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Subject: 11/15/90 - The National Midnight Star #103

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          The National Midnight Star, Number 103

                Thursday, 15 November 1990
Today's Topics:
                     New Rush Album?
              Success under pressure reggae
      Re: 11/14/90 - The National Midnight Star #102
                The 5th string on the Wal
                 Neil said, "Get a life!"
                 RE: Bass, "geeks," etc.
                      Alex's strings
                  a musing on Rush live
                    Get A Life review
                 Beneath, Between, Behind
                        Who we are
                    stuff and nonsense

Subject: Oops
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 90 12:13:40 EST
From: RUSH Fans Digest Manager 

In checking the FAQL, I discovered that Neil's reaction to the Digest
was posted in issue #5, and was submitted by Doug Grumann.  Just goes
to show you should always check things out before speculating...  Sorry,

Also, FYI, Syrinx took a nose dive yesterday (11/14) in the middle of 
sending out mail.  This may have adversely affected the mailing - somebody
has already sent mail about a dup yesterday which I attribute to this.

The National Midnight Star
(RUSH fans mailing list)


Subject: New Rush Album?
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 90 09:31 CST

Is it true that Rush will be coming out with a new album soon.  God I hope so.
I saw them here in Houston and am ready for them to come back.  Let me know if
you have heard anything about it.


From: Chris Schiller 
Subject: Success under pressure reggae
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 90 9:25:53 PST

     In the recent Success Under Pressure transcription there
     are numerous references to songs or even whole albums as
     reggae or "white reggae" (Vital Signs, Signals, Grace Under
     Pressure).  I love reggae, but I sure don't see what he is
     talking about.  The songs sound a little like The Police, who
     incorporate a lot of reggae sounds and influences, but I think
     it is really stretching it to call any Rush songs reggae.

     Anyone else listen with different ears?

     "Living in real time"

     Chris Schiller


Date: Wed, 14 Nov 90 13:13:08 EST
From: (Barry A. Warsaw)
Subject: Re: 11/14/90 - The National Midnight Star #102

	Bijan> Question: Where did the term "the Boyz" come from? Some
	Bijan> album cover?

	Rush-mgr> [ I got it from Barry.  Ask him.  :-) :rush-mgr ]

Now don't go sending me gobs of mail on this. :-) Its just an
endearing little term some fellow Rush musicians and I call them. You
don't have to ask who "the Boyz" are when you say things like, "Didja
check out the new album from the Boyz?" or "Wanna go jam on the Boyz
at that party tonight."  That kind of thing. I think I used it a
couple of times on the list a long time ago and it just got picked up.

Just to add my $0.02 on the trigger/sample thread being discussed.
Last time _the Boyz_ :-) came to D.C. (later Baltimore), we were
watching very closely to see who triggered Aimee Mann's backups, and
we decided it was Alex using his foot.  Seems like he'd always step
down at just the right time.  Neil's got a neat little foot trigger
which looks somewhat like a kick-drum beater with no drum.  He uses
that to trigger the wood block sound in Time Stand Still and probably
other sounds as well. Geddy definitely also triggers certain "events"
from his keyboards.  There was a short article about him in "Keyboard"
(I think) quite a while ago, I'll have to see if I can dig it up. The
gist of it was that some of his keyboard patches set up trigger
ranges, where each range triggers a particular sound.  For example,
the 5 rightmost white keys might trigger the chorus during Marathon.
Geddy can be a little sloppy and hit any of the five keys to get the
sample going.



Date: 14 Nov 90 23:22:22
From: Cris Fuhrman 
Subject: The 5th string on the Wal

                                 Subject:  The 5th string on the Wal
Hi all,

Someone mentioned about the low B string on the 5-string bass... it came up
before in the newsgroup, and someone confirmed my guess that Lock&Key uses the
5-string on account of the Low C# and Db and Eb (not exactly sure of these

Someone also asked about what Geddy was running his bass through on songs like
YYZ and the solo of Vital Signs.  I read some years ago in a guitar magazine
(forget which one) that Geddy didn't use *any* effects on his bass -- except
that on his stereo Rick he'd put the treble pickup through one amp and the bass
pickup through another (the pickups are actually separated into two channels
hence stereo).  This technique may attribute to his phased-like sound of the
songs mentioned above as one amp may be slightly out of phase of the other
(just a guess).

