Rush & Paying Tribute to Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks

Famous for its instrumental virtuosity and heady, sci-fi influenced lyrics, the Canadian prog-rock trio Rush has amassed an obsessive cult following. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush join Jim and Greg to discuss the band's remarkable 40 plus-year career. Jim and Greg will also say farewell to the leader of the punk band the Buzzcocks, Pete Shelley, who died earlier in December at age 63.

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rush Jim gets to unleash his inner thirteen-year-old this week as he and Greg sit down with Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee of the Canadian prog-rock legends Rush. All three members of Rush are known for their ridiculous virtuosity on their instruments – drum god Neil Peart, Lifeson on guitar, and Geddy Lee, who manages to play bass and synths and sing simultaneously. Lee and Lifeson met in junior high in Ontario and released a couple hard rock albums with drummer John Rutsey in the early '70s. But the band really hit its stride when Rutsey was replaced by Neil Peart, who also became the primary lyricist. They began crafting epic progressive rock concept albums like 2112 and Hemispheres featuring side-length sci-fi suites. The albums Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures brought Rush radio hits in the early '80s, and the band moved into a synth-driven phase. Over the ensuing decades, Rush has continued to evolve its sound and adapt to new styles, while growing a cult fanbase that is intense to say the least. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson discuss the band's evolving styles, the existence of female Rush fans, and more.


Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks

Pete Shelley

Pete Shelley, the leader of the Buzzcocks, died at home in Estonia of a heart attack on December 6, 2018. He was 63 years old. Shelley's work was a major influence on a wide swath of musicians over the past 40 years. Greg points out the Buzzcocks were one of the first punk bands to eschew the safety pins and mohawks aesthetic, showing the movement ran deeper than fashion trends. He calls them "the next generation's answer to The Beatles." Shelley and Buzzcocks co-founder Howard Devoto put on the Sex Pistols' first show outside of London. It turned out to be a confluence of the future of Manchester's music scene with members of Joy Division and The Smiths in attendance as well as Factory Records founder Anthony Wilson and producer Martin Hannett. It was recreated in the 2002 film, "24 Hour Party People."

Jim points out the Buzzcocks' devotion to melody and describes their sound as“the Beatles catalog shoved into two minutes.”He also recounts how Shelley's first solo single "Homosapien" was banned by the BBC for“racy”lyrics. Fans have often wondered if Shelley's early embrace of synth-pop could have led to greater commercial success had the song been played on the radio. Jim plays "Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn‘t’ve)" as a tribute, calling it one of the greatest songs ever. Greg pays tribute by playing "I Believe," which Shelley closed many concert sets with and was an audience favorite.




Featured Songs

  1. Rush, Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres, Hemispheres, Anthem, 1978
  2. Rush, Something for Nothing, Rush, Phonogram, 1974
  3. Rush, Finding My Way, Rush, Phonogram, 1974
  4. Cream, Spoonful, Fresh Cream, Reaction, 1966
  5. Rush, Digital Man, Signals, Mercury, 1982
  6. Rush, 2112, 2112, Anthem, 1976
  7. Rush, The Fountain of Lamneth, Caress of Steel, Mercury, 1975
  8. Rush, By-Tor and the Snow Dog, Fly By Night, Mercury, 1975
  9. Rush, Xanadu, A Farewell to Kings, Mercury, 1977
  10. Rush, The Trees, Hemispheres, Anthem, 1978
  11. Rush, The Spirit of Radio, Permanent Waves, Anthem, 1980
  12. Rush, Tom Sawyer, Moving Pictures, Mercury, 1981
  13. Rush, Freewill, Permanent Waves, Anthem, 1980
  14. Rush, Subdivisions, Signals, Mercury, 1982
  15. Rush, Stick It Out, Counterparts, Atlantic, 1993
  16. Rush, Roll the Bones, Roll the Bones, Atlantic, 1991
  17. Rush, Closer to the Heart, R40 Live, Anthem/Roadrunner, 2015
  18. Rush, One Little Victory, Vapor Trails, Anthem, 2002
  19. Rush, Limelight, Moving Pictures, Mercury, 1981
  20. Buzzcocks, What Do I Get?, Another Music in a Different Kitchen, Nettwerk America, 1978
  21. Buzzcocks, Orgasm Addict, Another Music in a Different Kitchen, Nettwerk America, 1978
  22. Buzzcocks, Everybody's Happy Nowadays, Singles Going Steady, I.R.S., 1979
  23. Buzzcocks, You Say You Don't Love Me, A Different Kind of Tension, Nettwerk America, 1979
  24. Pete Shelley, Homosapien, Homosapien, Arista, 1981
  25. Buzzcocks, Innocent, Trade Test Transmissions, Caroline, 1993
  26. Green Day, Basket Case, Dookie, Lookout!, 1994
  27. Buzzcocks, Ever Fallen in Love (with Someone You Shouldn‘t’ve?), Love Bites, United Artists, 1978
  28. Buzzcocks, I Believe, A Different Kind of Tension, Nettwerk America, 1979
  29. Moses Sumney, Don't Bother Calling, Aromanticism, Jagjauwar, 2017
  30. Shame, One Rizla, Songs of Praise, Dead Oceans, 2018
  31. Sen Morimoto, Sections, Cannonball!, Sooper, 2018
  32. Sen Morimoto, People Watching, Cannonball!, Sooper, 2018
  33. Brandi Carlile, The Joke, By The Way, I Forgive You, Low Country Sound/Elektra, 2018