Rush News

Behind The Drum Kit - The Ro Sham Bo Story

While at the Winter 2009 Namm show, in celebration of their 100th Anniversary, Ludwig drums re-created iconic kits that defined certain eras of Ludwig manufacturing and artist input with the current output of Ludwig products. To represent the 80's/90's, Ludwig recreated Neil Peart's Presto tour kit; Ludwig's Kevin Packard has provided complete details on the "Ro Sham Bo" kit (aka "rock paper scissors"):
"The Ludwig Super Classic kit Neil played on the 1990 tour for the Presto album, to me, represented a brilliant bridge between the 'old' Rush...and the 'new'...It was the last of his live kits to feature the classic double-kick configuration that is instantly recognizable to the Peart aficionado (of which there is a small army.)...Since Neil left Ludwig in 1995, we couldn't call the kit The Peart Kit, so we called our recreation RO SHAM BO (so named because on this tour, his kick heads featured three illustrated hands doing 'Scissors-Paper-Stone' as described in the album track Hand Over Fist,) a very obscure reference that only a true fan would catch (Neil himself reportedly had to look up the phrase 'ro sham bo' on Wikipedia to catch the reference.)" - Behind The Drum Kit - The Ro Sham Bo Story, Kevin Packard, Director of Marketing, Ludwig Combo Percussion

Retrospective 3

Retrospective 3, the first compilation featuring tracks from the seven studio albums from Rush's Atlantic years (1989-2008), is now available.  The album is available at both a single CD edition as well as a CD+DVD edition.

While previous Rush compilations offered a fairly even distribution in the number of tracks per album being represented, that cannot be said of Retrospective 3. Of the six original studio albums represented, while 4 of the 10 tracks from the album Roll The Bones are included here, there is only one from Test For Echo. It can be assumed that this was done in the name of offering something "previously unreleased", as early rumors of this compilation mentioned it would include one or more "unreleased live tracks". However, the performance of "Ghost Of A Chance" included here actually was previously released on disk 3 of the Snakes & Arrows Live DVD, in the "Oh Atlanta" section.
"We don't really have hits...It's more 'All The Songs That Were Not Hits' by Rush, ha-ha!" - Geddy Lee,, February 12, 2009

Alex Lifeson Interview with "Modern Guitars"

Long time Rush fan Skip Daly recently interviewed Alex Lifeson for Modern Guitars magazine regarding the latest DVD release, Snakes And Arrows - Live. The interview was posted today on the Modern Guitars website. As Skip has been a diehard Rush fan for over 20 years, the interview goes beyond the typical interviews we have seen in recent years. The whole interview is recommended reading, but one key point of the interview include this discussion of the long awaited for Vapor Trails "remix". Another key topic is a discussion of Alex's recent discovery of long lost tapes from his vault! - Thanks to Skip Daly for the headsup up!

Drummer Bill Bruford on "Burning For Buddy"

Bill Bruford: The Autobiography is coming this spring. The drumming great recently posted an excerpt from the book on his blog, where he discusses the trials of the Burning For Buddy sessions, produced by fellow drummer Neil Peart in 1994:
"An altogether grander 1994 project centred on Neil Peart, the charming and successful drummer with Canadian rockers Rush, who had taken it upon himself to make a series of recordings of Buddy Rich’s music...The idea was for an A-list of the most celebrated drummers of the day to do a couple of tunes each from the standard Rich Orchestra repertoire. The resulting CDs were to be called Burning For Buddy, and time was duly booked at the Power Station recording studio in Manhattan.

'For reasons best known to himself, Neil thought I’d be suitable for this project and got in touch to explain the plan. He suggested a couple of tunes, and I, with what must have seemed like arrogance but in fact was that old insecurity, said fine, but how about one of his and one of mine? Neil asked for a demo of my proposed tune, which was duly approved, and I went off to see English trumpeter and arranger Chris Batchelor to have the composition transcribed." - click here for more. - Thanks to Pat McCallister for the headsup!

