Primus Bridges Gap Between Rush and Public Enemy

(Radio.com) At the show-closing jam at last month's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, an unprecdented supergroup took the stage to perform Robert Johnson's "Crossroads." Among them Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart of Rush and Public Enemy leader Chuck D.

What do the prog-rock giants and the hip-hop legend have in common (other than membership in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame)? Well, probably not much. But, believe it or not, both bands have toured with San Francisco rockers Primus.

Primus was the opening act on the genre-crashing Anthrax/Public Enemy co-headlining tour of 1991. The following year, they played arenas opening for Rush. So Primus frontman Les Claypool is one of the only musicians to spend time on the road with both groups, and he says that both are fully deserving of the accolades that they received at the induction ceremony in Los Angeles last month.

The members of Primus have always worn their Rush influences on their sleeves; like the Canadian group, they are a power trio led by a bassist with an unusual singing voice who are influenced by hard rock and progressive music.

Claypool told Radio.com, "One of my first introductions to music as a teenager was Rush records."And it showed, particularly early on in their career. Primus' debut EP, 1989′s Suck On This, opens with 36 seconds of the band covering Rush's classic instrumental "YYZ" before launching into their own "John The Fisherman."

And while it is often said that you shouldn't meet your idols, he reports that bonding with Rush has been a great experience for him and his band. "When I was 16, if you told me I'd be friends with Geddy, Alex and Neil, I would have s*** myself right there, literally," he said. "To work with these guys and be friends with them, and to still be friends with them after all these years, it's a pretty spectacular thing." more on this story

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Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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