Rush News

Rush 'R40 Live: 40th Anniversary' Tour Book Transcript

"As the three of us discussed the songs we would play, it was all about how we and the fans might be able to live it all again - just this once. Because it was quite a ride, wasn't it?" - Neil Peart, "Live It All Again"
Neil Peart has written another outstanding essay which is included in the R40 tour book. In addition, Alex Lifeson tells us some stories from the earlier days, such as renting a car and returning it with 11,000 miles on it, and Geddy talks about his latest obsession, collecting basses.

You can check it out here: Rush 'R40 Live: 40th Anniversary' Tour Book.

- Thanks to John Patuto for sharing the transcript!

Les Claypool: 10 bassists that blew my mind

Yesterday MusicRadar posted an interview with Primus' Les Claypool where he talks about his 10 favorite bassists.  Coming in at #1 is Geddy Lee:

DW Drums' "Not Tom Sawyer Contest"

DW Drums has launched a new contest in honor of Rush's 40th Anniversary Tour.  You are invited to film yourself doing your very best tribute to legendary Rush drummer, Neil Peart. Just make a video of yourself playing along to your favorite Rush song for a chance to win a Performance Series Time Machine Snare!  Visit DW Drums for details. - Thanks to Rosmakloma for the headsup!

Opening Night in Tulsa Setlist

Beginning with the Hartford show of the Vapor Trails Tour in 2002, we have been your source for the opening night setlist, as the show takes place.  That was the case tonight as well, as we posted the opening night setlist from Tulsa live. A HUGE thanks to Ryan Wasell for providing pictures and setlist updates!

Click here for the R40 Opening Night in Tulsa Setlist

Google Map Route of the R40 Tour

"Keep on riding North and West...then circle South and East..."

In case you need help planning your roadtrips this summer:

CMRRA Congratulates Board Member Pegi Cecconi for MMF Award

SRO/Anthem's Pegi Cecconi was presented with the Brian Chater Pioneer Award on Tuesday (May 5) by the Music Manager Forum (MMF) and will be honoured with the inaugural Brian Chater Leadership Award by the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) at their Gala in Toronto on June 15. 

Ms. Cecconi’s career began while she was still in high school, where she worked as a social convener booking bands through Ray Danniels’ agency. Danniels would go on to found SRO Management, and after Pegi graduated she became SRO’s first employee.   Of course, SRO has been managing Rush since the very beginning.  For more, visit

Steve Shutt: "Me and Geddy Lee" - The Slapshot Diaries

Retired Montreal Canadiens Steve Shutt recently shared a story of attending a concert with Geddy Lee as part of the The Slapshot Diaries, a new website project from filmmaker Mike Downie and musician/author Dave Bidini in partnership with Toronto-based FUSE Marketing.

Shutt, who attended Fisherville Junior High in Willowdale with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, shared his story of seeing The Mandala concert at the North York Centennial Area with Geddy Lee in 1967.  The concert made a huge impact on them.  Apparently Alex Lifeson was not present with Geddy, although he was also at this concert and was similarly impacted, as told at the bottom of this post. 
"We were both 14 years old going to Fisherville Junior High in Willowdale in 1966, right at the start of the psychedelic era. We were good friends and, like everyone, we bought all the newest albums, tried to look like hippies, and even took the bus and subway down to Yorkville to see what we had to look like to be cool.

"We went to our first really big show at North York Centennial Arena featuring the two hottest bands in Toronto: The Mandala and The Paupers. The Mandala started the show with their great Blue-Eyed Soul Review. They were dressed in trademark cherry-striped suits. Joey Cherowski was on organ, Whitey Glann on drums, Dominic Trianio on guitar and Don Elliot was on bass. George Oliver sang and danced and jumped around on stage in a frenzy, which earned him his trade mark as the hardest working singer in soul music. The only time he slowed down was when he did the splits and ripped the ass out of his pants, which he changed while the band played an instrumental, the song 'Toronto ’67'. Both me and Ged couldn’t believe what we were seeing. This was great, this was unbelievable. We watched in awe as they finished their set.

