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Subject: 11/07/91 - The National Midnight Star #370

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          The National Midnight Star, Number 369

                Thursday, 7 November 1991
Today's Topics:
     Frequently Asked Questions List - Part 2 of 2

Date: Tue, 5 Nov 91 18:18:28 -0800
From: (Dan Delany)

             The RUSH Fans Digest Frequently Asked Questions List
                     Part 2 of 2     Updated Nov 5, 1991

    This file contains questions that seem to crop up frequently in the Rush
 Fans Digest.  It will be posted on or around the first of each month, or
 whenever too many of these questions start to pop up in the Digest.  If
 you received a copy of this file in email, other than as a part of a
 Digest, it is probably because you asked one of these questions.

    This file has been expanded into 2 files because some mailers have
 problems with files that are longer than 60K.  Part 1 contains general
 questions about the band.  Part 2 contains questions inspired by
 specific albums and songs.

    If you want a copy of the current version of this file, email me and
 I'll send you the most recent version.

 (Polyslo/Blackbird/Zeus users: look in ~ddelany/Info/faql.1 and ~ddelany/faql.2
  - they are both world readable, although the version on Zeus is more likely
  to be current.)

    If you have any suggestions for additions to the list or corrections,
 please send them to me at and I'll add them in.
 I'd appreciate it if people who submit questions submit anything they know
 about possible answers, since I don't have all of the answers myself!

 Please consider this before sending me a suggestion for an addition.

 DISCLAIMER: The information in this file is accurate to the best of my
 knowledge, but I'm not perfect.  If you have an answer to one of these
 questions that doesn't match the one given here that you can verify, let me
 know, and I'll put it in!

   Anyway, on to the questions...

One of my friends gave me this file.  How can I subscribe to The National
Midnight Star?

   Send email to asking to have your name added
   to the list.  Don't send email to me - I can't add you!

Where did By-Tor's name come from?

   Rush's road manager, Howard, came up with the title at a party.  There
   were two dogs at the party, one was a german shepherd and the other
   was a tiny white nervous dog.  Howard used to call the shepherd 'By-Tor'
   because anyone that walked into the house was bitten.  The other dog was
   a snow-dog (white...).  So from that night on Howard called the pair of
   dogs "By-Tor and the Snow Dog." -- from

In "By-Tor And The Snow Dog" By-Tor is the bad guy, but he's a hero in "The
Necromancer."  What happened?

   When asked about this on Rockline, Geddy said something along the lines
   of, "He saw the light."  Neil once commented, "I guess he's like
   all of us - sometimes good, and sometimes he's bad!"

Does anybody know the lyrics to "Didacts and Narpets"?

   Here's the best version I've seen:
   Deep Voice:  "Stay!"
   Geddy        "Go!"
   Deep         "Work!"
   Ged          "No!"
   Deep         "Think!"
   Ged          "Live!"
   Deep         "Earn!"
   Ged          "Give!"
   Deep/Ged     /
   Deep/Ged     /


Where did the story of _2112_ come from?

   2112 is _very_ loosely based on _Anthem_, by Ayn Rand.  Much of
   Neil's early work was influenced by Rand.

I read that "Xanadu" was based on a famous poem.  Does anybody have a copy?

   The poem is "Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  Your local
   library probably has a copy.  It appeared in the Digest issue #88.

Has anybody noticed that you can hear part of the 1812 Overture in


Where does the name 'Rocinante' come from?

   It was the name of Steinbeck's motor home in _Travels With Charlie_.
   It was also the name of Don Quixote's horse.

What does "La Villa Strangiato" mean?

   'Weird City' is a rough translation of the title, according to _Visions_.

   Atthe Tossavainen  has told me that
   "La villa, be it spanish or italian, doesn't mean a village or a
   city, but rather a HOUSE.   Strangiato is probably just pidgin spanish, a
   made-up word."

   The song itself is based on several of Alex's nightmares and some cartoon
   themes.  Much of this music can be heard on a CD called The Carl Stalling
   Project - "Music From Warner Bros. Cartoons 1936-1958".  Warner Bros -
   26027-2 (aproximatly 77 minutes on cd) These are the original soundtracks
   from Loony Tunes/Merrie Melodies, mostly in the 40s and 50s.
               -- thanks to for catalog info (Frank Schaapherder) gave me this information:
     The first part of La Villa Strangiato, "Buenos Nochas, Mein Froinds"
     is based on the German song "Gute Nacht, Freunde", written by
     A. Yondrascheck.  I noted the resemblance between the two songs
     immediately when I first heard La Villa. The notes until the fast
     part are almost identical. Also note the similarities in the titles,
     they have the same meaning, and the reference to German in Rush's
     title (Mein Froinds).

