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Showing posts from August, 2018

Alex Lifeson Celebrates His 65th Birthday Today!

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Alex Lifeson, one of the founding members of Rush and the band's seminal guitarist, is celebrating his 65th birthday today. 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 co-founded the band in the summer of 1968 along with John Rutsey, the band's original drummer. Alex 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.

Alex has also been known to dabble with a little acting now and again. Recently, he's appeared a couple of times on the new CBC comedy-drama Crawford, which premiered on the CBC in Canada earlier this summer. A preview clip of Alex's recent performance on the show is available below.


Please jo…

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson to Host "Grapes Under Pressure IV"

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After a 4-year absence, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson team up once again for the fourth installment of their “definitely not so annual” Excellent Harvest Adventure in support of Canada's Grapes for Humanity charity organization.

On Saturday, October 13th, 2018, Geddy and Alex will welcome you aboard private VIA Rail train number “2112” from Toronto’s Union Station as we enjoy breakfast enroute to Niagara Wine Region and the beautiful and expansive Peller Estate Vineyards.

As you tour this stunning property owned by a family that represents over 50 years of winemaking expertise, guests can try their hand at picking grapes and learn about cutting-edge winemaking techniques while drinking and tasting the “The Best of the Peller Portfolio” which will feature wines from all of their properties ranging from Niagara to British Columbia.

Aside from wines produced right on the Estate, there will be opportunities to taste wines from Trius Winery, Wayne Gretzky Estates, Thirty Bench, Calona, Re…

Excerpts from Neil Peart's Privately Published Books Now Available

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During the 1980's, a full decade before he released his first novel, The Masked Rider, Neil Peart authored and privately published five other books/travelogues, many of which dealt with his cycling adventures across the globe.

Each book was reportedly produced in very limited quantities, and only gifted to friends and family. As such, these books have rarely seen the light of day beyond Neil's inner circle. Fortunately, I've come across several of these books thanks to sheer luck (and the help of fellow Rush fans). As such, I've transcribed excerpts from some of Neil's early works including, most recently, his 1988 book Raindance Over the Rockies: Across the Rocky Mountains by Bicycle.

From the excerpt:The hours and miles went by smoothly on the flat highway, spokes shining in the sun as we followed the course of the Bow River, aquamarine and foaming white as it tumbled over its rocky bed. Heavy evergreen forest lined the banks, and the air carried the scent o…

Alex Lifeson and his Harper Marilyn Custom Guitar

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Jacob Harper, owner of Booneville, Indiana's Harper Guitars, was recently tasked with creating a custom guitar for Alex Lifeson. From a TriStateHomePage article:A recent request from a rock and roll god tops almost all the other builds. Thanks to his work, an icon has a piece of Boonville, Indiana.

If you know your music legends, you have probably heard of the band 'Rush.'

They have a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and now guitarist Alex Lifeson has a spot for one Harper masterpiece. A mutual friend in the music industry hooked the two up.

In a grainy Facebook video, Lifeson gives the Harper a test drive.

“Hey Jacob, thank you so much, this guitar is mind-blowing, I’m speechless, I can't believe how beautiful it is,” he said.

“Very cool,” said Harper. “I don't think I'll ever get over the fact that I'm building for some of my heroes.”

The attention to detail is unmatched. The fret inlays are interpretations of ‘Rush’ albums. The pick guard, adorne…

Neil Peart's Drum Kit Featured in New Book - CRASH: The World's Greatest Drum Kits

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Modern Drummer Magazine and author David Frangioni have just released a new coffee table book titled CRASH: The World's Greatest Drum Kits From Appice to Peart to Van Halen. As the title suggests, one of Neil Peart's drum kit, presumably from Rush's R40 tour, is featured in the book.

From the Amazon.Com listing:From snares to cymbals, drums are taking over the stage in this first-ever collected look into some of the most famous drum kits of rock and roll history.

Crash is the definitive Illustrated history of the drum kits of rock ’n’ roll legends. Featuring images from live concerts, outdoor festivals, and private recording sessions, this spectacular volume captures the personal connection between artist and instrument. Along with the makes and models, each kit is accompanied by commentary about the history of the kit, its special characteristics, as well as its significance to rock history. Including photographs of Neil Peart, Carl Palmer, Ginger Baker, Keith Moon, Ri…

Rush's R40 Live Concert Video Certified GOLD by the RIAA

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Rush's concert film from their 40th Anniversary Tour R40 Live has just been certified Gold in the category of Video Longform by the The Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA). The Gold status indicates sales of at least 50,000 units. Platinum status in the Video category is awarded after sales of 100,000 units.

R40 Live: All roads have led to this. Forty-one years in the making, the R40 Live tour took a very real journey back through time. Beginning with the grand design: a state-of-the-art stage set that pivots, rolls and dives, and brings Clockwork Angels in to bombastic, colorful life before marching stridently back in time (through theatre stages, a panoply of band and fan shots, the accrued memories of a life spent playing live) to a mocked-up school gym and the band playing there; a solitary bass amp set on the chair behind Geddy Lee, a mirror ball spiraling crazily above, casting thin rods of light like a light rain across the crowd, "Working Man" co…

Rush Immortalized as Limited-Edition Funko Pop! Figures

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The members of Rush will be the next rock stars to get their own figures in the popular Funko Pop! toy line.

Funko released a list on its website of limited-edition figures that will be made available exclusively at the upcoming FAN EXPO Canada event, which takes place at the Metro Toronto Convention Center from August 30th through September 2nd. Among the new releases on the lists were Funko Pop! likenesses of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart in a three-pack.

The figure of Geddy appears to be wearing a dragon-covered kimono, a la his stage outfit from Rush’s many tours in the ‘70s, while holding a bass guitar. Alex's figure is wearing a printed shirt and holding a guitar fashioned after a Gibson Les Paul. Peart’s counterpart (mustachioed, as the great drummer was through most of the ‘70s) wears a red kimono and holds drumsticks, and appears to be twirling one in his right hand.

While the Funko Pop! website lists no price for the set, reports have indicated that it will reta…

First Incarnation of Rush Formed 50 Years Ago This Month

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While the exact date of the formation of Rush is not known, it is a generally accepted fact that the band's first incarnation occurred fifty years ago this month; in August of 1968. As the story goes, after Alex Lifeson's family moved to Toronto, into one of its many ethnic neighbourhoods, the budding guitarist would become fast friends with John Rutsey, who lived across the street. It wasn't long before the two began playing together.

Soon after, kids from the neighborhood joined in on the fun as basement bands were formed and, just as quickly, dissolved. Throughout it all, Alex and John continued to play and practice together, until they formed their first 'official' band in the Spring of 1968. They called themselves The Projection, yet by the end of the summer of 1968, the band had broken up.

Some time in August, bass player and lead singer Jeff Jones joined John and Alex, forming a new band which would become the first true incarnation of Rush.

On the band…