Jack Secret on Cobbling Together Rush’s Triggering System
How did Tony Geranios, Geddy’s long-time keyboard technician, get his nickname, Jack Secret? It’s a secret no longer. In a 30-minute video interview with Geranios, Rush fan Danny See passed the question along, from Ed Stenger at Rush is a Band, to Tony, who obligingly spilled the beans. But I won’t, so you’ll have to watch the interview to find out.
It’s worth the time for that but also for the in-depth explanation of how the band’s complicated keyboard triggering system works. It’s always been a point of pride for Alex, Geddy, and Neil to trigger all of their sampled sounds themselves while on stage. Today that’s accomplished using a system Tony cobbled together using old and new technology.
It’s quite a step up from how they did it starting in the late 1970s and into the early 1980s, when the band first started getting into heavier keyboard use. Back then, the system was largely jerry-rigged, as Tony explained earlier this year in another interview. (You can read a summary of that here.) It’s still jerry-rigged, but in a much more high-tech way that uses a stack of Mac laptops that Tony monitors during the show from his secret spot behind Alex.
Danny See conducted the interview while the crew was setting up the stage for the band’s Oct. 20 Clockwork Angels show at the Prudential Center in Newark. Kate Mulligan did the camerawork. The interview is conducted in three segments. In the first, Tony shows how his monitoring system works. In the second, he continues the discussion but it’s recorded with just audio, no video. And in the third section the discussion continues while Danny walks around the stage with Tony. There are some still shots at the end.
Thanks to Ed at Rush is a Band for the head’s up, and for the question about Tony’s nickname.