Can anyone tell me what kind of effects might be used on Taurus Pedals to get
the sounds that Rush get during songs like FreeWill and Jacob's Ladder?  I've
got a set of Taurus I's, and I can't get these sounds down exactly though I
haven't tried any  efffects like stereo chorus, etc.


"And the meek shall
   inherit the Earth."


Date: 15 Nov 90 01:46:04
From: Cris Fuhrman 
Subject: Neil said, "Get a life!"

                                 Subject:  Neil said, "Get a life!"

Whoever started the in-depth analysis of the improvised phrase "Catch the
fish!" should take Neil's advice.


"And the meek shall
   inherit the Earth."


Date: Wed, 14 Nov 90 17:00:26 -0500
From: (Robert J. Friedman III)
Subject: RE: Bass, "geeks," etc.

Good day, eh?

     A few issues ago someone posted their opinions about Geddy's different
bass sounds (personally, I like the Wal).  Included in that discussion was the
topic of guitar/bass building which was quite interesting and, in most cases,
accurate if not simplistic in describing the physical phenomena that produce
the character of the bass sound.  When I say "simplistic" I in no way intend
to offend the original poster.  It is OK to take a "holistic" approach as to
why sound character is affected by different materials (frequency of vibrat-
ion^2= k/m,  where k= the "stiffness" of the material, and m=the mass).

     However, when the statement that the vibrations of the body of the bass
feedback into the string, causing the different sound quality was made, I had
to speak up.  In actuality, the vibrations of the string are coupled with the
vibrations of the body of the instrument because they are attached to one
another.  Each type of material has its own unique lattice (or molecular
structure) with corresponding characteristic normal modes (which includes
not only the frequencies, but the configuration of the vibrations).  When
these vibrating atoms are coupled with those of the strings, the entire
system (body and strings) acquire a new (different) set of nomal modes of
vibration.  This then, not feedback, gives rise to the characteristic sounds
of the different basses due to their difference in material.

     Well then, in answer to the question "are we all tech/sci. geeks..."
in case it isn't already completely obvious, I'm a graduate student in
PHYSICS (AAAUUGHH!! No, anything but that...).

     In regard to Alex's string breaking during YYZ--I saw the same thing
happen at the "Power Windows" concert at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena.
I don't know if this is premeditated or not.  Certain songs place demands
on guitars that they might not want to handle.  It seems plausible that
strings could consistently break in one song because the same conditions
(demands) are placed on the instrument every time that song is played.
I have experienced this phenomenon in the song "Pigs (three different ones)"
about 75% of the time, so why can't YYZ be Alex's jinx song.  By the way,
the way he handled it was impressive (never lost a beat).

     I will have to agree that the sound at the concert I saw for "Presto"
left much to be desired.  I saw them at the Richfield Coliseum in Cleveland,
which accounts for some of it (acoustics there suck).  My reaction to the mix
seems to be opposed to others though.  Still, the mid range was way too high.
But the guitar was buried under the drums (WAY too loud)--I really had to
strain to hear it.  This really suprised me because the other four Rush
concerts I've been to all had excellent sound (some of the best). Maybe my
hearing was blown from the opening band (Mr. Big --SUCKED).  Which brings me
to another comment about this tour.  In the past some pretty interesting
acts have opened for Rush (I've seen Steve Morse, Tommy Shaw, BOC, Golden
Earing, Saga, etc.) and now we get "see how fast I can play arpegios?"
Give me a break--play real music!

     Well, I've got plenty more to say, but this post has gotten sonewhat
longwinded.  Buenes noches, Mein Freunds!

                                       -Bob Friedman ("Crimson's" brother)

     "Dig me. But don't bury me."-King Crimson

     "The guy has ten places and two spots..."-Bob McKenzie

     "Still, I am..."-Rush


Date: Wed, 14 Nov 90 17:19 EST
From: Lewis A Bernstein 
Subject: Alex's strings

I find it strange that so many of you have seen Alex break
a string on stage.  I have seen about 15 Rush shows and never
once had Alex's string go anywhere in the set that I noticed.

It would be cool to hear the story about when the Boyz heard
about the digest....

[ Your wish is granted (not by me, of course) - check a few articles
  down...                                                   :rush-mgr ]  

On another note, I am a graduate student in Chemical Engineering
so I guess that certainly puts me in the spot of science-type.


