"Art is anything you can make and get someone else to buy" ...... P. Picasso
I thought I would start a new thread to respond to many of the thoughts and .....ideas...... expressed on the topic I started last month regarding the ill conceived and executed retirement of the band. And may I start this by stating that I did indeed have two 8 track tapes of Donna Summer and I do dearly miss her as well...... Now back on topic:
Some of the responses I got I just new were coming, such as, they are too old, Geddy's vocals sound like a zombie roadkill cat, the indefatigable "Get a life" - despite my self-deprecation. The one I really like is "They don't (blanking) owe us anything man!! Forty (blanking) years is long enough!!" Then of course the predictable detours to the afore mentioned Donna Summer, farting, etc. I do love you all, seriously.
I would like to respond to the 'they don't owe us anything and can do whatever the (blank) they want' idea. First off, your absolutely right. They CAN do whatever they want. America and Canada are both free countries, and personal freedom is the concept both countries are chartered under. Additionally, they are all so incredibly rich and have such great personal financial freedom that they and their families can go and do whatever they want, when they want to. No question about that. I am the last person to suggest they don't have these privileges.
However, SHOULD they do this (retire nebulously)? I am thinking that the personal wealth that they enjoy didn't just show up. Now, one can play the ole "entertainer contract" thread, you know, YOU PAID THEM, THEY PLAYED, deal done- over. That too is true ..... but wow, they have had such an incredible run of success, due to extraordinary fans - fans being the overwhelmingly, preeminent force behind their induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I do think in this one area, that is, retirement, they do OWE us better than , " definitely maybe, kinda, sorta,...." We are talking 40 years of patronage, not just them playing their hearts out.
Not only that, but for an artist, any artist, especially in the "Limelight" arena of popular music, with all it's vices and vicissitudes, the temptations, the constant destructive pull on any group to stay together, again this longevity and relative harmony is an extraordinary accomplishment. What artist wouldn't want to put the definitive culminating touch on their life's work? Work that is clearly dear to them. A 'possibly end of the road' tour is not worthy of the culmination this art work deserves.
I don't completely agree with the Geddy vocal haters. The first thing I said to my son as we left our $420 rafter seats behind at the Scott Trade Center in St. Louis last summer was how good Geddy sounded (admittedly, the $420 expense could have colored my observations that night). I thought he sang some challenging material rather well. I was shocked by the vocals on the R40 CD, and that is not what I heard in STL. I think he had a bad night, or they simply waited too long in the tour, he was tired (he was 62 you know) and they were obviously committed to those shows as the live recorded performances. Given how recorded vocals can be polished in the studio, I don't see any problem with them recording one last album.
And that, in my opinion is how they could rightfully culminate this act. I want to see an album dealing with the end. Finis. I want to hear Neal's retrospective thoughts on the past, and hopeful look to their futures in ways they have yet to express. One last guitar tirade from Alex, one last Fender flash from Geddy. What is lost here, is the opportunity THEY are passing up. To be able to put a project such as this to bed, after soooo many years of wonderful experiences and artistic expression is a privilege experienced by few. Rush should avail themselves of this opportunity and not pass it up. They deserve it.
And yeah: they play, I pay - then they are done. A deal is a deal.