The music of Rush is supposed to be a love-it-or-hate-it thing, but somehow I managed to fall in the middle. Long-term, devoted fans don’t always love their early ‘80s material but I think the Permanent Waves-Moving Pictures-Signals era was magnificent. Alex Lifeson’s guitar had a lovely chorus pedal sound which meshed with the synthesizers that the band was experimenting with, and brought out the best in some of their best songs.
It’s thanks to Neil Peart that I learned something about music. A couple of high school jazz band friends had whatever the current Rush concert video was at the time, and could not say enough about Peart’s drumming. One of these guys was a drummer, and the other a serious Rush fan, and I realized that some folks like music not for any song by that artist, but because of the sheer musicianship.
And I hope Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson keep going in some form.
Two more novels in the Maize Noir world of Midwestern themed crime fiction are coming, Spider’s Wine and Attack Therapy. They are written and on the way this year, but now is the time for Part 1 of this loosely connected trilogy. So, without further ado, let’s close with an excerpt from Screw Punch:
She had nothing left to do but help Kim find her tool and get out of there.
So she paused to look into a wall mirror above the little microwave that sat on the inadequate table. Her hair had been pulled up in a pony tail that she now released to shake her hair around and regather in her hands.
As she shaped her hair together into a thick stream, she noticed absentmindedly that the closet door was open by a small crack.
She looked up critically at the mirror, noticing straight white-blond hairs that were escaping her pony tail and that she smoothed back over her scalp with both hands. Then she pulled off the hair tie, rested it on two fingers, and grabbed all of her hair and bunched it all within one petite fist.
And then she stopped, frozen, and hair began to drift down. In the mirror, her eyes enlarged and her mouth opened silently.
A pair of eyes was staring back at her from the closet.
Leading lady of so many westerns, and of course Creature from the Black Lagoon. Not to mention being an all around working actress with many credits and an always classy presence in the public eye. Rest in peace.
I meant to comment on Harlan Ellison’s passing. A writer who influenced so many people, and probably as much for his never dull, frequently entertaining personality displayed in many public appearances. I was more of a fan in my teen years than when older, but I always enjoyed his comments and just knowing that he was out there.
And, of course, he wrote one of Star Trek‘s greatest episodes:
Also, Steve Ditko. When I was a whippersnapper, I found a torn copy of Doctor Strange Classics in a comic shop, getting it from a reject bunch for something like four-for-a-dollar along with a beat-up Silver Age Tales to Astonish. Ditko’s surrealist, psychedelic art was mind-boggling, and led me to further joy reading his original Spider-Man stories in Marvel Tales.
Here’s a book-themed (and groovy) look at the weird wonder of the art of Ditko:
And . . . Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries. The voice of otherworldly nineties Celtic pop music, and a band that was one of the best things about the nineties: