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Neil Peart decided to drive his BMW Z-8 automobile from L.A. to Big Bend National Park, in Southwest Texas. As he sped along “between the gas-gulping SUVs and asthmatic Japanese compacts clumping in the left lane, and the roaring, straining semis in the right,” he acted as his own DJ, lining up the CDs chronologically and according to his possible moods. “Not only did the Neil Peart decided to drive his BMW Z-8 automobile from L.A. to Big Bend National Park, in Southwest Texas. As he sped along “between the gas-gulping SUVs and asthmatic Japanese compacts clumping in the left lane, and the roaring, straining semis in the right,” he acted as his own DJ, lining up the CDs chronologically and according to his possible moods. “Not only did the music I listened to accompany my journey, but it also took me on sidetrips, through memory and fractals of associations, threads reaching back through my whole life in ways I had forgotten, or had never suspected.… Sifting through those decades and those memories, I realized that I wasn’t interested in recounting the facts of my life in purely autobiographical terms, but rather … in trying to unweave the fabric of my life and times. As one who was never much interested in looking back, because always too busy moving forward, I found that once I opened those doors to the past, I became fascinated with the times and their effect on me. The songs and the stories I had taken for granted suddenly had a resonance that had clearly echoed down the corridors of my entire life, and I felt a thrill of recognition, and the sense of a kind of adventure. A travel story, but not so much about places, but about music and memories.”


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Neil Peart decided to drive his BMW Z-8 automobile from L.A. to Big Bend National Park, in Southwest Texas. As he sped along “between the gas-gulping SUVs and asthmatic Japanese compacts clumping in the left lane, and the roaring, straining semis in the right,” he acted as his own DJ, lining up the CDs chronologically and according to his possible moods. “Not only did the Neil Peart decided to drive his BMW Z-8 automobile from L.A. to Big Bend National Park, in Southwest Texas. As he sped along “between the gas-gulping SUVs and asthmatic Japanese compacts clumping in the left lane, and the roaring, straining semis in the right,” he acted as his own DJ, lining up the CDs chronologically and according to his possible moods. “Not only did the music I listened to accompany my journey, but it also took me on sidetrips, through memory and fractals of associations, threads reaching back through my whole life in ways I had forgotten, or had never suspected.… Sifting through those decades and those memories, I realized that I wasn’t interested in recounting the facts of my life in purely autobiographical terms, but rather … in trying to unweave the fabric of my life and times. As one who was never much interested in looking back, because always too busy moving forward, I found that once I opened those doors to the past, I became fascinated with the times and their effect on me. The songs and the stories I had taken for granted suddenly had a resonance that had clearly echoed down the corridors of my entire life, and I felt a thrill of recognition, and the sense of a kind of adventure. A travel story, but not so much about places, but about music and memories.”

