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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Neil Peart Talks Drum Solos with Rhythm Magazine

Neil Peart Talks Drum Solos with Rhythm Magazine
The March and April 2014 issues of the UK's Rhythm Magazine includes two articles written by Neil Peart titled, appropriately, Neil Peart on Drum Solos.

In Part One of the feature, which appeared in the March 2014 issue of the magazine, Neil breaks down the two 'mini-solos' that he performed during Rush's Clockwork Angels tour:
What if I did two shorter solos, one in each set? Ooh, yes - that had possibilities. Eventually that notion evolved into three 'excursions'. The first was a more traditional solo in the first set, in the middle of an instrumental called, 'Where's My Thing?' (Thus the solo is smilingly titled, 'Here It Is!')

In the middle of the second set, I would take an extended drum break in 'Headlong Flight', for which I incorporated samples of the bass and guitar parts - wanting to create a version of one of my most admired soloing approaches, as exemplified by Steve Smith or Dave Weckl, for example. I speak of 'soloing over the changes', where the solo holds the tempo and structure, while the band joins in on specific hits or phrases. I have not yet convinced my bandmates to help me create that exact 'set-up', but this is a fun approximation. One superior element is that because I trigger the 'accompaniment', I can improvise freely against a set of changes that is random, rather than arranged.
In Part Two of the feature, which appeared in the April 2014 issue of Rhythm, Neil focuses on the arrangements of his Clockwork Angel tour drum solos as well as his thoughts of the future of the drum solo:
Finally, I have been asked about the 'future' of the drum solo. As mentioned, these days it is absent from the 'mainstream' of popular music, but I would venture that has been so since the dawn of recorded music. Jazz has always embraced self-expression, freedom, and virtuosity, and that has not changed. Some rock musicians have also aspired to those values, but in the final analysis, it is up to the audience.

The popularity of more adventurous music ebbs and flows, but does seem to endure. Perhaps in these times even the word 'progressive' has evolved from admired, to despised, to mildly respected.
Both articles are available online for your reading pleasure. You can access them via the links below:
  • Neil Peart on Drum Solos - Part One - Rhythm Magazine, March 2014
  • Neil Peart on Drum Solos - Part Two - Rhythm Magazine, April 2014
  • Thanks to Heiko Klages for providing the scans of the April article.

    Friday, April 11, 2014

    Part One of "Le Studio: Temple of Sound" Documentary Now Online

    Part One of
    Nestled in the Laurentian Mountains in the town of Morin Heights, Quebec lies Le Studio; a recording studio built in 1974 by André Perry and Yaël Brandeis. For Rush fans, it has become a mecca of sorts given its rich history. Rush called the studio home for the recording of eight of their albums, including Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures. Other international artists including Nazareth, The Police, Sting, Cat Stevens, The Bee Gees, David Bowie, Keith Richards, April Wine, Kim Mitchell and Bryan Adams have also recorded albums there.

    However despite all of its rich history, the recording studio closed its doors in the mid-2000's and has since been virtually abandoned, left to decay in the harsh Canadian elements.

    A group of Rush fans were granted access to the studio back in 2011 where they photographed and filmed the building in its then current state. Through some extensive research on the history of Le Studio, the first part in an on-going documentary titled Temple of Sound is now available online.

    It not only covers Rush's extensive involvement with the studio, but also provides a fantastic, in-depth history of Le Studio and the bands who have recorded there. Part One of the documentary is now available online and can be viewed via the embedded player below.

    You can also view the documentary directly at YouTube via this LINK.

    Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for sharing the news.

    Rush Featured in First U.S. Issue of Red Hot Rock Magazine - Talk of 2015 Tour Continues

    Time Traveling with Alex Lifeson
    Two interviews with Alex Lifeson, one from March of this year and another from 2009, are included in the first U.S. issue of the Swedish music magazine Red Hot Rock.

    In the interview, which is titled Time Traveling with Alex Lifeson and can be read HERE, Alex once again touches upon the possibility of a 2015 tour, similar to the comments he made last month in a Rolling Stone interview.

    From the Red Hot Rock article:
    "Yeah. You know, you're right. We're on holiday and we sort of decided when the tour ended that we weren't really gonna think about what we were going to do for at least a year. We really needed to take a break. We were working pretty steadily for a lot of years, but particularly the last four or five years. And we really needed an opportunity to clear our heads and catch our breaths. We haven't discussed it too much, but that's just us. All around us, everybody's making plans for us. And it looks like we'll probably be going out next spring. Spring, 2015. So, we haven't discussed anything about the show or about the material or any of that stuff. But we're sort of aiming towards that as the start date for the next tour. But that'll be, I guess, our 41st anniversary tour or 40th plus, whatever. And we'll see how it goes. We need to stay healthy until then, though. Ha ha."
    To read both interviews, which are accompanied by two dozen color photos of the band, click HERE.

