Musician Ed Robertson, shown in a handout photo, worked with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson to design a Rush pinball machine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Ed Robertson

Musician Ed Robertson, shown in a handout photo, worked with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson to design a Rush pinball machine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Ed Robertson

Pinball Wizard: BNL’s Ed Robertson on how his obsession inspired Rush arcade game

Robertson got hooked on pinball in late 1980s

TORONTO — Ed Robertson and Rush have gone full-tilt on a pinball project.

The Barenaked Ladies frontman recently joined Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson to help design a series of pinball machines dedicated to their legendary Canadian rock band.

And Robertson wasn’t just any casual pinball game consultant.

Since getting hooked on pinball in the late 1980s, Robertson says he’s become an eager collector with more than 40 machines in his possession.

For the Rush models, he was enlisted by Lee to help longtime Chicago-based manufacturer Stern Pinball choose the game designer and software coders — and give Lee and Lifeson a primer on the beloved arcade games.

Together they sifted through Rush’s extensive music catalogue to pick 16 songs that play on the machines, including “Tom Sawyer,” “Subdivisions” and “The Spirit of Radio.”

The Rush pinball machine is available in three versions — a pro, premium and limited edition that’s already sold out.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2022.

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