Why Rush Mattered

Originally posted as a Twitter thread here: https://twitter.com/8bitmeme/status/803124702663147520

So this is an introduction in the form of a confession by way of a series of humble brags.

I am a 46-year-old technology professional. I’ve been around social media for years (YEARS!),

I’ve done some interesting stuff

I’ve been some weird places

but this Twitter account is my shiny new… ‘professional’ one, where I — allegedly — will behave myself and focus on technology, business, and other Serious Matters. Being me, perhaps ‘substantive’ would be a more realistic goal than ‘serious’, but we’ll see. Today, however, I want to share a great piece I discovered over the holiday weekend:

“5 Simple Lessons From 40 Years At The Same Job” by @dbookbinder: ? (huffingtonpost.com/entry/5-simple…) You see, it seems Dave and I share a bond: we’re both Rush fans. Yes, that Rush aka @rushisaband

In 1987, my parents dropped me off (alone, appropriately for a 17-yr-old Rush fan) to see them at the Meadowlands – my first concert

I still have the tour shirt, which on at least one occasion enabled me to say to a young guy, “I have a t-shirt older than you”

But more importantly, it was the start of a relationship with their music that has lasted me 30 years

“The soundtrack to your life” is a cliche. But it’s real: the music these guys have made has been part of my life for three decades. So, great, whatevs. I like their stuff. Who cares? Well, I don’t just like their stuff. I like them. Or more precisely: respect them. “Rush” is three – and only three- guys: Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson, and Geddy Lee. They are all now in their 60’s. They are now, and have always been, musicians. Not rock stars. There has never been a “Behind the Music: Rush” because it would be boring. No drama. They. Just. Want. To. Make. The. Best. Music. And so they did, and so they have. For 40 years, they’ve worked their a*es off to be the absolute best at what they do. And they did it together. Back to Dave:

“Think about your two favorite people. Now imagine working with them… for say 40 years.” ? (huffingtonpost.com/entry/5-simple…) That’s what Geddy, Alex, and Neil did. They worked for 40 years as friends and partners. When Neil faced truly horrific personal tragedy, there was no question of whether Rush would go on without him. No Neil, no Rush. What mattered was Neil their friend to Geddy and Alex. So they waited. I have no doubt in my mind they would have waited forever, if that’s what Neil wanted. But a few years passed, and

Neil wanted to play again. So they did. And insanely, they came back stronger than ever. Their last studio release was 2012, 38 years after their 1974 debut. It is one of their greatest albums ever(rush.com/albums/clockwo…)

And in 2015, they concluded their “R40” tour, almost certainly their last. I was there at their 2nd-to-last performance. It was awesome. (youtube.com/playlist?list=…) It sounds absurd for a 46-year-old adult to say they look up to guys in a rock band. But I do. @dbookbinder gets it. If I can approach my work with half the integrity and dedication that the guys in Rush have bought to their music – I’ll likely take over the world. And if I can be a decent enough human being to maintain and cherish friendships and build bonds with my colleagues that are even a pale imitation of what they have done – I’ll be a happy man doing it. And so will the people who work with me. Somehow, in very different ways, these guys managed to be an inspiration to both a 17-year-old kid – and to a 46-year-old “adult”. So once again, I say: #ThankYouRush. For the music, and for the example.