Date: Wed, 14 Nov 90 19:17 CST
From: By-tor 
Subject: Miscellaneous

Lots of little notes:

The Rainmakers: Yeah, they opened up for Rush at the last minute in Milwaukee
on the Hold Your Fire tour, replacing, I think, Tommy Shaw. Their form of music
really didn't relate to Rush very well, sounding like a cross between REM and
Midnight Oil. They got booed after their set. :) Wish Tommy Shaw had been
there, but then again, with the way Damn Yankees sound...

"The Fish"...isn't a jam between the five members on the studio version-- it's
Chris Squire's bass overdubbed like crazy. That's it. Live, I think the others
provide a backdrop for Squire's soloing.

Alex's string breaking: I really, really, really doubt that this is staged.
First off, I've seen him break strings, and it's never been in the same place
twice. There was one in YYZ, another time in Tom Sawyer, and on the Show of
Hands videotape, I think he does at the end of In the Mood (?). Secondly, he's
not the only one to have problems. There was a particular time on the PoW tour
where Geddy's bass died just as he was to play the intro for Distant Early
Warning. He looked rather upset as he grabbed a spare Steinberger from the
roadie and missed the first chord sequence. My guess is his wireless went out.
     If you've ever played guitar, it's not that easy to just break a string
at will. There are several reasons why a string might break: it's old, it's
being played really hard, it's been stretched to the breaking point, the
locking nut has been tightened too much, or the bridge might be set up
incorrectly. I assume Alex changes his strings regularly, and his techie knows
how to set the guitars up right. That leaves stretching it all to hell, either
by finger-bending or with the tremelo, or playing really hard. It's probably
due to a combination of the two, but most strings are durable enough to put up
with a lot of abuse for a while, so just breaking it when you want to is
difficult. Unless you're Pete Townsend, of course.

Backround vocals: Now my question is, does Alex really sing *anything* during
the show, or is he triggering all the backround vocals and making it look like
he's singing it? If this is the case, then I lose a little faith in the boyz,
sort of like a high-tech lip-synch. One other possibility, although a small
one: could he be turning on his vocal mike with a footswitch? It's a remote
chance, since that's mostly left to the sound guy(s). Besides, people have said
that it sounded like Geddy sampled. What would be the problem with Alex singing
those vocals, anyway?

Alex skydiving: I don't think so, but if he ever does, it'll probably be
written up in a tour program or interview somewhere. I do know he dabbled in
radio-controlled airplanes for a while, ending the adventure with a kamikaze
dive into a cow and other mostly stationary objects. I would've LOVED to have
seen that...

Languages: I know they speak limited French, due to the mention of taking a
couple of brush-up courses prior to a stay in (I think) French-speaking Canada
(Quebec?). This comes from a tour program. Geddy also mentioned speaking
onstage to that portion of Canada in French during a Rockline interview. The
songs, however, were in English.

To Shane Faulkner: What exactly is "the horse's mouth?" I would really like to
know where you're getting your information.

Kevin Tipple, aka Blue Steel, By-tor       University of Wisconsin - Platteville
Bitnet: UCSKRT@UWPLATT.BITNET              Platteville, Wisconsin  USA
"Bloody Vikings!" - Monty Python


Date: Wed, 14 Nov 90 11:22:08 EST
From: "Patrick M. Ryan" 
Subject: a musing on Rush live

    i've only been on the list a few weeks now and thought it was time
to pass along a few thoughts.
    by way of introduction, i've been a rush fan ever since MP came out
and have seen them 3 times (GUP tour in largo, md, HYF and Presto tours
in philadelphia).
    after reading all of these letters commenting on the precise
choreography in rush concerts of late, a question that comes to mind is:
could they pull if off live without all the lights and computers?
    now, before y'all grab your flamethrowers, let me say that i am quite
certain that the answer is 'yes'.  rush are nowhere near as contrived
as 'acts' like janet jackson and the new kids.  the simple fact is that
the music still comes from the musicians, not from a tape deck.
    no, the reason i ask the question is that, after seeings bands like U2
in concert, i think the minimalistic stage approach has a lot to be said
for it.  by 'minimalistic', i mean very simple lights, no lasers or
giant video screens.  the focus is on the music.  if you've ever seen
U2 or springsteen, you know what i mean.  i, for one, would love to
see rush do a tour without all hi-tech stuff.  though the special
effects can be entertaining, there is a tendency for it to detract
from the overall feeling.  musicians can have so much more freedom
when they're not following a script.  there is room to jam and
to modify the set as they're going along.  pretty cool, eh?


