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Subject: RUSH Fans Digest of 08/01/90 (#21)

               RUSH Fans Digest, Number 21

                 Wednesday, 1 August 1990
Today's Topics:
Any guitarists out there willing to discuss Lifeson's style??
Many things:  The Pass, questions, best/worst, more questions
               The Body Electric & The Pass
               The Pass and other ramblings
                  Stellar Dynamics, YYZ
                 The Pass -- an analysis
        "He won't need a bed, he's a Digital Man"

Subject: Any guitarists out there willing to discuss Lifeson's style??
From: (J. Michael Goodwin)
Date:    Tue, 31 Jul 90 12:46:19 EDT

I'm interested in trying to get his tone down, but I'm having difficulty (too
much of a perfectionist).  I'd like to get that clean tone with the hard edge.
I'd also be intersted in discussing his style, chord progressions, equip set-up
, etc.

Mike Goodwin Mgoodwin@maine
Living in the Limelight
The universal dream
For those who wish to seem
Those who wish to be
Must put aside the alienation
Get on with the fascination
The real relation
The undelying theme

Date: Tue, 31 Jul 90 12:23:19 PDT
From: Ron Chrisley 
Subject: Many things:  The Pass, questions, best/worst, more questions

Several things:

First, I'll close my discussion of "The Pass" with this.  Of course the
song is about teenage suicide.  Of course, there is the reading where
"Christ" is a mere expletive.  But Peart is a clever guy, right?  And
whenever something is featured as prominently as the last line in that
song, he usually has several meanings intended.  I don't think he is the
kind of writer that just puts in "Christ" as an expletive without being
conscious of its connotations.  That's what a lot of Peart's writing is
doing: juxtaposing literal and figurative interpretations.  And given the
context of suicide, the mention of a particular "someone"...

But anyway, enough.  I'm happy if most people don't see it as anti-Christian.

A question:  what does bringing "a sea-change to the factory floor" mean?
(from "Red Tide")

Another (trivial) question:  does it sound to anyone else like Geddy is
saying "Babylon" when he should be saying "Avalon" in the first chorus of
"Digital Man"?

There has been a discussion about favorite albums since ESL for those that
joined before ESL.  First, I think the ESL boundary to be strange.  I know
that there is a nice 4-studio-albums-then-live-album cycle, but I always
thought the big jump was when Permanent Waves was released.  That's when I
consider the modern phase of Rush to begin (it was also when I got into
them, but that is beside the point!).

Just my opinion...  again...

Oh yeah.  My favorite album since then? Signals or Power Windows.

Album		Best					Worst
Permanent Waves	Natural Science				
Moving Pictures	The Camera Eye/YYZ			Limelight
Signals		The Weapon/Digital Man			Countdown
P/G		Red Lenses/Between The Wheels		Kid Gloves
Power Windows	Territories				Middletown Dreams
Hold Your Fire	Turn the Page				Tai Shan
Presto		Show Don't Tell/Chain Lightning		Red Tide

Hope the formatting came out OK.

I really like the presence of piano on the new album, especially in
"Available Light"

By the way, what do people think of "Battle Scar"?

How about some more reviews of the Gowan album?  I didn't know it had Tony
Levin and Jerry Moratta on it!

Oh yeah:  my friend wants to know who did the art for A Show of Hands.  Did

Ron Chrisley
Xerox PARC SSL					New College
Palo Alto, CA 94304				Oxford OX1 3BN, UK
(415) 494-4728					(865) 793-484


From: evanh@sco.COM (Evan A.C. Hunt)
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 90 11:50:41 PDT
Subject: The Body Electric & The Pass

        About the line "Christ, what have you done?", I don't think it's
about the panic that the suicide feels before the pills take effect or
whatever; it's about how people feel about the person afterward.  I had
a friend commit suicide last year, and I can tell you, you don't end up
feeling sorry for the person.  You're pissed off.  Angry.  Sad, too, of
course, but the rage comes out right afterward.

	As for 1001001, I'm with the people that think they just dropped
the last syllable for musical reasons, and the '$' is a coincidence.  The
song is about an android coming to life and trying to escape, to change
its own program.  The word 'I' makes sense in that context.  The symbol
'$' makes no sense at all unless you stretch a lot.  I suppose the
android might be fighting against some corporate interest that controls
it, or something like that, but I think if Neil had had that on his mind
he would have said so outright, instead of hiding it in some fragment
of binary code.

