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Subject: 11/28/92 - The National Midnight Star #569  ** Special Edition **
Status: R

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----------------------------------------------------------------------


          The National Midnight Star, Number 569

                Saturday, 28 November 1992
Today's Topics:
                    Administrivia
      Subject: FAQ: Rush Fans Common Questions [3/3]
----------------------------------------------------------

Date: Sat, 28 Nov 1992
From: rush-mgr
Subject: Administrivia

Sorry, I did not send out a digest on Thursday or Friday -- I went out
of town for the holidays and forgot to set it up! So here at long last
is part 3 of the FAQ.

- rush-mgr

----------------------------------------------------------

Date: Sun, 22 Nov 92 00:32:49 -0800
From: dan@rat.csc.calpoly.edu (Dan Delany)
Subject: FAQ: Rush Fans Common Questions [3/3]

Rush Fans Frequently Asked Questions List, Part 3 of 3
Generated: Sun Nov 22 00:30:12 PST 1992

   This file contains questions that seem to crop up frequently in The
National Midnight Star and alt.music.rush.  If you received a copy of
this file in email, other than as an issue of TNMS, it is probably
because you asked one of these questions.

   This file has been expanded into 3 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 up to and including stuff on _A Show Of Hands_.
Part 3 contains questions about material starting with _Presto_.

   If you want a copy of the current version of this file, email me and
I'll send you the most recent version.  This set of files is posted on
the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month to rec.music.info,alt.music.rush, and
TNMS.

   If you have any suggestions for additions to the list or corrections,
please send them to me at dan@rat.csc.calpoly.edu and I'll add them in
if you have documentation supporting your theory.  Also, don't send
your suggestions to rush-mgr@syrinx.  I'll repeat that because it's
important.  Don't send faq suggestions to the moderator of the Rush
fans mailing list.  He doesn't have anything to do with keeping the
faq up to date.  Faq suggestions should be sent to me at
dan@rat.csc.calpoly.edu and not to the mailing list moderator.
If mail sent to dan@rat bounces, try dan@polyslo.csc.calpoly.edu or
dan@garden.csc.calpoly.edu - they should work.

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!

THE FAQ IS A FILE OF FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RUSH AND THEIR
ANSWERS.  IT IS NOT AN "OBSCURE RUSH TRIVIA" FILE.
Please consider this before sending me a suggestion for an addition.

I'll repeat that because it's important and people don't get it.
THE FAQ IS A FILE OF FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RUSH AND THEIR
ANSWERS.  IT IS NOT AN "OBSCURE RUSH TRIVIA" FILE.
Please consider this before sending me a suggestion for an addition.

I know that it's fun to come up with pet theories for how things
are related to each other.  But please don't send them to me saying that
"It *can't* be a coincidence!"  I routinely ignore such email.  Send me
a reference to an interview or a quote or something from a band member
that supports what you say, and I'll be happy to add it to this file.
If you have a pet theory that you want feedback on, post it to TNMS
or alt.music.rush.

For example:  Don't point out to me that 1001001 in binary is equivalent to
73 decimal, and 73 decimal is ASCII for the letter "I", and the letter "I"
was significant to the plot of Ayn Rand's _Anthem_, and Neil Peart read
lots of Ayn Rand, therefore "The Body Electric" is a reference to _Anthem_.
Believe me, you won't be the first to point that out.  But Neil Peart has
never said anything on that particular subject as far as I know, so I'm
not going to put that into the FAQ.  (Especially since I think it's
a coincidence!)  Remember, coincidences happen, even in Rush songs!

An additional thing to consider is that many questions are answered in,
of all places, the liner notes on the albums.  Please look there before
posting a question.

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.  But if you make a bet based on this
information and you lose, don't blame me.

One more thing: If you send me mail and I don't answer right away, please
be patient.  I eventually read all of my mail.  However, Rush FAQ related
stuff has a lower priority than my job.

Here are the questions I get asked the most, so I'll put them here at the
start:

What is The National Midnight Star?

   It's a Rush fans newsletter that is distributed via email.
   Submissions are all sent to one address, and the moderator goes through
   the submissions periodically and sends out a digest containing lots
   of submissions.

   (If you don't know where the name "The National Midnight Star"
   comes from, that means you don't watch enough Canadian TV.)

How can I subscribe to The National Midnight Star?

