Man, I did not love Rush. Until Rush was featured in the movie “I Love You, Man” – and at that, really after just one scene in particular. The 2009 bromance comedy stars Paul Rudd and Jason Segal, whose shared worship of Rush – the Canadian power trio known to them simply as The Holy Trinity – is a central plot point of the film, and which leads them to a small club performance where the scene takes place. At first innocuously amusing, Rudd and Segal’s Rush-obsessive, homoerotic demonstrations rightfully begin to freak out Rashida Jones, Rudd’s fiancée and third-wheel attendee. But oblivious to her or anyone else present, Segal proceeds to hoist the ecstatic, screaming Rudd onto his shoulders, whereupon Rudd implements the move: The Blueberry. To me, it was invented by my friend, Walt, who perfected it at countless frat parties, New Year’s galas, and just about any other gathering at which he was present. But credit Rudd for bringing it to the big screen. It happens at the 1:25 mark, at the tail end of the attached video clip, when after executing a robust air drum fill, Rudd maniacally yanks his dark sweater over his head to just above his eyes – the Blueberry effect – then seamlessly takes it to even another level by immediately slappin’ da bass and howling out the succeeding song line. It’s a 10-second tour de force – up there with Nicholson’s “Here’s Johnny!” in “The Shining,” if you ask me – and it really did distinctly alter my opinion of Rush, a band for whom I’d had little use for literally decades.
A few years later, I actually attended a Rush concert myself. Inspired, perhaps coerced, by two co-workers – Mark, aka The Wizard of MSG, and my boss at the time, Howard – who both consider Rush among their all-time favorites and whose musical opinions I hold high, I sat stage-side at Madison Square Garden for a close-up view of a Rush show that turned out to be among their final concerts ever after 40-plus years as a band. Was I impressed and did I enjoy it? Absolutely, yes and yes, far more than I’d expected. But more importantly, did I emulate Rudd and execute the Rush Blueberry? Sadly, no. But I’m not really sure Howard was up for putting me on his shoulders anyway.