30 review for Traveling Music: The Soundtrack to My Life and Times

  1. 4 out of 5

    J.K. Grice

    Sometimes I think about the diverse styles of music that have influenced me and added such joy to my life. I have a pretty eclectic range of interests and tastes. If I were to make a list of must have CD's for a long road trip, the artists I would choose would include Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Ink Spots, Warren Zevon, Lord Huron, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bob James, The Bottle Rockets, Frank Sinatra, The Steve Miller Band, and Ray Charles. That's not a definitive list for me, but it would defin Sometimes I think about the diverse styles of music that have influenced me and added such joy to my life. I have a pretty eclectic range of interests and tastes. If I were to make a list of must have CD's for a long road trip, the artists I would choose would include Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Ink Spots, Warren Zevon, Lord Huron, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bob James, The Bottle Rockets, Frank Sinatra, The Steve Miller Band, and Ray Charles. That's not a definitive list for me, but it would definitely fit the bill for many miles of wonderful listening pleasure, albeit in very different forms. There was a time when I drove from place to place with the radio always on, or a tape or CD playing. As I've grown older, I often just drive in silence, even during longer trips. Occasionally I have referred to the wonderful sounds of Lord Huron as "music I listen to when I don't really care to listen to any music." So my love of music has gone back to my childhood and adolescence, just like it did for the extraordinary drummer of RUSH, Neil Peart. In TRAVELING MUSIC, he explores his love, fascination, and philosophies on life and music. Peart even quit high school to focus on becoming a full time musician. However, Peart wasn't your average high school drop-out; he was a genius. He was incredibly well read, well spoken, and just a life long learner in every imaginable way. When I first started reading this book, I discovered that Neil Peart passed away in January of 2020 at the age of 67. I was deeply saddened and surprised by this news. The only RUSH album I own is a greatest hits compilation, but I've always thought they were just an outstanding band with very gifted members. TRAVELING MUSIC is a fantastic read as a history, a memoir, a personal reflection, a travel log, and more. What a superb book indeed.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I enjoyed this book. The writing was good and the read was easy. Neil, as you probably know is the drummer for the band Rush. He has always had difficulty with intrusive fans and I understand why. Please indulge me as I relate some personal experiences to help explain why. I was at a John Denver concert and couldn't wait to intermission to pee, so I went to the men's room to relieve myself and seconds after I entered, in came Charlie Pride who bellied up to a urinal a couple of slots to my left. I enjoyed this book. The writing was good and the read was easy. Neil, as you probably know is the drummer for the band Rush. He has always had difficulty with intrusive fans and I understand why. Please indulge me as I relate some personal experiences to help explain why. I was at a John Denver concert and couldn't wait to intermission to pee, so I went to the men's room to relieve myself and seconds after I entered, in came Charlie Pride who bellied up to a urinal a couple of slots to my left. I guess he couldn't wait either. He said to me: "Great show isn't it?" I said, "Yeah, I love John's music." Then in came another dude who recognized the country singer and ask for his autograph. There is Charlie Pride, facing the wall with his dick in his hand and this asshole asks him for an autograph. Another time I was in the waiting room at a hospital when Johnny Cash came in to use the pay phone. I knew who he was but I didn't say a word. I gave him his personal space. Another time, I was in a pizza place in a small town in Tennessee waiting for my "to go" order when in walked Conway Twitty. As he passed me, I just said, "Hello Mr. Jenkins." Conway's real name was Harold Jenkins. He looked at me with a bit of surprise and said "Hi." We were the only customers, and nothing else was said. It is my belief that when a star is not performing, they are just another person and should be left in peace. Neil felt that way too. He did not intend to be rude, he just wanted to be "a guy" not a star when he wasn't working. His traveling, usually on a BMW motorcycle, was a way to escape the press of fame and just be a guy. Cool. Another little bit of personal info.....my two eldest sons and I are going to see Rush this May. I already have the tickets. For whatever reason, I didn't get into Rush until I was aged 62 years. You may wonder how old I am now......62. It's a good book.......Michael

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lib

    What's better than music, books, nature, and travel? Listening to Neil Peart talk adoringly about music, books, nature, and travel. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Wish I could have shaken his hand and told him so.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    This was an enjoyable crazy quilt of a memoir. Three and a half stars. I said it before and I’ll say it again, Neil Peart could write. This book covers Peart’s life in non-chronological order while baking in his thoughts about the music of his life using the framing device of a road trip through the American Southwest. He jumped around so much that I almost got lost at times. “Wait! Is he back cycling in Africa?” This is not a perfect memoir, but it covers things in a pretty entertaining manner. This was an enjoyable crazy quilt of a memoir. Three and a half stars. I said it before and I’ll say it again, Neil Peart could write. This book covers Peart’s life in non-chronological order while baking in his thoughts about the music of his life using the framing device of a road trip through the American Southwest. He jumped around so much that I almost got lost at times. “Wait! Is he back cycling in Africa?” This is not a perfect memoir, but it covers things in a pretty entertaining manner. I don’t agree with him about everything, but Neil Peart was a very thoughtful, literate, and interesting guy. I wish he were still with us. I’ve never really been a Rush fan. I imagine it would mean a lot more if I were. Definitely worth my time.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lance

