5 March 1976 - Randhurst Twin Ice Arena, Mount Prospect, Illinois [Audio - Audience]

By-Tor X-1

Archivist
Staff member
Download:

*Not yet available, should be coming in due time - see YouTube clip below*

Track Listing:

01 - Bastille Day
02 - Anthem
03 - Lakeside Park
04 - I Think I'm Going Bald
05 - By-Tor And The Snow Dog
06 - Fly By Night
07 - Working Man
08 - Drum Solo
09 - Finding My Way

Notes:
This is one of only two recordings from the "Down The Tubes" tour that are known to exist in circulation, and features the only known live recording of I Think I'm Going Bald.
This also features one of five known recordings of Fly By Night played in its entirety. Within three weeks after this show, Fly By Night was only ever played partially in a medley with In The Mood.
Another unique aspect of this recording is Finding My Way being played as the sole encore, when with later recordings it is always played in partial form in a medley of other songs.
During the debut Rush tour and Fly By Night tour, Finding My Way was always the opening song, which was replaced with Bastille Day starting with the Caress Of Steel tour.

Even though March 5 has long been considered part of the very beginning of the 2112 tour, it appears that some of the earliest dates didn't yet feature 2112 tracks.
The 2112 album was recorded sometime during a month off from touring between January 10 and February 6, but not released until approximately very late March.
From February 6 to sometime around mid March 1976, it is now being considered as an extension of the COS tour that preceded the proper start of the 2112 tour.
With plenty evidence presented, many people are now believing that the COS tour properly ended on March 8, while the 2112 tour properly started a week later on March 15.
By the time of the March 26 Seattle concert three weeks later, they were already playing the standard 2112 tour setlist we see repeated in May in Springfield and June in Toronto (ATWAS album).
For a full explanation of the date controversy, you can read the discussion in the posts below, which thoroughly presents all evidence that the COS tour likely spanned longer than previously believed.

The setlist structure here at the Randhurst Ice Arena very closely resembles what we currently know about typical non-headlining concerts during the Caress Of Steel tour.
The difference here is that The Necromancer seems to have been omitted in favor for I Think I'm Going Bald and Fly By Night, plus enough time for an encore with Finding My Way.
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.
Alongside the 15 November 1975 Rockford recording, no other recordings from the Caress Of Steel tour have yet been reported to exist with any credibility.

Unless you attended a concert in 1975 or 1976, Rush fans have never heard I Think I’m Going Bald played live.
For years it was debated if it ever was played live, and largely believed that it wasn’t, even after substantial first hand accounts have been around for a while that proved it was indeed played.
Though without hard evidence, it was difficult for the facts to get into public consciousness.
For a long time, a live recording of I Think I’m Going Bald has been one of several potential Rush recordings held at a mythical holy grail status.
By the gracious generosity of original taper Mark Moore, and the help of “Analog Kid Audio Video” for the high quality transfer, we now can hear this song live for the first time.

In the book "Wandering The Face of The Earth: The Official Touring History", there is a note claiming that a recording for this date once existed and featured Bald, but had since been long lost.
In the past I'd spoken with someone about this "lost" recording, who is friends with the person who provided the claim about the tape once existing.
He stated that when it was recorded, only a few copies were made amongst a small group of friends.
He claimed the tape(s) had been lost or possibly taped over many decades ago, innocently not realizing its great value, and that none of the copies were able to be found.
Despite all that, the recording is now proven to have somehow survived these assertions of its likely demise, and what a miracle it is for Rush history that it did survive.
Luckily, the taper, Mark Moore, had recently unearthed the master tape during the summer of 2022.

If you or anyone you know recorded Rush at any point between 1974 and mid-1977, these are very valuable documents of Rush history, and would be very important to be preserved online.

Bootleg Titles:
I Can't Wait To Share This New Wonder

YouTube:

 

CoS

Enthusiast
Almost a surreal experience to finally hear this! Really good sound quality all things considered. Interesting too to hear how they played it beyond the studio version fade out. Thanks!
 

By-Tor X-1

Archivist
Staff member
Almost a surreal experience to finally hear this! Really good sound quality all things considered. Interesting too to hear how they played it beyond the studio version fade out. Thanks!
I was thinking the same thing when I first heard the full song, quite a surreal feeling! It felt like a dream, and my emotions had me feeling like I was almost floating.

I'd been interested to hear how they would end the song without the fade out, and it exceeded what I expected! A little bit of an alternate ending arrangement, rather than just ending with a little flourish at the conclusion of the familiar guitar solo part, as I had expected compared to other live songs with studio fadeouts.

It takes multiple listens to fully absorb every nuance going on. If you listen to what Neil is doing on the drums towards the end? He's so busy and all over the place! Crazy!

----------

Even though the full recording isn't available yet, since Mark has publicly shared the segment of Bald on YouTube, I've moved this draft into public view, allowing the historical perspective.
I may make various edits to the main text down the line, if there are any little details throughout the entire recording also worth noting.
 

By-Tor X-1

Archivist
Staff member
So I’d like to propose, and hopefully publicly discuss, a theory that myself and others are considering.

For years it has been said that the Caress Of Steel tour ended on January 10 of 1976 with Rush’s return to Toronto, which was their last gig until February 6. During that downtime, the band recorded 2112. Starting February 6, they went back on the road without any real break from touring until about a week and a half between July 29 and August 8 to mix the All The World’s A Stage album. That break is considered the dividing line between the 2112 and ATWAS tours.

Truth is, for all tours preceding the A Farewell To Kings tour, drawing the starting and ending lines have been harder to set in stone with absolute certainty. In fact, these proposed start/end dates for the early tours have changed several times over the years. Before the “Wandering…” book, I remember the debut tour was proposed to have started on February 4 of 1974 and lasted until January 31 of 1975, as well as a few other shifts among the dates of the 2112 and ATWAS tours. This can still be reflected on the official Rush website. Problem is, the physical documents of these early years are very sparse, speculative, and even at times incorrect. Rush’s official site also listed many wrong dates, cities and venues. The research that went into the Wandering book, which is an officially recognized Rush product, set very deep into research to fix as many of the unknowns and inaccuracies from the official site’s records.

My point? It is being proposed that the Caress Of Steel tour should, in fact, span through about mid-March of 1976, despite the month long break following January 10, due to the fact the COS setlists remained for a while longer until the 2112 tracks were broken in sometime in mid to late March.

Again, the early documentation is poor, a lot based on fragmented records, and the officially recognized dates have changed several times. In fact, there may have not really been a true set beginning and end date to any of these tours until the AFTK tour in August 1977. The band toured so much without many breaks in the early years that perhaps such dates weren’t really considered a worthy topic. The band was on tour constantly, period, the defining lines of tours in the eyes of the band likely coincided with when the new material was released and fully introduced into the setlsts.

What we don’t really want to do is have too many various sources start writing their own versions of history, which makes a topic that is confusing, even more confusing to the average fan who isn’t well researched on these things. It’s already often hard for me to explain to people why Wandering(and CX1.net’s mirror of these dates) and the Rush website have so many differences.

If the people behind Wandering agree to change the dividing lines between tours again in the next edition of the book, I’m more than happy to support this change. The resurfacing of the Randhurst tape is bringing up hard facts that weren’t really available in the past, so just like ancient archeology, new discoveries sometimes rewrite the pages of history.

It has been said that the period could be called the “Pre-2112 tour” or “2112 warm-up tour”, however compared to other tours of that type, the setlist doesn’t feature early songs from the upcoming album, rather mirrors the preceding tour. I think, going forward, perhaps we should look at it exactly like the forgotten idea of the “Archives tour”. Rush released the Archives compilation of their first three albums on vinyl and cassette during the first half of 1978, and the band hit the road again during May for a little promotion, which was about a month after the AFTK tour supposedly ended in early April. The setlist however remained identical, and these days is considered just an extension of the AFTK tour, and I believe it makes perfect sense to label it this way. I think this is a very similar mirroring to what we’re learning with the COS tour.

Hopefully people are willing to discuss this, I’d really like to see what others think on the topic.
 

CoS

Enthusiast
Very good points you bring up here. Simply put, I don't think you could consider this set of tour dates to be part of the 2112 tour when, as far as we know, there were no songs from 2112 in the setlist. According to Wandering the Face of the Earth you see that they were both headlining and and openers in this period, so there would have been opportunities to preview 2112 tracks. We can't completely rule out that a 2112 song could have been played during this period, and I suppose we would have even more confidence in considering this as part of the CoS tour if Rush was the sole headliner and not co-headlining on this March 5th date (maybe Rush then gets more stage time?). But until more proof surfaces, I think we can be reasonably assume that no 2112 songs were played before March 5th. The first proof of any 2112 song being played is the March 25th Seattle date, right?

I agree that it makes more sense to consider this as part of the CoS tour rather than something like the "Pre-2112 Tour" as they didn't feature any "pre-release" previews of any songs from 2112.

On a separate note, I think they got a decent crowd reaction at the end of I Think I'm Going Bald in this clip.
 

By-Tor X-1

Archivist
Staff member
Anyone who doesn't own the "Wandering..." book can see the online mirroring of it at Cygnus-X1.net's tour listing page, which should help anyone reference what is being talked about.

"Analog Kid Audio Video" proposed to me that the chain of four gigs at The Starwood in mid-March possibly saw the band introduce the new songs. He is personally considerng this Randhurst gig a Caress of Steel tour show. I can't argue with that at all, and support it too, I was already struggling to consider this part of the 2112 tour, but the currently accepted dividing lines between the tours were troubling me. I previously figured to settle on the "COS show in spirit" thing. Though I'm so glad this topic has been brought up, I initially didn't want to be the only one trying to convince people the current official tour boundaries should be questioned.

My speculative theory before this was discussed, was March 21 in Sacramento probably being the start of the standard 2112 setlist, based on the fact that the recording for March 26 in Seattle features the 2112 setlist, and both gigs, along with the two in between in Fresno and Medford, all feature Rush co-billing with Styx, with Sutherland Brothers and Quiver as the openers. This has me believing the shows were likely identical. AKAV's theory could still very likely be correct, even if the sets at the Starwood may have not been identical to the standard 2112 setlist, we may have at least heard Something For Nothing and perhaps the title piece.

However, if we are going to extend the line of COS tour to mid-March, how do we make that choice? Is it best to overshoot, or undershoot? I'd say undershoot surely, use the first Starwood date on March 15, since extending it past January 10 is already highly debatable. That's the big problem with the lack of recordings between 1974 and 1976, it leaves so many questions up in the air. What we can feel comfortable saying, 2112 tracks were likely not played from March 8 and prior. I'm pretty sure this is going to be a topic of discussion before a next edition of "Wandering" is released, from what I understand those guys are just as serious about these things as we are. I'd like to see that happen. If this website the only source projecting the new dates, it's going to be quite hard to get a wide range of people to accept it, it's already hard for me to convince some people not to cite the official Rush website as definitive. As far as my opinion goes, I vote for the 2112 tour starting with March 15. I think the best path forward is for me to indeed make this site reflect the proposed new dates, that way it'll help get that ball rolling forward.

On the other note you mentioned, I did notice that too. The crowd didn't seem to not enjoy hearing Bald being performed, despite Ian Grandy's claim that "it never went over really well". I think that's something worthy to note. I think the band liked all the material on the album at the time, so would've played as much of it as they could whenever they had the chance, which is why it seems on some odd gigs they swapped out The Necromancer for Bald and Fly By Night. If a gig permitted longer time on stage, they may have done at least both Necromancer and Bald, or perhaps Necromancer and Bacchus Plateau. I've already discussed my full theories on parts of the Lamneth suite being played under the Rockford '75 thread.
 

By-Tor X-1

Archivist
Staff member
I think the best path forward is for me to indeed make this site reflect the proposed new dates, that way it'll help get that ball rolling forward.

On that note, I've now updated the main page of the website to reflect what is being discussed here, as well as a slight revision in the main post of this Randhurst thread.
In the meantime, further changes may be made while discussions on the path forward are ongoing.
 

