Interview: Rush’s Geddy Lee Talks ‘Clockwork Angels Tour’, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and Pavement
Rush‘s latest tour for their 2012 album Clockwork Angels saw them revisiting old songs for the first time in decades (and in some cases, ever) and adding a new dimension to their classics. Their latest live album/concert film, Clockwork Angels Tour, has a lot going for it — it features performances of many songs from the new album accompanied by the Clockwork Angels String Ensemble, as well as supremely rare live tracks such as “Territories” and “Body Electric.”
Fans can catch a preview of what’s to come on this starting at 12:00 Noon EST on Thursday (Nov. 14) where for 24 hours we’ll have six performances from the DVD available exclusively to stream on Radio.com. And then, starting at 12:00 Noon EST on Friday (Nov. 15), we’ll have two songs (“Red Sector A” and “Middletown Dreams”) to watch on demand.
Placing some strings behind their 1984 song “Red Sector A” adds a certain gravitas to one of the heaviest tracks in the band’s catalog. Ostensibly, it’s a song about a dystopian future where people are kept in prison camps. But bassist/singer Geddy Lee tells Radio.com that the lyrics are based in the past, and are quite personal to him and his family. Drummer Neil Peart (who doubles as the band’s lyricist) wrote the song based on Lee’s mother’s life.
“That’s a fantasy song,” said Lee, “but there’s no question that some of the lines came out of a conversation I had had with [Peart], telling him about some of my mom’s experiences at the end of World War II and her liberation from concentration camps. So some of those truths resonated with him, and he put them in another context, a sci-fi context. There’s no question that there’s not a night that I sing that song that I don’t think about that story that my mom told me and about her liberation.”
Lee’s mother was interviewed in the 2010 Rush documentary, Beyond The Lighted Stage, and in an interview last year, Lee noted that she was thrilled about Rush’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. “[It] made my mom very happy, so that’s worth it.” He still seems a bit bemused about being accepted by the Hall Of Fame’s voting body, which had ignored the band for well over a decade.