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To: rush-list-all
Subject: RUSH Fans Digest of 10/18/90 (#74)  ** Special Edition **

               RUSH Fans Digest, Number 74

                Thursday, 18 October 1990
Today's Topics:
                  Peart Q&A (long file)

From: Steven Owen 
Subject: Peart Q&A (long file)

       "Twenty Five Questions
        an interview with Neil Peart by you."

(taken without permission from the dec. 1985 RUSH Backstage Club newsletter)

[ Things like this are my main reason for being a member of the R.B.C.
  Not that this is a plug; rather a clarification.           :rush-mgr ]

Hello there ladies and gentlemen, it's time for another exciting episode
of "Twenty-Five Questions", in which I try to answer the questions which
you, the members, have submitted to the "Rush Backstage Club" over the
past year or two.
   And so, without further ado, let's get on with the game!

Q.  Can you tell me if there are any plans to release more RUSH albums
    on Compact Discs?

A.  With the ever-growing popularity of CD's, I'm sure more and more albums
    will be appearing on them.  As always, it will be a matter of demand.

Q.  I've tried finding information on By-Tor and the Snowdog, are they
    existing or fictional?

Q.  On Caress of Steel, By-Tor is the good guy, but on Fly By Night, he is
    the bad guy.  Why is this?

Q.  What do By-Tor and the Snowdog stand for?

Q.  Why in "The Return of the Prince" does By-Tor defeat evil yet in "By-Tor
    and the Snowdog" he loses?

A.  Well gee, guys, we just invented those characters to have a bit of fun
    with - as a lyrical vehicle for some musical meandering.  They're not
    really all that important, and the fact of whether By-Tor should be
    a good guy or a bad guy just never mattered to me.  I guess he's like
    all of us - sometimes good, and sometimes he's bad!

Q.  Will there ever be another full-side song like "The Fountain of Lamneth",
    "2112", "Hemispheres"?

A.  I wouldn't discount the possibility of another long piece, but lately we
    have been more intrigued musically with taking the experience that we
    learned by doing these pieces, and applying it to different forms.  We felt
    that "Hemispheres" was as far as we could take that form, and were
    compelled to move on.  Lyrically, once I had already established all those
    "big ideas"- the larger abstract themes, it came time to apply them in
    concrete ways to more concise considerations.  Thus our more recent albums
    represent the real life applications of those same ideas.

Q.  In "Free Will" which lyrics are correct (the ones on the album sleeve or
    the ones Geddy sings)?

A.  That's a funny question.  I've had a few lately from people who are so
sure that what they hear is correct, that they disbelieve what I've put in the
lyric sheets!  Imagine!  People have quoted me whole verses of what they hear,
as opposed to what's printed, sure that they are right and the cover (me) is
wrong.  Scarry stuff, these ego-centric individuals.  i assure you, other
than perhaps dropping an "and" or a "but", we take great care to make the
lyric sheets accurate.

Q.  How do you play plywood?

A.  Well you wear gloves so as not to get splinters, you take a piece of 1/4"
plywood, and smack it down HARD on the top of a wooden stool.  Very demanding,
technically - took years of practice.

Q.  What is a Mini-Moog?

A.  The Mini-Moog was one of the first synthesizers to be developed by the
Moog company.  It is   small, monophonic, and not particularly sophisticated,
but has a good fundamental sound that is hard to duplicate otherwise.

Q.  Is it true that Geddy Lee played with Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock?

Q.  Is Geddy doing some work with Chaka Khan?  Will this affect his work with
the band?

A. HA-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha !!!!!!! (You're JOKING, right?)

Q.  How did Donna Halper of WMMS in Cleveland help get the ball rolling for

A.  When the first album was released on a small independent label in Canada,
she got hold of an import copy and played it a lot on her show.  Consequently
a lot of interest developed, and the attention of record companies and
agencies was attracted.

Q.  In the introduction to the songs "The Necromancer" and "Cygnus X-1" and
the ending of "Grand Finale", who recites the lyrics and how are the special
voices created?

A.  The voices in "The Necromancer" and "Grand Finale" were done by yours
truly, while Terry Brown did "Cygnus".  The effects were created using digital
delays, flanging, and who knows what all!

Q.  What does "Terminat hora diem, terminat auctor opus" mean?

A.  It means something like: "as the hour ends the day, the author ends his

Q.  Who is Jacob in the song "Jacob's Ladder"?

Q.  What is "Jacob's Ladder" about?

A.  This song simply describes the phenomenon of the sun breaking through the
clouds in visible rays, as it sometimes does after a rain or on a cloudy day.
The actual name seems to be one of those traditional names for natural things
which has probably been around for ages.  I think Geddy actually suggested the
idea to me, after hearing his mother-in-law use the name.  It had a nice sound
to it, and of course the event itself is a beautiful and inspiring one.

