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15 November 1975 - National Guard Armory, Rockford, Illinois [Audio - Audience]

By-Tor X-1

Staff member


Track Listing:

01 - Intro
02 - Bastille Day
03 - Anthem
04 - Lakeside Park
05 - The Necromancer
06 - By-Tor And The Snow Dog
07 - Working Man
08 - Drum Solo

This is one of only two recordings from the "Down The Tubes" tour that are known to exist in circulation.
This features the only known live recording of The Necromancer in its entirety, as all performances of the song from the ATWAS tour omit Part I and half of Part II.
This recording isn't as bad as you may initially think. It's actually pretty good. All the instruments are loud and present, though the drums occasionally get buried.
The main issue, Geddy's voice is quite distant and inaudible during the first couple songs. Luckily, the vocals are much more clear and audible by the time The Necromancer starts.
The recording starts off with a short interview segment added in of Neil retrospectively speaking about the "Down The Tubes" tour.
Rush was the opening act during this concert, while Kiss was the headlining act. The same person who recorded Rush's performance also recorded Kiss.

This recording publicly surfaced in December of 1999. Until 2022, no other recordings from the Caress Of Steel tour had yet been reported to exist with any credibility.
In 2022, the surfacing of the 5 March 1976 Randhurst Arena recording brought new facts to the surface about the cloudy history of the COS tour, and features I Think I'm Going Bald.
Confirmed by Rush's original sound engineer Ian Grandy, I Think I'm Going Bald was played during a small handful of COS tour dates, allegedly usually resulting in a poor reception.
While no one knows for sure if parts of The Fountain Of Lamneth were ever played, there have been fan reports claiming that some iteration was played during some COS tour performances.

You may be familiar with the alleged COS tour footage, however it has been confirmed to actually be from the ATWAS tour at the Dome Arena in Henrietta, New York on 22 September 1976.
According to the original filmer, that the footage was captured during two gigs at the Dome Arena, the aforementioned September date, and another undocumented show in December.
I had my doubts about the COS tour claim regarding the footage for years, as there were clear visual hints it was from '76 or '77, and not from the Caress Of Steel tour.
Of course, the footage was originally silent 8mm film, with this Rockford audio added to it creating a really poor out of sync result.

If you or anyone you know recorded Rush at any point between 1968 and mid-1977, these are very valuable documents of Rush history, and would be very important to be preserved online.

Bootleg Titles:
Down The Tubes, Stainless Steel, Steel Breeze, The Pretentious Necromancer



By-Tor X-1

Staff member
Notes from Original Taper:

POWRCORD (Mike Powers) (December 1999) said:
Rockford, Illinois is located about 90 miles northwest of Chicago, Illinois. Rush played a concert at the Rockford Armory on November 15, 1975. The headline act that evening was the notorious Kiss. Rush had been touring with Kiss since early 1975 in conjunction with Rush’s recent signing with Mercury Records. This November concert was heavily attended as the Kiss/Rush tandem had toured through northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin earlier in 1975 and had already developed a large following of intense fans.

Rush had switched drummers in late 1974, when Neil Peart joined the group to form the power trio that exists to this day. 1975 was the maiden year for the reformed group, but even in early 1975, Rush was a very skilled rock-n-roll band. The Rockford Armory was an old cavernous concrete structure with a huge ground floor and limited seating upstairs in the balcony. There were no seats on the ground floor, and no barriers in front of the stage. The fans sat on the floor as the show opened, but were quickly standing once the show began. I recorded Rush with a small mono tape recorder stage center approximately 10 feet from the front edge of the stage. (As stage crew, I was located up front for crowd control purposes.) Not the greatest place to record a concert, but the concert in fact came out excellent all things considered.

Rush played several long numbers during their set in Rockford, featuring songs off of each of their first three albums. The entire Rush performance is here, from the opening riff of Bastille Day to the final crescendos of Working Man, Rush’s closing number.

Looking back, the tandem of Rush and Kiss in concert together is truly remarkable. These 1975 shows have to be considered one of the greatest rock-n-roll tours ever assembled. It was great to be part of those events, and it’s fun to listen to the recordings now, 25 years later. They never sounded better. Enjoy.
On the note of the rumored Caress of Steel recordings, it was rumored that the Massey Hall show also contained the only known performance of "Making Memories". There was also another show that supposedly played "Rivendell" though there is no evidence to back any of these rumors up. It would be nice to see more recordings (audio and/or video) of this tour show up.

