Rush: The Most Generous Band in the World

Outside of their musical prowess and, er, beyond the lighted stage, Rush is a pretty low-key operation. Geddy, Alex and Neil enjoy a certain amount of anonymity, which suits them just fine. That doesn’t mean that they’re not involved in things beyond music. As this article in Billboard points out, Rush may be the most generous band in the world.

Leveraging the loyalty of its fans to help others, the band’s concerts at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens were food drives for the Toronto Food Bank. The group also did benefit shows at the arena for The United Way and amFAR.

n 2008, the trio donated $100,000 to the Make It Right Foundation to help New Orleans rebuild after Hurricane Katrina and sponsor construction of a Lower Ninth Ward residence that was dubbed “the house that Rush built.” That year, Rush also gave $100,000 from a Winnipeg concert to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

When floods hit southern Alberta in 2013, the band again stepped up to help with a benefit show that raised $575,000. (The concert, originally scheduled for the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, was moved to the Enmax Centrium two hours north after the Saddledome itself was flooded.)

Beginning with its 2010 Time Machine Tour, Rush has donated $1 from every concert ticket to various organizations, including Doctors Without Borders.

The band doesn’t publicize how much it has contributed to charity overall, but according to Canadian Music Week, funds collected from its concerts for all causes have approached $2 million during the past five years.

No wonder they’re getting the Allan Slaight Humanitarian Award at Canadian Music Week next week. Read the whole Billboard article here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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