John Rutsey (Rush)

rush-snakes-arrows-cd-51893The late John Rutsey, Canadian ex-drummer with rock band Rush) was born 23 July 1952. Rush were formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario. The band is composed of bassist, keyboardist, an lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist and backing vocalist Alex Lifeson, and drummer, percussionist and lyricist Neil Peart. The band’s membership continually changed between 1968 and 1974, Neil Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group’s first United States tour, during which they played Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, which also became Rush’s very first radio broadcast and the concert is featured on the Album “ABC 1974″.The year after, Rush also played songs from the groups second album Fly by Night and would go onto play many more shows at Agora Ballroom.

Rush-Clockwork-Angels-The original line-up formed in the neighbourhood of Willowdale in Toronto, Ontario, by guitarist Alex Lifeson, bassist and front man Jeff Jones, and drummer John Rutsey. Within a couple of weeks of forming, and before their second performance, bassist and lead vocalist Jones left the band and was replaced by Geddy Lee, a schoolmate of Lifeson’s. After several line-up reformations, Rush’s official incarnation formed in May 1971 consisting of Lee, Lifeson, and Rutsey. The name “Rush” was suggested by John Rutsey’s brother, Bill. The band was managed by local Toronto resident Ray Danniels, a frequent attendee of Rush’s early shows.Rush played at the local bar and high school dance circuit, the band members released their first single “Not Fade Away”, a cover of the Buddy Holly song, in 1973. Side B contained an original composition, “You Can’t Fight It”, credited to Lee and Rutsey.  The band formed their own independent record label, Moon Records. With the aid of Danniels and the newly enlisted engineer Terry Brown, the band released its self-titled debut album in 1974, featuring he song “Working Man”. Immediately after the release of the debut album, Rutsey left the band due to health difficulties stemming from diabetes, and his distaste for touring. His last performance with the band was on July 25, 1974, at Centennial Hall in London, Ontario.

Rush held auditions for a new drummer and selected Neil Peart as Rutsey’s replacement. Peart officially joined the band on July 29, 1974, two weeks before the group’s first US tour. They performed their first concert together, opening for Uriah Heep and Manfred Mann with an attendance of over 11,000 people at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 14. In addition to becoming the band’s drummer, Peart assumed the role of principal lyricist from Lee, who had very little interest in writing, despite having penned the lyrics of the band’s first album. Lee and Lifeson focused primarily on the instrumental aspects of Rush. Fly by Night (1975), Rush’s first album after recruiting Peart, saw the inclusion of the band’s first epic mini-tale “By-Tor and the Snow Dog”, replete with complex arrangements and a multi-section format. Lyrical themes also underwent dramatic changes because of Peart’s love for fantasy and science-fiction literature.  Despite these many differences, some of the music and songs still closely mirrored the blues style found on Rush’s debut.

The band followed Fly by Night with Caress of Steel (1975), a five-track album featuring two extended multi-chapter songs, “The Necromancer” and “The Fountain of Lamneth”. Rush’s next album 2112 contained a 20-minute title track divided into seven sections. This was followed by a supporting tour including three-nights at Massey Hall in Toronto, which was recorded for Rush’s first live album, All the World’s a Stage. Following 2112, Rush ecorded A Farewell to Kings (1977) and Hemispheres (1978) at Rockfield Studios in Wales. Rush Began began to record lengthy songs, with a more progressive sound which included increased synthesiser usage and highly dynamic playing featuring complex time signature changes which became a staple of Rush’s compositions. Lifeson began to experiment with classical and twelve-string guitars, and Lee added bass-pedal synthesizers and Minimoog. Likewise, Peart’s percussion became diversified in the form of triangles, glockenspiel, wood blocks, cowbells, timpani, gong, and chimes. Rush Continued  to compose long, conceptual songs with science fiction and fantasy overtones.

Rush gradually began playing shorter and sometimes softer arrangements. up to this point The lyrics had been heavily influenced by classical poetry, fantasy literature, science fiction, and the writings of novelist Ayn Rand. The next album Permanent Waves (1980) incroporated reggae, more synthesizers and new wave elements alongside hard rock. Permanent Waves included shorter, more radio-friendly songs such as “The Spirit of Radio” and “Freewill”. Peart’s lyrics dwelled less on fantastical or allegorical story-telling and more heavily on humanistic, social, and emotional elements. In 1980 Rush recorded “Battle Scar”with fellow Toronto-based rock band Max Webster for the album Universal Juveniles. Max Webster lyricist Pye Dubois offered the band lyrics to a song he had written which was reworked by Peart, to become “Tom Sawyer” which was released on the album Moving Pictures in 1981 alongside “Limelight”and the eleven-minute “The Camera Eye”. Following the success of Moving Pictures and having completed another four studio albums, Rush released a second live recording, Exit…Stage Left, in 1981. In 1982 Rush released the albumSignals Featuring the songs “Countdown”, New World Man”,  “Subdivisions”,”Digital Man”, “The Weapon”, “Chemistry” and “Losing It” this incorporated ska, reggae, and funk.