"The next band were The Paupers. They started their set with their new hit song Magic People. There was a sound: the fuzz bass played by Denny Gerrard. Me and Geddy looked at each other and decided right then that we were going to play bass, too. Denny stood in his sluggo cap and pounded out an amazing riff that nobody had ever heard before. Little did we know that, during the show, the group, led by Skip Prokop and Adam Mitchell, would let Denny loose to do a 10 min bass solo. When he finished, completely exhausted, he left everyone in the audience stunned by what they’d just heard.

"That week, we begged, borrowed and maybe stole money to buy our own bass guitars and two small amps. I took my bass home and started practicing. I read my 'Introduction to Bass Playing' book. I did scales and learned how to tune the bass. After a couple of weeks, I thought I was getting the hang of playing and sounding pretty good, so I went over to Geddy’s house to show him. When I got there, he had his bass out and one of those old portable record players where, when you opened it up, the speaker would be in the lid. I got out my bass out and said “'kay, let’s do some scales.' Geddy looked at me and said, 'Um, I can’t do scales.' My confidence started to rise. 'I’ll show you,' I told him. 'Just follow me.' Maybe I did have some talent.

"Geddy said, 'Wait, before we do that, let’s listen to this record.' I told him that would be fine. The record started on the cheap portable player and he said, 'Listen, can you hear the bass?' Then he said, 'Look at this,' and started playing. His bass came alive. It pounded the speakers of the 12″ amp and sounded great. I didn’t know if he was copying the record or not because I couldn’t even hear the bass on the record. He did the same thing on the next song and the next one after that. I went home and put my bass away and I don’t think that I ever picked it up again. I guess, looking back, it would have been tough for anyone to compare with the best bass guitar player in the world. I think that both of us made the right decision."
Alex Lifeson was also present at this concert, and met Mandala's guitarist, Domenic Troiano, after the show.  Back in 2013, in a press release announcing the annual Domenic Troiano Guitar Awards, Alex was quoted as saying:
"On June 30, 1967, I saw the Mandala at the North York Centennial Arena. At the side of the stage Donny gave me his autograph and his Mandala button. He told me how important it was to keep practicing and if I worked hard, I might get the chance to stand on stage and play for people some day. I was beaming. He was my first real inspiration and to this day I have a deep love and admiration for a man who truly knew the meaning of soul. I am proud to be a humble part of his enduring influence".
- Thanks to RushIsABand for the headsup!

Geddy Lee appears on latest Eddie Trunk podcast

The latest Eddie Trunk podcast includes a short interview with Geddy Lee beginning at the 38 minute mark which was recorded before his appearance on the season premiere of That Metal Show back in February.  You can listen to it here - Thanks to Ed at RushIsABand for the headsup!

Rush Reference on "The Goldbergs"

Last night on the ABC sitcom "The Goldbergs" (season 2, episode 23, "Bill/Murray", full episode online here), Erica Goldberg goes to see her high school guidance counselor (played by SNL alum Tim Meadows), who has various motivational posters on his wall, including a Rush poster, and says "It's like my posters say: 'reach for the stars,' 'hang in there,' and that's the band Rush, because I'm the cool guidance counselor who shows up at the high school basketball games in a casual polo."

You can watch the full episode here on, and you can see the Rush related scene below. - Thanks to Mark Daniels, Donald Schwabbauer and John Patuto for the headsup!

Cover Rush to win $5,000, 2 Tickets and Meet & Greet with Rush at R40 Live in Los Angeles, CA and more!

After 40 years together, 20 gold and platinum studio albums, Rush is giving their fans a chance to cover 10 songs from their iconic catalog. Their publishing company ole is looking for creative, contemporary covers. Both covers with vocals and instrumentals will be accepted.

Choose from these songs:
Working Man, Fly By Night, Closer to the Heart, The Spirit of Radio, Freewill, Limelight, Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, New World Man, Time Stand Still
Grand Prize Winner will receive: $5,000, 2 tickets to the R40 Live 40th Anniversary Tour show in Los Angeles, CA on August 1st, 2015, 2 Meet & Greet passes to the R40 Live 40th Anniversary Tour show in Los Angeles, CA on August 1st, 2015, A meeting with OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT Creative Rep, A Limited edition Rush Fender Squier Bass, A lyric video of the Winner’s Cover on ole’s YouTube channel

2nd Place Winner will win: $3,000 plus a Rush Swag Prize Pack

3rd Place Winner will win: $1,000 plus a Rush Swag Prize Pack

3 Popular Vote Winners will win Pro status on Indaba Music

For more info and to enter click here.

