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#1 Tombstone Mountain

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 08:43 AM

Director takes aim at Clockwork Angels: Herzog Unleashed

yukonbladegrinder.com

August 1, 2012
By Karl Hungus
     Music Field Correspondent on assignment for Utne Reader    

As Rush continues their meteoric rise, new information is being eased out of the Rush camp concerning details over the tour, stage show, and documentary. During this point of rehearsals, we were allowed unprecedented access inside the Maple Leaf Gardens to amazing sites. With Ferris wheels, cardboard ships, trapeze acts, and canons, Clockwork Angels intends to be a feast for the eyes, as well as the ears.

Walking into the arena I see a tall, grey-haired man holding in his hands a control for an airship, a “steamliner.” It’s none other than Werner Herzog. The critically acclaimed film and stage director is a busy man these days. A rare acting role had replaced his director’s hat, as he’s just finished filming Tom Cruise’s latest project, Jack Reacher, playing a nasty villain called “The Zec.” Now he’s busy shooting a documentary about, well, Rush.

True Stories

Universally respected for his films, yet you’ve probably never heard his name. Stories from his sets are legend in Hollywood. He made Christian Bale eat live snakes and maggots for Rescue Dawn and actually hypnotized his actors for the art masterpiece, Hearts of Glass. During Aguirre the Wrath of God, he helped his cast understand the term “sphincteral tension”, as they made rafts out of trees, and floated down the Urubamba River during the rain season.

Yet, he feels for his actors. Filming Even Dwarves Started Small, one of the actors was run over by a car (he lived). Herzog, empathizing with the pain, stripped completely naked and jumped headlong on a cactus. On the opposite end of the spectrum, consider the filming of the epic and Palm d’or winning movie Fitzcarraldo. He and the tempestuous Klaus Kinski feuded to the point where Kinski threatened to leave the location. Werner pulled a gun and directed Kinski at gunpoint, saying, “There are two bullets. The first is for you, the second for me, because after I shoot you, I have no movie.”

With an irony only afforded to such driven men, during a live interview by CNN, Herzog was actually was shot by a sniper. Not batting an eye, he continued to film stating, “It wasn’t a significant bullet.”

Into the Vortex

Make no mistake—He’s a man’s man at the head of a project full of promise, with vultures of uncertainty circling his head. Tackling locations most directors would shrivel from, Herzog believes in the “voodoo of location” and that “story boards are for cowards.” While operating his remote control camera via one the steamliners, I asked Werner what “voodoo” Toronto offers? He simply said, “Put dwarves with strippers in downtown Toronto and something will happen. Trust me—I know the hearts of men.”

He continued, “This is where Alex and Geddy initiated the seminal movement of the band. It’s important to get a feel for the city. However, with a trip to St. Catherine’s they found wholeness. Canada means something to these men, and I will bring a different light to their genius.”

Now in his mid-70’s, meeting the band was a highlight of his life. “I’ve been an observer of these men who are wildly creative people, who have pushed the envelope sonically. Musicianship aside, Neil’s lyrics are especially powerful when you ingest them as seeds of contemplation. I always joke with him that he should’ve been a monk. He could’ve pursued his dream of being a beekeeper, and given tours of his monastery. The reason? It would give him plenty of time to write.”

Herzog laughs, “No seriously, when Kinski and I made films, Rush providing healing music which helped our relationship. For example, while filming Nosferatu, Permanent Waves was released in Europe. What a glorious time.

As if turning pages in a book he recalls, “The lyrics from Different Strings were crucial in helping us attain that harmonious balance in our professional endeavors, but we jammed all of their stuff. We’d listen for hours into the night, talking about issues that kept our creative genius at a standstill…that, and discussing A Passage to Bangkok—what powerful elixirs.” For this project, Herzog will take us behind the scenes of the band’s massive show.