What do the French lyrics in "Circumstances" mean?

   "The more that things change, the more they stay the same."

Where do the different parts of "La Villa Strangiato" start/end?

   This chart was made up by Brad Armstrong <71161.1313@CompuServe.COM>.
   Thanks, Brad!

    La Villa Strangiato (An exercise in Self-Indulgence)

                                              Studio    Live
    I.    Buenos Nochas, Mein Froinds!        0.00      0.16
    II.   To sleep, perchance to dream...     0.27      0.49
    III.  Strangiato theme                    2.00      2.18
    IV.   A Lerxst in Wonderland              3.16      3.36
    V.    Monsters!                           5.43      6.09
    VI.   The Ghost of the Aragon             6.09      6.30
    VII.  Danforth and Pape                   6.45      7.07
    VIII. The Waltz of the Shreves            7.26      7.48
    IX.   Never turn your back on a Monster!  7.52      8.14
    X.    Monsters! (Reprise)                 8.03      8.24
    XI.   Strangiato theme (Reprise)          8.17      8.40
    XII.  A Farewell to Things                9.21      9.14

Why was the headline on the newspaper on the cover of _Permanent Waves_
blocked out?

   "There are always the inevitable last minute crises, such as the Chicago
   Daily Tribune being still so embarrassed about their 'Dewey defeats Truman'
   error of more than thirty years ago, that they actually refused to let us
   use it on the cover!"  -- Neil Peart, in the _Permanent Waves_ tourbook

   To clarify this:  When Truman ran against Dewey for President, Truman
   lost in most of the states with early returns.  So, it looked like
   Dewey was going to win.  The Tribune released an early morning paper
   the next day with a 'Dewey defeats Truman' headline.

What is the "words of the profits" quote in "The Spirit Of Radio" about?

   It's referring to "Sounds of Silence."  Here are the lyrics:

   Sounds of Silence:
   "And the sign said the words of the prophets are written on the
    subway walls,
    And tenament halls
    And whispered in the wells of silence"

   Spirit of Radio:
   "For the words of the profits were written on the
    studio wall,
    Concert hall,
    And echoes with the sound of salesmen..."

What is "Free Will" about?

   "The song is about freedom of choice and free will, and you
   believing in what you decide you believe in." -- Geddy Lee, in the
                                              12/4/89 Rockline interview

Where is "Lotus-Land?"

   "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." -- Neil Peart

What building is on the cover of _Moving Pictures_?

   The building pictured is the old Parliament building in downtown
   Toronto.  It is several blocks south of the Toronto Planetarium
   surrounded by a park.  There is a multilane road that splits into two
   multilane roads to run around both sides of it and joins up again on
   the south side.  The entrance on the cover is on the south of the

My _Moving Pictures_ CD is missing the first half second or so from
"Tom Sawyer".  Can I get a new one?

   Yes.  Here's the address for PolyGram QA :

          Cecilia E. Schultz
          Customer Service / Warranty Department
          PolyGram Group Distribution, Inc.
          6220 Churchman Bypass
          Indianapolis, IN 46203

          Phone:  (800) 428-4437
          FAX:  (317) 788-1803

Who is Pye Dubois?

   Pye Dubois was the lyricist for Max Webster.  "Tom Sawyer" began life
   as a Max Webster song called "Louis The Warrior," but Pye gave the
   lyrics to Neil after "Battlescar" was recorded.  Pye also helped
   Neil write "Force Ten."

What is a barchetta?

   The barchetta is a type of Ferrari race car - read on for "details
   till you puke."

   Barchetta is Italian for little boat.

   The history of the Ferrari barchetta:
   (note the lower case b, it designates a body style like coupe, spyder,
   cabriolet or berlinetta, not an actual model name)

   Ferrari 166MM -

   V-12, 1995cc, 60x58.8mm, 140 bhp @ 6600 rpm, CR 10:1, single ohc per bank,
   Weber carbs, 5-speed gearbox integral with engine, double wishbone front
   suspension, rigid axle rear suspension.

