Heart 'Destroy Stigmas,' Profess Love For Rush

By Aaron Brophy, Huffington Post, July 23, 2013

Girls don't like Rush.

That would be the conventional party line from dudes who've gone so deep into "YYZ" drum solos and stereotyping movies like "I Love You, Man" they've lost perspective.

Don't tell that to Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson, though. She totally digs the work of Geddy Lee, Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson and has since shared her fandom with her sisters.

"I am into Rush," Wilson tells HuffPost Canada Music. "We are into Rush now. We watched that documentary 'Beyond The Lighted Stage.' I found it so completely great I took it on the road and me and [Heart singer] Ann and [other Wilson sister] Lynn watched it on our tour bus and we're like, 'Oh my god, we get it! We understand where it comes from now.'"

Conditions were right for the Wilson sisters to get behind the band responsible for such classics as "Tom Sawyer," "Subdivisions" and "Limelight." Both Heart and Rush were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this year, have deep, historic Canadian music connections and the band shares a professional connection with the Toronto prog rock trio.

"I wanted to check 'em out because they were so tight with our producer Ben Mink," says Wilson. "He's one of Geddy Lee's oldest dearest friends from back in the day in the '70s, so we kind of ended up hooking up with them more recently and I wanted to check 'em out again because of him and because Rush is kind of one of those bands that are kind of like a dog whistle that only men can hear."

It's not like Heart were unaware of Rush's work, it's just that they've now decided to take things to the next level.

"I've always liked a lot of their songs on the radio over the years, but I've never felt compelled to pick up their albums," says Wilson. "But now I want to pick up their new one. We've become Rush fans."

Some of the things that have made the Wilsons pro-Rush go beyond the trio's musical skills, however. Rush have a cheeky side, what with Geddy having recorded songs in the past with Bob and Doug McKenzie and band members appearing on trashtastic show Trailer Park Boys. It's that sense of fun the Wilsons can get behind.

"They've got this incredibly cool, complex, it's thinking man's rock," starts Wilson. "But it's also got a big tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, like when they're basting their rotisserie chickens on their backline and they've got their washing and drying going [on stage]. And the movie 'I Love You Man,' too, was just hysterical."

There's also another gratifying reason for Heart to get behind Rush. As pioneering gals-who-rock, for decades the band have bucked traditions and expectations in a male-dominated musical field. Standing up for Rush is just another example of crossing those boundaries.

"We're always going around trying to destroy stigmas as it is," says Wilson. "So we might as well add that one to it."

Heart perform July 23 at Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in Toronto, Ontario.