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Subject: 03/05/93 - The National Midnight Star #638
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          The National Midnight Star, Number 638

                   Friday, 5 March 1993
Today's Topics:
              Lyrics to Didacts and Narpets
                    Convention musings
        03/04/93 - The National Midnight Star #637
        03/04/93 - The National Midnight Star #637
                 Freewill vs. Determinism
                    The Body Electric
                       Re: CD spine
              Saving a side of the new album
               Random ramblings from Oz...
                    Just a thought...
                   origin of NMS title
             Re: Gedster v. Dylan/Springsteen
                      X versus Y, DT
              More on Freewill and freewill
                Neil Peart and Philosophy
                 free will/rtb/philosophy

Date: 04 Mar 1993 18:16:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Lyrics to Didacts and Narpets

Fellow Rush Fans,
 Greetings from the corn belt. There has been some discussion recently
as to what the lyrics to Didacts and Narpets really are. Well, here's
my guess, I agree with the transcription in the first few lines, but
it has always sounded to me that the last two lines went: Left-Right
Left-Right. This may seem strange, but I think that it is a bit
of Rush production humor since it corresponds with the left and
right channels in stereo. So, dust off that CoS jacket and listen
again and see what you think (Dan, I see potential for a poll here)
about it.
                                    Blair A. Stephenson
"With the Heart and mind united/
 in a single perfect sphere"


Date: Thu,  4 Mar 1993 19:39:14 -0500 (EST)
From: John Michael Santore 
Subject: Convention musings

>This is awesome, whatr a great excuse to go visit the Great White North,
>and during such an awesome time of the year!!!  Anyways...I think
>that the convention should also include a room were rare items are
>displayed, or how about a record convention downstairs?  thats what
>other fan conventions do...I have many rare posters and records and
>I'll be delighted to specially showcase them and explain my fellow
>fans the origins and legends of each item!

Based on price, meeting room space, and whatnot I can't really get
another room to display stuff... plus I don't want to be responsible for
security ("SHIT someone stole my autographed copy of the 2112
poster.....") or legally responsible for any sort of bootleg materials.
I'd say bring this kind of stuff with you, show it around, have a blast
intereacting with other Rush fans, but I can't really organize a formal
display.  In fact I totally encourage people to bring 'legitimate
memorabilia' to trade and what not, ON YOUR OWN.  Like I said I WON'T be
responsible for bootleg stuff... trade at your own risk... Anthem
Records DOES know about the convention.

As far as a record convention.... Those are kind of a bitch to organize
in conjunction with a Rush conventions.... *I* am not even gonna mess
with that... I'm sure there's plenty of record stores and stuff in
Toronto to pick up Rush stuff...

>any ideas write here or to me :

and CC em to me (, so I can try and accommodate them
if possible.

I'm not trying to sound stuffy, or anal, but I'm trying to keep the
convention as simple and effective as possible.  Feel free to contact me
with any questions and comments.

                                John Santore

Kill Michael Eisner... Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.... what a joke!

The Abbreviated .sig of John Santore (

Slap a cool ascii Flyers symbol here

	[ Email to for a copy of this rather
	  extravagant .sig file		:)		:rush-mgr ]	


Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1993 19:41:12 -0500
Subject: 03/04/93 - The National Midnight Star #637

|Funny thing:  ZZ Top used a drum machine in "Sleeping Bag."  Bet Rush would
|never do that. . .

Not on a record, at any rate...

The musical composers have been known to use them when Neil isn't
handy. :)

Well we sat for hours on the crimson sand (Yes, 1987)


Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1993 19:44:37 -0500
Subject: 03/04/93 - The National Midnight Star #637

|Please ignore the spelling, I don't have my reference album next to me but
|YYZ lost to The Police's _Behind My Camel_ off of _Zenyatta Mondetta_.

Funny a song written by Andy Summers, one of Alex's influences, would
beat him -- seems in a way kind of fitting. The two songs are so
wildly opposite of one another, though...

