Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Rand-Rush Connection, Interlude: Making of 2112


Ok, so yesterday, I published my post on Rush and the New Music Express's 1978 hatchet job, and today the Classic Albums series released their 2112/Moving Pictures edition. I already knew about the release...what I wasn't expecting was how much time they would spend on...the NME hatchet job and the Randian influence. This was during discussion of the recording of "2112." Even more unexpected was the appearance of the ARI's John Ridpath (What? He's Canadian, too...) to summarize the history of Anthem. There was even Neil's revelation re: the ambigous closing statement, "We have assumed control..."


From the making of "2112":



Geddy: "Well, he (Peart) was a huge fan of Ann (sic) Rand’s writing, and he introduced her writing to us…"


Alex: "Not exclusively that…a very, very broad reader…"



Neil: "I had read, certainly,a lot of science fiction at that time…and Samuel R. Delany was an big influence on me…and around the same time I found a copy of The Fountainhead and said “Oh…all the smart kids at school used to carry that around…”

Geddy: "We all liked the book Anthem, which is the thing that kinda inspired "2112"..."



Introducing John Ridpath: "Anthem was a novellete that Ayn Rand wrote, I would say, roughly around 1939-1940 wrote when she was in the middle of writing The Fountainhead


And so, Anthem is basically the story of a society taken over by a priesthood of totalitarian dictators who used mysticism to try and subdue all the people in society that is so collectivistic and so totalitarian that the concept I has been eliminated from people’s minds.



They don’t even have the concept I which means they can’t even conceive of themselves as individuals.

Alex: "That whole idea of the individual and that …sort of libertarian values…played a big role in how that album shaped up…"

Neil: "I dreamed up this story about music being invented against a dystopian totalitarian society…"


"I felt this great sense of injustice that this mass was coming down on us telling us to compromise, and compromise was the word that I couldn't deal with…I grew up a child of the sixties, and I was a strong individualist, and believed in the sanctity of… you should be able to do what you want to do, you know, without hurting anyone…

"When I realized that the story was paralleling Anthem, I thought I had to say something about Ayn Rand and the association with "2112", and so, at the bottom of the lyrics, just put 'with acknowledgement to the genius of Ayn Rand…'

"Well, how that came back onto us afterwards…"

Alex: "Yeah, we got in trouble with the NME in Britian around that time…this journalist, you know, wrote it up like we were Nazis, ultra right-wing maniacs…

Geddy: "Growing up as the son of Holocaust survivors, I found that just..you know...just so offensive..."

Cliff Burnstein (manager): The connection with Ayn Rand definitely was a media turnoff...there was certainly a...kind of association with the 50's, conservatism, the McCarthy years...all this stuff probably made the media think, 'well, this is just not my kind of band..."

David Fricke (Rolling Stone): "And even though Rand was, and still is, to this day, a controversial figure, it doesn’t mean that Neil believes everything she says...you don't have to believe everything she says to understand there are points in those books that are worth serious consideration..."

Geddy: "It’s about creative, freedom, it’s about belief...believing in yourself…"

Neil: "And I did not think of politics, and I did not think of global oppression...I was thinking "these people are messing with me!"

Geddy: "You can say what you want about Ann (sic) Rand, and all the other implications of her work, but her artistic manifesto, for lack of a better term, was the one that struck home with the three of us…"

Ed Robertson (Barenaked Ladies): "The focus on "2112" is about the loss of individuality and kinda....state rule and the oppression of expression to the extent of the extinction of music, basically…"

Terry Brown (Producer): "A pretty dark character is Neil, there's no telling what was going on in his mind at that time...I certainly don’t think he would want to just recreate the Ayn Rand story…living 'happily ever after' in the mountains, I think, it would have meant a much less dramatic ending for us on record..."

Geddy: "That ending of that story is a little ambigious…and there's obviously some sort of a war going on…"

Neil: "That’s the good guys, that’s the cavalry, you know, coming in at the end…so it actually, to me, had a happy ending, as it were…that the solar federation was going to be shut down by the vision that our hero has of this other way of living…they’re the people coming at the end…that’s how I intended it."

Next: Pt. 5 of 8-"Hold Your Fire"...

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