There were people who found it important to point out that the stereo was worth more than the car. It was true that the gold, 1969 Plymouth Valiant was a 15 year old castoff from Bell Telephone Company and did not garner many second looks as it rolled down the street. And it was true that the stereo was a totally radical aftermarket addition financed entirely by 1980’s era teenage boy paychecks. But he knew you couldn’t measure things like this with dollars.
His index finger pushed the cassette into the player and he heard the familiar click. The two Sanyo amplifiers and Sanyo deck fired up the soundtrack of his life. There were people who didn’t know a thing about noise reduction that claimed Dolby C was useless. But the 6 x 9’s in each door and the two 8 inch rounds in the back proved them wrong. He knew it sounded good.
Geddy Lee’s voice screamed at him to conform or be cast out. He pounded on the steering wheel and serenaded the drivers in the next lane with the story of the restless dreams of youth. There were people who failed to understand the Canadian rock band Rush. But he knew every word of every album.
He wasn’t the only one. There were people who rode in that car who would drum every single Rush beat onto the dashboard. There were people who hung their feet out of the window during the California road trip while Rush provided a distraction from the heat. Rush played on that stereo when they piled into the car on their way to the football games. Rush was the soundtrack to the brake failures coming down from the Mt. Erie adventures. It was Rush playing on the way to challenge Steve at ping pong and over the Westside bridge to pick up Dave and every time Chuck wanted to go visit Judy.
And Rush played on the day he drove away from them all, when he drove away from those days to search for his future.
No, you couldn’t measure things like this with dollars.
It was 2014 when the teenage boy sat in the hard plastic chair and listened to the teacher yell above the roar of junior high chatter.
“Today we are having 80’s trivia contest!” the teacher announced. “I’m going to play a song from the 1980’s and the first person to tell me what the name of the band is will win a fabulous prize!”
The sound of Geddy Lee filled the room. He screamed at those teenagers to conform or be cast out.
All of the kids stared blankly at the teacher in front of the room.
One teenage boy raised his hand.
“Um...that’s Rush.” he offered casually.
The teacher asked him how he knew about Rush.
“Yeah, that’s my dad’s fault.
I swear he knows every word of every album.”
Check This Out!
Rush was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Here's a video from a concert of theirs in 2011.