I was introduced to Rush in 1981 by Ted Shellhamer in 7th grade. I remember listening to Moving Pictures in his basement, and then Permanent Waves and Signals and Hemispheres and so on. His mom made so much macaroni and cheese for us while we talked sports and listened.
It’s hard to explain how Rush exploded into my consciousness, and how important Witch Hunt, Camera Eye, Subdivisions, Natural Science and all the rest of these amazing songs meant to me.
What I can say is that this is my 30th year of listening to Rush and their music is the one constant other than my parents in my life since Ted played Moving Pictures for me.
And their music has filled my secret wells of emotion ever since.
I remember vividly listening to One Little Victory in 2002 on Rush.com and weeping. It had been four years, four years that we all sort of thought we might not hear anything else from Rush. Four years wishing we could tell Neil that we wanted to help him after his wife and daughter died.
And then there was One Little Victory. To paraphrase Alex, One Little Victory my ass, it was an amazing accomplishment to recover after their deaths.
I wept the first time I heard the song. I wept the first time I saw them on that tour. And I wept tonight watching them talk about it.
Tonight I saw their rockumentary, Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, and it was better than I expected. I sort of expected to see all sorts of interesting things and enjoy myself, but I didn’t expect seeing the people and personalities quite so much. I expected the story, but got the humanity.
Neil, Alex, and Geddy have never been big media guys. They’ve had interviews, but the mainstream music media have never cared for them. I’ve seen most of those interviews. This, however, was nearly 2 hours of stuff, including probably more from Neil than he had ever had done in interviews before. Part of this were all three of the guys talking about what was going on in their heads in that horrible time after Neil’s family died. I never expected to see him ever discuss his headspace after that time. Very powerful.
And it was funny as hell. Geddy’s mom saying she didn’t particularly care about their music in the 1960s. Jack Black was hilarious. And the dinner scene as the credits were rolling was just too much.
I have, of course, already purchased the two new singles from the new album. Listening to a new Rush album is different than listening to any other new album. You never know what you’re going to get. You never know what styles and images they will project and I have not loved every Rush album the first time I’ve listened to it.
But I’ve never picked up a Rush album and not gone: “Wow, I didn’t remember how good this album was.” I’ve never listened to a Rush song after a period away from the song and not gone: “Wow, there’s something there I never got before.” There’s so much going on I know I’ll never hear everything. It’s amazing that the more I’ve listened to what these three guys have done the more I’ve liked it. The music of these three has never gotten old, and I can’t imagine that they will.
Three pretty regular guys whose passion is music, who delivered that passion, that emotion, to millions of fans for decades. A band who is becoming more popular now than they have ever been because we fans have continued to listen to them because the music has continued to mean something to us.
That’s the story. And that’s the emotion that made me weep. Because their music is the soundtrack of over 70% of my life and their story and their humanity is part of my story and my humanity.
Right to the heart of the matter
Right to the beautiful part
Illusions are painfully shattered
Right where discovery starts
In the secret wells of emotion
Buried deep in our hearts