My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Well, I suppose I eventually had to be done savoring this one. Neil Peart died on January 7th and I still had this unread on my shelf. There are three more travelogue/memoirs that I must find but for now, I say goodbye with this one. With the backdrops of Rush’s R30 tour and the countrysides he rode through on his motorcycle, Peart’s prosaic skill rolls smoothly, if punctuated with stops of interests. I have thought that Peart saw a lot – he rode more than 200,000 miles on his motorcycle as of that writing – but he seemed to only observe the things that mattered to him. I can appreciate that. I’ve found myself doing much the same in the past 20 or so years. And as with his previous books he recounts some of those observations here. I flagged several dozen lines and passages, and as is usual, I’ll have to sift for what I share here … his chapters are long! … but I’ll start with the first few paragraphs of his epilogue “on with the story”:
On a tour of fifty-seven shows, in nine countries, I played in front of 544,525 people, and went through 257 pairs of drumsticks, one 20-inch cymbal, three 18-inch cymbals, six 16-inch cymbals, two China cymbals, fifteen drumheads, 21,000 motorcycle miles, nineteen countries, twelve oil changes, five sets of tires, one lost luggage case (including Patek Philippe watch and Cartier engagement ring – as Michael suspected, my fickle Good Samaritan must have found them and changed his mind; he never did call back), thirty-four bottles of The Macallan (my riding partners helped), four cartons of Red Apples (ditto), 18,617 words of journal notes, an immeasurable outpouring of physical and mental energy, and an undetermined amount of hearing loss.
I celebrated my fifty-second birthday, almost forty years of drumming, thirty years of making music with Rush, twenty years of bicycling, ten years and almost 200,000 miles of motorcycling, and four years of marriage.
I laughed, I cried, I ached, I sweated, I despaired, I was joyful, I was miserable, I hated it, I loved it, I made friends, I made enemies, I made music, I made gas money, I made time to live and love.
Still confounds me that a man who thinks the way he does, reads what he does, appreciates the finer things of life – The Macallan! – can smoke “Red Apples”, but it was his life and not mine. Continue reading