Frequently Asked Questions

For inquiries or updates, please send E-mail to Randy Kaelber, the FAQ maintainer. Note that the email address has changed, so please don't send to the old one. Thanks!

Hey Rush fans! If you get off your collective duffs and get Countdown back on top where it belongs over here, I'll start maintaining this again, okay?

I'm also looking for someone to take over the maintenance of this FAQ. I've just not had the confluence of time and interest to devote to it. If you're interested, and have someplace to host it (not a "free" website with a bunch of ads), please contact me in writing at the email address listed in my resume.

The Rush FAQ (HTML version) was last generated: Tue Aug 9 21:34:12 MST 2005
This file contains questions that seem to crop up frequently in The National Midnight Star and

DVD and CD set Coming!

Rush is releasing "Rush in Rio", a two DVD record of their Vapor Trails concert tour stop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There will also be a 3 CD audio set released. Both the CD and DVD is set to ship on October 21, 2003. The DVD will be 16x9 (yay widescreen!) and in Dolby 5.1 Digital Sound. The DVD will also include to documentary by Andrew MacNaughtan (Rush fans already know this guy as THE Rush photographer), backstage and rehearsal material, interviews with the band members. There will also be multi-angle setups for a few of the songs, which will be especially nice for the music geeks among us.

I have also heard that there will be a theatrical release of the movie in major market theatres in the U.S. and Canada, but I have been unable to confirm this.


The file you are reading now is current as of the date at the top of the file. If you are reading this within a few days of that time, please don't send me mail asking for the FAQ - you've got it! Note to people who want a copy of the current FAQ: I maintain the FAQ as an ASCII file, and it is auotmagically parsed into HTML. If you want it in any other format, it's up to you. Feel free to distribute this document to anyone, but please do not alter it.

Also, I'd kind of appreciate it if you decide to mirror this FAQ, to please not strip off my attributions. Partly so I get the credit for hosting this in a consistently findable spot and keeping it available, but primarily so we don't have multiple versions floating about. I recognize that I haven't done much with this lately, but it's no excuse to go ripping it off and not mention whose work this is. In fact, most of the work was Dan Delany's, and I've just kept at it since he turned it over to me way back in 1996.

Additionally, I will only send the FAQ to the address that I receive the request from. Please don't send me mail asking me to send the FAQ to your friend's email address. I won't.

Non-English versions of the FAQ are starting to emerge. Listed below are languages that are supported, a URL pointer to that version, and the E-mail address of the translator/maintainer:

Japanese: maintained by TAKAHASHI Tetsuro,

Glad to report that it is alive and well. Thanks for letting me know, Tetsuro!

Portuguese: maintained by Thiago,

I'd appreciate it if people who submit questions submit anything they know about possible answers, since I don't have all of the answers myself! I'd also appreciate it if anybody who wants to send me corrections makes sure that they have the most current FAQ before sending me corrections, in order to make sure that they don't send me a correction that has already been done.


An additional thing to consider is that many questions are answered in, of all places, the liner notes on the albums. Please look there before posting a question.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this file is accurate to the best of my knowledge, but I'm not perfect. If you have an answer to one of these questions that doesn't match the one given here that you can verify, let me know, and I'll put it in. But if you make a bet based on this information and you lose, don't blame me.

One more thing: If you send me mail and I don't answer right away, please be patient. I eventually read all of my mail. However, Rush FAQ-related stuff has a lower priority than my job, and my family.

CREDITS: I'd like to thank the following people for helping me with this FAQ:

Jimmy Lang and Meg Jahnke for running an excellent digest and web site. Where have they gone? If you know, let me know so I can cancel the milk carton printing run I have scheduled.

Geddy, Alex and Neil for making the music we love in the first place.

Dan Delany for "passing the torch" and having faith in my abilities.

Everyone who has submitted information. Keep up the good work!

A special thank you to Donna Halper for discovering Rush for all of us, and more love and thanks for being an all-round great person and a great source of information!

Here are the questions I get asked the most, so I'll put them here at the start:

What was The National Midnight Star?

It was a Rush fans newsletter that is distributed via email. Submissions were all sent to one address, and the moderator went through the submissions periodically and sent out a digest containing lots of submissions.

(If you don't know where the name "The National Midnight Star" comes from, that means you don't watch enough Canadian TV. For a hint, listen to "Red Lenses".)

How can I subscribe to The National Midnight Star?

I finally got around to updating this. The National Midnight Star is defunct and has been for several years. It was the great-grand-daddy of all thing Rush-ly on the Internet, and it started as a mailing reflector at the University of Maryland back in 1989. It got its name in 1990 after a poll among the subscribed members. I'm proud to have had a post in Issue #1.

There is at least a partial archive here.

What other ways are there on the Internet for Rush fans to get together?

There is a newsgroup in the alt hierarchy, If you don't get it, bug your news admin! I will warn you that I rarely read Usenet anymore, so if you try to get my attention there, your efforts are likely doomed to failure. The list still maintains a goodly amount of traffic, and I would suggest it's the number one place for fans to congregate and communicate. There are two irc channels, #p/g! and #yyz. Both of them are on EFnet. The #yyz channel had a homepage at:

but I can't seem to resolve the host name. It might help if they pay their domain name bill.

#p/g! has a homepage at:

Some feel that the Rush content on #p/g! is sorely lacking. Others feel that some people sorely need a life. Check both channels out, make your own decision. I can't help you get on IRC. I rarely use it myself.

There was also a Rush chat board running at but it appears to be defunct along with the rest of the NMS site.

How can I get my very own copy of Neil Peart's The Masked Rider?

You must order the book directly from the publisher. The address is:

    Pottersfield Press
    83 Leslie Road
    East Lawrencetown
    Nova Scotia B2Z 1P8
Payment is by check or money order only, and is $25 Canadian dollars in Canada, $25 US funds from the United States, and $35 US from all other points. Make that payment payable to "Pottersfield Press".

What in the heck is The Masked Rider, anyway?

Neil Peart has a new book about his bicycle travels through Africa out.

1 What albums has the band released? What are the catalog numbers for CD/LP/Cassette?

2 Has anybody noticed that there is now a gold Ultradisc II available for Moving Pictures?

3 Are any other Rush albums available on Ultradisc?

4 What are some titles of some good Rush bootlegs, and how might I go about finding some?

5 What album is (song) on?

6 When was (album) released?

7 How many copies did (album) sell?

8 What are the <Columbia House|BMG> CD Club code numbers for Rush albums?

9 What awards has the band won?

10 Has anybody ever noticed that the band has put out a live album after every 4 studio albums?

11 Are any videotapes of the band available?

12 Are these tapes available on laserdisc?

13 What songs has the band made videos for?

14 Can anyone list everything else that the members of Rush have ever appeared on?

15 Has Rush ever been on Saturday Night Live (SNL)?

16 Rush seems to get mentioned a whole lot during Mystery Science Theater 3000. Which shows do they get mentioned it?

17 What was the first single released by the band?

18 I just bought the CD of <Exit...Stage Left | All The World's A Stage> and it's missing a track! Is a complete version of this CD available?

19 Are there any extra Rush songs that have been recorded and not used on an album?

20 When the band plays live, do they use any additional musicians to play backup parts?

21 Has <song> ever been performed live?

22 Does anybody know if <band> ever opened for Rush? When did Rush play in <city> last?

23 What is "Battlescar"/Max Webster? Who plays on it? What is the label/catalogue number for the Universal Juveniles CD? Where can I write to get it?

24 Have any books been written about the band?

25 I heard that Neil Peart was going to publish some of his writings. Has this been done? Can I buy this book?

26 I heard something about a Rush comic book. What comic book was it?

27 Somebody posted <item> in TNMS. I missed it - could somebody please send me a copy? Does anybody have the lyrics to <song>?

28 What issue of TNMS is <item> in?

29 I've been seeing <acronym> used in TNMS. What does it mean?

30 I've heard about the "Rush Backstage Club." What is it, and how do I join?

31 What other Rush newsletters are there?

32 Who says <phrase> in <song>?

33 I think I've heard <quote> in <song> somewhere else - is it a reference to something?

34 What is the marital status of the band members? Do any of the band members have kids?

35 I've heard <rumor> about <band member>. Does anybody know anything about the truth of it? Does Neil Peart have cancer?

