Frequently Asked Questions

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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?

It's supposed to be there. There is a rumbling at that point on the A Show Of Hands_ CD and on the _Grace Under Pressure Tour video, but people without subwoofers may be unable to detect it.

104:Who was Absalom?

He was a character from the Bible, son of King David (the one who killed Goliath). He killed his half-brother for raping their half-sister. Then, he tried to over-throw David and get the throne. A battle resulted, and (against David's wishes) Absalom was killed by King David's Mighty Men, when his hair was caught in a tree and suspended him above the ground. David grieved for his son by lamenting, "Absalom, Absalom, my son." I have thought about this story's connection quite a bit. Perhaps it is about David, and how he had the "weight of the world" on his shoulders and he was worrying about Absalom. -- from Teri Piatt (

To quote Neil: "Before I ever knew who or what Absalom was, I always loved the sound of it. I had thought perhaps it was an ancient prayer or something. There is a book by William Faulkner called Absalom, Absalom, which, again, I loved the sound of. I wanted to put it in the song, as a play on words with 'absolute' and 'obsolete,' but I thought I'd better find out for sure what it meant. So I called my wife and asked her to look it up in the encyclopedia. When I learned the real story, and its Biblical roots, I decided that it was still appropriate, as it was the ultimate expression of compassion, which is what the song was really about. 'Absalom, Absalom. My son, my son. Would God I had died for thee.' (Now don't anyone go reading any religion into that!)"

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

He was thought to be Geddy's son, Julian, but this is apparently NOT the case.

106:Is "Afterimage" about anybody in particular?

The song is about Robbie Whelan, a good friend of the band who died in a car accident. He has the "Right Field" credit in the Signals liner notes.

107:What is "Red Sector A" about?

Red Sector A is the area the band watched a shuttle launch from.

On the other hand ... In the July 1985 Backstage Club mailing, Neil Peart said that, "It is one of the 'grace under pressure' themes which captured my imagination on the last album, and is not meant to portray a specific human atrocity, although many of the historical accounts which inspired it were of course set in World War II. There have been many periods of slavery and mass imprisonment in the world and also many fictional accounts of the future. I was thinking of all these things, and wanted to try to express something timeless enough to encompass them all."

108:What songs make up the "Fear" trilogy?

The "Fear" trilogy consists of:

     Part 1: The Enemy Within (Grace Under Pressure)
     Part 2: The Weapon (Signals)
     Part 3: Witch Hunt (Moving Pictures)

109:Has this trilogy ever been performed live?

Yes. It's on the Grace Under Pressure Tour video.

110:Why do the songs appear in reverse order?

"It's really kind of strange how it turned out, and it's not meant to be as mysterious and clever as it looks. It was more accidental. At the time of Moving Pictures, I had actually sketched out each of the three songs in my notebook and talked to the other guys about them and what I was going to go for, but the easiest one for me to clarify in my mind and in words was 'Witch Hunt,' because it was the simplest concept to deal with, and then 'The Weapon' came next because my thinking led up to that point, but in fact a couple snatches of lyrics and even both of the verses for 'The Enemy Within' were written as long ago as that, and all of the titles and everything were fixed on, and what I wanted to write about, but 'The Enemy Within' was the most difficult one to deal with, so it ended up being the last one done, so they happened to go in the order 3-2-1." - Neil Peart, in an interview on KGB 101 FM, San Diego, 10/2/84

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

In the video, the protagonist is a prisoner attempting to escape from some sort of prison. The number on his uniform is 1001001. Many people have converted this number into decimal and noticed that ASCII 73 is a capital I and read significance into that, but I've never seen anything "official" on the subject. My opinion is that 1001001 was used because it fits and sounds neat.

Questions about Grace Under Pressure Tour video

112:Who is Count Floyd?

He was a character on the Canadian TV show SCTV {similar to "Saturday Night Live"}. The Count Floyd character had a show that featured really bad movies {movies so bad that even Elvira wouldn't show them}.

