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Monday, January 30, 2012

Neil Peart Posts Tribute to Andrew MacNaughtan

Andrew MacNaughtan
Neil Peart has posted a moving tribute to his late friend Andrew MacNaughtan on his website. Neil reflects on his relationship with Andrew which began back in 1985. More than just the band's photographer, Andrew was clearly a dear friend of Neil's (and Alex / Geddy / the entire Rush management team as well). From the entry:
In later years, Andrew became the band’s near-exclusive photographer, in concert, formal portraits, and documenting our rehearsals and recording sessions. He even served (suffered) as our personal assistant for two tours, Presto and Roll the Bones. As other assistants we have employed over the years would agree—were they not bound by strict confidentiality agreements—it was not a glamorous or easy job.

Throughout that turbulent time, all of us remained friends. Though Andrew was something of a self-confessed neurotic, he had a terrific sense of humor, and like me, he could laugh himself into helplessness—especially over the antics of Alex, who Geddy and I have long described as “the funniest man in the world.”

It was Andrew who bestowed on me the enduring nickname “Bubba.” (I like to think because he considered me the “anti-Bubba,” but I will never be sure.) He is thus commemorated by my website departments, Bubba’s Book Club and Bubba’s Bar ’n’ Grill.
You can read the entire entry via this LINK.

Related News Stories
[Rush Photographer Andrew MacNaughtan Passes Away - January 26th, 2012]

Rush Featured on Metal Evolution

Rush Featured on Metal Evolution
Update: For the moment at least, the segments featuring Rush are on YouTube. Check them out HERE and at the 5-minute mark HERE. Thanks Ed from RushIsABand.
All three members of Rush including long-time producer Terry Brown are featured in the the final episode of the heavy metal documentary show Metal Evolution. The show was created by Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen of Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage fame.

The episode has already aired this past weekend in Canada on MuchMoreMusic and is scheduled to air next weekend on VH1 Classic in the US.

Also included in the final episode will be interviews with other progressive metal bands such as Dream Theater, Queensryche, Yes and King Crimson. Click HERE for show times and additional information.

Thanks to RushFanForever for passing along the news.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rush Photographer Andrew MacNaughtan Passes Away

Andrew MacNaughtan Passes Away
Update (01/26/2012 7:25pm EST): News of Andrew's passing is beginning to hit some major news sources. Click HERE for the story from Toronto.Com. Thanks RushFanForever.
Update: Rush has acknowledged the passing of Andrew via a post on their official Facebook Page as well as on Rush.Com:
"We're deeply shocked and heartbroken to learn of the sudden passing of our close friend and long-time photographer, Andrew MacNaughtan. He was a sweet person and a very talented artist. Words cannot describe how much he will be missed. - Geddy, Alex & Neil"

We are saddened to announce the passing of long-time Rush photographer Andrew MacNaughtan. From a fellow photographer's Facebook page:
RIP Andrew MacNaughtan"Word has just come out that legendary Canadian music photographer Andrew McNaughtan has died in LA of a heart attack while on photo assignment with RUSH. His photos have been the cement in hundreds of Canadian music careers. Some of the most iconic images to grace album and magazine covers. This is a huge loss. Condolences to friends and family."
As indicated above, Andrew was involved with numerous celebrities over the years. You can see many of his photos on his website at www.andrewmacnaughtan.com.

Canadian Singer/Songwriter Jann Arden, who was friends with Andrew, tweeted the news as well:
My dear friend Andrew macnaughtan passed away yesterday in LA. I will miss his kind and generous heart. Safe travels dear Andrew...
One of Andrew's most recent projects was Grace: Africa in Photographs; where Andrew had teamed up with some of Canada's top recording artists for a unique book that showcased the beauty of Africa and the transformational work of World Vision through a series of black and white photographs. He was interviewed last November regarding the project on the Morning Show (thanks RushFanForever):


Prior to the announcement of Andrew's passing, there were some rumors surfacing which indicated that Rush were considering delaying their 2012 tour in support of Clockwork Angels until the fall, despite a Spring release of the album. At this point, that should continue to be treated solely as a rumor until we receive official word from the band.

Of course, we'll have more information as it becomes available.

Our sincerest condolences go out to Andrew's family and friends.

