Friday, October 5, 2007
Logo #67: Rush
Designed by Hugh Syme, occasional Rush keyboardist and Mellotron maven, for the back of the "2112" LP in 1976. I fully cop to the fact that I don't "get" Rush - but I also fully appreciate constancy, as evidenced in their rendition of "Anthem" from 1975, an "easter egg" on some video or other such. Look at how minimal Neal Peart's drum kit is! And yes, if any rock band logo ever suggested following one's own star, it's this one. Although thematically the hero here, finding the lost miracle of the forbidden guitar and learning new ways to make unheard music with it, is facing off against a dystopian future in which a beknighted few dictate all culture mores for the people at large, and so on. And that hero was Derek Bailey. Or, it's all a thinly-veiled metaphor for all those times the Justice League of America faced off against Starro the Conqueror. Whichever. Speaking in Creem in 1983, Syme recalls, "Initially, that logo didn't begin as an identity factor for the band, it just got adopted. We didn't consider it a mascot overall icon of representation for the band at the time. What I did do with that particular cover was read their lyrics, and understand that there is a good force and a bad force: the good force was music, creativity, and freedom of expression - and the bad force was anything that was contrary to that. The man is the hero of the story. That he is nude is just a classic tradition ... the pureness of his person and creativity without the trappings of other elements such as clothing. The red star is the evil red star of the Federation, which was one of Neil's symbols. We basically based that cover around the red star and that hero. Now, that hero and that kind of attitude about freedom of expression and the band having that kind of feeling ... at the time, it never ready occurred to me, to be honest with you, that they would adopt it quite so seriously as a logo. Because it's appeared just about everywhere, thereafter."