Beau Dure <> has told me that Count Floyd was played by Joe Flaherty. I have not verified this information, but did. Kevin Williams <> told me that Frank Zappa confirms this in his The Real Frank Zappa Book autobiography.

Questions about Power Windows

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

Yes. We've noticed the similar accreditations in Presto and Roll The Bones, too.

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

From the April 1992 Kerrang interview: "That started on Power Windows," recalls Alex, "when we were sequencing the tracks and Neil commented that 50 percent of the songs began with an 'M' - 'Marathon,' 'Manhattan Project,' 'Middletown Dreams,' and 'Mystic Rhythms.' It's as innocent as that. It's nothing to do with 'Sesame Street'!" "We throw a lot of silly little things into the credits," shrugs Geddy, "little inside jokes. It's just an immature habit we developed!"

Questions about Hold Your Fire

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

"It's so difficult to describe the album cover because you want to leave a little bit of mystery, and you want it to be interpreted by the person who is holding the thing in front of them. So I'm really not going to say too much about what the cover says to me, but it's nothing extremely mystical or anything. It has nothing to do with brown rice." - Geddy Lee, on "Rockline," 10/5/87

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

It has been suggested that the newspapers on the steps may have "Dewey Defeats Truman" headlines. Unfortunately, the headlines aren't visible, even in the big print of the picture in the HYF tourbook.

the fire hydrant from "Signals"

the TV from "Power Windows"

the clock indicating 9:12 (21:12 military time)

the number 15 on the main building - in the "Hold Your Fire" tour book, they mentioned that this was their 15th album to date.

the juggler is clearly holding his fire.

at the very far left, underneath the chains, is a trunk with the logo from their first album. This was spotted on a 12-inch picture disk from the album. It cannot be seen in many other versions of the picture.

The Chinese neon sign above the restaurant reads "Tai-Shan."

A friend told me that the car is a Mercury, but I don't know this for sure.

Look right off of the juggler's right shoulder in the open window. There is someone's hand shown holding a pistol. sent me the following description of this one:

>The gun barrel is pointing at you and the hand >looks like the hand of Uncle Sam in the "I Want You" posters.

In one of the upper right hand windows of the right hand most apartment building you can see part of the head and crown of the Statue of Liberty who we all know holds a burning torch in her right hand.

The arches on the building are suspiciously similar to the MP cover.

Special mention goes to (Nate Huang) for the most obscure observation yet: "The restaurant sign has the same recognizable font style as the lettering on the Grace Under Pressure cover." {Yes, I know it's not exactly the same. Please don't tell me that again.}

Leaning against the trash can in the front is an oxford shoe, just like the one the girl wears on the ESL cover.

The back side of the owl on FBN is resembled on the lamp post on the far right side. (Only on the CD and tour book) {I think this is pushing it a little, but I can see how one might see it as an owl ... Dan}

A copy of the painting on the far left on MP is wrapped up in cloth and leaning against the front steps.

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

"It was more or less an afterthought in the writing stage. We took two months to do all of our writing and preproduction, you know, preparation for the making of the record, and we had nine songs, and we had about a day and a half left of time booked before we were supposed to leave and get ready to make the record. And our producer and all of us were pushing for ten tracks on the album, and some lyrics had been submitted to us by a friend of ours, Pye Dubois, who co-wrote 'Tom Sawyer' with us in years gone by. And Neil was able to put some of his own thoughts to one of the songs that he had and present it to us in the morning of the last day that we were there, and we loved the results, so we got together and brainstormed for about 2 or 3 hours, and we had Force Ten." - Geddy Lee, on "Rockline," 10/5/87

Gregg Jaeger ( sent me this tidbit: In the Presto mailing from the Backstage Club a writer asks: "What does the title 'Force Ten' refer to?" and Neil responds: "The Beaufort scale - look it up!"

