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Subject: 12/02/92 - The National Midnight Star #574

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List posting/followup:
Administrative matters:

(Administrative postings to the posting address will be ignored!)


          The National Midnight Star, Number 574

                Wednesday, 2 December 1992
Today's Topics:
                    Run From the Fans
                NEW stuff about Cygnus X-1
                     Tin Machine/SNL
                        X and Rush
                      Twilight Zone
               About that whip thing . . .
                  what Neil's wearing...
                     Misc. Ramblings
                        Ged on SNL
      Re: 12/01/92 - The National Midnight Star #573
    Canadian Air Force and Ged's fighter plane ride...
                  tapes, Rush show, etc
                   other favorite bands
        Yet more comments on Rush v. Christianity!
                      Recent musings
                       audio files
                         Red Star
       Christianity, Danforth and Pape, and Medley
            2nd Favorite band poll disclaimer!
              CD/Tape suggestions, shirt Q's
                         The Pass
         Religion/Freewill/Roll the Bones (long)

From: rush-mgr
Date: Wed, 2 Dec 1992
Subject: Administrivia

Since the holidays are coming up, this is just a reminder: if you are going to
lose access to your account or lose the account altogether, please send me
mail to have you removed before you leave. That way I don't have to deal with
all the bounces I'll get otherwise.

And thanks to all who've been putting their 2nd fav. bands as a one- or
two-liner in a bigger post.

- rush-mgr


Date:         1 Dec 92 16:25:02 CST6CDT
Subject:      Run From the Fans

A few points:

1.)   IF you are going to the Japan shows PLEASE MAKE PLANS TO BOOT
THEM!!!  It is not that hard or inconvienent to do this and there is
ample technology around to help out.  These shows will be valuable to
any collection.  Enoough said.

2.)  While I was in San Antonio ( p.s. I read the post from the guy
in S.A. that said he would like to help with the mastering of a
collwection, and since I will be in San Antonio over Christmas, I
thought I wouldb't mind donating a few of my boots to the cause.  So
if thsi is kosher, please get back to me soon.) I picked up a CD
called Run From The Fans and I'm sure I have seen info about it
posted here before - I just can't remember where or when.  Can
someone refresh my memory?  It is a Cd with several pictures in it
and the pictures are credited to "the staff of the U.M.O. Lakefront
Arena".  The CD itself has the cover picture of Geddy and Alex
printed on it - cool huh?  It has 10 songs on it and all of these are
soundboard quality - the best I'ver ever heard.  In fact I would go
so far as to compare it to the sound quality of ASOH. It does not say
where or when it was recorded, just that it was recorded "live in the
U.S.A. '91".  If you are interested, the store I bought this from
has about ten more of these (Music Express - North Park) and they
also have CD boots from every other band imaginable - Pearl Jam,
Soundgarden, R.E.M., Mettalica, Qeeensrhych, Marrilion, etc. etc.,
However that is all the Rush that they have and the owner stressed
that that was all he planned to get because he aony ordered fron
quality distributers.  So don't call and bug him for Over the Europe,
etc..  I don't know the phone number, but the area code is 512.  Oh,
the Cd was 34.95.

3.)  Rush is alive and well on the radio in San Antonio.  I heard in
the three days I was there:  Freewill, Dreamline, RTB, Cygnus,
Necromancer, Tom Sawyer, Limelite, The Pass, Superconducture and
Bravado.  I even heard one station play RTB while the other was
playing RTB.  Crazy huh?  YOu wouldn't know Rush was a band here in
Dallas, they only rarely play Tom Sawyer.



From: (Schwenke Roger Wyckoff)
Date:         30 Nov 92 17:43:43
Subject:      NEW stuff about Cygnus X-1

    Not to beat a dead star or anything, but I remembered some little
tid-bits of general relativity that may or may not be significant to
the plot of Cygnus X-1.  It just so happens that time runs slower in
a strong gravitational field than in a weak one.  Thus, if an observer
fell into a black hole (and managed not not to be crushed spindled
and mutilated by it's gravity) they would observe time outside to
hole to speed up increasingly as they got closer to the hole, going
by infinitely fast just as they passed into it.  Thus, they would see
the entire future of the universe before plunging into the black
hole (even if the universe is around for an infinitely long time) in
the finite amount of time(as measured by them) that it took to fall
into the hole.
    I'd like to emphasize that Cygnus X-1 has not been proven to be a
black hole, black holes have not been PROVEN to exist at all anywhere
there are simply a few good candidates and a lot of sensible physics
to show that they're a good possibility.  I know this fact doesn't
have much relation to Rush, but I saw many posts that were misleading
or dead wrong, and I like to help out were the truth is poorly lit
(and where is it less lit than in a black hole).
    Also, Stephen Hawkins name is not spelled hawking.
                                              ^     ^

