is a Canadian rock
band formed in 1968 in the Willowdale
neighbourhood of Toronto
and lead vocalist Geddy Lee
, guitarist Alex Lifeson
, and drummer Neil Peart
. There were several ephemeral lineup fluctuations between 1968 and May 1971, and drummer/lyricist Neil Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey
in July 1974, two weeks before the group's first U.S. tour, completing the present line-up. Since the release of the band's self-titled debut album
in 1974 Rush has become known for the instrumental virtuosity of its members, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction
, libertarian philosophy
, as well as addressing humanitarian, social, emotional, and environmental concerns.
Musically, Rush's style has evolved over the years, beginning in the vein of blues-inspired heavy metal on their eponymous debut to styles encompassing hard rock, progressive rock, a period dominated by synthesizers and, more recently, modern rock. Rush has influenced various modern artists such as Metallica, The Smashing Pumpkins and Primus, as well as many notable progressive metal bands such as Dream Theater, Coheed and Cambria, and Symphony X.
Rush has been awarded several Juno Awards and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994. Over the course of their career, the individual members of Rush have been recognized as some of the most proficient players on their respective instruments with each member winning several awards in magazine readers' polls. As a whole, Rush boasts 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records. These statistics place Rush fifth behind The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Kiss and Aerosmith for the most consecutive gold and platinum albums by a rock band. Rush ranks 77th in U.S. album sales (tied with Nirvana, ZZ Top and Faith Hill) according to the RIAA with sales of 25 million units. Although total worldwide album sales are not calculated by any single entity, as of 2004 several industry sources estimated Rush's total worldwide album sales at over 40 million units.
Neil Ellwood Peart OC, (born September 12, 1952) is a Canadian musician and author. He is best-known as the drummer and lyricist for the rock band Rush.
Peart grew up in Port Dalhousie, Ontario (now part of St. Catharines) working the occasional odd job. However, his true ambition was to become a professional musician. During adolescence, he floated from regional band to regional band and dropped out of high school to pursue a career as a full-time drummer. After a discouraging stint in England to concentrate on his music, Peart returned home, where he joined a local Toronto band, Rush, in the summer of 1974.
Early in his career, Peart's performance style was deeply rooted in hard rock. He drew most of his inspiration from drummers such as Keith Moon and John Bonham, players who were at the forefront of the British hard rock scene. As time progressed, however, he began to emulate jazz and big band musicians Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. In 1994, Peart became a friend and pupil of jazz instructor Freddie Gruber. It was during this time that Peart decided to revamp and reinvent his playing style by incorporating jazz and swing components. Gruber was also responsible for introducing him to the products of Drum Workshop, the company whose products Peart currently endorses.
Peart has received many awards for his musical performances and is known for his technical proficiency and stamina. Peart currently resides in Santa Monica, California with his wife, photographer Carrie Nuttall, and newborn daughter, Olivia Louise, but also has a home in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec and spends time in Toronto for recording purposes.
Did you know...
- Lee, Lifeson, and Peart are all Officers of the Order of Canada, the first rock musicians so honored.
- The band released their first single "Not Fade Away", a cover of the Buddy Holly song, in 1973, and Side B contained an original composition, "You Can't Fight It", neither of which has ever been released on CD.
- The album, Caress of Steel sold below expectations and the promotional tour consisted of small venues which led to the moniker the "Down the Tubes Tour".
- "Lifeson" is a loose translation of Alex's real surname "Zivojinovich", which means "son of life".
- Geddy Lee's parents were both survivors of Nazi concentration camps.
- Geddy Lee's birth name is Gary Lee Weinrib.
Things you can do
The History of Rush spans almost forty years, from a fluctuating early lineup between the summer of 1968 and May 1971, to Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and John Rutsey at the release of the band's debut album in July 1974. The lineup finally settled after the replacement of Rutsey with Neil Peart in July of the same year. This membership has lasted over thirty-five years. Over this time span, Rush has changed their style of music dramatically, changing from a sound very derivative of Led Zeppelin on their eponymous debut to styles encompassing hard rock, progressive rock, and a period dominated by synthesizers. Today their style of music can best be described as modern rock. Presently, the band continues to produce music and tour extensively.
- "I have a lyric-writing room at one end and they have the little studio at the other end, so we're running back and forth all the time, of course, with feedback, and we both give each other a lot of encouragement and criticism." - Neil
- "I know my name pops up in these keyboard polls from time to time, and it's really unfair, because I really am not a good keyboard player." - Geddy
- "We felt we were successful for a long time before we had any kind of financial satisfaction." - Alex
- "It's always a happy day when YYZ appears on our luggage tags." - Neil
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