The Big Unit: Wide Angle Watcher


Back when I worked as a disc jockey I’d rarely take requests. And even if I did, I’d never play Rush songs. But since this story went up over at on May 22, approximately 2,112 of you have tweeted it or emailed it to me. So fine, here it is: Hall of Famer Randy Johnson is a photographer. Yes, we’ve known that for a while. But he’s also Rush’s photographer:

He slithers on the ground like a snake, looking for the perfect shot. He does this while remaining relatively unnoticed by more than 13,000 fans who have gathered at this Austin amphitheater, site of yet another performance by the legendary band Rush, currently on tour and celebrating its 40th year together.

I sorta feel like it’d be better for Johnson to be the Rolling Stones’ photographer given that both he and them were once amazing but have since lost their fastballs while Rush never had one to begin with. Maybe Rush’s photographer should be Jamie Moyer or something. But good for all of them. I am led to understand that they are nice guys and, as everyone says whenever I mention Rush, yes, I know they are big baseball fans, particularly Geddy. I reiterate: good for all of them. I mean them no personal ill.

But this is fun:

“I’ve learned how to be a 6-foot-10 ninja,” Johnson said a couple hours before Rush began its nearly three-hour set.

Was it ninjas or samurais who killed themselves if they were defeated? Just something I feel like Johnson should know as he enters the third hour of a Rush show. The sweet release of the blade may help him out immensely in such an instance.

But really, Johnson is ahead of the game here. He’s actually being paid to listen to Rush while all of you Rush dead-enders who fill my mentions whenever I drop Rush truth bombs are actually parting with U.S. and Canadian coin for the privilege. But whatever he’s making is probably not enough. They’d have to match the $32 million extension the Yankees gave Johnson to agree to work with them to make it worth my while.

And even then, if I did it, I’d do it grim-faced and forbidding. My face closed tight.