There are momentous times in your life that you never forget. They vary in poignance and significance, yet the events (becoming history) that paint our individual lives leave indelible memories. For me, one such key memory is the moment I was truly introduced to a band named RUSH.
As a young teen I had heard a few RUSH songs on FM KGON (a kick ass rock station out of Portland in the late 70s, early 80s) off and on. “The Spirit of Radio” and “Closer to the Heart” were songs fairly familiar to me though I knew nothing about the band behind them. All that changed with one weekend sleep over at my buddy Paul’s house.
Paul had a couple older brothers and they all shared what was basically a converted garage outside the main house. Not a man cave exactly, but certainly a teen haven by any standards. There were four or five of us staying over to put in another epic night of D&D (pre video games we used this thing called ‘imagination’ to get our gaming rocks off). As the evening began, one of the brothers put an album on the player… a little something called “2112” by the band RUSH. The setup of our exploration and monster slaying that night was accompanied by this fantastical music – grande, epic and full of sweeping adventure in it’s own right. “2112” was followed by a live set called “Exit Stage Left”, then a little something called “Moving Pictures”. I was blown away. My life would never be the same and I would never, ever forget the feeling I had drinking in the harmonics, the melodies, the unbelievable guitar chords, bass licks, MASTERFUL drumming coming out of those two speakers. I was transported, I was forever changed.
I saved all my earnings from part time jobs in the coming months to buy all the RUSH albums I could get my hands on. They were treasures to me. I would sit in my room night after night with headphones on getting goose bumps listening to the guitar solo from “Working Man”, the symphonic caress of “Xanadu”, the haunting promise of optimism of “Limelight”. I devoted myself to music. I learned the bass and practiced Geddy’s incomparable style until my fingers bled. In unison it opened my artistic self up to limitless possibilities of expression. I already had artistic influence in my family – as well I had extreme depression of personal expression. Which way would I fall…
I fell… no, climbed up to be who I am today. RUSH opened my world to an endless fascination with intelligent, progressive rock and metal music. I have logged 20 or so concerts since my first at 17 – the “Grace Under Pressure” tour in Portland. I had to dance a dance and spin a tale to get my parents to let me go to that concert, let me tell you. And SO worth it. I still have the jersey style concert shirt from that show… and WOW, it looks like it may have fit my son when he was 10. If I tried to put in on today it would be an incredible recreation of Lou Ferrigno busting out of yet another shirt to become the Incredible Hulk.
So where does all this bring me today? Well then… I simply wanted to take this incredible, unforgettable influence in my life and have a little fun making some fun images my way. RUSH album art is incredible and consistently well done by artist Hugh Syme. My tribute, using this life spanning art in a fun photo shoot with always awesome Cassidy and my gorgeous co-conspirator.
I’ll probably end up exploring this further… how can I not? It’s the influence of a lifetime. It’s in my blood.
Thanks Cassidy, and thanks YOU KNOW WHO for being so great and letting me play.
Those who wish celebrity gossip
Must put aside the alienation
Get on with the fascination
The real relation
The underlying theme…