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    Win A Day with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson

    Win A Day with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson
    Imagine spending a day with two members of Rush, talking music, sampling wine, sharing a meal. What would seem like a dream to most fans can now be a reality. As part of the John Varvatos 11th Annual Stuart House Benefit, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have "donated" themselves to the cause.

    From the auction listing:
    Spend an entire day with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of the Canadian rock band RUSH and have a wonderful wine experience!

    You and a guest will travel with Lee and Lifeson on a private train to the Niagara winery region outside of Toronto. Your day will include breakfast, picking and learning about grapes, a wine tasting, lunch on the vineyard and a 2-night stay at a Royal York Hotel in Toronto. This package is perfect for wine lovers and fans of RUSH!
    Valued at $3,500, bidding for this once-in-a-lifetime event has already surpassed the $20,000 mark.

    Bidding ends on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 at exactly 3:32:00 PM EDT. For more information and to enter into the bidding war, please click HERE.

    Thanks to reader Terry Emerson for the news.

    Monday, April 7, 2014

    Rush Big Winners of the 2014 Music Express Awards

    Rush Big Winners of the 2014 Music Express Awards
    Last week, the results of the 2014 Music Express Awards, where Music Express readers vote for their favorite artists in the Canadian music industry, were revealed. Rush were nominated in three categories: Top Group, Top Compilation Album (Clockwork Angels Tour) and Top Live Performance.

    According to the Music Express website, Rush won all three categories:
    More than 10,000 Music Express readers have cast their on-line ballot for the Long & McQuade 2014 Music Express Awards with Rush and The Headstones leading the way with three awards each.

    Rush, who claimed three ME awards in 2013, repeated again this year, winning Top Group, Top Live Performance (Arena) and Top Compilation Release for their Clockwork Angels-Live Rock record.
    In related Music Express news, Rush will be featured in a new book titled Music Express: The Rise, Fall & Resurrection of Canada's Music Magazine. From the Amazon listing:
    "The story of Music Express is told through the unique perspective of Keith Sharp, the magazine's founder and editor. During its seventeen-year existence, Music Express rose from a small, Calgary-based regional magazine to an international publication. The interviews, anecdotes, and stories cover the golden era of Canadian music, with the rise to global status of such icons as Bryan Adams, Loverboy, Rush, Celine Dion, and Triumph. Their stories, as well as many more, are captured together with an array of classic rock photography that provides a unique time capsule."
    The book is scheduled for release on May 3rd and can be pre-ordered HERE.

    Thanks to reader RushFanForever for the news.

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

    Not Fade Away: Rush’s Simple, Straight-Ahead Debut Turns 40

    Rush 2015 Wall Calendar Now Available for Pre-Order - Cover Art Revealed
    A look-back at Rush's debut self-titled album was discussed in an article posted today at Radio.Com. The article is titled Not Fade Away: Rush’s Simple, Straight-Ahead Debut Turns 40 which also includes comments by Geddy Lee:
    “Our parents were hard-working,” Lee explains. “Life was a struggle for most people, no one was wealthy. You thought a lot about your future, and what kind of life do you want to live? Is it going to be enough for me to have that kind of life, where it’s all about work, and a beer at the end of the day and a hug from your kids, and do it all again? So, it’s kind of an ode to that guy who we worked so hard not to be, in a sense. We wanted to be musicians, and that was our ticket out of there. That was our escape for what was sort of inevitable for all of our friends and the world that we came from.”
    Geddy goes on to discuss the influential impact of long-time producer Terry Brown:
    “The first version of our first record was really crappy, and that’s when we met the guy who really changed our lives, which was Terry Brown. And he became our producer for the next 10 years and taught us so much about making records.” Indeed, Brown produced every Rush album through 1982′s Signals.
    You can read the entire article at this LINK.

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

    Rush Plotting 41st Anniversary Tour for 2015

    Rush Plotting 41st Anniversary Tour for 2015
    Rolling Stone Magazine just published an article titled Rush Plotting 41st Anniversary Tour for 2015. The article, quoting Alex Lifeson, indicates that there may be a new tour in the works for the Spring of 2015.

    From the article:
    Rush wrapped up their worldwide Clockwork Angels tour just seven months ago, but they're already planning a lengthy "41st anniversary" tour for 2015, according to guitarist Alex Lifeson. "The three of us just had a meeting," Lifeson tells Rolling Stone. "We said, 'Let's not talk about anything band-wise for the next year. Let's separate ourselves and come back rejuvenated.' Unfortunately, the other people at that meeting didn't hear what we were talking about, so there are already plans being made for spring of 2015. It's going to be a 41st anniversary tour, or whatever they're going to call it."

    The specifics of the tour are still in flux. "We haven't really talked seriously about what we want to do," says Lifeson. "But I think we're probably going to lean towards making it a real sort of fan event, and really try to put something together that's very pleasing for the fans across the board. That's always been difficult, for us to sort of balance things."
    Fantastic news!

    You can read the entire article via this LINK.

    Thanks to reader Stephen Fowler for the news!

