Rushing Into The New Year

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The year 2012 will bring Rush fans something they haven’t seen in about five years: A brand-new studio album. This one’s been in the oven for a while having been started back in 2009, but it looks like it’s almost done since the group is reportedly done with recording and was planning to begin mixing early in the new year.

Two songs from the new album, Clockwork Angels were released previously, giving fans a sneak peek at their latest material, and according to a recent entry by drummer and lyricist Neil Peart on his personal website, the three Canadian boys aren’t dialing things back any. In fact, Peart says that, “So . . .  thus have I arrived at my sixtieth year, more-or-less gracefully and gratefully, feeling healthy and strong, and feeling that I am putting words together and hitting things with sticks better than ever.”Rush Caravan From Clockwork Angels

If the reports that say Rush may start touring this spring hold any water, fans might not have to wait too long before the new album is released. No official announcement has been made regarding a tour, but it does make sense considering the forthcoming new album. Although there’s no reason to doubt that the group will embark on a tour soon, I wonder how anxious they are to actually get out there and do it.

As he has in past writings, Peart reveals in his most recent posting that there is a downside to going on tour and with a young daughter at home, it may be something that’s weighing on his mind more than usual these days. “It’s like when people ask me before I go away if I am excited about going on tour, and I can only look at them in wonderment. Should I be excited about leaving my wife, my baby daughter, my friends, my dog, my house, my toys, my desk, my kitchen, my grocery stores, and all that?,” he writes.

It surely isn’t my intent to throw cold water on the expectation that Rush has a lot of life left in it and that fans can expect the group to continue making new music and touring in the years to come. As a fan myself, I don’t feel like I’m anywhere near the point where I’m ready to say that I’ve heard enough music from Rush, but at the same time, it is enlightening to gain a little insight into what the people up there on that stage might be feeling.

It’s always been pretty clear that Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee are more-or-less the front men both on and off stage while Peart has always been more reclusive – a trait that has likely been misunderstood by some fans through the years, but I believe he has more than made up for any perceived snobbery by sharing his thoughts, feelings and certain details of his personal life through his website. I feel that I know more about his personal life than I do about those of his band mates, even though Lee and Lifeson are the two that we most often see and hear during interviews and other public events.

It’s clear that Peart is a man that’s far more comfortable behind a keyboard or with pen in hand than he is on a talk show set or in a radio station studio. The tendency for the public to think of celebrities as something other than human is well demonstrated, and I for one am glad we have this medium called the internet that allows our favorite rock stars or actors the opportunity to reach out directly and remind us all that they are just as human as the rest of us.

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