{Yes, I know that the definition of the Beaufort scale could be put here in this file. It won't be. Don't bother to type it in and send it to me. I won't put it in the FAQ. Why, you ask? Well, if Neil told us to look it up, who am I to ruin the surprise? So look it up - you'll like it. }

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

Paul DeCarli, who has worked with Rush on their last 3 tours as a systems operator (edits and programs all the samplers that are triggered from the stage), sent me the following info on this subject:

Aimee's voice comes from an audio track of the film that is projected behind the band. TSS is one of the few songs played to a click track for visual and audio track synchronization. Should there be a problem with the film (projector difficulties) the band plays on and Geddy triggers the identical parts from samples.

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?

It's called The Last Mile. It can be purchased as part of the Video Film Classics series from Video Classics Inc. and Kartes Video Communications Inc.

120:What is "Tai Shan" about?

"Tai' Shan" (from Hold Your Fire) is the name of an actual "holy mountain" in China. The mythical (?) emperor Huang Ti had so much power that he was able to summon all the spirits of the world to him on top of Tai' Shan to proclaim his power.

Legend has it that if you climb to the top of this mountain and "raise your hands to heaven," you will live to be at least 100 years old. Neil wrote these lyrics while sitting at the top of the mountain.

Questions about A Show Of Hands

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

According to Dan Dickerman <>:

    >I have yet to find a clear shot of the dolls, but from what I can decipher
    >it seems he has 6 dolls and a brandy snifter (with cash, of course)
    >distributed onto 2 keyboards: nearest the snifter is Boris Badenov
    >(Bullwinkle fame) and further to our left is a group of 3 consisting
    >of Rocky the Flying Squirrel (Bullwinkle), a toy robot, and something
    >that looks vaguely like a cowboy drawing both pistols (knees bent, etc).
    >[ I think this last one might be Roger (?) Kneebend, one of Julian's old
    >  toys, which the group sort of adopted as a mascot during the recording
    >  sessions.  I'll try to find the reference to him ...  :rush-mgr ]
    >On the other keyboard (facing the front of the stage) is a thinner toy
    >robot and (this one's really a ballpark guess) a cartoon dog (though
    >none that I recognize) that is acting the part of the gracious waiter.

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

Here's what says it is: That circular "thing" on Alex's guitar is a patrol patch used by some Boy Scouts. That particular one is the "panther" patrol patch.

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

"That's kind of a joke, but it doesn't seem like many people are getting that joke. Actually, Alex, at certain parts of that song, would just start rambling into the microphone - all kinds of various nonsense, and it actually never got recorded anywhere. So no one had any idea, including him, what he had actually said. But we loved the shot of him just ranting into this microphone, so we decided we would put up this bogus 'radioactive' warning about the fact that we had 'censored' what he had said, and we thought we did it in kind of an obvious way - it looked like it was phony, because we put the radioactivity symbols right on the screen, but nobody seems to be getting that." - Geddy Lee, in the 12/4/89 "Rockline" interview

Alex laughs. "I'm not singing, it's more spontaneous babbling! You get kinda goofy at the end of a show, especially near the end of a lengthy tour. That was just crazy rambling, verbal farting. It was Geddy's idea to put it on the video." - Alex Lifeson, in the April 1992 Kerrang interview

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

Yes, he does. I received the following explanation from Steve Gadless <> on Sept 23 1994:

In response to the question regarding Geddy's singing of, "Catch the fish" in Tom Sawyer, I read the answer in an issue of A Show of Fans. [ The article was apparently in issue #5. ]

What happened is that the road crew had been torturing Neil for the entire Moving Pictures tour by leaving fish everywhere. Neil would show up for a sound check and there would be a fish on his snare drum. After the show, the band would return to their dressing rooms and there would be a fish in Neil's. The re would be fish EVERYWHERE Neil looked. In short, he was being tormented by fish. At the sound check of one of the shows, Neil got fed up and took the fish off his snare drum and threw it away. Little did he know that when he did that, the road crew was telling Alex and Geddy to watch their feet during Tom Sawyer. A few of the roadies had retrieved the discarded fish and slit it open so that it would fit on top of a remote control car they had bought.

