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Subject: RUSH Fans Digest of 09/20/90 (#54)

               RUSH Fans Digest, Number 54

               Thursday, 20 September 1990
Today's Topics:
                    Interviews to come
                      RUSH graphics
                 Gold and Platinum Sales
                       RUSH Lyrics

Subject: Interviews to come
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 90 08:19:49 EDT
From: RUSH Fans Digest Manager 

Hi all,

    Thanks to one of our biggest sources of information (Elisabeth Perrin,
), I'll be posting a group of interviews over
the next few days.  I'll spread them out so as not to make one Digest too

    These just showed up today, and you get the first one somewhere in this
Digest.  Enjoy!

RUSH Fans Digest


Date:    Wed, 19 Sep 90 09:44 EDT
Subject: RUSH graphics

Does anyone know where I can get the RUSH raster images that someone
made available last semester.  I need to get them for a SUN workstation.
<     /     /|    /'''/ /'''/ |  / > E-mail: LHARRIS@CLEMSON.bitnet    >
<___ /     / |   /   / /   /  | /__> RELAY: "Dune_Buggy" or "RUSH_fan" >
<-- /     /--|  /--|- /--|-   |/--->          this space left          >
<  /____ /   | /   | /   |    /    >        intentionally blank        >
Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder...


Date: Wed, 19 Sep 90 07:54:11 -0700
From: ddelany@polyslo.CalPoly.EDU (Dan Delany)
Subject: Questions

   Seeing somebody post asking about Ayn Rand got me to thinking -
should there be a monthly Frequently Asked Questions posting or
something?  I'd be happy to maintain a file and post it on, say, the
first of every month.

   The file would contain the answers to questions like

   "What are the birthdays of the bandmembers?"
   "What book does 2112 come from?"
   "What is (song) about?"
   "Why are the songs in the _Fear_ trilogy reversed?"
   "What videos has Rush released?"

   and such.  I don't mean to say that these questions shouldn't be
asked - they are certainly valid questions, but there have been
discussions about these questions (and others) over and over again,
since the List started.  (How many of the current subscribers can
remember the pre-Digest Rush list that generated ~20 individual
messages a day?  How about before that, when the List was just a bunch
of people in a mail alias...)

   I'd like some feedback on the idea of a FAQL, either through the
digest or privately through email.  Also, any suggestions for
questions/answers are welcome.  Again, these could be posted or mailed
directly to me.

_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_ "Memory banks unloading,
      Dan Delany                       Bytes break into bits.
      Cal Poly, SloTown                Unit one's in trouble      and it's scared out of its wits."


Date: Wed, 19 Sep 90 21:53:37 -0400
From: supriya (Supriya Goyal)
Subject: Gold and Platinum Sales

Several people asked about what gold and platinum status mean.  A gold 
album has sold 500,000 copies and a platinum album has sold 1,000,000 
copies.  These figures include albums, tapes, and cd's as far as I know.

What does (for Mongo) after "Anagram" on the PRESTO album mean?

"Quiet rebellion leads to open war."

-Supriya Z. Goyal


Date: Wed, 19 Sep 90 23:34:42 edt
From: "Dylan Kaufman" 
Subject: RUSH Lyrics

Does anyone have a list of what songs are on what albums?  Also, is
there a working lyrics server around (or some other source) where I
can get the lyrics to some/all RUSH songs?  (Is this a good question
for a FAQ list?)



From: Elisabeth Perrin 

_Presto_ Interview 3/3/90 on 102.1 FM San Diego:

Geddy: There are some definite things we tried to do differently on
this record, which I guess were successful in the fact that we went
in with a kind of a definitive picture of losing alot of the high-
tech kind of synthesizer arrangements in favor of focusing three-
piece bass, drums, and guitar a bit more clearly. We definitely wanted to
make a more 'rock' record and I think that was successful and a
little bit of a change. I think there's more energy on this record
than the last couple.

Alex: Geddy and I talked about what sort of musical direction we
wanted to write in; we just grab to bass, grab to guitar and start
it like we used to in the old days, rather than sitting down at the
computer and starting to program things. I mean, all that stuff comes
later but all the emotion and the real power comes from the acoustic

