Rush News

Rush In Rio, Music DVD of the Year

Recognizing the artist, director and producer, Rush In Rio, Rush's first live DVD, is the inaugural winner of the Juno Award for Music DVD of the Year. Submissions were judged by a panel of industry experts and voted on by the CARAS membership. Other nominees included: Avril Lavigne ("My World"), Alanis Morissette ("Feast On Scraps"), Our Lady Peace ("Our Lady Peace Live") and Simple Plan ("A Big Package For You 1999-2003").

Released Oct. 21st, 2003, the DVD was recorded and filmed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on the final night of the Vapor Trails tour. This is the first Rush DVD to be released on both DVD as well as a 3CD live album. For more information visit the Rush In Rio news archive.

Alex Lifeson remembers "The Worst Gig"

In a recent article which compiles many artists' remembrances of their "worst gig", Alex Lifeson remembers:
"It was a long time ago, the first tour in fact in 1974. We were playing at a university in Baltimore. It was just before the show and we came out to sort of peak around to look at the audience before the doors opened and they came in. And we saw that the girls were dressed in little white socks and long skirts and all the guys had greaser hairdos. It turned out to be one of these '50s sock hop things. We went on and were wearing satin pants and big high boots. And we started with 'Finding My Way' from the first record. They just sort of stood there and stared at us. Then by the second song they started to rumble. By the fourth song it was 'BOOOOO.' Get out of here! Get off!' So of course we turned everything up a little bit and continued to play. Then finally the promoter said, 'Thanks guys. You're done.' But they were nasty. They were really pissed off. I'm sure if we would have kept going they would have thrown their greasy combs at us." - Alex Lifeson,, February 13, 2004

"Rush rock on for a fine drop of Macallan"

"Whisky on the rocks all round this Christmas for the employees of the Edrington group, quite literally as in go 'heavy on the rocks'. Heavy rocker Neil Peart, writer/lyricist and drummer for Rush, the Canadian rock band, sent them stocking-filling goodies as a sign of appreciation for his visit to Glasgow earlier this year. The band played a sell-out concert in Glasgow a few months ago and Edrington presented a bottle of The Macallan Fine Oak 15-year-old single malt to Neil to celebrate his birthday. Neil, or 'the Professor' as he is referred to, is a fan of The Macallan and makes regular references to it in his book Ghost Rider and the more recently-released Travelling Music and thousands of RUSH fans have become devotees of the brand. The Professor was much taken with the warm gesture in Glasgow and, on his return to North America, sent a package of 'goodies' to the company, including signed CDs, pictures and other memorabilia. These have now been distributed amongst RUSH fans who work for the distiller. Whether they will now play Rush over the Tannoy in the bottling plant remains to be seen." - "Rush rock on for a fine drop of Macallan",, December 27, 2004

Sabian Signature Neil Peart Paragon Cymbals

"Sabian is pleased to announce the addition of Neil Peart to its family of drummers. In association with this, Sabian is very proud to introduce Paragon, a new range of signature cymbals created in collaboration with Neil Peart, drummer with legendary rockers Rush." -, Jan. 1, 2004

Written for Sabian's Newsbeat Magazine (2004/2005 issue, published Jan. 2004) by Neil Peart, "A Motorbike Trip to Meductic" sees Neil Peart, the legendary drummer from Rush detail his visit to the SABIAN 'Vault' and the creation of his new Signature Neil Peart Paragon cymbals." -, January 20, 2004

"The Stickmen: With Guest Alex Lifeson

As previously announced, Alex Lifeson appears with Toronto band "The Stickmen" on their new release, Side Two. Formed in January of 2002, The Stickmen features founder Bernie LeBarge of The Dexters, and is the regular band at the Orbit Room on Friday nights. Alex Lifeson, co-owner of The Orbit Room, performs on one track, "Hey Bop A-Rebop". Released December 12, the cd is now available at Iridescent Music. For more information visit The Stickmen or The Orbit Room.

Rush on Rolling Stones' "Four Flicks"

The first documentary disk of the new Rolling Stones DVD Four Flicks, which covers their "Licks Tour", includes a section on the SARS benefit concert with excerpts of Geddy at the press conference, partial interviews with Alex, plus clips of Alex meeting Burton Cummings of The Guess Who and Neil being greeted by Stones drummer Charlie Watts as Geddy and Alex look on.

Released November 11th, according to, "to avoid traditional distribution costs, the band granted exclusive selling rights to the Best Buy chain, where Flicks is $29.99. The European version, sold through conventional channels, costs roughly $70.

Univeral SACD Releases Cancelled

Last week High Fidelity announced plans by Universal/Mercury to release the first five Rush albums (RUSH through All The World's A Stage) on SACD (Super Audio Compact Disk offering high resolution format with superior sound).  However, these reports were apparently false. A source with Anthem records has confirmed that any such plans are way on the back burner, as Universal is no longer supporting the SACD format.

