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Rush

1968-
Geddy Lee(vocals, bass, keyboards)
Alex Lifeson(guitar)
John Rutsey(drums)1968-1974
Neil Peart(drums)1974-

Artistfacts for Rush

  • They're from Toronto. In 1979 the Canadian government named them "Official Ambassadors Of Music."
  • Peart's daughter Selena was killed in a car accident in 1997. Tragedy struck again when his wife, Jacqueline, died of cancer the following year. Peart remarried in 2000.
  • Peart writes most of the lyrics. Their original drummer, John Rutsey, left the band due to creative differences and complications with his diabetes. He became a bodybuilder.
  • Geddy Lee was born Gary Lee Weinrib. "Geddy" came from his grandmother's pronunciation of "Gary" - she had a Yiddish accent. Alex Lifeson was born Alexander Zivojinovic. (thanks, Cody - San Antonio, TX)
  • Peart was for many years rumored to possess a doctorate degree. He does not, and has never even completed high school. Despite this, he does appear to be one of the more intelligent and literate of songwriters. (thanks, Jeff - Haltom City, TX, for above 2)
  • They first got a job to play at a coffee house called the "Coff-In." While they had dreamed of playing, they had neglected to come up with a name for their group. With no time left to contemplate, they didn't have much luck coming up with a name until John Rutsey's older brother yelled, "Why don't you call the band Rush?"
  • In 1973, Rush decided to release their first single before they released an album. Side A was a cover of a Buddy Holly song called "Not Fade Away." On side B was a Lee/Rutsey song called "You Can't Fight It." This single wasn't released worldwide. No record company in Canada would produce Rush's music, so they formed their own record company named Moon Records. The single was released only in Toronto and other parts of Canada for $0.69. It was often given away for free. It is very rare, which makes this single worth a fortune today.
  • Their early sound was mostly influenced by Cream and Led Zeppelin, but with the entry of drummer Neil Peart, the sound became more experimental and progressive, thanks to the technical abilities of the three members.
  • Peart's lyrics originally center around mythological, Sci-fi and fantasy themes. He never writes about sex or drugs.
  • Every 4 studio albums they made were followed by a live album.
  • They have won several Juno Awards, which are the Canadian equivalent of Grammys. They won Group Of The Year in 1977 and 1978, and were inducted into the Juno Hall Of Fame in 1993.
  • Alex first met Geddy in a history class at Fisherville Junior High. Their history teacher, Mr. Bissle, remembers Alex as being "very likable, fun, outgoing and levelheaded. I always had Alex sit right in front of me where I could reach him. Gary (Geddy) was more quiet and studious. He had his feet on the ground and was soft-spoken. The two of them would sit around the school playing their guitars all the time." (thanks, Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington, for above 7)
  • Neil Peart pronounces his last name "Peert". He pronounces his first name "Neel." (thanks, Jeff - Haltom City, TX)
  • In the movie School of Rock, Jack Black's character, Dewey Finn, mispronounces Neil Peart's last name as "pert." (thanks, Jeff - Seaville, NJ)
  • Lifeson owns and operates a small consumer product design engineering and manufacturing firm (The Omega Concern), is part owner of a Toronto restaurant (The Orbit Room), and is a licensed aircraft pilot and motorcycle operator.
  • Lee has produced albums for various other bands, including Rocket Science.
  • Peart uses a famously elaborate drum kit, which has ranged in size from merely large to truly elephantine. His drumming style is eclectic: he cites influences ranging from The Who's Keith Moon to jazz drummer Buddy Rich. He produced Burning For Buddy - A Tribute To The Music Of Buddy Rich in 1995, and Burning For Buddy 2 in 1997.
  • Peart has written 6 books: Drum Techniques of Rush (1985), More Drum Techniques of Rush (1989), The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa (1999), Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (2002), Traveling Music: Playing Back the Soundtrack to My Life and Times (2004), Roadshow: Landscape With Drums: A Concert Tour by Motorcycle (2005 - this book documents his travels during Rush's 2004 R30 tour of North America and Europe).
  • Neil also released a DVD in 2002 titled Neil Peart - A Work in Progress. This 2-DVD box documents the "work in progress" of recording Rush's Test for Echo album, as well as Neil himself in the studio. Neil's special approach to drums is featured in songs from "Test," also a 4 camera shoot as Neil lays down the fiery creative drumming for which he is known. Other topics include a discussion of Neil's DW drum set, his approach to odd times, playing with a vocalist & a "guided tour" of Neil's warm-up routine. (thanks, Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington, for above 5)
  • Geddy Lee made a guest performance on Bob and Doug McKenzie's comedy album Great White North singing a song called "Take Off." (thanks, Meek - V-Town, NY)
  • Geddy Lee and his daughter Kyla appeared in the episode "Will You Be My Lorelai, Gilmore?" of the TV show Gilmore Girls, but he was partially hidden by a crowd of people. (thanks, Kirk - Ocala, FL)
  • Rustley left the band shortly after their debut album was released in 1974. He was diabetic and was concerned about how the tours would affect his health. When he left Rush, he left the music business altogether. He died in his sleep on May 11, 2008 apparently of a heart attack that was the result of his diabetes. He was 55. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • Lifeson is married to his first girlfriend, and Lee is married to his high-school sweetheart. Peart was married for 22 years before his wife died in 1997.
  • Geddy Lee is famous for playing Rickenbacker basses and Fender Jazz basses. He played a double-neck guitar/bass live for the song "A Passage To Bangkok," where he would switch from the bass neck to the guitar neck to play rhythm guitar during Alex's guitar solo.
    It is also notable that Lee plays bass pedals and synth pedals with his feet as he plays bass and sings, as well as switching his hands from bass guitar to keys on different keyboards/synths. (thanks, Patrick - Santa Maria, CA)
  • In 2014, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart earned honorary Doctorates of Music degrees from Nipissing University (North Bay, ON, Canada). They were unable to attend the ceremony because of poor weather conditions, but Lee and Lifeson posted videos of their speeches online.