Announcer: Here's RUSH lyricist and drummer Neil Peart on "Chain

Neil: I'm a weather fanatic; I really love weather and I watch the
weather and look for good weather men and one night I was watching
it and there are two incidents in that song that are synchronicity
to one weather report where the weather man showed a picture of sun
dogs and described them. They're just two little points of light
that appear at sunset, often in the winter when the sky's clear and
crystal, and they're like little prisms, and they sit I think about
ten degrees north and south of the setting sun and they're just
beautiful little diamonds of light and oftentimes there's a circle
of light, one line that connects them. So they're really beatiful
natural phenomenon and I love the name too. Sundogs just has a great
sound to it. And in that same weather forecast the weather man announced
a meteor shower that night and so my daughter and I went out in the
lake in the middle of the night and watched this meteor shower. So
the whole idea of the song was response, and how people respond to
things and it's a thing I've found alot in traveling around the
world too. It's not enough just to travel and see things, you have
to respond to them, you have to feel them and alot of the thrust of
that song is how things are transferred like chain lightning - how
enthusiasm or energy or love are things that are contageous and if
someone feels them they're easily transferrable to another person,
or in the case of watching a meteor shower, it's made more special
if there's someone else there - you know, reflected in another pair
of eyes is the idea that it's a wonderful thing already; just you
and the meteor shower. But if there's someone else there with you to
share it then it multiplies; it becomes exponentially a bigger

Announcer: That is nice - "Chain Lightning" from _Presto_. That
distinctive sound was not always the sound of the band known as
RUSH. Let's go back to the dawn of RUSH history, and how far back
might that be Geddy?

Geddy: We've been RUSH for longer than we'll ever admit to. We had a
keyboard player when we were sort of a garage band, you know, like a
blue-based; we were pretty blues-based back then. It's funny - we
did alot of bands, songs by English blues bands which were just
American blues songs done in an English blues way, so here you have
Canadians playing English blues which is playing American blues. I
mean, if that's not perverted I don't know what is. You couldn't get
farther away from the real blues.

Announcer: Success in rock and roll often means being ready when the
right time crosses paths with the right place. For RUSH, the right
place was Toronto, Ontario, and the right time - here's Geddy Lee.

Geddy: As soon as they lowered the drinking age, that was a big
help. We got alot of work. We couldn't work in bars cause we were
all under the drinking age so they wouldn't let us play, so our gigs
were limited to high schools, you know, it was pre-teen world we
were playing in. As soon as they lowered the drinking age, that's
the time when rock bars really started happening in our area. So all
of a sudden we got into all these bars and we could actually bring
record companies out to see you.

Announcer: RUSH proves it is more than a fly by night outfit by
scoring top ten albums throughout the eighties. RUSH recorded their
first album in 1974 and for want of a better name, called it _RUSH_.

Geddy Lee: We'd done this record on our own label, called Moon
Records, and it was very low-budget record we did in the evenings
after we got out - in the mornings actually after we got out of the
bars, we'd move the equipment down to studio and record, you know,
typical struggling kind of stuff. And the album was done and it was
okay; Canada was pretty much ignoring it and a friend of ours who
worked for a record company, to help us out, sent a few records to
some American radio stations that he knew some people. And I started
getting phenomenal response, you know, they started all these
requests and pretty soon we're getting requests for gigs to come
down there. And all of a sudden record companies were sniffing it
out going "I smell some money here," a Bachman into overdrive. It
just clicked in America, so it was like if there's Bachman into
overdrive maybe there's more up there. Let's put on our parkas and
go look! They were sniffing the big money, and we got a call from a
couple of record companies and one was Mercury, and they made us an
offer we couldn't refuse. So we didn't.

Announcer: After two albums which didn't even break into the top
100, RUSH recorded _Caress of Steel_ and hit the road.  Here's Neil

Neil: We always refer to that tour as the "Down the tubes tour"
because we were opening for Hawkwind's last tour and we were playing
to half-full small halls and we were going to all the little clubs
and bars, like in the suburbs around Chicago for instance, we couldn't
get a gig in Chicago so we played Elgion, Illinois and Niles,
Illinois and all these little suburbs all around the city, and it
was a very depressing tour. I mean, we had nothing going for us.

Announcer: Before long, RUSH had alot going for them. The band's
constant touring paid off. Their fourth album, _2112_, hit number
61. Their next two releases cracked the top 40 - first came _All the
World's a Stage_, a live album, followed by _A Farewell to Kings_,
which spun off the single "Closer to the Heart." RUSH's excursions
into long musical pieces began with _Caress of Steel_ and culminated
on _Hemispheres_.

Neil: I'm really satisfied with what we did on _Hemispheres_ as far
as creating a long, continuous piece of music. So when it came to
that album being finished, it took alot out of us. That was a really
difficult album to make and at the end of it we were like...
finished. So in discussing amongst ourselves what direction we
wanted to go in the future, we realized that there was no point in
getting into that grind again because we had really taken it as far
as we could either compositionally or as musicians. We really
decided to put aside considerations of length.

Announcer: The band's new approach helped their next album,
_Permanent Waves_, rocket to number four on the charts, spearheaded
by the single "The Spirit of Radio."

