Rush Go Back in Time With ‘Missing Tourbooks Collection’

Rush announced new tour programs for their first three album road trips, as none were published at the time the events took place.

The Missing Tourbooks Collection includes 16-page titles for 1974’s Rush and 1975’s Fly By Night and Caress of Steel, with an additional litho print of the Fly By Night cover for those who buy all three in a bundle.

“While leafing through your Rush tourbook collection, have you ever noticed there are three studio album tours with no tourbook?” a statement reads. “We had to correct this! And correct we have done, with The Missing Tourbooks Collection. We went back in time, collecting photos, artwork, gear lists and much more from the tours for Rush, Fly By Night and Caress Of Steel. One benefit we had with this project is the ability to use modern 2020 printing techniques and materials, resulting in three unique tourbooks. The Fly By Night tourbook is huge, the Rush tourbook feels great, and the Caress tourbook, well it just shines.”

Last year, frontman Geddy Lee recalled how the trio were “very green” during their first U.S. tour in 1974.

“We didn’t even have cases for our equipment,” he said, “so our road crew of two guys and us kinda embarked on this fantasy lifestyle, which was not very glamorous.” He added: “It was exciting to be playing small venues, big venues – it didn’t really matter. Playing with actual well-known bands. It was great watching them cavort backstage and live the high life. And we just kinda sat there, like timid little Canadians, watching, taking notes!”

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Rush’s Neil Peart Celebrated in New Illustrated Quote Book

An upcoming book of illustrated quotes from Rush‘s Neil Peart will celebrate the late drummer and lyricist’s humor, wisdom and literary talents.

Neil Peart: The Illustrated Quotes — expected to ship on Jan. 12 — pairs the musician’s “words and musings” with black-and-white illustrations from the rock-centric animation studio and book publisher Fantoons.

A product page on the company’s site describes the book as “the first and only Neil Peart quotes collection authorized by Neil himself.”

Fantoons previewed the set with a handful of page samples. One features a quote from a Peart interview with the Los Angeles Times (“Playing a three-hour Rush show is like running a marathon while solving equations”) and an illustration of the drummer doing advanced calculations while running with his drum kit strapped to his back. Another features a quote from Peart’s 2004 book, Traveling Music: Playing Back the Soundtrack to My Life and Times (“‘Now what?’ All my life, those two little words have sparked me with curiosity, restlessness and desire … “) and a drawing of a motorcycle from the drummer’s perspective.

Peart, Rush’s primary lyricist since 1975’s Fly by Night, was also a prolific author, starting with 1996’s The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa. In 2015, Kevin J. Anderson published a novelization of the band’s 19th and final LP, Clockwork Angels, building from Peart’s original lyrics and story. (Anderson’s sequel book, Clockwork Lives, followed in 2016.)

The famed drummer died in January at age 67, following a quiet, three-and-a-half-year battle with a rare form of brain cancer.

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Geddy Lee: Rush Don’t Have Any Unreleased Songs ‘Worth a Damn’

Geddy Lee said Rush don’t have any unreleased songs “worth a damn.”

The admission comes in a new interview with the bassist published in Canada’s National Post.

“There’s actually not much in the vaults,” Lee explained when asked about potential Rush material that has not yet seen the light of day. “We were a band that used what we wrote and if we didn’t like what we were writing, we stopped writing it. So there are really no unreleased Rush songs that were worth a damn. Recording our songs was so difficult and ambitious that we didn’t do extra stuff and pick the best.”

Rush’s last studio album of new material, Clockwork Angels, was released in 2012. The group performed its final show in 2015 at the Forum in Los Angeles, the last stop of the R40 tour.

Unlike many of their contemporaries, the members of Rush – Lee, drummer Neil Peart and guitarist Alex Lifeson – remained friends for more than four decades. It’s a trait Lee believed endeared the group to its fans.

“I think the camaraderie we had for so many years – we really were very close friends. Alex and I still are,” the bassist explained. “I think that struck home with a lot of fans. People like to see long marriages and long relationships, people who work together without acrimony.”

Peart’s death in January 2020 put an end to any hope of Rush reuniting. While Lee and Lifeson remain open to collaborating together again, they’ve repeatedly said it is unlikely to be under the Rush moniker.

Still, the desire to create and perform continues to burn within Lee, who admitted he still plays bass at home “to keep [his] fingers juiced.”

