Quick Takes: Rush, Journey, Sting, Styx

  • Rush’s Alex Lifeson has unveiled two new instrumental solo tracks, titled "Kabul Blues" and "Spy House," as a tie-in for the new Alex Lifeson Epiphone Les Paul Standard Axcess guitar. Backing him on the tracks are bassist Andy Curran and drummer David Quinton Steinberg. The songs mark Lifeson's first new music sine the 2012 release of Rush's last album, Clockwork Angel. (Press release)


  • The father of Rush's late-drummer, Neil Peart has died. Glen Peart passed on June 12th and was the retired president of Dalziel Equipment in St. Catherines, Ontario. (Farm-Equipment.com)


  • Tickets go onsale this morning(June 16th) at 10 a.m. local time for Journey's July 27th gig at Chicago's Aragon Ballroom. The band's show at the 5,000-seat venue comes a few days prior to their July 31st spot at Lollapalooza. For ticket info, log on to JourneyMusic.com or Do312.com.
    • Both shows will mark the debut of the band's latest lineup featuring co-founder Neal Schon, longtime keyboardist Jonathan Cain, frontman Arnel Pineda — and rounded out by returning bassist Randy Jackson, and drummer Narada Michael Walden.


  • Sting posted a tribute to one of his favorite students from his pre-fame teaching days at St. Paul's First School in Cramlington, England. He wrote on Facebook: "I received some very sad news this week that Kevin Anderson has passed away. Kevin was one of the kids I taught when I was schoolteacher in Cramlington in the mid 70s. . . He was a lovely lad, full of joy and hope and a not a little bit of mischief. I loved all of those kids, but Kevin particularly had a heart of solid gold and a special place in my mine. I met up with him again a few years ago and I could tell that his life had not been without its problems.
    • Sting, who posted several photos of Anderson — including one of the two of them reunited a few years ago, closed by saying, "I’m completely gutted, I still think of Kev as a cheeky wee bairn, I can’t believe he’s gone. God bless ye son, may ye rest in peace. Mr. Sumner."


  • During a guest spot on Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz, Styx co-founder Dennis DeYoung spoke out about the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame ignoring the band despite being eligible for induction for nearly 25 years: "Look, I think it's simple. They could stop all this bull*** by just renaming it the Contemporary Music Hall Of Fame. . . It's pop stars and rap stars, which is why they're throwing those people in there, because there's an audience. . . Put us in. We qualify on any possible measure. Now, does this sound desperate from an old guy? I hope it doesn't. It's just there are too many of our peers — and I mean peers — many who didn't do as well as we did. And it's time to put us in, that's all. And will they? I have no idea." (Blabbermouth)