Sirius XM's Town Hall Meeting with Rush - A Look Back
Update: (11/26/2015): Video clips from the interview are now available on YouTube:
Geddy Lee on being the a Child of a Holocaust Survivor // SiriusXM
Dave Grohl & Geddy Lee's Rock Star Moms // SiriusXM
The Future of Rush after R40 // SiriusXM
Update (11/25/2015): The first broadcast of the Town Hall Meeting occurs tonight at 6pm EST on Sirius XM's Classic Rewind station. Additional airings of the Town Hall meeting will occur through 12/1. Click HERE for more information and details on all of the airings.
Update (11/18/2015): Rolling Stone Magazine has just posted an article about the Sirius XM event with some audio outtakes. Click HERE to read the article.
Earlier this month we reported that Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson would be stopping by the New York City corporate headquarters of Sirius XM radio for an intimate 'Town Hall' meeting with award-winning film maker and Rush fan Michael Moore. Ahead of the meeting, Sirius XM held a contest for their subscribers to win a spot in the meeting and, by some incredible stroke of luck, yours truly received an invitation to be part of the event.
In all the decades of following Rush, I had never been fortunate enough to score a concert meet-and-greet, so the news of my winning one of about 20 spots for this town hall meeting was indescribable. In addition, a select few of those winners would have the opportunity to ask Geddy and Alex a question during the meeting and, by yet another incredible stroke of luck, I had just such an opportunity.
As mentioned earlier, the event took place at Sirius XM's headquarters in New York City on Friday, November 13th (Friday the 13th had no impact that day). After arriving at the office, and being escorted briskly to the Sirius XM lobby, the select few winners waited patiently for Geddy and Alex to arrive. Ahead of their arrival, we were all escorted into a small recording room (the fish bowl - see images below) where the town hall meeting would take place.
Each participant had assigned seating and each had their question ready for Geddy and Alex. I was assigned seat #13 (second row) which indicated that I would be asking the 13th question during the show. We were informed that, due to limited time, not every question would be touched upon and seeing as I was 13th in line, my chances didn't seem too great. However just before Geddy and Alex were brought in, one of the directors from Sirius XM announced that Michael Moore had reviewed all of the questions and decided to re-arrange their order. Suddenly, I went from #13 all the way up to #5 - which also led to my seat being upgraded to the front row, directly in front of Geddy (and a mere four feet away from the Rush front-man). This was truly turning out to be the luckiest Friday the 13th ever!
The entire meeting was fantastic. Michael Moore was incredibly well spoken and talked about his long-standing appreciation of Rush through the years. The questions were varied and touched upon the secret of the band's longevity, their selection process for the R40 set list, obvious questions about the future, and more. One question asked Geddy and Alex to select THE defining Rush album or song - the one they would be remembered by. After some thought, Geddy indicated that 2112 was that defining album for many reasons including how it was the pivotal moment in the band's history that changed everything.
As for my question (see pics below for my question card) I decided to ask something less about Rush and more about the music industry. I joked around with friends saying that it was the nature of this question that won me the spot in the town hall. I truly wasn't sure how the question about the changes in the music industry would be taken by Geddy and Alex. To my surprise, it spawned a lengthy conversation largely between Geddy and Michael Moore about the topic, with Geddy outlining many points on how things have changed and how it's more difficult for the public to 'discover' new talent nowadays, despite the advent of the internet.
Geddy took the lion's share of the answers while Alex cracked jokes now and again but, jokes aside, Alex had some very introspective answers to many questions as well. The entire meeting lasted about an hour and as the time went by, the entire atmosphere became more and more comfortable, like a group of friends sitting around talking and reminiscing. My thoughts often went to that one classic Rush lyric "Freeze this moment a little bit longer..."
However when the meeting did end, all guests had the opportunity for a photo-op with Geddy, Alex, and Michael Moore. A perfect way to end a perfect day.
The entire interview is scheduled to be aired on Sirius XM's Classic Rewind station on November 25th. I'm told we'll receive more information as that date approaches.
Many, many thanks to Sirius XM for holding this event, Michael Moore for an exceptional interview, and of course Geddy and Alex for being Geddy and Alex - two normal guys just out to have fun and make some memories.
Click on any photo to enlarge
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