    Lee said: "This is a situation I honestly never thought I'd be in. Imagine a high school dropout, and a rock musician no less, receiving such an honor. Finally my mother's dream finally comes true - she has a doctor for a son, oy vey!" while Lifeson joked: "My intended first act as a doctor was to write scripts for everyone, but apparently I'm not that kind of doctor." (thanks, Jeffrey - Fort Worth, TX)
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Comments: 52

After nearly 40 years with Neil Peart as drummer, the band was FINALLY inducted to the Rock and Roll music Hall of Fame in 2013. Only three groups have sold more albums than Rush. They are; The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and KISS.Mike Preston - New Liskeard, On
The inspiration for the song "Red Sector A" comes from Geddy's(Gary's) mothers' Jewish ethnicity and his loss of family members in the concentration camps.Mike Preston - New Liskeard, On
"A Passage To Bangkok" mentions Golden Acapulco Nights. (Acapulco Gold)William - Jersey City, Nj
I miss you Uncle Rick. Rush was his only favorite band- he made sure I knew this band, and all of their songs and backgrounds, everything about them by the age of 7 or 8. I think about him everytime I hear them, one song in particular that makes me think of my uncle is red barchetta. one of his favorites, but I think of him when geddy describes his white haired uncle, one of the coolest guys in the whole wide world. I love you uncle!! R.I.P.Kelitablue - Sylvestser, Ga
If you were born in the early 70's like I was, (72) and was not able to get to know or understand who Rush was until MTV brought them to my eyes and ears when I was oh, say maybe 8ish years old, then you can understand how important these guys are to a person's life. I will never forget first laying eyes on Lee in videos of that day. Seeing and hearing him sing, key and play Bass. I do not know why he sticks to my heart and mind so closely; but Geddy you are without question, the most beautiful man on the face of this planet. I wished I was your wife! It is with much shame that I report to attending the first Rush concert of my life here on July 1st of this year. I stood there through the whole concert with tears in my eyes as each of the songs I loved so much on Moving Pictures was played one after another. I cannot explain my great idiocy for not being closer of a follower of theirs until now again.... there was one time tho in the early 80's where I bought the Power Window's cassette and if memory serves me correctly, it came out in the fall, so I listened to it all that winter, and it really was the soundtrack of my life then. I wore 2 copies of that cassette out. Sick, huh?Leann - Kansas City, Mo
OK, wow... First of all, only a few of Peart's songs are sci-fi and fantastical. The song "A Passage to Bangkok" is drug-based. Second, 2112 is around 21 minutes long. Third, "The Trees" ends with "And they are all kept EQUAL, by HATCHET, axe and SAW." Sorry to sound like such a nerd, but if you are gonna post a comment, at least make it right.
Some facts:
-2112, or 21:12 in military time, is 9:12 in standard time. 9/12, or September 12, is Peart's birthday.
-Jeff Jones was replaced by Geddy Lee in the earliest days of Rush.
-Peart is an avid traveler, and loves cars and motorcycles.
-Peart has one of the most diverse drum kits in history, with over 400 different sounds.
-Rush's next album (To be announced - not to be confused with Snakes and Arrows)will likely be their last album.
RUSH RULES!!!
Corey - Winnipeg, Mb
Another song that I love is an early one called "The Trees" about social classes and moral superiority, and how people think they are better than others because of their social class, religion or nationality. That song is amazing. "The trees are all kept even by hammer axe and stone"Dave - Bennington, Vt
Over the years I have gone through some difficult times, and music has been a real support for me. Rush over the years has been very up to date with all the social ills and struggles of ordinary people each day. On a day when nothing is going my way, I listen to their CD's giving me hope that as bad as things can seem, they will get better. Roll the Bones CD as well as Hold your Fire are among their finest. "Tough times Demand tough talk" " "If the futures looking dark were the ones who have to try, even though times doesn't have wings were the ones who have to fly".Dave - Bennington, Vt
Neil Peart never writes about drugs? Hello, ever heard "A Passage to Bangkok"? BTW, he and his second wife, Carrie, had a daughter, Olivia Louise Peart, in the summer of 2009. This is especially remarkable because Carrie was 47 years old at the time.Sarah - Quincy, Il