Rush on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hard Rock

On Monday December 29th VH1 premiered their "100 Greatest Songs of Hard Rock" special. Coming in at #19 was "Tom Sawyer", with remarks from Judas Priest, Sebastian Bach, & others. Bach jokingly remarks people would need a separate I-pod just to fit the entire rush catalog on it!

Snakes & Arrows Live CD and Video

Snakes & Arrows Live was released as a 2CD set on April 15th. Recorded over two nights in Rotterdam during the 2007 leg of the tour, the album captures the entire concert set.
"With this one, we recorded both nights and there are songs on there from both nights -- so it gives you a bit more comfort. You're a bit more relaxed about it knowing if you screw it up at night one, you can nail it on night two. All in all I think we played very well those two nights." - Geddy Lee, Jam!Showbiz, April 14, 2008
The video was released November 24th, and debuted at #1 on Billboard's Top Music Video chart, selling 25,000 units the first week.  Snakes & Arrows Live is RUSH's first concert film to be released on Blu-Ray, as well as a 3 DVD set.  Click here for the Snakes & Arrows Live news archive.

Neil Peart's "News Weather and Sports" - December 2008 "December In Death Valley"

Neil Peart has updated his website with the latest installment of "News Weather & Sports". Titled "December In Death Valley", Neil shares with us his motorcycle trip he took through the California desert on December 4th. In one point of his narrative, Neil discusses the ghost town of Amboy, which is pictured on the Snakes & Arrows desert road image.

Another interesting point are his comments regarding an abandoned song titled "Telescope Peak" written in the time of Vapor Trails.

For the complete entry visit

"Hope: Live For The Art Of Peace" - Nominated for a Grammy

A live version of "Hope", subtitled "Live For The Art Of Peace", was included on the Songs For Tibet - The Art Of Peace benefit album released August 12, 2008.  This version was nominated for the Best Rock Instrumental Performance Grammy in 2009 (their sixth nomination). The winner was "Peaches In Regalia" by Dweezil Zappa, from Zappa Plays Zappa.
"'This album will focus people's attention on the importance of Tibet, the gifts of its culture, and the crisis the Tibetan people are facing today,' said one of the album's organizers, Michael Wohl. The album is due for global release on iTunes on August 5, three days before the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. It will then be available through other outlets the following week, the statement said. Wohl, from the Art of Peace Foundation, said the timing of the release was deliberate. 'We wanted to express our support for the Tibetan people and their message of peace through music, a fundamental means of expression, at a time when the eyes of the world are on China.'" - AFP News, July 22, 2008

Orchestra Jazz Rush - Available Light on "Wave Mechanics Union"

"Available Light", performed by progressive jazz group Wave Mechanics Union, is one of eleven classic tracks available on Second Season.  Released October 1, the album offers a full-scale jazz band supporting vocalist Lydia McAdams.  The group has recorded striking new arrangements of songs from progressive rock giants Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd, Queen, King Crimson, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Police, and more. The brainchild of composers Ryan Fraley and Ralph Johnson, along with vocalist McAdams, the project seeks to honor the sometimes complicated sounds of progressive rock with jazz treatments.  Visit for more information.

Rock Band and Rock Band 2

The complete Moving Pictures master tracks are now available for download for the video game Rock Band as of Sept. 23rd. The full album is $10.99 (880 Microsoft Points) or $1.99 (160 Microsoft Points) per track individually. These are the first "original versions" of "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight"; previous Rock Band versions were covers.

The Rock Band website has posted a video interview where Geddy and Alex discuss the making of Moving Pictures. This is the second part of the previously posted video interview where they discuss finding the lost "Working Man 'alternate solo'" and the making of their debut album.

