Rush News

"Fly By Night" one of Toronto's Top 50 Rock Songs Of All Time

Toronto's Post City has scoured the archives to come up with their list of the top 50 rock songs in Toronto history. The only limitation is one song per artist or band.  Included in the list is "Fly By Night":
"Fly by Night” - "it all began with the hiring of legendary drummer Neil Peart, who replaced John Rutsey for the band’s second album and helped take the Willowdale group to dizzying heights of musical complexity."
In addition to the above article, two additional articles were included in today's issue written by the Rheostatic's Dave Bidini, regarding the influence of Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson on today's music. - Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!

Neil Peart on CBC's "Strombo" Now Online

Neil Peart appeared on CBC's Strombo with host George Stroumboulopoulos this past Friday night.  The episode is now online here

In addition, on Thursday Rush tweeted an excerpt of the interview, where Neil discusses...drumming:
"The drummer and lyricist for Rush on how his relationship with drumming has changed over the years - and the evolution of his monster drum solo. 'I get lost in it ... and I do challenge myself,' he says of his largely improvised solo. 'There are no consequences. There's no mistake. If I do something weird, play it twice and it's a new part.'" - "Neil Peart on Drumming", Strombo, June 16, 2011
Previously Strombo posted "Moving Pictures, track-by-track":
"The Rush drummer breaks down the band's classic album Moving Pictures, track-by- track...'That was an important time musically and a great time for the three of us in terms of having a good time and sharing our goals and making music,' he says about the recording of the album, originally released in 1981. 'There was nothing self-indulgent or so-called pretentious about it. It was true boyish enthusiasm that was involved in creating all those things. We were progressing and learning and developing taste at the same time...We still like to play these songs,' says Peart, 'and we're still proud of them.'" - "Neil Peart On 'Moving Pictures': Track-By-Track", Strombo, June 3, 2011
Neil Peart's appearance on Strombo was filmed Monday March 21st.

Rush Fan Amy Poehler

In this week's issue of Entertainment Weekly, comedienne Amy Poehler discusses her first album: Signals:
"I grew up with classic rock: Blue Oyster Cult, Boston, Led Zeppelin. That was cool music. With Signals, I just have been 10 or 11. The Grease double album may have been earlier, but I was one of those girls who actually like Rush. Still am." - Amy Poehler, Entertainment Weekly, June 24 2011 issue Thanks to Stephen Humphries and James Dagel for the headsup!

Rush Voted The #1 Greatest Live Act In The World

The readers of MusicRadar.com have voted The 30 Greatest Live Acts In The World Today; guess who comes in at #1?
"RUSH: So there we have it. The greatest live act in the world today is a Canadian trio who have been taking their hugely popular brand of progressive rock on the road for nigh-on four decades.  Rush are still selling out arenas across the globe and anyone who attended the recent Time Machine shows in the UK will confirm that they were nothing short of captivating for three and a half hours. Geddy, Alex and Neil, we salute you." - MusicRadar.com, June 16, 2011 Thanks to Mark Rosenthal for the headsup!

Neil Peart On the Late Show with David Letterman

Neil Peart appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman last night as part of "Drum Solos Week".  Neil performed a scaled down version of his Time Machine tour solo, coming in at just over four minutes.  The complete episode is available at CBS.com.

Before making his appearance on the Late Show, Neil Peart sat down with MusicRadar to talk about the art of the drum solo - his own, those of his heroes, and improvisation, as well as performing on the Late Show:
"Peart admits that when he was approached to be part of Drum Solos Week, his initial reaction was, 'I don't know...it's not really my thing. But then I thought, Hey, a drum solo on TV - sounds great! I'd be very honored to be the ambassador to drum solos.'  Only now there's the TV time factor, and it's got Peart's fertile mind running in circles. The show's producers have asked the renowned sticksman to keep the razzle-dazzle down to 'three, maybe four minutes,' says Peart.  'My regular live drum solo is about eight and a half minutes, so I decided I'd have to do a mental edit, accelerate the changes and minimize the improvisational parts and so on. At the rehearsal, during my first attempt, I had it down to about four minutes and 50 seconds, and the producers were giving me these worrisome looks.' Peart's second run-through was more acceptable: 'I got it down to about four minutes and two seconds...So all I have to do tonight is play that four-minute-and-two-second version of the solo, settle down and play the tempo and the end properly, and I'll be happy.'" - MusicRadar.com, June 7, 2011 Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!
Last night's (June 9th) episode was filmed the afternoon of Monday, June 6th.  Long time fan Bill Banasiewicz (B-man) was in attendance, and reported after the audience left the theater, he could hear the drum solo being performed a second time, perhaps for close up camera shots without obstructing the audience's view, etc.

