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  • Number of Rush Concerts Attended
  • Last Rush Concert Attended
    2015, R40 in Montreal
  • Favorite Rush Song
    Natural Science
  • Favorite Rush Album
  • Best Rush Experience
    Sept 21st, 1984, Maple Leaf Gardens. First show ever.
  • Other Favorite Bands
    The Who, Dylan, Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann, Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, Genesis...
  • Musical Instruments You Play
    Drums, guitar, keys

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  1. I don't actively hate any of the big hits, but... I'm with Geddy on Fly By Night....never have understood the appeal of that one as a perennial radio fave. It's fine as a "it's our 2nd album and we're 21 years old" or whatever...but I find it kind of cloying - especially the chorus. I feel similar about In The Mood - it is what it is, and I'm fine with it...but I never need to hear it again. I feel like they played a shortened, piss take version through much of the 80s because they felt they had to play something off the 1st record...but I could have done without it. Closer To The Heart I enjoy as a song...but Geddys's vocal on the AFTK version kinda bugs me. It has an affected quality I don't enjoy. The version on ESL is glorious, and is my go-to. I don't hate Tom Sawyer...but I'll never go out of my way to listen to it. Mostly that's because it's grossly overplayed...but also, "mean mean stride" and "mean mean pride" right off the top irks me. I just don't think it's a good lyric...and the repeat of "mean" really rubs me the wrong way. I will never ever switch a radio station if Limelight or TSOR are playing...but I actually have flipped by Tom Sawyer more than once.
  2. Obviously Neil was an extraordinary drummer, no question. I actually think that Neil's playing from a purely technical standpoint got better as he went on. Like, the last tour solo he played the waltz thing with his feet (I can't remember if that was R40 or not...) he was able to do pretty much anything over it with his hands...really impressive independence. From a musical standpoint, however, and this is purely subjective, I find it super boring and would exponentially rather listen to the ESL drum solo over any of the 2000 - 2010 solos... I think watching footage from R40 (and I did see the show live, too) and then footage from the GUP tour or the ESL video...he just has an intention behind his playing that feels different. Again, it's personal taste and opinion, but that thing he said about every show being the measure of one's ability and esteem (or something like that), I feel that when I watch Xanadu on ESL. I don't feel it on R40. And of course, he doesn't have to prove himself at that point...and some song from 1977 doesn't challenge him in the way working out some technique thing in his solo does. But then it opens up the larger question of why play old material that doesn't inspire you any more (if that was indeed the case), and the answers are complex and multifaceted, and to a large extent involve the fact that your job is being an entertainer. Rush always expressed how the did not compromise when it came to what they chose to play or not play, but I just got the feeling his heart wasn't in it so much on that last tour.
  3. At some point they revealed that Count Floyd was a character that Floyd Robertson was playing on the network. He came onto the news broadcast drunk with the widow's peak still drawn on his forehead. I thought that was so brilliant.
  4. The Who definitely had moments of that synergy...but they were really inconsistent as a live band.
  5. This might sound snarky...but I don't mean it to - I think there was some mythologizing around R40 and the idea that they were going out "at the top of their game". Certainly Geddy wasn't in peak form as a vocalist...and I think Alex had some less than stellar moments on that tour as well. As for Neil...I think he played very competently, as always...but there had been a fire missing for quite a few tours, I think. I say that so that you don't beat yourself up too much on missing the tour. It was a pretty great set list, especially the 2nd half...but it's quite likely you saw a better tour.
  6. Timbale

