The Beach Boys had a really cool guitar sound. I also liked the guitarists in the Searchers and the Dave Clark Five. Then Jimi Hendrix and Pete Townshend hit, and it turned the guitar world on its ear. The more I got into playing guitar, the more I enjoyed music and the broader my listening became. The instrument itself became important to me, and I started messing around with classical guitar and took classical lessons.
“I was also blown away by how a three-piece band could sound so majestic and huge and play in a style that’s inherently rock and roll yet still pushes the boundaries of what they’re doing musically—this idea of being experimental, using different time signatures and not really being concerned about song length and traditional constraints. I can’t tell you how huge of an impact that had on me. 2112 basically set the course for my musical career and how I approached Dream Theater.”
Rush FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Rock’s Greatest Power Trio by Max Mobley (June 2014, Backbeat Books, $24.99) documents the story of the Canadian prog-rock power trio’s journey from its origins in a church basement in Willowdale, Ontario, to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 2008, Guitar World asked Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson to dissect several key songs from the band's past. Starting with "Fly By Night" (1975) and ending with "Test for Echo" (1996), he discussed his guitars, amps and effects. Here's how it went.
Despite an intensely devoted fan base and decades of massive success, Rush have been, for much of their career, regarded as the World’s Least-Hip Rock and Roll Act—the band of choice for adolescent boys mesmerized by 20-minute prog-rock epics, extravagant drum solos, and lyrics filled with tales of snow dogs, warring trees and French national holidays.
When Rush are finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month, Foo Fighters will be doing the inducting. Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl — who seems to be everywhere these days — and Taylor Hawkins will honor Rush's Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart at the ceremony, which will take place at the Nokia Theatre in LA on April 18. Event organizer Joel Peresman also said Grohl and Hawkins might also perform with Rush.
In a statement posted this morning on the band's website, Rush announced they'll be visiting an additional 15 North American cities this summer. The second leg of the Clockwork Angels tour begins in Hershey, Pennsylvania, June 21 and ends August 4 in Kansas City.
From an impending apocalypse to the promise of a new Van Halen album with David Lee Roth, the bar was set high for 2012. Everyone from the Mayans to Nostradamus prophesied 2012 as being the end of the world, but who could have predicted Green Day's epic trilogy of new albums, or Rush churning out their heaviest record this side of 2012, or Joe Walsh's first solo effort in two decades?