“It’s interesting, I recently re-released my album [2000’s solo My Favorite Headache] on vinyl and that forced me to listen to it again,” Lee noted. “I’m very proud of it – it’s a very intricate record, a deep record, and a lot of love and passion went into it. It did get me thinking that one day I’d like to take that on the road, so you never know. But I have no firm plans to do anything right now. It’s not a time when one can plan much, so only time will tell if that comes to fruition.”

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Geddy Lee Tries to Explain Rush’s Longevity

Geddy Lee said he still struggles to explain Rush’s longevity, and confirmed that he was still considering returning to action, although he hadn’t started work.

The band came to an end after drummer Neil Peart’s retirement in 2015, and his death in January 2020 drew a line under any prospective reunion. Frontman Lee looked back on their five-decade career in a new interview with the National Post.

“That’s a hard question for me to answer,” he replied when asked about the secret to their longevity. “[W]e always went our own way; we weren’t afraid to laugh at ourselves – that sense of humour was definitely something we made sure was present in our live shows.” He added that the “camaraderie we had for so many years” had been a major contributing factor. “[W]e really were very close friends. Alex [Lifeson] and I still are. I think that struck home with a lot of fans. People like to see long marriages and long relationships, people who work together without acrimony. Maintaining that civility and friendship, I think appealed to people because everyone wishes to be in that kind of situation.”

Lee reissued his only solo album, 2000’s My Favorite Headache, last year, and said he’d recently enjoyed listening to it again. “I’m very proud of it – it’s a very intricate record, a deep record, and a lot of love and passion went into it,” he reflected. “It did get me thinking that one day I’d like to take that on the road, so you never know. But I have no firm plans to do anything right now. It’s not a time when one can plan much.”

He said he regularly played bass “to keep my fingers juiced” but wasn’t going any further. However, he noted: “Time goes by way too fast. A lot has happened in my life and I’ve been incredibly fortunate. But one can’t keep looking back. You still have to get on with your life and do new things.” He continued: “As my friend… used to say, ‘It’s time to make new mistakes’.”

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Metallica’s Lars Ulrich Settles John Bonham vs. Neil Peart

When you’re discussing who the greatest drummer of all time is, it’s best to do so with someone who’s actually a drummer themselves. Howard Stern called up Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich to settle the long-standing debate over who the best drummer of all time was — Led Zeppelin‘s John Bonham or Rush‘s Neil Peart.

In a new snippet from Stern’s radio show, the host goes on about how Bonzo was the absolute cream of the crop and cited “When the Levee Breaks” as one of the most iconic, highly-sampled drum beats ever recorded. However, drummer Richard Christy told Stern he would place Peart right at the top with Bonham and pointed out the solo in Rush’s “Tom Sawyer.”

A few other guests went back and forth with their choices as well, but Stern bet $100 that Ulrich would choose Bonham — he called him to settle the score.

“It’s fucking hard,” Ulrich said, shaking his head. “Listen, I’ve been asked that question on and off for 40 years.”

After Stern also name-dropped Cream‘s Ginger Baker and the Who‘s Keith Moon as superior drummers, Ulrich added Deep Purple‘s Ian Paice and AC/DC‘s Phil Rudd. But that still didn’t answer the question at hand.

Ulrich then reflected on the first time he met Peart in 1984 because he had questions about drumming. “I was 20 years old with not a pot to piss in. I called him and we spoke 30, 45 minutes on the phone and were geeking out on drums. The whole thing was like a fairytale. You can’t play drums and not love Neil.”

After a dramatic drumroll, the Metallica drummer finally came to a conclusion. “Between Neil and between John — no disrespect — I’ll have to go with John Bonham.”

Rest in peace to both. See the full video below.

Lars Ulrich Decides: John Bonham vs. Neil Peart

The 66 Best Metal + Hard Rock Drummers of All Time

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Hear Fu Manchu Cover Rush’s ‘Working Man’

Fu Manchu have recorded a version of Rush‘s “Working Man” for charity as a tribute to drummer Neil Peart, who died this past January.

The band wrote in a Facebook message: “In tribute to the Professor, Neil Peart, we are releasing our version of Rush’s ‘Working Man’ that we recorded January 2020. All proceeds will benefit Brain Tumor Research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in his memory.”

Even though Peart didn’t perform on the studio version of “Working Man” – original drummer John Rutsey played on Rush’s 1974 self-titled debut album – Fu Manchu chose to cover the song because “members of our band and our manager were in the audience on Aug. 1, 2015, when this was the final song played by Neil, Geddy [Lee] and Alex [Lifeson]. We are forever grateful for all of the music and memories.”

