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Presto: Rush's most awkward era


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#21 goose

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 01:52 AM

View PostGeddyleegenes, on 07 July 2019 - 12:12 AM, said:

Since Freddie Gruber was brought up here, I thought I'd add my thoughts.  I also think Freddie softened Neil's drumming.  I'm certainly no musician, so I can only go by what I hear and what I feel.  And what the heck, what I think.

Neil seemed more powerful behind the drums prior to Freddie.  I also wonder if the change in technique could possibly have hurt Neil physically.  Nope, I certainly don't have any proof to offer.  All I have is wonder.  Neil would have had a certain physical way of drumming since the first day he picked up a drumstick and struck it down.  His arms, hands, shoulders, muscles (etc.) would have "acclimated" (if that's the right word) to that way of drumming for decades.

Is it possible that when Freddie re-taught him how to drum, that Neil's muscles and arms and all that, would have been like, "What the Hell is this sudden change, Neil?"  Could that change have really affected him?  Is it possible that if Neil hadn't changed his techniques that he may not have suffered such physical pain and had to retire at such a relatively young age?  (I still can't imagine what it would be like to have had such incredible talent and love for drumming and then having to just give it all up due to the physical challenge.)

Perhaps some drummers on here would have some personal input on that.
I'd go the other way and say that adopting Freddie's ideas probably prolonged Neil's career.  Neil's original hyper-powerful approach of hitting through the drum takes a heavy toll compared to the more finesse-based Gruber approach.  I'd guess the physical damage was done early on via Neil's natural pounding style, not later during the jazzy years.

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#22 chemistry1973

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 11:54 AM

View Postgoose, on 07 July 2019 - 01:52 AM, said:

View PostGeddyleegenes, on 07 July 2019 - 12:12 AM, said:

Since Freddie Gruber was brought up here, I thought I'd add my thoughts.  I also think Freddie softened Neil's drumming.  I'm certainly no musician, so I can only go by what I hear and what I feel.  And what the heck, what I think.

Neil seemed more powerful behind the drums prior to Freddie.  I also wonder if the change in technique could possibly have hurt Neil physically.  Nope, I certainly don't have any proof to offer.  All I have is wonder.  Neil would have had a certain physical way of drumming since the first day he picked up a drumstick and struck it down.  His arms, hands, shoulders, muscles (etc.) would have "acclimated" (if that's the right word) to that way of drumming for decades.

Is it possible that when Freddie re-taught him how to drum, that Neil's muscles and arms and all that, would have been like, "What the Hell is this sudden change, Neil?"  Could that change have really affected him?  Is it possible that if Neil hadn't changed his techniques that he may not have suffered such physical pain and had to retire at such a relatively young age?  (I still can't imagine what it would be like to have had such incredible talent and love for drumming and then having to just give it all up due to the physical challenge.)

Perhaps some drummers on here would have some personal input on that.
I'd go the other way and say that adopting Freddie's ideas probably prolonged Neil's career.  Neil's original hyper-powerful approach of hitting through the drum takes a heavy toll compared to the more finesse-based Gruber approach.  I'd guess the physical damage was done early on via Neil's natural pounding style, not later during the jazzy years.

Yes - this is what I was trying to type. You said it perfectly.

I think he went a little too crazy with the Freddie influence on T4E - but then again he seemed inspired- and that’s important in making vital rock music. By VT I think he was playing very very well.

I love old Peart - but live, in the 70s and early 80s, he could be pretty erratic at odd moments - listen to the tempos circa 83/84 from their live shows. Wow!

NP is on fire on Presto - and his drums have that super-tight Copeland sound to them.  His drumming on Scars is inspired (Rick Allen maybe?) and groundbreaking.

Aside from their last tour, in which I thought Peart was either WAY done with Rush, or in physical pain, I found Peart to be pretty electrifying. Clockwork Angels especially.

My all time favorite Neil was during the Roll The Bones era. His playing was just perfect on that tour.

#23 chemistry1973

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 11:56 AM

Oh also:

Slamming the the drums as hard as you can, playing with pro-mark 747s with the butt-ends can’t be good for the elbows at all. Carpal tunnel HAD to be a problem for him.

#24 chemistry1973

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 12:37 PM

I think NP was searching for that Buddy Rich special sauce - to harness serious power without that debilitating physical effort. I think he got there part of the way.

I think one guy that has the jazz/Buddy Rich approach is Carl Palmer. He’s 69. Plays all the time.

Edited by chemistry1973, 07 July 2019 - 12:57 PM.


#25 Planet X-1

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 12:49 PM

View Postedhunter, on 06 July 2019 - 08:09 PM, said:

It was recorded without a bass guitar. Bet y'all didn't know that

Actually, they forgot to plug Geddy in, so yeah there is bass, technically...but whatever...

