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Subject: 12/14/90 - The National Midnight Star #131  ** Special Edition **

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          The National Midnight Star, Number 131

                 Friday, 14 December 1990
Today's Topics:
                       Rush Special

From: hawks@cory.Berkeley.EDU (Harvey H. Hawks Jr.)
Subject: Rush Special

                   The Rush Special from The Source.
                 (Transcribed by Harvey H. Hawks, Jr.)
        from a broadcast February 27, 1983, on KZOK 102.5 FM Seattle.

Comments in brackets are mine.  Song titles in brackets indicate the song
was played at that point.

SM:  Host Sean McKay		NP:  Neil Peart
GL:  Geddy Lee			TB:  Terry Brown
AL:  Alex Lifeson

[I didn't start taping until partway through the first song.]

[Working Man]

SM:  Working Man, from the first Rush album.  Eventually, that record
found its way to the all-important American market.  Alex.

AL:  A copy made its way down to Cleveland to a radio station program
director there and she passed in on to Mercury Records.

SM:  Coinciding with their contract with Mercury was a debut US tour in
August 1974.  Just prior to their opening show in Pittsburgh, drummer
John Rutsey left the band, and auditions were held to find his replace-
ment.  Neil Peart was chosen.  Geddy.

GL:  It's the only audition we've ever held [laugh].  I think we had two
or three drummers before Neil and we had one after Neil, and after we
heard Neil play, [laugh] like there's no one that could come after the
guy, you know?  So we were pretty convinced, at least I was in my own
mind, that he was definitely the drummer for the band.

SM:  Alex Lifeson.

AL:  I remember I had reservations because I really wasn't sure.  It
was the second guy we tried and, who knows, maybe there's gonna be
three or four other guys that might be as good, so, it was a bit weird.
We sat down, we talked a lot; Geddy and him talked mostly and they hit
it off immediately.  I guess I had those reservations so I wasn't sure.

SM:  Drummer Neil Peart.

NP:  It was funny, 'cause Geddy and I hit it off right away, conver-
sationally, we had a lot in common in terms of books and music, so
many things that we both liked, and Alex for some reason was in a bad
mood that day so we didn't have anything to say to each other, really,
and playing together we did what eventually became Anthem, in fact.  We
fooled around with some of those rhythmic ideas and jammed away on this
and that and, I thought it was a disaster, and I think that's generally
the case with auditions.  You always think it was-- went horribly and
you nev-- you know, you played about ten percent as good as you should
have, and you'll never get the gig and all that, and I felt horrible
about it, you know, and I thought, oh, this was awful.  But I guess,
you know, the chemistry was right and that's all.

SM:  The chemistry was right.  Rush was intact.  The tour ended and the
band returned to Toronto to record their second album, Fly By Night.
That's coming up when the Rush special continues from The Source.

SM:  In selecting Neil Peart, not only did Rush get a fine drummer, but
also a lyricist.  Neil has written most of the band's lyrics since
their second LP, Fly By Night.  Alex.

AL:  Ged and I weren't into it.  The first album, Ged wrote most of the
lyrics, all but one song.  With Fly By Night, we weren't really into it
so we figured if Neil was into it, fine.  You know, when we're writing
music it's always difficult for a drummer to take a really strong role
in the actual melodic writing of the song, so we'd do that between us
and he took on the lyrics.

[Fly By Night]

SM:  The title track from their second album, Fly By Night, on the Rush
special.  Neil, asked to write lyrics by default, thought he really
enjoyed his new role.

NP:  I'd written, like, two songs before that, and it was even quite a
few years before and basically it was because nobody else was gonna do
it, you know, and it was by default and I thought, well, I've always
been interested in words, I've always loved to read and thought, well,
I'll give it a try and see how it comes out and so I wrote a couple
songs and showed 'em to the guys and they liked 'em, so ti gave me the
encouragement to keep going.  It became an obsession, too.

SM:  In 1975, Rush received their first Juno award, the Canadian
equivalent of a Grammy, as Most Promising New Group.  That fall,
their third LP and first concept album, Caress of Steel, was released.
Alex Lifeson.

AL:  Ged and Neil wrote the lyrics for The Fountain of Lamneth, and he
thought it would be kind of nice to try to incorporate a very loose
concept in it by having a starting point and ending point which would
go from the beginning of side 2 [to] the end of side 2 and it would be
one complete story, but broken up, so that it could be individual songs
that, unless you look closely, wouldn't necessarily relate to each other.

