RUSH Drummer's Tales From The Road

RUSH drummer Neil Peart has posted a lengthy message on his web site consisting mostly of tales of his travels between shows on the band's recent European tour. An excerpt follows:

"Back in April of this year, just before the 'Snakes & Arrows' tour, I did a TV interview for the Canadian music channel MuchMusic. The camera-man placed the interviewer and me in the rehearsal hall, in front of my drums, where I had been labouring for several weeks by then. Some of the interviewer's questions seemed to angle toward a certain starry-eyed view of my work, especially the touring side of it, and I tried to explain to him that I didn't consider touring, or even drumming, to be my life.

"He seemed perplexed, and to appraise me as clearly jaded and cynical, because his next question was, 'When did you start to feel that way?'

"I paused to think for a couple of seconds, then was glad to feel the mental light bulb illuminate a true and clear answer. I was able to answer honestly, 'About a month into the first tour, in 1974.' That really was when I started to feel that touring was 'not enough,' and turned to reading books as a way to make more use of the days and nights.

"Partly out of sheer contrariness, but partly out of a desire for context, I often refer to playing the drums, with deliberate disrespect, as 'the job' — hitting things with sticks. Obviously it means much more to me than that, and has been a central focus in my life. But still, it seems rather sad to hear anyone say that their work is their life.

"Not family and friends? Not reading and writing? Not hiking or cross-country skiing or bird-watching or motorcycle riding or swimming? Just work? I don't think so. Earlier in the tour, when we played in Portland, Oregon, someone in the audience had apparently seen that interview, and ventured to disagree publicly with my opinion on the subject of my life. Far back on the stage-left side of the house I saw a large sign, in big block letters, 'NP - THIS IS YOUR LIFE.' Well, thanks, but no thanks.

"Of course it's just my opinion, but to me, my life is not dedicated to the place, but to the journey, and to the hour of arriving. All the while knowing that, all too soon, there will come the hour of departing."

Read the entire message at this location.

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