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Audio 11 October 1974 - Aquarius Theater, Hollywood, California [Soundboard]

Rush Archives

Syrinx Computers


Track Listing:

01 - Finding My Way​
02 - Best I Can​


  • This is a very short recording, however it is indeed the entire performance, as Rush performed with three other acts during a concert that was filmed for the ABC television program "In Concert".
  • Best I Can is a shortened version of the song, since Rush really didn't have much time allowed to perform.
  • Official tour listings state the aforementioned date, venue and location as when and where Rush's performance for ABC's "In Concert" was filmed. However, this performance did not air on television until 6 December 1974.
  • The footage is not known to have publicly surfaced, or if there is even any surviving copies. Check out the extended notes and research details in the post below, as you may find it to be pretty interesting.


Extended Notes:

Now here's another confusing one when it came to verifying the date, venue and location. It took me a fair bit of digging and research to figure this all out. When I found these files they were labeled for 6 December 1974 at ABC Studios in New York. However, upon cross referencing this information with the official tour listings on cygnus-x1.net / "Wandering the Face of the Earth" book (both way more updated and accurate than the official site) as I do with every recording, it showed there was no performance on December 6, nor anything that could relate to ABC Studios in New York. So "ABC Studios in New York" isn't even a location that Rush performed at. The notes that came with these files mention "recorded for ABC's In Concert". Using this information, official tour listings point at only one result, that being the Aquarius Theater in Hollywood, California on 11 October 1974, which is said to have been filmed for ABC's "In Concert". With a bit of further research, the 6 December 1974 date was definitely the date it aired on television.

So wait, there's supposedly footage? I was wondering if this was all confused and mixed information about the "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" recording, which was a filmed and televised performance during the first tour. Upon first starting to research this, I found that "In Concert" was created by Don Kirshner, which confused me even more. The Don Kirshner footage exists, and many of us have likely seen it. Well Rush proshot footage from the 70s and early 80s is largely non-existent, and the fact there is apparently two televised performances from the first tour had me questioning it. Well, they are both indeed their own and separate thing.

According to my research, Don Kirshner created the "In Concert" program for ABC in 1972. However, he left his association with the program in 1973, then created "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert" also in 1973, while "In Concert" continued to air for several more years. So both programs were airing on television simultaneously for a couple of years. So while Rush's performance at the Aquarius Theater in Hollywood on October 11 was filmed for "In Concert", Rush's very next performance was five days later on October 16 at the Long Beach Auditorium Concert Hall in Long Beach, California, which was filmed for "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert". The Don Kirshner footage aired on 29 March 1975.

So why do we have the Don Kirshner footage but not the "In Concert" footage? Home television recording was very uncommon in 1974 due to the expensive equipment at the time, and didn't become common until the more affordable availability of the VCR in the late 1970s. Luckily, someone captured the Don Kirshner footage. I couldn't say with any certainty if the footage still exists in ABC's archives, if is in possession of some other film archival entity, or completely lost to time.

Then how did we get the audio only to surface? Apparently "In Concert" did FM radio simulcasts of their television show, so when people were watching the program on their TVs, others could listen to the performers on the radio. Like many broadcasted concerts, people could easily record from the radio with their tape recorders.

Television archives list the December 5 "In Concert" episode as "Show 53", while the other acts alongside Rush were "Donovan", "Minnie Ripperton", and "Sly and the Family Stone". Footage from the latter two exist on YouTube, while the footage for Rush and Donovan are seemingly nowhere to be found. How did only part of the show surface? Was the footage in the artists' own archives, or was it in someone's personal television recordings? It's hard to say, being from the pre-VCR era.

Upon researching this recording, it also helped me realize part of what was being said in the badly muffled 1976 Springfield interview, which I was attempting to transcribe as much as possible. I remembered transcribing Neil and Geddy talking about Don Kirshner and what sounded like some other televised performance, but I couldn't make out the details. Going back, it definitely seems like they are talking about "In Concert". They describe it as a performance that was "butchered", being forced to cut out parts of songs to fit in less than 10 minutes. That seems to correlate with Best I Can being cut down to a shortened version of the song they have never played otherwise, even though this recording is only about 7 minutes in totality.

Another small detail that could make this even more confusing, is that the popular recording from the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland on 26 Aug '74 has certain CD releases named "ABC 1974", however these are completely different and unrelated recordings. I have no idea why that particular version of the August 26 Agora show is labeled "ABC 1974", as there is zero connection. Perhaps it cleverly means 'A'gora 'B'allroom 'C'leveland, and doesn't specify so? That's another topic though.

If you have further information, please feel free to post it here.
What's strange is that the tape of this show seems to have survived and been archived. I found the exact show listed on the website HistoricFilms.com, which is a website that has digitized and preserved 115 years of live broadcasts, tapes, and film reels. The tape is listed as being in their archive, but it's not viewable online. Sly and The Family Stone, Minnie Ripperton, and Donovan are all listed as being in the tape. Rush is not. It's still possible that they are on the tape, just not listed. But that begs the question, if the tape is not in their possession, who has it? Here's the website
It's possible to purchase footage from them directly but it's expensive. I don't know anybody who would be willing to fork over as much money as theyre asking for to get a tape that might not even have what they're looking for.
Tninking back to when I researched this two years ago, the segments for Minnie Ripperton and Sly were both able to be found on YouTube, though Rush and Donovan were nowhere to be found anywhere on the Internet. That link is the first I've ever seen that suggests other sources exist. Surprised it lists the other three artists, but for some reason does not list Rush (of course, more bad luck). Myself and others would not mind dropping big money to obtain the lost footage of Rush (though I'm not seeing a price on that link?), but since Rush isn't listed, I'd be hesitant.

I looked pretty hard for this footage online a few years back, and some time later I was talking with "Analog Kid Audio Video" about this, he explained to me how he looked even harder by contacting various sources that may lead him to it, and that he eventually spoke with someone who worked with ABC in the 1970s, and was led to believe that programs like In Concert were likely not archived by the network. To quote his words, "Sadly, I fear the video footage for ABC's In Concert did not survive the sands of time."

Though we still wonder how footage of two of the four performers for that show managed to appear on YouTube, if that source(s) also captured Rush and Donovan. It's worth noting that prior to the affordable availability of VCRs in the late 1970s, recording television was very uncommon, so that is why home recordings of television from 1974 don't really show up easily. If anything, any luck would more likely have to come from finding the master tapes, or an archive copy of the master.

Thanks for sharing this by the way! Great sounding improvement. I did a bit of looking and found the lossless audio files on Guitars101, so I've now updated the recommended download link in the main post. The associated text file has also been updated a bit, and also copies over "merday's" notes from Guitars101, since it explains a lot about the origin of this new source.
After digging through the website further this seems to be a dead end. The company does not sell the footage for home or commercial use, it’s only for productions like documentaries, ads, researchers, production assistants etc. So unless one of us plans on producing a documentary or a commercial, I don’t think we can obtain a copy. The prices are listed in the about us section. It varies from $100-500 dollars. I seriously doubt that the footage didn’t survive if every other artist is accounted for on this tape. Unless it’s multiple sources stitched together which seems unlikely.