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Monday, September 19, 2016

RushCon16 Dates Announced

RushCon16 Dates Announced
The organizers of RushCon, the largest North American gathering of fans celebrating the music of Rush, will be returning once again this year for another convention in the band's home town of Toronto.

From the official announcement:
Hello Rush Fans! You didn’t SERIOUSLY think we would go a whole year without a con? We know summer is going fast (and the nights are growing colder), so we decided to throw RushCon 16 in the golden light of autumn.

We hope to see you all this November 3rd - 5th, 2016, In Toronto, Canada. (Yep, that’s Thursday through Saturday this time.) We have a huge, major event to announce, along with some fun new things! All details will be announced over the next couple weeks. But now would be a good time to ask for time off, get your Rush shirts out of the attic, and prepare to have the best weekend of your life this November. Stay tuned!
For more information, please visit the official RushCon website.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson to Receive Key to the City of Toronto

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson to Receive Key to the City of Toronto
John Tory, the mayor of the City of Toronto, has just announced that both Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson will be awarded the keys to the city of Toronto in a ceremony scheduled for this Saturday.

From a story posted in the Toronto Sun:
Two of the most successful musicians in ‘YYZ’ history will bask in the ‘Limelight’ this weekend, as Mayor John Tory presents them with the key to the city.

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, founding members of rock band Rush, will receive the honour during a special ceremony on Saturday. The duo, who were both born and raised in Toronto, will also have a park in Willowdale named after them at the event honouring their achievements over 40 years in the music industry.

“Rush’s sound, famous across the world, has helped shape Toronto’s own musical identity, which always has been and continues to be a unique hybrid of styles and influences,” Tory’s spokesman, Amanda Galbraith, said in a statement to the Toronto Sun Wednesday.

“Very few bands can claim to have influenced a genre of music — but Rush can legitimately say they’ve done just that.”
To read the entire article, please click HERE.

Congratulations, Rush!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Neil Peart Celebrates His 64th Birthday Today

Neil Peart Celebrates His 64th Birthday Today
Today marks the 64th birthday of Rush drummer and lyricist extraordinaire Neil Peart. Neil (born Neil Ellwood Peart) came into the world on September 12th in 1952 Hamilton, Ontario.

He grew up in Port Dalhousie, Ontario, Canada (now part of St. Catharines) working the occasional odd job including the role of a Parts Manager for his father Tractor Supply company. His true ambition, however, was to become a professional musician. During adolescence, he floated from regional band to regional band and dropped out of high school to pursue a career as a full-time drummer. He had a short stint with J.R. Flood back in 1970, before he decided to move abroad to further his musical studies.

However, after a discouraging stint in England, Peart returned home where he joined a local Toronto band called Rush in the summer of 1974.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Join me in wishing Neil a very Happy Birthday - and many happy returns.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Lee Lifeson Art Park Inaugural Launch set for October 1st

Lee Lifeson Art Park Inaugural Launch set for October 1stLee Lifeson Art Park Inaugural Launch set for October 1st
It was back in July of 2014 when we first brought you the news about a proposed arts-themed park, located in the Toronto neighborhood of Willowdale, that would be named after Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. The Lee Lifeson Arts Park, as it came to be known, has been under construction throughout 2016, and is now open to the public.

A formal inaugural launch of the park is now set for October 1st, according to the most recent issue of the City of Toronto's Celebrate Toronto newsletter:
On October 1 from 1 to 5 pm, join Cultural Hotspot and North York Arts at the kick-off to the inaugural season of the Lee Lifeson Art Park in Willowdale. Create a community arts piece, join an Aztec dance workshop lead by performer Jesus Mora and fellow dancers, and watch the Live Arts Youth Showcase, featuring spoken word, music and dance. Visit toronto.ca/culturalhotspot for information.
Back when the plans for the park were first announced, Geddy Lee spoke to the Toronto Star, where he had this to say:
“I know my mom is very happy!”

