| blog | rules | contact | most wanted | dvd shows | cd shows | movies/tv | coming soon

Rush/Fly By Night Tours Permanent Waves Tour   Hold Your Fire Tour
Caress Of Steel Tour Moving Pictures Tour Presto Tour  
2112 Tour Exit Stage Left Tour Roll The Bones Tour
All The World's A Stage Tour   First Tour Of The Nadars Counterparts Tour
A Farewell To Kings Tour   Signals Tour  Test For Echo Tour  
Archives Tour Pre-Grace Under Pressure Tour Vapor Trails Tour
Hemispheres Tour   Grace Under Pressure Tour  30th Anniversary Tour
Semi-spheres Tour Power Windows Tour Snakes & Arrows Tour

Rush On Bootlegs

You may be wondering how Rush feel about fans collecting bootleg recordings of their shows. I've collected some quotes from each of the guys about bootlegs...their opinions vary. 

First up, in an article that appeared in the Music Monitor right after the release of Test For Echo, Alex commented about bootlegs:

"I'm not on the Internet, so I don't really know what's available. Things get around very, very quickly, and where they're sourced is a mystery in many cases. There have always been a lot of Rush bootlegs around, and quite a few in Europe, I know that. But that's a pretty normal thing, I suppose, and there's not a whole lot you can do about it. Certainly there's no chance of us controlling it or really having a say in any of it. Some things I guess you can get your legal department to look into, but a lot of these things are so underground that you just have no chance of dealing with them." 
- Alex Lifeson 

When Neil Peart used to answer questions from readers of Modern Drummer magazine, someone posed this question about a familiar bootleg (Side note: check out this page. It's chock full of interesting tidbits from Neil.)

Question: We got hold of a concert tape from Cleveland in 1974. It has two songs that surprised us. The first was "Bad Boy". The second was (I'll call it) "Peace of Mind". We would like to know why these were never produced on an album and if they were originally from Rush?

Neil Peart: You "got hold of"? You mean, you abrogated our rights, circumvented protective copyrights, violated international statutes, and supported piracy by buying a bootleg album, don't you? Ah- I thought so. Never mind.

"Bad Boy" is an old song, written by somebody whose name fails to leap to mind, and a funky Toronto arrangement of it was played during our first tour.

The other one mystifies me. I don't possess that recording (not wanting to commit the moral outrages listed above), but it might have been either "Fancy Dancer" or "Garden Road", two original songs written before I joined the band, which we played on that tour but never recorded.

Well, why do you think we never recorded them?

Geddy Lee fielded a couple of bootleg questions over the years on the nationally syndicated call-in show, Rockline:

Bill (Caller): I've got a series of live Rush bootlegs from Signals tour, Grace Under Pressure, I was wondering, first question, how do you feel about these Rush bootlegs that are out there, because I really like a lot of them.

Bob Coburn (Rockline Host): OK, first question.

Geddy Lee - OK, that's a tough question because I can't blame a fan for wanting a bootleg. At the same time, I spend a year and a half trying to make a live record as perfect and sonically as I could, just to find out that all those songs are already out there on some bootleg that was recorded with one microphone with the guy standing in the middle of the venue, so I have mixed feelings about it. You know, I was a fan and can't say I had a big bootleg collection but I did have one or two of them so I would say I'm kind of torn about the whole idea.

Bob Coburn: And people will bootleg anything, we found out that last week's Rockline with Boston is now available on CD as a bootleg, so there you go. And your second question Bill...

Bill: Don't get me wrong, I own the rest of your stuff that you recorded in the studio...

Geddy Lee Actually, you know, that's a very good point. A lot of people say 'It takes away from record sales' but I think you made the best point because the fact is that any fan who buys a bootleg is still going to buy your record. So, who is it harming? That's the other side of the coin.

 -  1/20/99 Rockline promoting "Different Stages"

  "I've seen hundreds of bootleg live albums out there, even some of my good friends have them. I think they're an inevitability, I don't think there's really anything wrong with it. Even though I'm probably not supposed to say that I will say it. It's possible that we could do some sort of tapers section; if you're going to do it you might as well do it so it sounds good."

 - 5/20/00 Rockline, Geddy Lee promoting "My Favorite Headache"  (thanks Eric!)

I think Geddy might be onto something. If a fan is so into a band that they would trade bootlegs (most often quite inferior to any official live albums) they would also purchase anything the band releases. Bootleggers are a different breed...they are the rabid fans, but most importantly, they are collectors. That's what they do...they collect. They collect everything, whether it's officially released or not. I certainly couldn't imagine buying a bootleg in lieu of an official release.

I also believe bootlegs keep a band alive in the minds of their fans. For example, I received an email from a fellow Rush fan who now says, "I've been able to get a few of the bootlegs in their entirety, most notably the By-Tor '74 and the Black Forest '79.  My interest in the band has been revitalized after hearing these concerts.  I'm looking forward to seeing RUSH (for the fourth time) on tour this summer!!."

I have always maintained that Geddy Lee could sing the phone book...they could release Rush toilet paper and I'd probably buy it...or at least trade for it.

...roll the boots


home | blog | rules | contact | most wanted | dvd shows | cd shows | movies/tv | coming soon