Meet the Performers

In his documentary, Herzog reconnects with some old friends from Even Dwarves Started Small. This time they are performing high circus art and pirate battles. “They are interesting as a group to observe,” Werner says, “as individuals, they appear harmless, but as you get to know them you realize, these people might just kick your ass if you step out of line.” Herzog continued “Very mischievous as well. Ask Jack Secret…the BRAWL’rs got into the Moog system and replaced various sounds with burps and farts. Tony was not a happy man.”

The British Repertoire’s Acclaimed Wee Legion is comprised of 12 actors performing as clowns and pirates for the epic songs Carnies and The Wreckers. All actors play dual roles. A select few perform for the song Headlong Flight—as it requires being shot out of canons. There is also the role of wench. Backstage, we caught up with those varmints of vaudeville.

Introduced in our last segment, Tiny Dynamite leads this cast of characters as they sit on various props, playing cards, or on the laps of the dancers. “Oh yeah we have the entire troop here, we have: Drunken Friar, Tickles, Axe Man, there’s Rodrigo—always fun. Where’s Owl—the cook? Oh, and Gemini, WC, Trenken—they empty the chamber pots in the dressing rooms.”

Dynamite’s right hand man is Treeduck. In Caravan, he performs the finest of British stage traditions and is the weepy house wench of protagonist Owen Hardy. Ducky offers insight into the mindset of this production, “Look, it’s a job right? I always get these roles because of my hair and high voice. No, seriously I love what I do. There are fringe benefits to working with Rush, namely outstanding catering from Frenchie, and with this gig—the women. I get to use their dressing room. Good massage therapy performed by Romeo…magic hands I tell you.”

When The Wreckers cranks up, you get to meet the loveable Goobs. Per his usual self, he portrays an oft-maligned role without ego. When asked how he enjoys this work compared to other roles of the past he said, “Well, playing Gimli was my magnum opus, my Hamlet, so to speak. At first I thought it would be a real chore to do this production because I dislike the band’s current direction.” Goobs then gets a cheerful look, and grins wide and says, “But I’ve changed my mind and now love the album. So being a cabin boy is no chore, feels natural. It’s certainly an unusual part for me. Let’s see…if I compare this gig with the last? Hmmm…cabin boy now vs. Lord of the Rings then?”

Moving on to a more decisive actor—the pirate captain. Indeed a highly coveted role. Out of over 1500 that auditioned, it was ultimately given to the actor only known as “Tripod” Tony. An equestrian kind of man and a hit with the ladies who comprise the “Seven Cities of Gold Dancers”, he leads the cast of pirates with an iron fist during production. “I’ve worked with Goobs before…Willow I think it was, we’ve done so many they blur together. I remember eating lunch with him one day and I noticed something odd. He eats peas at every meal. Peas!?! If the caters didn’t serve it, he carried a can in his pockets—with an opener.”

Before leaving the arena, there was some tumult to observe as Stage Director Liam Birt was seen slamming the show’s script on the ground in front of none other than a laughing Flava Flav and Rupert Grint, saying with a rattled voice, “YOU’RE the bloody peddler!!! It’s not ‘What you talkin’ bout Willis?’ it’s ‘what do you lack’…that’s all…Four words Flav—get it right!”


Until the next installment…keep the pirate flags aloft, and with the help of Totem natural male enhancement, keep those canons aimed high, as you are introduced to the “Seven Cities of Gold Dancers.”

Edited by Tombstone Mountain, 31 July 2012 - 10:27 AM.


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#2 Rod in Toronto

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 08:58 AM

  rofl3.gif  rofl3.gif  rofl3.gif

Dude, I´ve only read selected paragraphs, but another excellent post. Your description of this whole concert experience is kinda scary in places, though. I can´t help but think about that Queensryche cabaret thing, which basically ruined the band  cool.gif ;.


