Site indices

Previous Issue <-> Next Issue

Precedence: bulk
To: rush_mailing_list
Subject: 02/22/91 - The National Midnight Star #177

**   ____     __           ___ ____   ___        ___       **
**    /  /_/ /_     /\  / /__/  /  / /  / /\  / /__/ /     **
**   /  / / /__    /  \/ /  /  /  / /__/ /  \/ /  / /___   **
**                                                         **
**                    __            ___       ____         **
**        /\  /\   / /  \  /\  / / /  _  /__/  /           **
**       /  \/  \ / /___/ /  \/ / /___/ /  /  /            **
**                                                         **
**                  ____ ____  ___  ___                    **
**                 /__    /   /__/ /__/                    **
**                ____/  /   /  / /  \                     **

          The National Midnight Star, Number 177

                 Friday, 22 February 1991
Today's Topics:
                    Rush in the studio
      Hiss on Hemispheres, Drumming on later albums
               Re: The Pass (yet again!!!!)
              Superconductor: Group Bashing?
               Freedom: An Underlying Theme
                      The Pass Redux
                  La Villa on Chronicles
                 Freewill and the Grammys
          Sinnead, Maritial Status, and Religon
                   Neil and some trivia

Date: Thu, 21 Feb 91 12:38:23 EST
From: joezete@wpi.WPI.EDU (Peter John Chestna)
Subject: Rush in the studio

here's something to change the subject from the bleedin Pass to
a topic of more relevance.

	I was just in contact moments ago with SRO/ANTHEM
Entertainment.  I was informed by Kim Garner(mentioned on at
least a few Rush albums) that Rush entered the studio about
two weeks ago to work on the new album!  Rupert Hine will be
the producer and the tentative release date is for fall 1991,
so start saving your money now!

	That ought to put a smile on more than 700 faces!

	Glad I could bring it to you.


"I hear their passionate music, Read the words that touch my heart..."


From: stedmant@LONEX.RADC.AF.MIL (Terrance A. Stedman)
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 91 13:31:53 EST
Subject: Hiss on Hemispheres, Drumming on later albums

Dear NMS members,
        The sound quality of my Hemispheres CD is terrible.  The hiss reminds
me of a tape played back without dolby.  But regardless, I think even a bad
sounding CD is better than a cassette or LP.
        As far as drumming complexity on later albums goes...  I used to
think during the pre-MP era that "The Trees", "Jacob's Ladder", "La Villa",
and "Freewill" represented Neil at his best.  Parts of those songs are really
complex as far as drum patterns go.  Then Signals and P/G came along and
made me realize that although the sound of the band had changed a bit, the
drumming was still very complex.  "The Weapon" and especially "Red Lenses"
are good examples of more recent albums with pretty challenging drum parts.
When I first heard "Red Lenses", I really dug the funky tom, cowbell, etc.
beat that Peart was laying down.  I wondered to myself just how he was
doing that pattern.  When I went to see the P/G tour in Rochester, NY I was
amazed to see that not only was he really playing that beat, but he was
flipping his sticks while playing it as well!
        Also, even though this was discussed in the FAQL, I am going to mention
it again because it is bugging me.  The other night I set my CD player on
A-B repeat for the very short section in the latter part of "The Camera Eye"
with the mumbling voices.  While this section was repeating, I adjusted
my EQ to many different settings to try and make it clear enough to figure
out.  No such luck.  If anyone wants to make attempts at this or thinks
they know what is being said, email me and don't post to the NMS.



From: Adrian N Ogden 
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 91 10:32:13 GMT
Subject: Re: The Pass (yet again!!!!)