    Great book. Listen to the music as it is mentioned. Very interesting that way.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cashmere

    A good read and an interesting book. It's hard to imagine reading this book without already being familiar with the author from his work in Rush. I've been a Rush fan since my early teenage years, and I will not deny that Peart's untimely recent passing was part of what prompted me to read this now. Anyhow, prior to this, I had only read Peart's "Ghost Rider" book (a moving book about loss), but this one was always vaguely in my mind's "To Read" list. Sadly, it took Peart's passing to actually mak A good read and an interesting book. It's hard to imagine reading this book without already being familiar with the author from his work in Rush. I've been a Rush fan since my early teenage years, and I will not deny that Peart's untimely recent passing was part of what prompted me to read this now. Anyhow, prior to this, I had only read Peart's "Ghost Rider" book (a moving book about loss), but this one was always vaguely in my mind's "To Read" list. Sadly, it took Peart's passing to actually make that happen. I've always had a curiosity as to what the musicians that I like to listen to, in turn listen to themselves as they go about their lives. Not necessarily who they themselves admire and respect as musicians, but specifically what albums do they listen to when they choose to listen to music as they go about their days. Sure, you can hunt down and often find "so-and-so's list of top 10 favorite albums," etc., perhaps even with brief paragraphs explaining as to why (making it more than "just a list.") but that's not enough of what I was looking for. With this book, Peart gave me what I was seeking. And what did Neil Peart listen to? I won't give away all the surprises, but I can't help but to share some of them. Frank Sinatra, which is not so surprising, but Madonna?! The "boy band" 98 Degrees?! I don't think that I ever would have picked those two as artists that Peart would have listened to by choice, let alone seen in concert, but he certainly did! And he also explains why, and why he liked them. I must say that I was a little surprised that Peart never became an intensely great fan of jazz itself. Sure, he loves Buddy Rich (and Gene Krupa and other jazz drummers) as musicians, but he admits to never being a very serious fan of jazz or classical music. That kind of surprised me as Rush were certainly one of my true "gateway" bands, and in that way, Rush lead me to some even more indulgent (and obscure) progressive rock and eventually jazz -- two genres of which I am a big fan. Peart also elaborates on a great artistic lesson that he has expressed in Rush lyrics and, by example, in himself: art of quality is borne out of sincere intention ("Closer To the Heart") more than anything else. I have to agree and I think that this was one of the great lessons that I took from Rush, especially as a formative teenager..... and I am very glad that I did. I shudder to think what directions my life may have taken had I strayed from that integrity. I truly feel blessed to have -- for the most part -- been able to pursue my passions (in terms of work and hobbies) with integrity. Rush certainly played a role in teaching me how to do that. But I am digressing from my review of this good book. In it, Peart gets autobiographical and we learn about some of his childhood (working at Lakeside Park, for example) and his years spent living in England. The fact that he moved to London for a few years (where he first discovered Ayn Rand's writing) is legendary, and I was fascinated to learn more about how that came about and more details of his time spent there. But Peart's look into his past and the travelogue aspect of this book are all reason for him to talk about music, and what he has enjoyed listening to, both in the past and at the time of writing. At one point, the book itself digresses into details of one of his bicycle trips in Africa. That's fine, and certainly interesting reading, but it felt a bit out of place as it does not cover his musical listening as much as I would have expected, given the rest of the book. In fact, though I have not (yet) read it, I thought his earlier "Masked Rider" book was all about bicycle touring in Africa -- why then interject that again here, especially when music, though touched on a little in that section of this book, is so conspicuously absent? Peart clearly had some challenges editing this book, and he discusses a bit how it all came together with his editor at the very end. I did find it a bit choppy, almost like it was put together somewhat randomly, though of course I know it was not. Overall though, I did like this book and I look forward to reading another one of his books in the future. As I type this, it is available in print as a physical book, an eBook, and as an audiobook on Audible.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Really enjoyed this one. Interesting mix of autobiography and music critique. (I'll even forgive him for being a 98 Degrees fan.)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jason Collins