Alex Lifeson on Primus' "Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People"

Rush fans viewing the new Primus DVD, Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People, released October 7, will be treated to an interview by a strikingly familiar face.  The "Brown Album" portion of the DVD has an area called "Horrible Swill" which contains an interview of the band performed by one "Big Al", wearing black rimmed glasses and fake crooked teeth. In addition, the "Attic" area contains a "pictures" section which includes a photo of Les Claypool and Geddy Lee fishing!

Sorrow Rather Than Celebration

Alex Lifeson's 50th birthday (born August 27, 1953) was the sorrowful occasion of the passing of his father, Nenad Zivojinovich. The obituary reads "donations to the Kidney Foundation would be appreciated by the family". Fans wishing to express condolences to Alex are asked to send them via email to, where they will be forwarded to Alex.

Rush In September 2003 "GQ" Magazine

Rush is included in a humorous listing in the September 2003 issue of GQ magazine: page 140 includes "10 Songs Not To Make Love To":
1. "Puttin' on the Ritz" by Taco; 2. "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" by Iron Maiden; 3. "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss") by Cher; 4. ""#!*@ You Tonight" by Notorious B.I.G. featuring R. Kelly; 5. "Rockit" by Herbie Hancock; 6. "Downtown" by Petula Clark; 7. "YYZ" by Rush; 8. "Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ" by Steve Reich; 9. "Centerfield" by John Fogerty; 10. "In the Gloaming" (Traditional)

Toronto SARS Benefit Concert

Rush performed for approximately 450,000 people in Toronto's Downsview Park as part of the "Molson Canadian Rocks For Toronto" concert on July 30th to benefit Toronto's SARS-depressed economy. The list of performers for the nine hour concert included The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, The Guess Who, Justin Timberlake, Sam Roberts, The Flaming Lips, Kathleen Edwards, The Isley Brothers, Sass Jordan, La Chincane, and Dan Aykroyd with Jim Belushi and the "have love will travel revue". Rush's 35 minute set of mostly hits included an instrumental cover of the Stones' "Paint It, Black" (setlist: Tom Sawyer, Limelight, Dreamline, YYZ, Freewill, Closer To The Heart (no jam), Paint It Black, The Spirit Of Radio).
In typical fashion, Rush received little media recognition for their performance, which preceded both AC/DC (55 min. set) and The Stones (70 min set), and were not even mentioned in CNN's online review of the show. Additional news coverage can be found at CBC News and
"When we were first asked to play Molson Canadian Rocks For Toronto, it seemed impossible to say yes. We had been off the road for 8 months, our gear was in the warehouse, most of our crew was out on other tours, and even we were all over the place - Geddy with his family in France, Alex working in the studio mixing our Rio de Janeiro show, and me on my motorcycle in the California mountains. However, when we thought about everything Toronto meant to our lives, to our work and play, our homes and families and friends, it seemed impossible to say no!" Neil Peart, Newsletter, July 3, 2003

Neil's Red Tama Kit Sells On Ebay

In 1986, Neil Peart replaced his red Tama drumkit which had been used since the Moving Pictures tour.  At that time, he wrote:
"Early in 1986, I started to think that it was time for a new drumkit. My red Tamas had been through four or five serious tours, and had been used in the recording of Signals, Grace Under Pressure, and Power Windows. They still sounded and looked great, but were getting a little tired, and besides, every four or five years I just like a change - perhaps a different sound and look." - Neil Peart, Modern Drummer, May 1987
The drums were soon awarded in a Modern Drummer contest to Jack Hess, who sold them twelve years later on ebay for $26,100. In the last two years, the drums have appeared on ebay more than once, and May 2nd, 2003, they were sold again on ebay for $14,621.12. Today I received an email from the buyer who wrote:
"Thought u may like to know that I have recently purchased the drum kit via ebay for an undisclosed sum, it is currently being restored to full glory in florida, before being shipped to myself in UK, where eventually I will loan it to the Birmingham or Bristol Hard rock cafe for display.. Ian Coley" Ian, the entire Rush community thanks you! - June 5, 2003

Alex Lifeson "Famous Plates"

Alex Lifeson participated in the "Famous Plates" charity event at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex in Toronto on May 14th. The event featured "gourmet delights, inspired by famous entertainers and prepared by top Canadian chefs", where the chef created a 'Signature Celebrity Dish' unique to that celebrity which was served to the patrons. It is rumored that Lifeson also performed live but no confirmation has been found. For additional information visit

Rush #21 of Rock's Richest 50

The April 3rd issue of Rolling Stone contains the story "Rock's 50 Richest". The tallies are based on the year 2002, and Rush came in at #21, with touring net at $13.4 million. However, revenue from recording is listed as $0; shouldn't this total reflect sales of Vapor Trails?
"Rush released their first new album in six years, Vapor Trails, and followed it up with a tour that brought the Canadian power trio an $18 million guarantee. The band's devoted following helped the outing gross $27 million in sixty-two cities. But that's a lot of moving around - compare it to Billy Joel and Elton John's tour, which grossed $65 million for thirty-four shows in fourteen cities - so a good chunk of that got eaten up on the road." -, Apr. 3, 2003 issue

