Backbook Beats/Hal Leonard has a series of books that explore the careers of various musical artists in great detail, and Rush FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Rock’s Greatest Power Trio details Canadian prog-rockers Rush from their beginnings in a church basement in Willowdale, Ontario, through their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the opinion of this reviewer, it is one of the best of the series so far, managing to convey a high level of love for the band while not allowing personal bias to color the facts as some authors have done. This author has done his research thoroughly and well.
This is not a biography, and if you are looking for facts or gossip about the Rush members’ personal lives or more than superficial insight into their personalities other than what is revealed in their shows and public personas, you will not find it here. What you will find is a wealth of information about Rush’s 40 albums, 10 DVDs, and many, many live shows over the course of their long career. Max Mobley is obviously an obsessive fan, and he allows the reader to share his enthusiasm and knowledge about this often critically panned and misunderstood group that still has managed to garner more gold and platinum albums than any other group besides The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Mobley follows the group from their early Zeppelin-like blues-rock to the synth-heavy, epic opuses that the group is most famous for. For those interested in stage setups and instruments, he gives exhaustive details of who was playing what and what technology was being used by bassist, keyboardist-and vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer Neil Peart, who is generally considered one of the most influential drummers in rock history.
Mobley turns this abundance of fact into an easy and fascinating read by virtue of his own enthusiasm and humor, even gently mocking himself and other Rush fans for their extreme devotion to a group that has always been more about the music than the commercial appeal and who have been as appreciative of their fans as the fans are to them.
This book is a must for Rush fans. It is hard to imagine that any non-fan would pick the book up, but if they do they may find some of the technological details a bit of a slog and they might be better off with a more general biography of the band. However, even those who are not as rabid as Mobley in their love of the group will still find much to enjoy in this Rush FAQ.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=1617134511]