Q.  I would like to know was Alex involved with the "Northern Lights" for
Africa with Geddy?  May I have details on the solo album Neil is doing
with the drummer from Journey?  I would like all personal details about the
ages of the members of the band, childrens (names, ages) wives, hobbies, etc.

A.  No, Alex was not involved in "Northern Lights".  I am not involved in doing
a solo album with Steve Smith, although we both appear on the "Champions"
album by Jeff Berlin.  Our private lives, especially our families, are
jealously protected, and are something we generally keep to ourselves.  Sorry!

Q.  On Rush'a album "Caress of Steel" after each song there is a city mentioned
in small lettering.  Do these places have any significance to the songs?

A.  Ah yes.  This goes back to the "bad old days" when all we did was tour, and
consequently had to do most of our song writing on the road, with acoustic
guitars and notebooks in hotel rooms.  Not the best method of compostion, you
may imagine, but the only one available to us at the time.  Those cities
represent the places in which those songs were written.

Q.  Why don't you play "Free Will", "Limelight", "Working Man" or any of
your great old stuff?

A.  That's kind of a complicated question to answer.  Of course we have played
those songs on many tours, and people who have seen us a few times have seen
and heard those songs performed.  Sometimes we grow tired of playing older
songs, and can no longer give them the committment necessary to perform them
excitingly and honestly.  to give out audience (and ourselves) new songs to
enjoy, and naturally we think that our newer songs are better, otherwise
we'd stop working at all.  Often we choose a song that we haven't played for a
while to resurrent for a tour, and "Limelight" has been brought back for
the "Power Windows" tour.

Q.  Would you please give me the name of the publishing company that
published the book "A Nice Morning Drive"?

A.  This story, which inspired "Red Barchetta," appeared many years ago in
"Road and Track" magazine, and as far as I know, that is the only place it
has been published.

Q.  Did you film a video for "Afterimage"?

A.  Yes, we did.  It's on the "Through the Camera Eye" video anthology.

Q.  Can you please try to write me a short  explanation of the themes or ideas
behind the lyrics of "Tom Sawyer"?

A.   Well John, I've been avoiding most of the question that ask for
explanations for different songs, as really the song is meant to do the
explaining for me!  But since you ask so nicely... "Tom Sawyer" was a
collaboration between myself and Pye Dubois, an excellent lyricist who wrote
the lyrics for Max Webster.  His original lyrics were kind of a portrait
of a modern day rebel, a free-spirited individualist striding through the
world wide-eyed and purposeful.  I added the themes of reconciling the
boy and man in myself, and the difference between what people are and what
others perceive them to be - namely me I guess.

Q.  What does the man descending to hell, and the dogs playing cards of
the cover of "Moving Pictures" mean?

A.  When Hugh Symes was developing the multitude of puns for the cover, he
wanted the guys "moving pictures" to have some "moving pictures" to be moving
past the people who were "moved" by the "picture" - get it? So he asked us to
think of some ideas for these pictures.  The "man descending to hell" is
actually a woman - Joan of Arc - being burned at the stake (as per
"Witch Hunt") and the card-playing dogs are there because it was a funny, silly
 idea - one of the most cliche'd pictures we could think of - a different
kind of "moving picture".

Q.  What is "Lotus Land"?

A.  Lotus land as it appears in "Free Will" is simply a metaphor for an
idealized background, a "land of milk and honey".  It is sometimes also used
as a pejorative name for Los Angeles, though that was not in my mind when I
wrote it.

Q.  How does Absalom, son of David tie in with "Distant Early Warning"?

A.  That's a good question Jack!  Before I ever knew who or what Absalom was,
I always loved the sound of it.  I had thought perhaps it was an ancient
prayer or somthing.  There is a book by William Faulkner called "Absalom,
Absalom", which, again, I loved the sound of.  I wanted to put it in the song,
as a play on words with "absolute" and "obsolete", but I thought I'd better
find out for sure what it meant.  So I called my wife and asked her to look
it up in the encyclopedia.  When I learned the real story, and its Biblical
roots, I decided that it was still appropriate, as it was the ultimate
expression of compassion, which is what the song was really about.  "Absalom,
Absalom.  My son, my son.  Would God I had died for thee." (Now don't
anyone go reading any religion into that!)

   And that's it for this year folks.  I enjoy these opportunities to clarify
things that people are wondering about, it's one of the big reasons to carry
on doing interviews, as well as the reason why I continue to write things for
the concert program.  I hope those whose questions didn't reach me, or weren't
answered, will understand that it is difficult to find time at all for
things like this, and I tried to pick the ones of wider interest or more
thoughful origin.
   I wish you all the best in the upcoming New Year, and hope that each of
you will find a way to communicate your own thought and feelings, as writing
has been for me.
   We are presently in rehearsals for our upcoming "Power Windows" tour, which
begins next week in Portland, Maine, and I hope to be seeing many of you from
the stage of your nearest arena!
                     Bye for now-
                              Neil Peart

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