The hall runs like clockwork (Genesis 1974)


Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1993 18:36:50 -0700 (MST)
From: Guy K Mcarthur 
Subject: Freewill vs. Determinism

	I think your interpretation of the lyric of freewill (in NMS) is
dead on, at least that's how I always interpreted it. I think that it is
safe to say that Neil is an atheist, judging from the content of many
songs. But determinism does not imply atheism, as many religions state
that life is, at least in part, pre-determined.
	The big issue with the song is that the lyrics as printed are diffe
rent. In the liner, the chorus is printed as (something like) "If you
still have not chosen, you cannot have made a choice." This, of course,
means the exact *opposite* of what Geddy sings. I just discovered this
today, after reading about it in So I am very confused as
to what Neil actually wrote-- was it an error and Geddy sang it the right
way, or was the printing right, and Geddy just sang it that way???
	I don't know how it was sang in concert, so I don't know the
answer. If you find out, please contact me!!!


Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1993 18:46:35 -0700 (MST)
From: Guy K Mcarthur 
Subject: The Body Electric

	Just a brief edification:
"Ii sing the body electric" is from Leaves of Grass by poet Walt Whitman,
borrowed for the (great) collection of short stories by Bradbury
(incidentally, the first one "Kilimanjaro" is about Hemingway, who's also
featured in "Losing It" by Rush).
	The use of "The Body Electric" by Peart would have to be a pun,
since the song's about an android (electric body) something not conceived
of in Whitman's time.


Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1993 19:54:37 -0600 (CST)
From: MuffinHead 
Subject: Re: CD spine typed:

>       Why not just turn the cd case over?  Maybe I'm a slob,
>      but there doesn't seem to be any great harmonic convergence
>      when all my cd's are facing one direction, so I don't
>      worry about it...

   'Cause I hate taking out a CD and having to turn it over. :) No,
really, I can't stand it when a CD, tape, floppy disk, whatever isn't the
way I *want* it to be in it's drawer. Bugs the hell outa me.

   To sorta stay on topic: If any drummers out there want a transcription of
Neil's 4 fills in Tom Sawyer, I just sent it to last night.

(One more thing. It's "Zenyatta Mondatta".)

___________________________________________________________________________          -=<*>=-    


From: Wayne Torman 
Date: Thu,  4 Mar 93 18:25:52 PST
Subject: Semi-retraction

To: Robert Miner

Excellent, succint, elegant rebuttal of my "Peart as Philosopher"
comments.  I stand modified... as follows:
Neil is NOT a philosopher in that he has not really opened NEW avenues
of questioning existence.  His value is in expounding on these concepts
and forwarding them to the masses in order to awaken the vert same
thought processes that philosophers attempt to bring out in people.  It
is the popularization that is his accomplishment.  Thank you for the

The flip side of this, of course, is which has more impact?.... a
philosopher who's work is relatively unknown, or a great thinker who
paraphrases those philosophies to induce a wider audience to explore
these concepts for themselves?  I think Peart wins on a "take it to the
people" score over any of those you mentioned, including Sartre and
Rand.  Neitzche may still be in the lead, though!

Now the dark side......

How can you say Roll the Bones is about Evil?  You completely took me
by surprise on that one!! To me it is about apathy vs. exercising your
Freewill...  it's about accepting what life deals you and making the
very best you can of it... it's about not questioning that which it
serves no purpose to question... it's about not accepting the
unacceptable.  Overall it's about POTENTIAL and working to acheive it!

Thank you Robert.

And now for something completely different......
I knew some folks would jump to the defense of Dylan and Springsteen,
and rightly so.... you should defend that which you value!  I still
think however, that the majority of Rush fans would not count them at
the top.  I was not trying to slam D&S, rather to use them as easy comparisons.

I would have to surrender, though, on the idea that they don't show
enough conviction. They do.  I guess it's just their singing style that
spoils it for me!

Now if you want to talk about lack of conviction.... we COULD talk
about Dream Theater's vocalist!
And if we wanted to talk about REALLY bad singers, we COULD talk about
Neil Young!