	People have been justifying a lot of their guesses about the
meanings of the binary code by talking about Ayn Rand--'I' and '$' were
both significant in her works.  I'm unclear on why people think that's
relevant; Ayn Rand and Neil Peart are very different people.  In fact,
to all appearances, Neil isn't even a particularly big admirer of Rand's
anymore, so what she said or thought has no relation to what Peart was
saying in The Body Electric.  Rand obviously had an influence on the band
when they made 2112, in--what, 1973?  The Body Electric was recorded more
than ten years later.  People often admire Ayn Rand when they're young,
and grow out of it later, and I think that's what happened with Neil,
considering some of his later lyrics (the song on Hold Your Fire, with
the lyric "We fight the fire while we're feeding the flame," would make
Ayn Rand retch).

	Just because we know Neil's read Rand's books and used to like
them, is no reason to figure that Rand's books will give any major
insight into his lyrics.  He also read Kierkegaard, but it would be
patently silly to base an analysis of a Rush song wholly on something
we read in Kierkegaard, right?  So let's stop invoking Ayn Rand as an
authority on Peart.



Date: 	Tue, 31 Jul 90 16:55:00 EDT
Subject: The Pass and other ramblings

  Well, when i first play a new album (or CD now) i just relax and listen to
  it without really paying attention to what ius being sung.After the first
  time i then follow the song by looking at the words.But when i bought PRESTo
  ,when The Pass came on i really payed close attention to what was being sung.
  It caught my attentionas being a real powerful written song.With Geddy
  'pounding' the bass at the beginning gave me the impression as a heart 
  beating  in the person who is just about jump from that rocky ledge. I'm 
  not really a religious person (never going to church ever except weddings) 
  i never looked at it being a christ-bashing song,just a song about suicide 
  and the last line 'Christ what have you done' refering to the person's 
  friends/family reaction when they had found out the the person had comitted 
  suicide.   i ,personally, belive that this is the best song that Neil has 
  ever written ( Subdivisions ranking a close second which has almost the same 
  effect on me like the pass ).

  Well i'm one of those Rush fans who has heard of their best songs but started
  to buy their records at the time of Grace Under Pressures so in effect
  i'm more used to Rush's later albums  than the earlier albums.My fav since
  ESF has to be Power Windows (though Presto is catching up).That album
  has something different than the others.I don't really like Signals as much
  as others but SUB. and Analog Kid  stand up among the rest of the songs on the  album.With Grace U P i thought they basically forgot how to play up to their
  standards.I liked AfterImage and The Enemy Within (?) and i like the 2
  science fiction based videos.

  On the Presto Tour,I had seat in the Greens (those people who have seen been
  in Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto will know what i mean ) but i was right
  at the stage on Geddy's side.It was great to see few keyboards on stage
  so Geddy can roam along on stage. I could actually see Geddy pretty good
  ( unlike HYF tour where i was on the opposite side of the gardens )
  and then technicians making the rabbits move!!!! On the way to the show i had
  the feeling that they would play Xanadu and they did!! (well most of it at
  least).I was also surprised that they played FREE WILL and Red Barchetta.
  I guess the boys are getting somewhat bored of having play the same the
  ending to the show so the didn't play complete songs ( 2112 Overture
  but not Temple OF Syrinx,La Villa S. and In the mood. ).
  VoidVod opened up but i was impressed with them though.It was unusual to see
  them open while on the last few tours they had FM and Chalk Circle who are
  completely different to voidvod.

                                                           Greg G.


Date: Tue, 31 Jul 90 14:27:38 PDT
From: (Ron Zasadzinski)
Subject: Stellar Dynamics, YYZ

>Well, as far as I can remember, the previewed songs were Fly By Night and
>Best I Can on Stellar Dynamics,

Ho! I've seen 'Stellar Dynamics' mentioned a few times in the newsletter,
but I am clueless. Can somone please post a few lines describing what
'Stellar Dynamics' refers to?

