KingMidget's Ramblings

Pull up a chair. Let's talk.

No Other Words Needed

What Progressives Don’t Understand

Here you go, my latest piece on Medium.

A Song For Today

And I promise (as much as I can) that this will be my last post about Neil Peart and Rush for awhile, but bear with me for one last trip down this particular path.

Since Peart’s passing was announced, there have been so many tributes to him published, both in mainstream media and in music media. It’s been amazing reading more and more about the man and the band. All sorts of things I never knew, because although I’m a huge fan, I’ve never gone deep into who they are.

Anyway, in a piece I read earlier today, the author wrote that The Garden was the last song they recorded before Peart retired and spent the final three years of his life battling brain cancer.  Here it is. Lyrics and all…

 

In this one of many possible worlds, all for the best, or some bizarre test?
It is what it is – and whatever
Time is still the infinite jest

The arrow flies when you dream, the hours tick away – the cells tick away
The Watchmaker keeps to his schemes
The hours tick away – they tick away

The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect
So hard to earn, so easily burned
In the fullness of time
A garden to nurture and protect

In the rise and the set of the sun
‘Til the stars go spinning – spinning ’round the night
It is what it is – and forever
Each moment a memory in flight

The arrow flies while you breathe, the hours tick away – the cells tick away
The Watchmaker has time up his sleeve
The hours tick away – they tick away

The treasure of a life is a measure of love and respect
The way you live, the gifts that you give
In the fullness of time
It’s the only return that you expect

The future disappears into memory
With only a moment between
Forever dwells in that moment

Hope is what remains to be seen

 

Neil Peart — One More Post

As I read about his passing and what people are sharing, I’m learning just how much he was a driving force behind Rush’s music.

Here’s an NPR piece about Peart..

And here is the list of studio albums the band put out.

Rush

Fly By Night

Caress of Steel

2112

A Farewell to Kings

Hemispheres

Permanent Waves

Moving Pictures

Signals

Grace Under Pressure

Presto

Power Windows

Hold Your Fire

Presto

Roll the Bones

Counterparts

Test for Echo

Vapor Trails

Snakes & Arrows

Clockwork Angels
It’s an odd thing. Memory, that is. To me, it seemed they kept churning out albums, one every year or two, and there was this period when album after album was just not that good. Oh sure, every album had one song that I liked, but the rest just seemed so copycat and redundant.

Looking at that list now though, I realize I was wrong. They only released six studio albums from 1991 – 2012, and it’s really only the last four or five albums that didn’t do much for me. (But I’m going to give them a re-listen and see what comes out.)

I think what disappointed me about them began with Signals. The eight albums before Signals included long songs. Epic songs. Songs that told stories and explored all sorts of things, both musically and lyrically. With Signals, Rush became a five minute band — as in, just about every song on every album beginning with Signals was five minutes long. Don’t get me wrong, I liked a lot of those five minute songs. A lot of them, but I missed the epic songs. That was Rush to me, the epic songs that told stories and took me on a trip.

One final thought before I share one of my favorite Rush songs. I challenge anybody to put up a list of albums that match what Rush did for a time. From their first album (which has some of my favorite Rush songs, without a bad song in the bunch) through at least Moving Pictures, but possibly extending a few more albums after that, Rush put together a better discography, from one to the next, without skipping a beat, than probably any other rock band ever.

Prove me wrong.

Here is Red Barchetta. Just absolutely love this song and the lyrics. Enjoy the song and the reaction in this video. It’s time to go hop the Turbine Freight.

Neil Peart – Rest in Peace

I get it, Rush isn’t for everybody. But ever since high school, for just about 40 years now, Rush has been a regular part of my music experience. I saw them live once, probably about 30 years ago. I went by myself to see them at the Cal Expo Amphitheater — an outdoor venue. I really don’t have much of a memory of the show, but … it was Rush. It had to be good.

Anyway, they’ve been going at it ever since, continuing to record albums and touring. Much of their output the last 20 years has been somewhat blah. It’s the first eight or ten albums that were what Rush was to me. And what I still listen to to this day. Their fourth studio album, 2112, includes what I consider to be the best 20 minutes of rock music ever.

A video of a live performance of that 20 minute recording is below. I’m not a huge fan of Rush’s live performances. Their studio recordings are much better. There’s something that gets lost in their live performances. But, this video shows what I want you to see. Neil Peart, considered by many to be one of the best drummers in the history of rock, doing what he did for more than 40 years with his mates, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.

He died today. Brain cancer, that he battled for the last three years and the explanation for why Rush hasn’t done much during those three years.

Rest in peace, Mr. Peart, while most people don’t know you, you left a mark for those of us who loved your music.

 

%d bloggers like this: