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Skip Daly's "Ian Grandy Interview Outtakes"

By-Tor X-1

Staff member
*Originally posted by Skip Daly on The Rush Forum on September 17, 2009*

I figured on posting a copy of this here, since it was almost lost after The Rush Forum's engine upgrade broke some old formatting, until I thought to recover the text from the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.
The contents of this are invaluable documents on some of the obscure history of Rush recordings, and I've tended to reference back to it many times over the years.

Skip Daly on The Rush Forum (17 September 2009) said:
As previously posted, my interview with Ian Grandy is now up at GuitarInternational.com (https://guitarinternational.com/2009/09/16/a-talk-with-ian-grandy-rushs-first-roadie/).

In the course of our conversations, there were some things that I really wanted to ask Ian about as a FAN (and collector of recordings). This stuff wasn't really suitable for "the general public", but I think those of us who collect Rush RECORDINGS might find this stuff of interest, so I'm sharing a few "outtakes" here.......


SKIP: You were the band's sound engineer up through 1980. Did you make it a point to record at least a show or two from every tour? How did you decide when to record the band? Do you have any recordings from your work with the band? What are the chances of a recording from the "Caress of Steel" tour turning up one day?

IAN: There would be a lot more board tapes after I no longer did sound, because they made Jon Erickson record regularly, whereas I did tapes pretty much when I thought the sound would be good (and therefore I'd look good). I really didn't record very often, although I did a little bit later on. So, sorry to pour water on your hopes, but if there are Rush tapes out there, then I don't know squat about them.

I can honestly tell you that the only tapes I have are some that a guy sent me about fifteen years ago. There are some old ones, such as August 14, 1974 at Pittsburgh Arena, Rush's first U.S. gig with Neil, which is horrible quality. These tapes that I have are not board tapes, but rather some guy with an audience microphone, so there's a lot of extra noise.

As far as I know, there are none from the bar/high school days, at least none that I recorded.

Some places used to record without permission, such as the Capital Theater in NJ (e.g. the 12/10/76 recording). I remember the next time we were there, the stage hands were listening to the recording of our previous gig, and asking me questions about it, which surprised me.

The Tucson, AZ 11/20/78 recording was a show that I recorded. I gave Neil a copy with a cover I created that had the boys dressed as Indians and the title "Indians Out West".

Frankfurt, Germany (5/29/79) I recorded only because the hall had amazing acoustics and a solid low end. I created covers for the tapes of that one that I gave to Geddy and Alex. Alex's was called "Blitzkrieg" and Ged's "Road To Germany", after the Bing Crosby/Bob Hope movie, and the cover was of Bing, Bob, and Geddy dressed as German soldiers. Ged's mom and dad met in the Nazi work camps, so it was kind of a delicate subject. I'd also recorded an entire show at the Hammersmith Odeon (London) in 1979, and edited two songs ("Something For Nothing" and "Cygnus X-1") from that into the "Road To Germany" tape. When Jon Erickson took over sound, he was given Geddy's copy of the 'Road To Germany' tape to get acclimated. He told me later that the effects blew him away, but he'd been told by the band to use very little effects as Geddy hated that tape. The truth is I could hear exactly what I was doing at that gig and threw in some things I'd not done before and some of it I didn't like either and didn't use again. You know that Germany tape probably cost me my job as sound engineer as Geddy basically hated it. I listen to it 30 years later and it still stands up in my mind but if you want to know why I didn't record often that would be one main reason.

The Pink Pop show (June, 1979) was recorded without our knowledge. We were using the same sound system (Electrosound) as on the tour, only with way more speakers and power. Everyone else used their soundboard, but I used ours, which was a tremendous advantage. All I heard afterwards was that we'd killed all the other bands.

There was also a tape I made in about 1976 from a gig supporting Blue Oyster Cult called "Reeking In Binghamton", for which the title describes the quality, but I have no idea where that went.

Regarding the few other soundboards that are "out there", I don't remember recording in Detroit (12/2/78), but I must have done so. The others (1/26/80 and 9/30/80) maybe Tommy (Linthicum, of National Sound) discreetly recorded without me knowing? That's possible, but I don't know. Hartford (12/20/81) was "The Incredible Stunned Man", as the band called Jon (Erickson). He took over running F.O.H. sound in Feb, 1981.

I don't like your chances for a tape from "Career of Steel" (as people sometimes mispronounced it). We supported various bands on that tour and you really couldn't record much.

SKIP: One recording that I've always loved is from the Agora in Cleveland, 8/26/74. Do you remember anything about that show?

IAN: So many of the recordings I see labeled as "FM Broadcast", I don't think I even knew at the time were being recorded, starting with that Agora show. Anyway, at the club there was a house PA, and I'm wondering "where the heck is the soundboard?" Turns out it's in a room upstairs, and you look out the window to see the band. You really couldn't hear the mix, so I had to keep running down to the crowd to check it out.

On another note, re: the 12/5/74 Electric Ladyland recording, the engineer mixing it had the bass and guitar real low and I practically had to punch him to get it fixed. He threw his hands up in the air and told me to mix. As a huge Hendrix fan, it was quite a thrill for me personally to be at Electric Ladyland, and it was our first time in NYC.

SKIP: There's one long-standing rumor I have to get cleared up. Do you remember a guy named Jean Weinrib? Years ago (this would have been circa 1993 or '94, when the web was just starting to catch on), I was pretty heavy into trading live bootleg recordings with folks online. One collector ended up emailing back and forth with a dude who said he was "Jean Weinrib", and the guy claimed to be Geddy's cousin. Furthermore, he *claimed* to have a pretty sizable collection of soundboard Rush tapes, going all the way back to the mid-70s (including the "holy grail" for rush collectors --- 1/10/76 at Massey Hall). "Jean" claimed that, while he didn't travel with the band, Geddy would him patch his tape deck into the board to record whenever he was at a show. Unfortunately, the guy never coughed up anything...and then he up and disappeared, leaving us to wonder if he was ever for real in the first place. Trivial in the grand scheme of things, yes. But it's bugged me for years. Now, you would have been the front of house guy in that era, so I'm guessing you would have known the guy and would have actually been the one to patch him into the board. So, was this guy for real, or was it all B.S.?

IAN: This is total B.S. I have never heard of this guy. It's incredible how people make up shit. It affects me too. When I moved to where I live now, back in 1986, I started playing for a ball team in 1987. We went out for a beer and one of the guys asks me whether I knew the Ian Grandy that had worked for Rush. I said, "yeah, well, that was me." These guys basically told me what a B.S. artist I was. The next week, one of them had pulled out "Fly By Night", and there's my picture on the sleeve. That's one of many reasons why I seldom bring it up, because people either a.) can't stand Rush or b.) think you're lying.