Geddy: There's a station called CFMY in Toronto and their motto was
"The spirit of radio" and they were totally free-formed at the time
when all these big programmers were coming in, and consultants were
telling all these stations and station managers how to keep their
jobs - "If you play these records, you'll keep your job." So there
was this one station that was playing anything, and you'd hear very
abstract things, or you'd hear very hard things, or classical. It
sorta reminded us of what it used to be like when FM just started,
and guys like Marita Kay were on the air, and it was really great
and everybody was so into it and you'd live by the FM radio. I mean,
you'd just always have it on, so it reminded us of that and we
started thinking about "well what happened to those kind of ideals
for radio?" And you know, it was like radio was great until people
realized they could make money out of it and then it all changes,
and that's what that song is about.

Announcer: Just how does a successful songwriting team work? Here's
Alex Lifeson with RUSH's way.

Alex: Typically, Geddy and I work together from before noon,
elevenish, until close to dinner-time, then Neil would come in,
quite often with some lyrics or with a cassette that we may have
given him of some musical ideas. He'll comment on that, we'll
comment on the lyrics, we'll spend an hour with this kind of
interchange and then afterwards we'll get together after dinner as a
unit, and either work on the song as a band or else work on
different aspects of the song, again the lyrics and music, and it
works out great for us. You know, Neil can concentrate on what he's
doing without interruption, and the same for us, and things just
flow. We get better and better at it I think; more efficient.

Announcer: The offstage antics of alot of rock bands insurses them
plenty of ink in the gossip columns. By contrast, the members of
RUSH have kept their private lives, well, private. Geddy Lee
discusses RUSH's stand.

Geddy: We went through a period where we were very, you know, almost
militant about our privacy. It's like if you leave yourself open in
this line of work, your whole self gets picked apart and you can
give everything away and you have no time and you don't feel like
you own any private sense of yourself, and it's very difficult. In
order to do that, we got very hostile, and put up some very obvious
walls just to say "No, this is the line you will not cross. We're
not prepared to sell this part of ourselves just to promote what we
do for a living." We do what we do, we owe our audience a
performance and we owe our audience the best possible performance
and the best possible records right down the line. But there comes a
line that we're not prepared to cross for that, and we don't feel
that we are obligated to our audience to cross that line.

Neil: Well, I think we were trying to bridge a gap, though. At that
time we saw ourselves very strongly inbetween the late 60's
progressive bands and the mid-70's. We didn't want to be like the
English bands in the sense of the way Genesis and Yes were at that
time. We didn't want to get that elevated and that sterile and
introspective, but at the same time we did want our music to be
interesting and we wanted to get involved in different kinds of
arrangements and different forms of music, and so on. What happened
in the late 60's, all of a sudden that all degenerated; all those bands
came out with a second generation of copies like Grand Funk Railroad
and Black Sabbath and all these bands, so consequently all the
integrety built up in the late 60's was lost, and all of a sudden
hard rock was once again a 'dirty thing.' So I think we wanted to
bridge that gap again and try to capture what was beautiful about
the late 60's music, in the freedom and the spirit like the music of
The Who and the music of Jimi Hendrix and so on, and try to get away
from its darker side, what it had become.

Alex: I think "New World Man" was the first single that we ever had
that had quite a wide appeal, especially on radio, where it wasn't
only those kind of stations that played harder stuff. It was a
departure for us; it was something a little more different, a little
poppier I think.

Geddy: We had like four minutes to fill on the record, we needed a
song so 'boom' out it popped. And that was really alot of fun, I
have to tell you. So there is definitely a time and a space for
spontenaity; you know, that was a real opposite way of doing things.
Sometimes you end up with something very fresh.

Announcer: "Up Close" returns with Alex Lifeson, and RUSH: the
thinking man's rock band.

Alex: We've always been that way. When Neil started writing lyrics,
he felt it was alot more important to write about something that had
some kind of depth to it, that you don't listen to once and that's
it, something that you have to sort of digest a bit. And certainly
his lyrics are like that; I mean I have a tough time understanding
his lyrics and getting the full meaning of his imagery out of those
lyrics. But in the long run I think it's more valuable.

Geddy: I have to understand them, and I have to feel something for
them, and I have to decide whether my role is one of relating to
these lyrics personally, or one of just having respect for them and
being able to interpret them and deliver them properly. So both are
fine with me; if I agree with the lyrics all the better because it
gets me more emotionally involved in what they're saying, which is
what I like to strive for. Sometimes I just like the way they sound
and sometimes I appreciate what they're saying.

Announcer: In 1983, RUSH began work on _Grace Under Pressure_.
Here's Alex.