When the band was playing Tom Sawyer that night, onto the stage drives this fish. Upon seeing it, Alex and Geddy both cracked up and Neil actually stopped playing to watch this fish go by. Coincidentally, this occured at the "Catch the spit" portion of the song. From that day on, anytime the band has performed the song, Geddy has said, "Catch the fish".

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

Yes. This has been discussed several times in TNMS. The A Show Of Hands video was filmed during a 3-night concert series at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England. Test footage was shot the first night. The majority of the video comes from the second night, but several shots were used from the third night's performance. In some cases, this was because the shots taken on the second night weren't quite right, but in a few places, like the beginning of 2112, it was Geddy having fun in the editing stage.

Yes, Alex does break a string at the end of "Tom Sawyer," but the guitar changes more than once, so it isn't just Alex swapping in a new guitar.

Questions about Presto

126:What are the hands in the Presto liner doing?

They are making scissors, paper, and stone, like in the children's game. There is a discussion of the scissors/paper/stone symbols in the Presto tour book. This is paraphrased in TNMS #212.

127:What is "Chain Lightning" about?

"I'm a weather fanatic - I really love weather, and I watch the weather and look for a good weatherman. And, one night I was watching it, and there are two incidents in that song that are synchronicity to one weather report, where the weatherman showed a picture of sun dogs, and described them, and they are just two little points of light that appear at sunset, often in the winter when the sky is clear and crystalline, and they are like little prisms, and they sit about ten degrees north and south of the setting sun, and they are just beautiful little diamonds of light, and often times there's a circle of light - one line, that connects them. So they are a really beautiful natural phenomenon, and I love the name too. 'Sun dogs' just has a great sound to it. And in that same weather forecast, the weatherman announced a meteor shower that night, and so my daughter and I went out on the lake in the middle of the night and watched this meteor shower. So the whole idea of the song was response and how people respond to things, and it's a thing I've found a lot in traveling around the world, too. It's not enough just to travel and see things. You have to respond to them - you have to feel them, and a lot of the thrust of that song is how things are transferred, like chain lightning or enthusiasm or energy or love are things that are contagious, and if someone feels them, they are easily transferrable to another person, or in the case of watching a meteor shower, it's made more special if there is someone else there. 'Reflected in another pair of eyes' is the idea that it's a wonderful thing already, just you and the meteor shower, but if there's someone else there with you to share it, then it multiplies, you know, it becomes exponentially a bigger experience, so response is a theme that recurs in several of the songs and was one of my probably dominant sub-themes in the writing." - Neil Peart, on the Rush - Profiled! CD

128:What is "The Pass" about?

"There was a lot I wanted to address in that song, and it's probably one of the hardest ones I've ever written. I spent a lot of time on it, refining it, and even more doing research. There was one song previously, called 'Manhattan Project' where I wanted to write about the birth of the nuclear age. Well, easier said than done, especially when [writing] lyrics, you've got a couple of hundred words to say what you want to say. So each word counts, and each word had better be accurate, and so I found in the case of the Manhattan Project, I was having to go back and read histories of the time, histories of the place, biographies of all the people involved, and that's not without its own rewards, but it's a lot of work to go to to write a song - having to read a dozen books and collate all your knowledge and experience just so you can write, you know, if it says the scientists were in the desert sands, well, make sure they were and why, and all that. So with this song it was the same. I felt concerned about it, but, at the same time, I didn't want the classic thing of 'Oh, life's not so bad, you know, it's worth living' and all that. I didn't want one of those pat, kind of cliched, patronizing statements, so I really worked hard to find out true stories, and among the people that I write to are people who are going to universities, to MIT, and collecting stories from them about people they had known and what they felt, and why the people had taken this desperate step and all of that and trying really hard to understand something that, fundamentally, to me is totally un-understandable. I just can't relate to it at all, but I wanted to write about it. And the facet that I most wanted to write about was to de-mythologize it - the same as with 'Manhattan Project' - it de-mythologized the nuclear age, and it's the same thing with this facet - of taking the nobility out of it and saying that yes, it's sad, it's a horrible, tragic thing if someone takes their own life, but let's not pretend it's a hero's end. It's not a triumph. It's not a heroic epic. It's a tragedy, and it's a personal tragedy for them, but much more so for the people left behind, and I really started to get offended by the samurai kind of values that were attached to it, like here's a warrior that felt it was better to die with honor, and all of that kind of offended me. I can understand someone making the choice; it's their choice to make. I can't relate to it, and I could never imagine it, for myself, but still I thought it's a really important thing to try to get down." - Neil Peart, on the Rush - Profiled! CD