    Rush 2015 Wall Calendar Now Available for Pre-Order - Cover Art Revealed

    Rush 2015 Wall Calendar Now Available for Pre-Order - Cover Art Revealed
    NMR Distribution has just released the cover art for the upcoming 2015 Rush Wall Calendar. Few details aside from the cover art are known about the 16-month calendar at this time, except that the measurements (12" x 12") mirror those of previously released Rush Wall Calendars.

    This will mark the twelfth consecutive year that a Rush Wall Calendar has been released, dating back to the original 2004 Rush Wall Calendar.

    The 2015 version is scheduled for release on or about July 15th and can already be pre-ordered via Amazon at this LINK.

    If you missed out on the 2014 calendar, you can still order it HERE, although be prepared to pay a pretty penny for it.

    To view all of the artwork and photographs from every Rush Wall Calendar, click HERE.

    Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for the news.

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

    Neil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - March 2014 - "Not All Days Are Sundays"

    Neil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - March 2014 - Not All Days Are SundaysNeil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - March 2014 - Not All Days Are Sundays
    Neil Peart has just posted a new update to his "News, Weather, and Sports" website blog. This March 2014 entry, his second of the new year, is titled "Not All Days Are Sundays".

    The entry details an extensive vacation Neil and his family took in February in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec. This would be the first Canadian winter experienced by Olivia; Neil's 4-year old daughter. From the entry:
    If this year did not quite offer “The Best February Ever” I crowed about back in 2008 (mostly to do with the weather, which has its own vagaries, of course), it was still pretty great. I was able to spend the entire month there, and in the middle, welcomed Carrie and Olivia for a week. Four-and-a-half-year-old Olivia would finally experience her true Canadian half—winter!

    If we Canadians know what it’s like to be alone in the snow, we also know what it’s like to be together in the snow. It was an extreme delight for me to introduce Olivia to a whole new world of quaint Canadian customs dans l’hiver.
    It begins, of course, with taking half an hour to get dressed—putting on all the layers, the boots, the scarf, the mittens, the balaclava (Olivia loved to say that word), hat, and sunglasses.

    Then to walk outside and feel the shock of the cold—even if only on the two inches of face left exposed, but also in the nostrils and lungs. Cold fresh air like that is definitely a mild narcotic—just as I once described my favorite drink as “February in Quebec.” Olivia climbed the snowbanks, slid down them, dived into the deep powder, rolled in it, swam in it, and finally, tasted it. She said, “I love snow!” My heart melted.
    Sadly, Neil also reflects on the passing of one of his friends - Steven Taylor - who was the older brother of his late wife Jackie:
    Not all days are Sundays, and not all Februarys are perfect. Much as I might resist having to modulate into a sad minor key, it is a part of our music—a part of our world—like it or not. As it is described so enduringly in the movie Down By Law, “It’s a sad and beautiful world.”

    Smack in the middle of the month, a dear friend—a brother—was felled by a heart attack, just after his sixty-first birthday. My age. Steven was the elder brother of my late wife, Jackie. His twin brother, Keith, had looked after my Quebec homes for almost twenty years. We had been friends since our teens, back in St. Catharines, Ontario, when Keith and Steve worked at the local record store, and I was a struggling musician. Naturally, a struggling musician was going to hang around the record store (in those days, anyway!). At the time I joined Rush, in 1974, I was living in a farmhouse with Steve, Keith, and Wayne “the Bear” Lawryk.

    In later years, Steven and I shared the worst times in our lives—in England after Selena’s death, looking after Jackie through her decline (her surrender) in London, Toronto, and Barbados. When I was at my lowest, Steven was my rock. After the wrench of Jackie’s passing, Steven met me on my Ghost Rider travels to help “kill Christmas” (the worst time of year when your family is shattered)—one year in Belize, with his wife Shelly, the next year pounding through Baja in his father-in-law’s Hummer. A few years later Steven lost his teenage son, Kyle, to stupid cancer, and I was able to be there for him. (The “walking wounded,” we called ourselves.) He was a good man, a good friend, and a good brother—I felt his loss keenly.
    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.

    Friday, March 14, 2014

    Rush Ranks #35 on Billboard's List of 2013's Top Money Makers

    Billboard Ranks 2013 Top Money Makers - Rush #35
    As they do every year, Billboard has just released a list of Music's Top 40 Money Makers of 2013, which includes concert revenues as well as sales of albums, singles, videos and more.

    Coming in at #35 on the list was Rush with earnings of $9,050,583.42 during the year. Not a bad amount considering they only performed in 37 shows during the year.

    The list was topped by Taylor Swift, who earned a whopping $39.7M during the year. Rush wasn't the only rock outfit to make the list, which was littered with plenty of pop and hip-hop acts. Bon Jovi and the Rolling Stones came in at the #4 and #5 spots respectively while Fleetwood Mac's 2013 World Tour landed them in the #10 spot.

    Click HERE to see who else made the list.

