Just in case you didn’t think there could be anything nerdier out there for the Rush fan in your life, the boys from Canada have released an iBook in the App Store for iPad. This isn’t the usual sort of jokey sausages-and-accordions schtick of late, it’s more of a reimagined set of album liner notes for the soon-to-be-released update of the 2112 album.
The books starts off with a nice little intro piece from Rolling Stone’s David Fricke which gives a quick rundown of how Rush came to make 2112, and how it was nearly their swan song. Following that is a section where you get some long previews of the re-mastered 2112 tracks, including some new live tracks. I listened to both Overture and The Temples of Syrinx live tracks and the band is tight as hell and sound is punchy. Whoever remastered these did a bang-up job.
After the musical previews are the lyrics for each tune presented in a clean simple style. This, more than anything, ties the iBook to its vinyl-and-cardboard predecessor. The lyrics are followed by a short gallery of images, including some fine shots of Neil sporting his Doug Henning ‘stache. Then the book moves into the most daring section yet…
The second half of the book is a comic book graphic novel re-telling of the story of 2112. This is where the casual fans will be separated from the hardcore ones. This is, unabashedly, nerdy. The themes of 2112 are earnest in a high-school thesis kind of way. Yes, on paper, we all agree that art and freedom of expression are good things, but somehow real life is never as black-and-white as the a story like this presents it. Anyway, you’ll either love it or hate it. But, if you’re a Rush fan, you’ll get your four dollars’ worth out of this.
When I’m not working on Six String Recess, my “day job” is writing software, particularly on iOS. When Apple came out with the iBooks initiative I was intrigued right away. I think there’s a ton of potential for this medium and things like this Rush iBook are just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve had dreamy thoughts about some day re-working Six String Recess material in an iBook format someday. There are just certain things that a mix of media will do better than just video or just text.