A highlight of the Canadian trip.
This limited release film was only shown on a few dates around the world before being released as a DVD soon after. It would have been perfect to see it in Toronto, their home city but in any case, I saw this in a very important and special cinema in Montreal that I loved returning to for this occasion.
From 1924 to 1996, this was the site of Le Forum, home to the Montreal Canadians, one of the most successful teams in National Hockey League history. It is believed ice hockey was created here, it is regarded as the spiritual home of the game. The name stayed the same when NHL moved to their new arena and this historic place was adapted to a cinema complex and I love that they kept some of the seating in the foyer and have a gallery in honour of the winning teams.
On top of seeing Time Stand Still in such a legendary place, this is an emotional watch. Rather than my being a big fan, this is because I know the documentary is filmed during what may well be the band’s last tour after over 40 years of performing those exhausting 3 hour shows.
The film is pr0ceded with a 20 minute short, ‘Salute to Kings’ in which musicians showed their gratitude and share their stories of how the band influenced them.
Then a Scot describes how he survived a near fatal car crash and listening to Rush inspired and aided his recovery. Another super-fan almost puts Rush ahead of his family as his great loves and all interviewed recount how many times they have seen the band life. Many go over the 100 mark and all are members of RushCon, whose founder volunteers, along with other fans to organise the annual conference. In her day job, she works at the White House (although I don’t know if she still will be there after January 20th) and RushCon lists its address in DC.
I only just realise that RushCon (conference) is run entirely by women. Bizarre only because Rush, like others in their prog rock genre have a predominantly male audience.
The biggest hint that Rush won’t tour again is drummer & lyricist Neal Peart’s remark that now that he’s in his 60s, he can carry on and play Charlie Watt’s parts but not his own! We also learn about the early drinking days of these nicely spoken Canadian gents but I blame that entirely for them being on tour with KISS. Amongst the quite revealing individual interviews there is lots of back stage and onstage footage which is what makes this film a super fan’s delight, even if it is tinged with sadness.
Extreme fandom aside, just to learn of the clear deep bond this band of three of nearly five decades have for each other evokes many a teary moment. Take away the music, the drama, the business and this is the inspiring story of true friendship. The sort most of us hanker after.