    Alex Lifeson Helps to Raise Awareness for the Kidney Foundation of Canada

    A new press release from The Kidney Foundation of Canada was recently posted regarding the launch of a free Online Risk Assessment tool. The press release also states that March is "Kidney Health" month. Alex Lifeson, whose father passed away from kidney disease, has been instrumental in raising awareness of this foundation and the disease:
    "Thanks to celebrity spokesperson Alex Lifeson's participation in a new public service announcement, we are able to help raise awareness of the risk factors for kidney disease. Canadians will also have a health information e-tool at their fingertips and a printed risk assessment they can share with their healthcare provider - crucial resources for their kidney health management."

    Thanks to Eric from Power Windows for the news.

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

    American Idol Finalist Caleb Johnson Performs Rush's Working Man

    American Idol Finalist Caleb Johnson Performs Rush's Working Man
    Tonight's episode of American Idol featured a significant Rush sighting when one of the finalists, Caleb Johnson, decided to perform Rush's classic anthem "Working Man".

    Caleb proclaimed that Rush was his "favorite band of all time" and that he wanted to sing one of his "favorite songs of all time". And sing it he did. Caleb's powerful vocals did the Rush song justice.

    The judges were largely impressed, too. Harry Connick, Jr. felt that Caleb, if not the performance, was a bit predictable while Keith Urban enjoyed the performance but suggested Caleb exit the band environment and focus more on being a solo artist. Jennifer Lopez, however, absolutely loved the performance and was "waiting for something like this all night".

    I uploaded a video of Caleb's introduction and performance on YouTube Hopefully you'll be able to view it before it's removed :)

    Caleb Johnson - Working Man - American Idol 13... by IdolxMuzic

    Thanks to my brother Mario for the speedy head's up about tonight's performance.

    Related News Stories
    [Rush's Limelight Featured on American Idol - April 3rd, 2013]
    [Rush Sighting on American Idol - Fitting for Rush Day :-) - February 1st, 2012]

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

    Rush ReDISCovered Debut LP Box Box Set Coming April 15th

    Rush ReDISCovered LP Box Box Set Coming April 15thRush ReDISCovered LP Box Box Set Coming April 15th
    The Rush Backstage Club has just announced the official details of the upcoming 40th Anniversary re-release of Rush's debut album. From the Backstage Club:
    2014 marks the 40th anniversary of Rush's debut album. This release features their debut vinyl album re-mastered with impeccable care at Abbey Road studios by Sean Magee, who has been previously responsible for all recent Beatles vinyl re-masters.

    The Re-discovered vinyl is encased in a 12 x 12 high quality box. Pressed on audio-phile 200 gram vinyl on the Direct Metal Mastering process, this is the highest quality vinyl currently available. This release contains a re-production of the original 1974 Canadian retail poster (only 500 were ever originally printed) and individual Moon Records publicity photos of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & original drummer John Rutsey. This release also contains a first time ever Rush Family Tree, tracing origins of the band dating back to 1965 and a memorabilia collage of early Canadian and US gig ads, reviews, photos and the first ever Rush bio.
    At this point, there is no indication on whether or not a CD version (or an 8-track version for that matter) of the box set will be offered.

    The Rediscovered LP Box Set will be released on April 15th and can be pre-ordered via this LINK.

    Thanks to GeddyWanneBe for the heads up.

    Related News Stories
    [Rush's Debut Album to Receive 40th Anniversary Reissue - December 27th, 2013]

    Rush's Debut Album Released 40 Years Ago This Month

    Rush's Debut Album Released 40 Years Ago This Month
    Though the first incarnation of Rush actually began in August of 1968, it wasn't until March of 1974 when they finally released their debut, self-titled album. "Rush" would be the only album featuring the original Rush drummer and co-founder John Rutsey. Upon its release, the band drew immediate comparisons to Led Zeppelin with their heavy, straight-forward hard rock sound, but it was their "Working Man" anthem that broke them into the spotlight in the U.S.A.

    Rush and its management formed their own record label, Moon Records, and released the album in Canada, pressing 3,500 copies with the 'Rush' logo colored red. The album was originally scheduled for release in December 1973 however due to shortages in oil at the time, and given that vinyl is a petroleum byproduct, the album's release was delayed until March of 1974.

    The album would later be re-released by Mercury records on August 10th, 1974 after the band signed a contract with the record label. The 'Rush' logo's color was changed to pink on the Mercury release however it's not clear why this change was made.

    The album produced two released singles, "Finding My Way" and "In the Mood", the latter of which reached #88 on the US Hot 100 singles chart.

    The album would peak at #105 on the Billboard Album charts and would receive a Gold certification by the RIAA over 21 years after its release.

    To help celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of "Rush", the band is working on a 40th Anniversary Reissue of the album.

    Check out all of the significant events during the past forty years - and more - in the Rush Timeline feature of the site.

    Happy Anniversary, Rush and "Rush"!

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    Rush: The Rise of Kings Documentary Coming May 6th

    A new, unofficial documentary on Rush titled Rush: The Rise of Kings (1968-1981) is set to be released this coming May 6th.

