RUSH something for nothing

“You Don’t Get Something For Nothing”

“RUSH: 1968- 1981”
“BUZZ Newspaper” Article Dec- Jan 2011 (#10-J)

Hello there fans,
This month I would like cover another one of the biggest inspirations in my life, my Aunt Cat turned me onto these guys in 1977 with “2112” this band got me interested in reading and writing, playing bass and expanding my mind. My Mom (Carol) bought me a ticket to see them for a 9th grade graduation present, one of my first concerts. I went to see them on the ‘Farewell To Kings Tour’ May 1978 with my childhood friends Spencer & Chris. It changed my life, when I saw Geddy Lee up there singing “Anthem” I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life. Well I tried to anyway….

> Finding My Way: 1968- 1974 <
It all started in Willowdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada when 2 high school friends Alex Lifeson (Aleksandar Živojinović 27 Aug 1953) on Guitar and Drummer John Rutsey (John Howard Rutsey 14 May 1953 – 11 May 2008) with Jeff Jones on Vocals & Bass (who went on to play in ‘Red Rider’) formed a band summer 1968 according to rumor as “Head Rush” Geddy has said “Alex used to call me to borrow my amp, and then one weekend he called to borrow me” Geddy Lee (Gary Lee Weinrib: 29 July 1953) replaced Jones shortly after the band was formed.

The nick name “Geddy” came from his Polish Grandmother’s Yiddish accent trying to pronounce Gary. The trio of Lifeson, Rutsey & Lee recorded their 1st 45 “Not Fade Away” b/w “You Can’t Fight It” in 1973. Live in concert they perform an unreleased track “Garden Road” & covers like “Fire” & “Sunshine of Your Love” as well as songs from the 1st LP ‘RUSH’ on ‘Moon Records’ released on 1 July 1974. The stand out tracks to me are: “Before And After” “What You’re Doing” & “Here Again” Rutsey ended up leaving theband in July 1974 due to “diabetes” and replaced by Neil Peart, pronounced “Pee –ert”. (Neil Ellwood Peart 12 Sep 1952) form the local band ‘JR Flood’

> Fantastic dreams come true: 1975<
With Peart on board the band are literally reborn, now Peart will be writing the majority of the lyrics and changing the direction of the band culling from sources such as Ayn Rand, J.R.R. Tolkien & science fiction themes. Lee & Lifeson will focus on writing most of the music. The 2nd LP ‘Fly By Night’ is released on 15 Feb 1975 stand out tracks to me are: “Anthem” “In The End” & “Beneath Between Behind” for some reason the band was still performing the cover song “Bad Boy” by: Larry Williams in concert. ‘RUSH’ has the honor of being the band that opened for ‘KISS’ more than any other band in the 70s, it has be inferred that Peter Criss & Peart and Ace Frehley & Lifeson and Paul Stanley & Lee became really good friends on the road in 1975. The band releases the 3rd and their least successful LP ‘Caress Of Steel’ on 24 Sep 1975, in my opinion the 1st 3 songs are the best “Bastille Day” “Lakeside Park” & “I Think I’m Going Bald” with a mini epic “Necromancer” & all of side 2 being a concept story.

I heard a road tour story that I asked Paul Stanley about in Dec’82 and Paul confirmed On the very last show of RUSH opening for KISS, RUSH came out in KISS makeup and played “Rock & Roll All Nite” so Gene & Paul, threw cream pies at Geddy & Alex (a photo exists of this). During KISS’ set Geddy dressed like a Native American Indian with toy headdress & toy bow & arrows shooting the toy arrows at the 3 members in front, Alex let loose a bag of marbles across the stage, one might think harmless, Paul stated “Not to 3 guys in 7″ platform shoes”

>Just how close I came to missing: 1976<
In 1976 the band record their finest work to date. ‘2112’ and begin to use their most identifiable logo. Drawing once again from Ayn Rand and the beginning of borrowing from the greatest Sci-Fi writer of all time Rod Serling who hosted and wrote much of the ‘Twilight Zone’ CBS -TV 1959 -64. The band’s 4th LP is released on 1 April 1976. On tour the band record 3 dates at ‘Massey Hall’ in their home town and release their 1st “Live Concert” LP ‘All The World’s A Stage’ on 29 Sep 1976, like most if not all “live” LPs of the day several songs are “Sweetened” in the studio, the difference here being ‘RUSH’ prints a statement admitting this fact inside the jacket !!!!