In TNMS #172, Puanani Akaka writes:

>I think he was looking at a specific side of suicide.
> [ ... ] he was offended by people who commit suicide _for the sake of
>being a martyr_.
> [ ... ]There is a difference between committing
>suicide from ultimate depression, terminal illness (i.e., Alzheimer's
>disease), etc. and suicide to 'save face'. His own allusion to that type
>of mentality was the Japanese samurai -- commiting suicide for honor, and
>that whole bit. He was offended by that type of mentality and mentioned
>that he couldn't relate to it at all.  And so he wanted to demythologize
>it, to emphasize that that was a tragedy and not something to be hemmed
>and hawed over and respected.  Hence, the song.

I disagree that martyr-suicide was the main subject of the song. Neil has
said that the song was aimed at teen suicide, which he regards as the most
wasteful kind. I think he regards suicide for the sake of martyrdom as a
disturbing influence.

Take, for example, the prominent figure in the American War of
Independance who, when captured by the British and asked before the
gallows to repent his defying British rule, replied "I regret only that
I have but one life to give for my country". Not technically a suicide
but certainly a martyr for a cause. Take the samurai, whose culture
regarded suicide as honourable.

Now picture the anguish of a youth in the throes of serious depression.
On the brink of suicide all they're looking for is a way out. This is
when they most need someone or something to say that life isn't that bad,
that they can find happiness. Something to show them that there is a way
out that leads back to life. Instead, visions of the samurai and the
martyr are coming to them saying "Suicide is a way out, and it's not as
bad as you used to think, in fact as history shows it can be a noble
act". This is not the case, but a confused mind looking for some escape
might use this as a rationale, might even welcome it. The point of "The
Pass" is to break this association. Suicide as an escape from depression
is not martyrdom, it is not noble, it is just the ultimate in surrender
and a tragic and stupid waste. That, I think, is what he meant by
"de-mythologizing" it.

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


Date: Thu, 21 Feb 91 14:14:32 EST
Subject: Re:Rush,Sinead,RedKross,etc.

Date: 21 February 1991, 14:07:09 EST

Hello, all; would just like to comment on a letter submitted Feb.21 (and on one
 the day before) both comparing RUSH and Sinead O'Connor (and Redd Kross, etc.)
 As for the Kross, they're not a bad group; their whole deal is that they rehas
h 70's type of hits (bay city rollers,etc.;Hah!) for 'irony'; at least that's w
hat they say.  As for Sinead, even her detractors have to admit: 1)She has an i
ncredible voice; 2) She has gotten onto the radio one of the more unusual hits
of late; 3)She took a strange and unconventional album to #1 on the charts.
   So yes, I would agree that Sinead and Rush both evidence a refusal to compro
mise their artistic vision, and a need to communicate that vision to their resp
ective listeners.  What Rush has and Sinead DOESN'T is maturity! Sinead (only 2
2 for chrissakes) still shoots her mouth off to interviewers; Rush is the very
example of calm rationality.  In addition, Neil had a solid base of intellectua
l thought from which he derived/derives his ideas (Ayn Rand; Sinead ofte
n tends to pontificate about youth,freedom, sorrow in all too general terms.
  All of this will change with her maturing, I am sure.  So Rush fans out there
, seize the high ground! Don't criticize other bands; be secure in the knowledg
e that you're listening to the best one around!


Date: Thu, 21 Feb 1991 13:43 CST
Subject: Superconductor: Group Bashing?

In response to Ian's (U. of Pittsburgh) posting in TNMS on 2/21/91,
I feel that Superconductor is not intended to "bash" the groups
or artists but that it in a sense is supposed to ridicule (maybe
this is too harsh a word) the forces which generate these types
of bands.

Others, I'm sure, have their own opinions.  But,  I don't think that
Neil would devote an entire song to the "bashing" of Top 40 type

On another note, I must agree that the discussions on "The Pass" have
extended their stay.  Please feel free to interpret songs as you
wish.  But, please don't tell me that yours is the one true way to
interpret them.

Again, I see "The Patster" likes to term Rush fan(atic?)s as
"Rush Heads".  Again, I really don't like the way that sounds.  In
a sense, it sounds a like like sampling from "Dead Heads".  And
we all know what a long a boring topic (not unlike "The Pass" in
recent issues) "sampling" was on TNMS a few weeks ago.