Suddenly -- You were gone. From all the lives you left your mark upon...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sync Up. Rock Out. The 2112 Listening Party

2112 Listening Party
RushCon, the largest North American gathering of fans celebrating the music of Rush, along with RushRadio.org are sponsoring a 2112 listening party of February 1st, 2012 (2/1/12). From the announcement:
Tune into RushRadio.org on Thursday February 1, 2012, at 9:12pm (in your time zone) for the world’s largest streaming Rush listening party! Simultaneously, join fans across the world in an online chat (tinychat.com/rushcon) as we crank this epic album and fill the world with our music. This is the closest we will get to the year 2112 in our lifetime, so celebrate and assume control!

The party will repeat 4 times, starting at 9:12pm EST, then at 9:12pm Central, Mountain, and Pacific timezones. So everyone will have a chance to join! Or heck, come for all 4 hours! The more Rush fans the better!
You can RSVP for the listening party via this Facebook LINK.

Monday, January 23, 2012

German Band Gregorian Covers Rush's Bravado

Gregorian Cover Of
The German band Gregorian, headed by Frank Peterson and who are known for their Gregorian chant-inspired versions of modern pop and rock songs, have released a cover of Rush's classic Bravado on their latest album Masters Of Chant Chapter VIII.

The album was released last September and is currently only available to North American residents as an import.

You can listen to the cover of Bravado below or via this LINK.

Thanks to Eric from Power Windows for the news.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Rush References on FX's Archer - Season 2 Finale

Rush Reference on Archer
Last night's season finale episode (episode 23 - Double Trouble) of Archer, FX's animated television series, included a Rush reference marking the second such reference that has appeared in the series. The first occurred during an episode that aired last April 21st (See: Rush References on FX's Archer) where a van appeared with an Exit...Stage Left motif with 'Exit..Van Left' taking the place of the album's title.

In last night's episode another van appeared, this time with a play on the cover from Rush's Hemispheres and the words Krieger: Vanispheres appearing alongside the motif. Krieger refers to Dr. Krieger, one of the main characters of the show.

Click HERE for a high-resolution screen capture of the van.

Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for passing along the news and screen capture.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rush: A Brief History of Time Part VIII

Rush: A Brief History of Time - Part VIII
It's been a number of months since the last update to Cygnus-X1.Net's Rush: A Brief History of Time; an on-going collection of articles and advertisements about Rush that spans every decade from the 70's onward.

Part VIII of this segment includes 46 new articles; one from the 70's, thirty-one from the 80's, three from the 90's, two from the 2000's and seven from the current '10 decade. The majority of the articles focus around the release of Moving Pictures and Rush's tour in support of their best selling album.

Below is a sample of Part VIII. To check out the entire segment, click HERE.

Once again, I'd like to thank reader Heiko Klages of Germany for providing the bulk of the new articles. Special thanks go out to Eric Hansen of Power Windows and reader RushFanForever for additional contributions. Enjoy.
We'll start off this edition with an article from the May 12th, 1977 issue of Circus Magazine. Titled The Rush Conquest, this article discusses Rush's then-forthcoming 6th studio album which, at that time, was tentatively titled Closer to the Heart. :-) There's also a nice two-page poster of the boys in a pose not seen anywhere else (to my knowledge).

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Next, we'll move into the first of 28 articles from 1981. This first one is short review of Moving Pictures which came from the February 28th issue of Cashbox USA. Up next is a lengthy review of Moving Pictures from the February 11th issue of Muziekkrant OOR from the Netherlands. Sticking to February of 1981, this next review of Moving Pictures, which appeared in the February 28th issue of New Musical Express, is as unfavorable as they get. The reviewer, a Ms. Lynn Hanna, clearly made use of her "Word of the Day" calendar when penning this piece:
"...their tendency to pontificate on contemporary themes has already branded them as particularly pompous reactionaries..."
Say, or better yet TYPE that ten times fast!

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Opening up March of '81 is a short retrospective bio on the band that appeared in the March 21st issue of Cashbox USA followed by a great article titled Permanent Raves from the March 14th issue of the UK Sounds magazine. Check out the great candid pics of the boys that accompany this article!

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March closes out with a Mail Bag letter that appeared in the March 21st issue of Melody Maker Magazine. The letter, written by Steve Morris, was in response to a rather unfavorable review of Moving Pictures written by Steve Gett; the author of the Rush biography Success Under Pressure.

