Hey you guys there?
It’s been two years. Two years exactly, actually.
Alex? Geddy? Hello? Forget Neil, he wouldn’t answer anyway.
Two years ago today, you guys performed the final show of the R40 Tour. I remember walking to the merch table for the last time. You know, I remember my first time walking to the merch table. Also at the Forum. It was like a found a pot of gold. I probably spent a pot of gold. Anyway, I tried freezing the moment a little bit longer that evening but it was during “Subdivisions” when it really hit home. Was this really the last time?
Then some guy a few rows up blew his partially digested beer all over the stairs right next to me. Wait, I think that was before the show started. He missed the whole thing! I felt the overspray. Blech. Now that was a first.
At any rate, we’ve heard nothing since. You’re retired, you’re not retired. Alex, Geddy. You two say you’re going to keep working together. Well?
You know it’s 2017, right? So, unless you guys pull a Foo Fighters and announce “Surprise! We’ve been working on a new album” the new studio album every-five-years streak since 2002 is going down the tubes. You’ve got five months.
A few weeks ago my wife told me a Rush song came on the radio. It was “The Spirit of Radio.” She told me she burst into tears. “I can’t believe we’re never going to see them again,” she said. “You really think they’re done?”
Now you have to understand something. Twenty years ago she had NO IDEA who you guys were. And, believe me it took her a while to finally get you guys. Today? Let me just say she was at the Hall of Fame Ceremony and flew with me to Tulsa for opening night on your, um, Farewell Tour? Yes, yes, yes you’ve never met. She loves those lyrics too about a long awaited stranger. But you’ve seen her. She was holding the R50 signs in Vancouver and Portland. We know you saw us. If you don’t remember check out the opening to Time Stand Still.
Here’s the other thing. Rush was pretty much the tour I’d see when I was younger. I saw sporadic concerts here and there of other favorite bands but you guys were pretty much it. Then about 10 years ago, partially thanks to a change in location of where I lived, I began attending concerts of just about everyone who came through town that I enjoyed currently or in my youth, and in some cases bands I simply heard of and perhaps only knew a few songs from the radio.
It was glorious. I loved it. Don’t worry no one ever compared to you guys. I still fondly recall the Gorge show on the Snakes and Arrows tour. Dang that was awesome. You know you guys are partially responsible for this blog?
The problem is in the last year or so my concert-attending joy has waned quite a bit. Oh I go, not as much, and I still love that rush of finding the best seats and getting those tickets. But when show date arrives, I have little to no interest. Grudgingly I go, half hoping I’ll get an email stating the show is canceled which never happens, thankfully, because almost always, I’m glad I went.
So my wife commented one day that maybe I don’t have the same enthusiasm because you guys aren’t active anymore. Was the joy of attending concerts buoyed by knowing Rush was always around the corner? Well you’re not. So, I don’t know. Interesting hypothesis. Maybe I’m just old.
It’s been two years. Two years exactly, actually.
OK, so this what I have in mind. Just go with me here. Absolutely, for many of us fans, we know what you guys put into each and every show. We get it. At the very least can we get a new album? Or two? You know 60 is the new 40. Thus, you guys are really in your mid-40s. Here’s what I’m thinking:
Technology allows you to work independently. Neil can drop his daughter off at school and then work on lyrics at the house just like a work-from-home 9 to 5 job. He sends you two the lyrics while you’re working on the bass and guitars. Meanwhile Neil works on the drums (again at home) or how ever you guys want to do it. Send it back and forth using a Cloud Server or even plain ole email. It can all be mixed and engineered without Neil leaving California while you guys remain in Toronto.
Does that sound like a plan?
Yes, yes yes, we would of course clamor for a tour. Give Rush fans an inch and we’ll always take a mile. So, if indeed the itch to perform the new material needs scratching here’s what I’m thinking:
Forget the three hour show already. Twenty-two songs is plenty. It affords new material, the staples and some surprises. It gets you guys on and off the stage in no more than two hours and gets us home by 11. Yes, most of us fans are old too. It doesn’t even have to be an elaborate show. Dim the lights, casually walk on and play. Then leave. Forget the encore too. WE’LL BE HAPPY.
Arrggh. The rigors of touring. Totally understand. Never mind a tour, tour. Think Residency. We’ll come to you. Hole up in Las Vegas for a month. Or where ever you want (coughwestcoastcough) Play 12 shows and I guarantee you they will all sell out. Just please ensure I get tickets to two of them so I can fully cross the 40 Rush concert threshold. Yeah, yeah, I know. That’s it? You try convincing my mom and dad to let me attend a Rush concert in the 1980s as a 12 year old. They weren’t going to drive me to downtown LA!
What do you guys think? Does this work?
Seriously, we need you guys. Music life hasn’t been the same.
Well, I gotta go. I’ve got to buy some tickets to a concert that I’ll dread going to in a few months.