Rush is one of the longest-running of classic AOR bands, just getting off their Clockwork Angels tour of 2013 and planning another tour in 2015 for their 41st anniversary. They’ve managed a very specific aesthetic for the length of that time, keeping the triumvirate of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart since July 29, 1974. In honor of Lee’s birthday (July 29th), here are five things that remind us of RUSH:
Canada — Yeah, kind of an easy one, but they’re the most noteworthy classic rock act among our neighbors to the north. Listen to their accents and their intense geniality in an interview with CNN here.
Relentless fans. (Like, rabid) – Rush have released an average of one live album every two years for the past decade, and the fans keep buying them. But it’s not just simply album sales. Really, it’s a matter of the adoration their fans clearly have when they talk about the band. Which leads me to…
“I Love You, Man” — For those not aware, this was a 2008 Judd Apatow film about a couple that gets engaged. The groom-to-be, Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) gets self-conscious about his lack of male friends compared to his fiancé’s (Rashida Jones) and goes on a comedic search for a best friend (Jason Segel). A shared Rush fandom is a key base of the friendship between Paul Rudd and Jason Segel’s characters that forms the bulk of the film’s plot. The band even makes a cameo appearance when the three main characters go to a surprise Rush concert. The band is all over the movie, and I can no longer hear “Limelight” without thinking “there were tons of guys licking each other’s basses!”
Ayn Rand – Objectivist philosopher and Russian-American author Ayn Rand is the most frequently recurring muse of Neil Peart’s lyrics, especially back in the 70s. After spending ten minutes on Rand’s Wikipedia you’ll start to hear her ideas in just about any classic Rush song that comes up in your shuffle.
Drums – The three members of Rush are each well-respected musicians in their respective fields, but drummer Neil Peart steals the limelight somewhat with his massive kit, a fortress that takes center stage at any of their concerts. It has been between 30 and 40 pieces for most of the band’s career.