"Rush Receives Marvel Comic Honors"
"The Rush Conquests: 'Closer To The Heart' Will Be The Group's Sixth LP"

By Peter Crescenti and Russell Shaw, Circus, May 12, 1977, transcribed by pwrwindows

Rush Receives Marvel Comic Honors

By Peter Crescenti

Defenders dedication, click to enlarge

Marvel Comics scripter David Kraft, an avid fan of Rush and their heavy metal sci-fi epic '2112,' dedicated an issue of his The Defenders (#45, March 1977) to Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee. In the story, entitled 'Divided We Duel,' Kraft even has his villain, Red Rajah, quote from Rush's "The Twilight Zone:"

"Truth is false
And logic lost!
Obey the Rajah -
He seeks universal
Peace at any cost"

"We were knocked out, and it really means a lot to us," says Neil Peart of Kraft's dedication to the band. "It was like real credibility. That tiny little line in the comic book meant more to us than a whole issue of Rolling Stone or anything else. It really means something to us because that's a real measure of respect. It's from another artist, and it's like the praise of the praise-worthy.

"I read that issue and I enjoyed it," says Neil, who once claimed Marvel's Spider-Man as his favorite comics character because of his "great wit." "The defenders was a pretty cerebral kind of comic. There were a lot of things involved in it, and I don't know if a kid could relate to it, but I thought it was excellent reading. I really liked the way Dave put the lyrics to some of the songs in it."

Besides an affection for high-decibel rock'n'roll, Kraft and the members of Rush also share an appreciation for the philosophies espoused by Ayn Rand, whose novel Anthem inspired Rush's "2112". And Rush's song "Anthem" contains Neil Peart's impressions, of the Rand book.

Much of Ayn Rand's appeal stems from her basic belief that man has the right to totally govern himself - independent of an organized government and the medlings of "concerned citizens." Like Rush's "2112", Kraft's "Divided We Duel" reflects a deep respect for Rand's ideas.

"Red Rajah stands for what all humanitarians really stand for," Peart explains. "They all claim to be so selfless, but all they want is to pull the strings. They say 'Let's all get together and do this,' but it's all 'Let's get together and do this with me telling you how to do it.' The humanitarians are just the same as the dictators."

Peart isn't sure if Rush will ever directly base another LP on an Ayn Rand book again, but even if they don't he says, her influence will always be evident.

"The values are gonna be there forever," he emphasizes. "It's not a conscious kind of thing, but once the values are infused in us, then our writing is naturally gonna reflect them. All our work is gonna be set by those values."

The Rush Conquests: 'Closer To The Heart' Will Be The Group's Sixth LP

By Russell Shaw

Click to enlarge

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!"