(sorry, my editor is acting up)

Daryl Santos

"Men go crazy in congregations, they only get better one-by-one."

                         - Sting
                           "All This Time", from the Soul Cages


Date: Thu, 21 Feb 91 14:46:16 EST
From: gordon@Stars.Reston.Unisys.COM
Subject: Freedom: An Underlying Theme


	Cheryl R., Matthew D., Michael S., and Bill B. discuss
different aspects of Ayn Rand's influence on Peart and Rush.  I think
Matthew Deter may have put his finger on a very interesting point:

Cheryl>"I swear- by my life, and love of it- that I will never live for the
Cheryl> sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."
Cheryl>    - John Galt
Cheryl>    (I haven't read this, but it sure sounds like something Howard
Cheryl>    Roark from "The Fountainhead" would say, too...did Ayn Rand just
Cheryl>    have one plot for all her books?)

Matthew> No, she simply has one theme:  Freedom.

	It strikes me that Freedom has also been a major underlying
theme to many Rush songs throughout their history.  The song "2112" is
an epic on artistic freedom.  "Something for Nothing" states, "You
don't get freedom for free."  Many other examples exist: "Spirit of
Radio" ("freedom of music"), "Free Will", etc.  Artistic freedom,
individual freedom, intellectual freedom, religious freedom, spiritual
freedom -- clearly, all these lie close to the heart of Neil's
_Weltanschauung_, or world view.  I wouldn't be too surprised to see
another song with a related theme appear on the new disc (will the
term "album" become obsolete?).

	For a long time I thought the 2112 "man-and-star" logo artwork
referred to "the Red Star of the Solar Federation" from the song and
story text itself.  Back in the mid-70's, I thought this was an
obvious allusion to Communism, an oppressive style of government that
does not encourage individual freedoms.  However, the star-in-a-circle
also reminds me of America, the country that most symbolizes freedom.
For example, look at the U.S. Air Force logo of an encircled star with
red and white bars on both sides.  Either way, to me the logo now
connotes the essence of Freedom and the ongoing conflict between
freedom and oppresion on many different levels -- from the individual
vs. a government and/or society, to the internal conflict of each
person's finite ego confronting the infinite cosmos -- another
continuing underlying theme of Rush.

Non-Random |>, |_| _|` |-|:
                            "Illusions are painfully shattered
                             Right where discovery starts"

 /\      /\      /\      1-0-0-1-0-0-1, S.O.S.  1-0-0-1-0-0-1, in distress.
/  \  /\/  \  /\/  \  /-------------------------------------------------------
    \/      \/      \/   Del Gordon     |><-


Date:    Thu, 21 Feb 91 16:08 EST
From: "Prime Mover" 
Subject: The Pass Redux

In TNMS # 176, KROHN@UCBEH.SAN.UC.EDU writes that the "arguments" regarding
the use of "Christ" in "The Pass" should be dropped, and that we as Rush
fans should not resort to flaming each other.

Well, I'm not too familiar with the history of this argument, since I just
resubscribed, but I think I can comment on this issue with some insight,
being that I have subscribed to this digest on and off for almost a year.

Seems that every time we get into an interesting topic, someone asks that it
be squelched (no flame on the rush-mgr, eh? :} ).  I recall a lively debate
that was taking place last semester (why do I always see time in terms of
semesters?) on the subject of religion & atheism that eventually was killed
because it "wasn't relevant".  Well, I don't remember enough of that specific
argument to comment on that, but I do know that an interesting debate was

[ The only time I'll advocate dropping a subject here is when there seems
  to be no agreement, and precious little common ground.  If both sides are
  intractible, then there seems to be little point in continuing.  Religion
  happens to fall into this category; few people are ambivilant about it,
  and those that are certainly aren't the ones keeping the conversation
  going.  I have no problems with such discussions being moved to e-mail;
  you have to keep in mind that this is a RUSH digest.  Some discussion is
  good, but too much of a good   thing...  well, you know.  'nuff said.
                                                                :rush-mgr ]

