Rush vs. hockey: Hard to say which is Canada’s greatest import?

April 21, 2011 | Nestor Aparicio

(Originally published in April 2011, this is my story about Rush. They’re back in the area this weekend and I’m geeked up about seeing them so I’m re-posting this blog…)

With Friday’s reappearance in Baltimore of the greatest musical trio of all time, I thought it was time to put words on a page to describe why seeing Rush at age 42 still inspires me and makes me feel like an eighth grade-school dork with a Super Bowl ticket. I might even buy a tour shirt this time so I’ll look cool at work on Monday morning!

Yes, I’ll be at First Mariner Arena with 12,000 others who “get it” when it comes to Rush, Canada’s greatest export this side of Don Cherry and Lord Stanley’s Goblet. But I’m about as old-school as you can be with Rush these days, one of the few who were there back on Sept. 26, 1980 in Largo when I spent my first of 38 evenings with Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart. I’m sure there are some in our WNST audience who saw them at the Civic Center with Kiss or at some point in the 1970’s when they toured tirelessly as a opening act for virtually everyone of that era.

There’s so much I could write about – and the fact that Rush was the first byline interview I ever really had in The News American (I’ll tell that story later) adds to their mystique – and so much about them that still inspires me but the fact that all four of us are still alive and will be able to gather in the same room with my best pal, Kevin Eck (yes, you know him as the wrestling god/diva from RingPosts and fame at The Baltimore Sun) and jam – well, it’s just a nice Friday night in Charm City.

Eck and I attended that first show with Rush and Saxon 31 years ago at the Capital Centre. I got a tour shirt and my Mom was particularly dismayed that I wore my tour shirt from that night when I posed for my 8th grade class pictures at Holabird Middle School but all these years later I can now post it on Facebook and be completely delighted enough with my decision to say: “See, Mom! I was right!” Turns out, it was the right shirt for a “period piece” kind of portrait because Rush and baseball were my two favorite things in 1981 and 1982.

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Through all of the albums, all of the tours and all of the places I’ve seen them in concerts over the years and all the fun I’ve had just cranking up a cassette tape of “Permanent Waves” or a piece of vinyl with “Exit Stage Left” or a CD of “Moving Pictures,” trust me, I’ve worn out thousands of hours of Rush over the years.

If you haven’t seen their documentary from last year, “Beyond The Lighted Stage,” it’s a phenomenal story – a really vivid tale of a few dorky, rebellious

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