Neil Peart and Motorcycles

I saw a couple of books about motorcycle touring. Since I am now retired, this is something that I was hoping to spend some time doing, riding my motorcycle.

I purchased three books by Neil Peart. For those that do not know the name, Neil Peart is the drummer for the rock group Rush.

The first book I read was Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road. This was written about his travels after his daughter and wife passed away. His daughter was killed in a car accident. Several months later, his wife was diagnosed with cancer and passed away, or was it that she died from a broken heart? Guess you have to decide. The trip was to help him “heal”. He shares insights in his life, their lives, and eventually, where he goes from there.

Next was Roadshow: Landscape with Drums – A Concert Tour by Motorcycle. This book was written about/during Rush’s 30th Anniversary Tour. This gave an closer look into the life of a drummer.

The last book in the trio I purchased was Far and Away: A Prize Every Time. This was written in short excerpts from his blog. As of writing this post, I haven’t finished this book. I am a slow reader, get over it!

OK, so what has Neil Peart taught me?

First, I have only known Rush for a couple of songs, but never really got “into” their music. Reading his books, I have started listening to Rush and paying a bit more attention to their music, paying particular attention to the drums.

Second, I have never really been interested in adventure touring. I have thought of this as more of just back woods dirt riding. Since I ride a touring Harley, dirt and gravel roads are not roads that I enjoy, much less look to ride on. His stories share the challenges, views (scenic and personal), and fun from riding deserted roads, many of which are unpaved.

Third, I have assumed that for musicians, the music just came naturally. Yeah, they have a sound check to make sure everything is right, and those that dance around on stage were rather physically fit. But never expected the drummer to have to deal with being physically fit, nor being physically tired after a show. My thought was how hard is it to keep beat on a drum. Between reading his books and listening to his music, he doesn’t take playing the drums as just keeping a beat for the rest of the band. He gets into it, and take pride in it.

Now, I am not musically inclined. I admit it. Anyone who has heard me sing will confirm that I was not gifted with a pleasant voice. Anyone who has seen me dance will confirm that I cannot keep time and my body is not tuned to dance. I have tried to learn a couple of instruments, but nothing comes to me naturally. The more I practice, it seems that I get worse. My music teacher in middle school took my instrument away because I was torturing it. (It was a brass instrument, so that really took some work.) However, I am learning to appreciate others that do have a musical ability and the music that they play (I would rather say music they WORK).

I recently upgraded my 2008 Road Glide to a new Ultra Glide. Nicer sound system, which can be piped through the helmet speakers to not offend surrounding traffic, and much more pleasant for long distance travel. Being retired, I don’t have as much of an excuse to keep me from riding. With the nicer sound system, I guess I need to get some Rush albums or CD’s to enjoy on those trips.

Who knows, maybe a BMW GS is in my future?

Thanks Neil, Brutus, and Michael. I hope to follow in your dust.

Keep the shiny side up.

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