In addition to the Moving Pictures tracks, on July 8th, the master track of "Closer To The Heart" and the "Working Man (Vault Edition)", were made available for download; on July 22 the "Working Man (Vault Edition)" was made available for download on iTunes:
"The version features a never before heard guitar solo that Alex Lifeson did during the original recordings back in the 70’s. The song was re-mixed by Rich Chycki who is known for his work on R30 and Snakes & Arrows. A great addition to the Rush song library!" -, July 21, 2008
Rock Band 2, the followup to last years smash hit, was released Sept. 15th. Included in the track list is "The Trees" by Rush, another "vault edition" (this one reported by to be the audio track from the live promo video recorded in 1978).
"Featuring a track list with more than 100 on-disc and downloadable tracks from some of the most hallowed bands of the rock pantheon, Rock Band 2 challenges rockers to master lead guitar, bass guitar, drums and vocals...Compatible with ALL past and future downloadable content - even tracks you downloaded for Rock Band back in 2007 - so you can play a never-ending, face-melting set."

Alex Lifeson's New Year's Eve At The Ritz

The final remaining lawsuit between Alex Lifeson's son, Justin, and the Ritz-Carlton, Naples, has been settled. The claim which had been reinstated by an appeals court back in May seeking damages from the Ritz-Cartlon and its manager, has now been dismissed as the two parties have settled confidentially out of court. The same article also gives the terms of the settlement between Alex Lifeson and Deputy Standford back in March of this year:
"In a separate lawsuit filed in Collier Circuit Court, Stanford sued Alex Zivojinovich in July 2005, citing permanent and progressive injuries that included neurological and dental damage that required implants. She and her attorney, Paul Finizio of Fort Lauderdale, went through mediation with Zivojinovich and attorney Paul Weekley, but reached a 'total impasse' in February. In March, court records show, they settled and Zivojinovich paid her $75,000 for her injuries. Stanford’s signed 'release of claims' says the settlement is the 'compromise of a doubtful and disputed claim and that the payment is not to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of Zivojinovich.' Although it wasn’t sealed in the court file, the three-page release says the terms are confidential and not to be disclosed to the public or media without consent of the parties involved. Finizio declined comment, citing the confidentiality clause."
For a running history of the case, click here.

Neil Peart, Parts Manager

The story is well known by Rush fans: before joining Rush, a young Neil Peart sought fame and fortune in the music scene of London, before becoming disillusioned and returning home to work as parts manager for his father's Tractor Parts dealership. This was less than a year before he answered an ad for a local band looking for a drummer in the summer of '74.

Ed at Rushisaband has unearthed a rare find: the December 1973 newsletter for Dalziel Equipment Ltd., the equipment dealership of which his father was co-owner. Pictured in the newsletter are a young Neil Peart, as well as his father, Glen. What is ironic is that Neil's bio reads:
"After an 18 month stay in London, England, Neil decided to come home and seek his fame and fortune..." They had no idea...

Neil Peart's "News Weather and Sports" - July 2008 "Independence Day"

Neil Peart has updated his website with the July 2008 installment of "News, Weather & Sports": "Independence Day". Neil writes about performing in Atlantic City, traveling up through New England, and includes a lengthy and hilarious interlude on helmet safety. The report opens with a short tirade on the injustice of comp tickets which are denied most hard core fans (and in this case those given to a casino's "big losers"), and at the same time Neil shows he's not as out of touch with his fans as some may think.

Rush Cover Feature In August's "Classic Rock"

Rush is the featured artist on the August issue of the UK's Classic Rock magazine. The cover headline reads Rush. Surviving tragedy. Defying fashion. Rock's uncoolest band take on the world. Again. The seven page feature was written around the Vegas show and tells of Rush being true to their convictions and the devotion of their fans. Scans of the article are available here, thanks to Niels for providing them!

