I mentioned this bootleg a few years ago, but it has recently been updated to include the missing songs. (Huzzah!).
So this set from 1974 is pretty great–rocking, noisy, screaming solos–a very heavy show (and the crowd is quite appreciative).
These two songs never made it on any Rush albums. They were written before Neil joined the band and, when asked, he said they never made it on an album because they were written before he joined the band (bitchy!). But evidently the songs were quite popular when they toured.
“Fancy Dancer” opens with a staccato riff and lyrics about a woman who leaves him. The second verse allows Alex to noodle while Geddy is singing (which is why I never really notice the lyrics). The chorus has some big chords and reminds me in some ways of “Making Memories.” But mostly this seems like a chance for Alex to solo and solo and solo (and for Neil to play…only a bass drum! (for a few measures)). The song is 3:43 and the solo is over a minute and a half. Although the end has some cool fast short chords that the band would use very effectively on 2112.
“Garden Road” has a faster riff (very bluesy), which is interspersed with some chugga chugga guitars during the vocals. The chorus is completely unintelligible to me. “This Garden Road is Whoa!.”
A few other things about this bootleg which I neglected to mention. The solo in Working Man incorporates some sections of what would become “By-Tor and the Snow Dog.” And it’s really funny hearing Geddy say, “We’d like to do something from our album.” It’s pretty amazing how far the band progressed from these rocking beginnings.
Download the whole thing here.
[READ: July 5, 2013] Reset
I recognized Bagge’s name, although I haven’t read his previous books. I’m sure I’ve seen his work anthologized as his style is very familiar. His drawings are dark (some might say ugly) and his characters always seem a little pained.
So it’s unsurprising that this book’s protagonist is Guy Krause, a former actor. (His famous line is hilarious and I love that it is revealed very late in the story and then as a running joke). He has recently come close to hitting bottom–his upcoming shows have been cancelled and his last resort is a reality show. And when we first meet him, he is in a drunk driving class.
And that’s where Angela Minor comes in. She offers Guy a chance to relive his life. He’s obviously skeptical until she explains that it is a virtual experience. They hook him up to a machine and he gets to try to change the virtual past. This is all an experiment in seeing how people react to being able to change things that they fixate on. It turns out the scientists have all kinds of information on him (because he is a celebrity) so it’s not a coincidence that they found him.
Guy balks. Until she tells him how much they’ll pay him to do it. Then he’s in.
When he arrives, the first relived moment is his high school graduation where the hottest girl in class, Gail Malone, calls him a spaz (the first word she has ever spoken to him and a moment that he has relives thousands of times and which even entered his standup act–wish he’d showed us how). He freaks out, can’t believe that this traumatic experience is where they start him off and, worse yet, is where he will start every time he hits the reset button (hence the title).
He storms out, but soon comes back since he has no other financial prospects. He gets through that moment (which wasn’t as bad as he feared) and then starts setting about rectifying his past. When Angela explains that he can’t tip off people to the future, he gets angry again. And demands new rules.
They have lunch (with Ben, the assistant) and Guy gets some of his own rules put into the plan (mostly by getting into Angela’s head and upsetting her). The next day Guy starts doing whatever he wants in his virtual head–flying to outer space, betting on games he knows the outcome of and having sex with anything that moves (much to Ben’s chagrin since he has to watch).
That’s when we learn exactly what is behind this experiment. It is a research prototype, but there are stronger forces behind it, with very different goals. And Angela is in a heap of trouble if she doesn’t contain her subject.
In the meantime, Guy begins using the information he learned from the program to change things in his real life. Like he calls up Gail. She has two kids now but she’s still pretty hot. So he asks her out. They have dinner and a lot more. Of course, Ben was sent to spy on what happened, and he has to report to the powers that be that the subject has been compromised.
Soon, everyone is in trouble–Ben, Angela (she’s forced to jump out a window at one point) and even Guy (when Gail thinks she is just a notch on his bedpost).
This was an unexpectedly good story. I say unexpectedly because the main character is really quite unpleasant. In fact, when the story started I was really hoping that bad things would happen to him (and I assumed that Angela was the “hero”). I was glad to find out that Angela does not become the bad guy (she gets her own story line and a very cool twist at the end) and even that Guy is redeemed as a person. I may have to track down some of Bagge’s other books (like his series Hate! which is supposed to be very funny).