Saying their favorite band has become too commercial since it was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last April, fans of Canadian power trio Rush say it’s time to make a push for their removal.
“We were instrumental in getting the band inducted into the Hall of Fame in the first place, thanks to our years of persistence, but now we see we made a mistake,” says Randy Powers, a fan from Pittsburgh who has launched a petition drive calling for Rush’s removal from the Cleveland institution. “Bobbleheads, T-shirts, refrigerators—it’s just all too much. We don’t mind the band trying to make a buck. It’s hard to do that now with people so easily downloading or streaming music on the Internet. But enough is enough.”
Rush was eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame in 1999 but despite their global popularity among a core group of fans that have bought tens of millions of albums and CDs since the band released its debut album in 1974, the Rock Hall induction committee steadfastly refused to take them seriously.
What’s more, Rock Hall founder and chairman Jann Wenner, publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine, was said not to like the band, describing the voice of Rush vocalist Geddy Lee as Donald Duck-like and dismissing the lyrics of Neil Peart as bad science fiction and fantasy.
But even Wenner acknowledged that the band had a formidable fan base, and each year that Rush wasn’t nominated, the outcry from fans grew louder and louder.
“The problem was, few music critics and writers liked the band’s music but as Rush’s fans got older, they basically commandeered the Internet to get the band inducted,” said one Rock Hall insider who asked not to be named. “They could do this because these guys are the ones who rule the world now. They’re the scientists who helped put NASA in space, the misfits who helped create the world’s most successful technology companies, and the politicians and pundits who have helped polarize our country. So, you ask yourself as a committee, ‘Do we want to stand in the way of this juggernaut?’ and the answer, of course, was no. Plus, after really listening to the band, I and others started to realize they really are good. The music is a symphony of nuance and the lyrics are endlessly thought-provoking, but that’s not what we’re talking about.”
Powers says he and other fans first started talking about getting Rush removed from the Rock Hall after the London Symphony Orchestra released a tribute album of the band’s radio hits. “Listening to ‘Tom Sawyer’ played with French horns, oboes, and clarinets was just too much for me,” he said. Others complained about the avalanche of Rush-branded merchandise, like bar stools, refrigerators, and dog accessories. “Where will it all end? Pretty soon people will be trying to get Rush commemorated with a Google Doodle. The outrageousness is endless.”
Nigel Porter, a respected U.K. academic who has written widely on the band, says fans are trying to have their cake and eat it too. “Rush has always been about striving for success and not apologizing for that,” he said. “Let’s not forget that famous cover-story interview they did for Maclean’s magazine in 1978. They very forthrightly said they’re capitalists and proud of it.”
Of course, the band’s flirtation with uber-capitalist Ayn Rand has long been part of its appeal. Although lyricist Peart says the Rand thing was just a dalliance, it’s clear through his lyrics over the years that, as long as the capitalist relationship is mutual and consensual, the capitalist relationship benefits everyone.
“Fans are just going to have to live with their success,” says Porter.
But Powers says getting Rush removed from the Rock Hall is for the band’s own good—plus, it gives fans something to do with the awesome infrastructure they’ve created over the years to get the band inducted. “We built this incredible system in which, anytime a magazine or radio show was talking about the Rock Hall, we could get fans from all over the world to flood the discussion with calls for Rush’s induction. Well, those days are gone, but we still have this awesome ability to move the dial one way or the other. So, we moved the dial toward the Rock Hall last year. Now it’s time to move the dial in the other direction.”
This is a work of satire. It is a fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Rush concert photo: tnn (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
Cowed by the recent success and outpouring of affection for the Canadian rock trio Rush, music critics have largely refrained from laying a glove on the band, which first hit the music scene in 1974 and today is enjoying something of a renaissance as it basks in the success of its most recent album Clockwork Angels. But several music critics, including most prominently Adam Carter of Rolling Stone, are bucking the trend and slamming the band for its pretentious lyrics, over-wrought drumming, and, most of all, the screeching vocals of bass player and lead singer Geddy Lee. “I know it’s fashionable for one to pay one’s respects to ‘legendary’ progressive rockers Rush, but I just can’t hop onto this bandwagon,” Carter says in his blog, Rock in/Site. “No one can tell me Geddy Lee has somehow learned how to sing. In fact, I would venture to say More.
Russian hacking of Democratic and Republican campaign emails have led to upheaval this election year, analysts say, not the least of which is the presidential victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. But in the latest bizarre twist, the hacked email of Republican elector Christopher Suprun of Texas indicates this “faithless” elector is a big fan of Neil Peart of the aging Canadian prog-rock group Rush. In an email made public by WikiLeaks, Suprun, who made news weeks ago by saying he could not in good conscious cast his vote as an elector for Donald Trump, was quoting Neil Peart’s lyrics from the Rush song “Faithless” as he mulled what to do. More.
Ayn Rand, Back from the Dead, Calls Americans Ninnies for Threatening Election Violence Rather Than Going Away to Build Utopia in the Rockies
Ayn Rand, the objectivist guru who helped launch the Libertarian movement and serves as inspiration for those in the tea party and others who believe Americans should be self reliant rather than live under the yoke of a paternalistic government, came back from the dead today to tell Americans supporting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that they’re “ninnies” for questioning the legitimacy of the election. “If you read Atlas Shrugged all the way through, you know objectivism isn’t about violence and questioning the vote; it’s about withdrawing from the hopeless liberal society and building a utopia in Colorado,” said Rand, who spoke to reporters and a small crowd of people outside Trump Tower in New York City. More.
