Dr. Stuart Clark on the passing of a legend…
I clearly remember the first time I heard Rush. I was rapidly approaching my teenage years. It was the late 70s and I was with a friend for an after-school visit. Although I don’t remember exactly what we were talking about at the time, it will have been something to do with space and science fiction – it always was. And then the epiphany happened.
Through the bedroom wall of my friend’s older brother came the sounds of 2112. I didn’t know what on earth I was hearing at the time, but I knew I had never heard anything so exciting in my life. That was the beginning of my lifelong love affair with the music of Rush.
It was uncanny how I completely took to the band. Album after album delivered music that I simply devoured. Without a doubt, a large part of my attraction to Rush in those days was their science fiction lyrics. The song 2112 – an epic of more than 20 minutes in length – was about a totalitarian future in which freedom of expression was outlawed. A similar theme cropped up in Red Barchetta from Moving Pictures. Rush plunged headlong into modern astronomy with Cygnus X-1, a song about the first black hole to be identified. On Hemispheres, they presented a full-on myth about classical gods battling each other for control of humankind.