"Roadshow", by Neil Peart
Well, it seems like the new blogging stuff is working, which is a good sign, but I'll be watching things closely for a while (here's a big shout-out to CSLA - it rocks!). You should see that comments have been enabled (!). I will be leaving them open right now, but I will be monitoring things for a deluge of spam. If it comes, I'll turn moderation on. I also have the ability to delete comments now, which is a big plus in my book.
Anyway, I just finished reading "Roadshow" a couple of days ago. Being the big Rush fan that I am, I have to admit that I'm a bit biased. That being said, this was a very enjoyable read. It was nice to read about Neil's road adventures on his motorcycle, and his insights into the band's chemistry, both on and off the stage, were even more interesting. I dog-eared this book fairly heavily - here's a couple of sections of note:
- I loved his "Doofus", "Dingus" and "Dork" names for the GPS units they had.
- His observations on all of the church signs were pretty funny.
- He talked about losing a bike bag, then getting a call from someone who found it but then he accidentally deleted the cell phone message (pg. 170). When I read that, I almost yelled out loud, "Neil, you dingus! Check your cell phone for incoming call history - that person's number would show up if it wasn't unlisted!" Maybe Neil did this, but he doesn't mention it in the book.
- On pg. 216 he describes what happened with the film version of "Ghost Rider". I had heard about this a couple of years ago and then it faded away. Looks like someone got a little too nosy...
- He talks about the first tour (Grace Under Pressure) where he used electronic drums (pg. 280) but he didn't have the rotating riser yet for some of the warm-up shows, so he had to play with his back towards the audience during some songs. I would love to see pictures of this!
- During the European tour, Alex kept giving Neil a "countdown" of how many shows they had before they played "2112".
I have read other reviews of this book where people call Neil a "whiner". Frankly, I didn't get that vibe from him at all. Yes, he does complain about his life at times, but no more than I've noticed from anybody else. Just because he is "famous" doesn't mean he doesn't experience the same frustrations and problems that other people do.
I also liked his explanations into his "shyness" and why he doesn't spend a lot times with fans. He states that he's just not comfortable in that setting and that some fans really creep him out (some of the stories he gave about "creepy fans" gave me the creeps and I'm not famous). If I'd see him at a bookstore or if I was getting gas and he drives up next to me to fill up his motorcycle, it's one thing to just go up to him and say "thanks for the music and the words." I'd definitely do that. He's been a big inspiration to me musically and lyrically (and author...i...cally, which isn't a word but that seems to fit!), and if I had the chance to tell him, I would. But that's it. I mean, really, I don't know what he's really like. There are some people I've met in life that I get along with really well, and others I'd rather not talk to again if I could. But others love to hang out with those that I'd like to avoid. That's just the way humans are. Maybe I'd get along with, maybe I wouldn't. But I wouldn't be so presumptuous to think that he'd love to start up a conversation with me out of the blue. I wouldn't be comfortable doing that either if someone came up to me in a public place, demanding my picture and whatnot.
I hope he keeps writing in the future. I'm definitely looking forward to "Snakes and Arrows", but I hope he has more books in him. So far I've enjoyed everything he's written.
* Posted at 04.19.2007 09:20:19 PM CST | Link *