Rush Tour #8 Among Rock and Pop Tours

Rolling Stone has published its Midyear Music Biz Report Card, showing Rush coming in at #8 among the year's rock and pop tours with $18.3 million in earnings, not too shabby for a second leg tour (last year Rush came in 6th with $21 million in earnings as reported by USA Today). The Top 10 Rock and Pop Tours for 2008 are: 1. Bon Jovi ($56.3 million), 2. Bruce Springsteen ($40.8 million), 3. Van Halen ($36.8 million), 4. Kanye West ($31.6 million), 5. Jay-Z/Mary J. Blige ($30.7 million), 6. Spice Girls ($23.3 million), 7. The Police ($23.3 million), 8. Rush ($18.3 million), 9. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers ($17.8 million), 10. Hannah Montana ($17.1 million) -, July 29, 2008

Rush On Colbert Report/Playing Rock Band

On Wednesday July 16th, Rush appeared on The Colbert Report. The complete episode is available on Colbert's website. Before taking the stage, however, Rush answered the challenge and performed "Tom Sawyer" as part of the video game Rock Band. How did it go? After playing the song, Geddy quips "I'm joining another band..."
"...The Canadian band Rush, which hasn’t performed on U.S. television in more than three decades, will play their classic 'Tom Sawyer' on the Comedy Central show Wednesday (11:30 p.m. EST). The Geddy Lee-led trio, which is currently on tour, hasn’t played on U.S. television since 1975..." - Associated Press, July 15, 2008

Working Man (Vault Edition) Single

Originally released for Rock Band on July 8th, today Rush has released the "Working Man" (Vault addition) on iTunes!
"The version features a never before heard guitar solo that Alex Lifeson did during the original recordings back in the 70’s. The song was re-mixed by Rich Chycki who is known for his work on R30 and Snakes & Arrows. A great addition to the Rush song library!" -, July 21, 2008

Rush's Old Stage Costumes Unearthed

"Ever wondered where Rush's fondly remembered satin kimono costumes (pictured below) ended up? Be honest now – you have, haven't you? Well, now it can be revealed. Jap (sic) band Onmyo-Za have Geddy, Alex and Neil's old duds in their possession and are wearing them with plide! (Alright, so we know these sorta outfits are de rigeur in Japan's Visual Kei scene, but give us a break, will ya?!) Onmyo-Za have been described as a Japanese thrash-pop answer to Nightwish, and you can check them out playing their fine opus Kasha No Wadachi here." -, July 21, 2008 -Thanks to Brian Sullivan for the headsup!

More Rush From "The Rolling Stone"

Apparently surprised at the reaction by Rush fans to their recent article, "Rush Never Sleeps" (which appears in the July 10-24 issue), the the folks over at Rolling Stone have posted their defense on their website. When the issue hit news stands, many online Rush fans commented that while much of the article was positive, the overall tone seemed an attempt to justify why the magazine was sinking so low as to write about Rush, and that it included many negative connotations on both the band and its stereotypical "nerdy" fans.

The magazine also recently posted their "Rush: The Complete Album-by-Album Guide" and is now defending itself with a new online article titled "Rush vs. Rolling Stone: A Qualitative Analysis", where they write:
"In the 2004 edition of the Rolling Stone Album Guide, Rush's albums received an average of 2.7 stars. Technically, those ratings put them somewhere between 'fair' and 'good' in the RS canon, which, needless to say, will not satisfy the fans at"

Classic Rock's "Buyer's Guide To Rush"

The current issue of the UK's Classic Rock magazine includes a "Buyers Guide To Rush". The story, which is now offered on their website, sifts through Rush's catalog listing the "Essential: Classics" as Moving Pictures & 2112; albums which are "Superior" as Permanent Waves, A Farewell To Kings, Hemispheres & Signals; albums which are "Good: Worth Exploring" as Power Windows, Roll The Bones, & Snakes & Arrows; and lists Feedback as the one album to "Avoid". Journalist Neil Jeffries also succinctly breaks down their career and gives credit to each of the band members in turn:
"Rush’s continued existence is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside the enigma that is the famously fan/limelight-avoiding and well-read Peart. Yet Rush are a three-piece band of equal parts, and similar attention is long overdue for Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. Although frequently derided for his occasional choice of high-register singing, Lee has a fine, folky voice; he’s no slouch on a synth, either...Lifeson, too, is an underappreciated player, and deserves to be ranked alongside David Gilmour for his fluid soloing, and Jimmy Page for other-worldly riffs."