(Please don't feel the need to slam me back on these, I'm only giving
my opinion and I KNOW that yours is the opposite!  ;-)  )

Right now, I've gotta take off..... I'm going over to the World Trade
Center to see what's shakin'!


Date: 4 Mar 93 21:29:13 EST
From: Philip.S.Augur@Dartmouth.EDU (Philip S. Augur)
Subject: Saving a side of the new album

I have one problem with Ben Radford's plan for saving one side of the album.
Let's say he decides to save the B side, and then all the releases are from
the B side--is he going to stop listening to the radio? It's a neat idea
though. Good luck Ben.

One thing semi related. All last summer I used to change one of Rush's songs
around a little, as I was driving a "brilliant black Alfetta." Alas, the Alfa
Romeo bit the dust, so I'll have to wait until I buy the new barchetta that
Maserati's come out with before I can *really* get into that song again.
Only, I'm not certain that Maserati is introducing the new car to the Staes
(my subscription to Motor Trend has run out so I'm not up on my car lore).


Subject: Random ramblings from Oz...
Date: Fri, 05 Mar 93 12:32:00 PST

Yo dudes and dudettes,

   Several comments as I'm eating lunch and reading the latest NMS...

    Firstly I would just like to say how JEALOUS I am of all you American
froods who can go to that convention. I would DEFINITELY be there if I could,
but Sydney is a little too far to swim from...bummer. Maybe if there are
enough Aussies we can have one too!!

    Secondly, Benjamin Travis Radford  writes:

    "I'm going to do something on this next Album which many
    of  you will  probably think is  stupid and  childish.   I am going  to
    listen to only side one of their next album.   I want to save one album
    side of songs for after RUSH is gone."

    I think this is a VERY good idea and I've heard it before. I know somebody
who LOVES Sibelius (so do I actually, SIbelius is the Rush of Classical
music!) and he has bought stuff that he HASN'T listened to in order to
preserve the life of new Sibelius stuff (well, not NEW, but unheard) so he can
treat himself everynow and again. Cool.

Q:  CAN YOU ACTUALLY _DO_ IT THOUGH??  Bets down please... :))

    Thirdly... I like the STORM/BEER/LOUD STEREO/BALCONY concept. I've got all
4 so I'll do it down here next time we get a big one!

    Lastly, I am pissed off to hear The Police beat Rush in ANY sort of
musical category, especially Rock Instrumental. If there is ONE thing I hate
about the music industry it is COMMERCIALISM. The Police were more
commercial....end of story. Also, I hav little respect for Grammy's or OScars.
This was finally set in concrete when Round Midnight beat The Return of the
Jedi for best film soundtrack. I nearly cried! John Williams put that piece
together PERFECTLY - a work of musical art (USe of motifs especially).

Anyway, my A$0.02556 worth (current exchange rate!)



From: (Jamie E. Bruhn)
Subject: Just a thought...
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 1993 22:04:34 -0600 (CST)

Hey gang,

I just thought I'd mention something you all may know already but I
thought it was cool. I was sitting up late last night (4ish) doing some
homework and I had the Presto disc in my player on repeat. I went through
it about 4 times and every time I heard "Available Light" I heard more
and more new things I have never heard before. You have to listen real loud
to hear some really cool background licks by Alex. Just thought they were
cool! Anyway....Kudos to those involved with the convention. It all sounds
great and I am going to try to make it even though I am a poor college

Hope to see you all there!!!

-Jamie Bruhn

"The Camera Eye"             ===
                           =     =
                           =  0  =
                           =     =


Date: Thu, 4 Mar 93 23:37:50 EST
From: Stimpy 
Subject: origin of NMS title

Hi, regarding the origin of the NMS title, as mentioned yesterday, it did
come from Red Lenses, however I have one more thing to add.  This afternoon
I was watching reruns of SCTV and they had a skit similar to SNL's weekend
update, except they did outrageous stories in a spook of tabloids.  Well, the
name of their "news show" was none other than The National Midnight Star!
Needless to say I was very excited about this discovery.  We all should know
of the association between RUSH and SCTV, like how Geddy sang on Take Off,
and the RUSH bumper sticker on Bob &Doug Mackenzie's van in Strange Brew.
I haven't seen this connection mentioned before, so I hope I am the lucky
discoverer ;).  Just felt that it was my duty to share this.
later, Dan