Sadly long-time producer Terry Brown left in 1983 following creative differences with the band. In 1984 Rush released Grace Under Pressure the title was inspired by Ernest Hemingway. Rush hired Peter Henderson to co-produce and engineer the album instead. Neil Peart began incorporating more Simmons Electronic Drums, sequencers and synthesizers combined with Lifeson’s guitar playing using open reggae chords and funk and new-wave rhythms.With new producer Peter Collins, the band released Power Windows (1985) and Hold Your Fire (1987) which featured Lee’s multi-layered synthesizer work rather than Guitars. Lifeson, like many guitarists in the mid-to-late 1980s, experimented with processors that reduced his instrument to echoey chord bursts and razor-thin leads. A third live album and video, A Show of Hands (1989), was also released. In 1990 Mercury released a double platinum two-volume compilation of their Rush catalogue, Chronicles. Rush then released the albums Presto and Roll the Bones. Produced by record engineer and musician Rupert Hine, These were more guitar-centric than the previous two studio albums. Although synthesizers were still used in many songs. Roll the Bones (1991) extended the use of the standard three-instrument approach with even less focus on synthesizers than its predecessor. It also featured funk and hip hop elements, and the instrumental track “Where’s My Thing?” Plus several jazz components and a more streamlined rock formula.

In 1993 Rush released the albums Counterparts and Test for Echo in 1996. These are two of Rush’s most guitar-driven albums. The latter album also includes elements of jazz and swing drumming by Peart, and embarked on the North American tour, “An Evening with Rush”. Following the Test for Echo tour in 1997, Rush had a five-year break, due to personal tragedies in Peart’s life. Peart’s daughter Selena died in a car accident in August 1997, followed by the death of his wife Jacqueline from cancer in June 1999. Peart travelled extensively throughout North America on his BMW motorcycle, to mourn and reflect, covering 88,000 km (55,000 mi). Peart wrote the book Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road is a chronicle of his journey and In 1998, a three-disc live album entitled Different Stages was released, dedicated to the memory of Selena and Jacqueline, Featuring performances from the band’s Counterparts, Test For Echo, and Farewell to Kings tours, marking the band’s fourth live album.

While visiting long-time Rush photographer Andrew MacNaughtan in Los Angeles, Peart was introduced to his future wife, photographer Carrie Nuttall. Peart married Nuttall on September 9, 2000. In 2002 Rush released the album Vapor Trails, featuring the song “One Little Victory”. This album was guitar driven with rapid guitar and drum tempos but no Synthesizers. In 2003 It was accompanied by A live album and DVD, Rush in Rio, featuring an entire concert performance recorded on November 23, 2002, at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary. June 2004 saw the release of the EP Feedback featuring eight covers of songs by Cream, The Who and The Yardbirds, bands which the members of Rush cite as inspiration. Rush also embarked on a 30th Anniversary Tour in the summer of 2004 playing dates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. The concert at The Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany was also filmed for a DVD titled R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour, released in 2005.

In 2007 Rush released their next album Snakes & Arrows featuring the songs “Far Cry”, Spindrift” and “The Larger Bowl (A Pantoum)”. A tour in support of Snakes & Arrows began in Atlanta, Georgia, finishing at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland. The 2008 portion began in San Juan, Puerto Rico at José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum, and ended in Noblesville, Indiana at the Verizon Wireless Music Center. Rush also released Snakes & Arrows Live, a double live album recorded at the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands. A DVD and Blu-ray was also released including four songs recorded at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2008 Rush appeared on The Colbert Report and performed “Tom Sawyer”, they also made a cameo appearance in the 2009 comedy film I Love You, Man, starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel.

