Longtime RUSH friend and photographer Andrew MacNaughtan died of a heart attack on January 25 while on assignment with the band in Los Angeles.
RUSH drummer Neil Peart has posted a lengthy tribute to MacNaughtan at the musician’s official web site. An excerpt follows below.
“Andrew‘s photographs first caught my eye in 1985, when I was assembling material for the tour book to accompany RUSH‘s ‘Power Windows’ tour. At that time, the band didn’t employ any exclusive photographers, so Pegi Cecconi at our office sent me a big pile of submissions from numerous people — mainly plastic pages of slides, in those days.
“Andrew‘s live shots really stood out from the rest; they were more vivid, somehow — highlighting both the drama of the rock stage and the personalities of the players. That was an unusual quality, and I chose several of his images for the book.
“In later years, Andrew became the band’s near-exclusive photographer, in concert, formal portraits, and documenting our rehearsals and recording sessions. He even served (suffered) as our personal assistant for two tours, ‘Presto’ and ‘Roll The Bones’. As other assistants we have employed over the years would agree — were they not bound by strict confidentiality agreements — it was not a glamorous or easy job.
“Throughout that turbulent time, all of us remained friends. Though Andrew was something of a self-confessed neurotic, he had a terrific sense of humor, and like me, he could laugh himself into helplessness — especially over the antics of Alex [Lifeson, RUSH guitarist], whom Geddy [Lee, RUSH bassist/vocalist] and I have long described as ‘the funniest man in the world.'”
Read more at NeilPeart.net.
MacNaughtan, a four-time Juno Award winner (for RUSH, OUR LADY PEACE, Tom Cochrane and Jann Arden), had worked with RUSH as a photographer and videographer since the 1980s.
MacNaughtan travelled to Tanzania and Kenya in November 2010 with the purpose of capturing the spirit and beauty of the landscapes, wildlife and people to raise funds for the prevention, care and advocacy of children in HIV/AIDS-affected regions. The idea to use these photographs in a book was taken a step further when MacNaughtan enlisted the help of friends in the recording industry to lend poetic voice to the images. More than 30 artists including Celine Dion, Michael Bublé, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, Bryan Adams, Annie Lennox, Daniel Lanois, Hedley, Bruce Cockburn, Fefe Dobson, Ed Robertson, Jann Arden, Serena Ryder, Lights, Nikki Yanofsky and Tom Cochrane, to name a few, graciously provided commentary to photos that inspired them.
Through ArtGivesHope, a charity founded by MacNaughtan in 2006, the sales of the limited edition images and book support World Vision‘s Hope Program.
To see a sampling of the photographs, visit artgiveshope.ca.