            -Chalk up one more Rush fan/Physics major


Date: 1 Dec 92 19:37:29 EST
From: Owen.A.Gottlieb@Dartmouth.EDU
Subject: Tin Machine/SNL

 --- someone wrote:
Plus since Rush is obviously too big a band
to play SNL, why would Geddy play with the SNL band?
 --- end of quoted material ---

I guess that David Bowie and the Rolling Stones aren't as "big" as Rush,

The bassist of of Tin Machine is Tony Sales, a quite talented bassist who
happens to be the son of Soupy Sales.  I was priveleged enough to see Tin
Machine at the Academy last year (I stood ten feet from Bowie-it was wild.)

Anyway, I've thought for about a year now that TM and Rush would make an
incredible double bill.-

If you turned off by TM's appearance on Sat. Night Live-don't let it turn you
off.  Check out the Tin Machine 2 album-Great stuff.  Tin Machine 1 a bit
more hard core but still great stuff.

Decided I had to write, since I am listening to a bootleg of last years TM
concert right now.

Tin Machine
Reeves Gabrels
Hunt Sales
Tony Sales
"Dave" Bowie

Restless Young Romantic
studying for finals
at Dartmouth


Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1992 19:40:00 -0500 (EST)
From: Matthew James McDonald 
Subject: X and Rush


I'm fairly new to this list, and my apologies if this particular point has
been addressed before, but I thought it might be interesting in the midst
of all this discussion about Mr. Peart and Christianity to toss in a song
I've not seen mentioned before:  "Mystic Rhythms."

	The more we think we know about
	The greater the unknown
	We suspend our disbelief
	We are not alone ....

	We sometimes catch a window
	A glimpse of what's beyond
	Was it just imagination
	Stringing us along?

	More things than are dreamed about
	Unseen and unexplained
	We suspend our disbelief
	We are entertained

And the rest.  I'm not arguing that Neil is a Christian, or even a theist -- 
it's pretty clear from songs like "Roll the Bones" et alia that he
isn't -- but I wonder how other folks interpret "Mystic Rhythms"?

To me it seems to hint at a greater power out there than what we see,
know, or even understand.  Could it be... God?

To lay my cards on the table, I too am a Christian who enjoys the music
and lyrics of Neil and the gang.  But, as with most things in culture, I
pick and choose what I think works best; because I enjoy and agree with
the central organizing principle of "The Trees" (Socialism is destructive)
doesn't mean I can't enjoy and disagree with the central organizing
principle of "Roll the Bones."

A word to all the salivating anti-religionists out there:  As G.K.
Chesterton once said, in philosophy it's either Orthodoxy or Your Doxy,
and if you think organized religion's explanations don't work, the
burden's on you to come up with propositions that _do_.

For my part, I discard both Neil's and Ayn Rand's fulminations on such
matters as the interesting, but essentially shallow, interpretations that
they are.

I'd be interested to hear more on this matter, and especially on "Mystic

Matt  McDonald

Graduate School of Journalism
Columbia  University


Date: 01 Dec 1992 21:05:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Twilight Zone


     Just thought I'd share a story about "The Twilight Zone."  I had owned the
2112 CD for maybe a year before I got surround speakers for my stereo.  I never
noticed the whispering before, for some reason.  Then one night  I was sitting
at my desk with my new speakers hooked up and 2112 playing and I hear this
whisper behind me - "You have entered the twilight zone."  I jumped up!  "What
the hell is that?"  I yelled.  Because of where I was sitting in relation to
the speakers, it sounded like there was someone behind me in my room.  That was
a very scary few seconds!  While I'm on the subject, someone recently mentioned
that The Twilight Zone was based on specific episodes on the show of the same
name.  Any details on this?
     Two or three Fridays ago WNEW in New York played a segment of a Rush
concert.  Does anyone know when this concert was recorded?  I heard The Trees
and Closer to the Heart, which segued into Beneath, Between, and Behind and
taped the last two.
     To whomever mentioned that their ESL tape says "Zanadu" instead of
"Xanadu":  mine does too, and I never noticed it either!  I guess it's a typo
(my CD has it spelled correctly).  Does anyone know if the section from
By-Tor is called "TOMBES of Hades" or "TOBES of Hades"?  My CD and CD jacket
have it spelled two different ways.  Me, I don't know what a Tombe or a Tobe
is (although I know what a Tomb is, but that wasn't one of the spellings), so I
can't tell which is right.
     Fav groups - 1) Yes  2) ELP, Rush, Springsteen, Extreme.
     Well, that's all for my mish-mosh post.  Later!

