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They’re With the Brand

Ever since The Rolling Stones first printed their lips-and-tongue logo in 1971, the music world has been rife with super-successful branding, from The Ramones’ American eagle to Motörhead’s armoured skull to Public Enemy’s human target … And yet, with very few exceptions — most prominently Rush — Canadian bands have historically resisted forging a design identity, or simply haven’t been much good at it.


In the downtown Toronto headquarters of Rush’s record company, Anthem, the anteroom is festooned with gold and platinum records, cassettes, and CDs, presenting a history of the biggest-selling band ever to emerge from Canada. But tucked away in the midst of all this is a plaque dedicated to Bob & Doug McKenzie’s The Great White North, featuring Geddy Lee’s soaring vocals on the classic, “Take Off.”

Rush – Live at the Molson Ampitheatre

As we look back on Canada’s cultural history in the second half of the 20th century, certain heritage moments stand out: the opening of Tim Horton’s first doughnut shop in Hamilton in 1964, Paul Henderson’s Summit Series-winning goal in 1972, Captain Canuck’s first comic in 1975, and of course Geddy Lee’s singing of the ice-cold classic “Take Off” from Bob & Doug McKenzie’s 1981 album The Great White North.