According to rock lore, Lee and Lifeson met as students at the nearby Fisherville Junior High School, where they first forged the musical bond that would eventually blossom into one of rock’s most prolific power trios.

“It is where I met my best friend and bandmate,” Lee said. “We were humbly honoured by the suggestion to name the park after us.”

Discussion among Rush fans online has been overwhelmingly supportive of the idea ever since the park plan was put forth weeks ago. But one lingering question invariably remains: Why isn’t it being called Rush Park?

The perceived snub of drummer Neil Peart is not intentional, the band’s publicist explained. It’s just that he didn’t grow up in Willowdale. (Your move, St. Catharines.)
For more information about the inaugural launch, please click HERE.

A Facebook photo-gallery of pictures of the park is also available at this LINK.

Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand and Dan Reynish for the news and pictures.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Rush: Album by Album Book Coming May 2017

Rush: Album by Album Book Coming May 2017
Martin Popoff, the author behind the 2004 Rush biography Contents Under Pressure as well as 2013's Rush: The Illustrated History, will be publishing his third Rush-inspired book in May of 2017.

Rush: Album by Album, which will be published by Voyageur Press, will include reviews of each of Rush's 20 studio albums by 20 rock journalists. From the book's description:
Formed in Toronto in 1968, the rock trio Rush has gone on to multiplatinum success behind the distinctive high register and virtuosic bass-playing of frontman Geddy Lee, the legendary drumming and lyric-writing of Neil Peart, and the guitar heroics of Alex Lifeson. Despite having just four chart-topping singles since the release of their debut LP in 1974, Rush has nonetheless sold more than 25 million albums in the U.S. and more than 40 million worldwide. Indeed, the Canadian trio may be the definition of an "album band," and this new book from prolific rock journalist and acknowledged Rush authority Martin Popoff pays tribute to the band's discography by moderating in-depth, frank, and entertaining conversations about all 20 of Rush's studio albums.

Inside, the author gathers 20 rock journalists and authors who offer insights, opinions, and anecdotes about every release. Together, the conversations comprise a unique historical overview of the band, as well as a handsome discography. Popoff also includes loads of sidebars that provide complete track listings, details on album personnel, information on where and when the albums were recorded, and sidebar facts about the albums, their songs, and the band.
The book is currently available for pre-order via this LINK.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Alex Lifeson Participates in the 9th Annual Medlock Krieger Celebrity Invitational and All Star Concert

Alex Lifeson Participates in the 9th Annual Medlock Krieger Celebrity Invitational and All Star Concert
Alex Lifeson recently participated in the 9th Annual Medlock Krieger Celebrity Invitational and All Star Concert. The event, which took place on Monday at the North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, California, benefits the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Numerous photos and videos from the event have been posted at HeavyMetalHill. Among the included videos are live performances of The Spirit of Radio and Limelight, as well as an interview with Alex himself.

You can check out all of the photos and videos at this LINK.

For more information on the Medlock Krieger Celebrity Invitational, please visit their website at www.scottmedlockgolf.com.

Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for passing along the news.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Alex Lifeson Celebrates His 63rd Birthday

Alex Lifeson
Alex Lifeson, one of the founding members of Rush and the band's seminal guitarist, is celebrating his 63rd birthday today. It was on this date back in 1953 that Rush Guitarist Alex Lifeson (born Aleksandar Zivojinovich) came into the world in Fernie, British Columbia. As Rush fans know, Lifeson co-founded the band in the summer of 1968 along with John Rutsey, the band's original drummer. Alex was also responsible for bringing front-man Geddy Lee into the mix.

While Alex is obviously best known for being the guitarist for Rush, he's also the part owner of the Toronto restaurant The Orbit Room, is a licensed aircraft pilot, motorcycle rider, a gourmet cook, an artist and has also dabbled with a little acting now and again.

Happy Birthday, Alex and many happy returns!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Rush's 'The Body Electric' Makes Exclaims' Eight Favorite Songs About Robots List

Rush: The Body Electric
Earlier this week, Canada's entertainment website Exclaim! posted a list of their 'Eight favorite songs about Robots'. Heading the list is Rush's 'The Body Electric' from their 1984 album Grace Under Pressure.