Andy Acunzo

 ---worship lemmy, the only true god---


Date: Tue, 1 Dec 92 21:07:32 -0500
From: Jeffrey Lee Helman 
Subject: About that whip thing . . .

  Just to possibly clear up any confusion and (hopefully) supply
the correct answer, the whip sound is made with plywood. There is
a percussion instrument (we percussionists consider just about
anything an instrument) which is called, for lack of a better
name, a "whip". One takes a piece of plywood (or a two by four,
the type of wood simply determines the volume), and cuts two
narrow strips about 18 inches long. The strips are fastened
together on one of the ends with a hinge so the entire
contraption looks kind of like a folding 2 x 4. Handles (optional
accesory) can be attached to each piece to prevent smashing ones
fingers (a very painful experience, believe me!). To create the
whip sound, the two pieces of wood are seperated and then slapped
together. The overall effect can be modified by inserting a thin
strip of cloth between the slats, or, as someone already said, by
playing the "whip" near wind chimes.
  In my high school orchestra, we used the "whip" on a fairly
frequent basis. I have seen one used by various other orchestras
up and down the east coast. Though NP may very well have beaten a
stool into submission with a board, using the contraption was a
more likely method

                                -- Jeff Helman

P.S. Other favorite bands, for those who care, are the Beatles
and Yes.


Date: Tue, 1 Dec 92 21:25:01 -0500
From: (M Deras)
Subject: what Neil's wearing...

Hello all--
     Tony Moretta wrote a few days back asking what Neil is wearing on his
chest in the Vital Signs vid.
     It's called a PZM (pressure zone microphone). I can't explain how its
different from other mics (you techies can handle this one).
     I believe he did this to get a drummer's perspective on the sound of his
drums. Maybe he wanted to compare how the drums sounded from his point of
view as compared to a listener's point of view by listening to the playback
of the track. I don't know if the PZM track was mixed in with the regular
drum tracks on MP, and I don't know if it was ever used again by Neil (again,
techies feel free to clarify).
     Hey beloved rush-mgr, would it be possible to get shirts in other sizes
besides XL? I prefer M, but will compromise on an L.

     Tom Klem


Date: 1 Dec 92 19:46:00 CST
Subject: Misc. Ramblings

    Just some thoughts and comments..........

>    we used to have grand events in Texas called Texas Jams.
>We had people like Van Halen and Kiss headline all-day music
>fests.  One time, I can't be sure of the year, Rush head-lined
>the Jam.  People I know still talk about it...

>From: mikes@ucscb.UCSC.EDU (Rocinante)

>Well I have just got a Roll The Bones Music book today.... it says that
>the fist 5 secs of  Dreamline   are    "Surf Effects"
>Oh well and here I THOUGHT it was some sort of an automobile on the Highway,
>tho I still think that my thought fits the theme of the song..

  I still think it's a submarine moving through the ocean 'surf effects'.
  This is where the sonar blips originated from later on in the song
  (just kidding...).

  I agree with the automobile theory.  Especially the way the sound pans
  (moves) from right to left (or left to right, I can't remember).
  The sound reminds of the road noise from the tires.

>From: Christopher Mermagen 

>To whomever wrote the article about having a referrence to Pratt,
>Lerxt, and Dirk, maybe we could put the back of the signals album
>(or internal cover on CD) on the back of the shirt, you know the
>subdivision plan A borough of Schmeng.... kind of esoteric if you
>ask me... in fact, I know it would be hard to put on a shirt, but
>I think it would be awesome...

  I still have my shirt from the Signals tour and it has the
  subdivision plan on the back with 'New World tour 1982-83'
  at the top.  The front has the dog and the hydrant.

  IMHO this was one of the better looking shirts.  My favorite
  shirt is the RTB shirt with the boy kicking skulls on the front.
  I still get second looks from this one.

  P.S. For what it's worth:    Favorite band - Rush
                               2nd - Triumph
                               3rd - Yes

| Robert Graves                |
| "SYRINX SIGHT AND SOUND"          Lighting and Sound Reinforcement Systems |
| "We read about the exceptions, in the papers everyday" RUSH, Second Nature |


Date: 01 Dec 1992 21:24:30 -0600 (CST)
From: This Space for Rent 
Subject: Ged on SNL

	I've gotta get my .02$ in on this one...

	I think i have seen the guy that has been mentioned as
the possible-Geddy on SNL..  it'
                                s   NOT Geddy Lee!!!!
	He looks a lot like GL, even with the nose and cool walk... but
his hair is short and stringy, and he looks a little older than GL.

