I’ve always wanted – but never had the chance – to attend Rock and Roll Fantasy camp. That’s where my buddies from Rush came to the rescue. For the very first time, they allowed a guest – I won’t even use the word ‘artist’ – to join them on stage.
For four minutes, I lived the dream so many Rush fans have had – to play with three guys consistently rated among the top purveyors of their craft the world over.
I’ve received notes today from many guitarists who shuttered themselves in their room for days learning parts to 2112, La Villa Strangiato, Red Barchetta, Closer to the Heart and other Rush classics.
To the men and women out there who are undoubtedly far more proficient on guitar than this humble correspondent, I wish you the opportunity to one day join your heroes in song.
We played all of Limelight together, but for purposes of morning TV, we had to narrow it down to :45 seconds. Three-quarters of a minute I will never forget!
Alberto Contador tested positive for a banned substance in July. He has been suspended by the governing body pending an investigation. Contador's spokesman blames the failed test on food contamination. Contador is expected to speak later today. Peter Flax, editor-in-chief of "Bicycling" magazine spoke to John Roberts on American Morning:
Peter Flax: Yes, it was 1/400th of the normal limit they test for. They're talking about a trace amount of a 20-year-old asthma drug. It's a really shocking piece of news.
John Roberts: So Alberto Contador claims that it was food contamination that led to this. Are they offering any further explanation of how this food might have gotten contaminated?
Flax: No, my desk will be buzzing with all sorts of statements and press releases. I think they're holding off on that piece until the press conference in a little while. In the present anti-doping system the way its written, athletes have to take responsibility for what goes into their body. He's on the hook in that way. I have to admit like a lot of observers seeing a trace amount of such an easily detectable drug that stays so long in your system that's so old, it does make you think there's a high likelihood that there's some explanation other than a deliberate amendment for performance enhancing.
Roberts: Now, because he was in the yellow jersey for so long during this year's tour he was heavily tested. All of the other tests have come back, as far as we know, negative. Isn't unusual that there would be, among all of these negative tests, one test that's positive with this tiny trace amount?
Flax: Yeah, it's definitely suspect from everyone I've talked to that clenbuterol stays in your system for such a long time. So to be such a trace amount that only showed up on one day, it's consistent with that kind of explanation. I certainly will be waiting like a lot of other observers to see what Alberto has to say and see how this all plays out. But it's really shocking to see a grand champion at the top of his game like Alberto Contador facing this kind of charge right now.
Roberts: In the meantime, until all of this is either cleared up or confirmed, his tour title certainly at risk. Peter Flax, we like you will be eagerly anticipating the press conference.
It was 30 years ago – as a young journalist – that I had a chance to sit down with Rush to talk about their new album (yes, remember those?) Permanent Waves. It was the breakout album for the band as far as commercial success went, spinning off the hit song The Spirit of Radio. A year later, Rush released the follow up LP (yes, still talking vinyl here) Moving Pictures, which became their biggest selling album ever.
Now, three decades of recording and touring later, Rush is still as vital as ever – selling out their cross-country Time Machine tour and interestingly, playing the classic Moving Pictures album in its entirety during the show.
Not bad for three soft-spoken Canadians who are pushing ever-closer to that significant milestone of 60 years old and show no signs of slowing down.
So – what’s the magic that has held them together for so long? I had an exclusive opportunity to sit down and talk with them in Atlanta, and in a rock and roll fantasy come true, join them on stage during sound check for a rendition of Limelight.
Wow – what a moment for a frustrated guitar player..!
Fisher-Price Recalls Infant Toys with Inflatable Balls Due to Choking Hazard
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.
Name of products: Baby Playzone™ Crawl & Cruise Playground™, Baby Playzone™ Crawl & Slide Arcade™ , Baby Gymtastics™ Play Wall, Ocean Wonders™ Kick & Crawl™ Aquarium (C3068 and H8094), 1-2-3 Tetherball™, Bat & Score Goal™
Units: About 2.8 million in the US and about 125,000 in Canada
Importer: Fisher-Price, of East Aurora, N.Y.
Hazard: The valve of the inflatable ball on these toys can come off and pose a choking hazard to young children.
Incidents/Injuries: CPSC and Fisher-Price are aware of 46 reports of incidents where the valve came off in the US and eight reports in Canada. These include 14 reports of the valve found in a child’s mouth and three reports of a child beginning to choke. No injuries have been reported.
Description: This recall involves the products listed below:
All of the Baby Playzone™ Crawl & Cruise Playground™, Baby Playzone™ Crawl & Slide Arcade™, C3068 Ocean Wonders™ Kick & Crawl Aquarium, Baby Gymtastics™ Play Wall, Bat & Score Goal™ are included in this recall. Only H8094 Ocean Wonders™ Kick & Crawl ™Aquarium and J0327 1-2-3 Tetherball™ manufactured before 2008 are included in this recall.
The date code for the H8094 Ocean Wonders™ Kick & Crawl™ Aquarium is located on the back side of the fabric tag on the quilt. The date code for the J0327 1-2-3 Tetherball™ is located on the bottom of the base. If the fourth digit of the six-digit date code is, 7 or less, the product is included in the recall. No other Fisher-Price products with inflatable balls are included in this recall.
Manufactured in: Baby Playzone™ Crawl & Cruise Playground™, Baby Playzone™ Crawl & Slide Arcade™ and Baby Gymtastics™ Play Wall were made in Mexico. The Ocean Wonders™ Kick & Crawl™ Aquarium, 1-2-3 Tetherball™ and Bat & Score Goal™ were made in China.
Remedy: Consumers should immediately remove the inflatable ball from the product and keep away from children. Do not discard the inflatable ball. Contact Fisher-Price for a free replacement kit.
Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Fisher-Price at (800) 432-5437 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at www.service.mattel.com
CPSC is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about it by visiting https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $800 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed to a significant decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Under federal law, it is illegal to attempt to sell or re-sell this or any other recalled product.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772, teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit www.cpsc.gov/talk.html. Consumers can obtain this press release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov. To join a free e-mail subscription list, please go to www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.