    Peart uses a automobile roadtrip as his usual mobile setting to unload his thoughts on just about everything....but mainly music. As always, Peart's writing is great to read. Of all Peart's literary works, this one is the least structured, which is OK. Peart gives his opinions many topics - and readers may not agree with everything he has to say. I took issue with his diatribes against Elvis and the Beatles. In several chapters, Peart asserts that the Beach Boys were greater than the Beatles. And Peart uses a automobile roadtrip as his usual mobile setting to unload his thoughts on just about everything....but mainly music. As always, Peart's writing is great to read. Of all Peart's literary works, this one is the least structured, which is OK. Peart gives his opinions many topics - and readers may not agree with everything he has to say. I took issue with his diatribes against Elvis and the Beatles. In several chapters, Peart asserts that the Beach Boys were greater than the Beatles. And at one point, he claims that Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is a ripoff of the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds." At, that I had to respond, "take a step back, Neil." Still, I enjoyed reading this book so much that I forgave some of his questionable opinions. Early chapters which cover his days as a young drummer trying to make it in the British rock scene provide details of his life that many Rush fans weren't privy to before this book's release.

  9. 4 out of 5

    David

    As a drummer myself, and occasional lyricist/writer, Neil Peart is certainly a major hero and I enjoyed a lot of the writing in this book. I was surprised and happy to find he digs Limp Bizkit but mortified by his broad swipe at The Beatles, the greatest band of all time for me and so many others. You have to accept these differences of opinion, just like talking about sports teams, religion or politics - it makes Neil real and I'm sure he'd be happy to know that it took the shine off his hero s As a drummer myself, and occasional lyricist/writer, Neil Peart is certainly a major hero and I enjoyed a lot of the writing in this book. I was surprised and happy to find he digs Limp Bizkit but mortified by his broad swipe at The Beatles, the greatest band of all time for me and so many others. You have to accept these differences of opinion, just like talking about sports teams, religion or politics - it makes Neil real and I'm sure he'd be happy to know that it took the shine off his hero status for me. Still a great, great drummer, close to the best in rock history, and a good and dedicated writer too. I can't get away from the fact that, as a fan, I want to read just about anything he writes regardless.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Previous TCL Reviews

    What’s life without road trips? What is a road trip without the right music? Neil Peart, the drummer for the rock band Rush, takes us on a trip from Los Angeles, California to Big Bend National Park in Texas and back. What does a famous musician and lyricist listen to on a road trip? It made me stop and think why I choose the music that I do and what it means to me. Traveling Music takes Neil, and the reader, back to the past, through the present and on to the future all along the long road to T What’s life without road trips? What is a road trip without the right music? Neil Peart, the drummer for the rock band Rush, takes us on a trip from Los Angeles, California to Big Bend National Park in Texas and back. What does a famous musician and lyricist listen to on a road trip? It made me stop and think why I choose the music that I do and what it means to me. Traveling Music takes Neil, and the reader, back to the past, through the present and on to the future all along the long road to Texas. Teton County Library Call No: 786.9166092 PEART Written by: Mark Abetz

