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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Grapes Under Pressure 3 Charity Event Update: Message from Geddy Lee and Photo Gallery Now Online

Grapes Under Pressure 3 Photo Gallery
Over the past month, both Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson were busy supporting the Grapes For Humanity charity organization, whose main focus is to provide a better quality of life for victims and survivors of disasters.

Earlier this month, there was a charity auction that contained numerous Rush related items. The auction was a tremendous success and raised thousands of dollars for the cause. Geddy Lee recently posted a message at Rush.Com thanking all those who participated in the auction:
On behalf of Alex, myself and the entire GUP team I'd like to say a huge ginormous THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH to all of our fans, friends, and followers who took the time and spent their hard earned money to support this Grapes Under Pressure 3 Ebay auction in support of Grapes for Humanity Canada. Your money will go a super long way to help rebuild health care facilities in the Philippines that were damaged or destroyed in the Haiyan Typhoon. You have helped a lot of people!

Thank you all for caring!

my best to you,

Geddy Lee
In September, both Geddy and Alex also participated in their third Excellent Harvest Adventure:
Geddy and Alex will welcome you aboard our private train from Toronto’s Union Station as we enjoy breakfast enroute to Stratus Vineyards. Stratus, a 62-acre beautifully modern winery near Niagara-on-the-Lake, combines science with tradition and relies on the centuries-old method of “assemblage” to produce wines of amazing depth and complexity while maintaining a reputation of being one of the world’s most sustainable wineries.
A massive photo gallery of the event is now online and includes numerous candid shots of Geddy and Alex.

Related News Stories
[Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson Donate Numerous Items for Grapes Under Pressure 3 Charity Ebay Auction - October 5th, 2014]

Monday, October 20, 2014

Miniature Replicas of Neil Peart's "Hockey Theme" and "Time Machine Tour" Drum Kits Now Available from Axe Heaven

Axe Heaven Time Machine Drum KitAxe Heaven Time Machine Drum Kit
Over the years, Axe Heaven has produced a number of hand-crafted miniature guitars and drums from a variety of rock stars including a great collection for Rush. The company has just announced two new entries into their Rush collection - both replicas of two of Neil Peart's drum kits.

The first miniature reproduction is of The Hockey Kit used by Neil Peart to record his version of "The Hockey Theme" for TSN's NHL broadcasts. Similar to the original, The Hockey Kit features the logos of the original six NHL teams.

The second miniature reproduction is based on the kit Neil used during Rush's Time Machine and Clockwork Angesl tours. Click here to view the kit in more detail.

Each AXE HEAVEN® ornamental replica drum set is about a 1:4 scale and is individually handmade from solid wood & metal parts. Each bass drum is approximately 3.5” in width and comes complete with all the parts shown (minimal assembly required).

These beautifully handcrafted miniature drum sets are made from solid wood and metal parts. The detail is stunning from the hollow bass drum to the mini drum sticks. A great gift and collectible for any music fan, but especially RUSH fans!

Thanks to Eric from Power Windows for the news.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Geddy Lee Featured in "The Mind of the Baseball Collector" Documentary

Neil Peart: Far and Near
Airing on Monday, October 13th at 7pm on Canada's SportsNet is a documentary titled "The Mind of the Baseball Collector" which features, among other baseball collecting enthusiasts, Geddy Lee:
The Mind of the Baseball Collector looks at the addictive world of sports memorabilia collecting. The past comes to life through the collections and stories of: rock legend Geddy Lee, eclectic collector and lawyer Allan Stitt and the Guinness Book of World Records holder of the most autographed baseballs, Dennis Schrader.
"The Mind of the Baseball Collector" marks the final edition in a series of baseball documentaries produced by Fadoo Productions; the same production company behind some of the more recent Rush concert films.

Geddy's love of baseball is well known. In 2008 he donated nearly 200 autographed baseballs to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and, more recently, he purchased the film rights to Dave Bidini's Baseballissimo.

A short trailer for the documentary is available HERE or through the embedded viewer below. There's no word yet if the documentary will be aired online.


Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for passing along the news.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Far and Near: An Interview with Neil Peart

Neil Peart: Far and Near
In connection with the release of his latest book, Neil Peart recently sat down with Phil Simon for an interview that has now been published in the Huffington Post:
From a very early age, I've been a fan of the Canadian trio Rush. I recently had a chance to sit down with Neil Peart, the band's longtime drummer and lyricist. A prolific writer, Peart has just published Far and Near: On Days Like These, his latest collection of observations and stories.

He was kind enough to send me a signed copy and I've been poring through it. Like his other texts, one not need to be a Rush fan to appreciate Peart's story telling. It's a beautiful text, rife with interesting photos, anecdotes, and factoids, as well as the occasional political commentary. For instance, the 2013 government shutdown of national parks nearly derailed Peart's travel plans.
Click HERE to read the entire interview.

Additionally, before conducting the interview with Neil, Phil was asking fans for a list of questions for him to ask the Rush drummer. Those answers should be posted to Phil's website within the next few weeks.

To purchase Neil's new book, click HERE.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Neil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - October 2014 - "Science Island"

Neil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - October 2014 - Science Island
After skipping over September, Neil Peart has returned with a new update to his "News, Weather, and Sports" website blog with an October 2014 entry titled Science Island.

Neil begins this entry talking about his time spent in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec; a location he has vacationed in for thirty-four years (and counting) of his life. He reveals that his favorite spot in the world is Lac St. Brutus, a lake which has four major islands, each about an acre in size, one of which Neil owned for a number of years:
"...For all of August (the heart of summer, just as February is the heart of winter) I was fortunate to be at the lake, with Carrie and Olivia joining me for two weeks in the middle. (Leaving a solitary “reading week” on each side—hurray!) Nearly every day, five-year-old Olivia and I liked to venture out on the lake in our small electric boat, or in my sleek rowboat, and we often stopped at that little island. While pulling the boat up on the rocky shore, I showed Olivia the parallel grooves in the rock’s surface that had been left by glaciers. I explained how the tremendous mass of ice had dragged stones along and gouged out those grooves as the glacier retreated, at a speed of maybe an inch a year. Then I pointed upward as I told her the ice was once about two miles high above us..."
Later, Neil revealed that he was contacted about doing an interview with Banger Films (makers of the Beyond the Lighted Stage documentary):
"...They were making a show about one of the Guys at Work, Geddy, and wanted to talk to me..."
Neil decides the best place for the interview to take place would be at the band's old stomping grounds - Le Studio. He then speaks in length about the interview process and how the folks at Banger were trying to get him to spill some dirt about Geddy. This was a very interesting read, to be sure.

You can read the entire entry via this LINK.

And to check out every News, Weather, and Sports entry Neil has made dating back to 2005, they are all available at the News, Weather, and Sports Archives.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson Donate Numerous Items for Grapes Under Pressure 3 Charity Ebay Auction

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Rush.com recently announced that Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have once again donated some incredible Rush-related items for the Grapes for Humanity Canada charity organization:
"...Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson will launch the most rock memorabilia on eBay as part of their Grapes Under Pressure 3 initiative in support of Grapes for Humanity, an organization that helps to raise funds to benefit humanitarian causes around the world with the assistance of the international wine community.

Included in this auction will be a wide range of rare, vintage & autographed Rush items! We’ve already unveiled Geddy’s shoes worn on the R30 tour and the awesome 1980’s era Rush road case.

These items and more start rolling out at 6pm ET until 10pm ET tonight, so check back in to see what other goodies get revealed and make your bid!

The auction closes in 10 days on October 13.

View the GUP3auction items here: www.ebay.ca/sch/grapes4humanity and BID!.

ALL proceeds will be directed to Grapes for Humanity Canada www.grapesforhumanity.com.