Rush is the best thing to ever come out of Canada, there that freakin awesome. 2112 is not a song, but a musical masterpiece!Luke - Dayton, Oh
I will forever be grateful to my two older brothers who introduced me to RUSH's music in the late 70's. The unmatchable sound and intelligent music and lyrics of RUSH have influenced my life and my own musical talents in nearly every way. True lovers of music understand and appreciate what they've given the world of rock and roll with their incredible talents and continuous ability to put on flawless performances for over three decades! They are considered to be the best three-member rock band in the history of rock and roll. I hope that RUSH remains inspired and continues to nurture our rock and roll souls with their music. To that, I repeat the words of Shakespeare: "If music be the food of life, play on!"Kimberly - Overland Park, Ks
There is certainly no question Rush is the most underrated bands of all time. As a preschooler, my father and I would listen to Roll The Bones every day on the way to daycare. I grew up a drummer and surrounded by musicians. My true appreciation for Rush developed after hearing Hemispheres. Every album before and since has been an equally humbling,educational,moving, and uplifting experience. I find a new relevance or application for a Rush lyric in my life almost every day. To Neil, I am in debt for both his moving lyrics, and his inspiring me to be a lifelong apprentice to the drums. To the band as a whole I am grateful for all they have done and whatever they will do in the future. Alex seems extremely funny, and Geddy quite sophisticated. Though, to Neil, as trashcan man said in The Stand, "My life for you". Also, I didn't see a mention of John Rutsey's recent passing. In an article linked from Neil's site, a journalist who rode with him remarked that he did not seem as aloof as he is commonly percieved to be.
-L.P. Gardner, M.A.
Lee - Gardner, Ma
I LOVE RUSH WITH A PASSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
they are such a power house for music. All of their songs are awesome. Neil and John Bonham are often compared but i love them both. they both have a different style of drumming and are both gods at drumming. My favorite Rush songs are either Working Man or Limelight!!! Working Man just has some awesome guitar!!!!! AND THERE'S A BASS SOLO!!!!!!!! Limelight just gives me the chills!!!!!!!!!
Allie - A Little Ol' Town In, Mi
Rush es mi banda favorita, a pesar que empzaron a tocar cuando yo nacía .
Rush mas que ser musica progresiva , es musica RUSH, es un estilo propio y variado en cada album.
Me gusta mas los primeros 10 albumes.
Dicen que viene PERU ,,DIOS QUIERA
Mario - Lima, Peru
Rush is one of my favorite bands my favorite song is tomsayerMichelle - Maplewood, Mn
Rush is the best band ever! Neil, Geddy, and Alex are merely Gods among men...it's just some people are too dumb to see it!Mike!!! - Carson, Wa
I love Rush they are the greatest band that has ever lived an that will ever liveAj - Salt Lake City, Ut
Rush is the greatest band to EVER live. enough said. the lyrics are incredibly deep and their music kicks a** too. along with the blue oyster cult, i'd say their one of the most under-rated bands in rock history. i'm a teenager and introduced alot of my friends to them, and they all love rush too!Alice - Fairhope, Al
I met Geddy and Alex at their induction into Canada's Music Hall of Fame, and Alex again at a charity concert at the Phoenix in Toronto. Both SUPER nice guys...Alex is so personable and fun, Geddy is really nice and a little shy. They autographed my "Hold Your Fire" CD. Too bad I didn't get to meet Neil (he was going through the tragic, tough period in his life), but the others were so awesome. I love their music so much, and I'm a girl in my 20s!K - Toronto, Canada
Some small facts - the Omega symbol can be found on almost all RUSH albums somewhere in the liner notes.
RUSH was getting fired from time to time in the early coffe house days for playing too loud.
Neil's second wife Carrie Nuttall is a photographer and many of the newer black and whites are shot by her.
The guitar stand holding Alex's acoustic up in front during concerts was a modified cymbal stand he invented. It became the Omega stand, hence the Omega beginnings.
Neil has said several times before he does not like to talk to strangers. He says it is weird that people talk to him as if they know when they really don't.