The Republican party establishment, desperate to prevent Donald Trump from walking away with the presidential nomination, has repeatedly asked Ohio Gov. John Kasich to leave the race. But Kasich, despite his mostly lackluster performance, says he has a stash of secret support from a large and important constituency and he doesn’t want to see that bloc of voters left without a champion. “I owe it to Rush fans all over the United States to stay in the race and make sure their values are represented on the campaign trail and reflected in the party platform when the Republicans meet in July for the convention—which, by the way, is in my home state,” says Kasich. More.
Just when they thought it was safe to go to presidential campaign events without having to listen to the Canadian band Rush, voters have learned that Rand Paul, the libertarian candidate who recently dropped out of the race, isn’t the only fan of the band. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is also a fan, which means the piercing screech of Geddy Lee and the tin-can thumping of Neil Peart once again threaten to send property values down around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington. “Please, tell me this isn’t true,” says Jim Robinson, 40, an attorney in Carson City, Nev., who was interested in voting for Rand Paul but decided he could never vote for anyone who quoted Rush lyrics at campaign events. More.
Poll numbers have been slipping for U.S. Republican presidential aspirant Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) since he announced he candidacy in April and one of his top advisors is pointing the finger at Rush, the Canadian progressive rock trio whose libertarian-themed lyrics have made them a long-time favorite of Paul’s. “As an individual, Rand Paul can listen to any music he wants,” says Chip Englander, the candidate’s campaign manager and one of his top strategists. “It’s not for me to weigh in on someone’s taste in music, no matter how horrible. But as a candidate trying to build a base of support, Rand Paul is doing himself no favors playing music that causes his base of support to run away, screaming ‘Make it stop!’ We’re telling him he can’t go on listening to this music.” More.
Kid Rock, the Grammy-winning hip-hop, rock, and country artist, has announced his intention to run for a seat in the United States Senate for the state of Michigan as a famous Republican. “We need more famous people in office,” Rock said at a press announcement today. “We need people who know how to get their name out there, steal the limelight, and command the press attention, because these are the people who are ready to dig into the details of policy, understand the nuances, try to see things from all sides, and find a solution that gets the country moving forward for all Americans and not just some Americans. That’s something famous people can do.” Rock, whose given name is Robert James Ritchie, said people with experience governing aren’t going to know what it’s like to have a five-month marriage to a former Playboy playmate, nor are they going to know what it’s like to be caught on video with another famous person getting a head job from some women. More.
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Ultra hard-righter Ayn Rand, one of the most influential voices in American politics in the last 50 years, was a nobody until a cabal of Canadian expatriates made her a star in a quest to destablize the United States so that Canada could gain a geo-political edge over its southern neighbor, according to a blockbuster book released yesterday. “People think of Canada as this quiet, do-gooder country that goes the extra mile to get along with its much bigger neighbor,” says Samuel Harper, a political science professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Harper is author of Ayn Rand Conspiracy: How Canada Unleashed the World’s Kookiest Political Philosopher on an Unsuspecting United States (Basic Books: 2014), which landed on the New York Times bestseller list upon its debut. More.
An explosive book by former Ayn Rand intimate Barbara Branden says the founder of the ultra-free market philosophy of objectivism was actually a heavy user of federal assistance and regularly sought meetings with federal officials to squelch competition to her free-market manifestos Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. “No one was more enthralled with the brilliance and charisma of Ayn Rand than I and my husband, Nathaniel Branden, were, but in the end, the great seer of free-market economics was no different than anyone else, taking government handouts whenever she could and using the coercive power of the federal government to make life miserable for true free-marketers whose work posed a threat to her bestselling books,” writes Branden in her book, Ayn Rand: Welfare Queen, just released from Pythagoras Publications. More.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder cause a diplomatic row when he tried to slip Detroit over the border and leave the bankrupt and crisis-ridden American city with Canada, U.S. and Canadian authorities have confirmed. Officers of the Canadian Border Services Agency apprehended the governor late last night when he was caught trying to redirect the Detroit River two miles to the south, which would have left Detroit on the Canadian side of the border while leaving the more affluent suburbs on the American side. “I will only confirm that officers of the Canadian Border Services Agency, approaching by watercraft, apprehended an American government official at 3 a.m., Eastern Time, approximately three feet into Canadian territory,” said James Haprer, head of the Canadian Border Services Agency. More.
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The pot’s legal in Colorado but they’re smoking crack in Kansas. Embarrassed by its state’s awkward turn to the right in recent years, beloved 1970s rock band Kansas changed its name to Colorado and announced the release of its newest studio album, Thematterwithkansas, and the opening of its 2015 tour. “As much as we love our state and have always been proud to bear its name,” the band said in a statement, “we had to ask ourselves, ‘What’s the matter with Kansas?’ and our answer was, ‘Who the hell knows?!” So we moved to Colorado and now we’re a bit to the left of our old state, geographically and politically, but we think our fans will understand.” In its mid-1970s heyday, Kansas was on the top of the charts with its mix of progressive rock and virtuosic violin playing. More.
Robert Plant, the golden haired and golden voiced singer for the legendary hard rock band Led Zeppelin, says in an interview on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” that he should have listened to his dad and become an accountant rather than leave home when he was 16 to live the rock-and-roll lifestyle. “If I were to live my life again, would I have that nasty break with my family and sing for various bands before finally joining Pagey and the others to form Led Zeppelin? I think on balance what I did was a mistake and, in retrospect, I should have listened to my dad.” More.