[The Fountain]

SM:  The Fountain, the closing track from Caress of Steel on the Rush
special.  This album sold poorly but the band rebounded with fierce
determination on their next album, 2112.  Alex.

AL:  We worked very, very hard, and all of a sudden we weren't getting
any support, and by the nature of the way our deal was set up with the
record company, we had freedom to do musically what we wanted and, OK,
Caress of Steel maybe didn't do well commercially, and we lost a lot of
support from people around us, but it was an important stepping stone
for us.  We had to try some things out and so we did.  And then 2112
came by, and it was, it's a very aggressive album.  When I listen to it,
which is, I haven't heard it in quite a long time, but every once in a
while you hear a cut on the radio.  The whole feel of it is very tense
and aggressive and I think it was because we were in that space at the
time.  We had to decide whether we were gonna say OK, we give up.  We
either break up, or we try to make another first album or we say, forget
it everybody and do whatever we want and we decided on the third.

[Overture/The Temples of Syrinx]

SM:  Overture and The Temples of Syrinx from the album 2112 on the Rush
special.  2112 was Rush's breakthrough album in the US, and the first
to feature their star-in-a-circle logo, designed by their friend Hugh
Syme.  Geddy Lee.

GL:  Hugh Syme designed that.  Once he received the lyrics for 2112 and
heard some of the music and know what the album was, sortof, what
direction the album was going, and he sesigned the graphics to go along
with it and he came up with the design.  It sorta comes to us to sort of
stand for individualism, sorta man against the masses.

SM:  Up next, All The World's A Stage, A Farewell To Kings, and Hemi-
spheres when the Rush special continues from The Source.

[Some of the program was lost as I flipped the tape here.]

SM: was discussed.  Geddy Lee.

GL:  We went through a period when we wanted to add someone else, but we
were really nervous about doing that because in the history of most
bands I've been in, I mean I've been in Rush almost all my life, but,
we've gone throughout different phases in our sortof prehistory where
we've had four guys and then gone back to three and had four guys and
gone back to three and every time we've added a fourth, I don't know,
it's not the same.  It's real easy to communicate with three people.  As
soon as you bring a fourth in, you have danger of, you can have two
sides.  You know, two against one isn't fair, so three works that way,
but two against two is fair, so you have a stalemate and the group sorta
breaks off into factions.  So I think we've had this real fear of losing
the communication by adding another member, so at that time, after the
live album, we decided that we'd rather push ourselves by playing other
instruments than risk putting our communication in jeopardy.

SM:  Following a lengthy and highly successful British and European
tour, in 1977 Rush stayed in Europe to record their next album, A
Farewell to Kings.  Once again, Neil was responsible for writing most of
the lyrics.

NP:  Being a musician and of course very involved in the arrangements
of the band and playing the songs live all the time and that, I'm never
just a lyricist.  I'm always writing songs for music, so I tend to put
into my phrasing certain twists that will demand a certain kind of
musical interpretation, or I'm always thinking of the musical framework
within the context of the lyrical framework, so it's kind of intertwined
in a way, you know, I might only be working on the words but a musical
intention is always in my head at the same time.

[A Farewell To Kings]

SM:  The title track from A Farewell To Kings on the Rush special.
Following a ten-month tour that drew over a million fans and a second
Juno award as Best Group of the Year, the next Rush album Hemispheres
was released in late 1978.  Recording the album had its problems, but
producer Terry Brown helped solve them by changing studios.  Alex

AL:  We were late on everything.  We had one evening off when we recorded
that album.  We worked for about five weeks straight on the recording end
of it.  We left for London that morning, started mixing.  We were there
for about ten days.  Nothing was working.  It sounded awful.  Finally,
at that point, Terry said, and Terry never gets angry, and he was almost
out of his mind.  I've never seen him before, you know, like that, or
since.  And he said, I have to get outta here.  He took the tapes and he
went around to three or four other studios just to hear it in another
studio, and he finally went to Trident, put it in Trident, and went,
that's the problem.

SM:  Rush producer Terry Brown.

TB:  For various reasons, we end up there late one night and we take a
rough mix of what I've been doing, we take it there and for sure, it
becomes very obvious that all the problems that I've been having are
amplified, you know, at Trident and it was quite obvious.  My fears were
confirmed.  We didn't have anything.