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Waltersdorf

    In 2003, celebrated Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart took a week-long road trip from his house in Santa Monica to Big Bend National Park in Texas. He loaded a stack of CDs (remember those?) into the trunk of his BMW, and his accompanying soundtrack and the road trip become the spine of a travelogue, in history of the American Southwest, and of Neil's musical formation. A musical omnivore, his album listing varies from Frank Sinatra to Linkin Park, Patsy Cline to The Tragically Hip, Madonna to In 2003, celebrated Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart took a week-long road trip from his house in Santa Monica to Big Bend National Park in Texas. He loaded a stack of CDs (remember those?) into the trunk of his BMW, and his accompanying soundtrack and the road trip become the spine of a travelogue, in history of the American Southwest, and of Neil's musical formation. A musical omnivore, his album listing varies from Frank Sinatra to Linkin Park, Patsy Cline to The Tragically Hip, Madonna to Mariachi Cobre to The Beach Boys. He takes something musically from each of them, if even just an appreciation of their artistry. Interestingly, his tastes don't seem to extend to other musicians of the progressive genre. There are namechecks of Yes and Genesis, and some kind words about Porcupine Tree, but no mention of bands like Dream Theater or Spock's Beard. There are autobiographical stories of Neil's musical education growing up in St. Catherine's, Ontario, playing in hometown bands, and leaving for London to try to "make it big." He leaves most of his Rush stories presumably for his next book, Roadshow: Landscape With Drums. With Neil's passing earlier this year, this helped me understand more about this cerebral, intense, and private person, and one of my personal heroes.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This is the third book I've read by Neil Peart, the drummer of my favorite band, who sadly passed away this past January. While all of his books are autobiographical non-fiction works, the previous two that I read, Masked Rider and Ghost Rider, deal with one very specific time in Peart's life. By contrast, this book mostly toggles back and forth between a recent (at the time of the writing) road trip and the story of his life from birth until the time he joined Rush, with some later episodes tou This is the third book I've read by Neil Peart, the drummer of my favorite band, who sadly passed away this past January. While all of his books are autobiographical non-fiction works, the previous two that I read, Masked Rider and Ghost Rider, deal with one very specific time in Peart's life. By contrast, this book mostly toggles back and forth between a recent (at the time of the writing) road trip and the story of his life from birth until the time he joined Rush, with some later episodes touched upon, as well. In that sense, it is the book of his that reads most like an autobiography and that was what I enjoyed most about it. Peart was a very private man in his public face, yet in his books-- especially this one-- he is willing to reveal many details of his life. But this is no pure autobiography; rather he uses the telling of his history as a backdrop to discuss how his taste in music has grown and evolved. This makes for a rather fascinating read about a musician who I have always greatly admired. While I don't agree with all of his musical opinions (he was way too dismissive of The Beatles for me) I certainly appreciate the passion with which he writes about music and the informed place that he is coming from. While I think this book would most resonate with his fans, really any music lover would find things of interest within these pages.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    Part autobiography , part travelogue, part discussion of music in his life. The strands are woven together into a masterpiece. I came to this book late, sadly to late, prompted by the authors death earlier this year. Yet this is timeless, and is suitable to be picked up at any time. He brings his love of travelling by motor bike ( and in some cases by car or cycle) into a description of the miles - good and bad - travelled, mainly around the south western USA, but also on punishing cycle tours i Part autobiography , part travelogue, part discussion of music in his life. The strands are woven together into a masterpiece. I came to this book late, sadly to late, prompted by the authors death earlier this year. Yet this is timeless, and is suitable to be picked up at any time. He brings his love of travelling by motor bike ( and in some cases by car or cycle) into a description of the miles - good and bad - travelled, mainly around the south western USA, but also on punishing cycle tours in Africa. Musically, his tastes cover from Sinatra to Linkin Park, and everything in between. In particular, discussion and praise or otherwise about the drummers technique, and what he learned from it. Finally, Neil traces his story back to childhood, through learning to play, and moving to London where he struggles for some time to find employment as a drummer, before giving up and returning to Canada, and as luck would have it, be approached by the other members of Rush. All in all a wonderful read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    JackTorrance42