In 2009, Lee, Lifeson and Peart were awarded the International Achievement Award at the annual SOCAN Awards in Toronto. In 2010 Rush were inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame at the Toronto Centre for the Arts’ George Weston Recital Hall. The band was recognized for the songs “Limelight”, “Closer to the Heart”, “The Spirit of Radio”, “Tom Sawyer” and “Subdivisions”. In 2010 Rush embarked on the Rush Time Machine Tour, starting in in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and finishing in Santiago, Chile, at the National Stadium, Playing the album Moving Pictures together with “Caravan” and “BU2B”. They extended the Time Machine Tour. Starting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and finishing in George, Washington. Rush also released Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland, a concert DVD, Blu-ray and double CD concert filmed at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Rush’s next album Clockwork Angels was released in 2012 featuring the songs “Caravan” “Headlong Flight” and “BU2B” and Followed by a supporting Clockwork Angels Tour. Rush were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Rush also played at the Sweden Rock Festival and The band’s performances in Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas were also recorded to make a live CD/DVD/Blu-ray. In 2014, the R40 box set was released to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the release of the band’s self-titled debut album. Which included five previously released live video albums, as well as various previously unreleased footage from across the band’s career. In 2015, the band officially announced the Rush R40 Tour, celebrating the fortieth anniversary of drummer Neil Peart’s membership in the band. The tour started at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and finished at The Forum in Los Angeles. In 2015, Alex Lifeson stated that R40 might be the final large-scale Rush tour due to his psoriatic arthritis and Peart’s chronic tendinitis, but said he would like to work on soundtracks with Geddy Lee. Rush also released a documentary, entitled Time Stand Still.

 

Raymond Chandler

Famous for writing Farewell My Lovely, The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye, the American crime Novelist and screenwriter Raymond Chandler, was born July 23, 1888 in Chicago Illinois. He spent his early years in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, living with his mother and father near his cousins and his aunt (his mother’s sister) and uncle. Chandler’s father, an alcoholic civil engineer who worked for the railway, abandoned the family. To obtain the best possible education for Ray, his mother, originally from Ireland, moved them to the area of Upper Norwood in the London Borough of Croydon, England in 1900. Another uncle, a successful lawyer in Waterford, Ireland, supported them while they lived with Chandler’s maternal grandmother. Raymond was a first cousin to the actor Max Adrian, a founder member of the Royal Shakespeare Company; Max’s mother Mabel was a sister of Florence Thornton. Chandler was classically educated at Dulwich College, London (a public school whose alumni include the authors P. G. Wodehouse and C. S. Forester). He spent some of his childhood summers in Waterford with his mother’s family. He did not go to university, instead spending time in Paris and Munich improving his foreign language skills. In 1907, he was naturalized as a British subject in order to take the civil service examination, which he passed. He then took an Admiralty job, and published his first poem.

Chandler disliked the servility of the civil service and resigned, to the consternation of his family, and became a reporter for the Daily Express and the Bristol Western Gazette newspapers. He was unsuccessful as a journalist, but he published reviews and continued writing romantic poetry. An encounter with the slightly older Richard Barham Middleton is said to have influenced him into postponing his career as writer. “I met… also a young, bearded, and sad-eyed man called Richard Middleton. … Shortly afterwards he committed suicide in Antwerp, a suicide of despair, I should say. The incident made a great impression on me, because Middleton struck me as having far more talent than I was ever likely to possess; and if he couldn’t make a go of it, it wasn’t very likely that I could. In 1912, he returned to America, visiting his aunt and uncle before settling in San Francisco where he took a correspondence course in bookkeeping, finishing ahead of schedule. His mother joined him there in late 1912. They moved to Los Angeles in 1913, where he strung tennis rackets, picked fruit. He found steady employment with the Los Angeles Creamery.

In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He saw combat in the trenches in France with the Gordon Highlanders and was undergoing flight training in the fledgling Royal Air Force (RAF) when the war ended. After the armistice, he returned to Los Angeles by way of Canada, and soon began a love affair with Pearl Eugenie (“Cissy”) Pascal, a married woman 18 years his senior and the stepmother of Gordon Pascal, with whom Chandler had enlisted. Cissy amicably divorced her husband, Julian, in 1920, but Chandler’s mother disapproved of the relationship and refused to sanction the marriage. For the next four years Chandler supported both his mother and Cissy. After the death of Florence Chandler on September 26, 1923, he was free to marry Cissy. They were married on February 6, 1924. Having begun in 1922 as a bookkeeper and auditor, Chandler was by 1931 a highly paid vice president of the Dabney Oil Syndicate, but his alcoholism, absenteeism, promiscuity with female employees, and threatened suicides contributed to his dismissal a year later. Due to his straitened financial circumstances Following his dismissal , Chandler turned to his latent writing talent to earn a living, teaching himself to write pulp fiction by studying the Perry Mason stories of Erle Stanley Gardner. Chandler’s first professional work, “Blackmailers Don’t Shoot”, was published in Black Mask magazine in 1933. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939, featuring the detective Philip Marlowe, speaking in the first person.

His second Marlowe novel, Farewell, My Lovely (1940), became the basis for three movie versions adapted by other screenwriters, including the 1944 film Murder My Sweet, which marked the screen debut of the Marlowe character, played by Dick Powell (whose depiction of Marlowe Chandler reportedly applauded). Literary success and film adaptations led to a demand for Chandler himself as a screenwriter. He and Billy Wilder co-wrote Double Indemnity (1944), based on James M. Cain’s novel of the same title. The noir screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award. Said Wilder, “I would just guide the structure and I would also do a lot of the dialogue, and he (Chandler) would then comprehend and start constructing too.” Wilder acknowledged that the dialogue which makes the film so memorable was largely Chandler’s.

