MARTIN: OK, we’re rolling. Gentlemen, today’s review will be the new album by the Canadian band Rush. Their album is called Power Windows, and this is what the album looks like.
JESSE: I think it might be interesting to discuss how each of us discovered the almighty Rush.
HAL: Well, it was the memorable experience in my life, of course. But yeah, I think what you’re saying is kind of appropriate, because, as the readers know, Rush are a triumvirate of metal players. And we are the triumvirate of metal wisdom.
MARTIN: Not only that, but there’s three TVs on the cover!
HAL: And Howard Jones, too. I want to point that out. The guy really does look in fact like Howard Jones.
MARTIN: I think something I’d like to point out, just for my own personal sake, is as follows: the TV in the center–which I assume must represent Geddy Lee, because it’s got a big thing on the back of it that sort of looks like a nose–uh, the TV in the center, ironically, I know, is a Philco TV. In fact, as a child, when I grew up, my father bought me one. I owned this TV–not this picture of it, but the actual TV itself. And it was a strange TV, because its tube rotated. It rotated almost a full 360 degrees, believe it or not.
HAL: But why did it do that?
MARTIN: I don’t know. It’s a futuristic model. In fact, I know that TV is worth a lot of money nowadays. And, if that’s not enough, Elton John’s album The Fox–certainly one of my favorite albums, and I assume that for you metal wizards it is as well–um, that also features the same picture of this TV. This TV has actually contributed a lot to pop culture, I’d say.
JESSE: How utterly fascinating! And what do you think the album cover signifies? I mean, Rush are always, I understand, into heavy thought, heavy thinking, heavy meaning–and I’m sure that they’re trying to make a bold statement.
MARTIN: Consider the fact that the Howard Jones guy is playing with a remote control nowhere near the TV, but, in fact, pointing it out the window where a lightning storm’s a-brewin’.
HAL: And the window looks like itâs opening or closing–it’s hard to tell from where I’m sitting.
MARTIN: Furthermore, I’d bet a good five dollars that that remote control wouldn’t operate any of those old ’50s TVs.
JESSE: I think it’s real interesting that the guy in that picture has got very short hair, and Rush have all cut their hair real short.
HAL: No, not Geddy Lee, Mr. Philco here. (points to band photograph)
JESSE: Well, it’s shorter than it used to be, isn’t it?
HAL: Well, Peart’s certainly; Alex Lifeson’s seems to be.
MARTIN: I must say, Hal, you seemed to know their names rather quickly–it’s as if you can whip them right out, as if you spend considerable time thinking about Rush.
HAL: Well, you know, as part of the triumvirate, it behooves none of us to not know about Rush. But let’s get back to your original question, Jesse, about how you first experienced Rush. How did you first know there was a Rush?
JESSE: That is a good question. Well, you know where their name comes from. People used to smoke dope, and they used to say, “Boy I got a rush off that!”
HAL: Back in the old days…
JESSE: Yeah, back in the old days, when things were cool. And, uh, I had to go see Rush one time.
HAL: Where was this? At a college venue or something?
JESSE: Yes, it was. It was.
MARTIN: But why did you have to?
JESSE: Well, I was supposed to write about them–because back then I didn’t have you guys, but I was in quite a triumvirate of metal wisdom.
HAL: A lesser triumvirate.
MARTIN: Unheard of!
HAL: A rival triumvirate?
JESSE: A college triumvirate! Yeah, those guys went on to work for IBM.
HAL: What about you, Martin? What’s your first Rush memory?
MARTIN: Well, I have many memories of Rush. Let me think. I suppose my major memory of Rush–I’m sure you guys remember this–was when President Nixon resigned, a long time ago. He came on national TV and was saying, like, “I have some bad news, everybody. Due to the Watergate proceedings, I’m going to…”and then he started to cry for a minute. And then he said, “Well, hold on, before I continue, let’s watch this new video by Rush!” And then he played the incredible “By-Tor The Snow Dog,” which I know all of America was entranced with. And after “By-Tor” was finished–a fine tune incidentally–he came back on and did, of course resign. From that point, Rush became one of the best-known bands in America.
HAL:Yeah, I remember! That’s “By-Tor And The Snow Dog,” by the way.
MARTIN: Oh my God! What about you, Hal? What about your Rush impressions?
HAL: Oh, yeah. Well, the first time I heard Rush was at a funeral parlor.
MARTIN: How ghastly!
HAL: Yeah, they were playing that “Tom Sawyer” song, off of–what was that album with the girl on it? Permanent Waves.
MARTIN: I like that album cover the best.
HAL: Yeah, that was certainly the best album cover.
MARTIN: You could almost see up her skirt. It was great!
JESSE: I’m impressed. You guys know all the album titles. I just know ’em by the pictures.
MARTIN: Let’s face facts. I once visited Hal and–surprisingly enough–every wall was covered with 10-foot-by-10-foot posters of all the Rush album covers!
HAL: Well, you know–I guess I might as well let my metal flag fly, and admit Rush is really the best metal group ever, that there ever could be.
MARTIN: Consider their appearance at Farm Aid. Remember that?
HAL: Yeah, that was the best!
MARTIN: And how about the appearance at Live Aid, with Howard Jones?
JESSE: I remember that.
MARTIN: I think that about says it all.
JESSE: And let’s not forget their stunning performance at Woodstock!
MARTIN: Oh, I don’t know if that’s true. I think you’re confusing that with the Monterey Pop Festival. They were spectacular. Especially when Alex burned the Canadian flag,
HAL: Neal Peart’s drumming made me cry that night. I remember that.
JESSE: You know what my favorite moment was in Rush’s history? It was when they appeared with Cab Calloway for that stunning version of “Minnie The Moocher” in The Cotton Club.
HAL: Well, listen, you guys, I’ve come out and said what I think about Rush. I guess the only question is, “Is this their greatest album?” And I have to say yes, because they wouldn’t make an album that would be worse than their other albums. They would only make albums that would be better–because that’s the kind of people they are. They are the triumvirate of metal Canadian … not wisdom, but, sort of, talent…
JESSE: But we could wrap this up in agreement that Rush are probably, without a doubt, the greatest musical band, bar none, in the history of music.
HAL: I’d go beyond that…I’d say that they are the finest people in the history of the world.
MARTIN: I’d even go beyond that. I’d say as far as actual concepts, divine concepts go–we’re talking this is the best. I mean, you know, God, whoever he or she may be, could’ve had people, could’ve had galaxies or suns. Gravity could’ve been a better concept than this band, but in fact, no. The three members of Rush are, simply, the best.
JESSE: Are you saying then, talking divinity, that Rush may be the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost?
MARTIN: I wouldn’t go quite that far. I’d just say it is suspicious that you never see the six of them in the same place.
–Martin Dio, Jesse Grace & Hal Jordan
(CREEM CLOSE-UP: METAL ROCK âNâ ROLL, JULY 1986)