129:What is "Scars" about?

"I think it's part of everyone's experience that a certain record reflects a certain period of their life, and that's a pleasurable scar, you know, there's a mark left on you, a psychological fingerprint left by a very positive experience. And music is an easy one, but it translates to so many other parts of life where it's a given that, for instance, the sense of smell is one of the strongest forces in your memory, where a given smell will suddenly conjure up a whole time of your life, and again, it triggers another scar, it triggers another psychological imprint that was left by a pleasurable thing. So it was just, again, the metaphor of scars and using it to say that, as the song does, that these are positive and negative aspects of life that have both left their mark. Trying to make it universal, it's not autobiographical, and I took a whole autobiographical story of my own and made it one line, basically, but there are other things in there, parts of life that I've responded to in a sense of joy, and in a sense of compassion, and there's the exaltation of walking down a city street and feeling like you're above the pavement, and Christmas in New York is the perfect time to feel that, really, where you just get charged up by the whole energy and the positive feelings of it all." - Neil Peart, on the Rush - Profiled! CD

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

"It doesn't really say one thing; it says a bunch of little things, and I think that's OK as long as it sounds good. You know, as long as it rolls off the tongue kind of thing? So I think different songs are different exercises, to a degree, and I think that if they feel like exercises, then there's something wrong with the song. But if they can slip by in a kind of cohesive and fluid way, or if the effect is to be disjoint, and sometimes that's what you're after. Sometimes you want it to be jarring and disjointed and nonsensical. I think it depends on what you're trying to do, and whether you've achieved it in your mind, and whether it actually worked, and 'Anagram,' I think, did work, even though it's a game - the whole song is a game. The choruses are quite smooth and quite interesting, and they have a nice sound to them and they kind of mock the whole song itself, so I think it was effective there." - Geddy Lee, on the Rush - Profiled! CD

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

Yes. {I resisted putting this into the FAQ for a long time, since this seems to be about as shocking as pointing out that "The Big Money" is about, of all things, money, or that "Countdown" is about a launch. But it shows up in TNMS every once in a while. Dan}

It has been pointed out to me that, according to the Oxford definition of an anagram, this song contains very few anagrams. To form a true anagram, you have to use all of the letters in one word to make another.

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

It's a joke from the movie Blazing Saddles, referring to the "Candygram for Mongo" scene, according to Geddy on "Rockline" 12/4/89.

133:What is "Red Tide" about?

"It's a bit of a selfish concern, really. I really love wildlife, and I spend a lot of my time in the outdoors when I'm not working, so that's important to me. One of my main hobbies is cycling, so air quality kind of becomes of critical importance. So it is a selfish thing, and it's something I've written about before, on the previous album - the song 'Second Nature'. So, again, you want to say things in a way that is not only not preachy, but also not boring. So finding the images like 'Second Nature' - I was really fond of that analogy of saying 'we want our homes to be a second nature', you know. That was, again, taking a common phrase and being able to twist it to say what you want it to say. So, with 'Red Tide' it was a little more adamant, because I think the time is a little more critical, and I had to be firmer about it, but still there are ways of getting at it, and to me there are jokes in there, too, that probably no one in the world will ever get, but in the first verse, when I'm talking about 'Nature's new plague' and then 'Lovers pausing at the bedroom door to find an open store' and all that, to me that was obviously referring to AIDS, but it was the irony of modern life, you know, where spontaneous love still certainly does occur, but here are two lovers who have just met in the middle of the night, and they have to go find a store before they can consummate their new relationship, you know, and to me, when I put those things down, I have a smile, but I know that it's one that will never be shared." - Neil Peart, on the Rush-Profiled! CD

Questions about Roll The Bones

134:Who does the RTB spoken "rap" section?