Chandler’s only produced original screenplay was The Blue Dahlia (1946). He had not written a denouement for the script and, according to producer John Houseman, Chandler agreed to complete the script only if drunk, which Houseman agreed to. The script gained Chandler’s second Academy Award nomination for screenplay. Chandler also collaborated on the screenplay of Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (1951), an ironic murder story based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel, which he thought implausible. Chandler clashed with Hitchcock to such an extent that they stopped talking. In 1946 the Chandlers moved to La Jolla, California, an affluent coastal neighborhood of San Diego, where Chandler wrote two more Philip Marlowe novels, The Long Goodbye and his last completed work, Playback. The latter was derived from an unproduced courtroom drama screenplay he had written for Universal Studios.

Sadly his wife Cissy Chandler died in 1954, after a long illness. Heartbroken and drunk, Chandler neglected to inter her cremated remains, and they sat for 57 years in a storage locker in the basement of Cypress View Mausoleum. After Cissy’s death, Chandler’s loneliness worsened and he became deppressed ; he returned to drinking alcohol, never quitting it for long, and the quality and quantity of his writing suffered. In 1955, he attempted suicide. Chandler’s personal and professional life were both helped and complicated by the women to whom he was attracted—notably Helga Greene, his literary agent; Jean Fracasse, his secretary; Sonia Orwell (George Orwell’s widow); and Natasha Spender (Stephen Spender’s wife), the last two of whom assumed Chandler to be a repressed homosexual, Chandler regained his U.S. citizenship in 1956.

After a respite in England, he returned to La Jolla. But sadly He died at Scripps Memorial Hospital On March 26, 1959 of pneumonial peripheral vascular shock and prerenal uremia (according to the death certificate) in 1959. Helga Greene inherited Chandler’s $60,000 estate, after prevailing in a 1960 lawsuit filed by Fracasse contesting Chandler’s holographic codicil to his will.  Chandler was Four chapters into writing his eighth novel. This was completed as the novel Poodle Springs by the mystery writer and Chandler admirer Robert B. Parker. In 1989 Parker, also finished a sequel to The Big Sleep entitled Perchance to Dream, which was salted with quotes from the original novel. Chandler’s final Marlowe short story, circa 1957, was entitled “The Pencil”. It later provided the basis of an episode of the HBO miniseries (1983–86), Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, starring Powers Boothe as Marlowe. In 2014, “The Princess and the Pedlar” (1917), a previously unknown comic operetta, with libretto by Chandler and music by Julian Pascal, was also discovered among the uncatalogued holdings of the Library of Congress. The work was never published or produced. It has been dismissed by the Raymond Chandler estate as “no more than… a curiosity.” A small team under the direction of the actor and director Paul Sand is seeking permission to produce the operetta in Los Angeles.

Chandler is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery, in San Diego, California and in 2010, a petition was signed to disinter Cissy’s remains and reinter them with Chandler in Mount Hope. After a hearing in September 2010 in San Diego Superior Court, Judge Richard S. Whitney granted the request. and Cissy’s ashes were conveyed from Cypress View to Mount Hope and interred under a new grave marker above Chandler’s, as they had wished. About 100 people attended the ceremony, which included readings by the Rev. Randal Gardner, Powers Boothe, Judith Freeman and Aissa Wayne. The shared gravestone reads, “Dead men are heavier than broken hearts”, a quotation from The Big Sleep. Chandler’s original gravestone, placed by Jean Fracasse, is still at the head of his grave; the new one is at the foot.

All but Playback have been made into motion pictures, some several times. In the year before he died, he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. As a result Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature, and is considered by many to be a founder, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and other Black Mask writers, of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. His protagonist, Philip Marlowe, along with Hammett’s Sam Spade, is considered by some to be synonymous with “private detective,” both having been played on screen by Humphrey Bogart, whom many considered to be the quintessential Marlowe. Some of Chandler’s novels are considered to be important literary works, and three are often considered to be masterpieces: Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The Little Sister (1949), and The Long Goodbye (1953). The Long Goodbye is praised within an anthology of American crime stories as “arguably the first book since Hammett’s The Glass Key, published more than twenty years earlier, to qualify as a serious and significant mainstream novel that just happened to possess elements of mystery. mMany of his novels have also been adapted for film and Television including The Big Sleep and Farewell My Lovely, many starring Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum as hard-bitten detective Philip Marlowe.