   Send email to rush-request@syrinx.umd.edu asking to have your name added
   to the list.  Don't send email to me - I can't add you!

   I'll repeat that.  I (dan@rat.csc.calpoly.edu) have absolutely nothing
   to do with the management of TNMS.  I can't add your name to the
   subscription list.

Latest Word on the next album:

   The band is scheduled to go into the studio in January or February
   1993.  According to an interview with Alex on 97.7 HTZ FM in
   Hamilton, Ontario, the album is expected to come out in June.  Also
   mentioned is that they will be taking the summer off, so we can't
   expect an immediate tour.  This info was originally posted in
   alt.music.rush on Nov 4 by v281nr6a@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu (Mark D Uher).
   (According to Jeff Robertson, 97.7 HTZ FM is actually in St.
   Catharines.)

   Atlantic/SRO has denied the rumors that there is a video release
   scheduled for December.

*********** The following questions are contained in this file: **************

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

What is "Chain Lightning" about?

What is "The Pass" about?

What is "Scars" about?

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

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

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

What is "Red Tide" about?

Who does the RTB spoken section?

Who is the boy in the RTB video and on the RTB cover?

Is there a "Gangster of Boats" trilogy?

But why is "Where's My Thing" labelled as Part IV of the trilogy?

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

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

Who is the "Gangster of Boats?"

What does the pattern of skulls and bones at the bottom of the inside
front cover of the RTB tourbook mean?  Is there a pattern to it?

Will there be a live album or concert video from the RTB tour?


-------- Questions and answers follow. -------


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

   They are making scissors, paper, and stone, like in the children's
   game.  There is 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 faq 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

Who does the RTB spoken section?

   Geddy Lee, according to Neil on the Dec 2 1991 "Rockline".

Who is the boy in the RTB video and on the RTB cover?

   According to "The New Music Magazine" 11/11/91, his name is
   Michael Vander Veldt.

Is there a "Gangster of Boats" trilogy?

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

But why is "Where's My Thing" labelled as Part IV of the trilogy?

   S72UJOH@TOE.TOWSON.EDU has posted that Neil said that was a joke
   on the Dec 1991 Rockline show.  (I didn't hear that show - can
   anybody confirm this or provide me with the exact quote?)

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

   I doubt it.  And if there is a reason, I doubt that it will be
   made public.  (Much like the significance of the HYF cover)
   Please don't send me mail saying that "it just has to mean something."
   Lots of people have theories about that.  But I haven't heard any
   "official" word on the subject yet.  If you have a theory about
   this and have to share it, post it to TNMS or alt.music.rush and
   see if anybody is interested in discussing it.  Don't send me mail.
   I won't add it to the faq without support from a band member.

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

   Yes.

Who is the "Gangster of Boats?"

   degennar@bmsrs.usc.edu sent me this:
   According to Neil on the Dec 2 1991 Rockline, it's a running joke.
   Geddy and Alex keep saying to Neil, "If you don't come up with a name
   for the album soon, we're going to call it Gangster of Boats."
   It's also, supposedly, the nick-name given to the Mac they use.

What does the pattern of skulls and bones at the bottom of the inside
front cover of the RTB tourbook mean?  Is there a pattern to it?

   It's Morse code for "Remember Death".

Will there be a live album or concert video from the RTB tour?

   "I don't think so, no. Definitely not a live album and no plans for a
   video." -- Neil Peart, in the April 23 1992 TNMS interview

 ##############################################################################

        Please send me your suggestions for additions or corrections.
         But please read the beginning of this faq file for advice
        on whether or not your suggestion is appropriate for the faq
        before sending me mail.  You might be better off posting your
      idea to The National Midnight Star or alt.music.rush for feedback.
dan@rat.csc.calpoly.edu                                              Dan Delany
   "Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love."
     -- Charlie Brown

----------------------------------------------------------

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

    rush@syrinx.umd.edu

For administrative matters (subscription, unsubscription, changes, and 
questions), send mail to:

    rush-request@syrinx.umd.edu    or
    rush-mgr@syrinx.umd.edu

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

    syrinx.umd.edu       or       128.8.2.114

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

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

    server@ingr.com

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

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

Copyright The Rush Fans Mailing List, 1992.

Editor, The National Midnight Star
(Rush Fans Mailing List)
********************************************
End of The National Midnight Star Number 569
********************************************




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