   First shown at the Turin Salon in November of 1948. It's simple but
   effective barchetta styling became greatly admired and many times
   copied. The MM designation was added to the 166 model number to
   designate the 1948 victory of a 166 in the Mille Miglia. A total of
   46 166MMs were built in Series I & II between 1948 and 1953. 25 of the
   series I cars (1948-1951) carried the barchetta designation, none of
   the Series II cars were barchettas.

   Ferrari 195 Sport -

   V-12, 2431cc, 65x58.8mm, 180 bhp @ 7000 rpm, CR 7.5:1, rest same as above

   This car had essentially the same engine as the 166MM bored out to 65mm.
   The body was very similar to the 275S discussed below. As a hybrid
   prototype, it is not known exactly how many of these cars were made.
   Probably at least one barchetta (certainly no more than three) were
   made in 1950. The one known barchetta finished second in the 1950
   Mille Miglia.

   Ferrari 275S -

   V-12, 3322cc, 72x68mm, 270 bhp @ 7200 rpm, CR 8:1, rest same as above

   A prototype of the type 340 America series of cars, only two were made
   in 1950.  Both cars, in barchetta configuration, entered the Mille
   Miglia in April but retired the race with clutch problems.

   Ferrari 340 America -

   V-12, 4101 cc, 70X68mm (?), 220 bhp @ 6000 rpm, CR 8:1, rest same as above

   This car was a downsized formula 1 racer with a smaller displacement than
   it's 4.5 liter F1 counterpart. These cars evolved into the 342 America as
   the GT version and the 340MM as the sport. Of the 25 340s produced in
   1951, 7 were touring barchettas.

   Ferrari 225S -

   V-12, 2715 cc, 70X58.8mm, 210 bhp @ 7200 rpm, CR 8.5:1, rest same as above

   Considered as the final link to the extremely successful 3-liter 250
   series of cars, 20 225Ss were built in 1952, but only 1 in the barchetta

   Since only 35-37 barchettas were built between 1948 and 1953 under various
   model numbers it's not surprising that few people were even aware
   they existed.

   Source: "The Complete Ferrari" by Godfrey Eaton 1986 by Cadogan Books Ltd.

   { Interestingly, 2 Italians that I know have independently told me
    that it's actually pronounced 'barketta'. }

What does "YYZ" mean?

   YYZ is the transmitter code for Toronto International Airport.  Every
   airport is assigned a unique 3 letter code, and that code is always
   being transmitted so that pilots can tell,roughly, where they are and
   verify that their navigational radios are tuned properly.  These
   codes are also written on your luggage tags when you fly.  The intro
   to the song is Morse code for "YYZ".

How does Neil play plywood?

   "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." -Neil Peart

Near the end of "The Camera Eye," there are some mumblings that I can't
quite make out.  Does anybody know for sure what is being said?

   No.  {The first time I posted this FAQL, I received no fewer than 8
         emails from people who claimed to know exactly what is being
         said there.  Unfortunately, none of them agreed with each other,
         which tells me that at least 7 of them were wrong, so I'm only
         going to change this answer if somebody can come up with proof
         that they are right, such as an interview or magazine article.}

What does Geddy say, just before "Jacob's Ladder", on ESL?

   "We'd like to do an old song for you right now... This was done a long
   time ago by the [possibly "that"] old T.C. Broonsie.. This is called
   'Jacob's Ladder'." -- thanks to Michael Sensor 

Who is T.C. Broonsie?

   Terry Brown.

Who is the writer in "Losing It" about?

   Neil discusses this song in _Modern Drummer_ magazine, in the April 1984
   issue.  The writer represents Ernest Hemingway.  The dancer "...drew
   a bit from that film with Shirley MacLaine called _The Turning

Who are Young & Crippen?

   They were the astronauts on the first Shuttle flight.

Who is Count Floyd?

   He was a character on the Canadian TV show SCTV.  {similar to "WKRP
   in Cincinatti", but a TV station.}  The Count Floyd character had a
   show that featured really bad movies.  {movies so bad that even
   Elvira wouldn't show them.}

Is that crackling noise about 10-20 seconds into "Distant Early Warning" on
the _Grace Under Pressure_ CD supposed to be there, or is my copy

   It's supposed to be there.  There is a rumbling at that point on the
   _A Show Of Hands_ CD and on the _Grace Under Pressure Tour_ video,
   but people without subwoofers may be unable to detect it.