From the article:
"...When it comes to the human race's technological advances, the subject of robotics and artificial intelligence rarely fails to create riveting fiction, whether the humanoid machines are helping maintain society or blowing it up...

Rush – "The Body Electric"

No strangers to exploring the world of science fiction in song, Rush's "The Body Electric" tells the story of "an android on the run" in search of freedom from its electronic existence. In linking the world of robotics to the human race with the song's protagonist's individualist aspirations, the song's chorus features bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee singing the binary code '1001001,' which translates to a capital I.

And here's some irony: "The Body Electric" comes from the band's 1984 record Grace Under Pressure, on which machines — namely, Lee's synthesizers and Neil Peart's electric drums — played a prominent role in their songwriting.
You can check out the entire list via this LINK.

Thanks to RushFanForever for the news.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Enter to Win a Signed Rush Time Machine Drumhead

Enter to Win a Signed Rush Time Machine Drumhead
The Percussive Arts Society is raffling off a Rush Time Machine Drumhead, which is signed by all three members of Rush. Details of the raffle:
  • Raffle tickets for as little as $10 each
  • Valued at $2,500
  • Professionally framed in museum grade glass
  • Signed by all 3 members of Rush Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee
  • Drawing date Nov. 12, 2016
  • Support Percussive Arts Society
  • About PAS:
    Now in its 55th year, the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) is a 501C-3 non-profit, music-service organization whose mission is to inspire, educate, and support percussionists and drummers throughout the world. PAS is regarded as the global leader in percussion and drumming by providing unparalleled and interactive resources and experiences in percussion education, performance, and research. Today, the society is almost 7,000 members strong, with 50 chapters located across the United States and an additional 28 chapters outside the U.S. Each year PAS hosts the largest drum & percussion event in the world, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC).
    To learn more, including information on purchasing raffle tickets, please click HERE.

    Thanks to Christopher Schneberger for the news.

    Saturday, August 13, 2016

    Geddy Lee Travels to Florida to Expand His Baseball Autograph Collection

    Geddy Lee Travels to Florida to Expand His Baseball Autograph Collection
    As many Rush fans know, Geddy Lee is a serious baseball fan and collector. He can often be spotted in the stands behind home plate at Toronto Blue Jays games, he is passionate about, and well respected in, the field of Fantasy Baseball, and he has been celebrated for making an incredible donation to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum back in 2008.

    Among his many baseball-related collections are player autographs. In an attempt to add to his ever-expanding collection, Lee traveled to South Florida yesterday to the home of the Florida Marlins. There, he was able to secure the autographs of Ichiro Suzuki and Barry Bonds. From the MLB story:
    A rock icon met up with some baseball legends on Friday afternoon at Marlins Park.

    Geddy Lee, lead singer from the group Rush, made a trip to Miami with the purpose of securing some autographs.

    Lee, 63, is a native of Toronto and he's a lifelong baseball fan, as well as a collector. The Rush front man was on a mission to get a couple of autographs, and he secured the signatures of Ichiro Suzuki and hitting coach Barry Bonds.

    The significance is Lee has a number of autographs from players in MLB's 3,000-hit club, and 500-home run fraternity. He now adds Ichiro and Bonds.

    Ichiro reached the 3,000-hit milestone last Sunday, and Bonds holds the MLB home run mark with 762. Through the years, Lee also has obtained Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker autographs, as well as a Mickey Mantle bat.

    "I'm off the road now, and I'm hanging around, digging the summer," Lee said.
    Read the entire article via this LINK.

    Friday, August 5, 2016

    Neil Peart Featured in Latest 'Edge Factor' Film

    Neil Peart Featured in Latest Edge Factor Film
    The education and documentary company Edge Factor produces inspiring, high impact media that tell the stories of innovative teams who design and build incredible products that impact lives and ultimately... the future of the country.