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April of '81 opens up with another review of Moving Pictures; this time from Audio Magazine of West Germany followed by a nice feature story that appeared in the April issue of Hit Parader Magazine. The article, titled Rush To Glory: Pleasing Most of the People All of the Time and written by Andy Secher, touches upon the disconnect between fan appreciation of Rush and the critics who just don't get it. A really good read.

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April ends with two more foreign reviews of Moving Pictures. Up first from West Germany is a piece from Musik Express Magazine followed by a French entry from Rock and Folk Magazine.

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Moving into May, we have three more foreign entries. The first, from Der-Musikmarkt of West Germany is titled Balance Von Intellektund Gefuhl: Rush, Rock Trio aus Kanada which roughly translates to "Balance of Intellectual Feeling: Rush, Rock Trio from Canada". Up next is another review of Moving Pictures from the Swiss magazine Music Scene followed by a lengthy article from the Netherland's music magazine known as Musiek Expres. In it, the article is titled Rush: We Hebben het liefst dat ons publiek rustig op zijn stoel blijft zitten which translates to 'Rush: We Prefer Our Audience To Remain Quietly in Their Seats'. Yeah, right :-)

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Moving into June, we'll open with short article about Rush's platinum selling albums which appeared in the June 6th issue of Cashbox USA followed by a nice color article focusing on Alex's tour gear that appeared in the June 30th issue of Circus Magazine. No comment on Geddy's red leather pants, please :)

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We'll end June with another lengthy article, this time from Creem Magazine. The article, titled RUSH: But Why Are They in Such a Hurry? was written by J. Kordosh who attended a Rush concert and then interviewed Neil and Alex afterwards. Put your 'thick skin' on for this one; it's not a pleasant or favorable read.

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Leaping ahead to August comes an article that appeared in Circus Magazine that month. Titled Rush wrap up five-month tour by Steve Weitzman, this favorable turned unfavorable review of Rush's Moving Pictures tour is a bit of a head-scratcher:
"...each identical performance on this five-month extravaganza (during which Rush have played to 905,000 people on 79 dates and grossed over $4 million) holds all the excitement of a Howard Johnson's omelet..."
I wonder which concert Steve was really at...

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Moving into September, this piece titled Rush: La Ultima Esperanza (The Last Hope) appeared in an issue of Popular 1 Magazine from Spain which starts off with:
There are few quality groups like Rush in the world. Perfectionists, yet so powerful, they work with traces of jazz and symphonic rock producing the hardest, purest rock metal you will ever hear.
Now that's more like it :)

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We return to Hit Parader Magazine where a short article titled Rush: Caught in the Act appeared in the October '81 issue of the magazine. The article, a review of a concert that took place at New York's Madison Square Garden was fairly positive, though the reviewer, Patty Romanowski, clearly wasn't a fan of the band or their music:
"...The only part of the show that was both well intentioned and well executed was the band's performance. Tight, precise, faithful, but still very much alive, the songs maintained their recorded versions' clarity and perfection - pleasant if loud reminders that concerts are for listening to..."
Moving into November of '81, here are two more foreign articles; both from West Germany. The first comes from Der Musikmarkt Magazine in a piece titled Mitschnitt von Rush - Konzerten als Vorbote zur Deutschland - Tournee which roughly translates into "Recording of Rush - Concerts as a harbinger of Germany - Tour". The second appears to be a review of Exit...Stage Left from the Govi Katalog.

Read the rest of the articles from Part VIII by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Neil Peart's News, Weather, and Sports Update - January 2012