I have been a RUSH fan from the beginning. I am a guitar player for over 25 years and much of my stule of playing can be attributed to Alex Lifeson's style. I am also secondarily a drummer and spent much of my time learning the playing technique of Neil Peart. Their whole philosophy, sense of humor, and character is much the same as mine, although I did not follow theirs to achieve this. It is simply a coincidence in that regard but I discovered this and more was to be my favorite of all the bands and music I love.
They are truly a historic band in the world. Why they have not received a Grammy at this point is beyond me. Every other country has seen fit to award their highest honors in music. I hope to see a Lifetime Achievement Award Grammy someday if nothing else. They represent the best of what the recording and music industry should be. Even in a business sense - if you're one of those types.
Cheers to the power trio.
Jim - Spokane, Wa
Does anyone know what is quoted at the beginning of the song 'Alien Shore'? RUSH is one of those bands that seems to just get better with each CD released... Not many bands are like that. What bad can you say about RUSH? Neil Peart is both a fine PERCUSSIONIST, and song writer; Alex Lifeson doesn't get enough recognition for his guitar work, and Geddy Lee is a damn good bass player, and still has an incredible voice. I am simply amazed when Geddy can sing, while playing both the bass and synthesizer in concert. There are simply too many songs for me to name as a favorite. But one song that really sticks out in my mind is 'Resist', which truly is a beautiful song. I also enjoyed it when Geddy and Alex did an accoustical version of it in concert, it sounded just as awsome. I was however disappointed at this same show when 'Closer to the Heart' was passed over for songs such as 'Between Sun and Moon' and 'Driven'. However, I still love to watch RUSH perform.Randy - Colerain Twp., Oh
neil pearts locker "2112" i dont think is part of lakeport highschool anymore...
but now part of eden highschool
they share the building
Dean - St Catharines, Canada
"The Trees" kicks some serious you know what. I find it funny how many people don't really know their music, considering how awesome they are.Jonathon - Clermont, Fl
By far, in my own opinion and of others, RUSH is the greatest band EVER!!!! Their music is so inspirational, like subdivisions! that song tought me to not buy into conformity (grumble) and to be myself. THANKS RUSH!!!!!!!Micah - Fayetteville, Ar
In my opinion, I think Rush is the most talented band ever! Geddy Lee has inspired me for my now 6 years of playing bass.Greg - Oakville, Canada
The best rock band Canada has put out. Makes me proud(er) to be Canadian.David - Port Hawkesbury, Canada
I wish there were more RUSH fans in Australia. I have been into rush since 1988, and in Australia i have so much difficulty obtaining thier music. Rush's music helps me to live.THANYOU Neil,Geddy and Alex for making such beautiful music.Karen - Emmaville, Australia
Neil Peart came out with a DVD "Anonomy of a drum solo" last (2005) yearTom - Dosen't Matter, Ct
Tom of Trowbridge, England... You must be kidding about Rush not being well-known in the U.K. -- Your mum must be a Tom Jones fan. My wife is British and wasn't really a Rush fan until she met me, but she had certainly heard of them. The U.K. is a Rush stomping ground. Just take a look at how well they're received every time they tour there. In fact Neil lived in London for a couple of years. The fact is; Rush is VERY WELL KNOWN in the U.K.Mark - Gardner, Ma
i have to do a project for school on Geddy LEE :)
i was just wondering if anyone could tell me if he had an influence on canada's social, environmental, or anything really about canada? PLEASE HELP!
Jen - Ontario, Canada
my friend's dad told me that when he worked at BLACK's in Toronto Geddy Lee wanted a role of film developed. When he developed it there was a picture of Geddy naked on the toilet.Jen - Ontario, Canada
Rush is such a great band. 2112 is the best song over 16 minutes long!!Ben - Nyc, Ms
I had the amazing opportunity to see Geddy , Alex and Neil LIVE in Toronto at the C.N.E. in Aug. 1977 ... It was the Farewell to Kings Tour ... Although I was just a teen at the time , I still remember what an excellent show they gave !
I still listen to "All the World's a Stage" ,
It's one of my fave CDs ... Rock On !!!
ߪrr¥ NB.CA
Barry - Gagetown Nb Canada
RE: - Peanut, Pomonkey, MD

Wrong Rush. Really Wrong!