The focus of Grapes for Humanity is to provide a better quality of life for victims and survivors of disasters. We help these individuals become self-sufficient citizens to go on to lead fulfilling and productive lives. Funds are raised through various international wine events, wine auctions, corporate and private home wine tastings. Through our partners we direct the proceeds of these events to those in immediate need. Grapes for Humanity is an organization that is run on the strength of its volunteers. We pride ourselves on the fact that all monies raised go directly to our chosen partner.
Some of the items up for bid include autographed Geddy Lee stage-worn sneakers, an acoustic guitar from Geddy's collection, numerous signed items from all three members of Rush, and much more.

Auctions will end on October 13th. Good luck to all!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Five Rush Albums Appear on PROG Magazine's "100 Greatest Prog Albums of All Time" List

The 100 Greatest Prog Albums of All Time
PROG Magazine's August 2014 issue included a compiled list of the 100 Greatest Prog Albums of All Time as voted on by "Thousands of readers and musicians..." While no Rush albums cracked the Top 10 on the list, there were five albums in total from the band's catalog that did appear throughout the list.

Those albums, and their positions, were:
69. Permanent Waves (Rush)
53. A Farewell to Kings (Rush)
23. Hemispheres (Rush)
15. 2112 (Rush)
13. Moving Pictures (Rush)
The albums occupying the Top 3 spots were:
3. Selling England by the Pound (Genesis)
2. In the Court of the Crimson King (King Crimson)
1. Close to the Edge (Yes)
Of all the bands that were represented on the list, only Yes (7), Marillion (6), Pink Floyd (6) and Genesis (6) had more albums.

The entire list, including the comments on the five selected Rush albums, can be viewed online via this LINK.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Neil Peart's New Book "Far and Near: On Days Like These" Now Available

Neil Peart: Far and Near
As a follow-up to his 2011 book FAR and AWAY: A Prize Every Time, Neil Peart and ECW Press have just released Far and Near: On Days Like These:
Whether navigating the backroads of Louisiana or Thuringia, exploring the snowy Quebec woods, or performing onstage at Rush concerts, Neil Peart has stories to tell. His first volume in this series, Far and Away, combined words and images to form an intimate, insightful narrative that won many readers.

Now Far and Near brings together reflections from another three years of an artist’s life as he celebrates seasons, landscapes, and characters, travels roads and trails, receives honors, climbs mountains, composes and performs music. With passionate insight, wry humor, and an adventurous spirit, once again Peart offers a collection of open letters that take readers on the road, behind the scenes, and into the inner workings of an ever-inquisitive mind.

These popular stories, originally posted on Peart’s website, are now collected and contextualized with a new introduction and conclusion in this beautifully designed collector’s volume.
A hard-cover edition of the book is now available at Amazon.Com for $20.89 while the Kindle version is selling for $9.99.

To read an excerpt from FAR and AWAY: A Prize Every Time, click HERE.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Alex Lifeson to participate in the 7th Annual Scott Medlock-Robby Krieger Invitational Golf Tournament and All-Star Concert

Alex Lifeson To Participate in the 7th Annual Scott Medlock-Robby Krieger Invitational Golf Tournament and All-Star Concert
Earlier this week, the line-up for the 7th Annual Scott Medlock-Robby Krieger Invitational Golf Tournament and All-Star Concert was announced and Alex Lifeson will be among the line-up of stars and musicians taking place in the charity event.

From the announcement:
The seventh annual Scott Medlock-Robby Krieger Invitational Golf Tournament and All-Star Concert will return to Moorpark Country Club on Mon., Sept. 22 for the benefit of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The event will be hosted by artist Scott Medlock, renowned for his paintings in the world of sports, and Robby Krieger, the legendary Doors lead guitarist.

The event has raised nearly $1 million for St. Jude, and the fundraising goal this year is $300,000. Microsemi Mercedes-Benz of Long Beach, Waste Management and Monster Energy are sponsors of the day-long event, which will kick off with a golf tournament at 10:30 a.m., followed by a 19thhole reception presented by A La Maison, Mastro's Steakhouse and Ketel One Vodka.