Date: Fri, 5 Mar 93 07:02:51 EST
From: (Mark Saleski)
Subject: Re: Gedster v. Dylan/Springsteen

Wayne Torman  writes:

> While Neil's lyrics are far from the
> ONLY great part of Rush, I think many on TNMS would agree that lyrics
> are the ONLY great thing about Springsteen and Dylan.  This is NOT
> meant to insult S & D fans, but I would guess (Hey, Dan, how about a
> poll?) that MOST Rush fans would rate S&D fairly LOW on their list of faves!!!

ok, i'll bite....i love dylan but he's definitely below rush on my list...on
the other hand, Springsteen is (hold on to your hat) _above_ Rush!!! Now,
comparing the music of Rush vs. Springsteen is kind of silly, because they
come from what i think are completely separate genres of rock. i've always
liked the way Springsteen paints images with words (and introduces characters).
this isn't to say that he's any better (whatever that means) than neil...just
different. as far as live performances goes i have to again give the edge to
Springteen. i've seen both Rush and Springsteen 3 times each...Rush on Presto
and twice on Roll The Bones....Springsteen on The River and twice during the
latest's an impossible thing to describe to someone _why_ a
Springsteen show is so good ...i mean, there are no special effects, the
lights are pretty's just that there's this _presence_... a person
has to experience it to see why...

before you crank up your email flamethrowers, you've got to consider that i'm
a whole 31 years in age and may be "old" compared to  a lot of the members of
this list! ;-)

ok, enough rambling. back to work and my Living Colour/Stain CD.

 Mark Saleski                                     
"Unfortunately, life contains an unavoidable element of unpredictability"
        -David Lynch "The Angriest Dog in the World"


Date: Fri, 5 Mar 93 08:08:11 -0500
From: (Karl F. Bloss)
Subject: X versus Y, DT

Why are we always discussing so and so _versus_ that and the other?  I like
both ZZ Top and Rush for the different types of music they play.  Their
percussion styles fit their music and I take it at face value.  How about
a different thread?

Not to dilute the Rush issues, but Dream Theatre (don't flame me for
mentioning them <:) ) will be in Allentown, PA at the Zodiac on 3/9.



From: Mark Landin 
Subject: More on Freewill and freewill
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 93 8:44:12 CST

I thought would add my dubious opinions on the Freewill/freewill debate.

First, which lyrics are right? Well, you get to decide; it's Neil's way of
letting you exercise your freewill.

As far as the more general debate of freewill vs. determinism, the entire
issue dissolves into one idea: whichever is right, it LOOKS like freewill to
you and me. If I have a choice between A and B, and I choose one (or don't
choose at all), it still feels to me like I made that choice. No one or nothing
else forced me to make that choice in a way that I can detect. We still feel
like we have control of our bodies and our minds. Let's say that I am fated
to choose option A. How do I KNOW that I was fated? I don't. It looks as
though I got to make that choice on my own.

Lastly, I'm not sure I agree with the claim that there is no room for God in
Determinism. I really haven't done a lot of reading about determinism, but
if everything is predetermined, who or what determined it? If you say that
everything is determined by the laws of physics, then people's behavior should
be scientifically provable and predictable. So there must be some other force
or entity determining everything -- something that is clever enough to script
out every action by every person ever born, plus all actions and interactions
down to the atomic and quantum level. Then that force or entity must be 
powerful enough to make the actions in the script come true. Sounds like a God 
candidate to me. In fact, freewill has much less of a need for a God than deter-
minism. If we are always making our OWN decisions without interference or
influence from any other force, then there goes one reason to believe that
God or a godlike being exists.