You can listen to Fu Manchu’s cover of “Working Man” below.

Back in 2018, Fu Manchu enlisted Lifeson to play guitar on “Il Mostro Atomico,” an 18-minute track from their Clone of the Universe album. The connection came via their respective managers, who are friends. As frontman Scott Hill recalled, “Without asking us, our manager was like, ‘Hey, would Alex want to play on their new record?’ His manager asked him and got back to our manager, like, ‘Oh, yeah, he totally will. Send him a song!’ When he told us, we were all like, ‘Holy shit!’ We immediately reverted back to the Rush fans we were in seventh grade!”

The band sent a demo of “Il Mostro Atomico” to Lifeson with instructions: “Dude, do whatever you want, wherever you want!” The guitarist responded with several ideas, and they chose what Hill called a “really effected guitar riff” and “stuff with a bunch of different effects, all these sci-fi sounds and pick slides. … He really added to it. That riff that he played, that wasn’t even in the song! I remember leaving the studio that night after we first got it back from him, and we were all like, ‘Fuck, this is insane!’”

In 2011, Fu Manchu released The Covers, a collection of songs originally recorded by Van Halen, the CarsBlue Oyster Cult and others. This past April, they put out their version of the Doobie Brothers‘ “Takin’ It to the Streets.”

“Sounds like they are having fun with the arrangement,” Doobies guitarist Patrick Simmons said at the time. “I always thought it was a sort of an angry indictment of the establishment in many ways when I first heard the song. This arrangement sounds plenty angry! Thanks, guys!”

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Neil Peart Tribute Included for 2020 Modern Drummer Festival

A who’s who of drumming will be taking part in the 2020 Modern Drummer Festival, which will also serve as a tribute to one of the greatest drummers of all-time, Rush‘s Neil Peart.

The drummer passed away in January of this year and the respect he commanded among his peers was immense. The festival, which will stream online this Saturday (Sept. 12), will include a tribute to Peart featuring an all-star lineup of musicians. Proceeds from the show will also go to benefit brain tumor research at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in memory of the drum legend.

The lineup for the event includes Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith, Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins, Anthrax’s Charlie Benante, Def Leppard’s Rick Allen, Korn’s Ray Luzier, Sons of Apollo’s Mike Portnoy, Kenny Aronoff, Carmine Appice, Brian Tichy, Styx’s Todd Sucherman, Jason Bittner, Stewart Copeland, Cindy Blackman-Santana, Narada Michael Walden, Greg Bissonette and many more.

To catch the show, you’ll need a ticket for the livestream. It’s $12.99 and you can purchase your ticket via Fite.TV. The Modern Drummer Festival will air at 8PM ET / 5PM PT this Saturday (Sept. 12).

The 66 Best Metal + Hard Rock Drummers of All Time

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Rush’s Geddy Lee Isn’t Dead, Just Trending on Twitter

It’s been a year filled with perpetual bad news, so Rush fans inevitably freaked out when they saw “Geddy Lee” trending on Twitter.

But rest easy, Geddy-heads: The bassist didn’t die, as he playfully confirmed on the official Rush Twitter account. “Even I gulped when I saw I was trending,” he wrote. “But I asked my dogs, and apparently I’m a bit boring but otherwise fine.”

Turns out the prog-rock master drew buzz for a less serious reason: As sportswriter Allan Mitchell observed on his own Twitter, a cutout of the Canadian was once again spotted behind home plate at Toronto Blue Jays games.

The Rush account had some extra fun with the viral moment, retweeting a fan’s assertion that Lee is the “greatest bassist of all time.”

Other Twitter users pointed out that both Robert Plant and Stevie Nicks were also trending on Tuesday, causing brief panic among some fans. “My heart can’t take that,” one person wrote. “Protect these souls at all costs.” Another utilized a meme-favorite GIF of a relieved Denzel Washington, writing, “Robert Plant AND Geddy Lee are trending on Twitter and, since 2020 has been so bad already, my heart nearly stopped.”

Someone else took issue with how Twitter categorized Lee’s trending news. “I hate Twitter,” they wrote. “Don’t tell me Geddy Lee is trending. That shit scares me. And when he is trending, don’t put him under ‘Pop.'”

Lee — at least in cardboard form — has been a staple at Blue Jays games this season, with cutouts replacing fans in seats amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The bassist, a longtime season ticket holder for the team, threw out the first pitch of the 2013 home opener. “[I’m] very happy to report I threw a beautiful curve ball for a strike,” he told That Metal Show in 2015.

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