From their inception in August of 1968, Canadian power trio Rush has been long known as one of the icons in progressive rock and metal. The band has been members of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame since 1994, and they possess 24 gold records and 14 platinum records. Current members Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart have come to be regarded as masters of proficiency on their respective instruments – they’ve influenced multiple generations of iconic musicians worldwide. Mojo Radio is proud to offer you Rush as the March 2012 Artist of the Month.
Rush was formed in Toronto’s Willowdale neighborhood by guitarist Alex Lifeson, bassist Jeff Jones, and drummer John Rutsey. Within a couple of weeks of forming however, Jones would be replaced by current bassist, vocalist and keyboard player Geddy Lee. After months of touring on the local bar/high school dance circuit, the first single was released – a Buddy Holly cover entitled “Not Fade Away”. Record company disillusionment would compel them to also form independent label Moon Records. Together with long time producer Terry Brown, the band would release their self titled debut album in 1974.
Limited local popularity of the band would change when a Cleveland music director and DJ picked the track “Working Man” for her playlist, which introduced the band to the US radio airwaves. This also led to them being signed to Mercury Records in the USA. Drummer Rutsey would leave the band due to health complications from diabetes, and after multiple auditions, a young man by the name of Neil Peart was selected as Rutsey’s replacement. Peart would influence and shape the band’s direction greatly, as not only did he possess immense technical skill, stamina, and technique on his instrument, but he also assumed the role of chief lyricist from Lee, being fond of sci-fi themed compositions and fantasy. This is an arrangement that would last throughout the band’s career. It is in this configuration that history would be made.
Rush is an act that is timeless, and they’ve managed to stay that way by changing with the times. From the Led Zeppelin-esque power rock of the 1970s through the synthesizer heavy progressive rock of the 1980s, and moving into the current with the back to basics, heavy rock sound that made them famous – there’s something for every Rush fan. Iconic albums like “2112”, or “Moving Pictures” serve as landmarks to their success. It can be assumed that there’s not too many aspiring progressive metal drummers or bassists that haven’t longed to be able to master songs like “YYZ” or “Tom Sawyer” . The same can be said for guitarists regarding songs like “Limelight” or “Spirit of Radio”. This band is an inspiration, and continues to provide refreshment to that inspiration with every album, and every tour.
Tune in Saturday March 17th as our own Sadistic Surgeon digs into the Rush vault for a four hour celebration of Canada’s legendary rock trio. The time:
11 am PST to 3pm PST
2pm EST to 6pm EST