    Let's talk about the fact that Neil Peart is as excellent a writer as he is a drummer. As he discusses the music that shaped his life, a topic which, when handled incorrectly can be extremely mundane, he pulls the reader into his mind extremely well. The novel, like his previous, pulls back the curtain on his exterior as a wonderful musician and drummer, only to reveal: That he's one of the best, most accomplished people on the planet in almost every way possible. (He doesn't have any science adv Let's talk about the fact that Neil Peart is as excellent a writer as he is a drummer. As he discusses the music that shaped his life, a topic which, when handled incorrectly can be extremely mundane, he pulls the reader into his mind extremely well. The novel, like his previous, pulls back the curtain on his exterior as a wonderful musician and drummer, only to reveal: That he's one of the best, most accomplished people on the planet in almost every way possible. (He doesn't have any science advancements behind his belt, and that's about it) He's a wonderful person, the book is wonderful, his childhood feels familiar to many, and it will introduce you to the fact that you can do anything with your life. He's only where he is because he practiced the drums a lot. You can be there too.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Coral Montero

    You can tell Neil is a very well read man and of course, as a good writer, he keeps diaries of his travels where he must have described the landscapes and places he visited while traveling on his motorcycle or car. He also has a vast collection of musical imagery and shows us a more human side, when he says that he likes bands like 98 degrees, or even Madonna. Because great musicians recognise quality no matter where, or if it is done by someone "categorised" completely different to thm. I enjoyed You can tell Neil is a very well read man and of course, as a good writer, he keeps diaries of his travels where he must have described the landscapes and places he visited while traveling on his motorcycle or car. He also has a vast collection of musical imagery and shows us a more human side, when he says that he likes bands like 98 degrees, or even Madonna. Because great musicians recognise quality no matter where, or if it is done by someone "categorised" completely different to thm. I enjoyed this book, it was a light easy ride. I decided to read it when Neil died and reading it, was like hearing his voice and getting to know him a bit better. Rush has been a favourite band of mine for a very long time, and will continue to be in my music collection.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Joseph Borreggine

    A great book...read back about 10 years ago and then just listened on Audible. Love it. A biography, but accented with his traveling music and stories about his life and times as related to the music on a road trip to Great Bend National Park. Also brought in some anecdotal prose about a bike trip in Africa in the early 90’s (not from Masked Rider). He used his chapters like a musical score. A symphony of words that not only entertains the reader, but educates them as well about NEP’s 51 years o A great book...read back about 10 years ago and then just listened on Audible. Love it. A biography, but accented with his traveling music and stories about his life and times as related to the music on a road trip to Great Bend National Park. Also brought in some anecdotal prose about a bike trip in Africa in the early 90’s (not from Masked Rider). He used his chapters like a musical score. A symphony of words that not only entertains the reader, but educates them as well about NEP’s 51 years of life. A prefect compliment to any library who is a RUSH fan.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michael Steeves

    More of an autobiography, with a lot of focus on musical evolution (in taste). This book is probably as close as we're ever going to get to an autobiography from Neil. It goes into his life, and the path he took to get to Rush. It covers his evolution in his musical tastes, and each "era" in his life the music he listens to acts as a touchstone. Interesting and showing a continued growth and maturing as a writer, but also probably only of great interest to die-hard fans.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Doug Gann

    I'm not a big Rush fan, but I'm a big fan of Neal's books. This is the 3rd one I have read and enjoyed all of them. Neal is an excellent writer and makes you think, comes across as a very decent person. Plus with this one, I took his music recommendations and bought some new music. Mel Torme and Buddy Rich - Together Again for the First Time (Excellent), Mickey Hart - Mystery Box (Very Good), Mariachi Cobre (Very Good) and a few more on the way.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michele Liston

    Really love Neil Peart's books - for someone so introverted he shares so much of himself in his books. Being on a year long road trip right now made this book particularly appropriate to me. Loved how he intertwined his Traveling Music with stories from his life as well as demonstrating how much he really knows and appreciates all kinds of music. Sinatra - who knew?

