Five Reasons You’ll Love It - November 2, 2016

Rush | Time Stand Still – Five Reasons You’ll Love It
by Kim
by Kim hmv Toronto, Bio Music, film, cats, yoga - repeat! Canada Editor

Rush | Time Stand Still – Five Reasons You’ll Love It

The new feature-length documentary Rush | Time Stand Still is brilliant. It’s also enormously bittersweet, capturing the final tour of the iconic prog-rockers as they cross the four-decade mark as a band. 

Filmed in 2015 and narrated by actor Paul Rudd, the film uses extensive interviews with stakeholders plus archival and behind-the-scenes footage to chart the remarkable story of three Toronto guys who rose from scrappy misfits to global rock superstars, remaining musically relevant throughout.

For Rush fans, Time Stand Still is essential viewing and doubtless a bookend to one of the farewell concerts they saw in 2015. But the film is also fascinating to casual observers, mostly because it tells such a good story, mixing laughs with tears while offering band members Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart an intimate platform to appraise a lifelong career.

As Rush | Time Stand Still arrives on home theatre, we offer five of the many reasons it’s worth your while… and why its November 18th release on DVD is worth anticipating.

The candour…

Lee, Lifeson and Peart as well as long-time manager Ray Danniels, label exec Pegi Cecconi, tour manager Howard Ungerleider and others in Rush’s immediate orbit speak openly about the challenges of the past (how hard it was being impoverished road warriors in search of an audience) and the present (arthritis). The band members also reflect on how deeply their identities are intertwined with touring, and how difficult it is to acquiesce to aging. Except for films made posthumously, we rarely see such honesty in rock. And the quotes aren’t half bad, either:

Danniels: “For Rush, touring is designed to be an endurance test. They made it that way and that’s what they like to do.”

Peart: “Singing is the worst job [in a band] but drumming is the hardest. Playing guitar? A piece of cake.”

The archival footage…

Those bell-bottoms! Those bangs! It’s absolutely riveting watching the band navigate the tastes and trends of the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond. Excellent animation adds gravitas but the stock footage is a treat – at once hilarious and kind of heart-breaking, as the band members themselves would likely concede…

The stories…

You don’t scale the rock heap without accumulating some amazing tales of drugs, drink and debauchery. A boozing contest between Rush and Thin Lizzy? Check. How Lifeson cracked up KISS members (especially Ace Frehley) with his foul-mouthed costumed character “The Bag?” Yup. The warts-and-all road stories are flat-out hilarious.

The fans…

Talk about hardcore. We meet diehards who have seen Rush perform 75, 31, 90-odd, 170, 121 and 158 times. We meet the principals behind RushCon, the touring convention (read: nerdtastic secret society) for Rush fans. We meet über-collectors with entire households turned over to arcane Rush memorabilia such as 8-track tapes and vintage music mag advertisements. That level of devotion puts the band’s place in pop culture into perspective for those who could maybe identify “Tom Sawyer” or “Subdivisions” on the local classic rock radio station. Celebrity fans also testify, like acclaimed Toronto producer Gavin Brown and baseball player Randy Johnson.

The music…

Whether you love Rush or not – and people have always been sharply divided – there’s no discrediting the musicianship of the three or the fact that they’ve been able to engage and enthral a fan base (and often the offspring of that fan base) since the 1970s. Hats off.



Rush: Time Stand Still
Rush: Time Stand Still Dale Heslip

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