Modern Rock Review's Feature On Rush

The Modern Rock Review has published an extensive feature on Rush.   Included are two multi-part articles, two editorial articles, and a discography. - Thanks to Ric Albano at Modern Rock Review for the headsup!

Neil Peart's "News Weather and Sports" - June 2011

Neil Peart has updated his website with the June edition of News, Weather and Sports.  Titled "Singletrack Minds in the Sceptered Isle" Neil recounts riding the single lane roads of Britain during the UK leg of the Time Machine Tour.  Neil gives commentary on the roads, the riders, the foliage, the history, and a glimpse of shows:
"After the initial shows in Helsinki, Stockholm, and Malmo, Sweden, we played that first-ever show in Ireland, in Dublin, and that was a thrill. (In the comic movie that opens our Time Machine shows, I have a minor role as an Irish cop named O'Malley, and I was delighted when the audience cheered when O'Malley said, 'Jesus, Mary, and Joseph—sounds like the damned howling in Hades,' and they cheered again when Alex’s 'Slobovich' mentioned the name 'O'Malley.') Then came some good shows in Glasgow, Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, and finally London. Rotterdam and Frankfurt would follow, and I always explain that every show is important to a dedicated professional, but somehow London, like Toronto, is always 'a big one' for me—a kind of home-town show." - Neil Peart, "News Weather and Sports", June 2011

Crawdaddy's Look at the Music Biz for 2011

Crawdaddy! Magazine has posted a short feature on their website taking a look at the music business in 2011.  Included is a nice paragraph on Rush:
"Meanwhile, Rush is quietly packing amphitheatres for another go-around of their very successful Time Machine Tour. They’re getting very little PR from their label, because they don’t really need it. Rush, in spite of recent mainstream success, remains at their core a cult band. Besides, we Rush fans probably know what they’re doing before their label does. At least it feels that way. In spite of the show being exactly the same as the one from last year, they are still selling them out, or nearly so. Rush’s 2010 Time Machine Tour grossed almost 19 million dollars and sold over a quarter of a million tickets, making it number one on Billboard’s Hot Tours for 2010, right behind my arch-nemesis Toby Marie Keith (yep, his middle name is Marie. Also, Pinkie Pie is his favorite My Little Pony)." - Crawdaddy.com, June 3, 2011 Thanks to Kevin Rossi for the headsup!

Les Claypool discusses performing for Rush's Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame induction

In a new story discussing Primus' first studio album in 11 years, Les Claypool discusses performing during Rush's Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame induction ceremony early last year:
"And it’s funny, because I don’t get nervous really. The things I get nervous about are strange things, like hanging out at my kid’s school with all the parents. But that Rush thing I was really nervous about — we played 'Spirit Of Radio' with cello, vibraphone and marimba, and I said a little speech, and I actually kinda croaked a bit during the speech. And that’s just not like me. But it was certainly strange playing in front of what looked like a society crowd. And the Rush guys! It was like everyone was wearing a monocle or something!" - Les Claypool, San Francisco Examiner, June 6, 2011

Alex Lifeson To Appear In "Ecstasy"

Toronto independent filmmaker Rob Heydon has shot a feature adaptation of Scottish author Irvine Welsh's book Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance. The film, Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy, which wrapped production in January in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, includes the popular up and coming actor and sometimes guitarist, Alex Lifeson. Lifeson plays Dr. Figg, who works in a mental hospital and commits Billy Boyd's character for a breakdown after consuming too much Ecstasy; click here for a video clip.