By-Tor X-1

Staff member
There are several old rumors regarding the 10 January 1976 Massey Hall performance, none which have any weight to their credibility. In regards to the rumor of a "secret" audience tape, even long-time bootleg traders have seen no evidence of this and are convinced it is all made up. There was even an old claim that Geddy’s cousin “Alan Weinrib” had a soundboard recording, but it was debunked years later in an interview with Ian Grandy, Rush’s first sound engineer, who said he never heard of the guy. The supposed setlist including Rivendell and Making Memories has equally zero bearing, it’s all made up. The alleged setlist didn’t even follow any known structure, and just had songs all over the place. For example, we know they would’ve opened with Bastille Day, not whatever it was initially claimed to be (I can’t remember). Even though these days setlist.fm places Bastille Day first (not to say that site is ever a reliable resource), the setlist structure proves is clearly made up.

The only part of the COS tour Massey Hall rumors that has any bearing is from a seemingly reputable member on “The Rush Forum”. He claims to have been to a Rush show in Toronto during every tour since 1974. He has repeatedly claimed with certainty that The Fountain Of Lamneth was played in January 10, but not in its entirety, in “a weird kind of medley” with The Necromancer. Most people seem to acknowledge that his story is possible, and I believe it may be, but I do wonder how accurate his memory is about the exact details (or if he really is making it up). He also claimed Making Memories was not played during this show, but claims that it was played at Rush's previous show in Toronto during the FBN tour. However we have a recording of that performance, which proves that claim to be false. So for me that raises a few questions about his stories.

Despite all the various disproven and unconfirmed rumors about the COS tour Toronto concert, I still believe it would be the most likely performance to have featured some iteration of Lamneth. Not only due to being the last show of the tour, but also being one of the few headliners of the tour, and it being Rush's hometown.

Other than the old Toronto rumors, I’ve seen two other unrelated sources claim Lamneth was played at other COS tour shows. One guy I talked with three or four years ago had been to the show at Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas on 29 October 1975, and claims for certain that some iteration of Lamneth was played, but couldn’t remember for sure about I Think I’m Going Bald.

There was also someone quoted in the book “Wandering the Face of the Earth” who claims Lamneth was played on November 28 and 29 in Atlanta, Georgia, at least he specifically remembers hearing them play Bacchus Plateau.

Personally, I believe some iteration was played on the COS tour, but never in its entirety. I'd say at best it may have been In The Valley > No One At The Bridge > Bacchus Plateau > The Fountain. Something like this would have had to have been one of the small handful of headlining shows of that tour, not one of the shorter opening/support performances that occupied the majority during the COS tour. I consider how proud they were of the album at the time, and every other song has been proven to have been played, even Bald, so I don't think they would've left Lamneth completely untouched. I also consider that even 2112 didn't feature Discovery until June 1977, or Oracle until 1996, so I doubt they'd have done Lamneth 100%. Didacts and Narpets seems an obvious part to omit, and while I could see Neil doing a mini drum solo here, I feel the drum solo would've just been reserved for Working Man as usual. Then Panacea seems a bit too soft for something Rush would've attempted to do live during this era, I don't think it would've gone over well with attendees at the time, so it seems like the other clear choice of omission to shorten the suite. At the very least, I imagine Bacchus Plateau has the best chance out of any part to have been played on its own, and that could've been during any show of the tour. It stands well on its own, and is probably the most "commercial" part. To further that point, Bacchus Plateau was part of a compilation promo sent out to radio stations in 1976 sometime after 2112 was released.

I also don’t find it hard to believe more COS tour recordings exist out there. Same goes for the FBN tour. My question is, have the tapes been sitting in a closet or something forgotten about for 40+ years, or are they purposely being kept privately due to the clear rarity they hold?


New member
This is great, Marshalls! Runs about 1/2 step flat or so. Funny, my older friend said he saw Hawkwind in the 70s, and that Rush opened and they sucked (I'm sure they were on fire/Geddy is just not his cup of tea). What a show to see.

By-Tor X-1

Staff member
This is great, Marshalls! Runs about 1/2 step flat or so. Funny, my older friend said he saw Hawkwind in the 70s, and that Rush opened and they sucked (I'm sure they were on fire/Geddy is just not his cup of tea). What a show to see.

What's interesting about Neil's comment in that brief interview snippet, documentation shows Rush had only opened for Hawkwind a handful of times in 1974 during the debut tour, so I imagine by the time that interview was held (I never found the full source) a lot of time had already passed for little facts to have been confused. They're known to forget certain details over time, so it's understandable. Also, while I'm not extremely familiar with Hawkwind, I'm not sure what Neil meant by their "last tour", because it doesn't seem they ever really had any sort of hiatus. Perhaps the departure of Lemmy around that time may be what he was thinking of?