    In their latest film project, Behind Closed Doors, Edge Factor includes a segment on DW Drums, Neil Peart, and the creation of his R40 Kit.

    The film can be accessed online for a limited time via this LINK. The segment on Neil Peart begins at around the 9 minute mark.

    For more information about Edge Factor, please visit their website or Facebook Page.

    Thanks to Eric from Power Windows for passing along the news.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2016

    Geddy Lee on The Tragically Hip

    Geddy Lee on the Tragically Hip
    Geddy Lee recently sat down with CBC Music's Kerry Martin to discuss not Rush, but another famous Canadian band - The Tragically Hip.

    From the interview:
    “...The Tragically Hip is “certainly one of the greatest bands we’ve ever produced in this country,” according to Geddy Lee. High praise from the frontman of, arguably, one of the greatest bands we’ve ever produced in this country.

    “The first time you listen to one of their records it kind of sneaks up on you,” Lee says. “It sounds simpler than it is. There is a particular way the power of those guitars work together.… [They] always sound sinewy and muscular. Then you put Gord's voice and his lyrics on top of that, and after repeated listening, you really start to love it. It just gets inside you. I think that's a trademark of the Hip...”
    You can watch and listen to Geddy talk about The Tragically Hip in a series of videos via this LINK.

    Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for passing along the news.

    Friday, July 29, 2016

    Geddy Lee Turns 63

    Geddy Lee
    Geddy Lee (born Gary Lee Weinrib) is celebrating his 63rd birthday today!

    Happy Birthday, Geddy -- and many happy returns! "Gary" was born in the small Toronto village of Willowdale. As many fans know, his given first name "Gary" transformed into "Geddy" during his high school days thanks to his mother's heavily-accented pronunciation of his name.

    In addition to his musical aspirations, some of Geddy's other interests include collecting fine wines and, of course, baseball. His wine collection is rumored to include some 5,000 bottles and his love of baseball is well documented. In fact back in 2013, Geddy threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the home opener for the Toronto Blue Jays - something he admittedly dreamed of doing for years.

    In addition to today being Geddy's birthday, it is also the 42nd anniversary of Neil Peart officially joined Rush - cementing the rock trio that would continue through today.

    Please join me in congratulating Geddy on reaching his 63rd birthday -- and wish him many, many more!

    Thursday, July 28, 2016

    A Show of Fans Rush Fanzine Archive Now Online

    A Show of Fans Rush Fanzine Archive Now Online
    I'm happy to announce another new section to the Cygnus-X1.Net website - The 'A Show of Fans' Rush Fanzine Archive.

    When the 'A Show of Fans' fanzine was first released back in 1991, it immediately stood apart from other fanzines of the time, thanks to its polished and professional format. Each issue was filled with incredible content, including articles, reviews, news, artwork, photographs, letters, advertisements, and more. Yet unlike other fanzines of the time, ASOF was printed, not photocopied, on high-quality glossy paper, typically in multiple colors. So much style with substance.

    Given the importance of the fanzine in the overall history of Rush, Cygnus-X1.Net is proud to resurrect ASOF into a new online archive. Each of the seventeen issues will be presented in this archive, starting with the first three issues. 'New' issues will be published each week through the remainder of 2016.

    You can access the archive via this LINK.

    Many thanks to Rob Silverberg for loaning out each issue of ASOF for use in this archive.

    Thursday, July 21, 2016

    Artist Jorge de la Torre Creates 'Rushmore' Sculptor

    Artist Jorge de la Torre Creates 'Rushmore' Sculptor Artist Jorge de la Torre Creates 'Rushmore' Sculptor
    Since their early beginnings, Rush have continually sparked inspiration in their fan base across many artistic fronts. Aside from the obvious musical inspirations that the band has generated in countless others, we've seen drawings, paintings, writings, and more come out of the fan base over the years.

    Artist Jorge de la Torre has taken that inspiration to a new level with the creation of his Rushmore sculptor. From his website:
    Rushmore is the ultimate tribute masterpiece immortalizing Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart – three extraordinary heroes of progressive rock who are collectively known as the legendary band Rush.

