I’m a day late and a dollar short on this, but that’s just how I roll. Yesterday wasn’t just the Winter Solstice. The date was 12/21… but in many countries, including Canada, our friendly neighbor to the north, they typically write the day first, then the month. So in Toronto, it was 21/12… I think we should all take 20 minutes (and 39 seconds) to celebrate:
The first concert I ever saw was Rush – on April 14th, 1981, at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock, Arkansas. I lived 40 miles away from Little Rock and didn’t have a car, so going to concerts wasn’t exactly easy. For this show, I got a ride with a couple of my co-workers at Piggly Wiggly – Paul “Greens” Turner and Steve Robertson (who once fell through the ceiling of the Piggly Wiggly and landed in the meat case – butt first into the rump roast – when he was trying to look for shoplifters through the two-way mirror peepholes in the rafters… but I digress.).
It was the Moving Pictures tour (great album, btw), but Rush opened the show with the first part of 2112 (“Overture” and “The Temples of Syrinx” if you’re keeping score at home) and it blew my mind. I still get goose bumps thinking about it. Sure the song (or song suite more accurately) could be considered a bit bombastic, overwrought… heck, it takes up the entire side of an album. But when you see Geddy, Alex and Neil play it live, you appreciate their musicianship in a whole new way. Three virtuoso musicians operating as a single, living, breathing entity. So tight. So stellar. So interstellar too!
Unfortunately, Rush is no longer touring and may never record again. After 40-plus years of rocking, they’ve certainly earned their retirement. But I was a Rush nerd in ’81 (which helps explain my lack of luck with the ladies), and I’m a Rush nerd still (which helps explain my general nerdiness). I also don’t like the cold, dreary winter… so every year from now on, instead of marking the first day of the saddest season, I’ll celebrate 21/12 Day. And you should too.