	You gotta wonder if he idolizes the Gedmeister, though. Do any of
you do any Geddyisms in real life?  I've always been afraid to try his
one-legged hop when i'm playing bass live....

Thomas Beaudoin


Subject: Re: 12/01/92 - The National Midnight Star #573
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 92 22:30:39 EST
From: Greg Stark 

Hello, I'm new on this list.

I am intrigued by the idea of producing our own cassettes, and have some
opinions about what should be included:

I think it would be pointless to produce cassettes containing songs we
already have, no matter how good they might be. I would be far more
interested in rare or unreleased material.

My personal preference is for sings in the time period aorund "The
Trees" and "La Villa Strangiata".

I also like the idea of making one cassette of longer songs and one of
shorter ones, because I prefer the longer -- Strangiata style --
songs, but I realize some people might feel it is a waste of space to
put four long songs on a side instead of eight short ones. This
solutions would allow us both to get the songs we are interested in.

Oh, and the "debate" about satanism is pretty musch exhausted. Hearing
the words SATANISM and TOLERATION shouted back and forth is getting
really boring.

Well, then thats my jump into this forum,
no signature, just:		-- Greg


From: (Terry Stedman)
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1992 22:54:14 -0500
Subject: Canadian Air Force and Ged's fighter plane ride...

        I just heard on the radio that the Canadian Air Force wanted
to use Where's My Thing as the background music for their commercials and
in return, Ged got a ride on a Canadian fighter jet.  Neat.  Hope this
hasn't been mentioned before.  I haven't been keeping up with TNMS as of

 I ) I I <~ I_I   Terry Stedman                          .sig copyright
 I \ I_I _> I I   Internet:   1992, T. Stedman


Date: 01 Dec 1992 22:52:12 -0500 (CDT)
From: Orchestral Bloodbath 
Subject: Welp...

Steve Fennell ---> You're down at A&M eh?  Comp. Engineer?  Try
getting the .VOC files...I know that Soundblaster will definately
play those.  And if you want to experiment, get the others; they
don't take that long to get (trust me; I was using the university
mainframe to get thos meg-long gifs in less than threee minutes).

Christopher Mermagen ---> I always liked the sound that Geddy
got with the Steinberg (something like that) headless.  It
just sounded right on P/G.  His old 'teardrop' is nice as
well...sometimes I wish Alex would take up the Les Paul again.

MMc - Matthew McGarity -


Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1992 23:55 EST
Subject: tapes, Rush show, etc

        Hello, hello!!  Here's my bit for the month:
                I'm willing to help distribute in the northeast area of the
US. I have access to multiple RDAT machines, and spend too much time in the 
studio as it is!!.  But I love the idea.

                To anyone who sent me an indication of interest in the copy
of my Rush special Dec. 6:  The show is 3 hours long, and if you're still
interested, I'll either need tapes to cover it, or $$.  Soon!

                My favorite band is Rush.
                My 2nd favorite is the indigo girls
                My 3rd is Van Halen.
                Go figure!



Date: Wed,  2 Dec 1992 00:09:32 -0500 (EST)
From: "Philip M. Simon" 
Subject: other favorite bands

I cannot rank my other favorite music artists, but here they are:

Neil Young, Queen, Metallica, and Tin Machine.

Phil Simon


From: Wayne Torman 
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 92 17:13:19 PST
Subject: Yet more comments on Rush v. Christianity!

The discussion of R v. C has been very entertaining and enlightening

Special cheers and thanks to:

Rob Halsey and Jonathan Sharp
For exemplifying what "Good Christians" SHOULD be (open-minded)!  And
really making me reconsider the tone of my last post. (Sorry, fellas!)

And to Russell Marks (Exceptional) and Mark Steph (Consummate!!!)
For elegantly and even-handedly making the Atheist case, which I,  too,
believe is the right choice!

(Wish I'd kept my mouth shut but I wasn't up to date yet, since  I
received 5 TNMS's in one day, read them out of order, and 'posted
hastily' before leaving work!  Had I read all of your comments,
gentlemen, I would have deferred to your well-stated opinions!)

I guess this says alot about the varying world views which could be
reconciled among those who differ in opinion (ahh, the joy of lyrics
which allow us the freedom to interpret and contemplate).  Maybe the
rest of the world ought to listen to Neil!

Wayne Torman

"And the meek shall inherit nothing....."    Frank Zappa


Date: Wed, 2 Dec 92 07:08 GMT
From: MaskullSoft 
Subject: Recent musings

Rush are Satanists? What a daft idea!

