Those secrets I mentioned in my last post are coming. I’m in the process of setting up my Ravelry store, and once that’s done, all will be revealed. In the meantime, a pressing issue has arisen; one that requires immediate attention.
Along with all the wonderful feedback about my Retrofit pattern (thanks everyone!), I’ve received a surprising number of emails and comments about the accompanying bio, in which I declare my status as a Rush fan as “former.” Some of you are quite rankled by this, which is really quite an education for me. Until now, I assumed that people stopped liking Rush when they turned twenty-one.
Why this assumption? Of all the concert crowds of which I’ve been a part, the ones that assembled for Rush had the most specific demographic: entirely white, mostly male, between the age of thirteen and twenty-one. The women who attended Rush concerts looked, for all intents and purposes, to have been dragged along by their boyfriends. (For the record, I never dragged a female of the human species to any of the Rush concerts I attended, mostly because, at that time, I couldn’t get a girl to come within ten feet of me). The only female Rush fan I’ve ever met was a music student with a concentration in the Baroque period. Which pretty much explains her interest in Rush all by itself1.
Now, I had a great time at the Rush concerts I went to. I was enthralled by the lasers, the video screen, the complex arrangements, and the subject matter of Neal Peart’s lyrics: dystopian societies, nuclear annihilation, medieval stuff, and . . . um, Lord of the Rings. You know, stuff that turns any fifteen-year-old geek’s crank.
But then I saw them on the Hold Your Fire tour (I am not doing the math on that one), and I realized something: very little of the sound I was hearing was being generated by the three guys on the stage2. The other people in my section must have realized the same thing, because everyone was staring at the stage with a vacant, glazed look that no amount of pot-smoking could account for. And it wasn’t just my section, either. Someone had pulled the plug out of the arena, and the drain was the stage itself.
There wasn’t much to be done after that. With a decent set of speakers, I could produce the same experience in my living room, without having to put up with drunken fans, long lines, and cigarette smoke. It was probably around that same time that Lord of the Rings lost its charm.
These days I have no interest in big arena concerts. They’re too impersonal, and the tickets are a massive ripoff ($20 “service charge” anyone?) I’d much rather see local independent bands at the nearest hole in the wall. And then, of course, there’s Yo La Tengo.
2 Not long after the show, I learned from a magazine article that most of the music was being generated by computers behind the stage. I also learned that the computers were programmed to resequence if the band made a mistake.