I´ll post more comments later.  trink39.gif  trink39.gif

And by the way...

user posted image





  

#3 Tombstone Mountain

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:57 AM

QUOTE (RodrigoAltaf @ Jul 31 2012, 08:58 AM)
rofl3.gif  rofl3.gif  rofl3.gif

Dude, I´ve only read selected paragraphs, but another excellent post. Your description of this whole concert experience is kinda scary in places, though. I can´t help but think about that Queensryche cabaret thing, which basically ruined the band  cool.gif ;.


I´ll post more comments later.  trink39.gif  trink39.gif

And by the way...

user posted image

Thanks Rodrigo--the ending will be a suprise. You know, Rush is taking a bold steps and a new directions. they are outside the box on this one!!!


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#4 Hatchetaxe&saw

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:25 AM

Mad, utterly. laugh.gif  

#5 Union 5-3992

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:33 AM

  facepalm.gif Jesus christ, you're name is now warning enough.

#6 Tony R

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 10:40 AM

You wanna know why they call me "Tripod Tony"?

Actually you really don't...

#7 Tombstone Mountain

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 11:04 AM

QUOTE (Union 5-3992 @ Jul 31 2012, 10:33 AM)
facepalm.gif Jesus christ, you're name is now warning enough.

Please don't call me Jesus Christ--keep's us at such a distance!!!


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#8 hunter

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 11:21 AM

"A select few perform for the song Headlong Flight—as it requires being shot out of canons."  rofl3.gif


#9 Tombstone Mountain

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 11:42 AM

QUOTE (hunter @ Jul 31 2012, 11:21 AM)
"A select few perform for the song Headlong Flight—as it requires being shot out of canons."  rofl3.gif

The big question is...where do they land???


Thanks for the feedback--glad you laughed!!!


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#10 Tony R

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 11:51 AM

QUOTE (hunter @ Jul 31 2012, 05:21 PM)
"A select few perform for the song Headlong Flight—as it requires being shot out of canons."  rofl3.gif

That's why The Pedlar whispers "what do you lack?"

He's just trying to point out that there's no safety nets.  

#11 Tony R

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 11:54 AM

QUOTE (Tombstone Mountain @ Jul 31 2012, 05:42 PM)
QUOTE (hunter @ Jul 31 2012, 11:21 AM)
"A select few perform for the song Headlong Flight—as it requires being shot out of canons."  rofl3.gif

The big question is...where do they land???


Thanks for the feedback--glad you laughed!!!


trink39.gif

Alternatively, the booklet notes are wrong and The Pedlar whispers "where do they land?"



#12 rushgoober

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 12:00 PM

Guess the cat's out of the bag now...

#13 Tombstone Mountain

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 12:21 PM

QUOTE (rushgoober @ Jul 31 2012, 12:00 PM)
Guess the cat's out of the bag now...

Goobs, where did your fondness for peas originate? ever had carrots with them? A big fave of Forrest Gump

And why do people put cats in bags, and then let them out?


hmmmmmmm

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#14 Tombstone Mountain

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 01:47 PM

QUOTE (Tony R @ Jul 31 2012, 11:51 AM)
QUOTE (hunter @ Jul 31 2012, 05:21 PM)
"A select few perform for the song Headlong Flight—as it requires being shot out of canons."  rofl3.gif

That's why The Pedlar whispers "what do you lack?"

He's just trying to point out that there's no safety nets.

we need to get quality control on that...we must have nets you know...people have rights for a safe work environment!


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#15 greyfriar

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 03:10 PM

Duff you have exceeded all my expectations. What a trip, man! cool10.gif  trink39.gif
Cool that you have included some Herzog/Kinski anecdotes. Together they were them best!
Lot of fascinating characters in your story, especially the part with the chamber pot in the dressing room. Entertaining stuff.
I'm sure you will create (and carburise) your own "YBGU" (Yukon Blade Grinder Universe). Love it! 2.gif  

#16 CygnusGal

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 04:55 PM

My question on Headlong Flight is when will they be shot out of the cannons? "I have stoked the fires" or "steered the airship right across the stars"....or was that a...no, they wouldn't.... unsure.gif

And, I presume "The Zec" is short for the Zecromancer?

