The Rush world was saddened yesterday by the news of the untimely passing of one of the band's long-time roadies. Russell "Skip" Gildersleeve, who was just 57 at the time of his passing, was a roadie and stage/bass guitar technician for Rush from 1975, beginning with the band during their Caress of Steel tour, through 1997 and the band's Test for Echo tour.
Skip's touring duties extended beyond Rush as well as he was involved with the likes of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Kid Rock, Stray Cats, Brian Setzer, Steely Dan, and many others.
"Slider", as he was affectionately referred to by the band, had a small section about his time with Rush included in the Rush biography Chemistry:Russell "Skip" Gildersleeve is a crew veteran of many bands. He was brought in for the 'Caress of Steel' tour to replace Jimmy Johnson, And he often used to introduce the band. Skip, a.k.a. "Slider", became Geddy's bass technician, and by Counterparts he graduated to a stage management role. When not touring with Rush, he worked for Steely Dan (with Lorne Wheaton) as equipment manager, and guitar tech for Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. Skip is no mean guitar player himself. He guested on Japanese artist Venus Fly Trapp's debut CD 'Shakunetsu', which means "red heat".Our deepest condolences go out to Skip's families and friends at this difficult time. Rest in Peace, Skip -- you will be missed by all those who knew you and Rush fans the world over.