'then you learn the lesson that
 its tough to be so cool'
                                                              patrick m. ryan


Subject: Get A Life review
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 90 17:39:22 PST
From: Doug Grumann 

(Patrick Quairoli asks:)

> greetings brothers (and sisters),  i've heard a lot about when rush
> found out about 'the digest',  i was wondering if someone could tell me
> exactly what happened and if they ever said anything to or about 'the
> digest'.

Well I almost hate to repost it, but here is my original message:

Date: Thu, 5 Jul 90 10:30:53 MDT
Subject: Neil says "Get A Life!"

About a week ago, Rush was playing Cal Expo here in Sacramento.  A friend of
mine who is a friend of Neil Peart's set up a short tour of Hewlett-Packard
so I could show off all our high-tech computer goodies.  I'd never met Neil
before, and from murmurings I've heard on the Rush Fan's Digest, I thought
he'd be really stuck-up.  We'll folks, he's just a normal guy.  He's talkative
and outgoing.  One of the reasons he comes off as remote in public is because
he HATES "groupies".  He doesn't like being idolized and fawned over.  Among
the computer stuff I showed him was "Notes".  We talked about how people from
all over the world contributed to notes strings like and  His thoughts ran along the same lines as most managers': Theres a
great waste-of-time potential there!  I also told Neil about the Rush Fans
Digest.  I tried to explain that most of us don't spend 24 hours a day fawning
over every issue.  Unfortunately I showed him part of an issue, which happened
to contain lengthy diaglogues concerning the deep meaning of his WATCH.  This
obviously did not make a great impression.  His quote was: "Get A Life!!!".
Luckily, the other computer & X-window demos came off better.

The original post seemed to give some people the impression that Neil or I
(or both of us) were really cutting the list down.  This prompted a second
post on the subject by me:

Date: Tue, 10 Jul 90 15:58:08 MDT
Subject: Life after Peart

Bob Joslin writes:
> Ok, so I don't gotta' life.

I didn't mean to offend anybody by my "visitation report" the other day.  I 
just passed on Neil's reaction to our bantering on about his watch.  
Personally, I don't give a damn what his watch says, but I respect other
people's  right to care.  If I thought that this list was a waste of time, 
I'd not be reading and posting to it!  Its a great communication forum for 
people with incredibly good taste in music.

As anybody who reads notes knows: you gotta be real good at filtering out what
you consider "noise on the line".  Its very subjective.  Neil mistakingly got
the impression that some of us sit around for hours contemplating every post to
the digest.  That was my fault.  I don't think most of us do.  Besides, what we
do with our time is OUR business, not his.  What bugs him (and me too) is when
people invade his privacy, worship and idolize him.

I didn't mean to make anybody ashamed of posting to the digest.  I like to hear
how people enjoyed concerts, what songs they like, what Neil's lyrics mean to
them, even the 57 different hidden meanings in the Hold Your Fire cover.  Its
up to me (and a little, my manager) to decide when I'm wasting my time.  I've
got a life, Neil's got his, and even poor souls trapped in Silicon Valley like
Bob have theirs.

Since I'm in the habit of reposting things, I'll try this trick one more
time!  I never saw any responses to the following questions I posted last

Does anybody remember the album poll Ron Kleiner sponsored around March?
Does anybody want to volunteer to run it again?  With all these fresh keyboards
in the list, it would be interesting to see if tastes have changed.

I have a (smaller) survey question:  What are people's favorite albums to
"mix" using random play on a multiple-CD player?  I've got a 6-disc cartridge
that I fill with CDs for several hours of continuous rock n' roll.  My own
favorite combinations are:

- classic Rush:  their older stuff (pre-Permanent Waves)
- favorite mix:  Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Hold yer Fire, Presto.
- Rush + Yes:  Any Rush albums mixed with: the Yes album, Fragile, and Drama.

Bad combos:  Pink Floyd never sounds good on random play.  The 3 live
Rush albums SEEM like they'd play well together, but don't.

dougg (a computer-oriented stereotypical physical scince techno geek)

[ What's a life?  :-)                                           :rush-mgr ]


Date: Wed, 14 Nov 90 23:45:46 EST
From: vanth! (Jim Shaffer)
Subject: Beneath, Between, Behind

After reading the lyrics of 'Beneath, Between, Behind' in Tuesday's TNMS, I
was surprised to see that although I was wrong about what a lot of the
lyrics were, the meaning I got out of 'my' set and the real set was
surprisingly similar.

>Ten score years ago
>Defeat the kingly foe
>A wondrous dream came into being

This has got to be about the founding of the U.S.A.  The time is right, the
reasons are right.

