Recently honored with their own Canadian stamp, the group Rush was the first Canadian band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here are some other little known facts about Canada’s favorite prog-rock power trio from our newest release Uncle John’s Weird Canada Bathroom Reader.
• The inspiration for the eight-minute, epic “By-Tor and the Snow Dog” on Fly By Night was the band’s road manager’s mouthy German shepherd, who would bite anyone who came near. “He’s a By-Tor,” the manager would say.
• Neal Peart was for many years a devotee of Ayn Rand, who emphasized the individual over society and denounced the poor as parasites. He has since denounced Rand’s doctrine of selfishness and called himself a “bleeding-heart libertarian.”
• Alex Lifeson was born Aleksandar Zˇivojinovi ́c to Serbian parents—his stage name is an almost literal translation of his Serbian name.
• Unlike other bands from the ‘70s, Rush never trashed hotel rooms. However, Lifeson was tasered, arrested, and had his nose broken in 2003 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Naples, Florida. The incident stemmed from what the guitarist called the hotel and sheriff’s office’s “incredibly discourteous, arro- gant, and aggressive behavior.” The hotel chain later settled for damages.
• To obtain a better sound, Geddy Lee gave up his onstage amplifiers, preferring to plug directly into the venue’s mixing console. The newly freed space on his side of the stage was then filled with random set pieces, including Maytag dryers, chicken rotisseries, and a vend- ing machine.
• Lee is the son of Jewish holocaust survivors from Poland. His name, Geddy, came from when a friend heard his mother’s pronunciation of his real name, Gary. He later legally changed his name.
• Bassist Geddy Lee is fishing buddies with another bassist, Les Claypool of Primus. (it’s unknown if they go bass fishing.)
********************* E-BOOK ALERT **********************
Uncle John’s Weird Canada Bathroom Reader e-book is now available. Head over to one of the following e-book retailers to more information.