    Originally handcrafted utilizing the intricate lost wax casting process, the bronze sculpture and solid walnut base skillfully set the stage for the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers to be depicted as the new faces of Mt. Rushmore, one of the country’s most recognizable and highly regarded national monuments.

    Just as our greatest champions have all been immortalized in stone since the dawn of time, Rushmore is an extraordinary sculptural tribute to rock’s greatest champions. Because of their creative mastery, the spirit of Rush is forever solidified in the hearts and minds of their greatest fans through their life-changing music – and now through Rushmore.

    Dimensions: 20" x 13" x 9.25" (not including base)
    Material: Bronze (sculpture), Walnut (base)
    Completed: May 2016
    Torre, as he is artistically know, has a website that features his Rushmore creation, including a full gallery of pictures, a detailed section on the 'Making Of' the artwork, and more. Check out all the details about Rushmore and the artist behind it, HERE.

    Thanks to Sheri Geddygirl Beri for alerting me to this incredible creation!

    Saturday, July 16, 2016

    Rush 2017 Wall Calendar Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of A Farewell to Kings

    Rush 2017 Wall Calendar Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of A Farewell to Kings
    Information regarding the release of the 2017 Rush Wall Calendar has just been made available by Brown Trout Publishers. In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the band's fifth studio album, A Farewell to Kings, this year's calendar will focus on that era.

    From the listing:
    After celebrating their 40th anniversary with a self-titled LP, collector's box set, and their first US tour, Rush left an indelible mark in music history. These Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees have maintained a loyal fan base during their rock tenure, and the official Rush calendar is a consistent fan favorite that spans hard rock and progressive rock.
    Rush wall calendars have been available every year, dating back to 2004, when the first calendar was released in connection with the band's 30th anniversary. Each year since, a new calendar - and sometimes two calendars - have been published.

    Pre-ordering for the new calendar is now available via Amazon.Com.

    Rush 2017 Wall Calendar Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of A Farewell to KingsAmazon also has a listing of yet-another 2017 Wall Calendar:
    Every year Rush fans come out of the woodwork to get their calendar and once again, you'll be ready. This 2017 edition is sure to satisfy. It runs for 16 months and begins in September of 2016 and runs through December 2017.
    This calendar, however, is listed an 'Unavailable' at this time. We'll keep an eye on the listing to see if this second calendar does become available.

    If you've missed any of the previous calendars, you can see high-resolution scans of each edition via this LINK.

    Thanks to everyone who alerted me about the new calendars.

    Thursday, July 14, 2016

    Alex Lifeson to Appear on Rik Emmett's Upcoming Solo Album

    Alex Lifeson to Appear on Rik Emmett's Upcoming Solo Album
    According to the Rock Music news site Hennemusic, Alex Lifeson is set to appear on the upcoming Rik Emmett solo album. As many Rush fans know, Emmett was originally part of another Canadian rock trio - Triumph.

    In addition to Lifeson's appearance on the yet-unnamed album, bassist Mike Levine and drummer Gil Moore, both from the original Triumph lineup, will also join Emmett. This will mark the first time all three members of Triumph have worked together since working on their 1987 album Surveillance. Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie is also reportedly working on the project.

    Lifeson and Emmett are no strangers to working together. They worked together on "Beyond Borders", which was part of the Canadian Guitar Summit special that appeared in the July 1987 Issue of Guitar Player magazine. They also collaborated on Dream On The Horizon (A Tribute To The Olympic Spirit) in 1988.

    For more information about Emmett's album, which is due out later this year, please click HERE.

    Thursday, June 30, 2016

    The 'Tom Sawyer's Treasures' Rush Collector's Fanzine Archive

    The 'Tom Sawyer's Treasures' Rush Collector's Fanzine Archive
    I'm happy to announce another new section to the Cygnus-X1.Net website - The 'Tom Sawyer's Treasures' Rush Collector's Fanzine Archive.

