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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Limited Edition Geddy Lee 1972 Jazz Bass Now Available through Fender Custom Shop

The Spirit of Rush Fanzine
Fender Guitar's Custom Shop has just announced a limited edition run of Geddy Lee 1972 Jazz Bass guitars that are on sale now. From the announcement:
One of the world’s most recognizable Fender Jazz basses has to be Geddy Lee’s famous black ’72 Jazz Bass, purchased circa 1977 from a pawnshop in Kalamazoo, Mich. Lee bought it as is, with no original case, for $200.

Lee first used it for a couple songs on enormously successful 1981 Rush album Moving Pictures. At the sessions for that album, he used the Jazz Bass to record “Vital Signs,” “Witch Hunt,” and two of Rush’s biggest and most enduringly popular hits, classic rock staples “Limelight” and “Tom Sawyer” (the bass also appeared in the “Limelight” and Vital Signs” videos).

After that, Lee used the Jazz only sparingly on various Rush tracks throughout the rest of the ’80s and into the early 1990s. When it came time to record 1993’s Counterparts, however, engineer Kevin “the Caveman” Shirley insisted that Lee return to the black Jazz Bass rather than use the more contemporary basses of the era that Lee had experimented with. Lee fell in love with his Jazz Bass’s tone and feel all over again; this time for good—ever since, he’s played it full-time as his number-one bass on all Rush albums and tours. For Lee, it remains the benchmark against which all other basses are judged.

Lee’s beloved Jazz Bass is now on its third neck, crafted in the Fender Custom Shop and featuring white binding and pearl inlays (as opposed to the original black), and the original tuners, bushings and string tree. When the neck was replaced, Lee opted for an oil finish on the back (instead of poly) because it’s smoother and faster (and indeed all his touring basses are now set up that way).

Now, the Custom Shop has meticulously replicated every detail in neck shape, wiring, pickups and more in creating the Limited Edition Geddy Lee Jazz Bass, including the wear and tear of nearly 35 years of touring.
The Geddy Lee 1972 Jazz Bass has an MSRP of $8,000.00 and can be ordered at the Fender Custom Shop website. Additional information on this announcement is also available HERE.

Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for the news.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Alex Lifeson Turns 60 Today!

Alex Lifeson Alex Lifeson
Update: Gibson Guitar has posted a great article on Alex titled A Salute to Alex Lifeson of Rush.
Alex Lifeson, one of the founding members of Rush and the band's seminal guitarist, has reached a milestone in his life; he turns 60 today! Alex is the youngest member of Rush and, accordingly, the last to reach the big 6-0.

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 founded the band in the summer of 1968 and 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.

Happy Birthday, Alex! Many happy returns!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Neil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - August 2013 - "It’s Not Over When It’s Over"

Neil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - August 2013 - It’s Not Over When It’s Over
Neil Peart has just posted a new update to his "News, Weather, and Sports" website blog, the final one to coincide with the end of the Clockwork Angels tour earlier this month. The August entry is titled "It’s Not Over When It’s Over".

The entry begins at the end - specifically the final show in Kansas City back on August 4th:
But what a truly triumphant tour it was!

The emotional resonance of the final show, in Kansas City, inside us and around us, could only compare to the first show of our Vapor Trails tour, in Hartford, Connecticut, on June 28, 2002. That “new beginning” came after five intensely difficult years since our last performance on July 4, 1997. When that Hartford show was over, I said to our manager, Ray, “It would have been a shame if that had never happened again.” He smiled and nodded, and we raised our glasses of champagne.

Eleven years later, that August night in Kansas City was the ultimate tour-ending show in all our thirty-nine years of “roadwork.” It affected us in ways we could never have expected, and most of that emotion was centered on the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble. Usually the Guys at Work, band and crew, finish a tour believing it’s just a break—that it will all start up again at some point, and we’ll all see each other again. All seven of the “stringers” knew that this time it truly was, like the lovely title of a Hemingway story, “The End of Something.”

Mario, Adele, Jacob, Audrey, Gerry, Jonny, and Entcho had traveled together, played together, and lived together for the better part of a year. In their own words, they had become “a family”—sharing buses, dressing rooms, and stages for all of those shows, and the days off between them.

So the final show, in Kansas City, was both triumphant and bittersweet.
As has been the case with many of Neil's entries during the tour, he then goes on to highlight some of the locations he visited via his motorcycle travels. Over the course of the tour, Neil logged an amazing 28,000 miles on his bike!

