Neil Peart -- The Latest News

Friday, October 05, 2012

Rush nominated for Rock Hall (finally)

Updated 10/7/2012

After 38 years together, 22 consecutive Gold records, 24 total Gold records, 14 Platinum records, 20 total studio albums, sales of 40 million records worldwide, countless years of touring to sold-out arenas, and years of petitions by fans, Rush was finally nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (They've been eligible since 1998.)

Rush accepted the nomination with professional grace, giving credit where credit was due (the fans):

"We are honored to be among the nominees for this year's Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame. We are especially thrilled for the many, many dedicated RUSH fans to whom this nomination is so very important." -- Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart
The nomination brought out cries of vindication from Rush fans. But it also brought out the HATERS.

If you're a HATER, here's what I have to say to you: You're entitled to your opinion about Rush. But if you don't think Rush belongs in a legitimate hall of fame of Rock Music, then you don't know what you're talking about. And, no, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn't legit. If they were, would these bands and performers be missing? (This isn't an exhaustive list -- just some of the bands that jumped out from one list. Feel free to leave more in the comments.)
  • KISS
  • Yes
  • The Cars
  • Jethro Tull
  • Journey
  • Chicago
  • The Moody Blues
  • Iron Maiden
  • Joe Cocker
  • The Doobie Brothers
  • Peter Frampton
  • Cheap Trick
  • Judas Priest
  • Devo
  • Def Leppard
  • Motley Crue
  • Duran Duran
As I watched these two LA Times music critics debate the merits of Rush's possible induction into the Rock Hall, I was surprised to hear the same old criticisms: complex time signatures, pretentious lyrics, and Geddy Lee's high vocal range don't belong in the Hall. Well, you've been saying these things for years -- and it's time to just admit you were wrong. You may not like or understand Rush, but that doesn't mean they're not a legitimate Rock band.

Neil Peart said in a 1992 article with Bob Mack in Spin Magazine about the critics:

"It's fine for people they say they hate us -- that our music is too busy, self-absorbed, elevated. Or they hate Geddy's voice. Fine. That's a taste thing... Rhythm is the basis of a lot of musical styles. To Rush, it's just an element. That's why we're accused of being too busy, too convoluted, too far-reaching. Yes, we're restless, and yes, our work is uneven -- but no one can ever question the sincerity of the attempt."

Rush has successfully defied the conventions that music critics helped create -- highlighting the flaws in the system. Like all great artists, Rush created their own conventions and did what they wanted. They built their audience by touring (not radio and hits). Their breakthrough album was 2112, a side-long sci-fi epic (even though they were under pressure to write 3-minute Pop songs from the record company). They experimented with musical forms and instruments -- always learning, always growing -- instead of staying the same. They gathered up reader's poll awards for their group and individual accomplishments.

But, most importantly, people were inspired -- because Rush continued to show that a Rock band could stand for something other than the usual "Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll!" And as the years passed, the circle of fans grew larger until Rush couldn't be ignored anymore. Some of those early fans became influencers in media and culture. And now here we are, arriving at a time when even the Rock Hall has given up their crusade against Rush. (Even if the HATERS won't go out without a fight.)

Perhaps that in itself is worth celebrating.

Regardless of whether they get inducted into the Rock Hall, Rush will continue to do what they do best: write new music and play it live for an audience.

Congrats to Rush and the fans that made this happen!


posted by AndyO @ 2:46 PM   4 comments