If we keep ending debates over *relevant* Rush-related topics -- and I feel
that the analysis of "The Pass" is certainly relevant -- then we end up re-
sorting to the hero-worship "What color are Geddy's socks?"/"When were the
boyz born?" chatter that Peart himself said he dislikes (referring directly
to what he saw of TNMS).  Luckily, much of the hero-worship questions have
been squelched by use of the FAQL, but it still goes on here occasionally.

I don't see why we can't have *thoughtful* and meaningful debate about
topics that concern our band, as long as we don't resort to flaming, which
thankfully has been 99% absent from this list.  Let's keep this "Christ"
debate open *and* intelligent; it's a topic that fascinates me, because I'm
still trying to figure out exactly what Peart was trying to say in the
song in question.

There, got my $0.02 in... One more thing.  Someone asked about the "lyrics" to
"La Villa" in ESL.  My understanding is that those "lyrics" are in
Hungarian, which would come as no surprise looking at Alex's ethnic background.
Anyone else hear that rumor?

Rushically yours,
Michael Sensor 
General Partner, Roetz, Putz, and Schoetzfink


Subject: La Villa on Chronicles
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 91 17:31:51 EST
From: Big Wave Dave 

Hello RUSHians

   I've noticed that there is ALOT of hiss in La Villa Stangiato on the
`Chronicles' CD (more than on `Hemispheres').  Why is this?  I thought
they re-mastered the songs for `Chronicles'. Has anyone else noticed this
or am I just going deaf?

     \\\|||///       _____________________________________
   .  =======     _ /           David W. Fraser           \
  / \| O   O |   /_|            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~            |
Subject: Freewill and the Grammys

 Freewill, the Rush tribute band does play cities other than Toronto, Buffalo
and Cleveland. I have seen them in Youngstown (Oh.) and believe that they have
also played in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas. (Can anyone confirm this?)
 I watched part of the Grammys last night and was dissapointed. But it was what
I expected so maybe dissapointment is the wrong term. It seems like the awards
go to shallower artists each year. ( I know this is a generalization, but for
the most part its true :)).
 To the best of my knowledge, Rush has never won a Grammy. In fact I don't know
if they have even been nominated. (Again feel free to confirm this). Does the
Academy have something against Rush. I know they have won Juno awards and it
seems like they should own some Grammys too. (Not that this is what makes a
band good; but talent such as that of the Boyz should not go unrecognized)

 Bill "Axeman" Colyer


Date:         Thu, 21 Feb 91 18:42:36 EST
Subject:      Sinnead, Maritial Status, and Religon

  Going to try to cover 3 bases as briefly as possible...

  While I will not apologize for my statement about Sinnead (because I
meant what I said) I will apologize if any Sinnead fans out there took
offense. As stated before this is a Rush bbs and there is nothing gained
by bashing someone else. I personally have nothing against Sinnead, having
read interviews with her. I respect her willingness to stand by her views,
even though I don't particularly care for her music. Again, no offense in
intended to O'Connor fans out there.

   To get back to the subject of the Holy Trinity (Geddy, Alex, and Neil),
Does anyone know their maritial status? I'm just curious. I know Geddy has
a son named Julian, but what about the other two? Does Neil have a kid? And
if so can he play the drums?

   Third area, still trying to be as brief as possible. The subject was
brought up about Neil staying away from religon. Well, I think he touches
on it quite a bit in some of his songs. Witch Hunt, one of my faves, tackles
the moral majority quite nicely. At least that is what I, IMHO, believe he is
talking about in the song. Always welcome to opposing views. I especially
like the line...
     "Those who know what's best for us/Must rise and save us from ourselves"

     (My usual response when somebody tries to enforce their view on me)
     (It always leaves them with a puzzled look on their face...)