You can read Neil's 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.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Clockwork Angels Inspired Fine Art Print Coming Soon

Clockwork Angels Inspired Fine Art Print Coming Soon
Graham Whieldon, the UK based digital artist who has created some stunning Rush-inspired fine art over the past several years has announced a new project - one that centers around Rush's Clockwork Angels album. Graham's announcement came via his website at www.macrographs.com:
The final image will be set in Chronos Square and will include my take on many aspects from the Clockwork Angels album, as well as including a few nods to previous albums, songs and references. The scene will be divided into three separate themes: The Temple of the Timekeepers, The carnival Midway, and The Anarchist. Like the songs in the album, each image will stand alone as a picture in its own right, but together will form a large panorama. Alex, Geddy and Neil will each appear as characters, as hopefully will a lucky few who pledge during the Kickstarter phase to have their faces custom painted into the scene as the Anarchist or the Acrobat!

Eventually I want to make the prints available individually as limited editions or as one very limited edition giant scroll, possibly on canvas or vellum. The custom face prints will be an edition of one, for a very limited number of pledgers only.
To date, Graham has created and released fine-art prints based on The Fountain of Lamneth, Red Barchetta, 2112 and By-Tor and the Snowdog, all of which can be viewed and purchased at www.macrographs.com.

We'll have more news on this exciting project as it becomes available.

Related News Stories
[New Rush-inspired Fine Art from Macrographs - November 2nd, 2012]
[Rush-Inspired Fine Art - Red Barchetta - Now Available - October 24th, 2011]

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rush Fan Stories Book Coming Soon...

Rush Fan Stories
A new Rush book currently being developed will focus not on the band, but on the fans -- and Rush fans the world over at being asked to contribute their stories.

From the Rush Fan Stories website:
Would you like to contribute to a forthcoming book about Rush fans? We're coming up on Rush's 40th anniversary. What better way to thank them for 40 years, 20 studio albums, 8 live albums, 37 music videos, 10 video albums, and 165 songs, then to tell them exactly what they've meant to you and how they've affected your life.

Fans of all types are desired to share their Rush stories with the rest of the world. Consider this your place to brag about what you've got, what you've done, and how lucky (and thankful!) you are. If you consider yourself a superfan, this book would probably not be complete without you. You are especially desired for additional information if:

  • you've been attending Rush concerts since the 1970s
  • you've attended more than 25 Rush concerts
  • you've attended more than 10 Rush concerts in a single tour
  • you have an extensive Rush collection or items that are rare
  • you've attended more than one RushCon
  • you attended the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony from out-of-state
  • you play or have played in a Rush tribute band
  • you are an publisher who's also a Rush fan
  • you know of someone who falls into one or more of these categories
  • In order to get the ball rolling on this project, the publisher is asking Rush fans to take a brief survery. For more information and to fill in the survey, please visit the Rush Fan Stories website.

    Sunday, August 4, 2013

    Wish Them Well - Rush's Clockwork Angels Tour Ends Tonight in Kansas City

    Rush Clockwork Angels Tour
    Update (August 5th): Click HERE for a great collection of photos from the final show in Kansas City.
    It began on a warm September night in 2012 at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. Rush took the stage for the first time, kicking off the world tour in support of Clockwork Angels, their critically-acclaimed concept album. And now, tonight, at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, it all comes to an end as the band prepares to take the stage for the final time on this tour.

    In all, since that September night in New England, Rush have played 73 dates (including tonight and a brief performance at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies earlier this year). They've traveled throughout North America/Canada, headed across the "pond" for a number of dates in Europe and even played a handful of music festivals; a true rarity for Rush.

    Throughout it all, at every city, the band was met by legions of fans; RUSH fans -- the most devoted fan base in the world, bar none. Their roars of approval fueling these three humble musicians, song after song, night after night. And even when things didn't go quite as planned, be it a rain-shortened show, a flooded venue or a technical gaff or three, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart brushed off each situation and continued to do what they do best - entertain while making "modern music".

    Neil Peart once said that the only thing worse than touring is NOT touring. I suspect that sentiment was more reflective of Neil's feelings in the past than it is today. Based on the thousands of pictures taken by hundreds of fans across the globe during this tour, it seems evident that Neil along with his bandmates were genuinely having the absolute time of their life.

    "Now it's come to this."

    The end of the tour is upon Rush - and their fans. What lies ahead is truly the "Undiscovered Country" - the future. True to their form, the band has made absolutely no plans beyond this tour, save for the release of the Clockwork Angels Tour DVD as well as their next Box Set and Vapor Trails Remix all due later this year. The only plans they've truly made is to enjoy a well-deserved break.

    Frankly, after all Rush has done for their fans over the years, I can see no better way of celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2014 by letting them take the year off. So join me in congratulating Rush on another successful tour; one that few fans will soon forget.