Once again, it's great to see such a reasable debate. All onesided
and in favour of Rush! That's no suprise, because if we didn't like
Rush we wouldn't be reading this, and so wouldn't voice the opposite
view. I've enjoyed reading the various comments anyway, as it
shows how well we listen and understand the lyrics, their strengths
and weaknesses, and most of all, the ideas.

BTW, ISTR that Steve Vai is very spiritual, even a little bit
Chistian. This is very obvious on Passion and Warfare. Now, for
those of you watching at home, which rock group does he play in? :-)

For those who wonder what Witch Hunt is about, read about HUAC,
or find a good documentary. There's a bio of Ed Murrow that cover
that blight on American history. Far too many think Walter Jon
Williams invented it for his short story, Witness.

The film, Front, starring Woody Allen is another avenue of research.
So, not much to do with Witches. That part is a ref to a play by one
of Marilyn Munroe's husband. There's a big clue. :-)

And now, something far more important, and potentially even more
controversial :-) from the FAQ:

> At 8:54 and 8:56 in "The Camera Eye," there are some mumblings

I'm not going to say what this is, but I can hear the words very
clearly on my hi-fi, and have done for years. Just get some decent
headphones and listen for yourselfs. The answer is *not* "no".

Here's a *big* clue: trying say "hello" to a London cab driver.
If you live in NY, don't try this at home. :-)

As for plywood: surely you should also wear goggles?

Could the papers at the top of the steps in the HYF picture be
copies of the NMS? Is this the 1001th time this has been said?
Why is not in the FAQ? I love the BEER sign on the restaurant!

Martin Rodgers


Date: Wed, 2 Dec 1992 02:36 EST
From: The Jungleman 
Subject: Basses

Someone wanted opinions about Geddy's bass sounds. I play bass. Personally,
I enjoy the Wal sound. Unforunately, they are all hand-made in England and
cost a fortune (I heard in the realm of US$10,000 depending upon options
selected...can anyone confirm this?)

I've played Rickenbachers 4001 and 4003. Only **one** thing holds me back from
purchasing a Rick 4001:  THEY HAVE NO SUSTAIN!! At first I thought it was the
particular 4001 I was trying...but after trying 4 or 5 different ones I realize
that they all lack a reasonable sustain time. Otherwise, they have a beautiful
sound. Unfortunately, no sustain is such a major drawback that I will not buy

I've played Steinbergers before, too. In fact, I'll be buying a used one in a
couple of weeks for about $600...not bad, eh!

 -Eric "Jungleman" Jung
"Throw off those chains of Reason and your Prison disappears." -N.P., 1978


Date: Wed, 2 Dec 92 10:42:55 GMT
Subject: audio files

Eventaully after weeks of trying I have been able to find and join TNMS. I was 
searching through the files available and found to my delight  the audio files 
of F.B.N and dreamline. I was just dropping you a line to say that these are 
great to have to play when you are banging your head against a computer that 
doesn't really like you.
 And now heres a quick question (or two) , are there any more of these audio 
files available on the network? and if so where and what are they? for I don't 
have the facilities available to put my own tunes on the old hell box (my 
nasty computer) myself.
		Thanks a lot.
				Mike. ( a hard working chemical engineer, not)


Date: Wed, 2 Dec 92 08:38:47 -0500
Subject: Red Star

Whoever said the Red Star on 2112 is not a pentagram is correct.  Most
"ancient nobles" wouldn't notice the difference though... However, the
pentagram didn't originate as a specifically Satanic symbol -- I read in
some history text that it was one of many symbols used by pagan tribes to
symbolize man -- the five points representing the five major appendages on
the human body -- head, arms, and legs.  Somewhere along the line the
symbol was inverted and adopted by some Satanists, why I don't know.
(Maybe they thought of an appendage that was more important than the head?)
Anyway, because of this origin of the five pointed shape we know today
simply as a "star", the choice Mr. Peart to use it to symbolize an
oppressive society bent on destroying the individual will of man smacks of
irony.  Intentional?  I doubt it, but it is interesting.