Neil Peart News, Weather, and Sports 02.2012
Neil Peart has opened up 2012 with an update to the News, Weather, and Sports section of his website; the first such update since last July. In this entry, titled At the Gate of the Year, Neil discusses a number of topics ranging from a retrospective look at his life in 2011, the march of time as he approaches his 60th birthday, the passing of his friend and teacher Freddie Gruber and, of course, some of the recording behind Rush's upcoming album Clockwork Angels. From the entry:
Most recently, I had been recording in Toronto with my bandmates, from mid-October until early December. We completed the songwriting and arranging for the album, Clockwork Angels, we started back in late 2009—before going “on hiatus” for the Time Machine tour, and playing 81 shows in North America, South America, and Europe. (Some hiatus.) While Alex and Geddy were finishing the writing and arranging in one smaller room of the studio, over in the big room I was working with The Mighty Booujzhe, recording my drum parts. As we prepare to start mixing in the New Year, it is too early to say anything about the results. (I once described mixing as “the end of waiting,” while Geddy calls it, “the death of hope.”) About the process, though, I can’t resist spilling a little. It was our second time working with the production team of Nick “Booujzhe” Raskulinecz and engineer Rich “Tweak” Chycki. Beginning with a confident level of trust allowed us to reach higher, and I recorded my drum parts in a way that, for me, was completely different than ever before. Even right up to our previous album, Snakes and Arrows (2007), my method was to take a demo version Alex and Geddy had made of each song and play along with it many, many times. I would experiment with possible rhythms and decorations, and gradually organize them into an arrangement. At that point, I might start recording demos myself—often with Alex as engineer—and improve them over time, with input from my bandmates and coproducer (Booujzhe, in that case).
Neil also touches upon the complexities behind typical Rush songs and, as this segment indicates, Clockwork Angels will certainly have its share of odd time changes and complex arrangements (as if there was any doubt):
Rush songs tend to have complicated arrangements, with odd numbers of beats, bars, and measures all over the place, and our latest songs are no different (maybe worse—or better, depending). In the past, much of my preparation time would be spent just learning all that. I don’t like to count those parts, but rather play them enough that I begin to feel the changes in a musical way. Playing it through again and again, those elements became “the song.”

This time I handed that job over to Booujzhe. (And he loved it!) I would attack the drums, responding to his enthusiasm, and his suggestions between takes, and together we would hammer out the basic architecture of the part. His baton would conduct me into choruses, half-time bridges, and double-time outros and so on—so I didn’t have to worry about their durations. No counting, and no endless repetition. What a revelation! What a relief!
As always, another fascinating read. Check out the entire entry via this LINK.

Gibson Guitar Ranks Rush 2nd Best Rock Rhythm Section of All Time

Gibson guitar has posted their Top 10 list of the greatest Drum ’n’ Bass: Rock Rhythm Sections of all time.
Bass and drums are often the unsung heroes of rock and roll. A killer rhythm section will make a band soar, while a mediocre bass-drums combo can drag down even the strongest ensembles.

At Gibson.com, we simply can’t get enough of that cascading cannon-style drum sound, and little competes with a flawlessly executed, funky slap-and-pop bassline. It’s the rhythm section’s time to take the spotlight!
Taking the #2 spot were Geddy Lee and Neil Peart, behind only John Paul Jones and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin:
Canadian power trio Rush gained a following thanks to their virtuoso instrumentals and radio-friendly progressive rock style. Geddy Lee proved the quintessential hard rock frontman, with his oh-so distinct tenor – and a bass player, to boot! It’s Lee’s attention to bass grooves and vocal melodies and his perfect fit with drummer Neil Peart – who, consequently, is to praise for much of Rush’s songwriter – that makes this ranking a no-brainer.
You can check out the entire Top 10 list via this LINK.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Geddy Lee Discusses Moog Taurus Pedals - Interview

Geddy Lee Moog Taurus Pedals
The first of a three-part video interview with Geddy Lee is now online at the Moogmusic.com website. The interview (and series) focuses on Geddy's use of the Moog Taurus Pedals throughout Rush's history.

This first installment, Geddy looks back at the influence of the Taurus sounds and indicates that a few tracks from their upcoming Clockwork Angels album made use of the Taurus pedals.

Check out the entire video interview below -- or via this LINK.

Thanks to RushFanForever and Eric from Power Windows for the links.



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rare 1977 Rush Performance of Xanadu On Old Grey Whistle Test Anniversary Show

Rare RUSH Performance On OGWT Anniversary Show!
The Old Grey Whistle Test, which was regarded as the last 'real' UK television music show, celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011. On January 15th 2012, OGWT will be resurrected with a special show at the Sage Hall in Gateshead, UK that will unveil rare footage from BBC Worldwide archive recordings of the show. Among the rare footage to be shown will be a 1997 performance of Xanadu by Rush:
The highlight of the show and the clip which is causing the most interest for UK progressive rock fans is an extremely rare recording of Canadian progressive rockers, RUSH, performing Xanadu in it's entirety during a performance that Phipps regards as one of the main peaks of the Old Grey Whistle Test shows. Phipps says of RUSH at the time, "I knew about them but I'd never seen them and that set literally blew me away."
The Old Grey Whistle Test 40th Anniversary starts at 8pm on Sunday January 15th 2012 in The Sage, Hall Two.

Tickets, costing £12, are available online HERE.

Thanks to reader Billy Hepburn for passing along the news.

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