Alex: We were writing the record over the summer. The area we were
writing in is just north of Toronto; it's a ski resort, and in the
summer they have a golf course but they close the ski lodge, which
was ideal for us cause we could go over there and work and no one
would bother us and we wouldn't bother anyone else. We had the paper
delivered every morning, so Neil would sit in his apartment reading
the paper and having breakfast, and then he'd sit down and write. So
he was getting alot of input - daily input - from the newspaper, and
it was a real tough time; there was lots of tension, the breakdown
in the arms talks, the Korean airline murders; there was plenty of
stuff going on. That's really where it came from; that's where most
of this record came from I think.

Geddy: I don't think there's a person on the planet that wasn't so
surprised at how well that thing did [_The Great White North_],
especially them.

Neil: Sometimes we've been misread as being too dark or sometimes
apocalyptic, but they usually represented shifts of style and _Grace
Under Pressure_ was an album of ours that was percieved as being
dark. But it was a transitional album for me especially as a
lyricist and introduced a whole new note of real world compassion,
where suddenly I was looking around at friends of mine and strangers
too, and seeing their lives and feeling that - my life was fine at the
time. Alot of people read these things "Oh he must have been having
a rough time" and quite the contrary. My life was fine but I was
seeing alot of trouble in my friends' lives, and the mid-80's were
difficult times economically and people were losing jobs, having
trouble getting work, having relationship problems, and all that. So
those things do go down into your writing and sometimes you feel
that you have to address them even if they're not tearing you apart.

Neil: There was one song previously called "Manhattan Project" where I
wanted to write about the birth of the nuclear age. Well, easier
said than done, especially when lyrics you've got a couple of
hundred words to say what you want to say, so each word counts and
each word had better be accurate. So I found in the case of the "Manhattan
Project" I was having to go back and read histories of the time,
histories of the place, biographies of all the people involved, and
that's not without its own rewards but it's alot of work to go
through to write a song, you know, having to read a dozen books and
coalate all your knowledge and experience just so you can write if
the scientists were in the desert sand, well make sure they were and

Geddy: The song "Manhattan Project" is not really so much a song
about the bomb, but it's a song more about what was going on, people
that were dealing with it. The angle was more of the fact that the
whole world was in a race for this device and nobody knew that and
nobody really at the time had any awareness of what was going on.

Alex: We've always been very close friends, we've always been more
like family and it goes as far as our crew. We've always been very
close to the crew and to the people we work with and I think speaks
well of the fact that we've lasted for -- well, Geddy and I have
been together 21 years in this band, and with Neil it's been 15
years, and we're still doing it so we've done something right. I
don't think we'd ever really want to give that up so long as
everything else around it worked well. The friendship is important,
the fact that we like the music, and it's a vehicle for Geddy and
myself creatively as well as for Neil lyrically, so it's got
everything right going for it.

Geddy: We kinda grew up in an arena setting, and I think we're very
comfortable in that setting. It's kind of odd to feel that you could
be intimate with 15,000 people. I don't know if you ever really can.
Once you get past 3,000 there's a different kind of excitement in
the air in that kind of a concert. We kind of grew up in that and I
think we're comfortable with it and it feels very much home, that
kind of performing environment, whereas from time to time if we go
overseas we get the opportunity to play on a smaller scale, it's
always an adjustment. I can't see us at the same time going to like
the big dome stadium-type of shows. Stadium shows seem very abstract
to me; they seem to have that kind of detachment that maybe some
people think arena shows have. So to me, I remember on this Rolling
Stones tour I saw them in Toronto at the Skydome - Mick Jagger was
about three inches tall. I thought that was really kind of weird. It
was a real kind of detachment; it was really a show of technology.

Announcer: On RUSH's newest album _Presto_, Neil Peart uses the song
"The Pass" to address the subject of teen suicide.

Neil: The facet that I most wanted to write about was to demyth-
ologize it, taking the nobility out of it, saying that "Yes it's
sad; it's a horrible tragic thing if someone takes their own lives,
but let's not pretend that it's a hero's end." It's not a triumph,
it's not a heroic epic, it's a tragedy. It's a personal tragedy form
them but much more so for the people left behind, and I really
decided to get offended by the samuri kind of values that were
attached to it, like here's a warrior that just felt it was
better to die with honor. All of that kind of offended me.

Announcer: A writer's inspiration comes from a variety of unusual
sources. The inspiration for "Show Don't Tell" comes from, well, let's
let Neil tell it.

Neil: It comes from an editorial advised to a writer and I'm sort of
a sophomore writer and one of the great laws is you don't tell your
reader something you show it. It started to matter in lyrics too and
in other prose writing things I've done, where STD is the editor's
code that say, you know, don't tell this thing, show it; you don't
say that your character is a jerk, you show that. You just describe
your character and his actions in such a way that it's apparent that
that is so. So I've kind of had that little phrase stuck in my mind
as a kid.

Geddy: Even though our story is kind of unconventional, and our
music is unusual for a rock band, I never felt completely outside
because I think there's just so many strong, fundamental rock things
about what we do.


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