North in Toronto, there's a spanking new Mercedes 450 SL waiting for Rush's Neil Peart, a Porsche Targa for Geddy Lee, and a twelve cylinder Jaguar XKE for guitarist Alex Lifeson. But just as Canada's premier power trio didn't have time to pick out their own dream machines, they won't have the opportunity to put much mileage on their new wheels. Three years of incessant touring have made the winners of 1974's Juno Award (The Canadian Grammy) for "Most Promising New Group" this year's nominee for "Best Band," and Rush isn't about to stop now.
Although virtually ignored by "the rock critic establishment" and conventional radio programmers, Rush's latest release, the live double LP, All The World's A Stage (Mercury), has sold over 400,000 copies at last count, and 2112, their previous work, hovers just beneath the gold mark.
The hardworking road rockers will enjoy their first vacation in recent memory this spring. "We'll probably go wild," said Geddy Lee, the band's disarmingly shy bassist. "Except for Alex. He'll be waiting 'round the hospital for the birth of his second child." After the brief sojourn, Rush is due to headline the most prestigious event of their career - Canada's Concert and Exhibition - an annual event in the National Football Stadium - playing before a crowd of 23,000.
Following their Canadian grand performance, they're off to England for a week's worth of concerts, marking the first time Rush has appeared in Europe.
After their English "mini-tour," the trio will squirrel themselves away in the country comfort of Wales' Rockfield Studios. With longtime Rush producer Terry Brown at the helm, and a new engineer, Rush will record their sixth album, hoping for the kind of sound 10cc managed to squeeze out of Rockfield's dials.
The working title of the new LP is Closer To The Heart. While it has been frequently reported that much of Rush's lyrical inspiration is rooted in Ayn Rand's philosophy, not all of their material is culled from such erudite sources.
"We're still into science fiction," acknowledged Geddy, revealing that the origin of one new composition, "Cygnus X-1," is a Time Magazine article that described "an actual black hole in space, beyond the stars."
And, unlike some performers who will sell their souls for a hit single, or are prone to throwing soggy sandwiches (and worse) at disapproving critics, Rush remains uncompromising, thoroughly unconcerned with lack of media favor.
"We've never been a critics' band, we've never been a DJ's band," states Geddy Lee resolutely, "We're not interested in writing AM hits, we're writing things that please us. And we've proved to ourselves that even if we don't get any airplay, there are still plenty of people out there who want to hear us!"