Thirty five concerts. Seventeen thousand motorcycle miles. Three months. One lifetime. In May 2015 the veteran Canadian rock trio Rush embarked on their 40th anniversary tour, R40. For the band and their fans, R40 was a celebration and, perhaps, a farewell. But for Neil Peart, each tour is more than just a string of concerts; it's an opportunity to explore backroads near and far on his BMW motorcycle. So if this was to be the last tour and the last great adventure, he decided it would have to be the best one, onstage and off.
In less than a year, Neil Peart lost both his 19-year-old daughter, Selena, and his wife, Jackie. Faced with overwhelming sadness and isolated from the world in his home on the lake, Peart was left without direction. That lack of direction lead him on a 55,000 mile journey by motorcycle across much of North America, down through Mexico to Belize, and back again.
"Not happy, but fascinating"
Following in the tradition of Ghost Rider and Traveling Music, Rush drummer Neil Peart relates nearly four years of band tours, road trips, and personal discoveries in this introspective travelogue. From the ups and downs of a professional artist to the birth of a child, this revealing narrative recounts 22 adventures from rock's foremost drummer, biker enthusiast, husband, and father.
The music of Frank Sinatra, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, and many other artists provides the score to the reflections of a musician on the road in this memoir of Neil Peart's travels from Los Angeles to Big Bend National Park. The emotional associations and stories behind each album Peart plays guide his recollections of his childhood on Lake Ontario, the first bands that he performed with, and his travels with the band Rush. The evocative and resonant writing vividly captures the meanderings of a musical mind, leading rock enthusiasts to discover inside information about Rush and the musical inspirations of a rock legend.
"'Bout time you let us in a bit further!"
It was a world of airships and alchemy; clockwork carnivals; pirates; lost cities; a rigid Watchmaker who controlled every aspect of life; and his nemesis, the ruthless and violent Anarchist, who wanted to destroy it all. Anderson and Peart have returned to their colourful creation to explore the places and the characters that still have a hold on their imaginations.
"Better than the original?"
For 30 years, drummer, author, and songwriter Neil Peart had wanted to write a book about "the biggest journey of all in my restless existence: the life of a touring musician." Finally, the right time, and the right tour. In the summer of 2004, after three decades, 20 gold albums, and thousands of performances spanning four continents, the band Rush embarked on a celebratory 30th Anniversary World Tour. The "R30" tour traveled to nine countries, where the band performed 57 shows in front of more than half a million fans. Uniquely, Peart chose to do his between-show traveling by motorcycle, riding 21,000 miles of back roads.
"Enjoyable, even for a non-fan of Rush"
The prolific drummer for the rock band Rush travels through African villages, both large and small, and relates his story through journal entries and tales of adventure, while simultaneously addressing issues such as differences in culture, psychology, and labels. Literary and artistic sidekicks such as Aristotle, Dante, and Van Gogh join Peart and his cycling companions, reminding the listener that this is not just another travel book - it is a story of both external and introspective discovery and adventure.
Whether navigating the backroads of Louisiana or Thuringia, exploring the snowy Quebec woods, or performing onstage at Rush concerts, Neil Peart has stories to tell. His first volume in this series, Far and Away, combined words and images to form an intimate, insightful narrative that won many fans. Now Far and Near brings together reflections from another three years of an artist's life.
"Not my Favorite but I liked it. "