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Rush's Breakthrough Concept Album 2112 Has Been Nominated for the 2018 Polaris Heritage Prize

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Though it was released over four decades ago, Rush's seminal concept album 2112 continues to elicit praise and respect. Case in point is the album's recent inclusion in the 2018 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize .

From the Polaris Prize website:The Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize honours Canadian albums of the past from four distinct time periods: 1960-75, 1976-85, 1986-95 and 1996-05. Like the Polaris Music Prize, winners and nominees for the Heritage Prize are albums of the highest artistic quality, without regards to sales or affiliations.

Think of the Heritage Prize as our version of a hall of fame where we try to determine who would have won the Polaris Music Prize in the years before Polaris existed.

How it works is a select group of Canadian music media and historians gather together each year to create a vote-curated list of 10 Short List-nominated albums per era. Two albums per era, one chosen by public vote and one chosen by juror vote, will be designated a…

Clockwork Lives Optioned for TV / Film

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No, this isn't a continuation of the 2016 April Fools Joke. According to an announcement from Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart, Clockwork Lives, their follow-up novel to Clockwork Angels has been optioned for television and/or film.

From the announcement:Stoke the fires on the big steel wheels! Exciting news, so keep your fingers crossed that this moves forward. Here’s the official announcement:

Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart have optioned their steampunk fantasy adventure CLOCKWORK LIVES to writer/producers Benjamin Raab & Deric A. Hughes (Arrow, The Flash, Warehouse 13). CLOCKWORK LIVES is set in the universe of the concept album CLOCKWORK ANGELS by legendary rock band Rush and Anderson’s New York Times bestselling novel of the same title. Anderson and Rush drummer and lyricist Peart wrote CLOCKWORK LIVES as a companion to ANGELS in a novel published by ECW Press and a new graphic novel from Insight Editions.When asked why Clockwork Angels wasn't similarly optioned…

Rush's 40th Anniversary Edition of Hemispheres Coming November 16th - Pre-Orders Now Available

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Over the last two years, Rush has released special 40th Anniversary editions of both 2112 and A Farewell to Kings. With 2018 marking the 40th anniversary of Hemispheres, many fans have been anxiously awaiting news of a special 40th Anniversary release of Rush's progressive masterpiece.

“Hemispheres was one of our most challenging and demanding records to make,” says Alex Lifeson. “From its inception in a Wales farmhouse where it was written over a 4 week span,” Lifeson continues, “to the very difficult mixing sessions in two London recording studios, it stands as a key transitional album in Rush’s long recording history.”

Today, the wait is finally over.

Pre-order links as well as cover-art for the 40th Anniversary Edition of Hemisphere's have begun to appear on Amazon:

Super Deluxe Edition - 2 CD / 1 BD / 3 LP
2 CD
3 LP
MP3s

Amazon is also citing a November 16th release date.

The track list for the 2 CD's appears to be this:Disc 1
1. Cygnus X-1 (Book II Hemispheres)
2. Circum…

Rush Tribute Album Featuring Mike Portnoy Coming From Steel Drum Orchestra Pan Rocks

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Pan Rocks, the steel drum orchestra founded by heavy metal drummer turned internationally recognized steelpannist Tracy Thornton, just announced an exciting new Rush tribute project that will feature long-time Rush fan Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater fame.

From the announcement:STEEL DRUM ORCHESTRA TAPS MIKE PORTNOY FOR TRIBUTE TO "RUSH"

Steel Drum Orchestra, “Pan Rocks”, lead by founder Tracy Thornton, is set to return to the studio this Fall to record a tribute to RUSH. It was announced this week that drummer Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo, Winery Dogs) will handle drumming duties for the recording project.

"I am excited to take part in this unique musical experience unlike anything I have done in my career...and it is always an honor to pay tribute to one of my biggest inspirations, my hero and friend, Neil Peart", adds Portnoy.

Bass and guitar will be announced in the coming weeks.

Pan Rocks is a 50 piece steel drum orchestra founded by drummer Tracy Thornton. T…

Luxe and Ultra-Limited-Edition Versions of Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass

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The Rush Backstage Club has just announced that they will be offering very special Luxe and Ultra-Limited-Edition versions of Geddy Lee's upcoming Big Beautiful Book of Bass.

From the announcement:Ultra Limited Edition Exclusive $950
This leather-bound, 408-page hardcover book is hand numbered and limited to 250 copies, and signed by Geddy Lee. The book comes in a customized slipcase, which is exclusive to the limited editions. The book comes enclosed in a custom BBBofB silver tolex briefcase, reminiscent of certain guitar cases. Immaculately printed and bound, this will be a handsome addition to coffee tables across the world.

Luxe Limited Edition $450
This Luxe Edition leather-bound, 408-page hardcover book is hand numbered and limited to 900 copies, and signed by Geddy Lee. The edition also comes in a customized slipcase, which is exclusive to the limited editions. Immaculately printed and bound, this will be a handsome addition to coffee tables around the world. Additional…

Geddy Lee Joined Rush Fifty Years Ago Today

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Having just performed their first official public performance as Rush the week prior, the band's second paying gig, also at the Coff-In center at the St. Theodore of Canterbury Anglican Church, immediately ran into some "good" bad luck. As it turns out, Jeff Jones, the bass player and lead singer at the time, could not perform at the band's second show which, according to Alex, took place fifty years ago today.