With a budget of $5 million, Heydon started shooting about a month ago and is aiming to debut the project at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. - Yahoo News Canada, December 31, 2010
"News out of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is that the latest Irvine Welsh film adaptation should be a treat for music fans. Based on a story by the Trainspotting author, Ecstasy is being helmed by director Rob Heydon and shot in the Canadian city. The Sault Star reports that the film has several musical connections. Chief among those connections is a killer soundtrack, featuring Arcade Fire, Brian Eno, Paul Oakenfold, Aphex Twin, Deadmau5 and Primal Scream. According to Heydon, Welsh’s prior success helped pave the way to some of the music rights. 'I think based on the success of Trainspotting it was easier to get the music than the average Canadian film,' he said. 'It'll surprise a lot of people.' Sharp-eyed viewers will also catch a glimpse of a Canadian musical legend in the film’s cast. Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson reportedly plays an 'unconventional physician' in the movie." - "Ecstasy to Feature All-Star Soundtrack, Rush Cameo", Gibson.com, June 6, 2011

Gibson.com's "Top 10 Rock Drummers of All Time"

Gibson.com has added a new feature to their website giving their take on "The Top 10 Rock Drummers of All Time".  Coming in at #2 is Rush's Neil Peart, second only to Led Zeppelin's John Bonham:
"Drummer and lyricist for Rush, Neal [sic] Peart is hailed in many circles as the quintessential rock drummer. He’s known for his ingenious drum parts and intense solos with lead passages that rock hard and prove the drums, indeed, can be a lead instrument. No Rush concert is complete without Peart’s sparking, obligatory drum solo, and his syncopated drumming style certainly has its own distinct sound and aura. You can always tell when it’s Peart playing." - Gibson.com, May 31, 2011 Thanks to B-man for the headsup!

Gothenburg Sweden's "2112" Restaurant

While in Sweden two weeks ago, Rush could have enjoyed dinner at 2112, a new restaurant in Gothenburg with an obvious Rush influence.  Two members of the Swedish metal band In Flames, Peter Iwers (bass) and Bj√∂rn Gelotte (guitar), are partners in the new restaurant which opened April 21st.  Check out the restaurant's website or Facebook page. Thanks to Jonas Scherman and Frank Ray for the headsup!
"2112 is inspired by Rush, and was released in 76, and is one of the best records in the prog genre...so we chose 2112". - co-owner Peter Iwers, Metal Hammer magazine

Neil Peart Interview with Jeff Woods Now Online

Q107 Toronto's Jeff Woods interviewed Neil Peart on April 19th in Hamilton, Ontario, to discuss Neil's new book, Far and Away – A Prize Every Time.   The interview is now available at Exploremusic.com with the following introduction:
They’re Canada’s #1 musical export to the world, and so not surprisingly, guitarist Alex Lifeson, bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee and drummer/lyricist Neil Peart, have been so busy touring over the past year, that they haven’t had a chance to finish what they started: recording their 20th studio album; "Clockwork Angels". While recording is scheduled to resume fall 2011, in the meantime, RUSH’s stock has never been so valuable, with thanks in part, to the acclaimed film, that tells the story of RUSH Beyond the Lighted Stage.  It seems everyone has seen it, everyone that is, except their drummer.  How could THAT BE?   You will find out how, and much more, from this revealing conversation with Neil Peart, who set aside a half hour, back stage, to talk to me about all things RUSH, including the evolution of his drumming, the nature of his lyrics, his latest boo Far And Away – A Prize Every Time, performing live, and just why RUSH have keep doing what they do.  And as Neil Peart is about to tell you, he only tours one way …. Enjoy, Jeff - Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!

Rush On Supernatural (Again!)

Rush was referenced on the WB television series Supernatural yet again.  Seven minutes into the season six finale, "The Man Who Knew Too Much", an amnesiac Sam finds various ID cards identifying him as Jimmy Page, Neil Peart (pronounced "Pert"), and Angus Young.  The episode is available on the Supernatural website. - Thanks to Randy Stringer for the headsup!

