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Pick a Day

Timeline : Rush

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September 12, 1952

Neil Peart is born near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. In 1974, he joins Rush, becoming both their drummer and lyricist.

July 29, 1953

Rush frontman Geddy Lee is born Geddy Lee Weinrib in Willowdale, Ontario, Canada.

August 27, 1953

Alex Lifeson (guitarist for Rush) is born Aleksandar Zivojinovic in Fernie, British Columbia, Canada, to Serbian immigrant parents. He is raised in Toronto, Ontario.

August 18, 1969

Local upstart band Rush see Led Zeppelin perform in Toronto. In 1974, when Rush get airplay in America with the song "Working Man," radio stations field lots of calls asking if it's a new Led Zeppelin song.

June 29, 1974

Neil Peart replaces John Rutsey as the drummer for Rush. Rutsey played on the band's first album, but Peart plays on the next 18, joining Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson in one of the most venerable and productive partnerships in rock history.

July 9, 1974

Rush sign a deal with Mercury Records, who are impressed by their debut album, a self-titled independent release with the track "Working Man."

August 14, 1974

Drummer Neil Peart makes his debut with Rush at a show in Pittsburgh where they are the support act for Manfred Mann and Uriah Heep.

February 15, 1975

Rush release Fly by Night. It is their second album, following 1974's Rush, but is the first with new drummer/lyricist Neil Peart. Partially due to Peart's influence, this album veers from the sound of the band's debut and moves closer to the progressive styling that eventually makes Rush a legend of the genre.

March 24, 1975

Rush are named Most Promising Group at the Juno Awards. They fulfill that promise, winning Group Of The Year in 1978 and 1979.

September 24, 1975

Rush release their third album, Caress of Steel. The album doesn't sell as well as its predecessor, Fly by Night, and is poorly received by critics. Rush chalks up the album's lack of focus and quality to copious amounts of marijuana consumed during its making. The audacious ambition of the album, however, is an important step in the band's evolution, another step forward on an artistic path that will find fruit a year later with 2012.

April 1, 1976

Rush disregard their record label's wishes and release 2112. Mercury wanted the band to produce an album with more radio-friendly singles than Caress of Steel, but 2112 is just as ambitious and "progressive" as its predecessor. This time, however, advances in the band's skills and changes in the market make 2112 successful, though it will take 1977's A Farewell to Kings to help nudge 2112 to Gold status.

September 29, 1976

Rush release their first live album, the double LP All The World's A Stage.

September 1, 1977

Rush release their fifth album, A Farewell to Kings. The album's epic "Xanadu" and "Cygnus X-1 Book I: The Voyage" satisfy Rush's cult following, while the shorter and more radio-friendly "Closer to the Heart" find favor with general audiences in both the US and the UK.

November 16, 1977

In a sign they are taking hold in America, Rush earn their first Gold albums with 2112, All The World's A Stage and A Farewell To Kings.

October 29, 1978

Rush's Hemispheres hits stores. The album is ambitious even by Rush standards, and the work put into recording it nearly gives the band members nervous breakdowns.

January 8, 1979

Rush are named Canada's Official Ambassadors Of Music by the Canadian government.

January 14, 1980

Rush release Permanent Waves, their seventh studio album. "The Spirit of Radio" and "Freewill" help make it their first to reach the Top 5 on the US albums chart, where it peaks at #4. The album represents a new direction for the band, with songs becoming denser and more radio friendly, setting the stage for the upcoming Moving Pictures.

February 12, 1981

Riding the (permanent) wave of their previous album, Rush release Moving Pictures. Featuring "Tom Sawyer," "Limelight" and "YYZ," it becomes the best-selling album in the Rush discography. "The Camera Eye" is the last 10-minute-long song Rush ever record in the studio.

April 12, 1981

Rush are guests at Kennedy Space Center to witness the first space shuttle launch, which inspires their song "Countdown."

April 12, 1984

Rush release Grace Under Pressure, their 10th studio album and, according to guitarist Alex Lifeson, their most satisfying. With standout tracks "Distant Early Warning" and "Red Sector A," it's well received by fans.

September 21, 1989

Rush move away from their keyboard-heavy sound with Presto, their 13th studio album and first under the Atlantic Records label. The album's four singles are "Show Don't Tell," "Presto," "The Pass," and "Superconductor."

March 1, 1990

Rush are named '80s Artist Of The Decade at the Juno Awards, the Canadian equivalent of the Grammies.

October 19, 1993

Counterparts, Rush's 15th studio album, hits stores.

September 10, 1996

Neil Peart employs some jazz-influenced traditional drum grips on Rush's 16th studio album, Test for Echo. It's the last album the band releases before the death of Peart's daughter, followed ten months later by the passing of his wife, leads the band to take a six-year recording hiatus.

August 10, 1997

Rush drummer Neil Peart loses his 19-year-old daughter Selena to a car accident. A year later, Selena's mother Jackie (Peart's common-law wife) dies of cancer, leading Peart to take a long sabbatical from the band where he rides his motorcycle across North America.

May 14, 2002

Rush release Vapor Trails, their 17th studio album and first since the deaths of Neil Peart's daughter and wife five years prior.

July 30, 2003

When the disease SARS spreads to Toronto, it scares a lot of people away. To get visitors back, the city puts on a huge open-air concert featuring The Rolling Stones, The Guess Who, Rush, The Isley Brothers, The Flaming Lips and Justin Timberlake (who is jeered and has muffins thrown at him). About 450,000 people attend.More

June 29, 2004

Rush release their 18th studio album, Feedback, comprised of eight cover songs selected from tunes that influenced each band member in their younger years.

May 1, 2007

Rush release Snakes & Arrows. Alex Lifeson's guitar work on the album is influenced by David Gilmour's suggestion that he write more acoustic songs.

May 11, 2008

John Rutsey, the original drummer for Rush, dies of a diabetes-related heart attack at age 55.

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