Who was Absalom?

   He was King David's favorite son, who rebelled against his father,
   and was killed by Joab, according to my trusty Websters.

   To quote Neil:
   "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 something.
   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!)"

Who is the boy in the "Distant Early Warning" video?

   He is Geddy's son, Julian.

What is "Red Sector A" about?

   Red Sector A is the area the band watched a shuttle launch from.

   On the other hand, the song...

   The inspiration for Red Sector A was indeed the Holocaust.  Neil even
   read many books on the subject, and was really moved by the fact that
   some of the survivors of the concentration camps actually DID think
   that they (and their liberators) were the last people alive on earth.
   ("That's intense..."  -Neil)

   But Neil specifically does not make any *direct* reference to the
   Holocaust, just several indirect ones.  The motivation for this was to
   make the song have "a more timeless quality".  Neil points out that
   all throughout history, countries, races, and people have been guilty
   of persecution, and America is no exception.

What songs make up the "Fear" trilogy?

   The "Fear" trilogy consists of:
      Part 1: The Enemy Within (Grace Under Pressure)
      Part 2: The Weapon (Signals)
      Part 3: Witch Hunt (Moving Pictures)

Has this trilogy ever been performed live?

   Yes.  It's on the _Grace Under Pressure Tour_ video.

Why do the songs appear in reverse order?

   "It's really kind of strange how it turned out, and it's not meant to be
   as mysterious and clever as it looks.  It was more accidental.  At the
   time of _Moving Pictures_, I had actually sketched out each of the three
   songs in my notebook and talked to the other guys about them and what I
   was going to go for, but the easiest one for me to clarify in my mind
   and in words was 'Witch Hunt,' because it was the simplest concept to
   deal with, and then 'The Weapon' came next because my thinking led up to
   that point, but in fact a couple snatches of lyrics and even both of the
   verses for 'The Enemy Within' were written as long ago as that, and all
   of the titles and everything were fixed on, and what I wanted to write
   about, but 'The Enemy Within' was the most difficult one to deal with,
   so it ended up being the last one done, so they happened to go in the
   order 3-2-1." -- Neil Peart, in an interview on KGB 101 FM, San
                                Diego: 10/2/84

What is the Omega Concern?

   As Alex realized that he had to play acoustic guitar for some Rush tunes
   and then quickly switch to his electric (Closer to the Heart, etc.), he
   crafted a stand (actually an attachment to a Tama Titan cymbal stand)
   that holds his acoustic in an adjustable playing position.

   He soon began to sell this as a product (1st to Music Emporium) under the
   company label "The Omega Concern."  Apparently, Alex's "company" also made
   Geddy a light-up lyric stand and Neil got a newspaper/book holder so he
   could read while he eats breakfast.

What do the three spheres on the _Hold Your Fire_ cover represent?

   "It's so difficult to describe the album cover because you want to
   leave a little bit of mystery, and you want it to be interpreted by
   the person who is holding the thing in front of them.  So I'm really
   not going to say too much about what the cover says to me, but it's
   nothing extremely mystical or anything.  It has nothing to do with
   brown rice."  -- Geddy Lee, on Rockline 10/5/87

How many Rush symbols are there in the _Hold Your Fire_ inside photo?

   the fire hydrant from "Signals"

   the TV from "Power Windows"

   the clock indicating 9:12 (21:12 military time)

   the number 15 on the main building... in the "Hold Your Fire"
   tour book, they mentioned that this was their 15th album to

   the juggler is clearly holding his fire.

   at the very far left, underneath the chains is a trunk with
   the logo from their first album.  This was spotted on a 12
   inch picture disk from the album.  It cannot be seen in many
   other versions of the picture.

   The Chinese neon sign above the restaurant reads "Tai-Shan".

   A friend told me that the car is a Mercury, but I don't know this
   for sure.

   Look right off of the juggler's right shoulder in the open window.
   There is someone's hand shown holding a pistol.

   In one of the upper right hand windows of the right hand most apartment
   building you can see part of the head and crown of the Statue of Liberty
   who we all know holds a burning torch in her right hand.

   The arches on the building are suspiciously similar to the MP cover.

   Special mention goes to (Nate Huang) for the most
   obscure observation yet: "The restaurant sign has the same recognizable
   font style as the lettering on the Grace Under Pressure cover."

   Leaning against the trash can in the front is an oxford shoe, just like
   the one the girl wears on the ESL cover.