Canadian Museum of Civilization to Honor Rush

"...the museum has received a major gift of rock memorabilia from the Toronto-based arena-rock giants to be displayed in the permanent exhibition of popular, drum kits and a samples of their gold and platinum records. 'It's an honour for us to be included in the national collection,' said Lifeson. 'To know that the spirit of our contribution to Canadian music will live on for years, and that it will be shared by so many, makes us very proud.'" - Jam!Showbiz, April 2, 2003

Geddy And Alex On "The Screen Savers"

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson appeared on the Tech Channel's The Screen Savers, (DirectTV's channel 354), Friday February 21st; the episode can now be viewed on the ScreenSavers website.
"Rush's Mystic Rhythms: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of the rock band Rush talk about tech and music. From its 1974 debut album to present day, the hard rocking yet cerebral Canadian band Rush has collected dozens of awards and throngs of loyal fans. Watch Friday's episode of 'The Screen Savers' to learn how these hard rockers use technology in their music and personal lives." - The Screen Savers

Godsmack's "Serenity" Inspired by Peart's "Ghost Rider"

"The song was inspired by a book I read by Neil Peart, Ghost Rider: Travels On The Healing Road, and it's about the tragedies he went through. The poor guy lost his wife and kid within a 10-month period, his dog died, and then his best friend went to prison for dealing weed when he was supposed to go out with him and ride his motorcycle to just clear his head and help comfort him. He had been through so much, he just got on his motorcycle, and within 14 months drove 55,000 miles — from Canada to Alaska, to America, to Belize, Mexico, back to Canada — and basically journaled out this thing about how he tried to heal himself and not put a noose around his neck. It's just an amazing book, and he meaning I got out of it was so inspirational, because I'm thinking, 'God, if a guy can get through that kind of @#%$, why should I @#%$ about anything?' That's pretty heavy duty. So I got this beautiful song, and the cool part to the story is, I got to meet Neil Peart and hand him this song and ask him to play drums on it. Though he had to decline because they were touring and stuff, he wrote me back a letter and signed my book, wished me the best of luck, and kind of gave me his approval on the song, because I was really nervous about it. For one, he's one of my drum heroes, and for two, I didn't want him to feel like I was prying into his life on such a sensitive subject." Godsmack vocalist Sully Erna, Metal Edge, March 2003

Rush Inducted Into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Rush was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Feb. 27th, 2003. Only the second band to be inducted, the award acknowledges Rush's contributions to the growth of the Canadian Music Industry.
"Rockers Rush and artist manager Bernie Finkelstein will be inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame next February, Canadian Music Week organizers announced Wednesday. While inductees are traditionally chosen from the business and executive ranks, officials thought the contributions of Rush and Finkelstein to the growth of the industry needed acknowledgment." Jam! Showbiz, October 2, 2002

The Spirit of Radio - Greatest Hits (1974-1987)

Mercury/Universal has issued another compilation album to cash in on the success of Vapor Trails. Like its predecessors, Chronicles and Retrospective I & II, The Spirit of Radio - Greatest Hits (1974-1987) is the third compilation to cover material from the first 12 studio albums.

With a tracklist similar to Chronicles (all songs on this "Greatest Hits" are also on Chronicles), where Chronicles was a 2 disk compilation showcasing at least two songs per album, this single disk compilation has room for an average of only one song per album (making this sort of a "Chronicles Highlights" disk). Unfortunately, although three songs were included from Moving Pictures, and two each from Permanent Waves, Signals and Hold Your Fire, there are no songs from Caress of Steel begging the question, "where's 'Bastille Day'"?

The Japanese release also includes a bonus cd containing two bonus tracks, "A Passage To Bangkok" from Exit Stage Left and "What You're Doing" from All The Worlds A Stage, two live tracks which were omitted from the original cd releases of those albums, also previously included on Chronicles. In this age of Internet downloading, to entice fans to purchase the cd, the first 100,000 produced include a bonus DVD sampler of the Chronicles DVD collection, containing videos of "Tom Sawyer", "Closer to the Heart", "Subdivisions", "Big Money" and "Mystic Rhythms", plus lyrics to all the songs on the album. - Feb. 11, 2003
"...part of a contractual thing with Paul Egram with Mercury Records from our previous deal with them, which expired in 1990. So they have the rights to do a number of greatest hits or packaged records." - Alex Lifeson (AT&T Celebrity Chat, Feb. 10, 2003 [besides the new cd, Alex discusses the Vapor Trails tour, his son's album(!?) Contact, and more]).
"We did not have a lot of input in this. This was mostly a record company project. Our opinions were made known and they were very cooperative about doing good packaging for us." - Geddy Lee ( chat, Feb 5, 2003 [Geddy also discusses the upcoming Rio DVD, and the next studio album]).

Rush Drummer Finalist For Literary Award

"Rush drummer Neil Peart was nominated for a Canadian literary award Tuesday for his book on his emotional recovery after the deaths of his wife and daughter. Peart's book Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road is one of the nominees in the biography prize category of the second annual Great Literary Awards sponsored by the Writers' Trust of Canada. The awards will be presented March 6 at Toronto's Arts and Letters Club." - CBC Arts News, Feb. 11, 2003