What Makes Rush So Unique? - has posted a new interview with Geddy Lee titled "What Makes Rush So Unique?" Geddy looks back on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, the band's work ethic, his influences and his growing bass collection.  Of the R40 tour, he says:
“I owe our fans so much as they have helped float us support us for over 40 years now.  They’re growing devotion to us is not something that I take lightly. I really do appreciate it, and you know, you can never make them all happy— it’s not possible, but we try. I think that the best way for us to try is just to be ourselves. I think our real fans understand that if we disappear for a couple years, it’s because we really need to. If we do things a particular way or if we don’t play that album on a particular tour, that’s just not where we are at the moment and that also comes as part of being a Rush fan.”

Geddy Lee talks about Fender's new Geddy Lee Jazz Bass

Geddy Lee talks about Fender's new U.S.A. Geddy Lee Jazz Bass, combining the specs and features of his three favorite Fender basses.

The Geddy Lee Jazz Bass has been a staple in the Fender line since 1998, but earlier this year, Fender announced the addition of the U.S.A. version.

The new U.S.A. Geddy Lee Jazz Bass is a unique version that combines the specs and features of Lee’s three favorite basses — two Fender Custom Shop versions of his signature model and the original sleek black ’72 Jazz Bass that he discovered at a pawn shop in Kalamazoo, Mich.

More product details here:

Alex Lifeson Shares the Story Behind "Closer to the Heart"

Today posted a short interview with Alex Lifeson where he discusses the process of writing "Closer To The Heart" off of 1977's A Farewell To Kings.
“All of our early albums were written on acoustic guitar. When Geddy [Lee, bass and vocals] and I would write the music, we’d sit down with a cassette recorder and two acoustic guitars, in spite of the fact that we were a hard rock band.

"‘Closer to the Heart’ is a sweet, ballady type of song, but we mix it up. It takes an interesting course as the arrangement builds. Once we got the basic arrangement down, we knew that the intro would be acoustic, and then we took it up a notch dynamically and brought the whole band in.

"The 12-string intro gives it the illusion of being an acoustic piece, and then the rhythm section comes in and the song changes into a kickin’ rock tune.”
- Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup!

"The Bookseller's Tale" from Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart's "Clockwork Lives" now available

Click for ebook
UPDATE 4/29 - Yesterday Kevin J. Anderson announced:  "First release from CLOCKWORK LIVES: The Bookseller's Tale is now available in all eBook formats. Cool multiverse tale of Mrs. Courier! Also includes an afterword on the writing of the project with Neil Peart...and a cameo from Vertical Horizon's Matt Scannell."

You can purchase the ebook of The Bookseller's Tale now at
Click To Order
Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart's eagerly awaited followup to the Clockwork Angels novelization, titled Clockwork Lives, is now available for preorder in hardback and is scheduled for release on September 15th:
"In Clockwork Angels, #1 bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson and legendary Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart created a fabulous, adventurous steampunk world in a novel to accompany the smash Rush concept album of the same name. It was a world of airships and alchemy, clockwork carnivals, pirates, lost cities, a rigid Watchmaker who controlled every aspect of life, and his nemesis, the ruthless and violent Anarchist who wanted to destroy it all.

"Anderson and Peart have returned to their colorful creation to explore the places and the characters that still have a hold on their imagination. Marinda Peake is a woman with a quiet, perfect life in a small village; she long ago gave up on her dreams and ambitions to take care of her ailing father, an alchemist and an inventor. When he dies, he gives Marinda a mysterious inheritance: a blank book that she must fill with other people’s stories — and ultimately her own.  Clockwork Lives is a steampunk Canterbury Tales, and much more, as Marinda strives to change her life from a mere 'sentence or two' to a true epic."
For more info, check out Kevin J Anderson's 35 minute Rushcast podcast interview given on March 1st where he speaks at length about the the new novel.

"Lifeson on Rush's last big tour: Never wants to be 'old and barely able to move'" - Canadian Press

Today the Canadian Press published a new interview with Alex Lifeson where he discusses the R40 tour, and in addition, had this to say about what their plans are for AFTER the tour:
Well, we're not finished as a band. We still talk about recording.

