Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson Voice Cops in Rush’s Animated ‘YYZ’ Video
The clip, produced by Fantoons Animation Studios, unfolds like a shadowy noir comedy starring the various characters who appear on designer Hugh Syme’s pun-laden Moving Pictures cover — specifically, a group of "mourners" and a crew "moving" large paintings (including one of Rush’s iconic Starman logo).
The story essentially reverse-engineers the image, cleverly bringing all of those people together in that one spot. Toward the end, the band’s three members — Lee, Lifeson and Neil Peart — are gagged and bound as thieves make off with the artwork, leaving the local authorities none the wiser.
Lee and Lifeson adopt goofy voices for their cameo, creating some banter for the post-climax. "Hey, Dirk, let’s go back to the station," Lifeson’s cop says. "Great, I got the new Rush cassette for the road," Lee’s sidekick adds. Looking at the cassette, they ponder what "YYZ" means (mispronouncing it "Yiz") and theorize that it’s "probably some new term for marijuana." They even slip in a joke about Rush’s notorious kimonos from the 2112 era.
You can watch the video below.
Syme spoke to UCR about the Moving Pictures cover in 2020, noting that Rush didn’t initially understand his vision. "The band didn't get it at first," he recalled. "I said to Neil, 'We've gotta have some people moving pictures.' It was another one of those 'What?!' kind of moments. It took a little more description from me to fill in the details."
Rush recently teased the 40th-anniversary edition of Moving Pictures with a live version of the album’s closing track, "Vital Signs."