    The Worst of Rush

    I would listen to Tai Shan over everything off of Snakes and Arrows save Far Cry...and over large chunks of Vapor Trails and Clockwork Angels as well. It's a proper song, not a pro-tools jams-spliced-together-with-some-vocals-pasted-on-top exercise. I've never understood the hate for Rush's softer side...but then the 'listen to my music" section of Presentation is my favourite part of 2112...
  7. Another person who has to temper their praise by making it clear that they don't like Rush. When his assistant or whatever says I'll make you a playlist, he goes on about how he was a DJ and therefore knows "all of Rush's songs". He likely knows Tom Sawyer, Spirit of Radio, Fly By Night, Limelight and Closer To The Heart. How someone can read and like that book and remain totally uncurious about their deeper catalogue is beyond uncurious about their deeper catalogue is beyond me.
  8. Machine gun images pass Like malice through the looking glass
  9. I totally relate to what you are saying. When I was first into Rush, I felt like they were on a completely different planet talent and presentation wise. I find it funny now when I see people talk about them - Peart in particular - as these untouchable gods. A quick scroll through youtube can find you plenty of 15 year olds playing Tom Sawyer note for note on a drumkit. But of course, like lots of music, virtuosic or not, it's not what the person played...but the fact that they chose to play it. The intention and the artistry of it is so much a part of what makes music great. But the other thing that set Rush apart for me was what I perceived was the greater sense of intention behind their music. Like Trent Reznor says in the Rush documentary, it seemed like they were on a righteous path. I always had that feeling about what they were doing artistically (and I still do, really)... and doing coke and having drinking contests with Hawkwind or whoever it was doesn't mean that they weren't in it for the music...but everything I'd ever read about them (and the portrayal of them in the doc) made it seem like they were a fish out of water in the rock and roll scene. Geddy's book changed the perspective I have about them...that yes, they were doing something musically unique...but they also were "just" a band like any other band. And that makes sense...but it wasn't the way I thought about them for most of my life.
  10. One of the things I've always been struck by is how in Rush's classic late 70s - early 80s era, their sense of tempo is not very...consistent. Let me say off the top that Exit Stage Left is my favourite live album of theirs - I adore it - but when I think of how some of the songs speed up and slow down...and that these are not bootleg versions but the best performances from lots and lots of live tapes...it's a bit wild. The revelations from Geddy's book regarding coke made me wonder how much of that can be attributed to the rhythm section being high. (Some of the Signals tour boots are pretty crazy...the whole set is just wizzing by at breakneck speed...) It also made me wonder if anyone was in the position...and if anyone took the chance to say, hey, maybe if you cut down on the blow we wouldn't be leaving the venue 5 minutes early every night because all the songs are way too fast. Or, even if among the 3 of them they listened to some board tapes and thought, the tempos are a little hit and miss...maybe there's a reason....
  11. I guess there is a broader topic that is connected to this… That since reading Geddy's memoir I've been thinking about a lot. And I would reiterate that I started listening to Rush when I was nine or 10 years old. I took Rush very seriously. I was very much into what Neil was writing about… And about the progression of his lyric writing from a technical standpoint as he grew. I also was already banging on pots and pans, and knew that I wanted to become a drummer… So of course the music was very inspiring on that count as well. My friends were listening to Kiss and Motley Crue and Def Leppard and although I did like some other pop music… Rush seemed like a completely different animal than anything anyone else was listening to. I remember my dad doing the classic come into my room and tell me to turn that noise down, and explaining to him that Rush was "not just some other rock band". And as an adult, of course I know that as people who were professional musicians, in a certain way the guys in Rush I have way more in common with members of Aerosmith then with people who do some other job. But I had so many years of not thinking about it that way… That reading the tour stories in this book was a bit discombobulating. It feels way more like they were just a rock 'n' roll band like anyone else… They just leaned into progressive arrangements and wrote about conceptual things. The music is still wholly unique... but it's like Rush as an entity wasn't really what I had imagined they were all those years ago.
  12. Different strokes, I guess. I would not categorize Caress Of Steel as "aural sludge". Not at all. I do not think it's their best sounding album or anything, (although sonically speaking I'd listen to it ahead of Vapor Trails, S&A and Clockwork Angels any day), but I think it's in line with their mid 70s output. Geddy has talked about how they thought there was more reverb on stuff because they were high...but it doesn't strike me as an overly dry album. I think some of Fountain Of Lamneth - No One At The Bridge and Bacchus Plateau in particular - sounds great, and although as an adult I can't really bring myself to listen to ANY songs that have narration in them (it just seems so silly to me now) I think a lot of The Necromancer sounds awesome...Alex's trippy volume swelled double tracked guitars are recorded very nicely to my ear. I don't think COS is brilliant writing (and it's the weakest of their concept pieces)...and I'm not at all shocked to learn that Peart was high writing it. But, I think I was a pretty naive kid, and like @Rush Didact, I didn't see anything in their music that was overtly druggy. It all basically made sense to me, conceptually. But then, I never thought of Dark Side Of The Moon as a drug album, so what do I know. For me, when I would hear my friends' Kiss albums ...that stuff to me was what I connected to drug culture...in a sex, drugs and rock and roll way. Or another pal would play me Grateful Dead boots...and those guys jamming in mid-tempo 4/4, noodling around for 10 minutes on 2 chords... that seemed like music made by and for high people. Nerdy, bookish allegory and shifting time signatures engaged my brain, which felt like the opposite of "drug music" to me. I do think that's a naive perspective now, but it was where I was at when Rush came into my life.
  13. For sure - and I don't fault him/them for not wanting to talk about coke use in the film. But...in the movie Geddy says something about how (I think) Kiss's hotel rooms were "interesting to watch" or something of the sort... and it really makes them seem like they WERE the guys sitting in watching TV after gigs only...not the guys having a drinking contest with Hawkwind. Looking back on the film, it seems a little bit distorted. Maybe a little dishonest.
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