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Subject: 11/04/92 - The National Midnight Star #552  ** Special Edition **
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          The National Midnight Star, Number 552

                Wednesday, 4 November 1992
Today's Topics:
         Interview with Andrew MacNaughtan (Part 2)
Date: Wed, 04 Nov 1992
Subject: Interview with Andrew MacNaughtan
Behind the Camera Eye - Pt.2
[From "The Spirit Of Rush" Spring 92, #18]
An Interview with Andrew MacNaughtan

Welcome to the second and final part of our interview with band photographer
and tour P.A. Andrew MacNaughtan. So, what's in those Anthem vaults and what
happened to Geddy's double-neck? Read on...

Wonderful things have been happening especially working with Rush. Shooting
them in New York was a very big haul, a lot of preparation getting my
equipment there, getting back-drops painted and coming up with the concepts. I
got burnt out. I did too much. So this job came up and with the band being
friends of mine and Geddy being a great friend and having a lot in common, I
asked him if I could do it. He thought about it and asked if I was sure. It's
not the most glamorous job in the world, I'm basically their assistant. I'm
doing everything from looking after press to getting their laundry sent out.
As mundane as that. But it's a wonderful opportunity for me because I'm with a
very good friend and we're going good things like seeing wonderful museums
together. Also I have a pasttime, I have a passion for shooting architecture.

As well as shooting live stuff for Rush I'm doing things with my pet project.
I'm going to shoot some stuff hopefully for the next tour book. I might mount
a camera up on the tresses and shoot down on them or something weird like
that. Do it by remote control.

SOR: There can't be many photographers who have been on the road with them

AM: No, to do as long as I'm doing. It's a great opportunity and the band
wants me to take advantage of that. So basically, that is how I got to where I
am today, that's how it happened. So you know that the recording of most of
the _A Show Of Hands_ album was done in Birmingham. Do you know the reason for

SOR: Well the assumption being that they were the best tapes?

AM: Exactly. They recorded the entire tour. I know, that's one of my jobs down
at Anthem I have to look after all the tapes.

SOR: The entire _Hold Your Fire_ tour? They recorded every show?

AM: Basically, yeah. Well not every show, but all I know is I had to file
about fifty two-inch tapes. Our file room, our tape room down there is
crammed, behind all the security and the safe and all that there's tons and
tons of tapes...

SOR: How far does that go back?

AM: Right down to the very first single. I've pulled that out, the very first
single. It's on a quarter inch tape, like real basic.

SOR: Is it the same story for film footage? Have they filmed much over the

AM: Oh yeah. That's in a separate room.

SOR: The show in Buffalo in 1980 was filmed, we have a small clip of that.
Perhaps in the future that may surface somewhere?

AM: I don't know. I don't think so. Going back to _A Show Of Hands_, what
happened was that they were really nervous with the cameras in front of them
and trying to concentrate on their performance. It was very nervy for them.
So, after the first night... did they film one or two nights?

SOR: It was basically filmed at the second show at Birmingham, but the third
night they filmed the long shots, the camera's at the front of the stage had
gone, so had the boom camera.

AM: I'm not sure how it happened but, basically once the filming was over with
and they could play normally, without cameras, that is where they got the
material from. The incredible relief from filming, they just played so well.
They felt good up there.

SOR: One of the highlights of that was Alex's singing on "La Villa".

AM: He sang?

SOR: Well he tried to! The piece on the video where they put the radioactive
warning on screen. He just sang la la la la and made crazy noises. The
radioactive sign was put on the video to blurt out the singing, which was a
shame because it was really funny. A lot of people have asked us, What was it?
What was he saying? What did he do? Why have they cut it out? And it was Alex
just rambling on out of tune, having a good time. It was funny and people have
just completely missed the point not realizing it was just a joke! We were
watching Neil in Portland. He was having a scream. Near the end of the show,
he was pulling faces and smiling at Alex.

AM: Oh these guys are great. On the bus rides they have me peeing my pants.
Geddy's witty, Alex is hysterical. They're so funny.

SOR: Does Neil ever travel to the soundchecks with Alex and Geddy? Does he
always make his own way there on his bike?

AM: I can't comment on that.

SOR: A lot of people, probably wrongly, get the impression that Neil is
miserable, quiet and self-centered etc.

AM: What I can say is that basically he's a private person. It all relates to
the fine line between his life and what he does. He goes up there ad plays his
heart out for his fans. He also makes records for his fans and that's all he
feels he has to do. He has no obligation to do anything else. It's as simple
as that.

SOR: People expect it of him though, don't they?

AM: They do. Which is not fair. He writes letters; if he receives an
intelligent, good questioned, nice letter, he'll respond to it. Not in all
cases. In many cases he doesn't even get them because he probably receives
about 8,000 letters over a year. The letters he does happen to get, he does
respond to them. He's very good in that way, he'll be happy to send a letter;
as you guys experienced.

