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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]

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