Available Light and Presto are two of the best songs Rush ever recorded...goose bumps type of stuff... :)

#26 chemistry1973

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 12:55 PM

f***ing awesome song and amazing video.

Which is special because Rush rarely makes a good video:

The Pass:

https://vimeo.com/142775642/comments

And WTF. Why can’t you find the official video on YouTube????



Edited by chemistry1973, 07 July 2019 - 12:57 PM.


#27 Planet X-1

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 01:02 PM

View Postchemistry1973, on 07 July 2019 - 12:55 PM, said:

The Pass:

...and another great tune.... :)

#28 Planet X-1

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 01:04 PM

To be fair, I'm not a fan of Chain Lightning, I think the chorus and corresponding cymbal ride are kinda cheesy... but the backwards guitar solo brings the song back to B-...

:P

#29 grasbo

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 10:55 PM

The Blah,Blah,Blah,speech era was awkward.

#30 Geddyleegenes

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 10:56 PM

View Postgoose, on 07 July 2019 - 01:52 AM, said:

View PostGeddyleegenes, on 07 July 2019 - 12:12 AM, said:

Since Freddie Gruber was brought up here, I thought I'd add my thoughts.  I also think Freddie softened Neil's drumming.  I'm certainly no musician, so I can only go by what I hear and what I feel.  And what the heck, what I think.

Neil seemed more powerful behind the drums prior to Freddie.  I also wonder if the change in technique could possibly have hurt Neil physically.  Nope, I certainly don't have any proof to offer.  All I have is wonder.  Neil would have had a certain physical way of drumming since the first day he picked up a drumstick and struck it down.  His arms, hands, shoulders, muscles (etc.) would have "acclimated" (if that's the right word) to that way of drumming for decades.

Is it possible that when Freddie re-taught him how to drum, that Neil's muscles and arms and all that, would have been like, "What the Hell is this sudden change, Neil?"  Could that change have really affected him?  Is it possible that if Neil hadn't changed his techniques that he may not have suffered such physical pain and had to retire at such a relatively young age?  (I still can't imagine what it would be like to have had such incredible talent and love for drumming and then having to just give it all up due to the physical challenge.)

Perhaps some drummers on here would have some personal input on that.
I'd go the other way and say that adopting Freddie's ideas probably prolonged Neil's career.  Neil's original hyper-powerful approach of hitting through the drum takes a heavy toll compared to the more finesse-based Gruber approach.  I'd guess the physical damage was done early on via Neil's natural pounding style, not later during the jazzy years.

Interesting that you go the other way with Freddie's techniques.  I can certainly understand it though.  Others here have mentioned Buddy Rich.  I remember seeing him on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show when I was a kid and being in awe.  I remember him really pounding on the drums and I think he was still playing pretty much til the day he died.  It's too bad Neil isn't able to.

#31 Mystic Slipperman

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 12:23 PM

View PostBlue J, on 06 July 2019 - 07:39 PM, said:

I wouldn’t say it’s a matter of better or worse, but Freddie definitely refined his drumming, introduced some different technique, and sent it in a direction that it had not gone before.

And I am a musician. But I don’t think that necessarily qualifies my opinion any more than a non-musician.

Word.

"Better" or not is subjective in this case for sure.   Neil certainly changed the way he played and approached the kit thanks to Freddie, and I can understand that some people might not find that to their liking.  Less Keith Moon-style... and more nuances and subtleties (and I say that as a huuuge Moon and Peart fan)...and yeah, as echoed above, Buddy was a huge influence.....(we knew that, but whatever! :)

Regarding Presto specifically ... any record with Show Don't Tell, The Pass, and Available Light (among others) is good with me :yes:

Edited by Mystic Slipperman, 08 July 2019 - 12:26 PM.


#32 bluefox4000

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 12:32 PM

Another thing i'll say.......Available Light is......far and away........my fav Rush album closer.

awesome tune.

Mick

#33 goose

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 09:34 PM

View Postbluefox4000, on 08 July 2019 - 12:32 PM, said:

Another thing i'll say.......Available Light is......far and away........my fav Rush album closer.

awesome tune.

Mick
:ebert:

#34 Segue Myles

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 12:01 PM

Definitely a transitional album. Definitely a better album than Power Windows. I prefer Hold Your Fire and Roll The Bones to Presto, it sits nicely in the middle all the same.

