Anthony Paul - Vocals & Programming
Trying to describe this might sound strange, but there is convoluted logic imbedded somewhere.... deep....
MANY MANY MANY years ago, I was 12 years old. I was a budding guitar player. Then came the 'summer of Rush'. I had seen the Exit...Stage Left versions of Tom Sawyer and Limelight in MTV rotation, and took a liking to Limelight more than my best friend Adam, who dug Tom Sawyer for the short drum solo breaks (the second break was our favorite). He went to summer camp that year and met some kid who brought his bass with him, his name was Randy, and he could play a lot of Rush's riffs. Rush was his favorite band. He copied Exit...Stage Left on cassette from LP and gave it to Adam. That night after camp, Adam ran to my house, ecstatic over his new acquisition. I popped it into my Dad's brand new Sears stereo in the basement. Little did I know that out of those speakers would jump my musical obsession - RUSH. Tricky music and thought-inspiring lyrics, what a combo. Just hearing Geddy say "This is the Spirit Of Radio" gives me the same chills to this day, and I like repeating just as he does right before we head into it. How three guys made so much music on stage was intriguing to me. The YYZ drum solo in all its glory got me hooked, not even being a drummer. We bought a cassette copy of ESL and Signals, their current release at the time, because we used to see the video for Subdivisions and Countdown on MTV. Those tapes got a lot of use while I delivered papers for the Pennysaver and Newsday. I heard from 103.5 WAPP, the 'new' AOR format in NY, that Rush was doing a multi-night stand at Radio City Music Hall. I begged my Mom to let Adam and I go, and she said no, of course, being we were only eleven and thirteen, and would get lost for sure. That may have been the end of it all, but she ended up surprising me with tickets..HOLY SHIT I WAS GOING TO SEE RUSH LIVE!!!! September 21, 1983. RUSH on the marquis in big, bright neon. I remember the opening band Marillion, and I remember the lead singer (Fish) because he had a face painted like a mandrill and was singing the words "death...." in a slow dramatic fashion (from Forgotten Sons). They were practically booed off the stage to the chants of "Rush...Rush...Rush". Funny that a band I hated opening for Rush in '83 ends up being one of my favorite bands (check out the amazing Misplaced Childhood and Clutching at Straws). Then Rush came on to the tune of The Three Stooges and opened with The Spirit Of Radio segueing into Tom Sawyer!!!!!!! The drum solo: awesome. The smell of Pot: intoxicating. 3 songs from yet-to-be-released Grace Under Pressure: icing on the cake. Deafening. I had no idea how loud it could possibly be. After the show we bought two 3/4-length jerseys, "New World Tour", and got a promo sticker from WAPP. I could feel the wax in my ears oozing that night and still ringing the next day at school. The sticker, the picture of the marquis and the ticket stub are part of my "Signals" slide show at our gigs. We joined the Rush Backstage Club and bought tourbooks, Tshirts, buttons, stickers, patches, they sold it, we bought it. I had this zip-up hooded sweatshirt with a button for every album on the left side, and patches on the arms. I was so proud of it. I wore it to school everyday. I was definitely the biggest Rush fan in my high school, bar none. Santa brought me many cassettes that year; their entire catalog. The next year we had tickets for the 20th row on the floor of the Nassau Coliseum for Grace Under Pressure. Jump ahead to 1986. Power Windows tour. 300 section in the Nassau Coliseum after waiting hours for tickets at the local TicketMaster..never figured that scam out... I have seen every tour since, even traveled upstate twice to the Knickerbocker Arena. Mr. Big (3 times I saw them...), Vinnie Moore, Marillion (twice), Tommy Shaw, Helix, just to name a few have opened for them. Rush recognized great opening band talent.
I have been in and out of local cover bands, you know the deal. I saw an ad in the Island Ear looking for a singer for a newly-forming Rush cover band. I was excited going to the audition. They sucked. I left after three songs. The rehearsal was put off three times and they did not know the material. I placed an ad in Good Times looking for a guitarist, keyboardist and drummer, but this guy called 'me' and said that they had a band already put together and they needed a singer. I went to the rehearsal on a Sunday, called back on Monday and said "let's do this." That's where I met Jack. Well, here we are 15 YEARS LATER. The lineup has changed a little bit, but we have never looked back.
....and that's "why I'm here..." Roll The Bones...