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Sunday, May 25, 2008

RUSH : What You're Doing (1974)

R.I.P. John Rutsey (1953-2008)

"John Rutsey, a founding member of the seminal Canadian rock band Rush, has died, his family announced. He was 55. Rutsey played drums with Rush from 1968 to 1974, as well as on the band's eponymous debut album, but departed soon afterwards, apparently due to a lifelong illness stemming from diabetes.

"In an obituary published in the Toronto Star, his family said his May 11 death was caused by "complications from his lifelong affliction with diabetes." Some news reports said Rutsey died from a heart attack in his sleep. According to Rush's official biography, Rutsey was supposed to write the lyrics for the band's first album, but grew dissatisfied with his attempts and never completed them. He was replaced by Neil Peart, who remains as the band's drummer and lyricist.
Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson said Rutsey became a fitness fanatic after leaving the band and continued with have contact with Lifeson until the early 1990s."

Rush's original drummer! He only played on their first album and first single, and was soon overshadowed by Neil Peart's immense presence in the group. Although he usually fell into the 'where are they now' category, I don't think anyone expected this! This track is one of their early fan favourites, and shows how much Rush was rooted in hard rock. The influence of bands like Led Zeppelin and Cream is quite present. Rutsey wasn't really a flashy player, but there is a definite groove to the beat.

From the LP "RUSH" (Moon) Mar. 1974

Geddy Lee : bass, vocals
Alex Lifeson : guitar
John Rutsey : drums

Get it here: What You're Doing

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