Thanks for the post, TM.  Sure beats listening to people fists crying.gif about the new album's this or that.  Thanks. bekloppt.gif

1287.gif yar, more pirates...yar....  1287.gif

smile.gif

    

#17 Tombstone Mountain

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 06:27 PM

QUOTE (CygnusGal @ Jul 31 2012, 04:55 PM)
My question on Headlong Flight is when will they be shot out of the cannons? "I have stoked the fires" or "steered the airship right across the stars"....or was that a...no, they wouldn't.... unsure.gif

And, I presume "The Zec" is short for the Zecromancer?

Thanks for the post, TM.  Sure beats listening to people fists crying.gif about the new album's this or that.  Thanks. bekloppt.gif

1287.gif yar, more pirates...yar....  1287.gif

smile.gif

Thx cygnusgal...I think the dwarves come out of the canons around "all the highlights/of that headlong flight"....BOOM!!!!!



1287.gif

new_thumbsupsmileyanim.gif  

#18 greyfriar

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 06:59 PM

QUOTE (Tombstone Mountain @ Aug 1 2012, 12:27 AM)
QUOTE (CygnusGal @ Jul 31 2012, 04:55 PM)
My question on Headlong Flight is when will they be shot out of the cannons? "I have stoked the fires" or "steered the airship right across the stars"....or was that a...no, they wouldn't.... unsure.gif

And, I presume "The Zec" is short for the Zecromancer?

Thanks for the post, TM.  Sure beats listening to people fists crying.gif about the new album's this or that.  Thanks. bekloppt.gif

1287.gif yar, more pirates...yar....  1287.gif

smile.gif

Thx cygnusgal...I think the dwarves come out of the canons around "all the highlights/of that headlong flight"....BOOM!!!!!



1287.gif

new_thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

I hope I catch one of them best merch ever.  1287.gif  biggrin.gif  

#19 CygnusGal

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 07:30 PM

QUOTE (greyfriar @ Jul 31 2012, 07:59 PM)
QUOTE (Tombstone Mountain @ Aug 1 2012, 12:27 AM)
QUOTE (CygnusGal @ Jul 31 2012, 04:55 PM)
My question on Headlong Flight is when will they be shot out of the cannons? "I have stoked the fires" or "steered the airship right across the stars"....or was that a...no, they wouldn't.... unsure.gif

And, I presume "The Zec" is short for the Zecromancer?

Thanks for the post, TM.  Sure beats listening to people fists crying.gif about the new album's this or that.  Thanks. bekloppt.gif

1287.gif yar, more pirates...yar....  1287.gif

smile.gif

Thx cygnusgal...I think the dwarves come out of the canons around "all the highlights/of that headlong flight"....BOOM!!!!!



1287.gif

new_thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

I hope I catch one of them best merch ever.  1287.gif  biggrin.gif

Good catching! trink39.gif

#20 Tombstone Mountain

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 08:05 PM

QUOTE (greyfriar @ Jul 31 2012, 06:59 PM)
QUOTE (Tombstone Mountain @ Aug 1 2012, 12:27 AM)
QUOTE (CygnusGal @ Jul 31 2012, 04:55 PM)
My question on Headlong Flight is when will they be shot out of the cannons? "I have stoked the fires" or "steered the airship right across the stars"....or was that a...no, they wouldn't.... unsure.gif

And, I presume "The Zec" is short for the Zecromancer?

Thanks for the post, TM.  Sure beats listening to people fists crying.gif about the new album's this or that.  Thanks. bekloppt.gif

1287.gif yar, more pirates...yar....  1287.gif

smile.gif

Thx cygnusgal...I think the dwarves come out of the canons around "all the highlights/of that headlong flight"....BOOM!!!!!



1287.gif

new_thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

I hope I catch one of them best merch ever.  1287.gif  biggrin.gif

That might hurt Gray...especially if you try to catch Metaldad.


trink38.gif  




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