  20. 4 out of 5

    pianogal

    This was a good read. It was a nice combination of travel + personal history. Plus I liked hearing about all of Neil's musical picks. I don't think we would have agreed on everything - for instance, N'Sync is WAY better than 98 Degrees. Seriously. (lol) Can't wait to get the next one of his about the band and the tour.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Steven Shinder

    At times, Traveling Music felt a little listy when it came to music that Neil loves. And we do have different opinions of certain things. But I did enjoy how in-depth he was about his life experiences, including when he was abroad in England, an experience to which I can relate a bit. And, of course, he touches upon his work with Rush, which is always good.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Absolutely loved this book. I love road trips and a good playlist to keep you company. Neil was such a down to earth guy and a true life long learner! Looking forward to several of his other stories from the road.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joe Schilp

    A great lyricist has become a great writer. Neil can really tell stories.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brad Madsen

    Peart is a gifted writer.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Interesting. Well written. He just comes across as trying REALLY hard to sound like an intellectual.

  26. 4 out of 5

    David Dietrich

    The great ones live eternally through their art and creations, and Neil was no exception. This is good stuff.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rob Bottass

    This is the third book I've read by Peart, the drummer and lyricist of the rock band RUSH. His foundations in music and how it shaped his life's course are insightful. Lots of great music suggestions for me. Plenty of interesting adventures, characters and stories from his life on the road. If you know even a little about the band, enjoy travel and music, this is a recommended read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Love Rush love Neil just did not care for this. Nice to hear his thoughts about certain music and musicians but I'm finding with all his books he wants to share what he saw what he talked about who he talked to etc but much of the time it general statements with no insight into who he was.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jim Razinha

    I found this and another Peart memoir in a used book store and snapped them up because I really like his writing. Interesting format, this...Peart says "Since childhood, music has had the power to carry me away, and this is a song about some of the places it has carried me." Interwoven with the songs he loaded into his CD changer on a solo road trip in 2003 from California to Big Bend National Park in Texas (and back), this is part playlist, part memoir. He talks about the songs he chose, sharin I found this and another Peart memoir in a used book store and snapped them up because I really like his writing. Interesting format, this...Peart says "Since childhood, music has had the power to carry me away, and this is a song about some of the places it has carried me." Interwoven with the songs he loaded into his CD changer on a solo road trip in 2003 from California to Big Bend National Park in Texas (and back), this is part playlist, part memoir. He talks about the songs he chose, sharing the history of the music and his history with them. And he talks about other extraneous experiences, musical and non...cycling in Africa, motorcycling between gigs in America. There is a lot here that speaks to me...when young, he wanted something exciting to talk about at the family dinner table, and "I guess I spent the rest of my life making sure I always had something to talk about [...]" and a later observation that ties to that:How could anyone ever be bored in this world, when there was so much to be interested in, to learn, to contemplate? It seemed to me that knowledge was actually fun, in the sense of being entertaining...So true! How could anyone ever be bored? (I cringe when I hear that word...and fell sorry for the lack of imagination that allows it to be said.) Apart from one specific ... act...he has interesting and eclectic tastes in music, and I liked reading about how he came to enjoy Sinatra, Gene Krupa, the Beach Boys, Dusty Springfield, and more. How he held little appreciation for groups like the Rolling Stones who only pretended to be rebels because they conceded to changing their lyrics on the Ed Sullivan Show where The Doors, who were true rebels, refused to change their line in "Light My Fire" about the girl getting "much higher" (and were subsequently banned.) How he saw Woody Herman in a backwoods restaurant gig in the decline of his life, having to play those gigs because of IRS troubles. How he got rid of all of his vinyl LPs, holding onto maybe 100 of his treasures (I did the same, losing my 100 or so treasures to a fire in 2013...) Reading how he hears Sinatra on Watertown is something I sadly can never seem to get (but I appreciate any insight to help me try):Sinatra's subtle, sincere expression of that character's life carried all the emotional subtext Jake Holmes had woven into the lyrics so skillfully, reinforced by Bob Gaudio, Charles Callelo, and Joe Scott. For this listener, Watertown had more than stood the test of time, it had grown stronger, and remained not only a personal classic (the whole album perfect for in-helmet singing on a long bicycle or motorcycle ride), but also a great American work of art.Okay, now I have to go find it and listen to it! I most likely won't have the same reaction, but who knows? Same as with both Moby Grape and The Grateful Dead's eponymous debut albums: I've never listened to Moby Grape and could never get into The Dead, but now I'm going to give them a shot. Same as with Dusty Springfield's Dusty in Memphis...Peart piqued my curiosity. He likes The Macallan...bonus points for that. He also ...and it hurts to type this...likes..I can't say it...{cringe} ...Coldplay. Major points subtracted for that. Something to ponder (on Jann Wenner on George Martin - the Beatles Martin - commenting on Brian Wilson...Wenner in the negative, Martin, the opposite):Everyone's personal opinion is worth the same, in religion, music, and politics, but some expert opinions are definitely more informed, more reflective, and more valuable.I would say, probably on informed, possibly on reflective, but highly debatable on valuable. And on his reviews of his own performance, he asks himself What would I think of this if it wasn't me? I keep seeing five-star rating "reviews" from authors on their own books and wonder if they've ever asked themselves that question! So many well turned phrases pepper the text, one in particular I'll share. When talking about Pasty Cline's Heartaches collection album and a wandering soul slave to a sound of an "outward bound"And what a sound that is, too, the distant blare of a train's horn dopplering away in the night, and it echoing right back to my own childhood and all the way forward.So, I have music to explore, and another book to read in a little while. I'll thank Mr. Peart for the tacit recommendations.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Scott Allen Reid