This is the fifth time Rush has been referenced on the show.  In previous episodes, "Fly By Night" and "Working Man" were heard, in another episode the Winchester brothers refer to themselves as Agent's Geddy and Lee, and in a fouth episode the brothers went undercover in a mental institution using the names Alex and Geddy.  Click here for details.

"Countdown" beamed to Space Shuttle Endeavour

A one-minute edit of Rush's "Countdown" was beamed to the Space Shuttle Endeavour at 7:54pm EST on May 25th as the Flight Day 11 wake up song for Mission Specialist Mike Fincke; click here to view the video. Here is Mike's response:
"Good morning to you all down in Houston and across the planet. I just wanted to say thanks for the song. That was by the band Rush and my friends Ken Fisher and Greg Shurtz sent that up for me. And Rush was really inspired by the launch of STS-1 so they included that in their music and it was really inspirational for them and for the whole album. What's really cool about it is that the Space Shuttle program has really inspired everybody across our planet for such a long time. So this song was a tribute to the Space Shuttle program and so we'd like to say good morning."
"Countdown" was written by Rush to document the first shuttle launch which took place just over thirty years ago, on April 12, 1981; footage of the launch was used in the song's video.

Rush Possibly Playing British Festival In Summer 2012

According to Rushonrock.com, Rush could break with tradition and play one of the big British festivals in support of Clockwork Angels during the summer of 2012.  Festival choices include High Voltage, Download and Sonisphere, and apparently the band’s management is looking at booking a high profile festival slot for summer 2012.  Rush are not known as a festival band but plans are supposedly at an advanced stage to book a series of one-off shows, and organisers of the major events in the UK and Europe are lining up to bag what would be the star attraction of the 2012 festival circuit. - RushOnRock.com, May 24, 2011 Thanks to Ed at RushIsABand for the headsup!

Popmatters' "25 Best Progressive Rock Songs of All Time"

Popmatters has posted their list of "The 25 Best Progressive Rock Songs of All Time", featuring songs recorded between 1969 and 1979.  "2112" comes in at #6, "Natural Science" falls at #18 and "Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres" falls at #22.  For the complete list including samples and song bios visit PopMatters.com. - Thanks to John @ Cygnus-X1.net for the headsup!

Vintage Guitar's "Top 50 Guitar Songs"

Vintage Guitar magazine is celebrating 25 years of publication, and is asking for reader feedback to select the Top 25 Guitar songs of the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's.

The May 2011 issue includes the Top 50 Guitar Songs of the 70's; on the list is "Working Man" at #48.

The current issue (June 2011) includes the Top 50 Guitar Songs of the 80's; included on that list is "Tom Saywer" at #20 and "Limelight" at #27 (both coming in behind Joan Jett...).

To vote for the Top 50 Guitar Songs of the 90's, click hereThanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!

Happy Victoria Day!

Happy Victoria Day Canada!  Commemorating Queen Victoria's birthday, Neil wrote about this holiday in "Lakeside Park" where "everyone would gather, on the twenty fourth of May..."  (beginning in 1977, the holiday was officially recognized as the Monday on or before May 24th).  If you're outside Canada and would like to celebrate on May 24th, drop by Lakeside Park Day, a Rush fansite which includes tips for a successful Lakeside Park Day!

Def Leppard's Joe Elliot On "All The World's A Stage"

Def Leppard's first ever live album, Mirrorball, is set for release on June 7.  Last week while promoting the album on Bob Coburn's Rockline, singer Joe Elliot included Rush's All The World's A Stage when discussing "career making live albums".

The first topic of discussion, Elliot states "Notoriously the live album had much better versions than the studio record," and cites live albums by Peter Frampton, Thin Lizzy, UFO, KISS, Rush and Cheap Trick as examples.  "For people in our generation, they absolutely were career breakers...Rush broke England on All The World's A Stage, and for us growing up as kids in England, these albums started people's careers off, then you'd go back and get the studio albums, and you'd listen to them and go 'oh dear, they're not as good as the live albums'".  To be fair, however, he does conclude with "I think it's what you hear first is what you get used to."  You can listen to the interview here.