Who knows, there may be an opportunity in the future to do not a big tour, but a series of concerts ... like a week in Massey Hall or Radio City Music Hall.

Ged and I are just itching to get back into writing. He just revamped his studio, and he's not a tech kind of studio guy. He doesn't know how probably even one per cent of that stuff works.  But he's had this renaissance of being a musician and wanting to play and study more — it's really inspiring to see. When things slow down we'll start to do some writing, for whatever purpose. We've always talked about doing some soundtrack work.
Check out the full interview here.
Well, we're not finished as a band. We still talk about recording.
Who knows, there may be an opportunity in the future to do not a big tour, but a series of concerts ... like a week in Massey Hall or Radio City Music Hall.
Ged and I are just itching to get back into writing. He just revamped his studio, and he's not a tech kind of studio guy. He doesn't know how probably even one per cent of that stuff works.
But he's had this renaissance of being a musician and wanting to play and study more — it's really inspiring to see. When things slow down we'll start to do some writing, for whatever purpose. We've always talked about doing some soundtrack work.
With Neil, he really wants to take some time off and spend more time with his daughter. His daughter's very young. After what he's been through, he'd like to be more connected to his home life.
- See more at:

A Farewell To Kings Vinyl Reissue Now Available

As announced last fall, Rush is reissuing the complete Mercury era albums on 200-gram heavyweight vinyl in chronological order throughout 2015.  This will include all studio and live albums through A Show of Hands.  Previous vinyl reissues include Rush reDISCovered, Fly By Night (vinyl and blu-ray audio in 5.1 surround sound), Caress of Steel, and the 2112 hologram edition. These vinyl reissues also include a 320kbps MP4 vinyl ripped Digital Audio album download, and can also be purchased separately as high resolution Digital Audio

The next release to hit store shelves is A Farewell To Kings hitting store shelves today, April 21st.  In addition, the A Farewell To Kings  5.1 surround sound "blu-ray-audio remaster" is also now available; this was previously only available in the Sectors 2 boxed set.

"Jaco: A Documentary Film", including interview with Geddy Lee, wins APMFF Foundation Award

Back in January we shared that Geddy Lee is one of the many musicians interviewed for the documentary film "Jaco: A Documentary Film", about legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius.  A short snippet of Geddy discussing fusion music from the documentary can be seen below.

The first annual Asbury Park Music in Film Festival took place over the weekend, and "Jaco" won the Foundation Award (Presented to the Asbury Park Music Foundation's selection for the APMFF premier film).  For more info, click here. - Thanks to RushFanForever for the headsup! auction of 14" drumhead featuring 19 celebrity drummer signatures including Neil Peart is auctioning off a 14" drum head signed by 19 celebrity drummers that was mounted on Neil Peart’s first drum kit with Rush (1974 chrome Slingerland).  The auction ends the evening of Sunday, April 19th.

The head features the signatures of 19 celebrities who played on this drum head at PASIC 2009. The head was later signed by Neil Peart himself on 9/26/2010. Please note that this head is not original to the kit, it was placed on the kit during the Pasic International Drum Show in Indianapolis where it was played and signed.  Click here for additional auction details and to bid on the item.

All proceeds from this auction are to benefit DrumsForCures, a non-profit charity organization that produces DRUMSTRONG events to raise awareness and funds for cancer survivorship, education and research globally that support people with cancer and those who love them.  For more info visit

Michael Angelo Batio's "Shred Force 1" Now Available, includes cover of "What You're Doing"

Click to Order
Michael Angelo Batio, considered to be a pioneer of the shred guitar genre, has released his first-ever career retrospective, Shred Force 1: The Essential Michael Angelo Batio.   Highlighting his best work to date, it also brings together many nationally renowned musicians from the hard rock and heavy metal genres. The album features some of Michael’s most memorable performances including a dynamic version of Rush’s “What You’re Doing,” which features Queensr├┐che vocalist Todd LaTorre, Metal Church guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof, Alice Cooper bassist Chuck Garric, Metal Church/TSO drummer Jeff Plate and guitarist Craig Blackwell. An official audio stream of “What You’re Doing” can be found below... You can order the album here. - Thanks to the B-man for the headsup!