Rush: Presto, and Introspection

It's interesting to me how many memories can be buried inside of a medium like a CD. I'm not talking about pictures or audio clips on a CD-R, I'm thinking more like the memories you have while listening to a recording. One such album for me is Rush: "Presto". (Heck, just about any Rush album has some memories attached to it, but this was one that I hadn't heard in a long while). When this album came out in 1989, I wasn't too thrilled with it, as it continued the more mellow music of "Signals", "Power Windows" and "Hold Your Fire". It was also the first album of Rush that I anticipated. Up until that point I was picking up Rush albums that were already released ("Hold Your Fire" being the third disc I ever purchased... following Bryan Adams "Into the Fire" and Bon Jovi "Slippery When Wet". I still have the "Hold Your Fire" disc, thank you very much). I collected a lot of Rush's earlier albums on tape because they were ridiculously cheap compared with the CD copies, and I could usually finagle my dad to let me pick up a tape when we went grocery shopping. "Presto" was different, though. I was in college when Presto came out, and was a regular over at Holland CD (Hi Carl!). I was continuing my musical explorations, and had started my tenure over at WTHS, the college radio station at school. Carl at Holland CD gave Don and I some posters that he got from the album (I still have mine framed). My Rush posters ("Presto", "Hold Your Fire" and "A Show of Hands" are some of my most treaured musical posters (hey, when we have a game room, I wonder if JoDee will let me hang them up in there? :) )) When I went to see Rush for the first time, it was on the Presto Tour (after trying in vain to win tickets in high school. Go figure). I was so geeked about it that the next day I played my own mini version of the concert on my radio show. I started off with a Mr. Big Song ("Addicted to that Rush", which closed their set), followed by (I think) "Show, Don't Tell", and possibly another Rush song. Just about every tall, lanky guy at school was wearing a "Presto" shirt the next day in the cafeteria. I was no exception. I was part of the club of Rush fanatics. If there was a card to carry, I would have had it in my wallet.

Of course I've grown since the first time I listened to those lyrics (I really think that Neil's lyrics are the fourth member of the band), and today those lyrics hit a different nerve than they did back in 1989. Now, songs like "Red Tide" hit a different part of me, a part that doesn't gloss over the lyrics looking just for the drum parts. "Let us not go gently / To the endless winter night" has a whole new meaning than just a chorus. The lyrics speak to the older me much more than they did the younger me. I guess music has a tendency to do that. Neil Peart's drumming shaped my drumming as I strove to imitate every nuance of his playing, but his lyrics bring out my inner writer, and give me the desire to want to write with such succinct eloquence.

I've seen many Rush concerts on many tours since that time. I've seen them several times at Pine Knob with JoDee. She's commented that the bunnies on the cover of the album are cute, and I think she's played the whole album through on several occasions. I'm extremely fortunate that my wife loves the band that pretty much shaped and morphed my musical tastes and directions.

So many memories on a disc, and room for plenty more.

Here's the Lyrics for the album, and if you so choose, you can purchase a copy of Rush: Prestoimage from Amazon.


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