So was it predetermined that I would write this? Was it predetermined that Neil
would open this big can of worms? I think we both chose to do it on our own.
But there's no way to tell......
*  Mark C. Landin					Northeastern St. Univ *
*					Tahlequah, OK *


Subject: Neil Peart and Philosophy
Date: Fri, 05 Mar 93 11:19:47 -0500

I don't have anything to say about Robert Camp Miner's entire flame in
NMS #637, but I do however agree with him in that overanalyzing Mr. Peart's
lyrics to make them more philosophical than they actually are is wrong.
I, myself know a little bit about philosophy. I definitely have to agree
that he doesn't quite fit in with some of the great modern minds of this
century. He is , however, very talented in what he does which is write
lyrics. For me, as a musician, he is also very inspiring. I also can
relate to many of his lyrics in my own life. I do not, however, believe that
he spends his days completely consumed with philosophical problems as
many of us would like to believe. If this were the case, he would more than
likely have no time for the fantastic music that he can produce. I think
that we should just take him as he is: An inspiring lyricist and an entirely
too talented, fantasic drummer. If the lyrics can have a meaning for you,
then that's great. If the music means more to you than the lyrics, then that's
great too. That's what is so great about music, everyone can like the same
piece of music for different reasons. We should try to get away from labeling
Mr. Peart without all of the information available to us. For now, let's
just sit back, relax, and enjoy the benefits of being fans to three of the
most talented musicians of our age.

-Joe Borgia,
School of Information Studies, Syracuse University

-"Can't we find the minds to lead us closer to the heart?"-
                                              -Neil Peart


Date: Fri, 5 Mar 93 14:03:07 GMT-0600
From: (Jeremy Todd Strzynski )
Subject: free will/rtb/philosophy

in the last few posts there seems to be alot of discussion concerning
Neil's philosophy, and how well he communicates it in his lyrics.  i
think a basic point must be made in all of this, and that is that
Neil is a lyricist, not a philosopher.  he most certainly has a
philosophy that comes across in his lyrics, but i myself have a
personal philosophy, as i'm sure most of you do, and i'm nothing but
an economics student (and nobody e-mail me asking me what i think of
clinton's program.  i don't know--that's why i'm a student).  Neil's
job is to write good lyrics, and i for one think he does.
	thus i think it is pointless to discuss Neil's position as a
philosopher--he has none.  but i think it is worthwhile to discuss
his philosophy, and i intend to do that, however shortly, now.  if
any of you would like to discuss this more in depth, by all means
e-mail me.  i'll be more than happy to respond.
	my own philosophy has at its center that God exists, and that
free will is God's greatest gift.  (look ma--no masculine pronoun!)
consequently i consider _Freewill_ and the entire album rtb as
pertinent.  in fact, my first impression of rtb was that Neil was
attempting to discuss _Freewill_ more in depth, for the simple reason
that i have always associated free will and random chance as
correlated--one cannot exist without the other.  clearly Neil
realizes this fact, and i would guess that most of the lyrics for rtb
(including those he didn't write for _Where's My Thing?_) were an
attempt to associate this correlation in the minds of Rush's
audience.  I don't think Neil was attempting to discuss the problem
of evil or make a grand statement--he wanted to emphasize that,
essentially, shit happens.  Neil sums this all up himself quite well
in _Row the Boats_, which can be found by ftp'ing to syrinx, under
/rush/special (i think).  check it out, so you can take Neil's word
for it, not mine.
	On the question of a deity, i think that Neil is an atheist,
based upon my readings of _Freewill_ and _Roll the Bones_.  The
former seems too caustic when mentioning the divine; the latter,
however, seems more ambivalent--in the second verse, while discussing
the divine, Neil asks questions--he doesn't pose answers.
accordingly Neil could very well be a theist--i am, and i agree 100%
with _Freewill_ and _Roll the Bones_.
	i realize my discussion has been very superficial and very
long--the worst of both worlds.  i hope you'll forgive my exercise in

jeremy--i have chosen free will.


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Copyright The Rush Fans Mailing List, 1993.

Editor, The National Midnight Star
(Rush Fans Mailing List)
End of The National Midnight Star Number 638

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