   The back side of the owl on FBN is resembled on the lamp post on the far
   right side.  (Only on the CD and tour book)
    { I think this is pushing it a little, but I can see how one might
      see it as an owl...  Dan }

   There is a woman looking out the window next to the Statue of Liberty.

   A copy of the painting on the far left on MP, is wrapped up in cloth and
   leaning against the front steps.

How did Pye Dubois come to be involved with "Force Ten"?  What does
the title of that song mean?

   "It was more or less an afterthought in the writing stage.  We took
   two months to do all of our writing and preproduction, you know,
   preparation for the making of the record, and we had nine songs, and
   we had about a day and a half left of time booked before we were
   supposed to leave and get ready to make the record.  And our producer
   and all of us were pushing for ten tracks on the album, and some
   lyrics had been submitted to us by a friend of ours, Pye Dubois, who
   co-wrote 'Tom Sawyer' with us in years gone by.  And Neil was able to
   put some of his own thoughts to one of the songs that he had an
   present it to us in the morning of the last day that we were there,
   and we loved the results, so we got together and brainstormed for
   about 2 or 3 hours, and we had Force Ten."  -- Geddy Lee, on Rockline

   Gregg Jaeger ( sent me this tidbit:
   In the Presto mailing from the Backstage Club a writer asks: ``What
   does the title `Force Ten ' refer to?'' and Neil responds: ``The
   Beaufort Scale -- look it up!''.

What film are the clips in the "Lock And Key" video and the _A Show Of
Hands_ laserdisc, just before "Lock And Key," from?

   It's called _The Last Mile_.

What is Tai Shan about?

   Tai' Shan (from Hold Your Fire) is the name of an actual "holy mountain"
   in China.  The mythical (?) emperor Huang Ti had so much power that he
   was able to summon all the spirits of the world to him on top of
   Tai' Shan to proclaim his power.

   Legend has it that if you climb to the top of this mountain and
   "raise your hands to heaven," you _will_ live to be at least 100
   years old.  Neil wrote these lyrics while sitting at the top of
   the mountain.

What is happening during the "censored" section of the Show Of Hands

   "That's kind of a joke, but it doesn't seem like many people are
   getting that joke.  Actually, Alex, at certain parts of that song,
   would just start rambling into the microphone -- all kinds of various
   nonsense, and it actually never got recorded anywhere.  So no one had
   any idea, including him, what he had actually said.  But we loved the
   shot of him just ranting into this microphone, so we decided we would
   put up this bogus 'radioactive' warning about the fact that we had
   'censored' what he had said, and we thought we did it in kind of an
   obvious way -- it looked like it was phony, because we put the
   radioactivity symbols right on the screen, but nobody seems to be
   getting that." -- Geddy Lee, in the 12/4/89 Rockline interview

In the _A Show Of Hands_ video, does Geddy really say "Catch a fish?"

   Yes, he does.  Nobody knows why.

In the _A Show Of Hands_ video, has anybody noticed that Alex's guitar
keeps changing?

   Yes.  This has been discussed several times in the Digest.  The _A
   Show Of Hands_ video was filmed during a 3-night concert series at the
   National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England.  Test footage was
   shot the first night.  The majority of the video comes from the second
   night, but several shots were used from the third night's performance.
   In some cases, this was because the shots taken on the second night
   weren't quite right, but in a few places, like the beginning of _2112_,
   it was Geddy having fun in the editing stage.

   Yes, Alex does break a string at the end of "Tom Sawyer", but the
   guitar changes more than once, so it isn't just Alex swapping in a
   new guitar.

Does anybody know what stuff Geddy has sitting on the keyboards in the
_A Show Of Hands_ video?

   The following was posted on Fri, 12 Apr 91 by Dan Dickerman
                                 GSY 1-447-4425 

   >I have yet to find a clear shot of the dolls, but from what I can decipher
   >it seems he has 6 dolls and a brandy snifter (with cash, of course)
   >distributed onto 2 keyboards: nearest the snifter is Boris Badenov
   >(Bullwinkle fame) and further to our left is a group of 3 consisting
   >of Rocky the Flying Squirrel (Bullwinkle), a toy robot, and something
   >that looks vaguely like a cowboy drawing both pistols (knees bent, etc).
   >[ I think this last one might be Roger (?) Kneebend, one of Julians old
   >  toys, which the group sort of adopted as a mascott during the recording
   >  sessions.  I'll try to find the reference to him....        :rush-mgr ]
   >On the other keyboard (facing the front of the stage) is a thinner toy
   >robot and (this one's really a ballpark guess) a cartoon dog (though
   >none that I recognize) that is acting the part of the gracious waiter.