    The documentary comes from Sexy Intellectual Studios whom are known for producing unofficial music documentaries.

    From the listing:
    The most successful band to emerge from the Canadian rock explosion of the early 1970s, Rush would go on to become one of that nation's biggest entertainment exports. A trio of musical polymaths who cut a fiercely independent, sometimes controversial path through various musical styles to forge a distinctive, evolving sound that was incomparable to that of any of their contemporaries, this hugely influential group have flourished across a forty-plus year career. This film traces the history of Rush from the bar rooms of Toronto in the late 1960s to the world's largest arenas in the late 70s and early 1980s, by which time they were amongst the biggest bands on the planet. Through a stunning combination of rare and classic footage, the testimony of friends, colleagues and those who worked with the group across the years, plus exclusive and archive interviews and a host of other features, this programme makes the very unique history of Rush come alive in a manner previously undocumented.
    You can pre-order the documentary, which is currently only available in DVD format, via this LINK.

    Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for the news.

    "No Turning Back" Short Story Collection Features Cover Art by Hugh Syme

    No Turning Back is the new collection of original short fiction by Dan Burns. This beautifully crafted hardcover edition includes story illustrations by Chicago artist Kelly Maryanski and an original cover design by world-renowned graphic artist Hugh Syme (album cover designer for the rock band Rush). Additionally, the author accompanies each story with his personal notes regarding the thoughts and ideas that inspired him to write the story, adding a unique behind-the-scenes perspective of the writing process.

    The hardcover first edition will be published May 1st from Chicago Arts Press, and can be pre-ordered from Amazon.Com or directly at

    For more information about the book and the author, please click HERE.

    Thanks to the author Dan for the news.

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    Clockwork Angels: The Watchmaker's Edition Nominated for an Audie Award

    Clockwork Angels: The Watchmaker's Edition Nominated for an Audie Award
    Each year, the Audie Awards (or Audies) are bestowed in the USA for outstanding audiobooks covering a number of different categories. The Audies have been granted by the Audio Publishers Association, the not-for-profit trade organization of the audiobook industry, since 1996.

    Rush's Clockwork Angels: The Watchmaker's Edition has been nominated for a 2014 Audie Award in the category of Package Design.

    The winners will be announced at a gala banquet this coming spring, in conjunction with BookExpo America. For a complete list of the nominees and categories, please click HERE.

    For more information on Clockwork Angels: The Watchmaker's Edition, click HERE.

    Or purchase your own copy via this LINK.

    Thanks to reader Thomas Gieloff for the news.

    Monday, February 17, 2014

    Introducing the Rush Timeline

    The Rush Timeline
    As Rush begin the celebration of their 40th anniversary since the release of the band's debut album, and as Cygnus-X1.Net itself approaches its 10th anniversary later this year, I decided it was time to honor both occasions with a new section to this site:

    The Rush Timeline

    The idea first occurred to me when I, quite by accident, stumbled across the site of an old British band whose history was presented in a simple but effect graphical timeline. It immediately struck me that Rush's extensive history, which is filled with numerous significant events, would be served well if presented in such a format. After researching some options, I came upon TimelineJS, an open-source tool that enables you to build visually-rich interactive timelines.

    TimelineJS's simple-to-use interface and clean design made developing a timeline virtually effortless. Of course the real work would be in identifying the significant events in Rush's storied career to include in the timeline. At first I decided to include only major events such as album releases, the beginnings of major tours and some early pre-debut album history of the band. However as I began to build the foundation of the timeline, I realized that I needed to expand it to include many more events. Further, in addition to listing the events, I added brief summaries, images, embedded videos and more to enrich the entire experience.

    So, after many months of research and coding, the Rush Timeline is now online and contains well in excess of 200 entries covering not only album release dates and tours, but other significant events and accolades of the band and its members.

    Given that Rush's history continues to evolve, so too will this Timeline. If you spot an error or feel that a significant event was inadvertently overlooked, please contact me.

    Many thanks to all those who assisted and encouraged me to take on this monumental task, including Carl McDonnell, Eric Hansen of Power Windows, Ed Stenger of RushIsABand and Joe Pesch.

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

    Neil Peart Ranks #3 in Modern Drummer's 50 Greatest Drummers of All Time List

    Neil Peart Ranks #3 in Modern Drummer's 50 Greatest Drummers of All Time List
    The feature story in the March 2014 issue of Modern Drummer magazine is the periodical's list of the 50 Greatest Drummers of All Time. Neil Peart ranked #3 in the extensive list, which was selected by Modern Drummer readers and drummers.

    From the issue:
    Whose playing endures through the decades? Whose music do we reach for when we want new ideas? When we want to practice? When we want to laugh? Who inspires and delights us most?

    Drumming is a vast and mysterious art, but those are the concepts that help determine greatness.