CoS

Enthusiast
As far as my opinion goes, I vote for the 2112 tour starting with March 15.
After taking a closer look at the "Wandering" book, I'd agree. In addition to the points you make, the book has a March 13th entry with no tour date, but states that "Over 100,000 copies of 2112 have been sold in the 5 days since its release." There is a March 8th date in Sioux City, IA listed, but it's the last date touring with Kansas and the entry implies that they were an opener rather than co-billed with Kansas. Could there have been a 2112 song thrown in there?...maybe, but there's a better chance that some version of the 2112 tour setlist kicked in on the 15th, especially since the album had just been officially released. There's also a review snippet from the Sacramento March 21st show that mentions that they "moved well through 70 minutes of metal mashing and echo effects - mostly promoting their new album." So we know 2112 songs were being played as early as the 21st.
 

By-Tor X-1

Archivist
Staff member
Anyone who has known me long enough knows that I sometimes tend to over explain things with every single possible reason and explanation, and with tons of comparisons, sometimes to the point of ultimately talking myself in circles. I think I made every substantial point without beating this into the ground. I would like to add though, I completely overlooked this little note in the Wandering book earlier in the week. I'm sure I read this note in the past, but this was the first time since I learned about this tape still existing. Under the very first part of the 2112 section of the book:

COS-2112.png

So if anyone is hard-set to go by the currently supported dates, even the book mentions there is ambiguity between the tour lines. I have been made aware that there are some people who still firmly want to call this Randhurst show at 2112 tour concert, and while I full understand why this is being a debated topic, at this point I have zero reason to support saying the Caress Of Steel tour ended on January 10. The month off for recording the album is apparent, and would make sense to consider the gigs that succeeded to be part of the new tour, but if the band went back on the road with the clear intention to continue promoting Caress of Steel for a while longer (as is clearly apparent with this Randhurst recording), then I think it is obvious that the band wanted to try a bit longer to promote and improve the poor reception of Caress of Steel, until it was closer to the release of 2112 to start the new promotion. Does that not make perfect sense in hindsight? It does to me.

Myself and others have said the same thing, that at this point the arguments for the COS tour extending into mid-March are aplenty. So for those opposing this and still go by the January 10 end date, a legitimate and productive historical debate for utmost accuracy should present evidence and theories as to why something "is" or "should be". In this case, presenting why March 8 and earlier being part of the 2112 tour needs to be elaborated on. Many times over the years people have quoted something because "it's on the official Rush website", but with anyone who has researched the Wandering book and dug decently into live recordings, you'd know that the official site is full of proven inaccuracies, therefore is not substantial evidence on the dividing dates of the COS and 2112 tours.

The point I made earlier about not "overshooting" still stands. We don't want to extend too far. The March 8 show a few days later clearly falls more in line with the preceding gigs performing with Kansas, while the chain of four Starwood shows starting on March 15 are a clear change in comparison with preceding dates. That week off the road in between could be that defining line for the band to finalize preparations of their new headline and opening setlists. While evidence very easily points at the 2112 tour properly starting on March 21 at the latest (as presented in the above posts), AKAV's point about the band breaking in the new songs at the chain of Starwood gigs makes perfect sense as well. If someone out there can unearth a recording of a Starwood gig, that would be amazing, but of course we know how rare tapes from this era are. If someone can produce more recordings between February 6 and March 8, that would help further support or reject what is being said here about the dividing lines of these two tours. On the point about perhaps a 2112 track being played during this time, we have to remember the only tracks they played until the later ATWAS tour was Something For Nothing and 2112. I believe that even if they played SFN or maybe the 2112 Overture and Temples, at least one of those would have been done during this Randhurst show instead of something like I Think I'm Going Bald and Fly By Night. Unless such evidence is produced, I am very comfortable as a serious historian presenting this Randhurst recording as part of the Caress of Steel tour. Of course I am in no way an authority on the matter, but I'd feel wrong if I stuck to current beliefs just because I'd be the only one publicly presenting something that evidence shows is probably not historically accurate. I'll quote what I said a few days ago, "like ancient archeology, new discoveries sometimes rewrite the pages of history", and to add to that, anyone who is a serious historian knows that sometimes it is hard to get people to break from what they always believed to be true.

It would not suprise me one bit if newly discovered recordings from early and mid 1975 could also potentially rewrite the current lines of the debut tour ending, Fly By Night tour beginning and ending, and Caress of Steel tour beginning. For example, the dates at the believed beginning of the COS tour? I can easily see that potentially see that being more of the FBN tour. The COS album wasn't released until late September, that's a good bit of time in between. Same can be said with the beginning of the Fly By Night tour. No way to surely say though unless evidence with recordings manage to appear at some point. These dates are all speculation based on minimal available documentation.