>Tame the trackless waste
>No virgin land left chaste
>All shining eyes and never seeing

The country expanded to eventually reach the Pacific coast.  'All shining
eyes and never seeing' could refer to the opinion that we've destroyed the
wilderness in the process, oblivious to the value right in front of us.

>Beneath the noble bird 		 (the eagle, our national symbol)
>Between the proudest words		 ('In God We Trust'?)

>Watch the cities rise
>Another ship arrives
>Earth's melting pot, and ever growing

The U.S. was known as a melting pot because we were open to people of all
countries and cultures and we formed our own unique culture from the mix.

>Fantastic dreams come true
>Inventing something new
>The greatest minds, but never knowing

Perhaps we couldn't see our own future -- that we would run out of space,
use up our resources, pollute the environment, etc.

>The guns replace the plow
>Facades are tarnished now
>The principles have been betrayed

Although we claimed to be a haven for oppressed people from other
countries, we ignored the rights of the Native Americans and forced them
from their own land.  If they rebelled, they often were killed.

>The dreams gone stale
>But still let hope prevail
>Hope that history's debt won't be repaid

Hmmmm.	What can this mean?  I interpret it as sarcasm: the consequences of
our actions will catch up with us, but we sit back and hope that they

I hope that I didn't spoil anyone's day.  This interpretation is definitely
depressing, but we *have* done some stupid things, things we can't be proud
of.  Let's hope that somehow it's not too late to get our act together and
save our country.

paper :  James Shaffer Jr., 37 Brook Street, Montgomery, PA  17752
uucp  :  uunet!cbmvax!amix!vanth!jms  (or)  rutgers!cbmvax!amix!vanth!jms
domain:	    CompuServe: 72750,2335


Date: Thu, 15 Nov 90 01:05:43 -0500 (EST)
From: "William F. O'Dell" 
Subject: Who we are

The question the guy from Purdue asked was a good one. Something to the
effect of, Are we all just techno geeks, or are there any other types
out there? I'm also curious what other people out there do besides read
stuff off video screens :)
I'm studying Industrial Design (Automobiles, computers, audio equepment
etc. design) at Carnegie Mellon here in Pittsburgh.

Thanks to whoever typed in "Success Under Pressure".



From: Adrian N Ogden 
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 90 09:45:54 GMT
Subject: stuff and nonsense

Another album cover done by Hugh Syme: "Goodnight LA" by Magnum.
(I don't know if they're known in the US, but they've been around
in the UK for about 12 years. they've only broken through in the
last 2 or 3.) Anyway, the cover features a dark skyscape with
sharply-defined clouds in the distance. In the foreground, and
presumably many miles up, is an old man in a tuxedo riding a

Bijan Forutanpour writes:

>I've heard *something* which is either a very filthy rumor or an interesting
>bit of trivia. In either case, I'd like to know whether this is true or not:
>1) Neil Peart used to be a very hardcore chain smoker.
>2) He got lung cancer.
>3) *One* of his lungs had to be removed.
>4) He quit smoking.
>5) He still kicks butt on the drums.
>I know #5 is true, but the rest.....???

I saw a similar question on alt.rock-n-roll many moons ago. I've lost
the attributions, but it seemed appropriate, so...

>>> By the way, is it true that Neil Peart has brain cancer?
>> The rumor I heard is that he has pretty horrible arthritis and has
>> to shoot his hands up with cortizone before a concert.
>I heard Alex was suffering from recurring lycanthropy and had to bathe
>in the blood of young virgins before each concert, or else when they
>played '2112' he'd be drawn back to Hell...

[ Shhhh!!!!  We as true fans are NOT supposed to let the cat out of the
  bag!  And it's only when they play the whole suite of 2112, which is 
  why they only play Overture/Temples anymore.  :-)  :-)    

  But seriously, this has GOT to be the best posting on the subject I've
  seen in my life (if I had one, that is :-) ).                :rush-mgr ]

and finally..

>[ Please keep your postings to less than 80 chars!!              :rush-mgr ]
Per line, I hope! :-)

<< Adrian Ogden   _ . _ _   _ . _ _   _ _ . . >>

'"Neil plays across the seven, so it doesn't really feel like an odd time
signature.... I've always felt it would be a great personal victory to
get a song that was in another time signature onto pop radio." He laughs
and adds half-ironically, "a great moral victory."'
                             -Geddy Lee talking about "Superconductor".


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