    Now you can turn the page and find the artists who, regardless of genre or era, are revered by the drumming community most consistently. The results, after all, were made by you - drummers, from hobbyist to superstar. Many thousands of you submitted your top ten in our online poll, we tallied it all up, and now we present for all the world MD's 50 Greatest Drummers of All Time.
    Taking the top spot is Buddy Rich, followed by Led Zeppelin's John Bonham in the #2 spot.

    To read the write-up associated with Neil's entry in the magazine, plus for a look at all 50 drummers that made the cut, please click HERE.

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    Neil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - February 2014 - "Bubba And The Professor"

    Neil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - February 2014 - Bubba and the ProfessorNeil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - February 2014 - Bubba and the Professor
    Neil Peart has just posted his first update of 2014 to his "News, Weather, and Sports" website blog. This February 2014 entry is titled "Bubba And The Professor". The entry takes a look at Neil's duality of personas, if you will, from his given nicknames of "Bubba" and "The Professor". Neil elaborates on how - and why - he received these nicknames:
    "...It was the same way with Bubba — I didn’t pick it, and probably wouldn’t have. It came from Andrew MacNaughtan, the band’s main photographer from around 1989 until his tragically early death in 2011. During those years Andrew shot us casually and formally all over the world, including the portrait that opens this story (with expert Photoshop work from Hugh Syme), my all-time favorite. (Bubba’s, anyway.) In the early ’90s, Andrew also traveled with us on a couple of tours as a personal assistant. (Poor guy.)

    Back in those days, early in a friendship that would deepen over the years, Andrew started calling me Bubba. Originally Southern slang for “brother,” that title has grown to convey a “good ol’ boy” stereotype—even “redneck.” I could only assume Andrew was calling me that because I was pretty much the “Anti-Bubba” (I hope that’s what he was thinking), because, you know, I had read books, and written them, and cared about art, and cooked for my family, arranged flowers, and was friends with gays and brown-skinned people.

    An even earlier nickname given to me, “The Professor,” had an an equally ironic root. It was not, as many strangers assumed, some reflection of admiration from the Guys at Work for my intellect and learning. Oh no. Nor did it reflect an actual university degree, as some rumors held. No, the Guys at Work were simply equating my demeanor with the character on “Gilligan’s Island,” played by Russell Johnson.

    Not terribly insulting—but not exactly cool, either.

    So ... a question arises that has honestly never occurred to me before: which is the “real me?” The Professor, or Bubba?
    Neil talks in length about spending quality time with his family and his now 4-year old daughter Olivia in particular. He only touches upon the new graphic novel adaptation of Clockwork Angels and reveals an image of Crown City.

    The entry also looks at other ways Neil is enjoying his down-time, including his love of driving (on and off the track). Once again, another interesting and enlightening read.

    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, February 9, 2014

    Rush's Working Man Featured in New Walmart Commercial

    Walmart has just launched a new advertising campaign that focuses the spotlight on the retailer's plan to pledge $250 billion over the next 10 years to "products purchased from American factories. And honoring the men and women who make them."

    One of the several television commercials in the campaign utilizes Rush's Working Man as a back drop to a video of American factory workers.

    The commerical is available in both a 60 second and 30 second version.

    Thanks to Tom Tommeh Kelley for the news.

    Rush Sound and Video Engineers Take Home Three Tour Link Top Dog Awards

    Tour Link is a three day conference where professionals in concert touring and related industries spend time networking with their peers. Part of the three day session includes the Top Dog awards ceremony where awards in numerous categories are bestowed upon the very best of the best in the touring community as voted on by their peers.

    This year, long-time Rush engineer Brad Madix, who has been with the band since the Presto days and Video designer David Davidian, who has been with Rush since the Vapor Trails era, won three separate awards for their work during Rush's Clockwork Angels tour.

    Brad Madix shared the award with Ken Pooch Van Druten (Linkin Park) in the category of "FRONT OF HOUSE ENGINEER OF THE YEAR."

    David Davidian took home two awards, in the categories of "VIDEO DESIGNER OF THE YEAR" and "VIDEO DIRECTOR/OPERATOR OF THE YEAR"

    Howard Ungerleider, who won the award in 2011, was on hand at the ceremony and accepted all three awards on behalf of Brad and David.

    For more information about the awards and for a complete list of nominees and categories, please click HERE.

    Thanks to Greg Nosek for the news and congratulations to Brad and David.

    Friday, February 7, 2014

    John Wesley's album Disconnect features a guest appearance by Alex Lifeson

    John Wesley's album Disconnect features a guest appearance by Alex Lifeson
    Guitarist John Wesley, who is best known as the touring guitarist for the English rock band Porcupine Tree, has just announced that he will be releasing his latest album titled Disconnect next month. The announcement via his Facebook Page indicated that Alex Lifeson makes a guest appearance on the track "Once a Warrior" from the album.

    From the Facebook Announcement"
    7 years ago I was fortunate enough to meet and spend some time with one of my early guitar heroes, Alex Lifeson of RUSH. He's been a HUGE influence on my guitar playing throughout the years, and he's also one of the kindest human beings you'll ever meet.