From: (David Laurenc Gordon)
Subject: Signals
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 91 9:23:57 EST

	I've just been listening to Signals a lot lately, but considering I
still can't make out most of the words, I think I'm missing something. Is
there some sort of theme in Signals? From listening to _Analog Kid_,
_Chemistry_, and _Digital Man_, what I can make out in it seems connected.
Actually, can somebody send me the lyrics, too? Merci buckets!

	Chainsaw (Dave_

[ Also remember, they're available via anonymous ftp from Syrinx, and via
  an e-mail server at Ingr.  See digest tail for specifics.     :rush-mgr ]

ORQ: And the knowledge that they fear is a weapon to be used against them
	-The Weapon: Fear Part II

(kinda gives me the jitters)


Date: Fri, 22 Feb 1991 12:45 MST
From: KAY_E@CUBLDR.Colorado.EDU
Subject: bashing/defending

After examining about 9 zillion NMS issues I noticed the general topic
of "bashing/defending" of various groups/artists. At the risk of over
generalizing, let me offer the following crude analysis. It is my attempt
to put people into 3 categories: A) Those who are militant about Rush and
refuse to acknowledge the existence of anything but. B) Those who consider
Rush tops but enjoy a select group of other music. C) Those who would
probably call Rush their favorite but enjoy a vast amount of other music
including non-rock such as rap, jazz, etc... Let me try to use the recently
discussed "Red Kross" and "Max Webster" as examples.

Someone from A would be interested in Max Webster only because Rush played
with them, and ONLY in the song Battlescar. They would also immediatly
discount Red Kross as meaningless drivel without necessarily hearing
any of it.

A person from B might enjoy either of the other two groups considerably
(for whatever reason, perhaps their style is similar to Rush?) and would not
hesitate to purchase thier concert tickets on short notice. In addition, they
might choose to defend one or both of these groups rather vigorously if
someone targeted them for bashing.

Now, a member of C may not even respond to the discussion, or perhaps
say that we need not bash other groups to increase Rush, or that Rush
themselves do not endorse bashing.

It is my conclusion that most of the heated debate arises between members
of group B, with some coming from members of A criticizing members of B
and C for thier "distorted" tastes. Is this theory anywhere close to the
truth or did I greatly oversimplify things?

Now, as a member of A myself, let me say the following: Although in general
the Rush quotes (ORQ's?) are very interesting, using them out of context
to support one's own opinion on an issue seems rather weak. Lastly, whoever
said they didn't like the "sing along" at the end of War Paint; too damn bad.
Rush did it, therefore it is professional and enjoyable. Of course, all of
above is IMHO. (Where else can I shoot my mouth off?).

                                                          Eric Kay
                                                          Boulder, CO


Subject: Neil and some trivia
From: (Lance Neustaeter)
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 91 11:51:23 PST (Peter John Chestna):

>How can you listen to songs like 'Mystic Rythms', 'Red Lenses' and
>'Scars' ... Holy Neil what about 'Scars' man???  I would argue the
>point in the opposite direction, Neil has gotten more complex in the
>last five albums than at any time in their history

>If you're looking for Neil to go apesh*t then just listen to what
>he does in 'Mystic Rythms' ...