36 I've seen <nickname> being used. Who does it refer to?

37 What is the educational background of <band member>?

38 What are the birthdays of the band members?

39 But in "Thrice Told Tales," it says that Geddy's birthday is June 29!

40 What are the real names of the band members?

41 What equipment does <band member> use/endorse?

42 How is "Peart" pronounced?

43 Does anybody have an address I can use to write to the band?

44 What's the story behind Alex's "Hentor Sportscaster" guitar?

45 What is The Omega Concern?

46 I recently saw an ad that said something about Alex Lifeson flying in a fighter plane. What's the story behind that?

47 I heard that Alex Lifeson opened a restaurant. Can anybody tell me about it?

48 Where did the name "Rush" come from?

49 Why did John Rutsey leave the band?

50 Whatever happened to John Rutsey?

Questions about Fly By Night

51 Where did By-Tor's name come from?

52 What is The Sign of Eth?

53 Is Rivendell a real place?

Questions about Caress Of Steel

54 In "By-Tor And The Snow Dog" By-Tor is the bad guy, but he's a hero in "The Necromancer." What happened?

55 Where is Lakeside Park?

56 What is the significance of May 24?

57 Has anybody noticed that "Didacts and Narpets" is an anagram for "Addicts and Parents"?

58 Does anybody know the lyrics to "Didacts and Narpets"?

59 In the COS liner notes, a city is mentioned in small print after each song. Why is this?

60 What does "Terminat hora diem, terminat auctor opus" mean?

Questions about 2112

61 Has anybody noticed that you can hear part of the 1812 Overture in 2112?

62 Where did the story of 2112 come from?

63 Has anybody noticed the whispering in the background in "The Twilight Zone"?

Questions about All The World's A Stage

64 What do the voices at the end of the album (vinyl only) say?

Questions about A Farewell To Kings

65 What is "Cinderella Man" about?

66 I read that "Xanadu" was based on a famous poem. Does anybody have a copy?

67 Where does the name Cygnus X-1 come from?

68 Where does the name Rocinante come from?

Questions about Hemispheres

69 What do the French lyrics in "Circumstances" mean?

70 Is there a message in "The Trees"?

71 What does "La Villa Strangiato" mean?

72 Where do the different parts of "La Villa Strangiato" start/end?

Questions about Permanent Waves

73 Has anybody ever noticed that the signs on the right side of the Permanent Waves cover say Lee, Lifeson and Peart?

74 Why was the headline on the newspaper on the cover of Permanent Waves blocked out? (Note: The Anthem Canadian release does not have this problem.)

75 What is the "words of the profits" quote in "The Spirit Of Radio" about?

76 What is "Free Will" about?

77 In "Free Will" which lyrics are correct (the ones on the album sleeve or the ones Geddy sings)?

78 But I'm *sure* that what the lyric sheet says isn't what Geddy sings!

79 Where is "Lotus-Land?"

80 I heard something about a song called "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." Apparently it was supposed to be on Permanent Waves, but was dropped. Is there a way to get a tape of it?

Questions about Moving Pictures

81 What building is on the cover of Moving Pictures?

82 What do the pictures on the MP cover mean?

83 What is "Tom Sawyer" about?

84 My Moving Pictures CD is missing the first half second or so from "Tom Sawyer." Can I get a new one?

85 My Moving Pictures CD contains pictures of Geddy and Alex, but not Neil. Why is this? Can I get a CD with all 3 pictures?

86 Who is Pye Dubois?

87 What is a barchetta?

88 Where can I get a copy of "A Nice Morning Drive," by Richard S. Foster?

89 What does "YYZ" mean?

90 How does Neil play plywood?

91 At 8:54 and 8:56 in "The Camera Eye," there are some mumblings that I can't quite make out. Does anybody know for sure what is being said? (These mumblings are at 8:55 and 8:57 in the MFSL gold pressing of Moving Pictures.)

