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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…

Neil Peart's Drum Kit Featured in New Book - CRASH: The World's Greatest Drum Kits

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Modern Drummer Magazine and author David Frangioni have just released a new coffee table book titled CRASH: The World's Greatest Drum Kits From Appice to Peart to Van Halen. As the title suggests, one of Neil Peart's drum kit, presumably from Rush's R40 tour, is featured in the book.

From the Amazon.Com listing:From snares to cymbals, drums are taking over the stage in this first-ever collected look into some of the most famous drum kits of rock and roll history.

Crash is the definitive Illustrated history of the drum kits of rock ’n’ roll legends. Featuring images from live concerts, outdoor festivals, and private recording sessions, this spectacular volume captures the personal connection between artist and instrument. Along with the makes and models, each kit is accompanied by commentary about the history of the kit, its special characteristics, as well as its significance to rock history. Including photographs of Neil Peart, Carl Palmer, Ginger Baker, Keith Moon, Ri…

Rush's R40 Live Concert Video Certified GOLD by the RIAA

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Rush's concert film from their 40th Anniversary Tour R40 Live has just been certified Gold in the category of Video Longform by the The Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA). The Gold status indicates sales of at least 50,000 units. Platinum status in the Video category is awarded after sales of 100,000 units.

R40 Live: All roads have led to this. Forty-one years in the making, the R40 Live tour took a very real journey back through time. Beginning with the grand design: a state-of-the-art stage set that pivots, rolls and dives, and brings Clockwork Angels in to bombastic, colorful life before marching stridently back in time (through theatre stages, a panoply of band and fan shots, the accrued memories of a life spent playing live) to a mocked-up school gym and the band playing there; a solitary bass amp set on the chair behind Geddy Lee, a mirror ball spiraling crazily above, casting thin rods of light like a light rain across the crowd, "Working Man" co…

Rush Immortalized as Limited-Edition Funko Pop! Figures

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The members of Rush will be the next rock stars to get their own figures in the popular Funko Pop! toy line.

Funko released a list on its website of limited-edition figures that will be made available exclusively at the upcoming FAN EXPO Canada event, which takes place at the Metro Toronto Convention Center from August 30th through September 2nd. Among the new releases on the lists were Funko Pop! likenesses of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart in a three-pack.

The figure of Geddy appears to be wearing a dragon-covered kimono, a la his stage outfit from Rush’s many tours in the ‘70s, while holding a bass guitar. Alex's figure is wearing a printed shirt and holding a guitar fashioned after a Gibson Les Paul. Peart’s counterpart (mustachioed, as the great drummer was through most of the ‘70s) wears a red kimono and holds drumsticks, and appears to be twirling one in his right hand.

While the Funko Pop! website lists no price for the set, reports have indicated that it will reta…

First Incarnation of Rush Formed 50 Years Ago This Month

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While the exact date of the formation of Rush is not known, it is a generally accepted fact that the band's first incarnation occurred fifty years ago this month; in August of 1968. As the story goes, after Alex Lifeson's family moved to Toronto, into one of its many ethnic neighbourhoods, the budding guitarist would become fast friends with John Rutsey, who lived across the street. It wasn't long before the two began playing together.

Soon after, kids from the neighborhood joined in on the fun as basement bands were formed and, just as quickly, dissolved. Throughout it all, Alex and John continued to play and practice together, until they formed their first 'official' band in the Spring of 1968. They called themselves The Projection, yet by the end of the summer of 1968, the band had broken up.

Some time in August, bass player and lead singer Jeff Jones joined John and Alex, forming a new band which would become the first true incarnation of Rush.

On the band…

Geddy Lee Celebrates His 65th Birthday Today!

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Geddy Lee (born Gary Lee Weinrib) is celebrating his 65th 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.

Geddy has recently been working on his upcoming book - Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass - which is expected out later this year.

In addition to today being Geddy's birthday, it is also the 44th a…