    Now, 7 years later, he's performed a MIND-BLOWING guitar solo on my song, 'Once a Warrior.'

    I'm so happy to have Alex on my new album, 'Disconnect,' and I can't wait for you to hear it!
    Disconnect is scheduled for release in Europe including the UK on March 31st. The US released date is set for April 1st InsideOut Music.

    For more information, please visit John's website.

    David Phillips' "From The Riser, A Drummer's Perspective II" Book features foreward by Neil Peart

    David Phillips' From The Riser, A Drummer's Perspective II Book features foreward by Neil Peart
    Back in 2010, author and photographer David Phillips published a coffee table book titled A Drummer's Perspective: A Photographic Insight into the World of Drummers. The book contained a stunning collection of live action photos celebrating the world of drumming.

    Now, three years in the making, David is prepared to follow up his first book with From The Riser, A Drummer's Perspective II which will not only feature Neil Peart on the cover, but also includes a foreward written by Neil himself.
    ‘From the Riser: A Drummer’s Perspective II’ is a stunning collection of over two hundred live action drumming photos brought together in a large format coffee table book. Plus the foreword is written by the drumming legend Neil Peart of Rush.

    This project has been three years in the making and features more than a hundred drumming legends. The book aims to celebrate the world of drumming by taking you behind the scenes and showing you drummers doing what they do best. These images capture the raw emotion and sheer excitement of playing live: you’ll be able to see the view from behind the kit on stage in front of tens of thousands of people, get up close to the action at sound checks and see exceptional shots of some of the most amazing rock concerts and festivals.
    David has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help make this book a reality.

    For more information, please follow these links: or

    Thanks to David Phillips for passing along the news about this exciting book.

    Thursday, February 6, 2014

    Peart & Anderson Tinker with Rush's "Clockwork Angels" at Boom!

    Peart & Anderson Tinker with Rush's
    A new article about the upcoming graphic novelization of "Clockwork Angels" was just published by Comic Book Resources. The article includes a brief interview with both Neil Peart and Kevin J. Anderson as well as an exclusive look at some of the artwork:
    "Clockwork Angels" began life as a Rush concept record that was then turned into a novelization written by Anderson and Peart and is now making the jump to comics. Everything seems all right in the steampunk world of Albion, but a young man named Owen Hardy wants to step out of the highly regimented schedule put in place by the mysterious Watchmaker.

    Peart took a few moments out of his busy schedule to talk with Comic Book Resources about his history with comics before Anderson went into more detail about the series. "When I was growing up in the '50s and '60s, comic books were a very important part of my life. I devoured hundreds of them, I realize now -- all of the superheroes, and everything else from Archie and Veronica to 'Classics Illustrated,'" Peart told CBR News. "On a family car trip, I might be allowed to select two new comic books from a drugstore rack, and that was about as thrilling as could be for a suburban Canadian boy. Over the years, I shared all the typical flashlight-under-the-blankets experiences.

    "Comic books entertained me, delighted me, inspired me, and definitely taught me a few things, too," Peart continued. "In Grade 8 I won a public-speaking medal for a speech about General Douglas McArthur that was 'researched' in one of the World War II comics that were also popular in that era."

    Peart then analyzed his relationship with comics and how that led to this latest adaptation of "Clockwork Angels." "It occurs to me now that not only have I grown up with comic books, but comic books have grown up with me," he explained. "The rise of the graphic novel has been a wonderful evolution, and I am very pleased that 'Clockwork Angels' will be appearing in that genre. Kevin's words and Nick's art are making my visions live and breathe -- a phenomenon I call 'artificial reality' -- and it is exciting to be a part of it."
    Pre-Orders of either the first issue of Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel or the entire 6-issue set are now available from the Boom Studios website:
  • Pre-Order Issue #1 HERE - $3.99
  • Pre-Order 6-Issue Subscription HERE - $29.99
  • The graphic novel will be released alongside the trade paperback reissue of Clockwork Angels: the Novel from ECW, which is now available for pre-order.

    Related News Stories
    [Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel Update - The Anarchist is Revealed - Janaury 17th, 2014]
    [New Interview with Kevin J. Anderson on the Graphic Novel Adaptation of Clockwork Angels - Janaury 6th, 2014]
    [Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel Now Available for Pre-Order - December 26th, 2013]
    ['Clockwork Angels' a Heavenly Comics Debut for Rush - Owen Hardy Character Design Revealed - December 11th, 2013]
    [Clockwork Angels: The Graphic Novel Coming in April 2014 - November 21st, 2013]

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

    Rush FAQ: All That's Left To Know About Rock's Greatest Power Trio Book Coming in April

