helm." -, January 25, 2012

Sabian's Players' Choice Cymbals Announced

UPDATE: Today Sabian announced the winners of the Sabian Players' Choice Cymbals.  Sabian's Artist Relations man Bob Rupp showed the four cymbals that were chosen as the new Players' Choice models by an elite panel of judges: Neil Peart, Mike Portnoy, Dave Weckl and Terry Bozzio.  Click here to view

The cymbals were chosen by viewers online through "Sabian is introducing four new cymbals at next year's NAMM show - and they want you to choose which metals they unveil.  From 17 October you can head over to and take your pick from the 12 new cymbal models Sabian has created as part of the Players' Choice scheme. At the site you'll be able to see Sabian artists such as Mike Portnoy, Dave Weckl, Neil Peart, Terry Bozzio, Dave Elitch and Stefanie Eulinberg playing the cymbals.  One cymbal will be eliminated each week until only four remain and these four will be unveiled at NAMM.  For more information, please visit" -, thanks to RushIsABand for the headsup!

Gregorian Cover of "Bravado"

Gregorian is a German band headed by Frank Peterson that performs Gregorian chant-inspired versions of modern pop and rock songs. Their latest album Masters Of Chant Chapter VIII, released last September 30th, includes a cover of Rush's "Bravado".  The album is available here, and you can listen here. - Thanks to Joe Pesch for the headsup!

Rush on "Archer", again

Back in April of last year, Rush was referenced on FX's "Archer", when Dr. Krieger's van was painted with an "Exit Stage Left" mural

Last night, during the season three premiere, "The Man From Jupiter", Dr. Krieger has a new van sporting a mural featuring a recreation of the Hemispheres cover, with the words "Krieger Vanispheres" as the headline.  Click here for a recap of the episode which should be online in a few days. - Thanks to Paul Jacobi for the headsup, and Ed at RushIsABand for the screencapture!

"A Brief History Of Time, Part 8"

John Patuto at Cygnus-X1.Net has updated his collection, Rush: A Brief History of Time, an on-going collection of articles and advertisements about Rush that spans every decade from the 70's onward. In Part VIII, John has added 46 new articles; one from the 70's, thirty-one from the 80's, three from the 90's, two from the 2000's and seven from the current '10 decade. The majority of the articles focus around the release of Moving Pictures and Rush's tour in support of their best selling album. - Thanks John for the headsup!

"Mover" Mike Dixon Discusses the Moving Pictures album cover

Back in 2006, videographer Greg Nosek interviewed Mike Dixon, easily recognizable to Rush fans everywhere as one of the movers on the Moving Pictures and Exit Stage Left album covers.  Just under three minutes long, you can view the interview at

In the interview, Mike discusses the various 'actors' on the Moving Pictures cover, beginning with the mover on the far left, his friend Bobby King.  Bob King was on Hugh Syme's design team, and is credited for assisting Hugh on A Farewell to Kings, Hemispheres and Archives.  Dixon goes on to tell how Bob King is not only one of the movers, but is also the original Starman on 2112, as well as Dionysus on the Hemispheres cover (i.e., the naked guy).  In addition, the mover holding the Starman painting is Kelly Jay, who sang for the Toronto band Crowbar (Crowbar performed with Rush at the Minkler Auditorium prior to '74, an advertisement for this show is in the Different Stages linernotes collage).  Dixon also confirms photographer Deborah Sammuels is the Joan of Arc character and that her relatives are the family on the right (this conflicts with information provided in the Rush biography Chemistry, which states "Hugh borrowed friends, neighbours and even his hairdresser's parents").

Besides the video, be sure to also check out Nosek's "Strange Bird Gallery", which includes a few images which Rush fans will be interested in.  Thanks Greg for sharing!

Neil Peart's "News Weather and Sports" - January 2012

Neil Peart has updated his website with the January 2012 edition of News, Weather and Sports: "At the Gate of the Year". After sharing his thoughts on the Pagan Winter Festival, Neil discusses the completion of the writing and recording of Clockwork Angels, and confirms that plan to start mixing in the New Year.  He discusses in depth the method of recording the drums on the new album; here is just a short sample:
"Rush songs tend to have complicated arrangements, with odd numbers of beats, bars, and measures all over the place, and our latest songs are no different (maybe worse—or better, depending). In the past, much of my preparation time would be spent just learning all that. I don’t like to count those parts, but rather play them enough that I begin to feel the changes in a musical way. Playing it through again and again, those elements became 'the song.'  This time I handed that job over to Booujzhe. (And he loved it!) I would attack the drums, responding to his enthusiasm, and his suggestions between takes, and together we would hammer out the basic architecture of the part. His baton would conduct me into choruses, half-time bridges, and double-time outros and so on—so I didn’t have to worry about their durations. No counting, and no endless repetition. What a revelation! What a relief!...By these methods, each song’s drum part was composed, arranged, performed, and recorded in just a few hours, rather than many days, as in the past. Also, each performance occurred only once, with magic-or lucky-moments from a few takes combined into one that was fresh and spontaneous."
He also shares his thoughts on the passing of his friend and teacher, Freddy Gruber, who he had overheard saying "I had quite a ride. I wish I could do it all again.", and how he had included those sentiments in one of the new Rush song, "with one character reflecting on his life in that fashion."  So now we know that the new Rush album has characters!- January 11, 2012