Well the discussion of Christianity has opened another question for me.
The whole concept of a single "philosophy" of Peart's lyrics is a bit
flawed.  I doubt he still believes with the same conviction what he
believed way back in the 70's or even early 80's.  My own philosophies
change -- I know I've changed a great deal since the 80's.  And I don't
think Peart would appreciate anyone locking his all his creations as a
whole down into an interpreted philosophy.... Let's just buy the records
and enjoy the music...

oh yeah, my other favorite bands --

2nd -- Yes
3rd -- U2
4th -- REM

all for now...
          =====> 8 more days!!  No more work!! <=====
                                               _____    _____
+---------------------------------+-----------|_   _|--|_   _|-------------+
|  Cam Abrams, ChE Co-op          |             \  \    /  /               |
|  NCSU/Dupont                    |               \  \/  /                 |
|   |                 \  /                   |
|          |                 |  |                   |
|  919-522-6215 o  919-756-2608 h |                _|  |_  (TM)            |


Date: Wed, 2 Dec 1992 10:03:44 -0500
From: Chad H Hutchinson <>
Subject: Christianity, Danforth and Pape, and Medley

I'll start off on a lower note just to get this out of the way.  You guys with
your Christianity in Rush discussions go a little overboard.  Don't get me
wrong, I'm not flaming anyone.  I just wanted to say "calm down a touch".

Trivia and a question:  Did you know that "Danforth and Pape" from La Villa
was named after an intersection in the city of Toronto?  (Check a map!)  If
anyone knew this beforehand, would you happen to know the significance of that
intersection?  Just curious.

I caught the Roll the Bones Tour at the Spectrum last December.  Though I
enjoyed it more than Woody Allen at a pre-school, I was disappointed to here
that during the brief summer leg of the tour, they changed the medley.  The
main issue here is that I heard that Cygnus X-1 was added, AND I MISSED IT.
Sigh.  If anyone has the complete song list, including the new medley, please
email it to me at  Thanks, I appreciate it.

"Bash the bastards, screw the feelers, make the healers feel the way I feel"



From: Wayne Torman 
Date: Wed, 2 Dec 92 08:46:09 PST
Subject: 2nd Favorite band poll disclaimer!

Hi all.

Uhh...... I started this 2nd favorite band thread and...uh... Did
anyone really want me to keep track?  It seems so far that the answers
are statistically meaningless, though the nominations are fascinating
in their own right (well at least IMHO). Soooooo.....Unless there is
clamoring I don't plan to tabulate..... but I for one am certainly
enjoying the responses. Thank you folks!

To: Mike Trombley
Post some of the lyrics from the mystery album side.... someone's bound
to recognize them.

To: Anna Matyas
I second your motion that "2112" is their High Water Mark. (This after
about 16 years as a fan and 15 years as my ABSOLUTE favorite band.)
Don't worry, though... the pleasures before you are rich and sweet and
deep, and most of their albums do come close to the same level of
quality (IMHO especially Roll The Bones, Hemispheres, Grace Under
Pressure, and Permanent Waves).  Hold on to your hat!

And now:
At the risk of third degree burns, I'd like to say that Signals is
_NOT_ one of my favorite albums.... in fact it is second from the
bottom after "RUSH" (of course I still like them both VERY much, and in
fact, Digital Man and Analog Kid are two of my very favorite songs!)
I've been very surprised lately at the outpouring of positive feelings
about the album. I'm curious..... did most of you who find Signals to
be their best album get into Rush more recently?  It seems to me that
if you were looking back as a fan who didn't "discover" them until the
mid-80's, you might like Signals better than as the long-awaited
follow-up to the Moving Pictures, Permanent Waves, Hemispheres triple
play.  For _me_ , after waiting so long to hear something new from
them, Signals seemed to be a disappointment, and I've never fully
gotten that taste out of my mouth!  Do any of you long-timers out there
agree with me, or do I just have a lasting bad impression for no reason?

If you MUST flame me, please do it personally, but I'm much more
interested in shared and open comments about this opinion.


Date:        Wed, 02 Dec 92 12:40:37 EST
From: "Cygnus X-2 (Gerry Good)" 
Subject: CD/Tape suggestions, shirt Q's

Hello all,
A few issues ago, someone listed a number of singles that he had that he
thought would be good for the CD/tape that we are discussing.  However,
I would like to say this about that idea...although those versions are
different, in most cases they will sound the same only shorter.  I guess
I am more partial to _totally_ unreleased tracks or rare live tracks
than short versions of normal tracks.  I guess I am in agreement with
the others who think it should be a tape.  I like CDs better but the
convenience and ease of production of tapes would make it cheaper and
easier to do (not to mention making it accessible to those without CD
players.) It could also be produced in a much shorter amount of time.
As far as cost, a good 100-minute tape costs about $2.50, so tack on
maybe 50 cents for the person who duplicates and mixes the tracks and
$1-2 for postage, that's a tape for $5.  Also it would make it easier to
make two tapes or even more if we come up with that much material.
    Now I have a question for Meg...
you mentioned that initially about 100 (right?) shirts would be made.
So, if all of the shirts are gone by the time I send you my check, will
there be more made?  I know there are quite a few more than 100 people
on the list.  Thanks!

