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.