    Wish them well until R41, or perhaps R42 is upon us.

    Related News Stories
    [Rush Open Up the Final Leg of the Clockwork Angels Tour Tonight with the Alberta Flood Relief Benefit Concert - July 24th, 2013]
    [Rush To Perform Alberta Flood Relief Benefit Concert - July 11th, 2013]
    [Rush Begin the Final Leg of their Clockwork Angels Tour in Hershey Park Tonight - June 21st, 2013]
    [Rush Perform At the Sweden Rock Festival Tonight - June 8th, 2013]
    [Rush Bring Their Clockwork Angels Tour To Europe Tonight - May 22nd, 2013]
    [Rush and the Jersey Shore - First Leg of the 2013 Clockwork Angels Tour Ends Tonight in Atlantic City - May 11th, 2013]
    [Rush's 2013 Clockwork Angels Tour Launches Tonight - April 23rd, 2013]
    [Rush Announce New Tour Date at the Festival d’été de Québec - March 15th, 2013]
    [Rush Announce Second Halifax Show - July 14th - March 11th, 2013]
    [Rush To Perform at the Ottawa Bluesfest on July 8th - February 28th, 2013]
    [Rush Announce Initial 2013 North American Clockwork Angel Tour Dates - January 22nd, 2013]
    [Rush Confirms North American Clockwork Angels Tour for 2013 - December 6th, 2012]
    [Rush Clockwork Angels Tour Update: 2012 Leg Now Complete - December 3rd, 2012]
    [Rush Clockwork Angels Tour Update: Second Leg Complete - November 4th, 2012]
    [Rush Returns Home - Rocks Out Toronto - October 17th, 2012]
    [Rush's Clockwork Angels Tour Resumes Tonight in Bridgeport, CT - October 10th, 2012]
    [Rush Clockwork Angels Tour Update: First Leg Complete - October 1st, 2012]
    [Alex Lifeson Talks About Clockwork Angels Set List Changes - September 17th, 2012]
    [Rush Add San Diego Date to the Clockwork Angels Tour - September 10th, 2012]
    [Rush's Clockwork Angels Tour Begins - Set List Revealed LIVE - September 7th, 2012]

    Saturday, August 3, 2013

    Rush in Digital Print

    Alex Lifeson's Home
    While most of the news stories published about Rush over the past year have focused on their current world tour in support of Clockwork Angels, there have been other non-tour stories published as well. Case in point; this past week had three interesting articles pop up online, all offering a different spin on the Canadian band.

    Up first is Why Rush is my favorite band: Tom Coohill on idolizing Peart, Lee and Lifeson. Penned by Chef/Owner Tom Coohill of Coohills Restaurant in Denver, this brief but heartfelt article was posted ahead of Tom's pre-show gathering for last night's show in Denver.

    From the article:
    In the beginning, I idolized drummer Neal Peart. Then I was blown away by frontman Lee, whose prowess on the bass was astounding; with his occasional spin on the keyboards and his otherworldly vocals, he is impossible not to watch. Last, but in no way least, is Alex Lifeson, who plays electric and acoustic guitars as well as other stringed instruments with a passion that is impossible not to get caught up in.

    Up next is a really great introductory to Rush article that came from the A.V. Club's "Gateways To Geekery" series. Titled An introduction to Rush, the biggest cult band in the world, this article is essentially a "road map" to help fans new to Rush establish a course that will make them, in no time, true Rush fanatics:

    One of the reasons Rush’s music hits home so powerfully is the band’s ability to encase vulnerability inside a shell of immaculately crafted art-rock. As a case in point, take 1982’s Signals. With that album, Rush finally moved fully into the ’80s, but it transcended that decade’s imposing sheen with such songs as “Subdivisions,” which uses double entendres to underscore the loneliness and alienation of growing up in the stultifying suburbs—a cool, distanced, and yet evocative tone that’s also reflected in the standout tracks “Chemistry” and “New World Man.”

    Finally, a recent issue of Canada's The Globe & Mail published an article and photo gallery called A house closer to the heart: See Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson’s country home". The article offers a fantastic inside look into a new home that Alex and his wife recently built:
    Ms. Zivojinovich and her husband Alex Lifeson consulted Toronto-based architect Dimitri Papatheodorou, who quickly saw the potential: The house would sit on a natural belvedere, set back from the road and surrounded by pine trees.

    “It was pretty obvious that the house wanted to align with the cosmos,” he says.

    Now the rolling hills north of Toronto offer a tranquil setting for family gatherings, and the trees provide seclusion for Mr. Lifeson during downtime from a demanding schedule of touring as guitarist for the hallowed Canadian rock band Rush.
    Thanks to everyone who notified me about all of these great write-ups.

