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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"!

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