Band Rush Canada (CA)
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Rush was a Canadian rock band that primarily comprised Geddy Lee (bass, vocals), Alex Lifeson (guitar), and Neil Peart (drums, percussion, lyricist). The band formed in Toronto in 1968 with Lifeson, drummer John Rutsey, and bass guitarist/vocalist Jeff Jones, whom Lee immediately replaced. After Lee joined, the band went through several line-ups before arriving at its classic power trio line-up with the addition of Peart in July 1974, who replaced Rutsey four months after the release of their self-titled debut album; this line-up remained intact for the remainder of the band’s career.

Backstage at the Starwood, Hollywood, CA., about 1975-6. Starwood Amphitheater, Hollywood was probably either Mon 02 Jun 1975, Tue 03 Jun 1975, Wed 04 Jun 1975, Thu 05 Jun 1975, Mon 15 Mar 1976, Tue 16 Mar 1976, Wed 17 Mar 1976, Thu 18 Mar 1976 or Mon 03 Oct 1977. They have also seen on stage at Whisky A-Go-Go.



“We met Rush; Rush was playing at the Whisky A-Go-Go, and we were trying to get to play down the Whisky A-Go-Go. One of our friends goes ‘Hey, there’s this band from Canada called Rush who’s really good,’ so we go ‘Well, let’s go down and see them and we’ll talk to the booking agent.’ When we showed up that night we were the only ones there to see Rush, so if you can believe this, Rush was playing at the Whisky A-Go-Go and there was like four people in the crowd, and it was all the members of Cirith Ungol (laughs). We actually went backstage, met the guys in Rush, hung out, and kind of made a little bit of friends with them. We were asking them ‘How do we break into the big time?’ They go ‘Well, there’s this big music convention in LA. Maybe you should go down there, schmooze the guys, and hang out,’ so we’d go to all these weird functions. We always had all these cassette tapes of the band, and they were getting us nowhere.” (Metal Forces Magazine)

Greg: “Maybe we can save the CIRITH UNGOL stories for the interview. Instead, I can tell you about the time we saw Rush and Moxy play at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go in Hollywood in front of about fifty people. It was about six months after RUSH’s first album was released and Neil Peart had just joined the band. We were talking to Geddy Lee after the show and telling him how much we loved stuff like “Working Man” and “What You’re Doing” but Geddy’s favourite band was GENESIS, and he wanted the band to be playing more progressive stuff. Sure enough, that’s what happened. And we saw them last summer at the Hollywood Bowl on their 30th Anniversary tour and they were fantastic. Still playing “Working Man” too!” (Headache magazine/TrueMetalFan)

I just love playing drums. I’m the first to admit, Neil Peart, before Rush got famous, we went to a bunch of their shows and hung out with them. He taught me how to spin a stick, which is amazing. I can say the guy who taught me how to spin a drumstick was Neil Peart. I never considered myself a technical drummer, but I always considered myself someone in the vein of like Bill Ward, someone who’s more of a heavy, crazy rock drummer.

I never knew that Rush story! Neil is my favorite drummer of all time.

He was amazing. We lost him. If you actually go on the band’s Instagram account, you’ll see some pictures of us sitting backstage with them back then. I actually went to see them play at the Whisky with a couple of my friends when they were still around here in town. There was just a handful of us there. We went backstage and hung out with them. That’s when you smoked pot. Back then, everyone smoked pot *laughs*. They were really amazing.

They said a funny thing too. It didn’t really come to pass for them. They said, “We wanna play the heaviest music we can.” I love Rush, don’t get me wrong, but they’re more of a progressive rock band. It seemed like their career, they had so many records out that spanned this giant spectrum of every different kind of…I’ve even seen some, you know, 4 or 5 albums in, they had this thing where they almost look new wave. They’re wearing little skinny ties. We said the same thing. I was talking to Alex Lifeson about that and we both said we wanted to play the heaviest music ever.

Obviously, they went on and made hundreds of millions of dollars while we’re still struggling to do anything right. I think we’re at least staying truer to that original idea that what we wanna put out is as heavy as we can. Now is it the heaviest metal known to man? We think it is, but that’s left to our listeners and your readers to see if they share that same sentiment. (Defenders of the Faith)

Neil was one of those more technical drummers, something I could probably never achieve.But here’s the story: I had a friend in Canada and he said: Hey, I got these buddies in a band called Rush. They’re playing up here and they’re really good. They’re hard rock or heavy metal like you guys. They’re coming down through Los Angeles, if you get a chance, you should go see them. So we went down and saw Rush at Whiskey A Go Go. I think it was the first show they were playing Los Angeles, and there were just a handful of people there. So we went backstage and made friends with them, hung out with them, smoked a little pot, like everyone was doing back in the day. People shouldn’t get too upset, because it was probably really bad pot, smoking it wouldn’t even get you high. But it was kinda like a social thing. And every time they came to town, we go down and hang out with them. Other than their music ,we just became friends with them. Once again, not real close friends, but every time they came to town, we go backstage and we share stories and talk about stuff. And they were just a really good group of guys. I didn’t know that Neil Peart was sick. I guess a lot of people did, and the fact that he passed away, so untimely is just a real tragedy. (Metal Squadron)

Rob: Yeah, we’ve heard that a lot over the years; it’s always been a hit or miss thing. It is what it is. If you wanna tell true stories, though, there’s a buddy of mine from Canada, he said “hey, there’s this band Rush you gotta go check out right?” So we went down to L.A. and saw them at The Whiskey, and there was like no one there, just a few people and the guys in the band. We actually went backstage to meet them. But I mean no one’s there, no one’s heard of them, there’s no photos posted on facebook…
Rob: We were talking to the guys in Rush and Alex once said “I wanna make the heaviest music that we can.” And I remember the next album was “2112” and I really liked that. But if you listen to their things; and they’re fantastic musicians, but they kinda got into more experimental, progressive music. But I wanna kick it down into the gutter. I wanna take this stuff… (Vibrations Of Doom Magazine/DOOM Radio)

GREG: Cream was our biggest influence when we were starting out, but all the great early seventies bands were inspirations: of course, the “big three” Black Sabbth, Deep Purple, and Uriah Heep, but also Blue Cheer, Budgie, Hard Stuff, Stray, Trapeze, Highway Robbery, Head Over Heels, Bang, Dust, Sir Lord Baltimore, Cactus, Bloodrock, etc. We used to make the 50 mile trek from Ventura to L.A. every couple of weeks to go to a store called Moby Disc to find the latest imports. Dana Madore, the import manager there, would always have some new heavy rock discovery to show us. Rob and I almost came to blows on several occasions over who was gonna be first to take it home! I’m old enough to have seen a lot of cool bands in their prime. Some of my most vivid memories are of Iggy and The Stooges at the Whiskey in 1973, Rush and Moxy on their first West Coast tour in front of 50 people at the Whiskey in ’75, Stray Dog and Masters Of The Airwaves at the Starwood in ’74. My first “real” concert was Captain Beyond, Gentle Giant, and Black Sabbath at the Hollywood Bowl in 1972. Gentle Giant got booed off stage after two songs, Geezer Butler’s bass notes were like a punch in the stomach, and tragically, I remember almost nothing about my favorite band Captain Beyond. (BallBuster Music)


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Rush – Sector 1 (box set)

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