Anyway, back on the point of the COS and 2112 tours' dividing lines, my only hope at this point is that people with open minds on the subject will consider it, and if they agree, to also present these beliefs publicly and openly as I am. That's how accepted history ultimately changes. I also hope that, if Skip and Eric of "Wandering..." agree (I can't really say if they would or wouldn't, I suppose we'll see), that the book could be updated in the next edition, which would be the most productive way to get the new evidence spread into the widest public consciousness.
 

armus2112

New member
First of all, this is fantastic, thank you! Please note, the Youtube 'I Think I'm Going Bald' runs ~4.0% too fast. If someone could perhaps let “Analog Kid Audio Video” know about this so that if/when this show is released, it can be speed-corrected in advance, that would be great. Now, the 4.0% number is of course specific to that one track. Maybe the rest of the show has a slightly different speed (drifting), sometimes this can be the case.
 
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By-Tor X-1

Archivist
Staff member
Thank you for that note! I was under the impression that they just played the song at a faster tempo than studio, and the pitch sounds correct (to me), but my ear for detecting these things are far from perfect. I suppose they still could have played it faster and the tape speed could still be incorrect. Comparing with the tempo of the other songs should help. I will send a note to AKAV and see what he says. I sort of figured that would’ve been adjusted before the YouTube clip was uploaded. One thing that was mentioned to me is making sure the proper time and care is given before releasing the recording, rather than a hurried release with various issues. Though it’s surely inevitable, the less “fixed” versions people start putting out there, the better.
 

armus2112

New member
Thanks By-Tor. Yeah, so it's not about the tempo, it's about the pitch of the notes. I have this weird 'gift' or maybe curse where if the pitch is off (due to any variety of reasons), I really notice, and as such I have been advising on speed corrections for a while now. Not to steal anyone's thunder but I took a little time to speed-correct the Bald track (see link below) - give that a listen =)

 
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Grommet2112

Enthusiast
Thanks By-Tor. Yeah, so it's not about the tempo, it's about the pitch of the notes. I have this weird 'gift' or maybe curse where if the pitch is off (due to any variety of reasons), I really notice, and as such I have been advising on speed corrections for a while now. Not to steal anyone's thunder but I took a little time to speed-correct the Bald track (see link below) - give that a listen =)

You definitely got that pitch spot on the album version. Great Job!
 

By-Tor X-1

Archivist
Staff member
@armus2112 No worries about stealing anyone's thunder, in the end this is for all fans, so any and all help is always appreciated. The pitch does indeed sound better to my ears. On first listen, Geddy sounded a bit deep, but I think that was just from being accustomed to hearing the YouTube version so many times already, because on second listen he sounded fine to me as far as I could tell. I was initially worried a 4% change would drag the tempo, but again, your correction seems fine to me (only 8 seconds longer), and it is still faster than studio. (I prefer the live tempo more than the studio version!)

It will be better too when we can compare the speed with the rest of the recording. I know these things tend to fluctuate a bit, but testing at an approximate 4% overall decrease in speed should give us a good idea close how the entire show should be. I still haven't heard the full show in its current speed, but I'd imagine if it is approx 4% too fast it will be obvious when listening to the other songs we're familiar with hearing live.

After I talk to AKAV about it more, if he is still unsure, I'll see if I can get you to assist with a proper speed adjustment.

On a similar note, I've talked with various acquaintances of mine who are also live tape collectors, who I know are spot-on accurate at correcting speed, problem is none of them are quite into Rush enough. Going forward I have hoped for someone I could consult for recordings that were obviously at wrong speeds, and with my limited skill I usually just "fix" them until I can't notice the discrepancy anymore, thus assuming the majority of people won't notice either. Though I've had people with an ear for these things tell me that my fixes are still off the mark. If you were ever willing and/or had the free time, there are a few Rush recordings I couldn't ever "fix" speed to where it even sounded right to my imperfect ears. The one that always comes to mind is the 10 May 1977 Milwaukee show. It is definitely too fast, but I couldn't ever get it sounding right. I've been hoping to fix it so it is more enjoyable to listen to, because otherwise it sounds great.
 
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