RUSH FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Rock’s Greatest Power Trio is a refreshing read, due in part to the fact that the author, Max Mobley is a self-proclaimed “Rush geek” who not only clearly appreciates the band, he also knows what he is talking about. Mobley takes readers on a journey of a band that has produced 40 albums, 10 DVD’s, and thousands of live shows from their beginnings playing in a church basement in Ontario, Canada to their eventual induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
However, he doesn’t take us through that journey chronologically, per se, though the first chapter does tell us how these three young Canadians (Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart) took their first steps toward being a prog-rock power trio. We also read the story of the band’s original drummer John Rutsey. After our introductions, the author then discusses his theory ( and probably an agreed upon theory to many Rush fans) of Rush’s three most pivotal albums, which are he says, 2112, Moving Pictures, and Snakes and Arrows.
An interesting chapter discusses appearances and mentions of the band in TV and film, including the 2010 rockumentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, which includes interviews with many popular musicians who express their devotion to Rush. The following chapter introduces to the different groupings of Rush fans: original fans, second-generation fans ( who most likely discovered Rush during the time period of Moving Pictures), the next generation, the new muso generation, industry accommodators, working musicians, drummers, the Christo-Libertarian Club, Brazilians, and perhaps the most amusing name, Geddicorns, the definition of which is listed in urbandictionary.com as: “ A good-looking female that attends a Rush concert without having to be coaxed to do so by a dude. She is turned on by Geddy Lee and not afraid to show it.”
The next several chapters discuss each of Rush’s live albums. The author includes all the information you might ever want to know including set lists, lighting and stage set-up, videos, and a detailed description of the equipment the band was using, especially Geddy Lee’s keyboard and synthesizer set-up, which was quite massive before the advent of new technology that was able to have all the same functionality in more user-friendly size.
There are two chapters devoted to the writings of drummer Neil Peart, one focused on his role as lyricist for the band, and another about his travel writings that have been published. The latter chapter is quite interesting, but may leave a fan wondering where the chapters are on Lee and Lifeson, and whatever interests they may have outside the band. However, the author does also devote a chapter to those collaborators that have been a part of the band for years; those that may not be on the lighted stage, but true Rush afficionados are sure to know of.
The forward to the book is written by Donna Halper, the woman who is credited with having brought the sound of Rush to the United States by getting them airplay on WMMS-FM in Cleveland, and who still considers the guys friends to this day.
Released on June 17, RUSH FAQ is the latest installment of the FAQ series from Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group. The series includes books by different authors and some of the subjects include Elvis, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, and U2.
While the book seems like it would be most well-suited for a hardcore Rush fan, especially in the amount of details it gives on the band’s equipment and such, newcomers to the Rush fray will still enjoy the story the this band. They have, despite having a history of being misunderstood and even maligned by the press, continued to be a fan favorite for over 40 years. This book will surely become a mainstay on the bookshelves and coffee tables of Rush fans for years to come. Even those Geddicorns.