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||The 'Spirit of Rush'|
Dedicated to the memory of Mick Burnett
n the summer of 1987, an ordinary Rush fan from England had an extraordinary idea - to bring together Rush fans from the world over through the creation of the band's first "fan"zine. Michael "Mick" Burnett along with a team of co-editors, typists and printers began to churn out the "Spirit of Rush
," a magazine written by Rush fans, for Rush fans.
Mick humorously wrote in the fanzine's inaugural issue that the Spirit of Rush
was "the culmination of 4 year's frustration waiting for the band to tour Europe again." But what Mick was putting together back then is something we perhaps take for granted in today's internet age. Mick was collecting articles and news stories on the band, album and concert reviews, ticket stubs, album singles, tour dates, interviews and so much more - all for the sake of sharing them with an audience of Rush fans that had no other unified outlet to obtain this information.
In the pre-internet age, Mick was essentially creating the ultimate Rush fan site through his quarterly magazine - and fans and the band quickly took notice. Out of the humble beginnings in 1987, the Spirit of Rush
grew in popularity year after year, expanding its reach well outside of Europe to all four corners of the globe. As Rush progressed through the late 1980's into the 1990's, so too did the Spirit of Rush
As Rush began their ominous hiatus following the tragedies Neil Peart suffered in 1997, the Spirit of Rush
was there to satiate the desire of fans to share information with one another and to keep the Rush torch burning as brightly as ever. Even as the dawn of the internet age began to truly take hold, the Spirit of Rush
remained a staple among Rush fans.
In late July of 2002, after publishing over 60 issues since that fateful summer in 1987, tragedy struck the fanzine. The editor and founder of the Spirit of Rush
, Mick Burnett, passed away suddenly after suffering a heart attack. Just a month later, Mick was celebrated and remembered during a Rush convention in England - one that was essentially sponsored by the fanzine. Following the 63rd issue of the fanzine, one that was dedicated to Mick, a final issue was released after which the Spirit of Rush
closed its doors forever.
It's been more than a decade since the Spirit of Rush
shut down, but those associated with the fanzine during its fifteen year run, along with its countless subscribers still look back on it fondly. When thumbing through some of the earliest issues, it's clear to see just how much passion Mick and others had for the fanzine. So much so that, as I began to look forward with my own aspirations for this Rush fan site, I decided, instead, to look back.
With the help and blessing from both Monica Zimmerman, a former contributor to the Spirit of Rush
, and Janet Balmer, one of the co-editors of the fanzine, this site will now host an archive of all
of the issues of the fanzine. Each issue has been carefully scanned and presented on individual pages for all to enjoy.
A quarter of a century ago, Mick Burnett had a vision for Rush fans the world-over. Though he's no longer with us, Mick's vision will continue to live on here ... and beyond.
I hope you enjoy this look back at Rush's history...from the fan's-eye point of view.