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November

Hello, Marlow here, Friend To The Stars, Enemy To The Truth

Over the next 20 years I will share with you the thoughts of a bitter and somewhat twisted individual who has spent the last 40 odd years trapped in a man's body with little, if any, achievement to speak of.
Having spent many years in the shadows and backrooms of the music industry, quietly observing the machinations of the famous and talented whilst nicking fags from their coat pockets and selling their property on EBay, I can as you will guess, give you a glimpse of what Geddy, Alex and Neil are really like.
After that they've promised to let me out.

Don’t Encourage Them
Firstly let’s get a few preliminaries out of the way. For heaven’s sake stop sending those Three Ponces next door favourable reviews. Bloody Brantano An Insult To Rush. It’s hard enough trying to think in here with them twats working on twiddly bits and screaming like Barry Gibb in a rape scene without you bastards encouraging them.
Look, they’re not bad. We know it, they know it, no need to keep bloody telling them, ok?

"Imagine a time... When it all began..."
My first recollections of meeting the guys who until recently I have regarded among my greatest showbiz friends was in L.A in the summer of '75.
Me, Bowie and Jagger were kicking back and having a few beers in Mad Kenny’s All Night Drinker, down town, when in walked a rather odd looking duo. Alex still wasn’t convinced that the band was destined for greatness and although they were in the middle of a heavy touring schedule, he had purchased a weekly saver from Air Canada to go back and work at his then day job delivering pizzas to some of the more affluent suburbs of Toronto. Don’t forget in those days pizzas were still regarded as a bit posh.
Anyway, I remember at the time not quite knowing what was going off. As it transpired Geddy had just lost all the royalties from ‘Fly by Night’ on a fruit machine in a nearby nightclub and was in a really bad mood and Neil was completely out of it on something. To add to the confusion a bloke in the snug, who I later found out was John Rutsey, kept coming in hurling abuse at the somewhat already pissed off Geddy and the totally oblivious Mr Peart.
There was a bit of beer thrown at one point but Jagger gave Rutsey a quick slap and Bowie took the piss a bit, then stood on a table and did a hilarious rendition of ‘Starman’. You should have been there, classic. Anyway after a few more Buds we all got talking and they told us about a new concept album they were working on. Neil tried explaining to us what a ‘Necromancer’ was, then giggled a bit and fell back to sleep. Geddy borrowed a tenner off Bowie (which I don’t think he ever got back) and got a round in.
That was that - we were partners.

"It was long after midnight ..."
Our second meeting was as bizarre and by chance as the first.
Me and Jagger had got completely pissed off with Bowie dressing up like a girl and showing off, so after sending him to the bar at the Viper Rooms we had quickly ‘done one’ to the airport. Knowing he would be in hot pursuit we took the first available flight out which just happened to be over to the ‘Big Apple.’
From JFK we took a taxi to the biggest celeb hang out in Manhattan, ‘Uncle Sam’s Bar' on the corner of 53rd and 3rd. And fuck me but who do you think were the first people we ran into…

Although the gaff was absolutely packed to the rafters with major celebs, Geddy made a swiftish bee line for me and immediately demanded his watch back.
He had, he said, put it on the table in Mad Kenny's with his false teeth when the Rutsey thing had looked like turning ugly, and I must have just picked it up without thinking.
Now, many of you know Geddy‘s reputation as a bare knuckle fighter, and I was franticly looking for an excuse as it all started to go quiet and smelly around me.
Suddenly, Ged smiled, threw his arms around me and gave me a kiss on the cheek - one of those that really hard bastards do to each other, to prove they are completely comfortable with their own sexuality and in no way gay, not even a bit, nor have they ever thought about it, at all. Fuck me, he thought he’d left without it in his drunken stupor and I had come all that way to return it.

So instead of the considerable shoeing I was expecting at any second, I had me beer bought all night and was welcomed open armed into the crazy world of Rush.
Which was just as well, as within 10 minutes of getting there Jagger had got off with this ropey looking Texan bird and was never seen again. Apparently she had been trying to cop a ’portion’ off Geddy earlier but he knocked her back 'cos he couldn’t understand a blind word she was saying.

Anyway, several hours later we staggered together, blind paralytic drunk, into the warm Manhattan small hours, hindered only by a slightly irate David Hassellhoff, waving his arms about and ranting on about some watch I had promised to sell him. Neil staggered over and mumbled something incoherent, and astonishingly, there was Alex.
He had been sacked by Pizza Express after an unfortunate seafood calzone incident. Word travels fast in a town like Toronto, and Alex found the doors to the fast-food industry now closed to him, with no other option than to take his chances with Rush.
From then on we were inseparable, four of the most eligible bastards on the planet and the world was ours.

My least favourite headache
All a far cry from the ill fated night in Sheffield three months back, when, in the middle of a serious detox, I’d gone down town for a few shandies.
There was a whisper going round the bar that there was a Rush tribute band on at the Boardwalk; hysterical, I thought (which it was).
As soon as the gig was over Pod, who had recognised me from the 'Signals' Tourbook, invited me backstage for a diet coke and a marmite sandwich.

The last memory I have as a free man was Pod on his knees in front of me, crying and begging me to do him a column, whilst I laughed uncontrollably and tried to explain the quickest route back to reality.
After that, I felt the Vimto bottle round the back of the head and the next thing I remember is waking up in this shithole, with Pod standing over me, saying “Tell me everything you know”.
For a fleeting moment I actually had a modicum of respect for the man and his determination. However he quickly ruined that by doing the pathetic ’little finger to the mouth’ routine like Dr Evil in the Austin Powers films.

So that’s where we’re at are boys and girls: Marlow, the biggest face on the showbiz circuit, kidnapped, incarcerated and forced to reveal the innermost secrets of his three best mates in the world until those ponces decide otherwise or I escape, the plan of which I will begin to formulate as soon as the lump on the back of my head goes down and I can think straight again.

When they turn the pages of History...
In the meantime don’t think for one minute that life with Rush was all pink Champagne and stunning birds. (in fact it was never like that). Neil’s considerable appetite for ‘non-over the counter items’ meant that for 98% of the time he was incapable of normal conversation, which in turn meant that something as mundane as going to the ice cream van was a major fucking incident that would often end in disaster. Which reminds me of the last night of the ‘Permanent Waves’ tour.

We fled Brighton for Paris and then embarked on a bender the likes of which had never been seen. The plan afterwards was to fly over to London to start writing material for the next album. However we were so out of it that someone decided it should be left to Neil to see to the tickets.
We woke up the next day in the Belgian Congo with screaming big hangovers and a very young Jimmy Nail in tow.
With seven hours to the next available flight we found ourselves wandering around the streets of Kinshasa, which I can only describe as what Mansfield would look like after being attacked by someone who thought that nuclear weapons didn’t quite make a strong enough point.

After 30 minutes of Little Jimmy's "whyaye, man" bleatings, we were all relieved when Ged gaffa taped his mouth up and dumped him in a taxi.
We were supposed to follow shortly but it was so bloody hot and Alex was moaning about wanting an ice cream. With that we spent at next three hours looking for an ice cream man who spoke English. (You'll soon get the hang of how protective Geddy was of Alex.) After finding a van manned by an ex-pat unicyclist who was apparently on the run for something I would rather not talk about, the following conversation ensued ...

Tune in next month for more tales from the road and a shocking revelation about the true meaning behind some of Neil's lyrics.

Marlow

None of this stuff is true. If you think any of it is, you MUST phone NHS Direct immediately on 0845 46 47 and tell them you have gullibility issues.
Or bang your head again and again and again in a door.