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Thanks to epic songs, fantastical lyrics and extravagant drum solos, the great nerd band of the Seventies rocks on through the 21st century

Chris Norris Aug 09, 2008
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Advanced Placement Rush
Four things to know about Earth’s hardest-rocking nerds

The Song to Download
What is it: ”˜YYZ’ Back story: This famous instrumental is named for the call letters of the Toronto airport (pronounced “why, why, zed”) and recently performed by Lee, Lifeson and Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins at a Foos concert in Toronto. Insanely Rush-y detail: The monstrous, single-note-repeating riff that begins the song is, literally, “Y, Y, Z” ”“ in Morse code.

The Crazy Peart Avatar
What is it:
YYZ Peart. Back story: Not long ago, Rush fiend/digital animator Bobby Standridge created a nerd-tastic video that shows Peart’s avatar playing a perfectly synchronised performance of ”˜YYZ’ on a lone drum riser floating under stormy skies on Lake Ontario. How to get it: Go to YouTube and type in “YYZ Peart.” Behold.

Their Great Eighties Video
What is it:
”˜Subdivisions.’ Back story: Part Gossip Girl, part Koyaanisqatsi, this chilly vision of architecture’s emotional savagery begins with aerial shots of the Toronto grid and shifts to images of “detached and subdivided” suburbia, where a kid in clunky glasses moves through high school and broods while watching a Rush video and finds his only joy in the 1980 arcade game Tempest. Get it on: YouTube

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Finally, a Brief List of Words That Appear in Rush Songs
Necromancer, stratospheric, geometric, geological, temperamental, polarity, cacophony, unobtrusive, phosphorescent, panacea, oppression, gravitation, subdivisions, mechanized, computerized, underlying, alternating, incoherence, insulated, humanoid, Galapagos, superconductor.

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