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Wow. For all my many years of waxing and waning Rush fandom, including having played several of their songs on the bass myself in a band a few years back, I never knew this about one of their oddest songs, the instrumental track “YYZ.”

Yes, of course I know YYZ is the code for the Toronto airport. But what I never realized, even as I was playing that rhythm, is that the opening of the song spells “YYZ” in Morse Code!

(I must admit I have some misgivings about saying I never realized it. I vaguely recall that as my bandmates and I were working the song out — from memory, not a recording — I was convinced that the last part of long beats was 5 and not 4, but the other guys might have used the Morse Code argument to prove me wrong. In fact, even tonight as I read about this and played the song in my head, I was still thinking it was 5, and, in my usual cocksure way, thinking “these websites have it wrong!” or “the band messed up the ‘Z’!” But then I actually listened to the song and realized it’s 4. Then I assumed the band I was in must have played it wrong, since I was so sure it was 5. So I listened to our recording of it and sure enough it was 4 there too! I guess the only thing that proves is that once again, it’s a bad idea for me to stay up too late on a Saturday night surfing the web.)

Here’s some more on the matter…

While I’m on the subject of Rush, I quickly googled (yes, it’s officially lowercase now, much to Google‘s chagrin) and was surprised to discover that, apparently, my high school friends and I are the only ones in the entire wired world who ever thought the band’s self-titled debut album cover looks more like it says RLISH than RUSH.

Darn That Dragon!

My mother-in-law bought me the 2-DVD Rush concert set “R30: Rush 30th Anniversary Tour” for Father’s Day. (No, I don’t think she knows about my prog rock obsession, she’s just good at selecting from my Amazon.com wish list.)

Anyway, I was watching some of it today, and it was nice to see how the boys have loosened up with humor in their concerts. (OK, the humor’s always been there; it’s just more blatant now.)

In particular, I was stunned to see what was on the stage behind Geddy. No, it wasn’t a pair of Marshall half-stacks. It was a pair of Maytag half-stacks. Yes, he had two Maytag clothes dryers behind him on stage, spinning nonstop throughout the show. And next to them, one of those rotating sandwich vending machines from a cafeteria. (Well, I didn’t get the best look at it… that’s what it seemed to be, although it might have been a pie display case like those often seen at lowbrow coffee shops.)

Clearly this made quite an impression on me. It wasn’t enough to tell a pair of coworkers plus SLP, as well as emailing two old high school friends who were also Rush fans back in the day. (And when is anyone more of a Rush fan than in high school?) I had to take it a step further and share it with the two and a half people who actually read my blather.