Into The Culture: Rush — Liberty And Freedom Artist

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By: Gerald Loeffers

Hello everyone! I have been watching Glenn as of late talk about getting into culture. How to present great art with an open mind and how not to push a narrative line, while showing that the artist can have other opinions on subjects. I was thinking about his idea over the past week and at the same time, I was reading MATT KIBBE’S new book. In it, Kibbe wrote about owning his first RUSH album when he was a kid and while reading the album cover, discovering how the band had dedicated “2112” to AYN RAND. So, he went out and found an old copy of ANTHEM and that put him on the path he is on right now.

Right now, I am having a RUSH jam history lesson as I write this article. I’m going through their library from the 70s to the 1990s for now. I heard my first RUSH tune “LOCK AND KEY” in 1987 and it was at a mind blowing time when hair bands were doing the band wagon war protest and Reagan-hating tunes. These guys were not about the politics of the day, but about the concept of being a free person and having individual choice to do what you wanted to do with yourself. At that time as a kid, I didn’t get it. Years later in my early 40s, when I found out about AYN RAND, I was reading history and finding out about RUSH’s passion for AYN RAND’s ideas. That made me a bigger fan and I wanted to buy more of their albums and read the liner notes.

RUSH is a very underrated 3-man band from the great white north and they have some of the tightest and most technical music to ever grace a stage. They embraced AYN RAND as far back as high school and wanted to bring her ideas and concepts to the music they created. They have one of the best song writers around who understands his own material and understands his audience. He knows that they are intelligent and get what they are expressing and presenting. I also noticed that RUSH throws around politically incorrect phrases such as, “freedom isn’t free,” or “choice the right way,” or (gasp!) “make your own way.” Oh goodness! What old fashioned sentiments. What I found horrific was an old interview of RUSH in the 1970s, when the interviewer found out they were AYN RAND fans (including GEDDY LEE, who’s own parents were survivors of a Nazi death camp), he accused RUSH and LEE of being right wing nuts and Nazis! I am surprised LEE didn’t punch that Hoosier in the mouth.

With misunderstood songs by the record execs like “THE TREES” OR “2112,” RUSH had a hell of a time trying to keep their musical integrity intact, while fighting the record label who wanted them to do more bland commercial pop rock crud. RUSH has always been a band who has eschewed any of the politics of the day. They refused to play within the box packaged music trending at that moment in time and they encouraged others to go their own way in life, music or whatever you’re doing. I see an opportunity…

Glenn again wanted to delve into the artistic culture and make us aware that at one time, AYN RAND wanted WALT DISNEY to do an animated version of ANTHEM. But that never happened and Glenn has made it known he would like to carry out a similar project for ANTHEM. I have read the book and I get it!!!! But the opportunity that I see, is that if Glenn gets the ANTHEM project going, I think a musical partnership with RUSH, creating the unique soundtracks for the proposed ANTHEM project, would bring those strange bed fellows together for the very culture project GLENN speaks of all the time.

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