  [ If I need more shirts, you can be sure I'll order them!	: rush-mgr ]


Date: Wed, 02 Dec 92 11:12:04 PDT
From: mattb 
Subject: The Pass

          In the last issue, Eric Alexander points out that Christ's
          death was not suicide and that suicide is not martyrdom.  I
          agree, and I'll add that The Pass certainly does not "have
          an extreme distaste for martyrdom", as one reader suggested
          it did.  The song is clearly about suicide and suicide only;
          there are only a few possible references to martyrdom:
          1)"martyr without a cause" -which seems to support the idea
          that the song is not about martyrdom, for it's truely
          impossible to be a martyr without a cause.
          2) "the act of a noble warrior/who lost the will to fight"
          -this suggests a giving up, not death with a cause. A noble
          warrior may be a martyr, but not when he loses the will to
          fight(implying that he realizes his dreams will never be
          3) "Christ, what have you done?" -maybe the double meaning
          was intended, but I don't think any reasonably sane person
          would hold the opinion that "[Christ] made surrender seem
          alright".  This may be religious satire from Neil, but
          unless Neil is quite spun, I don't think it's intended as an
          anti-Christ message.  Even if Neil is an atheist or thinks
          that all Christians are hypocrites, or whatever, I still
          don't think that he could see the message of Christ's words
          or actions as harmful in any way other than perhaps giving
          people a false sense of hope.  Yeah, yeah, somethin',
          somethin', the bottom line is that the song is about the
          tragedy when one takes his own life because he thinks it's
          the only way out of his unhappy situation.

          Enough with that, second favorite band: it's a tossup
          between Wang Chung and KC and the Sunshine Band, with
          Erasure right there too.

           "Anything taken too seriously becomes a devil.  Do I take
          baseball to seriously?"
                                  -Ray Kinsella     _Shoeless Joe_



Date: Wed, 2 Dec 92 14:24:29 -0500
From: (Gregg Jaeger)
Subject: Religion/Freewill/Roll the Bones (long)

>From: "LaVllaStrngiato (Krauss,Eric B)" 
>Subject: Religion!

>Why do people suppose that Neil Peart is specifically "anti-Christian"?  It
>is obvious to me that Peart is a humanist, dismissing abstract and
>nonsensical (to him and others) concepts of fate and unquestioned faith.

I think you've put your finger on the important thing: he is dismissing
_nonsensical_ concepts of fate. That is, he is dismissing the
nonsensical ideas of fate that many people are prone to believing
despite the obvious contradiction between those ideas and basic common
sense. As I said in yesterday's TNMS there may be a sort of fate that
is compatible with freewill; but it is certainly _not_ one the basis of
which people would be led to make no effort to change the way their
lives are going.

We all know that we can make choices and that those choices have
tangible consequences many of which we can reliably estimate. But
many people think things "there is nothing I can do for myself -- I'm
destined to fail to achieve any goals I might set for myself." And this
is obviously a nonsensical way of thinking about life. Some people
might think that their religion is telling them that. If they do think
so then either they don't understand their religion or that religion
contains some nonsense. But they may also believe such things
irrespective of religion too. If they have a self-image problem,
for example, they might think about this abstract concept of fate
in order to rationalize the failures resulting from a lack of

>From: Wayne Torman 
>Subject: Christianity v. Rush

>At the risk of oversimplifying, I would have to say that the primary
>objection that Christians MIGHT have to Rush lyrics is that Neil calls
>any sort of pre-ordained or "divine" ideas into question  (very
>effectively, I might add!) and this is STRICTLY against the religious dogma!

Yes. It is clear how some people might take ideas of pre-ordination
Neil is criticizing as being those contained in Christianity (or their
favorite religion); they might even be wrong about that too! It's
not clear to me that Neil has criticized _all_ sorts of preordination,
as the nature of his lyrics criticize specific sorts of preordination,
as I mentioned above.

But one thing _is_ clear to me. There are many people
with small minds _trying_ to teach religion out there who can
do a fine job of miscommunicating ideas (not that I'm claiming that
all religions contain only thoroughly sensible doctrines).
If Neil criticizes nonsense concepts it's great, whether or not
they _are_ part of religion or whether they were part of
religion-miscommunicated or not.

>If you are interested in the well-known philosophers with whom Neil's
>beliefs most closely coincide, I would strongly recommend that you read
>Nietzche or Sartre.