    Thursday, August 1, 2013

    Rush Sighting on Pawn Stars

    Rush Vapor Trails Remix
    Tonight's episode of Pawn Stars, the reality TV show on the History Channel, included a Rush reference when a customer came into the shop to try and sell his collection of Chu-Bops; miniature album covers with a piece of gum inside.

    When looking over the collection, Rush's Permanent Waves was shown and a brief discussion about Rush ensued between Rick Harrison (the owner of the pawn shop) and Corey, his son.

    You can check out the clip via the embedded player below or directly at this LINK.


    "...Today's Huckleberry Finn - Mean, mean pride..."

    Rush's Vapor Trails Remix and 7-Disc Box Set of Atlantic Era Studio Albums Coming October 1st

    Rush Vapor Trails RemixRush Vapor Trails Remix
    Update (09/08/2013): 30-second sample clips from the remixed version of Vapor Trails are now available at this LINK. Thanks RushIsABand!
    The wait is nearly over. Rush have just announced that Vapor Trails, originally released in May of 2002, has finally been remixed to correct many of the sonic issues that plagued the original recording. The remixed album will be released on October 1st and can be pre-ordered HERE.

    In addition to the remixed version of Vapor Trails, Rush will also be releasing a 7-Disc Boxed Set Of Atlantic Studio Albums! From the announcement:
    In 2009, two tracks from VAPOR TRAILS (“One Little Victory” and “Earthshine”) were remixed for the Retrospective III collection, setting you all into a frenzy in anticipation of a possible remixed version of the entire album being released one day. That time has come.

    The Vapor Trails Remixed album will be available on CD, Double LP, and digital download on October 1 from Atlantic/Rhino.

    “Vapor Trails was an album made under difficult and emotional circumstances – sort of like Rush learning how to be Rush again – and as a result, mistakes were made that we have longed to correct. David Bottrill’s remixes have finally brought some justice and clarity to this deserving body of our work,” says Geddy Lee.

    “Every song has been given a new life, from the fire of ‘One Little Victory,’ ‘Secret Touch,’ and ‘Ceiling Unlimited’ to the melodic musicality of ‘Sweet Miracle’ and ‘How It Is’… these songs have been redeemed. Thank you David!”

    The remixed version of VAPOR TRAILS will also be included in the new 7-disc boxed set RUSH: THE STUDIO ALBUMS 1989-2007, which features every studio album Rush recorded for Atlantic Records. The collection includes the Gold & Platinum albums Presto (1989), Roll The Bones (1991), Counterparts (1993), and Test For Echo (1996), as well as their covers EP Feedback (2004) and the Billboard Top 5 album Snakes & Arrows (2007). THE STUDIO ALBUMS 1989-2007 features each album presented in a wallet sleeve that faithfully reproduces the original artwork (except for VAPOR TRAILS, which features a reinterpreted version of the original cover) and is also available on October 1 from Atlantic/Rhino.
    Pre-Order Links are below:
  • Vapor Trails Remix
  • The Studio Albums 1989-2007 [Box Set]
  • Vapor Trails Remix (Vinyl 2-LP, 180 gram)
  • One little victory...

    Rolling Stone's List of the 50 Best Live Acts Today Includes Rush at #39

    Rush EuCon 2013
    The latest issue of Rolling Stone Magazine (Issue #1189, August 15th) includes a feature titled "The Best Live Acts Now: The Greats and What Makes Them Great.". The list was compiled by a "panel of experts" and, surprisingly (given the source), Rush came in at the #39 spot.

    While the print edition of the magazine (click HERE for a scan) simply lists Rush in the #39 spot, the online version of the article does include a write-up for the band:
    39. Rush
    Four decades into their career, Geddy, Alex and Neil still put on the same kind of incredible show that destroyed pot smoke-clogged arenas back in the Seventies, mixing oldies like "The Spirit of Radio" and "Subdivisions" big chunks of their excellent 2012 album Clockwork Angels. Neil Peart, now 60, remains the single greatest drummer alive and guitarist Alex Lifeson is almost as versatile and powerful as the dude sitting at the massive kit behind him. "Every song rates a standing ovation," says Metallica manager Cliff Burnstein.

    Showstopper: Rush don't play a single song from the 1970s during their main set, but in the encore they bust out three sections of their 1976 magnum opus 2112.
    Rounding out the top three on this list are The Rolling Stones (#3), Prince (#2) and (gasp) Bruce Springsteen (#1).

    Thanks to Leslie Clark Baldwin for the news and Ed from RushIsABand for the article scan.

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