    Rush FAQ: All That's Left To Know About Rock's Greatest Power Trio
    A new reference book on Rush will be published this April from long-time Rush aficionado Max Mobley. The book, titled Rush FAQ: All That's Left To Know About Rock's Greatest Power Trio will be released on April 29th and is available for pre-order now via Amazon.Com:
    Rush FAQ documents the amazing story of the worlds greatest Canadian prog rock power trio, from its origins in a church basement in Willowdale, Ontario, to its induction ceremony at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Covering 40 albums, 10 DVDs, thousands of mesmerizing live shows, and millions of rocks most loyal fans, the story of Rush is as epic and unique as its music. Rush has been maligned by the press for decades, and misunderstood by a legion of mainstream rock fans and rock glitterati. And yet only the Beatles and Rolling Stones have earned more gold and platinum records. Few artists, if any, have been as influential as Rushs three virtuososbassist-keyboardist-vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer-lyricist Neil Peart. Rushs focus has always been about its muse and its music. As such, Rush FAQ studies the evolution of the bands sound, from the early days of Zeppelin-esque blues-rock to complex, synth-laden opuses to the return of concept-album bombast with the critically acclaimed Clockwork Angels. With wit, humor, and authority, music industry veteran and unabashed Rush geek Max Mobley examines the music, gear, personalities, and trials and tribulations of one of rock and rolls truly legendary acts. It is a story Rush fans will treasure and rock and roll fans will admire.
    Author Max Mobley, who most recently interviewed Alex Lifeson for a 2009 issue of Premiere Guitar Magazine, has provided an exclusive extract of his book for Cygnus-X1.Net:
    With All the World’s a Stage, Rush was testing themselves by touching the boundaries of rock and roll, and then pushing it to see what happened. They were at the foot of a mountain and eager to climb. With Exit...Stage Left, the climb had begun, and through the songs they were now capable of writing, they assured onlookers (fans) that they knew what they were doing, while doubters hoped for a fall. In Grace Under Pressure, they had reached a plateau and were adjusting to the giddy atmosphere that was the eighties. In A Show of Hands, they seemed to want to make sure that everyone knew that, whereas they have yet to reach the peak, they were having a good time (which they undoubtedly were) and that they deserved to be there right alongside their fellow successful musical brethren. Nearing the summit, god-awful tragedy strikes. And having suffered a great fall, with Different Stages they planted a flag in the hopes of not being forgotten, reminding anyone who cared that they once were there. From the bottom of the crevasse where they had landed, rescue seemed dubious—like something greater than music had swallowed them whole like Jonah to the whale. Different Stages was also the call for compassion—the only thing that mattered at the time (Absalom! Absalom!). With Rush in Rio, they had climbed out of that chasm (both privately and publicly) under their own power—music. They were different, now and forever. But they were also, in some ways, better. Looking around, during those last minutes of the Vapor Trails tour in Rio, they realized that they were looking down from the summit. They had made it, but their stance there was somewhat tenuous because it almost never happened. But it did. And thousands of Brazilians helped them realize not only had they made it, but the climb was over—they could relax. As if...

    And then came R30.

    With the mountain conquered, it was time to take in the view all around them. It was time to allow themselves a pat on the back. There was nothing left but to celebrate. And they did — with thirty-one songs and thousands of their best friends from Europe and North America. Thank God.

    A band that never gave a damn about fame or acceptance now had masses lining up as if to give an overdue apology, admitting that Rush and Rush fans were right all along. (What were we thinking ...?) The power of their music need not be measured in riffs or the number of complicated time changes. It need not be measured at all anymore: the word Rush itself was all that need be said. The music on R30 was as serious as always for the band, and seriously played and devoured. And, at the same time, Lee, Lifeson and Peart, and the fantastic (and at times fantastically funny) stage show made sure we knew such things should never be taken too seriously. True.
    Thanks to Max Mobley for the information on the book and the excerpt.

    Saturday, January 25, 2014

    Rush: Spirit of the Airwaves Live 1980 Radio Broadcast CD/Vinyl Coming in March

    Rush: Spirit of the Airwaves
    Back in 1980, during their Permanent Waves tour, Rush played three consecutive nights at the Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis, Missouri from February 11th through the 13th. A fairly well-known bootleg from a live radio broadcast recording of one of those three performances has been around for quite some time.

    Now that live radio broadcast recording will be repackaged and released as a CD or Vinyl in Europe this March. It will be available in the US and Canada as an import item and can be pre-ordered HERE. UK residents can pre-order the album via this LINK.

    For those who cannot wait, the album is already available on iTunes as well as other digital music providers across Europe.

    Below is a track listing for the album:
    1. 2112: Overture 4:36
    2. The Temples of Syrinx 2:16
    3. Discovery 0:30
    4. Presentation 2:35
    5. Soliloquy 2:25
    6. Grand Finale 2:29
    7. By-Tor and the Snow Dog 5:14
    8. Xanadu 12:17
    9. The Spirit of Radio 5:19
    10. Natural Science 8:24
    11. Beneath, Between, Behind 2:29
    12. Working Man 3:30
    13. Finding My Way Intro 0:23
    14. Anthem 1:40
    15. Bastille Day 1:28
    16. In the Mood 2:39
    17. Drum Solo 5:11
    Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for the news.


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