At 8 p.m., the rockers will take the stage for an all-star concert that will feature Krieger, Alex Lifeson (Rush), Tommy Thayer (KISS), Danny Seraphine (Chicago), David Sikes (Boston), Lita Ford and Cherie Currie (The Runaways), plus Jonny Lang, Ray Goren and comedians Gary Mule Deer, Mark Eddie, Scott Henry and Michael Wilson.
Concert tickets are $50 for general admission, and $100 for VIP access and the 19th hole reception. Golf entries are $5,000 per Foursome Sponsor. For details to purchase tickets visit www.medlockkriegerinvitational.com.

Click HERE for a full-sized version of the event poster which features Alex in the upper-left hand corner.

Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for the news.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Neil Peart Celebrates His 62nd Birthday Today!

Neil Peart Turns 62
Today marks the 62nd 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. After a discouraging stint in England to concentrate on his music, Peart returned home, where he joined local Toronto band 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 10, 2014

Experiencing Rush: A Listener’s Companion Coming This November

Experiencing Rush: A Listener’s Companion
Durrell Bowman, the co-editor on the 2011 book Rush and Philosophy: Heart and Mind United will be releasing another Rush-inspired book this November. Titled Experiencing Rush: A Listener’s Companion, this latest Rush offering in print will attempt to "guide" the reader through Rush's extensive history.

From the Amazon Listing:
In Experiencing Rush: A Listener’s Companion, music scholar Durrell Bowman guides readers through Rush’s long career, explaining through the artful combination of biography, history, and musical exegesis how to listen to this unique act. From Rush’s emergence as an early blues-rock power trio of guitar, bass, and drums into the godfathers of progressive hard rock, Bowman marks the band’s first breakthrough with its landmark, sci-fi/individualist album 2112. From there, readers explore Rush’s movement from “prog rock” extended compositions into shorter, potential-radio-play “post-prog” songs, leading to Rush’s most successful album Moving Pictures in 1981. In its later career, Rush adventurously mixed progressive hard rock and music technology, generating a new power trio sound that featured further stylistic evolutions. As Bowman makes clear, it is the band’s stalwart path and many influences on fans, musicians, and others that resulted in Rush’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
The book is scheduled for release on November 16th and is currently only available as a hardcover ($38.12). You can pre-order your copy via this LINK.

There's more information on the book at the author's website - www.durrellbowman.com.

Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for passing along the news.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rush R40 Blu-Ray Box Set Coming in November

Rush R40 Blu-Ray Box Set Coming in November
Update (09/17/2014): Rush.Com have formally announced the R40 Box Set and have included more details behind the bonus disc. Click HERE for all the details.
Update (09/14/2014): Amazon is now taking pre-orders for both the 6 Disc Blu-Ray and 10 Disc DVD version of the box-set. Release date for both is November 11th.
Update (09/11/2014): It now appears that the box set will also be offered as a 10 disc DVD set.
The UK-based website SpinCDs has just listed a new box set coming from Rush this November. The six Blu-Ray box set, titled R40, will contain Rush's five most recent live concert films including Rush in Rio, R30, Snakes & Arrows Live, The Time Machine Tour and the Clockwork Angels Tour). The sixth disc will include some special bonus features.

From the listing:
2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Rush’s eponymous debut album in 1974. This superb collector’s box set brings together live performances by Rush from each decade of their career. It includes “Rush In Rio”, “R30”, “Snakes & Arrows Live”, “Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland” and “Clockwork Angels Tour” plus a bonus disc of previously unseen live material stretching from 1974 to 2013. Rush are renowned for the energy and excitement of their live concerts and this set brings together some of their finest performances. The 6 Blu-ray discs are contained in a stunning 56 page hardback book measuring 305mm x 225mm with the 6 discs contained in 5 additional rigid insert pages. The 56 pages of the book are filled with memorabilia and photographs documenting 40 years of Rush live in concert. This is the ultimate collection of Rush live performances, beautifully presented.
Here is the breakdown of the bonus disc:
Laura Secord Secondary School 1974
Tracklisting TBC

Capitol Theatre 1976
1) Bastille Day 2) Anthem 3) Lakeside Park 4) 2112 5) Fly By Night/In The Mood

Lock and Key 1988

Molson Amphitheatre 1997
1) Limelight 2) Half the World 3) Limbo 4) Virtuality 5) Nobody's Hero 6) Test for Echo 7) Leave That Thing Alone/Drum Solo 8) 2112 (all seven parts)

I Still Love You Man 2011

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction 2013
At this time, there has been no official word from Rush or its management on this release however word has it that this IS an official Anthem/Rush release.

