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The Quest for the Holy Grail
of Rush Paraphernalia:
The 2112 Tour Book
This is the story of my quest to obtain the Rush 2112 Tour Book (or 2112 Tour Program as it is sometimes referred to).
I originally wrote and posted this 'story' on the now-defunct Rush Interactive Website Message Forum.
I only wish I had the chance to capture and save all the replies that were posted to the original message before the site went off-line.
Such is life...Enjoy!
I remember it as if it were yesterday. Well, maybe as if it were last week.
It was November 10th, 1998 and Rush's fourth live album, Different Stages, had just been released. With my copy in hand, I anxiously popped the first of the three CD's into my player, sat back with the album package, and relived the mesmerizing feeling of witnessing my favorite band live. As the opening chords of Dreamline began and the crowd roared to life, I took to unfolding the CD book. I was thrilled to see the panoramic image of Rush paraphernalia that spanned the ages. (Click HERE to see the image)
What a treat it was to see a Rush 8-track tape, early publicity shots of the boys, and various newspaper clippings. But then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something else; something I didn't expect to see. It said "Rush 1977" on one side and "Tour 2112" on another. I knew immediately that it wasn't an advertisement for the tour from that period. As I focused in on the item, I realized that this might just be a tour book from the 2112 era.
I quickly called my brother, who is credited for introducing me to Rush back in the late 1970's, to see if he had picked up the album and noticed the same image that caught my attention.
"Hey. It's me. Did you pick up Different Stages yet?" I asked.
"What do you think is playing on my system now?" he replied.
"Ah," I added. "So, did you check out that panoramic picture with all the Rush stuff on it?"
"Hadn't gotten to the CD package yet, why?" he question.
"Go get it." I instructed.
A brief moment later, he was scanning the collection of images when he uttered "What the hell is that?"
"That's what I want to know" I answered, not even confirming we were focusing our attention on the same item.
After a moment, he added "Looks sorta like a belt buckle."
"What the...what the hell are you talking about?" I asked, only then picking up the item my brother had zoomed in on. "No, not that. Although, what the hell IS that? No, never mind. Pan left..." I added
"What the..." he stated.
"EXACTLY! Do you think that's the 2112 Tour Book?" I questioned.
"Wait," he began. "2112 was released in 1976. Why would this say Rush 1977?" he pondered.
"I don't know, but that looks like a tour book to me. Man, it would be sweet to own a copy."
A brief, silent pause was interrupted with the war cry of "To the Internet!"
And to the internet we both went, searching out and confirming the fact that this was, indeed, not only the 2112 Tour Book, but the first tour book offered by Rush.
And so, my quest began on that cold November day. The quest to obtain a piece of Rush history. The Holy Grail, if you will, of all Rush paraphernalia.
The first. The original. The Rush 2112 Tour Book.
At the time, I had no idea how long-lived this quest would be. I spent a fair amount of time searching for the tour book, but it was all in vain. In fact, outside of the official transcription that appeared on the NMS and the image from Different Stages, I couldn't truly confirm that any other copies existed.
Frustrated as we went into the next century, I let my quest stall for the most part. On occasion I would do the typical online search for a copy, scanning the auctions and message forums for someone who might just be willing to let a copy go.
But it was to no avail.
And while I was able to locate and obtain copies of other older tour books, most notably from the "A Farewell to Kings" and "Hemispheres" tours, the "2112 Tour Book" became the albatross of my collection.
Then, it happened and almost by accident. Relegated to the fact that I would likely never come across a copy of my own, I was surfing Ebay for a copy of the Power Windows tour book. The issue I had was in quite a state of disrepair after my 2-year old son got a hold of it. He's still in time-out after that one.
Enter ebay search: Rush Power Windows Tour Book.
Results: No items found.
"Ok," I said to no one in particular "Let's assume someone called it a Tourbook instead of a tour book." A removed the space between the "Tour" and "Book" area of my search query and then, on a whim, also removed "Power Windows".
I couldn't believe my eyes.
That purple cover.
The bold, white letters spelling out RUSH.
The signature Star Man logo.
The auction title: RUSH 2112 TOUR TOURBOOK '77
2,296 days after my quest began, I had finally come across a copy of this elusive piece of Rush history.
I could barely believe my eyes. As one who has had a tremendous amount of experience with Ebay, I quickly opened up the item to check how much time remained on the auction. " 4+ days" before it ended. I was safe, for now.
3 bids - up to $132.50 already. "Yikes!"
With plenty of time left in the auction, I patiently sat back and waited.
The auction was getting a lot of hits, but two days passed without a single additional bid being placed.
I was getting nervous and anxious. I was ready to place a bid, but not until the very last moment.
Then, the war began. Bid after bid after bid began to roll in with less than a day left on the auction. Two users were going back and forth, dueling it out for the ultimate victory. I quietly sat back and waited, cursing as the going price exceeded $200, then $250 then $300.
Just then, all activity stopped. With about one hour to go, the war ended. The final bid, to that point, was up to $300.01.
I was tempted to place my bid at that point, but I knew it was too soon after this may lay of bids had occurred. For all those witnessing the events, it appeared as if only two entities were fighting for the tour book. I wanted to keep that perception going.
30 minutes to go. Seventy-five more visits to the auction. Zero additional bids.
15 minutes to go. Over a hundred more visits to the auction. Zero additional bids.
10 minutes...more of the same.
5 minutes to go...
45 seconds... One window open, refreshing the auction, another window open with my one and only bid ready and waiting...
30 seconds....views poured in now. Still, no new bids.
15 seconds...the point where I normally push through my final bid. yet this time, something held me back.
"No, not yet... And heaven help me if we have a power outage right now..."
7... "Click" You are the high bidder in this auction...
Congratulations. You've won... (margin of victory: $5.00)
I've had a little time to reflect back on these events and my quest that lasted over 6 years. It was a long, frustrating and yet ultimately rewarding journey.
My brother asked me if it was "worth it" after the book arrived a fews days later.
"Worth it?" I repeated. "You know this isn't about possession of a material item. It's about coming yet another step closer to absorbing the music that has become an integral piece of the fabric of my life. Or, as Neil put it, the music that has become the soundtrack of my life."
"Hmm... So, when can I borrow it?" he countered.
An item as rare and unique as the Rush 2112 Tour Book is something that does need to be shared, by all those who appreciate the significance of this time period in Rush's history. So, to that end, I've painstakingly transcribed the text and scanned and touched up every page and image from the tour book for all to enjoy.
The tour book transcriptions can be viewed HERE.
The high-resolution images of the tour book can be viewed HERE.
So, this quest has ended. Now I want to go back and figure out what the hell that belt-buckle looking item was...
To the Internet!
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