These days it seems like Rush is coming out of the closet. No, I don’t mean that closet. What I’m saying is that they seem to be garnering more acceptance in the mainstream. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is likely to be a touchy subject amongst the Canadian trio’s dedicated fans.
Recalling my early days as a Rush fan in the late 70’s, there was a certain air of “coolness” that myself and my Rush-adoring friends enjoyed by feeling that we were members of a somewhat exclusive club – those who understood at the time how cool Rush was, and appreciated how unique they were among their rock star peers. To say nothing of their amazing ability as musicians.
With Rush showing up in U.S. television for the first time in 30 years, being featured not long ago in Rolling Stone magazine after decades of being snubbed, being interviewed for Entertainment Weekly and appearing in the new comedy movie I Love You Man, it appears that the perceived exclusivity of being a Rush fan may be something that’s slowly slipping away. The real world, it seems, has begun to notice Rush.
Now it appears that the lack of attention the group received from the mainstream may have been due in part to choices that they themselves had made. In the Entertainment Weekly interview, Geddy Lee is quoted as saying: “We’re so ass-backwards sometimes. We don’t do the things we should do, from a practical point of view. As we’ve gotten older we’ve lightened up about a lot of things. What used to be such a big deal is maybe not such a big deal to us anymore.”
That was in response to a question about why it was that they had decided to appear on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report last summer. Lee attributes the tragic events in drummer Neil Peart’s life that nearly led to the groups break-up for giving them a fresh perspective on things and adopting that “lighter attitude.”
Asked about the possibility of appearing in other movies, Lee, in his trademark tongue-in-cheek style responds: “Any movie. We’re all available. We’re putting ourselves out there. We all want to be character actors now. “We’re ready to be in any movie anybody wants to put us into.”
Yes, fellow Rush fans, our favorite Canadian trio does appear to have lightened up significantly of late, but perhaps the opportunity to grow their fans base and introduce a younger generation of fans to their music outweighs that little thrill some of us enjoyed by feeling like we were members of an exclusive club or secret society. I am still a little disappointed that I was never quite able to master the secret handshake, however.
More Rush News comes to us by way of Power Windows where they link to a feature piece in Premier Guitar on Alex Lifeson. Although there is some discussion of general interest to Rush fans, the bulk of it, as one might expect, is best enjoyed by guitar geeks, as Lifeson talks about the kinds of things guitar geeks like to know about.
Although they insist that they are now enjoying a nice rest after their grueling two-part Snakes & Arrows tour, it seems like it might be hard for these guys to sit still for very long. Lee and Lifeson has been showing up in both radio and print interviews of late, and it appears that Neil Peart may actually be enjoying some personal pursuits, although it’s hard to be sure since he’s known to be the most reclusive of the three. He does however, dedicate some of his time periodically to update fans with posts to his personal website. Always and interesting read in this fan’s opinion.