RE: - Andy, Hamilton, Canada

Ayn Rand's Philosphy is not "libertarian or anachro-capitalist". Regardless of what its adherents say, Objectivism in NO WAY espouses or supports Libertarian politics or principles.

Thanks
Tom - Beacon, Ny
Rush are the best band in the world. Just seeing them live will live with me forever, I will die a happy man for this. Their music means everything to me. If you have not heard them, why not?Tom - Glasgow, Scotland
The first song that brought me into RUSH would be La Villa Strangiato. I loved Alex's guitar style and every other little bit of the song. They have changed the way I listen to music. Not only are they one of the best bands in the history of music but they are definately one of the most talented. "One likes to believe in the freedom of music." -I sure do.Frank - Las Vegas, Nv
I live because of RUSH!!! Literally... I can brag about that because my parents met at a Rush concert. If it wasn't for them making their great music, I wouldn't be here!!! I love 'em now! From their metal beginnings, to their progressive stuff. From their synthy mid period to their harder recent stuff... LOVE EM TO DEATH!!!Jesse - L.a., Ca
2112 was my introduction to Rush. I've always loved their big hits, but 2112 will always shine as my favorite album from them. They raise the standard on talent.James - Windsor, Ca
Hey, bhowie. I'm going to be in St. Catherine's soon. Where is Lakeport? Is it in Port Dalhousie? also, is it true they no longer have Victoria Day fireworks at Lakeside Park?Dan Sheehan - New York, Ny
actually, neil is from port dalhousie..where lakeside park is. I also went to lakeport. I also remember the midway in earlier years. Went to McArthur public school on Main st. Can still ride the merry-go-round to this day for a nickel. Every one in St. Catharines would know this. hello to all the Port boys..Brian - Sault Ste. Marie, Canada
In UK terms, the most underrated and underplayed band ever! I'm gonna get stick for this but i think they're much better than Led Zeppelin. Rush's songs are generally more likeable than Zep's, which get boring after a while.Tom - Trowbridge, England
Rush lyrics reveal an interest in Ayn Rand's libertarian or anachro-capitalist philosophy of Objectivism.Andy - Hamilton, Canada
Well, everyone in the UK with an interest in music probably knows Rush but members of the general public don't. I mean, I've never heard them on the radio or seen them on the TV.Tom - Trowbridge, England
i go to neils school, isnt that amazing?!?!
hes such a legend here, atl east to me, cause most folk around these parts have forgotten rush, but not me
Bhowie - St.catharines, Canada
Rush's music really gave me a mode of escape from the small, one-horse town I grew up in. Neil's lyrics especially helped me imagine a world much bigger than I saw with my eyes.Joe - Allston, Ma
I really wish Rush would come to Kelowna, since they are Canadian and this is a fair size city.Jp - Kelowna, Canada
I am from Poland and here Rush is very popular but not among all the people, only thos who know at least something about music. I'm pretty sure it's everywhere like this. So you (Tom, Trowbridge, England) can't say that they are not famous at Great Britain. Besides last tour prooves that).
I (for example) must spent my whole years savings (you know-these polish payments;((!!!) to travel 1300 km to Rotterdam to see/admire/experience Rush performance Oct 1st 2004. But this was the time of my life. Now I can die ;)))
Aneta - Bydgoszcz, Poland
Geddy Lee bought his black and white Fender jazz bass with a blonde neck from a pawns shop in Michigan for $200, which remains to this day his favorite bass. There is now a Geddy Lee signature bass available which looks identical to his.Michelle - Albuquerque, Nm
I have a friend who is a friend of Neil's new wife. She has met Neil on a couple of occasions, and from what she tells me, he really is quite shy. He doesn't hold very long conversations with strangers.Steve - Chino Hills, Ca
Surprisingly, Rush aren't really that well known in Britain, which is sad as they have to be one of the best bands of all time. I asked my mum, who is 47, if she knew who they were and she had no idea!Tom - Trowbridge, England
Similarly, the changed surname of Lifeson comes from the Cyrillic Transliteration of Zivojinovic.Matthew - Shrewsbury, England
Geddy's nickname came from his grandmother's pronounciation of "Gary." It came out as "Geddy."Erik - Davis, Ca