  If you consider getting a larger drumkit and being able to make a
wider variety of sounds in your fills (very good fills, mind you) an
increase in overall complexity, then your definition is correct.  This
is not what I refer to.  What I am talking about is the overall
backbone (his "beats") and arrangements of his drumming--the overall
"groove" or feel.  Please note:  the whole album "Presto" was exempt
from my comment (go back and check).  This is why I refered to
"Presto" as a turn toward the more intricate and interesting drumming
of yesteryear--I love it (yes, including "Scars" and "Show Don't Tell"
   The trend that I recognize as the main clue to a simpler style was
when he began to--more and more--write songs that use a steady, 4-feel
on the bass drum, over which, as you've pointed out, he would
"noodle-around" on toms and other percussives.  Wasn't that
"thump-thump-thump" style of drumming one of the main complaints about
disco? (please forgive me for mentioning disco in a posting about
   It appears that you guage "complexity" as having busy, varied fills
over a basic, steady bass beat. (You referred to going "apesh*t").  I
look at it from the "less is more" angle, where more emphasis is
placed on an *interesting*, changing beat (interesting is probably a
better word than complex in this context).  For instance, you
mentioned "Mystic Rythms".  You will notice the "thump-thump-thump"
ongoing throughout most of the song with accentuating tom-work over
top.  Also, "Red Lenses" starts with a basic rock beat with a snare
2-4 feel and then goes into "fills over thump-thump" ala "Mystic
Rythms".  The fills used on "Red Lenses" are a two bar pattern
repeated over and over.
   "Scars" does have an underlying steady beat, but Neil layers and
builds more varied patterns on top of it, dynamically rising and
falling as opposed to a more one-dimensional repetitive pattern.  I
really like this song, especially the two-handed Rides patterns.
   There definately *are* good drumming (note: there aren't any *bad*
ones!) songs in the later albums (I said it was just a trend I
noticed--not a complete change), but the ones you picked show me that
you and I have different opinions as to what is "intricate" (the
drumming in "Mystic Rythms" was designed specifically to achieve that
primitave, tribal feel--which he captures expertly).  For instance, I
think that "Grand Designs" has quite kool drumming from PoW.  Compare
the drumming  of the "fill over thump-thump" variety with stuff like
"La Villa Strangiato",  "Natural Science" or "Show Don't Tell".  This
is much more interesting drumming IMHO.
   It really seems that I have come down critically; but it seems I
have to sound more negative than I really am, just to get my subtle
point across.  I really love Rush, honestly--especially Neil!   Onto
other things:
* * * * * * * * * * *
   Somebody posted earlier about the time sigs in "Superconducter" but
I can't remember what they listed.  I just took a quick listen and
what I heard was:  7/4, 4/4 (snare on 3 feel), 4/4 (2-4 feel), and one
bar of 6/4.  If anyone has the sheet music they could probably correct
me--I was just listening to it and I usually don't count time sigs
   More "Whispering" trivia:  Has anybody else heard Geddy singing a
syncopated "Hey, Hey, Hey" way in the background of "Chain Lightning"?
   How 'bout the lyrics of "Didacts and Narpets"?  My guesses:

Voice#1:  "Stay!"
Geddy:    "Go!"
#1:       "Work!"
Ged:      "No!"
Ged:      "Live!"
#1:       "Earn!"
Ged:      "Give!"
Together: "LISTEN!" [Somebody else thought it was MOUNTAIN, though]

  You'll need a good stereo/ear for this one:  Have you heard Neil
blowing the Police Whistle in "Distant Early Warning"?  He does it a
number of times, but the first one is on beat 4 (with rim shot) right
before Geddy sings, "It's so hard to stay together".  'nuff said.

Good Premises,
Lance V Neustaeter


To submit material to The National Midnight Star, send mail to:

For administrative matters (additions, deletions, changes, and 
questions), send mail to:

There is now anonymous ftp access available on Syrinx.  The network
address to ftp to is:       or

When you've connected, userid is "anonymous", password is .
Once you've successfully logged on, change directory (cd) to 'rush'.

There is also a mail server available (for those unable or unwilling to
ftp).  For more info, send email with the subject line of HELP to:

These requests are processed nightly.  Use a subject line of MESSAGE to
send a note to the server keeper or to deposit a file into the archive.

The contents of The National Midnight Star are solely the opinions and 
comments of the individual authors, and do not necessarily reflect the 
opinions of the authors' management, or the mailing list management.

Copyright The Rush Fans Mailing List, 1991.

Editor, The National Midnight Star
(Rush Fans Mailing List)

End of The National Midnight Star Number 177

Previous Issue <-> Next Issue