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'Tom Sawyer,' Live for the First Time


Man, I could waste a lifetime clicking through YouTube, looking for obscure things to share with all of you...but this one takes the cake. Today, I present the supposed first-ever live performance of Rush's "Tom Sawyer." According to the comments, the song hadn't even been recorded yet and the band was still working it out. What would it have been like to have heard "Tom Sawyer" before it was set in stone? Good grief! Pay attention to the lyrics and the rhythm.

I'll admit, I was so excited in finding this last night I sort of jumped around on the couch. But, I'm a music nerd, so there you go. I'm not the biggest Rush fan in the world but I would like to see them in concert...but it doesn't look like that's going to happen this summer. The 'Time Machine' tour is going on right now.

Reader Comments (13)

Best live band in the world if u have a chance to go GO!!! U will not be dissapointed esp neils drum solo. there amazing muscians no one comes close, esp allyson since your a bass player geddys the best out there! its amazing how complex there songs are and at 50 plus still pay for 3 hrs!!!
July 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergnfr2112
hands down peart is the best drummer in the music world......
these guys are revered by all musicians....
2112 is right up there live with anyone....
they kinda jumped the shark after subdivisions....
but all is good for rush.....
July 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterj haynes
seeing them Friday night in Sarnia Ontario, but first,.. Cinderella and Scorps tonight.....
July 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwiggy25
I love stuff like this. It's like those old live clips of black Sabbath when they were still working on War Pigs and Iron man. You get a rare glimpse into the song writing process as it develops on stage. rush is a great band although I respectfully disagree that each musician is the best there is at his instrument.
July 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBob
ok bob whos better at bass then geddy?? les claypool close then who? whos better than peart and if i here one more person say john bonham i will scream and ur right alota better guitarists than alex but hes still damn good!
July 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergnfr2112
Billy Sheehan gets my vote as best bassist ever, but Rush are awesome
July 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTommy
Puleez, this is some of THE most boring corporate Unrock Rock ever put out.

Geddy Lee is a nasal chipmunk yoddler.

Neil Peart is overplayin' it and really completed the borefestivities when he joined. They actually rocked before he came in. Once his boring lyrics and jazz fusion drumming unrocked the world, it was all over for Rush.
July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Billy Sheehan overplays it, too, but in his case, he did it a lot better on a lot better songs (i.e. "Addicted To That Rush" -- and I'm sure as hell, they did not mean "This RUSH", our topic of the day).

And sorry, G'n'R212welf, BONHAM is the better drummer...

Think about it... if you are someone capable of facing reality...

Strip away Pearts ruffles and flourishes and gynormous drum kit to execute them with and you've got a pretty generic sounding drummer. True, the man knows his equipment technically. But that's all he is -- a technician.

There's no real style to his schtick. It's boring! Almost as boring as his words (2112 was a masterpiece mainly because Giddy and Lifeless didn't have him mess with it).

Bonham, on the other hand... You could tell it's him with two hits (or should I say, wallops) and you know it's him. And the man can be subtle, too. I know people are gonna start wanting to compare drum solos with this comment, but listen to Bonham's drum solo on "Moby Dick" live on "The Song Remains The Same" soundtrack (with headphones and your eyes closed)... He really is quite capable of unmatched subtlety.

You can actually hear him playing the riff and jazz variations on that riff that could almost be classified as melody. Peart, on the other hand -- ruffles and flourishes to make you think he can do that.

Even better than Bonham (and therefore, Peart) is Keith Moon. Just watch and listen to the movie, "The Kids Are Alright".

Recently, I just saw a drummer who completely blew me away. Some kid who was playing with Vince Neil at M3. Check him out if you haven't seen Vince this summer. Yeah, Vince is half-as*in' it.

But I've seen a lot of drummers, even the legendary jazz drummer, Joe Morello, from The Dave Brubeck Quartet (their album, 1965's "Take Five" is the #1 selling jazz album of all time), and I can tell you, this kid is really something. You gotta see him to believe it!

The kid may not have the technical know how of Neart but he's got Style to Burn! In fact, I bet some of the things I saw this kid do, Neart cannot! I wouldn't be surprised if Pearp would dismiss the kid's stuff as "drumming gymnastics" to avoid having to attempt any of it.