AL:  And he heard everything that was wrong about the mix up to that
point that he couldn't pin down before and we'd had a lot of really good
fortune with Farewell To Kings in that vision, and had a different feel
to it, and it just was not happening.  And at Trident, everything stood


SM:  Circumstances, on the Rush special, from Hemispheres, their fourth
million-selling album in the states.

AL:  At the time, we were all quite happy with it.  We felt all of the
blood, sweat, and tears were worth it and again it was another album that
was a transitional album for us.  It was an important album for us to do.
I think it really set us up well for what was to come next.

SM:  Rush in the eighties, coming up in hour two, when the Rush special
continues from The Source.

SM:  Having received their second consecutive Juno award for Best Group
of the Year, Rush opened the new decade with the release of Permanent
Waves, not a concept album, but rather a collection of shorter songs,
including The Spirit of Radio, which was written especially for radio
station CFNY-FM, Toronto.

[The Spirit of Radio]

SM:  The Spirit of Radio on the Rush special from Permanent Waves.  The
cover photo of Permanent Waves is visually arresting and is one that
Neil supervised.

NP:  That cover was a real headache for me, because Geddy was off pro-
ducing Lionel's at the time, and I think maybe Alex was away or
something, and I was the only one that was around.  And I kept getting
these phone calls about, well, you can't do this and you can't do that,
and there was, in fact, in the back of the hurricane scene there was a
little Coca-cola sign, and the Coca-cola people wouldn't let it go on
there, because it was too close to the semi-naked thighs of this girl,
you know, this....  They didn't want the connotations of sexuality.

[Entre Nous]

SM:  Entre Nous from Permanent Waves.  Up next, Moving Pictures when
the Rush special continues from The Source.

SM:  The follow-up to Permanent Waves was 1981's Moving Pictures.  On
this album, Rush continued to change their musical attitude.  Drummer
Neil Peart.

NP:  We did find ourselves wanting to streamline things a bit and we
started approaching our songwriting, too from a different point of view
rhythmically, where we'd find a rhythmic pulse that was strong and that
really felt good and work our melodic changes around that, whereas in
the past we've tended to do somewhat the reverse.  I think that
Permanent Waves was certainly a turning point and Moving Pictures was
very much an affirmation of that.


SM:  Limelight, from Moving Pictures, on the Rush special.  Despite the
abuse of critics, Rush had become immensely popular.  Both Alex and
Neil were wary of the changes success could bring.

AL:  We were very, very careful no to let it get the best of us.  That
sudden success can really change you and you become lazy and you con-
stantly have other people doing things for you and you lose perspective
on why you're there and really what you're doing.

NP:  Success puts a strain on the friendship and it puts the strains on
your day-to-day relationship, and it's something that we did go through,
you know, we're not immune to it.  But we were able to overcome it just
through our closeness and we were able to help each other with diffi-
culties like that and then we could deal with the pressures and things
and that.

[Red Barchetta]

SM:  Red Barchetta from Moving Pictures.  Up next, live Rush when this
Source event continues.

[YYZ (live)]

SM:  YYZ, highlighting drummer Neil Peart.  Both Geddy and Neil admit to
being rather uninspired by the live album concept, although Rush is one
of rock's premier live acts.

GL:  I really didn't enjoy doing the first live album and I didn't enjoy
doing this one any more.  I thought I would, but I didn't.  It's a very
tedious affair for a guy in a band, and if you notice the credits in the
album, we didn't produce the album, we didn't have anything r--, well,
we were there and we sortof observed and we, you know, we put our
opinion in when we thought we should, but generally, most of the chores
were handled by Terry.  I don't enjoy it, and I don't think the other
guys enjoy it really, either.

NP:  Yeah, there was an awful lot of difficulty there, first of all
because it encompassed two complete tours' worth of material and we
wanted to span all of the last four albums, you know, fairly equally,
and also the fact that there were some tracks that we had good record-
ings of that we weren't able to put on, notably, I can bring to mind,
Camera Eye and Vital Signs we really had good versions of, but there
just wasn't space, I mean, we had to figure out so many long songs and
so many short songs and songs that were almost mandatory to get on there
because they were better than the original versions.

[The Trees (live)]

[At this point, my tape ended, so that's all I have.]


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