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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Alex Lifeson on 40 Years of '2112': 'It Was Our Protest Album'

Alex Lifeson on 40 Years of 2112: It Was Our Protest Album
In connection with the 40th Anniversary of Rush's album 2112, Rolling Stone Magazine has published a new, lengthy interview with Alex Lifeson about the band's seminal album.

Titled Alex Lifeson on 40 Years of '2112': 'It Was Our Protest Album', the interview touches upon the importance of the album in Rush's history, the artwork and Starman logo, and how the band's manager, Ray Danniels essentially lied to the record label about the album:
Your record label explicitly asked you not to do another suite like "The Fountain of Lamneth." How did you present 2112 to them?

[Laughs] Well, Ray [Danniels], our manager, went in and lied to them and basically told them, "Yeah, the band is working on a great record. It's gonna be a real commercial success and the songs are very straightforward." And then we delivered it. The fortunate thing is our deal at that time was a production deal. So, really, we had full control over content, including artwork. Once we delivered it to the record company, it was theirs to work with. So we were really lucky.
You can read the entire article via this LINK.

Thanks to reader ‎Arthur R. Spear for the news.

Alex Lifeson Interview in Guitar Connoisseur Magazine Hints at Possible New Solo Project

Alex Lifeson New Solo Album?
Is Alex ready to record and produce the follow-up to his 1996 solo album Victor? According to a new interview that was just posted by Guitar Connoisseur Magazine, it's a possibility.

From the interview:
... What I enjoyed most about making [Victor] was the variety of the material. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to explore and expand on certain genres of music that were not necessarily open to me within the context of Rush. The workload was relentless, and I seemed to be working on that album every day for a year, but it was enormously satisfying for me as a songwriter, producer, and musician. I don't have the same drive to jump into a project like Victor at the moment, but I do have hours of material that does inspire me to at least consider such a thing...
Currently, the interview is only accessible via the magazine's Apple News Feed at this link via the Apple News App. If anyone has the ability of exporting the entire interview, please contact me.

In addition to his work on Victor, Alex also discusses his work on Clockwork Angels, particularly his solo on The Garden, his various signature guitars, his early influences, and more.

Thanks to Ed from RushIsABand for both the news and the article extract.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Details Emerge About Neil Peart's New Book Far and Wide: Bring that Horizon to Me!

Details Emerge About Neil Peart's New Book Far and Wide: Bring that Horizon to Me!
It was late last year when we first learned about a new book coming from Neil Peart. Today, new details, including an image of the book's cover, have emerged.

From the Amazon description:
Thirty-five concerts. 17,000 motorcycle miles. Three months. One lifetime.

In May 2015, the veteran Canadian rock trio Rush embarked on their fortieth anniversary tour, R40. For the band and their fans, R40 was a celebration and, perhaps, a farewell. But for Neil Peart, each tour is more than just a string of concerts, it’s an opportunity to explore backroads near and far on his BMW motorcycle. So if this was to be the last tour and the last great adventure, he decided it would have to be the best one, onstage and off.

This third volume in Peart’s illustrated travel series shares all-new tales that transport the reader across North America and through memories of fifty years of playing drums. From the scenic grandeur of the American West to a peaceful lake in Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains to the mean streets of Midtown Los Angeles, each story is shared in an intimate narrative voice that has won the hearts of many readers.

Richly illustrated, thoughtful, and ever-engaging, Far and Wide is an elegant scrapbook of people and places, music and laughter, from a fascinating road — and a remarkable life.
Neil's latest book is set to be released on September 13th of this year. You can pre-order it via Amazon at this LINK.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Neil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - March 2016 - BubbaGram™#5

Neil Peart News, Weather, and Sports Update - March 2016 - BubbaGram™#5
The latest update from Neil Peart (See: BubbaGram™#5, has just been posted to the News, Weather, and Sports section of his website. In this 5th installment of the ongoing BubbaGram series, Neil talks about a harrowing motorcycle accident he suffered back in 2010 during the band's Time Machine tour.

From the entry:
It was September 15, 2010, cool with mixed sun and clouds, a day off after a show in Boston on our Time Machine tour. Dave had dropped us in New York State near Albany, and in the morning Michael and I worked our way over to the Delaware River and started west across the backroads of northeastern Pennsylvania. We were riding in the general direction of the next show, in Pittsburgh, planning an overnight stop somewhere along the way.

The narrow paved two-lane wound along creeks and low ridges, through farmland and leafy woods, with many blind hills and corners. So our speed was “careful.” I came around a right turn to see a sharp left ahead, so was aligning the bike for that next corner entry, when suddenly the whole machine started shimmying below me. It oscillated side to side a few times, then went down. In a snap I was off and sliding across the pavement on my left side. What a universe of fear and helplessness opens inside you during split seconds like that. And no wonder time seems to slow, because it is so full—of raw, existential terror.
Neil continues to explain what happened, and the aftermath of the accident, in the entry. Click HERE to read the rest of the story. Also, below is a video of Neil's drum solo which he performed after getting into his little 'spill'.

To pre-order Neil's new book Far and Wide: Bring That Horizon to Me! at Amazon, use 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.

Thanks to reader Stuart Holden for the news.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Rush and MusiCounts Sponsor 2016 Teacher of the Year Award

Rush and MusiCounts Sponsor 2016 Teacher of the Year Award
Canada’s music education charity MusiCounts alongside Rush, are the sponsors behind the 2016 Teacher of the Year award which recognizes teachers with outstanding dedication to inspiring and nurturing the musical growth of Canadian youth.

This year, Don Bossé of Fredericton High School (FHS) in Fredericton, NB was the recipient of the award, which was given to him by both Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.

From the announcement:
At the surprise presentation to Bossé, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson spoke about the reasons they chose to support this award. “When everything you have in life has come from the fountain of music, you want to spread that around and you want to encourage others,” said Lee. “Music is a fantastic way to enrich your life and to express yourself, so to encourage teachers to help young people find that in themselves is a very noble cause.” “It’s also way more fun than math,” added Lifeson.

Drummer Neil Peart, although not able to be a part of the presentation, recalled the three teachers (referred to as his Holy Trinity) that had a profound influence on him: “Freddie Gruber, Peter Erskine and Don George, who was my first drum teacher from my hometown of St. Catharines. Don gave me my most important encouragement at the age of 13 by telling me I could be a drummer if I wanted to be – that meant a lot.”
Click HERE to read more.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Alex Lifeson Talks Rush's Uncertain Future in New Rolling Stone Interview

Alex Lifeson Talks Rush's Uncertain Future
Rolling Stone magazine recently caught up with Alex Lifeson to discuss the low-hanging fruit of Rush's future. While the news is anything BUT new, Alex does confirm (once again) that Rush is essentially done with lengthy tours.

From the article:
"We had such a great time on the tour," Lifeson tells Rolling Stone. "And it was really nice to go through all the material in reverse chronology, and I think our fans really enjoyed it. I think that no matter how long it would have been, it would have been too short. Neil was prepared to commit to 30 dates and he told us that right from the very beginning. He didn't even want to do the tour, to be honest with you. It's been increasingly difficult for him, but he committed to the tour and we got through it. As far as he was concerned, that was the end of touring."
Asked if Lifeson (and Lee) might tour together sans Peart, Alex replied in his usual witty form:
"Well, we have been saying that every 40 years, we fire our drummer and get a new one..."
You can read the entire article via this LINK.

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