Many thanks to you out there who revealed what '1001001' and '100100' were
in ASCII. It is always a great joy to discover references like that in
Neil's lyrics! So much of what he writes is deliberate and purposeful.
Nary a word wasted. I especially appreciate his ability to write in such
a way that many levels of meaning can be found. This is 'TRUE Ambiguity':
not that the meaning is unclear, but that many meanings and levels of
meaning are present. Different meanings are revealed depending
on one's state of consciousness.

Speaking of 'hidden' references, did anyone else out there realize that
YYZ is the three-letter-identifier for Toronto's International Airport?

-Ron Zasadzinski
"All the World's indeed a stage!
 We are merely players,
 Performers and portrayers..." -ORQ


Date: Tue, 31 Jul 90 18:27 EST
From: "I'll see you on the Dark Side of the Moon." 
Subject: The Pass -- an analysis

Greetings RUSHans --

In response to Ron Chrisley's analysis of "The Pass" (it being my favorite Rush
song of all), I feel I must reply.

Ron takes the song in a completely different direction than I.  From the one

                        "Christ, what have you done."

he seems to extract an entirely religious meaning behind it the song.  I,
however, seem to think that it's about suicide, more to the point, TEEN
suicide.  As we all know, Neil seems to write about the anguish of youth, and
there seems to be nohting more deserving of Neil's lyrics than the
aforementioned topic.  So, what I'm a-gonna do is take the song and analyze it,
as _I_ see it (not trying to dig on you, Ron)

               "Proud swagger out of the schoolyard
                Waiting for the world's applause
                Rebel without a conscience
                Martyr without a cause

This part just seems to set up the time and place involved in the song.  This
understood character (let's call him Joe, for sake of ease) is doing whatever
to gain recognition and recieving nothing in return.  His despair is hinted at
when the mention of "martyr" is brought into it.  I can see where Ron would
say, "The martyr is Christ."  I disagree.  Neil has seemed to stay away from
Christianity (yes, I'm Christian, too) all along.  Why should he start now?

                "Static on your frequencies
                 Electrical storm in your veins
                 Raging at unreachable glory
                 Straining at invisible chains.

This details the pain that 'Joe' is going through, along with the confusion.
The last line just plain tells you that he is in despair.

                "And now you're trembling on a rocky ledge
                 Staring out into a heartless sea
                 Can't face life on the razor's edge
                 Nothing's what you thought it would be.

This is symbolic in a way.  The old stories detail suicide as jumping off a
cliff into the ocean.  That was always the most dramatic act in an old movie.
The razor's edge just symbolizes the uncertainty of the situation.

                "All of us get lost in the darkness
                 Dreamers learn to steer by the stars
                 All of us do time in the gutter
                 Dreamers turn to look at the stars.

                 Turn around, turn around, turn around
                 Turn around and walk the razor's edge
                 Don't turn your back and slam the door on me.

This is Neil speaking to 'Joe'.  He's telling him that it's not as bad as
everything seems.  "Trun around, turn ..." is referring to the previous line.
He's telling him to turn and ride out the problems.

                "It's not as if this barricade
                 Blocks the only road.
                 It's not as if you're all alone
                 In wanting to explode

                 Someone set a bad example
                 Made surrender seems all right
                 The act of a noble warrior
                 Who's lost the will to fight

This is Neil continuing to speak to 'Joe'.  The second stanza just annotates
Neil's opinion of suicide.  Apparantly (to me, it obvious, but that's me), he
feels that history has glorified suicide, making it an HONORABLE thing.

                "And now you're trembling at a rocky ledge
                 Staring down into a heartless sea
                 Done with life on the razor's edge
                 Nothing's what you thought it would be...

This shows the worsening situation.  There are two subtle changes.  In the
second line, he changed OUT to DOWN, indicating nearness to the ledge.  He also
changed CAN'T FACE LIFE to DONE WITH LIFE, saying a decision is made.

                "No hero in your tragedy
                 No daring in your escape
                 No salutes for your surrender
                 Nothing noble in your fate
                 Christ, what have you done?

This is after 'Joe' went ahead and killed himself, despite Neil's efforts.  All
of this stanza (except the last line) seems to drip with disdain for 'Joe',
possible in an attempt to show the ugliness of the act.  The last line however,
perhaps the most powerful line Neil's ever written, IMHO, ALWAYS, INVARIABLY
hits me like a sledgehammer.  The way that Geddy sings it, along with the cut
of all music adds up to a vision that is as clear to me in my mind's eye as I
can see this computer in front of me.  I see anyone, Neil, Joe, even ME, with
tears in the eye, and a cracking voice at the funeral saying,

                      "Christ, what have you done!"