What is the round thing on Alex's guitar in the _A Show Of Hands_ video?

   Here's what says it is:
   That circular "thing" on Alex's guitar is a patrol patch used by
   some Boy Scouts.  That particular one is the "panther" patrol patch.

What are the hands in the "Presto" liner doing?

   They are making scissors, paper, and stone, like in the children's
   game.  There is also a discussion of the scissors/paper/stone
   symbols in the Presto tour book.  This is paraphrased in TNMS #212.

What is "Chain Lightning" about?

   "I'm a weather fanatic - I really love weather, and I watch the
   weather and look for a good weatherman.  And, one night I was watching
   it, and there are two incidents in that song that are synchronicity to
   one weather report, where the weatherman showed a picture of sun-dogs,
   and described them, and they are just two little points of light that
   appear at sunset, often in the winter when the sky is clear and
   crystalline, and they are like little prisms, and they sit about ten
   degrees north and south of the setting sun, and they are just
   beautiful little diamonds of light, and often-times there's a circle
   of light -- one line, that connects them.  So they are a really
   beautiful natural phenomenon, and I love the name too.  'Sun-dogs'
   just has a great sound to it.  And in that same weather forecast, the
   weatherman announced a meteor shower that night, and so my daughter
   and I went out on 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 a lot in
   travelling 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
   a lot of the thrust of that song is how things are transferred, like
   chain lightning or enthusiasm or energy or love are things that are
   contagious, and if someone feels them, they are easily transferrable
   to another person, or in the case of watching a meteor shower, it's
   made more special if there is someone else there.  '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, you know, it becomes
   exponentially a bigger experience, so response is a theme that recurs
   in several of the songs and was one of my probably dominant sub-themes
   in the writing." -- Neil Peart, on the _Rush - Profiled!_ CD

What is "The Pass" about?

   "There was a lot I wanted to address in that song, and it's
   probably one of the hardest ones I've ever written.  I spent
   a lot of time on it, refining it, and even more doing research.
   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
   [writing] 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, and 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 it's own rewards, but
   it's a lot of work to go to to write a song - having to read
   a dozen books and collate all your knowledge and experience
   just so you can write, you know, if it says the scientists
   were in the desert sands, well, make sure they were and why,
   and all that.  So with this song it was the same.  I felt
   concerned about it, but, at the same time, I didn't want the
   classic thing of 'Oh, life's not so bad, you know, it's worth
   living' and all that.  I didn't want one of those pat, kind
   of cliched, patronizing statements, so I really worked hard
   to find out true stories, and among the people that I write
   to are people who are going to universities, to MIT, and collecting
   stories from them about people they had known and
   what they felt, and why the people had taken this desperate
   step and all of that and trying really hard to understand
   something that, fundamentally, to me is totally ununderstandable.
   I just can't relate to it at all, but I wanted to
   write about it.  And the facet that I most wanted to write
   about was to de-mythologize it - the same as with 'Manhattan
   Project' - it de-mythologized the nuclear age, and it's the
   same thing with this facet - of taking the nobility out of it
   and saying that yes, it's sad, it's a horrible, tragic thing
   if someone takes their own life, but let's not pretend it's a
   hero's end.  It's not a triumph.  It's not a heroic epic.
   It's a tragedy, and it's a personal tragedy for them, but
   much more so for the people left behind, and I really started
   to get offended by the samurai kind of values that were attached
   to it, like here's a warrior that felt it was better
   to die with honor, and all of that kind of offended me.  I
   can understand someone making the choice; it's their choice
   to make.  I can't relate to it, and I could never imagine it,
   for myself, but still I thought it's a really important thing
   to try to get down."  -- Neil Peart, on the _Rush - Profiled!_ CD

What is "Scars" about?

