Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Tomaso Files: Prodigious Drummer Pounds His Drum Kit No More

Neil Peart playing before a large audience in Red Deer, Alberta. (Image source:
And Thee Power Trio has played Thar last gig forever...

"Time is A Gypsy Caravan,
Steals Away the Night to leave You Stranded in Dreamland
Distance is A Longrange filter
Memory A Flickering light

When We Are Young
Wandering the Face of The Earth
Wondering What Our Dreams are Worth
Learning that We're Only Immortal for  A limited time"

I got the call around 3:15PM (Pacific) Friday afternoon, (Jan 10th) the Day that Band Members Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson released the News via Rush's Twitter Account, asking me if I'd Heard the News?

And although it means absolutely Nothing, nor do I take any significance from it. Nevertheless, in my constantly churning froth of Synchronicity here on thou Isle 'O Nofendersville, excluding thoust King Tides; Tuh-duh!

I find it very ironic that on the Day of Messer Peart's Death, Tuesday, January 7th, I just so happened to be finishing listening to Edward M. "Teddy" Kennedy's 2009 book True Compass via CD Audiobook format.

Since Teddy Died from the exact same Brain Cancer as Neil had. As reportedly, Ted Kennedy, John McCain and Bo Biden, along with Neil have All Succumbed from Glioblastoma.

While naturally, any Death at All is Tragic, but how Cruel must it be for someone who spent their life making a living as a writer, writing countless songs and multiple books Dying due to Brain Cancer be?

And it pains me somewhat to realize that it was exactly 40 Freakin' Years ago when I was first introduced to Rush, when hearing this unknown, fantastic  Rock Band on the radio with Thar Hit Song The Spirit of Radio!

For which I've been Hooked forever since, realizing that I was a Bona Fied Fan of Rush's for nearly 35 years; Aye Karumba!

Making me really wonder if I saw them for the first time when I claim to now all these years later. Although I can still vaguely see the black Moving Pictures Concert T-Shirt I know I bought & wore fondly, Arse-sumedly at Key Arena...

And how do I scribble anything about the man who's affectionately become Thee Rhythm Professor', aka Neil Peart, or Rush, which I enjoy delineating here on countless No Fenders pages as RUSh that hasn't already been said? Other then why did it take so Bloody long for them to be inducted into the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame, eh?

As I won't boast over how many times I saw them in concert or how many shows I've attended in four States over the Decades, or does "Seeing" 'em on Thee Big Screen in Austin for Thar Clockwork Angels tour count as a fifth Sate?

But suffice it to say, they were my Numero Uno Band for Decades; HELL, for over a Quarter of A Century! Not to mention how many countless hours did I spend listening to All of Thar Albums, eh? Having accumulated every Gory Album from the Self-titled Debut Rush - All the Bloody way thru Live in Rio.

As strangely, another famous Band's epic song came screaming into my internal Speakers upon deliberating over Peart's Death and what it means to me.

"When the Music's Over
Turn Out the lights

For the Music is your Special Friend
Dance on Fire as It Intends
Music is Your Only Friend
Until the End"

When I was a Wee lad' spending Summers at my Grandma's on Bainbridge Island watching the Goodyear Blimp fly overhead at night, who was then presumably in her late 60's, the age of 67 seemed really Old to Mwah!

But now having gone thru the cycles 'O life a la listening to Rush via Cassette Tape & vinyl records to Compact Disc to now only occasionally listening to them via Youtube on thou Confuzer', and on the Downhill Slope towards "Senior Citizenry," albeit I've still hopefully got Miles to Go. Obviously 67, for which Messer Peart was when he died, seems relatively young to Mwah now!

And I'll Arse-sume' Y'all can guess what my All-time Favourite Rush Song is? Having had the pleasure of once seeing the very rosso Ferrari that inspired the song's title at the very least once at America's Car Museum in Tacoma, WA. Hint, it's Track No. 2 on that epic 1981 Moving Pictures album...

As I think a big part of what kept me so enamoured with Rush was Peart's lyrics weren't the typical Baby Come Back, Don't leave me "Cookie Cutter" song lyrics, but instead were Deeper and made you think while tackling many issues regarding life, human interaction Genders, and whatever else he felt like tackling. Be it Philosophy, Poetry, Science Fiction or the thornier topics of History, i.e.; the Dropping of the Atom Bomb, Jewish Persecution in concentration Camps, Humanity or Gasp, Homosexuality!

Yet what sets Neil above most people for Mwah is that out of his own tragedy of first losing his first Daughter Salina and first wife Jaclyn Taylor in the span of 18-months and his subsequent Motorcycle endeavour upon not just any Scooter' but a BMW! And learning of how he dealt with this grieving process. Was learning something about my Home State I'd never known of via his wonderful Ghost Rider book.

As I cherish his descriptions of normal every-day life of fighting a losing battle with Squirrels stealing Bird Feeder food. And him singing Horribly out loud when hiking in Glacier National Park in hopes of keeping unwanted Bears away!

As I busily poond away, I can only think of two persons who've made me want to go 'N visit somewhere, for the first should be obvious. As I've called him DER TERMINATOR' here on No Fenders forever, aka Michael Schumacher - for which I've traveled the Globe to see him race.

And the second was Neil Peart who inspired me to wish to visit MaryHill, for which Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen enabled me to accomplish a Decade ago...

alas, Thee Rhythm Professor has touched my life in more than one way, since not only have I "Grooved" to his songs over thou Decades, merrily Zoom-Zooming' away to one of my countless Rush "Mix Tapes," but I've also been swayed by his lone book I've read.

While I feel truly sorry for his current family's loss, wife Carey and  daughter Olivia, for which I can only appreciate their sorrow from Afar and Not emotionally...

"You Can Do a lot in A Lifetime
If You Don't Burn Out too Fast
You can Make the Most of the Distance
First You need Endurance
First You've Got to Last"

Then again, Sadly, When the Music's Over, Somebody will Have to Turn Out the Lights for All of Us...

Song Lyrics
(Partial Song Lyrics in Parentheses)
1. Rush: Dreamline; Roll The bones, 1991
2. The Doors: When The Music's Over; Strange Days, 1967
3. Rush: Marathon; Power Windows, 1985