RUSH: We had a great time in New York last night. It was at Town Hall, which is just off Broadway. Mine was the first sold-out Broadway show of the season. I forget what the capacity of the place is. It’s a beautiful place. It is a stunningly beautiful place. During the day on Monday my security people called up and said, “Hey, the Occupy people have applied for a protest permit across the street.” I said, “Okay,” and about ten minutes later, “The Occupy people have applied for an audio sound permit along with the protest permit,” meaning they wanted to have megaphones and a PA system to shout. “Okay,” ’cause I’m not gonna hear any of it. So they showed up, and I guess there were about ten of ’em. The original application for their permits said there would be a hundred of them, ten of them showed up. (interruption) Was it 15? We had some people out there looking, 15 of them.
We had to delay the start of the show by a half hour because it was raining cats and dogs in New York, and the crowd arrived late, and I vowed not to start ’til everybody was seated. It was supposed to be a 7:30 curtain, and I kicked off at about eight because the stragglers were coming in. Heck, I had a little flight delay getting in because of the weather. But it turned out fine because the 10 or 15 people that showed up, they got a shower. It was the first time they probably had been clean in how many weeks? You know, God works in magical, mysterious ways. And one of them got in, one of them got in and walked right down the center aisle. I was in the middle of the presentation. It was a skinhead kind of guy, he walked in and security didn’t touch him. He got within five feet of me. So if you have any ideas of taking me out, folks, it can be done. (laughing)
So this guy gets within five feet and he’s got a bunch of newspapers and he’s showing them. Finally security showed up and escorted him out, and they told me he was a little intoxicated when the whole thing was over.
But it was a fun time. The audience was electrified. This audience was just — (interruption) I had no idea. I couldn’t hear what anybody was saying. There were people shouting at me all night. I cannot understand what people are saying. I can’t hear myself in situations like that. The first ten minutes, I must have — if you were there last night, I’m gonna apologize to you for the first ten minutes because I was distracted and disoriented because I could not hear myself. I couldn’t hear myself through my implant, and I was not getting any audio from the sound system in the hall. So in a situation like that, I don’t know if they can hear me. I can’t hear me, is the sound system working? Do I need to get closer to the microphone, shout? Do I shout loud enough so I can hear myself? Is that too loud?
I got all these thoughts running through my head, and it took me ten minutes to adjust to it. The only way I could hear myself throughout the whole — it was not because there was any other noise. It’s just the vagaries of my hearing loss and implant. I had to just eat that microphone, I had to get real close, that’s the only time I could hear myself all night. So I basically was deaf all night. I was unable to hear what I was saying. I could hear when somebody shouted from somewhere in the audience, but I don’t know what they said. When I asked my question, “What sets this country apart from all the others in the world?” I did hear one guy shout “freedom.” That’s the one thing that I heard, but this audience last night, they were just electrified. I walked out of there after being introduced and they came to their feet. Remember, these people have trudged through a downpour, they sat there much longer than they expected to because of the late arrivals, and that was weather related.
The people at WABC, our flagship affiliate in New York put this thing on and just did a magnificent and fabulous job. It was a wonderful and magical night. I got home about 1:30, and Kathryn had left me an e-mail saying the dogs are in the laundry room, ’cause I said I’ll let ’em out when I get home. I said, “Why?” “Leave ’em in the laundry room. One of them, I don’t know which one, got into one of the –” We have a house vacuum system where you just plug the tube into a receptacle in the wall, and one of the dogs had gotten in there and had chewed a bunch of the wires and so forth, so Kathryn figured, “Okay, I don’t know which one of you did it but all three are paying the price,” and they all got relegated to the laundry room.
And I said, “Even Abbey?” That’s our first one, the oldest, the mature one, “You think Abbey?” “I don’t know, but she’s paying the price, she didn’t stop it.” I said, “It has to be the puppy doing this.” “I don’t care, I don’t know which one did it so they’re all in there. They could have electrocuted themselves.” So I said, “Okay, I’ll let ’em out anyway.” I got home and I let the dogs out, and they did not want to go back in the laundry room but I had outsmarted them. I closed off all access, all other access to the kitchen. So they had nowhere else to go but back into the laundry room. Those dogs are smart, though. You know, I said, “Laundry room,” and they wouldn’t go. They would only follow me in there when I teased them and pretended I had food for ’em. And I got them in there and I shut the door and the little puppy starts whimpering and whining, and I said, “You’re only in here because you did it. Don’t blame me.”