    As some fans may remember from the pre-internet days, Rush fanzines were the primary source for gathering information and news on the band. In 1993, the collector-focused, Scotland based fanzine was first launched by Jim Wright and Chris Jones. The inaugural issue included the following introductory message from Wright and Jones:
    "...In this new fanzine we will be dissecting rare Rush vinyl, CDs, etc, right down to the matrix number. Our aim is to inform collectors/fans of the worldwide rarities available and by giving a detailed description we hopefully will encourage more of you out there to start collecting. The time has never been better as record companies are now producing less vinyl but more CDs and tapes. This means that vinyl prices will soar in the future (but don't tell anyone!)..."
    The fanzine was short-lived, unfortunately, producing only three stand-alone issues. However it later merged with another fanzine of sorts - Eric Ross' Rush: A Discography. An early issue of the Discography is also included in the archive.

    You can access the archive via this LINK.

    Many thanks to David Hodgkinson for providing scans of each issue.

    Wednesday, June 29, 2016

    Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel Limited Edition Now Available

    Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel Limited Edition Now Available
    The Rush Backstage Club has just announced the availability of a Limited Edition copy of Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel. Signed by Neil Peart, Kevin J. Anderson, and artist Nick Robles, and limited to a run of just 500 copies, this is sure to sell out quickly.

    Further details from the Backstage Club:
    This limited edition version of Clockwork Angels The Graphic Novel includes a numbered bookplate autographed by Neil Peart, Kevin J Anderson and artist Nick Robles. The book comes packed inside a custom slip case and the book itself features a beautiful debossed gear cover with a blue foil stamp and matching satin ribbon bookmark. This release is limited to 500 copies.

    Owen Hardy, like all the people of Albion, has lived his whole life under the rule of The Watchmaker. His entire life has been planned down to the exact second. But what happens when a young boy decides that things should not always goes as planned? Rush’s Clockwork Angels is a testament to the band’s creative versatility—it has been successful as a concept album, novel, and international tour. Now, Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart and New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson are bringing the story of Clockwork Angels to comics, where newcomer artist Nick Robles will bring the journey of Owen Hardy to visual life! Die-hard Rush fans have longed for Peart’s narrative songwriting to be adapted into comic book form for decades, but fans of steampunk fantasy will enjoy journeying into the world of Albion thanks to Anderson’s skilled storytelling.
    The Limited Edition book is priced at USD $74.99 and can be ordered at this LINK.

    Thanks to Mike Skinner for passing along the news.

    Friday, June 24, 2016

    The History Of Rush by Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson: The Early Years

    The History Of Rush by Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson: The Early Years
    TeamRock.Com has just posted a new, exclusive interview with both Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson in celebration of Rush's unofficial 50th anniversary. The two bandmaters actually met back in 1966, though their first gig together wouldn't take place until two years later:
    1968: The First Gig
    Alex Lifeson: It was cool to be young and be in ‘a band’. I had a friend named John Rutsey who played drums, and we had a little basement band called The Projection. The guy that lived next door to me, Gary Cooper, was the bass player. He was older than us and he was the only one who had a car. That was a very important friend to have. That band never really gigged. We just played at a party maybe once every six weeks during the summer. It was mostly about getting together and playing the three or four songs that we knew. And Gary Cooper didn’t stick around for long. But out of The Projection came the first gig as Rush. John’s brother Bill had said, ‘You need a better name for the band – how about Rush?’ And we liked it. We were offered this gig at a drop-in centre, so I called this guy I’d been jamming with, Jeff Jones, who played bass and sang. We did that gig. Twenty people showed up. The following week we were offered another gig at the same place, but Jeff said he couldn’t do it – he was already in another band at the time. So that’s when I called Geddy.
    Check out Part 1 of the interview at this LINK.

    Part 2 of the interview, titled from 2112 to stardom is available HERE.

    Part 3 of the interview, titled Moving Pictures and the 1980s is available HERE.

    Thanks to Arthur R. Spear for the news.

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