Last Saturday I was on my porch, and grabbed a LaBatt Blue. Mmmm good. I was in a bit of a restless mood, since it was mid day, nice weather, and I felt the need to do something. I didn’t move from my hammock for a good hour, but eventually felt a sense of guilt. I am sure like most of you, I felt the need to be productive.
I hate when that happens.
I eventually made my way to my music room, man cave, whatever you want to call it. It was in shambles from entertaining some friends the prior week, so I decided to give the space a good cleaning.
Now, what to play?
I grabbed another fresh Labatt Blue to accompany me. A perfect pilsner for a man on a mission. I also realized I needed some energetic music. I dug through one my crates and there it was…. Rush’s Moving Pictures.
The record hadn’t seen the light of day for some time, but it was perfect. Canada is in the house!
I’ve always thought Alex Lifeson is one of the most underrated guitarists of all time. I’ve read that his solo on Limelight is his favorite, and it was a staple in live shows. It’s an amazing piece of guitar work and artistry. It’s got this meandering whammy bar feel that matches so incredibly well with the feel of the lyric. It’s a melancholy vibe that plays so well into Neil’s lyric and sentiment. I always listen to that piece and think to myself, that, right there, is a true artist at work.
Neil wrote the lyric, as any Rush fan would certainly already know. He struggled a lot with all the attention that fame brought his way. Having introverted tendencies, I have always related to the story and lyric. I watched a Rush documentary not too long ago, and he asked sincerely, “why do people come to hotels to hunt us down, we’re just musicians!” If you look up reluctant rock star in the dictionary, there’s a photo of Neil. I can only imagine the invasion of privacy rock stars have to deal with.
The other tune that I really enjoy on Moving Pictures is YYZ. Right around the 2:50 mark, Geddy transitions into this cool, moody synth thing. It gives the song, which is an all-out jam, this beautiful feel that is in contrast with the rest of the song. It’s an interesting move since it is bookended with all this fast riff and percussion work. It fits oh so well.
What a band. What a record.
A friend of mine is a drummer. I’ve heard him play a lot, but never Rush (it takes a brave soul, indeed). I recently went to one of his shows which was a one-off with some of his buddies. They launched into YYZ and I about fell off my bar stool. My first feeling was excitement, and then I thought, man, this dude is nuts. This better be good. They nailed it, complete with Geddy’s synth part right on time. Whew.
So, my music room is looking good and well organized. I think I cleaned up about 5 Labatt Blue’s by the time I was done, too.
One of my all time favorite quotes was from notorious Irishman Brendan Behan. In an interview he once said, “The first billboard I saw driving from the airport into Canada read, ‘Drink Canada Dry’, so I did!”
I did my part Saturday afternoon too.