Most people who regularly read my blog understand that I am a big fan of music, especially classic rock. For me, there was never a reason to journey far past my love of such masters like The Beatles, The Eagles/Joe Walsh, Peter Frampton, Elton John, and Boston. There are, of course, some bands that I’m not as enamored of, like Pink Floyd (they made me wreck my car in 1997), AC/DC (all their songs sound exactly the same to me), and, much to the dismay of my great friend, James, RUSH.
I will admit that RUSH has had a prolific output of 30+ albums over the past four decades. To be able to span the years like they have – and maintain their original three-man line-up – is amazing. Plus, the sound that they are able to produce with just three musicians is phenomenal. I will give them credit. They have surpassed what most artists only dream of doing and they will rightly take their place in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this coming Thursday as a 2013 inductee. It is long overdue. How Madonna got in before they did will always astound me. Of course, my beloved Peter Frampton is NOT in the Hall of Fame as of yet, which is a whole different point of contention for me.
I admit that RUSH are legendary musicians. I do enjoy their instrumental work. But there is something about lead singer Geddy Lee’s voice that unhinges me. It’s not so much in their later work, but in the first couple of mainstream releases, especially “Closer to the Heart,” his voice is way too high and it scratches my soul like a needle skips across an entire album. Now, in their later work, his voice comes down at least an entire octave. Perhaps he hit puberty and his voice dropped in their later work? I don’t know the answer. But, to me, the vocals on, say, “Roll the Bones” is much more palatable than “A Farewell to Kings.”
And here’s how my choice of not embracing RUSH has ruined – or will ruin – my life:
a) I will never gain full access to “The Boys Club” consisting of my good friends James, Scott, and Stick. Granted, I don’t have that pesky “Y” chromosome, but that fact in addition to my disdain for RUSH has kept me from being fully invited into this group. Two major strikes. The Boys did relent and let me go record shopping with them once, but I am banned from major club events like a prized invite to the annual NHL draft. No non-loving RUSH girls allowed. This has had a profound negative effect on my life. Just think of all the young, hot, hockey players I haven’t had the opportunity to meet!
b) The members of RUSH are Canadian. I’m fairly confident that loving RUSH is a law in Canada. So, when I am a famous author and am embarking on my first International book tour, I will not be welcomed in Canada. Sure, I like moose, ice hockey, and the Mackenzie Brothers. Heck, I’ve even embraced curling! But my non-love of RUSH will certainly encourage those of the Great White North to dub me as a “HOSER” thus making my agent have to work that much harder to gain acceptance of my work.
c) I have not been invited to any of this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame festivities, which adds to my chronic depression. Walking a red carpet is definitely something I want to accomplish before I die and I’m only getting older. I’d like to do this sometime before needing my first face lift, which is right around the corner.
I’m sure there’s more, but this is all I have right now.
Okay, here’s WHY I’m writing about this. I lost a bet with James D. Queener. He is one of my best friends. While we have many things in common, we have quite a diverse array of things we do NOT agree on. We both love a well-crafted beer, hockey, baseball, the movie “Slap Shot,” and music (especially concept albums). However, we generally don’t agree on anything political. I’m a bleeding heart liberal (to some degree) and he is very conservative. He hates vegetables. I love them. He thinks cats are evil and, well, I’m beginning to agree with him to some degree on that one. 🙂 Anyway, at the beginning of hockey season, we make a bet based on our favored teams. James follows the Columbus Blue Jackets religiously and I am a big fan of the Colorado Avalanche. Now, being from Central Ohio should dictate that I pay allegiance to the Blue Jackets. And I do. Unless they’re playing the AVS. My reasoning is this: I lived in Colorado for the inaugural season of the Avalanche. They won the whole shebang their first time out, which was nothing short of amazing. I was hooked. When Columbus decided to get a team of their own, I was excited. However, I was dedicated to my AVS. I wasn’t going to break up with them just because another team came along. I root for the AVS no matter what and I root for the CBJ whenever they’re not playing the AVS. I think that’s fair.
So, the AVS and the CBJ had three games against each other during this short season. The AVS won the first game. CBJ won the second game. Last night was the final showdown. The first period was unimpressive but something happened in the second period that set both teams on fire. After that, it was a nail biter. Of course, if I won, then James would have to do something he didn’t really want to do (which I’m saving for next year.) And if he won, I would be required to write about anything he chose. Unfortunately, this is the second year in a row that he has won the bet. Last year I had to write a confession about what I did with his prized X-Files VHS tapes that I “borrowed” in 1994, and now this year I have to write about his favorite band. I can’t imagine what he’ll make me write next year – IF he wins yet again. With all this writing he’s making me do, I guess I’ll have no choice but to make him my agent. Hey! Since he loves RUSH so much, he’ll afford me that Canadian audience I so greatly desire. Problem solved!
So, James, I truly missed the boat on RUSH. I’m standing on the shore, waving my arms, asking – no, PLEADING with them – to come back for me. After all, Geddy has finally gone through puberty and I feel more comfortable being in a committed relationship with them now.