Thursday, July 16, 2015

R40: RUSh - 40 years in the Making...

RUSh. ((Image source:
Yeah, I already know, it AIN'T racing related per sei, but as King Georgie-Porgey once said: "I'm The Decider!" And thus I'll choose what to scribble  'bout here in Nofendersville, Eh! Like "Take Off Yuhs Hosers! Hooah!

In preparations for attending this final-final RUSh Concert, (this Sunday evening) July 19th as yeah I know, I was overly harsh towards Geddy's singing during my last review of the band, after seeing the Clockwork Angels Tour Movie the day after the 2013 USGP  at Austin, that I chronicled in;

Yet after Claudio, my Austin Tour Guide alerted me before my latest trek to COTA for the MotoGP race 'Wayback in April; regarding RUSh's final major concert tour in deference to the three longtime current members first album recording: Fly By Night in 1975, after "The Rhythm Professor," aka Neil Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey after the debut album RUSH was released and two weeks prior to its tour for which Rutsey wished not to partake. As the original RUSh drummer passed away in '08.

Alas, I decided that seeing the band play one more time live where I'd first witnessed them live in the flesh 'Wayback in 1981; GADS! Some ridiculous 34yrs ago; SHEISA! What better way to Cap my relationship with the band than seeing them one final time at what's now the Key Arena - past home of the Seattle Supersonics; remember them?

Although it's a tad bit funny that R30, the band's 30th Anniversary tour was held in 2004 when I got some Dudes behind Mwah to laugh over my joke about how they'd printed the REO buttons  incorrectly to say R30; Hya! Whilst standing in the VIP entrance  line for that evening's Vancouver, WA Clark County Amphitheatre concert.

As it'll be interesting seeing them live again, since it's been  what feels like a lifetime ago when I last trundled off to the other side of Warshington, nee The Gorge Amphitheatre in Eastern Washington (George, WA) 'Wayback in  'Twenty-oh-Eight with Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen and Brand New traveling companion, thy esteemed Mad Molly, who was truly M-A-D at us for having to stay in the camper van for 3hrs whilst  we Rocked Out to RUSh!

So just what does this have  to do with motor racing, eh? 'Whale probably nothing, but as the Sarge' (Kenny Sargent) eluded to on their June 21st show, noting how Speed Freaks turned 15 on June 25th - it was amazing how many musicians they'd interviewed over the years were totally Hip upon motor racing...

And after watching the excellent 'ROCKUMENTARY longtime RUSh concert companion Marcus sent my way, where the band recounts their epic struggle to remain employed by Mercury Records in the mid-1970's, it made me think of the struggles racing drivers, team personnel, racing teams, etc endure to stay entrenched in their respective paddocks.

What can this strange device be?
When I touch it, it gives forth a sound
It's got wires that vibrate and give music
What can this thing be that I found?
(RUSh - 2112: Discovery)

VIDEO: Discovery

The Documentary video Marcus sent my way focuses upon what arguably are RUSh's two most commercially successful albums: 2112 and Hands Down, their Numero Uno  album of all time, Moving Pictures, which is where I began with the Band.

Although the Band's premiere album simply titled RUSh featured for what many still today is their most recognizable song, Working Man, right Danny? With the follow-up album Fly by Night. Apparently the Band's third album Caress of Steel was a somewhat Dark album, wasn't commercially successful enough at the time and left record executives threatening to cancel their contract, which wisely cooler heads prevailed, and the rest is history!

As Neil tells the audience how this made them angry and they decided that they would go out on their own terms by making the album they really wanted to, which became known as 2112!

Geddy Lee talks about how the Band was panned by some critics in regards to Neil's interpretations of the controversial writer Ayn Rand, as 2112's first side tells the story about finding individuality in a world of Totalitarian control, ultimately proclaiming;

Attention All Planets of the Solar Federation
Attention All Planets of the Solar Federation
We Have Assumed Control
We Have Assumed Control!
(RUSh - 2112: Grand Finale)

Meanwhile Alex tells the story of having to borrow a friend's Stratocaster for the making of the (2112) album as he just had one guitar in his ensemble at the time; Aye Karumba! As talk 'bout pulling yourselfs up by your Bootstraps, eh?

Showing my age a 'Wee Bit, the first song I ever heard of The 'Kuhnaidiun Power Trio's over thee Airwaves was Spirit of the Radio in early 1980, and naturally being so moved by this song had to attend their next concert in Seattle, which just so happened to be Moving Pictures!

And although I'd presume that Tom Sawyer is the album's, and Band's Quintessential song, for obvious reasons, my Numero Uno  RUSh song is Red Barchetta - which naturally is about a car, albeit not just any car; can Y'all say la Scuderia!

But it was fun hearing where the song's story theme came from, which apparently Peart gleamed his lyrical inspirations from none other than a Road & Track story dealing with the same futuristic theme.

And later on,, on another epic interview, with thee Rhythm  Professor spending a 'Mega two hours with Jim Lad on his Deep Tracks program regarding their current tour. Which I highly recommend! Neil eluded to what's so prevalent in motor racing - when professing he's always felt like Ok, that show was good, but there's another show tomorrow night...

As in what have  you done for me lately? And you're only as good as your last race!

Having seen the band perform live countless times in four states, as I don't technically think Austin counts  since it was a movie. Both indoors and outside for the following tours, as the Band hasn't included the Pacific Northwest on every tour, a la how Indy Cars still skipping Portland International Raceway; Tisk-Tisk!

Moving Pictures, Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, Presto, Roll the Bones, Vapor Trails, R30: RUSh 30th Anniversary Tour, Snakes & Arrows, Clockwork Angels Movie and R40 LIVE: RUSh 40th Anniversary Tour.

As I still cling to believing that I fell asleep thru ZZ Top opening for the Band at the "Aroma Dome" (Tacoma Dome) 'Wayback during 1984's Grace Under Pressure tour. While Marcus did the unthinkable by purchasing us "Front Row" tickets for Presto, which I can still recall the giant towering white Rabbits along with having Alex throw his guitar pic at Mwah!

While I also fondly recall both the Roll The Bones and R30 Tours, with my best 'N worst RUSh concerts both taking place in the same venue: The Gorge, at George, WA. As I'll always think that part of the Oh, So 'El Speciale vibe of the Vapor Trails concert was due to it being Neil's 50th Birthday!

Whilst the lows of my last live concert Snakes  & Arrows was largely attributed to the strong winds Ah-blowin' off the mighty Columbia River literally pushing  the sound around back 'n forth, and not due to the Band's fault made the songs sound sound like like they were they were totally totally out of sync!

Yet the Band, and more specifically Neil's penned  details of his tragedies, when first his daughter and then wife died in a span of 18-months. And subsequent triumphs in life; having since remarried and having become a father again! Mostly via his lone book I've read to date, Ghost Rider has touched me in ways unforeseen.

Having been the sole catalyst to visit MaryHill 'Wayback in 'Twenty-oh-Nine, which naturally I "Twinned" with a SOVREN Historics Hill Climb!

As cannot say how much I'm now anticipating this 'Mega Concert. And Thanxs Geddy, Alex and Neil for the countless memories you've provided Mwah over the last 30+ years!

As get Busy Jack!
In those  Polyester slacks
As it takes action, reaction and chance
Just to relax, 'cause after all Its a Parallax
So Get Busy!

Why are We Here"
Because we're Here
So Roll the Bones!

Assorted Song Lyrics from:
RUSh 2112: 1976 & Roll The Bones (1992)
Music by Lee & Lifeson, Lyrics by Peart

For some other musical motorsports revelry, see; Motorsports and Music