The box set is set for release in the UK on Monday, November 17th with a possible USA release date on Tuesday the 18th.

We'll have more news as it becomes available.

Thanks to reader Errol Walls for the news.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Billy Corgan Talks About Rush's Ongoing Inspiration

Billy Corgan on Rush
The Chicago Sun-Times has posted a new interview with Smashing Pumpkin's frontman Billy Corgan titled Billy Corgan at home and at peace with making rock and roll. In the interview, Corgan speaks of his continued respect and inspiration for Rush:
His inspirations are now bands that continue to make music but without artistic pretense, such as Neil Young, Iggy Pop, and particularly Rush. He says the Canadian rock giants have taught him that “the right way to get older is no apologies, do your thing, and when you get out there, you can still walk off the stage feeling you’re one of the best at what you do.”

“You don’t feel they’re leaving anything on the table or phoning it in,” he says. “That’s the spirit that made you love them in the first place.”
As most fans know, Corgan not only introduced the band when they received their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but he also had a large part in the band's multi-award winning documentary Beyond the Lighted Stage.

Thanks to Eric from Power Windows for the news.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rush Lands at the #2 Spot on VH-1's 25 Biggest Hit Making Trios List

Rush Lands at the #2 Spot on VH-1's 25 Biggest Hit Making Trios List
Utilizing both the number of Billboard chart entries along with RIAA sales certifications, VH-1 has come up with a list of the 25 Biggest Hit Making Trios of all time:
Measuring the success rates of rock stars is never an easy thing, but by calculating the number of Billboard chart entries along with RIAA sales certifications, we’ve come up with a pretty good scorecard for these threesomes who’ve made sweet sweet love to your ears over the years. We’ve got classics like the Bee Gees, Green Day, ZZ Top and the Goo Goo Dolls, who’ve spent decades assaulting the charts with hit after hit. And then we’ve also got some (relative) newbies like Lady Antebellum, who are already making a bid for the record books with just a few MONSTER sellers under their belt. Head to the gallery above and check out our list of the 25 most successful musical trios in rock history, balancing longevity and sales. Enjoy!
The decidedly pop-oriented list had a few surprising entries including Rush landing in the #2 spot. Rush was listed as having an impressive 42 songs that entered the Top 40 singles list while also having 11 Top 10 albums. Interestingly, the Bee Gees, who were ranked #1 on the list, only had 30 Top 40 songs and 6 Top 10 albums. Hmm.

You can check out the entire photo-gallery style list via this LINK.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Alex Lifeson Turns 61 - Happy Birthday!

Alex Lifeson
Alex Lifeson, one of the founding members of Rush and the band's seminal guitarist, is celebrating his 61st 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.

Gibson Guitar has posted a nice retrospective article on Alex titled Alex Lifeson in His Own Words where they celebrate the guitarist's 61st birthday:
Alex Lifeson of Rush turns 61 on August 27 2014. Why celebrate Alex's 61st? Well, Rush are planning a 41st Anniversary Tour for 2015, so Gibson.com thought we'd stay as kookily contrary as the legendary Toronto trio.

There's little need to reiterate Lifeson's standing in rock guitar's pantheon. He's hugely talented and unique, you already know that. And like Rush the band, he's grown into being “cool” as a third of what was once the most “uncool” band ever.
Happy Birthday, Alex and many happy returns!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Kevin J. Anderson Announces Two New Writing Projects: "2113" and "Clockwork Lives"

Kevin J. Anderson Announces Two New Writing Projects: '2113' and 'Clockwork Lives'
As most fans know, RushCon 14 took place over the weekend in Toronto. One of the special guests during the convention was Kevin J. Anderson, co-author of the novelization of Clockwork Angels. Kevin made two exciting announcements during his presentation at RushCon.

