Stick around long enough and you’ll not only find yourself cool, but also cool enough to warrant your own pinball machine. One of the true giants of prog rock, Rush was big in the late ’70s and positively huge in the early ’80s. Admit it, either you’ve played air drums to “Tom Sawyer” in a Camaro Z28, or you’ve dreamed of playing air drums to “Tom Sawyer” in a Camaro Z28—preferably painted black with orange pinstriping.
Then grunge hit and everything changed almost overnight, the term “rock star” being every bit as dirty a word as it was during the punk explosion of ’77. Fast forward a few years, and Rush was being used as a punchline by the likes of college-slacker smartasses Pavement. (Recall, if you will, “Stereo” and the lines What about the voice of Geddy Lee/How did it get so high?/I wonder if he speaks like an ordinary guy?/(I know him and he does!)”.
Anyhow, that’s all in the past. Today the battle lines that once separated the bangers and stoners from the punks, country shitkickers, and hip-hop kids no longer exist. Everyone listens to everything, which is another way of saying that guilty pleasures are no longer a thing. You can have a Mohawk and still love Billie Eilish, Mastodon, and the Osmonds doing “Crazy Horses” every bit as Rancid and the Casualties.
Which explains why Rush is now revered as cooler than fuck by everyone from Dave Grohl to Josh Homme to Les Claypool. And which also explains the new pinball table.
Stern has teamed up with Rush for a new machine for fans who also happen to be rock ’n’ roll pinball fanatics. Those with some space in their rec rooms can look to get their hands on one of the tables later this year. On the back glass will be the owl from the 1975 landmark album “Fly By Night”. Once the silver ball is in play expect to hear 17 songs culled from the band’s extensive back catalog, including “Tom Sawyer”, “The Spirit of the Radio”, and “Limelight”.
Rush now joins the likes of KISS, Metallica, AC/DC, and Iron Maiden as bands with their own pinball tables. Here’s the trailer, which reveals, well, nothing. Other than, one supposes, if you stick around long enough......