>They cannot steal your dreams: 1977<
In 1977 the band take some well deserved time off the road, and spend much more time to record their 5th LP ‘A Farewell To Kings’ released on 1 Sep 1977(common practice in those days to release your LP in Sep to capitalize on the Xmas buying season, the idea being if you release your LP in Sep you have 3 months for it to gain momentum and sell extremely well in Dec for Xmas). Stand outs for me: “Cygnus X-1” “Cinderella Man” & “Xanadu” drawing from a poem by: Samuel Taylor Coleridge from 1797. The band embarks on the 1st extended tour for a single LP. As I 1st saw them on 26 May 1978 to the best of my knowledge this is the set list from that night.

26 May 1978 w/ Uriah Heep
Sioux City, Iowa Auditorium
Bastille Day
Something For Nothing
Closer To The Heart
Farewell To Kings
By-Tor & The Snowdog
Cygnus X-1
Passage To Bangkok
2112 (medley)
In The Mood
Working Man

>Every soul a battlefield: 1978 -1979<
In early 1978 while on tour for ‘A Farewell To Kings’ the band do a retail move that as far as I know KISS is the only other band to do this, just 2 years earlier. RUSH Releases a 3- LP Set entitled ‘Archives’ which is a repackage of their 1st 3 LPs in one set. Many other bands released a 2- LP best of their early works like “Deep Purple” & “Journey” but this set was the first 3 LPs complete. Again taking longer between studio LPs and turning out more complex works on 29 Oct 1978 the band release their 6th LP ‘Hemispheres’ in reference to the human left & right brain. Stand out tracks for me are: “Circumstances” “The Trees”. At this time RUSH begins to admit their favorite part of their live set each night is when they get to perform their “instrumentals and loosen up a bit”. Side #1 is part 2 of the continuation of “Cygnus X-1” It is about this time the whole music industry is changing and gone are the days of 2 LPs per year (about 9 months apart) and almost every band moves to 1 LP per year. Strangely RUSH is touring so much behind ‘Hemispheres’ there is no new LP in 1979, band do however begin to record the next LP from Sep- Oct 1979.

>Shatter the illusion of integrity: 1980<

A new decade and a new LP ‘Permanent Waves’ is released on 1 Jan 1980 the band’s big commercial break through with three 45 singles released from this LP and “The Spirit Of Radio” charting at #51. There is one track recorded and not included “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” In 1980 the Canadian band, ‘Max Webster’ is an opening act for RUSH, in an unprecedented move all 3 members agree to record with ‘Max Webster’ as both bands collaborate and record a track “Battle Scar” from 1980 ‘Universal Juveniles’ with both Kim Mitchell & Geddy Lee singing leads, the song is performed live and offers the band way to change over from the opener to the headliner. RUSH is now becoming a house hold name. The band record a concert 14 Feb 1980 in St. Louis, MO. @ Keil Auditorium and was broad cast on the ‘King Biscuit Flower Hour’ the stand out to me was “Natural Science” in concert.

>In mental and environmental change: 1981<

This is when the band becomes forever immortal with the release of ‘Moving Pictures’ on 12 Feb 1981 again three 45 singles are released with “Tom Sawyer” reaching #44 & “Lime Light” hitting #55 (I always thought it was odd, fans never caught the line “I can’t pretend a stranger is a long awaited friend” refers to the FANS!) The band records concerts 3 dates in Jun 1980 in Glasgow @ the Apollo & 1 date in Mar 1981 at the Montreal Forum, for their 2nd live LP ‘Exit ..Stage Left’ the cover designers wanted to use a photo of the band exiting the stage for the cover; however they could not find a quality photo of all 3 members leaving the same side of the stage at the same time. This is highly unusual for the time for the band release a 2nd LP in 1981 on 29 Oct 1981 (starting around 1982 most bands would be regulated to releasing an LP every other year including RUSH). As well as a format long forgotten by now the ‘RCA Video Disc’ essentially a laser etched vinyl record enclosed in a hard shell plastic cover that when inserted into a Video Disc Player you could watch the concert of the record LP. Yes, VHS was around and probably about the same price. A VHS, in 1985 carried a list price of $79.95, coincidentally RCA- Vision was the largest manufacturer and distributor of Music VHS.

So this is the end of chapter #1- A, I shall revisit this band again in the future.
So. Good luck into the future of 2012.

By: RLSchwinden: MrZer0

Posted in Articles Tagged with: , , ,
One comment on “RUSH something for nothing
  1. Ian Grandy says:

    Very nice…only thing I would say is that Neil was playing for a band named Hush when he was hired by Rush. John Rutsey was born 7/23/52….him and my brother Al were in grade 4 together while I was in grade 6 at St. Paschals
    Ian Grandy: Roadie for RUSH

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