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Rush- Tribute: Mereley Players (Book Review)
June 2012
Released: 2002, Quarry Music Books
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

As veteran Rock bands like AC/DC, Aerosmith and Rush enter the twilight years of their career the period between albums becomes farther and farther apart as the artists need to work diminishes. It has been years since the last Rush album and although not a regularly featured band on, there is some respect for the old Canadian dogs. Accordingly, to commemorate the pending release of CLOCKWORK ANGELS in June, I’ve written a trio of book reviews about the band, but there are many more Rush related titles to explore. Feel free to read my reviews of MIDDLETOWN DREAMS (McDonald) CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE (Popoff) and TRIBUTE: MERELEY PLAYERS (Telleria).

Despite some mild controversy when this title was published and despite the agonizingly bad spelling mistake of the title, this still stands as one of the better books about Rush out there. This Canadian book was published in 2002 so it is a good decade out of date, however the band hasn’t done all that much, in terms of new studio albums in the last decade, (only two) so it’s not missing too much current info. I’d like to see a revised edition published soon. MERELY PLAYERS (Not Mereley) is oversized and fully loaded at just a hair under 400 pages and packed with more Rush info than you could imagine. There is lots to look at with a couple dozen black and white photos of flyers, singles and memoriablia and a couple dozen colour photos as well.

This reference guide is not really a biography, but more of a reference guide in an encyclopedic style. The book is divided into seven main sections. The first and biggest is a chronology and biography. Essentially Telleria goes through album by album and presents quotes from other sources on the topic at hand. All the material is pulled from interviews and it is not always sourced properly, but credit is given where credit is due. Section Two ‘Words & Music’ is self-explanatory and follows the same format as section one. Section Three is great for gearheads as it meticulously details the instruments on each tour and scattered quotes from the lads on their instruments and gear. Section Four is very detailed discography and videography. Section Five I found quite neat, lists of all the tour dates with where they played, who they supported and who opened for them. They have played my city seven times between 1974 and 1997. I did not know that. Section Six is the bibliography, which is not comprehensive but still very extensive. The book concludes with Section Seven dedicated to trivia, lists of movies, tribute albums, clothing, posters and all sorts of cool facts pertaining to Rush.

There is not much more to tell, all the data is gathered and presented efficiently by Telleria. He doesn’t have much in terms of exclusive content that he added but he can certainly be regarded as one of the foremost historians and archivists of the great band and RUSH TRIBUTE: MERELEY PLAYERS, as the title suggests, is his fitting tribute to the band.
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