From Alex Lifeson: "...Jeff couldn't make it - he had commitments to his actual band. So that's when I called Geddy and asked him if he could fill in. I'd known Ged for a couple of years. He might not have done the first gig as Rush, but he was there for the second one. And after that we would play at the Coff-Inn once a month..."

Rush, the trio made up of Alex Lifeson, John Rutsey, and Geddy Lee, had formed. However changes to the lineup were not over. In December of 1968, Lindy Young, who would later become Geddy Lee's brother-in…

Rush's First Public Performance Took Place 50 Years Ago Today

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Having formed the first incarnation of Rush the month before, the trio of Alex Lifeson, John Rutsey, and Jeff Jones (bassist and lead singer) received an offer to perform a gig at The Coff-Inn, a drop-in center located in the basement of St. Theodore of Canterbury Anglican Church. The center, which was only two blocks from Lifeson's house, was a place for kids to hang out safely, drink pop and watch local bands play. There was no stage at the center, so Rush's first concert took place on the floor at one end of the room.

Though the center could hold about a hundred people, according to Alex's recollection there were probably only 20 people there on Rush's inaugural performance, which took place on September 18th, 1968 - exactly fifty years ago today.

Or did it...?

The September 18th date comes directly interviews with Alex Lifeson, however that date points to a Wednesday whereas performances at the Coff-Inn were believed to take place on Fridays. So did the actual…

Neil Peart Celebrates His 66th Birthday Today

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Today marks the 66th 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.

A special treat to help celebrate Neil's 66th birthday is this rare picture of him from 1969 at Brock University in St. Cath…

Alex Lifeson Celebrates His 65th Birthday Today!

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Alex Lifeson, one of the founding members of Rush and the band's seminal guitarist, is celebrating his 65th 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, and an artist.

Alex has also been known to dabble with a little acting now and again. Recently, he's appeared a couple of times on the new CBC comedy-drama Crawford, which premiered on the CBC in Canada earlier this summer. A preview clip of Alex's recent performance on the show is available below.


Please jo…

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson to Host "Grapes Under Pressure IV"

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After a 4-year absence, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson team up once again for the fourth installment of their “definitely not so annual” Excellent Harvest Adventure in support of Canada's Grapes for Humanity charity organization.

On Saturday, October 13th, 2018, Geddy and Alex will welcome you aboard private VIA Rail train number “2112” from Toronto’s Union Station as we enjoy breakfast enroute to Niagara Wine Region and the beautiful and expansive Peller Estate Vineyards.

As you tour this stunning property owned by a family that represents over 50 years of winemaking expertise, guests can try their hand at picking grapes and learn about cutting-edge winemaking techniques while drinking and tasting the “The Best of the Peller Portfolio” which will feature wines from all of their properties ranging from Niagara to British Columbia.

Aside from wines produced right on the Estate, there will be opportunities to taste wines from Trius Winery, Wayne Gretzky Estates, Thirty Bench, Calona, Re…

Excerpts from Neil Peart's Privately Published Books Now Available

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During the 1980's, a full decade before he released his first novel, The Masked Rider, Neil Peart authored and privately published five other books/travelogues, many of which dealt with his cycling adventures across the globe.

Each book was reportedly produced in very limited quantities, and only gifted to friends and family. As such, these books have rarely seen the light of day beyond Neil's inner circle. Fortunately, I've come across several of these books thanks to sheer luck (and the help of fellow Rush fans). As such, I've transcribed excerpts from some of Neil's early works including, most recently, his 1988 book Raindance Over the Rockies: Across the Rocky Mountains by Bicycle.

From the excerpt:The hours and miles went by smoothly on the flat highway, spokes shining in the sun as we followed the course of the Bow River, aquamarine and foaming white as it tumbled over its rocky bed. Heavy evergreen forest lined the banks, and the air carried the scent o…

Alex Lifeson and his Harper Marilyn Custom Guitar

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Jacob Harper, owner of Booneville, Indiana's Harper Guitars, was recently tasked with creating a custom guitar for Alex Lifeson. From a TriStateHomePage article:A recent request from a rock and roll god tops almost all the other builds. Thanks to his work, an icon has a piece of Boonville, Indiana.

If you know your music legends, you have probably heard of the band 'Rush.'

They have a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and now guitarist Alex Lifeson has a spot for one Harper masterpiece. A mutual friend in the music industry hooked the two up.

In a grainy Facebook video, Lifeson gives the Harper a test drive.

“Hey Jacob, thank you so much, this guitar is mind-blowing, I’m speechless, I can't believe how beautiful it is,” he said.

“Very cool,” said Harper. “I don't think I'll ever get over the fact that I'm building for some of my heroes.”

The attention to detail is unmatched. The fret inlays are interpretations of ‘Rush’ albums. The pick guard, adorne…