Geddy Lee, according to Neil on the 12/2/1991 "Rockline".

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

According to "The New Music Magazine" 11/11/91, his name is Michael Vander Veldt.

136:Is there a "Gangster of Boats" trilogy?

No songs other than "Where's My Thing?" are labeled as being part of this trilogy.

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

"Strictly an inside joke, in the sense that the other two guys keep threatening that if I don't come up with an album title in time, they're gonna call it 'Gangster of Boats,' for reasons best known to them. And then the joke in that, of course, is it's 'Part IV of a trilogy', so we thought that was apropos." - Neil Peart, "Rockline," 12/2/91

"The Gangster of Boats thing is just.. it's a joke. We've decided tonight that it's not a very funny joke because because people keep asking serious questions about it." -- Geddy Lee, in the January 24, 1994 "Rockline" interview

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

"No order-just descending into chaos." -- from the Counterparts release January 1994 Backstage Newsletter

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?

It's Morse code for "Remember Death."

Questions about Counterparts

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

Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson discussed this during the Counterparts world premiere:

GL: Only that the fact that they both have "things" in the title.

AL: Yeah, and they're on our records.

GL: The "things" are different are different things.

AL: It's not the same thing.

GL: It's not the same thing. Really, you have to say, "It's just not the same thing."

AL: No, no... it's just a... thing.

GL: It's a different thing.

AL: A totally different thing

GL: Yeah.

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

No official explanation has been released. If you can find an interview with somebody connected to the band explaining it, let me know and I'll update the FAQ, but DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, send me your pet theories without an "official" source to back you up.

143:What is "Animate" about?

"I hope that it's going to be clear that it's about one person. It's set up on purpose a little bit vague to sound like it might be about a relationship between two people, and almost a love song in a sense. But, that became such a cliche certainly through the '80s, of the modern sensitive man, and it was wrong in many ways. I draw upon my research, if you like, on this, everywhere from Carl Jung to Camille Paglia, about what the modern man was supposed to be. And to many people in the '80s, the modern man was supposed to be a woman, and you know, to be sensitive and nurturing, and all, and to completely lose the masculine side of the character, the "animus". So, just in the reading about that and the thinking about that, and observing certainly people around me, and how they behave and how the pretended to be ... how they pretended they really were, and so on. It became a bit of an act of men pretending to be more sensitive than they actually were, and sometimes women pretending to be more aggressive than they actually were.

So, it was basically pleading for a balance of that; I feel that, yes, men do have a large female component to their characters, as it can only be. It's natural, again as counterparts we are both duplicates and opposites. The Oxford dictionary definition of the word includes both of those things. So, that's definitely true of genders as well, and in the song I was trying to get at the idea of that you can be both strong and sensitive; you can be both ambitious and soft, really, but not to deny either and to keep them in balance. So the dominance and submission metaphor had to come into play, but I used it again of a person dominating himself, in this case, because it's a man. He's dominating his softer side, but at the same time he also has to dominate his "a" words -- the aggression, and the ambition, and the traditional biological male things, which in spite of all modern sociological changes, we are in the last 20 or 30 years of sexual revolution, trying to change tens of thousands of years of human evolution: really, men as the hunter and woman as a nurturer.

So, those things have to be recognized, and yes we can change them, we've changed a lot of things. You know, we used to be comfortable with slavery and call ourselves Christians; that's changed now. There are definitely changes we can make in acting more civilized, but at the same time it's foolish to deny that which courses through our veins. So the song really tries to reconcile that very complicated and also very topical thing." -- Neil Peart, From world premiere of Counterparts, aired 10/14/93, sent to me by (Jeffrey Furry)

144:What is "Stick it Out" about?