His first announcement centers around an anthology of Rush-based stories:
For those of you NOT lucky enough to be at Rushcon, I made an announcement this afternoon about an anthology of Rush-based stories I'll be coediting with John McFetridge for ECW (publishers of Clockwork Angels). We have a gang of award-winning and bestselling authors already lined up to contribute stories based on Rush songs. And I'll be doing a novella called "2113".
His second announcement was that he and Neil Peart are writing somewhat of a sequel to the Clockwork Angels novel titled Clockwork Lives. You can watch the announcement via the video embedded below or directly at this LINK.


We'll have more news as it becomes available.

Thanks to Kelly D for passing along the news direct from RushCon.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Neil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - August 2014 - "Magnetic Mirages"

Neil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - August 2014 - Magnetic Mirages
It has been several months since Neil Peart has posted a new update to his "News, Weather, and Sports" website blog, but the four-month long drought ended today with his August 2014 update titled Magnetic Mirages.

In this lengthy entry, Neil discusses numerous trips he has taken to the Channel Islands (and its National Park) in California. The park encompasses five remarkable islands and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants, and archeological resources found nowhere else on Earth and helped preserve a place where visitors can experience coastal southern California as it once was.

From Neil's entry:
This may seem like gratuitous autoporn, or a sly reference to espionage fantasies, but the Channel Islands are there, I promise—just the way I first saw them. After I moved to Southern California in 2000, whenever I rode my motorcycle or drove a car on the Pacific Coast Highway north of Malibu—the wildest, prettiest stretch in Southern California—I would see their distant shadows way out to the northwest. Anacapa, Santa Cruz, and Santa Rosa, as I know them now.

Around that time Carrie and I lived in a townhouse in Santa Monica, and its roofdeck had a fantastic view to the west, out through the shoreline of fan palms to the Pacific’s distant horizon. On clear days, I liked to see the jagged spine of Catalina in sharp relief, rippling green against the sparkling blue sea and sky. Even more rarely, maybe four or five times a year, often in winter’s clearer skies, I spied a tiny dot north of Catalina. If I stretched out my arm toward it, it was the size of the tip of my thumb. It seemed to float above the ocean, like a pale mirage, and I wasn’t even sure it was real.
You can read the entire entry via this LINK.

And to check out every News, Weather, and Sports entry Neil has made dating back to 2005, they are all available at the News, Weather, and Sports Archives.

"From First to Last" - The Spirit of Rush Fanzine Archive

Michael 'Mick' Burnett - The Spirit of Rush FanzineThe Spirit of Rush Fanzine
Last September, I launched the "Spirit of Rush Fanzine" archive; an exclusive feature of Cygnus-X1.Net that brought back to life the longest-running Rush fanzine ever published.

The Spirit of Rush was launched back in 1987 and ran for over fifteen years. In over sixty published issues, the fanzine brought Rush news, articles, reviews, concert updates, fan art, exclusive band interviews and so much more to fans around the globe.

Over the past year, I've been publishing a "new" issue of the fanzine each week and now, at long last, we've arrived at the final, closing issue. Sadly, the fanzine ended its impressive run due to the untimely passing of its founder and editor Michael "Mick" Burnett. From the archive's introduction:
"In late July of 2002, after publishing over 60 issues since that fateful summer in 1987, tragedy struck the fanzine. The editor and founder of the Spirit of Rush, Mick Burnett, passed away suddenly after suffering a heart attack. Just a month later, Mick was celebrated and remembered during a Rush convention in England - one that was essentially sponsored by the fanzine. Following the 63rd issue of the fanzine, one that was dedicated to Mick, a final issue was released after which the Spirit of Rush closed its doors forever."
Issue #64 (#69), which was originally published during the Spring of 2003, is now online and includes some very moving tributes to Mick, along with some additional Rush items of the day including several interviews with Geddy Lee and news on Vapor Trails.