92 What is the mob saying at the beginning of "Witch Hunt"?

93 What is that thing on Neil's chest in the "Vital Signs" video?

94 Has anybody noticed that Geddy says "Everybody got to evelate from the norm" at the end of "Vital Signs"?

Questions about Exit ... Stage Left

95 Has anybody noticed that the ESL cover photo contains stuff from all of the band's previous studio albums?

96 What does Geddy say just before "Jacob's Ladder" on ESL?

97 Who is T.C. Broonsie?

Questions about Signals

98 What is the Signals cover supposed to mean?

99 I just picked up the MFSL CD of Signals, and I've noticed that some lyrics are omitted in "The Weapon". Has anybody else noticed this, and why did this happen?

100 Who is the writer in "Losing It" about?

101 Who are Young and Crippen?

102 What are the voices at the end of "Countdown" saying?

Questions about Grace Under Pressure

103 Is that crackling noise about 10-20 seconds into "Distant Early Warning" on the Grace Under Pressure CD supposed to be there, or is my copy defective?

104 Who was Absalom?

105 Who is the boy in the "Distant Early Warning" video?

106 Is "Afterimage" about anybody in particular?

107 What is "Red Sector A" about?

108 What songs make up the "Fear" trilogy?

109 Has this trilogy ever been performed live?

110 Why do the songs appear in reverse order?

111 What is the significance of 1001001 in "The Body Electric?"

Questions about Grace Under Pressure Tour video

112 Who is Count Floyd?

Questions about Power Windows

113 Has anybody noticed that Power Windows is "brought to you by the letter M"?

114 Why is Power Windows brought to us by the letter M?

Questions about Hold Your Fire

115 What do the three spheres on the Hold Your Fire cover represent?

116 How many Rush symbols are there in the Hold Your Fire inside photo?

117 How did Pye Dubois come to be involved with "Force Ten"? What does the title of that song mean?

118 Has Aimee Mann ever appeared live with Rush? How are her vocals in "Time Stand Still" reproduced live?

119 What film are the clips in the "Lock And Key" video and the A Show Of Hands laserdisc, just before "Lock And Key," from?

120 What is "Tai Shan" about?

Questions about A Show Of Hands

121 What does Geddy have sitting on his keyboards in the A Show Of Hands video?

122 What is the round thing on Alex's guitar in the A Show Of Hands video?

123 What is happening during the "censored" section of the A Show Of Hands video?

124 In the A Show Of Hands video, does Geddy really say "Catch the fish?"

125 In the A Show Of Hands video, has anybody noticed that Alex's guitar keeps changing?

Questions about Presto

126 What are the hands in the Presto liner doing?

127 What is "Chain Lightning" about?

128 What is "The Pass" about?

129 What is "Scars" about?

130 What is the song "Anagram (for Mongo)" about?

131 Has anybody noticed that "Anagram (for Mongo)" contains lots of anagrams?

132 What does (for Mongo) after "Anagram" on the "Presto" album mean?

133 What is "Red Tide" about?

Questions about Roll The Bones

134 Who does the RTB spoken "rap" section?

135 Who is the boy in the RTB video and on the RTB cover?

136 Is there a "Gangster of Boats" trilogy?

137 But why is "Where's My Thing" labeled as Part IV of the trilogy?

138 Is there a reason for the arrangement of the numbers on the dice on the RTB cover?

139 Has anybody noticed that the "Gangster of Boats" is mentioned in the HYF liner notes?

140 What does the pattern of skulls and bones at the bottom of the inside front cover of the RTB tourbook mean? Is there a pattern to it?

Questions about Counterparts

141 Is there any connection between "Where's My Thing" and "Leave That Thing Alone?"

142 What do the strings of ones and zeroes in the Counterparts liner notes mean?

143 What is "Animate" about?

144 What is "Stick it Out" about?

145 What is being said at the beginning of "Alien Shore"?

Questions about Test For Echo

146 What is a mandola?

147 What is said in the middle of Limbo?

148 Who is/was Sisyphus?

149 What is the meaning of "Brought to you by the letter R-r-r-r?"

150 What do the runes on the edge of the Test for Echo CD mean?

Questions about Different Stages

151 What is the meaning/significance behind the Tinker Toy Pattern?

Questions about Chronicles DVD

152 How do I access the hidden videos?

Questions about Vapor Trails (No questions as yet)