I read his letter that was published in your magazine, and his comment where
he said why is everybody cutting up what they do and criticizing this and
that. You know, you don't have to buy the record, I mean come on it's their
music. That was the only thing that he was a little bit discouraged by, which
he expressed in his letter. Why are people being so negative about what they

SOR: A lot of it was that people were frustrated that the band had not been to
Europe for five years and they thought what was going on? You wouldn't believe
some of the letters we receive. Neil was pointing out that there was a lot of
negative feeling in there, but some of the things we get are unbelieveable. We
try to balance it, keep it an open forum type thing. If people want to say
things then fair enough and leave it up to the reader's interpretation.

How do they, obviously they sit down and discuss what they are going to play
live, but was there any reason in bringing back "Xanadu" and "Red Barchetta"
etc. Why those particular songs, are they band favorites?

AM: All I know is they love playing some of the old songs. It's as simple as
that. They are so happy to hear the response that they are getting from
"Freewill" and "Xanadu". They thought it funny how the fans take a little
while to click on what the beginning of "Xanadu" is.

SOR: It's funny, knowing the set list and watching people sitting there
wondering what it is they are hearing, and when they realize they are up on
their feet going mad.

AM: Usually the trigger that Neil found was as soon as they hear the cow bell,
they go crazy. The band was thrilled to hear that, they're very happy that the
fans are responding well to it.

SOR: During "Scars", a screen comes down in front of the band, can you explain
the reason for it?

AM: No. I'd imagine only because it's so you can see the projected images from
the lights that are displayed on the screen.

SOR: Why have they dropped the videos for some of the songs, are they just
fed up with them, they've run their course?

AM: It's time to show some new stuff. As you know there are three new videos
in "Show Don't Tell", "Superconductor" and "War Paint".

SOR: What are you planning to do after the tour?

AM: I'm going back to work for Anthem and throw myself fully into my
photography. I have another album cover to shoot. I don't know if you know
that in Canada, Hugh Syme won the award for best album jacket for _Presto_. It
was nice that my photos were on that jacket. 

SOR: Moving on to other areas. The band are a collector's nightmare, there is
so much stuff out there. Not that the band has caused it. For _Presto_ the
multiple promo CD singles, press-kits and even the "Profiled" interview CD
etc. It's ridiculous!

AM: That's true. I'm very fortunate, the one thing I've collected is that
I bought Geddy's double-neck Rickenbacher 12-string!

SOR: We were wondering if they would bring them out for "Xanadu"?

AM: No. Geddy actually regrets selling it to me. He realizes it's the only one
and says he wishes he hadn't sold it to me. I do have a few things but nothing
I'm sure anywhere close as a lot of Rush fans have.

SOR: There's so much new and old stuff, and it's so hard to get. Bootlegs etc.
What are the band's views on stuff like that? We've heard that they don't
care about them, also that they hate them.

AM: They don't care. There's nothing they can do about the. Yes they're
illegal. I mean bootlegged merchandise is a very serious issue -- every show
that's played security is sent out to look for bootleggers, that is definite,
and they'll be arrested and charged. Simple as that.

SOR: What about LP's, videos and tapes and things like that?

AM: They do follow-ups on them. We have in-house lawyers at Anthem, so
continuous investigation is done into that all the time and people are caught
and charged. So, it does happen and yes the band doesn't care because it's
nothing to do with them; it's up to the legal department at the record
company. But yes they do care that they exist, because it's a poor
representation of what they do, and they hate seeing kids ripped off like
that. Rush fans shouldn't buy those things, there's no value to them, they
will not go up in value... I don't know you may disagree? But only to a
certain level.

SOR: Yes, some do. Some are quite valuable now and becoming harder to find and
are very expensive.

AM: I don't know why Rush fans bother because, yes it's neat to hear the early
stuff but, who cares? Perhaps it's just because my attitudes have changed now
towards the band.

SOR: We managed to get hold of the first single and LP on Moon.

AM: Very good. The band doesn't even have that.

SOR: Really? Do they have any idea how many of each were pressed?

AM: No, I don't know. The band doesn't even know. They just laugh, they can't
believe how much those things are worth. They go: "Why do they want to have
those records they are so old?"

SOR: The first single, the tracks are non-album cuts. Without a doubt it is
the rarest Rush record, simply because they are not on that first album.

AM: What's the earliest video you guys have?

SOR: Don Kirshner's Rock Concert from October 1974, three songs -- "Best I
Can", "In The Mood" and "Finding My Way". Also the _Hemispheres_ live promos,
"A Farewell To Kings", "Xanadu", "Closer To The Heart", "Anthem" and "Fly By

AM: You have those? So you've seen the "Anthem" and "Fly By Night" ones where
they are in front of the castle? The band doesn't even remember doing that. I
showed it to Geddy once and he just broke into laughter and just doesn't
remember when it was done.

SOR: Must have been early '75.

AM: Well, I should start getting ready as show time approaches.

SOR: Well thank you for your time, it's been very interesting and helpful
talking with you. Perhaps we could do it again on the next tour, hopefully in

AM: No problem, my pleasure. And you never know.


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End of The National Midnight Star Number 552

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