"It's just a play on the words, really. "Stick It Out" meaning both a kind of arrogant display, "stick it out", but also the endurance thing; if you have a difficult thing to endure, stick it out and you get to the end. It was the pun on both of those, really, so again the duality in the song is a bit leaning both ways. The sense of forbearance, of holding back, and also the idea of fortitude: stick it out, you know, survive. But that was more of a piece of fun, that song I would say, both lyrically and musically it verges on parody, and that was one I think we just had fun with, and lyrically I certainly did, too. "Stick it out" and "spit it out" and all that was just a bit of word play." -- Neil Peart, From world premiere of Counterparts, aired 10/14/93, sent to me by (Jeffrey Furry)

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

Nobody has said anything official on the subject. Please don't send me your pet theories without sending me a reference to a band member interview to back you up.

Questions about Test For Echo

146:What is a mandola?

It is a fretted, stringed instrument, closely related to the mandolin, and is typically tuned like a viola, C-G-D-A, from lowest to highest strings. The mandola, like the mandolin, has eight strings, organized into four pairs.

147:What is said in the middle of Limbo?

"Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?", it's a quote from Monster Mash, by Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers (No, I am not making this up!)

148:Who is/was Sisyphus?

According to Greek legend, Sisyphus was a king of Corinth who was condemned to forever roll a huge stone uphill that always rolled down again.

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

It's not an echo. It's actually a Scottish brogue, according to Alex.

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

Here's an answer from a NMS roving reporter:

   From: "Andrew Jennings" <>
   Date: Thu, 19 Sep 1996 20:11:08 -0400
   Subject: Runes?, Glyphs? Inuit Writing!

Yes, and finally Yes, the writing is from the Northern Canadian Arctic and is probably of an eastern dialect. Hi again... I live in Ottawa, Canada and so went to an Inuit based institution to settle this speculation on the writing on the "Test For Echo" CD. And again I found it pretty obvious that the writing was of Inuit origin since the figure on the front was of Inuit origin. (I am seriously not trying to sound all knowing or pompous here. It is just that I studied the northern people of Canada when I was in elementary school in the '70's and recognize the script/characters and symbols of the Inuit.)

The writing is of the Northern Aboriginal peoples of the Arctic, and probably and eastern dialect. The translation is not exact, as the dialect was not exactly the same as the transators and as is often the case, a direct translation isn't always possible.

So, it goes something like this..."Echo - we are watching for it" Now, my translator's are Inuit from the central area of the canadian arctic and said that some of the charactes did not directly match the dialect that they spoke and read but that this translation should be very close. They said that the word "watching" could also be, "waiting", or "listening" and that this was the difficult idea/expression to translate to english. After they gave me the translation I told them where the inuit writing was from and that the album was called "Test for Echo".

I think that the translation is a pretty good way of describing what "Test For Echo" means. So, there we go. If anyone has anymore info on the exact dialect or such I would love to hear from them.

Btw., Henry (the main translator) refers to the Inukshuk (you know, the stone man on the album cover) as just an inuti 'landmarker'. He had a Nunavut poster on his wall which had an Inukshuk as the symbol of his 'land'.

That's all for now folks.

[ I'd vote for "Echo -- we're listening for it". Anyone else have a chance to get this translated? Great work! : rush-mgr ]

Andrew Jennings

Questions about Different Stages

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

None. None whatsoever. Hugh Syme (the designer) says so. As with many questions that are open to interpretation in FAQ, please do not E-mail me your pet theories. I will not include them, nor will I likely even respond to them.

Questions about Chronicles DVD

152:How do I access the hidden videos?

When you are on the main menu, press up, and then hit enter. You will then have a menu that lets you see "Afterimage" and "The Enemy Within".

Questions about Vapor Trails (No questions as yet)

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