You'll see what I mean, if you go check him out. One thing, sure as h*ll, you will not be bored the way Mush can get you (in about 3 seconds)...

C'mon, Rock'n'Roll People! People, let's Rock and Roll!

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Metalboy, I completely agree with you, both Bonham and Moon are better drummers than Peart. Peart's specialty is using his massive drum kit to create interesting combinations of sounds, (something at which he is excellent), but he can't play with nearly the taste or feel that bonham and Moon could. Not only that, but peart isn't even the best technical drummer out there. Billy cobham, vinnie Colaiuta and jack DeJohnette can all wipe the floor with Peart from a technical standpoint.

You also mentioned the phenomenal Joe Morello. If you own Dave Brubeck's 1963 Live at Carnegie Hall album, check out Morello's solo in the song Castilian drums. there are several parts of that solo from which Bonham borrowed very heavily in Moby Dick. I'm not saying that bonham ripped off Morello, but he was very heavily influenced by him.

Now, onto the bass. Gheddy Lee is not a bad player, but he is hardly the best. I would take Sheehan, Claypool, and Jack bruce from cream over Gheddy any day.

finally metalboy, I hope you won't mind my correcting one small detail from your comments. the "Take Five" album that you mentioned by Dave Brubeck released in 1965 was actually a live album recorded in 1961. the album I think you meant to reference was time Out which was released in 1959. it featured the original version of the song Take Five, and is one of the top five selling jazz albums of all time. the #1 selling jazz album, however, is actually Miles Davis's album Kind of blue also released in 1959.
July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBob
All good points and finally like to hear people that know music speak! but if were talking drum gymnastics moon takes the cake always put more into song than had to be he was great but his speed made him who he was and bohnam was great but ur right more of a hard rock drummer its hard to put into words but just doesnt do it for me. if u put them together neil could play so many more styles. all I know is the best drummers in the world say hes the best or influenced them even portnoy from dream theater who today besides peart is the bes said the same its always an opion but being that i grew up with great muscians in my house and my father being one of the best drummers i ever heard said neil was the best he ever heard my father could play 16 instruments fluently. and i think you guys forgot buddy rich! it was nice talking to u guys good to hear some people with taste in music!
July 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergnfr2112
Hi gnfr2112. It's been nice talking to you as well. Buddy rich is in such a class by himself that I guess I didn't think I needed to mention him. LOL Once you get deeply into that world, it's also worth mentioning people like max Roach, elvin Jones, Louie Bellson, etc.
July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Gene Krupa, too, guys!

Have you ever seen that live DVD of Buddy Rich from the late seventies (I believe)? Brilliant filming with the band in mock awe of their leader for the cameras, even if what they were witnessing was awe inspiring.

Also, thanks for the clarification on Dave Brubeck, Bob. I can get so lame on these comments. I'm usually half shot and exhausted when I get on here to escape the whirlwind of business and everyday life, these days.

You are more than correct. "Time Out" was the album. And "Take Five" was the hit! Geez, I used to even play it (well, kinda) on piano when I was a kid. How could I forget! I also forgot about Miles Davis, "Kind of Blue" being the #! Jazz record of all time.

My Dad, who's 95 tomorrow, turned me onto both records when I was 5 and took me to see The Dave Brubeck Quartet with Paul Desmond and the other original players in '72 at Kennedy Center. Oh, and he told me he liked Devo because he thought they had something conceptual to say (De-evolution) when we were watching a thing on 20/20 on the invasion of Punk in '76.

And he told me he thought Greenday were pretty good when he watched them on the Grammy's performing "American Idiot" a couple years back.

Never could get him into Zep or any Glam of any kind. But, of course, he loves the Beatles! And he used to see Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk all the time in Greenwich Village in NYC back in the mid-fifties. Keep Rockin', Dad!

p.s. It truly is amazing what we wind up talking about on this terrific site! Al! You got the touch! You got the power! Thanks to you and Brian for all the great posts and to each and all for your fascinating comments! Glam On!

p.s.s.t. Don't forget to check out that kid drumming for Vince Neil this summer. He actually will remind you a lot of Moon.
July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
If you get to see Rush live DO IT!! They put on one hell of a show. The music is top notch. Never an opening band, just them for 3 hours with a little break.
July 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJN

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