    I met Neil Peart backstage at the Roll the Bones concert in Cleveland, Ohio (circa 1991). This is a true story and I may edit this review and tell more of it someday. Conducting a sociological study on the backstage area at rock concerts, my colleague and I ended up backstage with Geddy (what a nice guy!), Alex, and Neil. Prior to this we sat in a small tuning room with Geddy's bass guitars, including the famous blue Rickenbacker. A bass player himself, my colleague Jon picked up the rick and pl I met Neil Peart backstage at the Roll the Bones concert in Cleveland, Ohio (circa 1991). This is a true story and I may edit this review and tell more of it someday. Conducting a sociological study on the backstage area at rock concerts, my colleague and I ended up backstage with Geddy (what a nice guy!), Alex, and Neil. Prior to this we sat in a small tuning room with Geddy's bass guitars, including the famous blue Rickenbacker. A bass player himself, my colleague Jon picked up the rick and played. "Dude! Put that down! What if they walk in?" Geddy entered a few minutes later and invited us further back stage. Alex was sitting on the couch playing an acoustic guitar. "Wow!"I thought, "Alex just finished a several hour concert and is still playing." Neil was changing and getting ready to ride his bicycle back to the hotel. I walked up to him nervously and made an off-the-cuff comment (I did not know what else to say and did not want to come across as stupid to my hero), "Hey Neil, your music has provided the soundtrack to my life over the last 20 years." Neil looked at me without pause and declared, "You stole that line!", which of course I had. Hurt, I replied, "kind of like you did all the world is a stage!" He looked at me without comment and grabbed my Roll the Bones CD jacket and signed it. Nothing else was said and I turned and walked away, still hurt. I walked over to my colleague and Geddy Lee, "Neil is kind of a jerk!" I said (overreacting I am sure, Neil was/is my hero and I don't have many of those). Geddy Lee responded as he took a sip of his Japanese beer and handing me an unopened one, "That's why I never liked meeting my heroes. You learn they are just people." This is a true story. It's interesting (and I am sure unrelated) that Neil subtitles the book, "The soundtrack to my life and times." The book itself is a decent read, but I admit I am not horribly impressed with his driving through the country/story. I prefer a hike, motorcycle ride, bicycle adventure or something a tad more physical, but that's just me. This experience fostered empathic understanding of the song "Limelight" and a telling line by Neil, "I can't pretend a stranger is a long awaited friend." I almost forgot, thanks to Geddy Lee for the backstage passes AND the FRONT ROW floor seat tickets to the concert! What a great guy!

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