Rolling Stone Readers' Poll: Rush #6 Most Anticipated Tour of 2012

Rolling Stone readers have chosen the top 10 most anticipated tours of 2012.  The Clockwork Angels tour comes in at #6:
Rush are putting the finishing touches on their new LP Clockwork Angels at the moment and hope to have it in stores this spring. We spoke with Rush frontman Geddy Lee in October about their plans beyond that. "There will be a tour," he said. "I can't tell you exactly when. Maybe the summer or maybe the fall. We need some time to organize all that, but we have started to do that. But yes, there will be a follow-up tour to support the record." The group did their 1981 classic Moving Pictures on the last tour, so we suggested to Lee that they bust out 2112 next time out. "I think that's something that would be fun to try," he said. "It's definitely possible." -, January 11, 2012 Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!

Sonic Reality's R.A.W. Artist Pack: Neil Peart Drums Vol. 2 The Grooves

"As a follow up to Sonic Reality's Neil Peart Drums Vol. 1 The Kit, in 2012 Vol. 2 The Groove series is about to begin. Here is an opportunity to get a pre-release version of the the Neil Peart Drums R.A.W. Artist Pack featuring Rex, Apple Loops and Wave drum grooves performed by Neil Peart, the legendary drummer of the band Rush, which was recorded by producer Nick Raskulinecz (Rush, Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains). This title focuses on the hard rock grooves of Rush in the style of songs from Rush's 'Roll The Bones' album up through 'Snakes and Arrows'. Over 500 groove patterns to work with in any combination with flexible tempos so they can fit into any style of music you re working on. It's like having Neil Peart play drums on your songs! Don't miss this chance to get a preliminary introductory price on an incredible new drum groove library from Sonic Reality! Neil Peart Drums R.A.W. Artist Pack is the ultimate collection of album quality stereo mixed drums for your music!  Click here to order.

Included Grooves: Armor Grooves, Cry Grooves, Dream Grooves, Ghost Grooves, MagNarc Grooves, Main Monkey Beats, Spind Grooves, The Larger Beats, Victory Grooves, Way The Wind" -, January 10, 2012 - Thanks to Frank Ray for the headsup!

Peart and Lee make #2 on Gibson's 10 Great Rhythm Sections

Today posted a short feature "Drum ’n’ Bass: 10 Great Rock Rhythm Sections".  Coming in at #2, behind only Led Zeppelin's Bonham and Jones, are Geddy Lee and Neil Peart:
"Canadian power trio Rush gained a following thanks to their virtuoso instrumentals and radio-friendly progressive rock style. Geddy Lee proved the quintessential hard rock frontman, with his oh-so distinct tenor – and a bass player, to boot! It’s Lee’s attention to bass grooves and vocal melodies and his perfect fit with drummer Neil Peart – who, consequently, is to praise for much of Rush’s songwriter – that makes this ranking a no-brainer." -, January 11, 2012

Modern Drummer 2012 Readers’ Poll

Modern Drummer magazine is holding its 2012 Readers' Poll; Neil Peart is nominated in two categories: Best Prog Drummer and Best Instructional DVD.  Click here to vote! - Thanks to Frank Ray for the headsup!

Time Machine Tour: Pollstar's #51 top grossing tour of 2011

Pollstar has released their list of the 200 top-grossing North American concert tours of 2011 and the Time Machine Tour came in at #51. This is quite respectable considering the fact that Rush only played 26 North American shows in 2011, grossing a total of $18.3 million/averaging $732,000 per show. Click here for the full list. - Thanks to Ed at RushIsABand for the headsup!

Clockwork Angels Update in latest Classic Rock

The new issue of Classic Rock (#167) is out, and it includes their "2012 Preview: Direct from the Studio; the inside stories on this year's big albums".

Included is a two page update on Clockwork Angels (click here for the article).  Although there isn't any new earth shattering news that hasn't been said already, it does state that the album will be released in May. - Thanks to ReedLover for the headsup!

Geddy Lee to Appear on VH1 Classic's "Metal Evolution" January 7th

This coming Saturday, January 7th, VH1 Classic's "Metal Evolution" will document the evolution of grunge and the subsequent demise of hair metal and glam rock.  Geddy Lee will be interviewed, to discuss the Seattle scene and how Rush assimilated grunge into their music. -, Janurary 3, 2012