DVD Review: Rush – Beyond the Lighted Stage

“We were always overreaching.” — Geddy Lee

I can’t say that I grew up a huge Rush fan, but I had plenty of friends who were, and who would listen to 2112 religiously, and even had a bass playing friend who took on the task of learning as many Rush songs as possible. (It turned out … not too many … have you ever listened to Geddy Lee?) I am, however, a fan of rock and roll documentaries, so I took a chance on Beyond the Lighted Stage, which showcases the band through the years and how their individualism and musicianship stood them well in the face of a music industry that, as one band member say, “didn’t know what to do with us.”

There’s something to be said for bands that refuse to kowtow to a record label. I don’t know if there are enough of them anymore, although maybe the shakeup of the industry is finally leveling the field a bit. Maybe there are more bands that can tell a record company where to go when they say “we need a hit” and still survive by carving out an audience. I sure hope so.

After watching Beyond the Lighted Stage, you have come away with admiration for the three members of Rush (OK, so if you listen to them and think, that’s only three guys? That still remains an eye-opener for me. Or ear-opener.) Their musicianship remains impeccable, their ability to weave narrative and story into songs is a worthy goal (even if they do, in fact, overreach), and their friendship through the years is something that I find admirable. One storyline of drummer Neil Peart (who is sort of a god-like drummer to most of my drummer friends and also the main lyricist for the band) is particularly wrenching, as Peart loses his daughter and his wife within a short period of time, and in a bit of escapism from the world, hops on a motorcycle for a year of traveling and reflecting. The band came to a halt, as his bandmates worried about him. The movie shows Peart’s re-entry into the life, and into music, with the help of Rush.

Watching the documentary reminded me of a webcomic I created around a bass player in a band. The main character — Bassman — considers Geddy Lee to be a god, and starts a viral compaign to get Rush into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I think that Geddy Lee reference comes from memories of my friends, and the fanatical view of Lee as a bassman extraordinaire.


Peace (in the bass and beyond),


A Little Bassman Recognition

Sometimes, my blog will get link backs that I think, who the heck is this? And why are they linking to me? Most of the time, it is some autoblogbot site, just grabbing keywords to generate traffic. This morning, though, I found a link back to a site that mentioned my old Bassman comic series. Cool. I checked it out, and the post in question is all about composer John Cage, and I had done a few strips once in which the Bassman decides to do some experimental music with some odd objects.

See the post: John Cage Lives

It’s funny to see Bassman at the post with all of the videos of John Cage and John Cage-inspired content. Bassman lives!

Peace (on the bass),

PS — oh, what the heck, here is the entire Bassman collection



Bassman Webcomics: Inspired by John Cage

In college, where I was a music minor (and an English major and always wanted those two to flip), I had a professor who was deep into the New York avante garde scene of composition. John Cage was a god to these guys. The other day, I read an interesting profile of Cage in New Yorker and thought I might bring his ideas into my Bassman webcomic.
Here’s what I got so far:
You can peruse the entire Bassman collection (if you dare) here.

Peace (in the silence),

What I’ve been up to … Bassman Comics

While I was away on a blogging vacation in August, I also kept creating more Bassman webcomics, in which I am poking fun at my love of music and playing in rock and roll bands. My hope is to get my 12 year old son to take these basic comics and do the artwork. He started the project but then stopped.I think it was right around the time he finally earned an iPod touch. Hmmm.

This is what he drew up for me first:
Bassman drawn (1)
Here is a collection of the 20-odd strips I am working on with Bassman:

Peace (in the frame),

Bassman hits 10 (comic strips)

(This is still sort of a rough draft of a comic about a band. I’d like to do my own art in the future. Right now, I am focusing in on the writing and characters.)

Peace (in the music),