   "I think it's part of everyone's experience that a certain
   record reflects a certain period of their life, and that's a
   pleasurable scar, you know, there's a mark left on you, a
   psychological fingerprint left by a very positive experience.
   And music is an easy one, but it translates to so many other
   parts of life where it's a given that, for instance, the
   sense of smell is one of the strongest forces in your memory,
   where a given smell will suddenly conjure up a whole time of
   your life, and again, it triggers another scar, it triggers
   another psychological imprint that was left by a pleasurable
   thing.  So it was just, again, the metaphor of scars and
   using it to say that, as the song does, that these are positive
   and negative aspects of life that have both left their
   mark.  Trying to make it universal, it's not autobiographical,
   and I took a whole autobiographical story of my own and
   made it one line, basically, but there are other things in
   there, parts of life that I've responded to in a sense of
   joy, and in a sense of compassion, and there's the exaltation
   of walking down a city street and feeling like you're above
   the pavement, and Christmas in New York is the perfect time
   to feel that, really, where you just get charged up by the
   whole energy and the positive feelings of it all."
     -- Neil Peart, on the _Rush -- Profiled!_ CD

What is the song, "Anagram (for Mongo)" about?

   "It doesn't really say one thing; it says a bunch of little things, and
   I think that's OK as long as it sounds good.  You know, as long as it
   rolls off the tongue kind of thing?  So I think different songs are
   different exercises, to a degree, and I think that if they feel like
   exercises, then there's something wrong with the song.  But if they
   can slip by in a kind of cohesive and fluid way, or if the effect is
   to be disjoint, and sometimes that's what you're after.  Sometimes you
   want it to be jarring and disjointed and nonsensical.  I think it
   depends on what you're trying to do, and whether you've achieved it in
   your mind, and whether it actually worked, and 'Anagram,' I think,
   did work, even though it's a game - the whole song is a game.  The
   choruses are quite smooth and quite interesting, and they have a nice
   sound to them and they kind of mock the whole song itself, so I think
   it was effective there."  -- Geddy Lee, on the _Rush - Profiled!_ CD

Has anybody noticed that  Anagram (for Mongo) contains lots of anagrams?

   Yes.  {I resisted putting this into the faql for a long time, since
          this seems to be about as shocking as pointing out that
          "The Big Money" is about, of all things, money, or that
          "Countdown" is about a launch.  But it shows up in TNMS
          every once in a while.  Dan}

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

   It's a joke from the movie _Blazing Saddles_, referring to the
   "Candygram for Mongo" scene, according to Geddy on Rockline 12/4/89.

What is "Red Tide" about?

   "It's a bit of a selfish concern, really.  I really love
   wildlife, and I spend a lot of my time in the outdoors when
   I'm not working, so that's important to me.  One of my main
   hobbies is cycling, so air quality kind of becomes of critical
   importance.  So it is a selfish thing, and it's something
   I've written about before, on the previous album - the song,
   'Second Nature'.  So, again, you want to say things in a way
   that is not only not preachy, but also not boring.  So finding
   the images like 'Second Nature' - I was really fond of
   that analogy of saying 'we want our homes to be a second
   nature', you know.  That was, again, taking a common phrase
   and being able to twist it to say what you want it to say.
   So, with 'Red Tide'  it was a little more adamant, because I
   think the time is a little more critical, and I had to be
   firmer about it, but still there are ways of getting at it,
   and to me there are jokes in there, too, that probably no one
   in the world will ever get, but in the first verse, when I'm
   talking about 'Nature's new plague' and then 'Lovers pausing
   at the bedroom door to find an open store' and all that, to
   me that was obviously referring to AIDS, but it was the irony
   of modern life, you know, where spontaneous love still certainly
   does occur, but here are two lovers who have just met
   in the middle of the night, and they have to go find a store
   before they can consummate their new relationship, you know,
   and to me, when I put those things down, I have a smile, but
   I know that it's one that will never be shared."
     - Neil Peart, on the _Rush-Profiled!_ CD

Questions planned for future editions of the FAQL, after Real Official
Sources (tm) provide correct answers:

Who does the RTB chat section?

Is there a "Gangster of Boats" trilogy?

   No songs other than "Where's My Thing?" are labelled as being part of
   this trilogy.

Is there a reason for the arrangement of the numbers on the dice on the RTB

Has anybody noticed that the "Gangster of Boats" is mentioned in the HYF
liner notes?



        Please send me your suggestions for additions or corrections.

 "All the world's a stage                      |
  And all the men and women merely players:    |       Daniel Alan Delany
  They have their exits and their entrances;  -- Wm. Shakespeare  (1564-1616)
  And one man in his time plays many parts."    _As You Like It_  II,vii,39


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