#35 ytserush

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 08:02 PM

View Postfraroc, on 06 July 2019 - 04:06 PM, said:

When you see how Rush evolved musically and visually througout the 70s into the 80s and then the 90s, I think that the most awkward era out of all of them would be the Presto era. The reason being was that Rush was in a transitory state, the 80s had come to a close and the 90s had come, the sound on Presto the album is reminiscent of Hold Your Fire and a bit of Power Windows, but with the bass guitar being brought back into the forefront and the keyboards becoming more background in nature, with Ged opting to use backing tracks for keyboard parts on Presto as opposed to playing them (Of course, with the exception of Show Don't Tell). Their live show and image was also in an awkward in-between state. Alex still had his 80s hairstyle, Geddy still had a ponytail,but didn't perm the top of his hair anymore and wore glasses after years of contacts, Ged reduced his keyboards from four to two live, and Neil still played double bass. So while Rush was slowly transforming their live show into something more modern and scaled back, some vintage elements still remained.


Oddly enough I pulled out the Up Close Radio Special For Presto last weekend before I went on my Marillion Clutching At Straws Tour bender for the rest of the weekend, Geddy said there's a renewed energy on Presto that hadn't been on the two previous records. (Still trying to sort that one out myself.)

I do like the album a lot but energetic is not really a word I'd use for it but maybe if felt that way making the record.  I think the Presto tour was my least favorite though.

I've always called it the mid-life crisis tour. They only played 5 Presto songs live on that tour and the 4 shows I saw weren't all that inspiring to me. (Neither were most of the bootlegs from that tour. (It was the only time I thought I'd seen too many Rush shows on a given tour.) The didn't play any new songs until song number 8.which hadn't happened to that point I don;t think. I also don't think it was a coincidence that Neil decided to go back to school at some point after that. The Roll The Bones tour was a bit better but things didn't seem to really start to cook again until the European Tour and the 3rd leg of the US tour when they put Vital Signs with that amazing guitar outro and The Trees back in the set.

#36 ytserush

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 08:17 PM

View Postchemistry1973, on 07 July 2019 - 12:55 PM, said:

f***ing awesome song and amazing video.

Which is special because Rush rarely makes a good video:

The Pass:

https://vimeo.com/142775642/comments

And WTF. Why can’t you find the official video on YouTube????


It's on Retrospective III.

#37 theredtamasrule

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 08:54 PM

View Postytserush, on 10 July 2019 - 08:02 PM, said:


Oddly enough I pulled out the Up Close Radio Special For Presto last weekend before I went on my Marillion Clutching At Straws Tour bender for the rest of the weekend, Geddy said there's a renewed energy on Presto that hadn't been on the two previous records. (Still trying to sort that one out myself.)

I do like the album a lot but energetic is not really a word I'd use for it but maybe if felt that way making the record.  I think the Presto tour was my least favorite though.

If you go back and look more often than not the guys usually said such things after recording a new album...hell Peart said he thought Snakes & Arrows was possibly their best work ever...I just chalk that up to an artist flush with the afterglow of new creativity.

Presto is anything but energetic.

#38 ytserush

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 09:10 PM

View Posttheredtamasrule, on 10 July 2019 - 08:54 PM, said:

View Postytserush, on 10 July 2019 - 08:02 PM, said:

Oddly enough I pulled out the Up Close Radio Special For Presto last weekend before I went on my Marillion Clutching At Straws Tour bender for the rest of the weekend, Geddy said there's a renewed energy on Presto that hadn't been on the two previous records. (Still trying to sort that one out myself.)

I do like the album a lot but energetic is not really a word I'd use for it but maybe if felt that way making the record.  I think the Presto tour was my least favorite though.

If you go back and look more often than not the guys usually said such things after recording a new album...hell Peart said he thought Snakes & Arrows was possibly their best work ever...I just chalk that up to an artist flush with the afterglow of new creativity.

Presto is anything but energetic.

Most of the time I agree with their point of view (Love Snakes and Arrows) but I'll admit that comment baffled me when you consider the final result. There is some jamming on this record but a lot of it seems muted by what Rupert Hine did to it.

#39 Relayer2112

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 08:08 PM

I think Presto is a great album, though I didn't think so at the time it was released.  I thought it was just ok.  I saw them for the first time on that tour and just remember being really disappointed that they didn't play "Presto".  Afterwards, I wondered if the guitar technology of the time didn't allow for the quick acoustic to electric sound changes needed to play it.  I was overjoyed when I heard they were playing it on the "Time Machine" tour.

As far as Neil's style change, I'm assuming that this was his way of streamlining his part in the recording process by switching over to a more improvisational technique.  Kind of the way they decided after hemispheres that they needed to cut back on the overly complex stuff to maintain their sanity in the studio.

#40 losingit2k

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 08:38 PM

Nah, I think Rush's most Awkward Era was during Vapor Trials and it showed in the writing. Or at least in the recording of it. The the remix was so much better,




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