Personally, it has been a joy to bring these fanzines back to life. I had a great time reading through them all as I prepared each issue for re-publication on this site. Once again I would like to thank both Monica Zimmerman, a former contributor to the Spirit of Rush, and Janet Balmer, one of the co-editors of the fanzine for the help and permission to reprint the fanzines online.

To access the complete archive, please click HERE.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Neil Peart Drum Expo 2014 Interview: "The Pursuit of Excellence"

Neil Peart Drum Expo 2014 Interview:
MusicRadar and Rhythm Magazine's annual Drum Expo is currently underway and, as reported earlier, Neil Peart is among the artist line-up this year.

In connection with his participation with the online show for drummers, Neil was interviewed where he discussed his "Pursuit of Excellence" when it comes to growing as a drummer. From the interview:
"It's been my life's tangent," says Neil Peart on the subject of the pursuit of excellence. Since he joined Rush back in 1975, Neil has been the poster boy for prog - a disciplined, metronomic and powerful player. More than 35 years since he joined the world's foremost power trio, Rush are still breaking new ground.

eil's mastery of his trade has made him the toast of his peers in the rock community. His career is littered with classic performances and brilliantly crafted drum parts that are vital to Rush's musical identity. Yet despite his success, Neil remains a student of his art, reinventing his playing virtually from scratch in the 90s with drum guru Freddie Gruber and recently undertaking another course of study with Peter Erskine. The continuing evolution of Neil's abilities speaks to the truth of the maxim that success is not an act, but a habit. The pursuit of excellence is a journey, not a destination.
You can read the entire interview at this LINK.

Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for the news.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Go Back to School in Style with the Rush Lunchbox

Rush Lunchbox
Over the years, NMR Distribution has offered up a nice variety of Rush related merchandise, including the annual Rush Wall Calendars. Recently, they added a few new items to their lineup including a Rush Starman tin lunchbox, a Rush "Chunky" Starman magnet and a new set of vintage playing cards.

The officially merchandised lunchbox is made of tin, measures 7.75" x 6.75" x 4" and includes "Classic Rush imagery".

The lunchbox is available for sale via Amazon.Com, though it is currently out of stock. The 2015 Rush Wall Calendar should be released soon and can be purchased via this LINK.

The remainder of the items can be purchased directly from the NMR Website at this location.

Thanks to Joe P. for the information on the new items.



Monday, August 11, 2014

Rush: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence Book Now Available

Rush: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence Book Now Available
Over the last four years, Robert Freedman, who is the webmaster of the fantastic Rush fan site Rush Vault, has been writing a book about the band. As Robert states, his goal was to develop a book that focused on "...an overarching narrative that put everything the band has done under a single, unifying theme. It was my intention to do that in my book by showing how all of the band’s music can be understood as an expression of classical liberalism rooted in Aristotelian individualism..."

The result is Rush: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Excellence from Algora Publishing which is now available. From the book's listing on Amazon:
Rush is often referred to as a libertarian rock band, but really what the band is channeling is an Aristotelian individualism, a philosophy that strongly resonates with today's 40-somethings. This helps explain the band's resurgence in popularity, culminating in its 2013 induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 'Rush: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Excellence' brings together the excitement of the band's progressive music, performed by three musicians whose mastery of their instruments has won them the admiration of their peers, and the surprising philosophical sophistication of their music's lyrics.
The book is a systematic look at the Aristotelian philosophy embedded in the band's lyrics over its 40-year recording career.

Although the topic of the book is academic, the writing is sharp, down-to-earth, and leavened with a dry wit. Anyone interested in the band's music, popular culture, and philosophical ideas simply explained will enjoy this entertaining and thought-provoking work.
Robert enlisted the help of RushIsABand's Ed Stenger to pen the foreword and he also utilizes some concert photos from your's truly in the book.

The book can be purchased at Amazon or directly through the publisher.

Congratulations to Robert for developing this book!

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