They just barked, just barked and wanted out and so forth. So I got one 1:30, and I was exhausted. So I just went up to bed, and here we are. I do this probably once a year, and everybody says, “Why don’t you do more of them?” I say, “I don’t know, I just…” (interruption) Well, no, don’t even get me started down that road. There are some things I must withhold, and, you know, last night’s show, last night’s performance, I told the crowd. I said, “Look, I would never say this on the radio. A couple or three things, I would never say this on a radio show,” and I launched, and there was a fairly lengthy story. I said, “I will never say this on the radio,” but I’m deciding now whether or not I want to post the audio of last night’s performance on the website. They’re leaving it up to me.
I don’t know, ’cause I told some stuff there last night that I would never say on the radio. (interruption) Hmm? What? (sigh) Well, I don’t know. I’ve got excerpts from it here. You know, my problem is that after each one of these things I always think it could be better, and I walked out of there last night, I really had no feel. I mean, the audience was electrified, but I had no feel for how I’d done ’cause I couldn’t hear. I could not hear myself. You guys, I can’t explain the disconnect. If it’s something that you never experienced, you don’t know what it’s like to not be able to hear. You can try to imagine it, but when you’re not getting any feedback from yourself? You know, trying to speak when you can’t hear yourself, most people have no clue what that is like.
In fact, when I had gone totally deaf, and I was talking with the doctors at the House Clinic about getting an implant, I said, “What happens if I just don’t do it? What’s gonna happen?” They said, “You will not be able to talk, and it won’t take very long. If you can’t hear yourself, your speech will fall apart. No matter how good you are, no matter what great memory you have for the way your throat feels when you speak, if you can’t hear yourself, at some point it’s gone.” He said, “There’s a reason that people who have gone deaf sound the way they sound. So if you don’t get this implant, your career’s finished.” Well, last night — and it’s happened a couple of times and there’s nothing anybody coulda done to fix it, unless I would have had a direct audio line like I have here doing the program and been wired in as though wearing headsets.
But who wants to show up wearing a headset, you know, on stage? But that would have been the way to do it. This is why, by the way, if you ever watch (if you’ve ever noticed) announcers the football games or baseball games with large, loud crowds are wearing headphones so they can hear themselves. It’s so they can hear, and if they’re not wearing headsets they’ve got line-in little ear pieces that you can’t see but it’s because they can hear themselves over the crowd, over the white noise, over everything else. When you can’t hear yourself, you don’t know if you’re speaking loud enough. So the first ten minutes were just distracting. But after that, I felt like I got into a groove, and it was great; and I want to thank everybody who was there because you people in the audience were just fabulous. I was feeding off of you all night long.
RUSH: All right. I’ve been overruled and I didn’t even know it. Koko has posted all the stuff from the New York appearance last night. It’s already up there. Even after saying, “Okay, we’ll wait for you to decide what you want to do,” Koko has posted it. (laughs) So it’s up there; it’s too late to take it down now. Snerdley, is staring at me with his mouth open in disbelief. I know, but it’s up there. It’s posted. Do you realize The Beatles stopped touring because they couldn’t hear themselves? This is before headsets. If you go to concerts, you notice this. The first time I saw this was at a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert some years ago, many, many moons ago, and Chip Davis had an earpiece. I said, “What is that for?”
He said, “That helps me keep time. That’s the clicker, that’s the beat, so I know what’s going on. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to hear myself.” The click track. Yeah, that’s what he called it: The click track. Exactly, that’s what it was. The Beatles didn’t have that stuff back then. That stuff didn’t exist. They stopped touring because they couldn’t hear themselves. (interruption) Yeah? Was that right? Snerdley is yelling at me that at Shea Stadium you could tell they couldn’t hear anything, but they muddled through nevertheless. A Rush to Excellence Tour appearance has gotta be the nearest thing to a 1960s Beatles concert that you could imagine and the crowd last night might as well have been in a Beatles concert. You shoulda seen this.