You see, the "Christ" is not in reference to Jesus.  It is simply an explitive
of anguish, nohting more.

Anyone's comments are welcome (even appreciated)...

Adam Dickson                      |           Nuke us if you like!
Wright State University           |               We don't care!
Dayton, Ohio                      |                 Actually, we encourage it!
orion@wsu.BITNET                  |


Date: Wed, 1 Aug 90 12:03 GMT
From: Remember to always wear your Super Dave safety harness 

Now that we're talking about song interpretations again....has anyone
thought about:  "Beneath, Between and Behind" from Fly By Night?
To me it's pretty clear it's all about your own good ol' USA folks...

"Ten score years ago, defeat the kingly foe....a wondrous dream came into

Ten score years ago is 200 years....which takes the setting back to the late
18th century ....Fits neatly with American War of Independence..which ties in
with: "Defeat the kingly foe" which will be a reference to King George the
something-or-other...It was probably George the Third(?) ....Anyway us Brits.
would like to give the excuse that we never liked him either as he was both
certifiably mad and ...due to the strange ancestry of the British monarchy,
was actually more German than don't blame us! ..and we
don't blame you for getting a bit pissed off with him...Anyway that's history
so lets get back to the main story :-)

The wondrous dream coming into being will be a reference to the American dream.

Then: "Tame the trackless waste, no virgin land left chaste..all shining
eyes, but never seeing" : Now we're on to the spreading of people into the
west I reckon....then comes the first hint of Neil giving you a bit of a
telling off for something....woops he's moralising...

Then there's all sorts of references to "the noble bird" ..obviously the
eagle....etc etc....
On the whole the song takes on another dimension if you make these
relationships..rather than simply assuming some imaginary hypothetical
land or time as the subject of the song. Perhaps even some of the Rush songs
that we take for granted at the moment as delaing with imaginary issues can
actually be related to concrete events from history or current topics of

I find myself delving back further and deeper into the "old" rush material
more and more because it contains much more impressive work than is sometimes
immediately visible...especially to people like me who first got introduced to
rush in their "middle" stages (Moving Pictures onwards) and who initially
perhaps see the older material as relatively raw and less musically and
lyrically developed. This is a bad viewpoint because I've now found the older
material has a brilliant appeal of its own......and further proves Rush's
versatility and unique genius right from the day they started producing
  /~\           Never Trust An  |  CNBR10 Corp., VAX/VMS and UNIX Consultants
 /@@-\____---   Elephant In     |  "Pay up or we send the boys round to wipe
 / / /       \  Dark Glasses.   |   your system disk"
 l/'\  /__\  /\,                |
 \l lll   lll                   |          Service with a smile. :-)


Subject: "He won't need a bed, he's a Digital Man"
Date: Wed, 01 Aug 90 09:21:19 EDT
From: David Arnold 

In Digest #20 (7/31),
(Bill T. Cat) asked:

>ok.  now that someone's mentioned it, why doesn't the digital man
>need a bed?

Ok, here goes.

I have an interview done with Geddy by Jim Ladd back on the Signals tour
in which they discuss the songs from the album.  The basis for that line
is as follows:

When they did _Moving Pictures_, they had played around with using digital
equipment, and had needed a techie to work it.  Now, as is the case with
many techies (although *none* on *this* list :-) ), he was a bit of a dweeb,
apparently.  I think 'geek' is what Geddy used.  Anyway, when they went into
the studio to do _Signals_, they decided not to use that digital technology.
The place they were recording (Le Studio?) was a small-ish studio, with a
small building nearby which served as bunkhouse for the artists & crew.
They were trying to figure out who would sleep where during the sessions,
somebody mentioned that they wouldn't need a bed for the digital man, and
voila!  They said 'hey, what a great line!'

Now you know.

David Arnold       Keywords:  Rush, Neville Brothers, Squeeze, Crack the Sky,
                               Peter Gabriel, ELP, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd,
Inet:       Talking Heads, Arc Of Ones (RIP), Stones, BOC,
UUCP: uunet!!davida  King Crimson, Police, Grass Roots, Hollies


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