I'm not sure I agree that Neil's ideas are quite so existentialist
as those of these two, but I'd second the recommendation of reading
Nietzsche to anyone (not that I'd recommend agreeing about all that
much!). There is a nice little book called _The Portable Nietzsche_,
edited by Kaufmann, containing a nice collection of Nietzsche's
writings, and a book called _Irrational Man_ by William Barrett
which discusses the existentialist tradition and it's "sources".
You can find both of these in most used bookshops for about $3 each.

>Or you could just reread the lyrics themselves and
>understand that what Neil is saying is that life is ONLY what we make
>it and all the prayer, pomposity and piousness won't make a DAMN bit of

"Pomposity"? Did anyone mention pomposity? Did Neil use the words
`prayer' or `piousness'?

I'm not sure that Neil is quite saying this, though he can certainly
be seen as saying that prayer and piousness are certainly not going
to be sufficient for one's being able to achieve one's life-goals.
But I don't see him telling anyone _not_ to pray or to be pious either
(though I think that he _is_ saying these things are not sufficient).

>Best Examples IMHO: Freewill, Roll the Bones ("for the want of immunity
>or a bowl of rice").

"for the want of immunity or a bowl of rice" is an important `argument'
for anyone to consider. But I don't see how it supports the idea
that religious practice "won't make a damn bit of difference". On the
contrary, a real concern for others (for example) _can_ make a
difference with regard to AIDS and starvation. Funding for AIDS
research, and Red Cross/Red Crescent food and UN action in Somalia,
does make a difference. (I realize that Neil was probably aiming more
at the old question of God's allowing suffering to exist _at all_
here, but this is not the way the present post is using the lyrics).


Mark Steph (I believe) wrote:
>>The Pass
>>  According to Peart, this song is about suicide.  But it seems to also
>>  go deeper than that.  It seems to also have an extreme distaste for
>>  martyrdom.  The closing lines seem to implicate Christ as the one
>>  that made surrender seem alright.  There is "no hero in [his] tragedy."

I (Gregg) responded:
>Sure. This has been discussed at length on TNMS before, with a even
>split between the two interpretations of `Christ' here. (again I think
>both meanings were intended -- clearly Neil is intelligent enough to
>realize that both were possible, and he makes sure to prevent obvious
>possible erroneous interpretations of his lyrics  -- he's said so).

Then Eric Alexander  posted (Subject: The Pass):
>Wait a minute! I think we need to explore the question of whether
>Christ's death was a suicide.


> According to the Bible, it wasn't. Rather,
>it was a murder and a betrayal of God's kingdom on earth.

I'm not so sure it wasn't a suicide _and_ a murder; it's pretty
suicidal to put yourself in a position to be killed. It was
always my understanding that (Christianity holds that) Christ
_knew_ how things were going to go and let them go that way.

>Surrender has a in, you are giving up what you believed
>in before or are no longer willing to fight for it. The song says that
>to die in vain is not to be a hero. I agree. If you kill yourself, you have
>died only for yourself. Christ died for more than himself. Suicide is NOT
>martyrdom. There is a cause involved in martyrdom, but only self in

This is a rather more complex way of viewing things, but I don't see
why martyrs can't be suicidal. Martyrdom is death for the cause, period,
isn't it? Christ (presuming he actually was crucified, died, etc.)
may have had "higher" motivation for allowing himself to be killed
(most martyrs think they do) but that certainly doesn't preclude his
doing so from being reasonably viewed as suicide.

I agree that the song says that to die in vain is not to be a hero.
But it can also be understood as saying Christ "set a bad example"
by "making surrender _seem_ alright". But again, Neil is allowing
the listener to decide who the "someone" who "set a bad example"
is. As I said I personally think Neil _does_ see Christ as setting
a bad example (but Neil is also mute about the "metaphysical"
implications, or lack thereof, of Christ's martyrdom, letting us
make our own decision about the Christian interpretation of it);
but Christ might have set a bad example _incidently_ -- that is not
the _issue_ of the song -- the issue of the song is the _perception_
of the act of suicide and suicide-as-martyrdom by those _considering_

So I just don't see Neil as being particularly antireligious.
He seems more of a _sceptic_ to me, and one that's not afraid
to risk stepping on the toes of the hypersensitive. And somewhat
_contra_ what Wayne said (with regard to Christianity) it is not part of
_all_ religious "dogma" that one must not be sceptical.


Gregg Jaeger (jaeger@buphy)  Dept. of Physics (and Philosophy), Boston Univ.
"You see, the quantum mechanical description is in terms of knowledge" -Peierls
"One can _not_ put the psi-function... in place of the... thing" -Schroedinger
                   _De gustibus non disputandum_, NOT!


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