Ghost Rider passes on

I always thought it was weird when people got all emotional about some celebrity’s death, as if it had anything to do with anything at all. Knowing something about them doesn’t mean you knew them; just move the fuck on and don’t be an idiot about it.

But here I am. Crying my stupid fucking eyes out.

Of course I didn’t know Neil Peart. But it always felt like somehow he knew me. The music he made with Geddy and Alex tapped into my brain and went straight to my heart. It’s literally part of me.

And although I knew they were done making music after their R40 farewell tour a few years ago (because they said they were done touring, and then that they were done recording, and they didn’t jerk people around), Rush wasn’t actually gone. The band didn’t break up; those three goofy, nerdy guys who were huge stars but never acted like it were still hanging out together, friends to the end.

And here’s the end. There really will be no more Rush.

But look at all we’ve been given.

19 studio albums. 16 live albums. 17 compilations. There have even been 15 tribute albums (how many bands get that many ever, let alone while the original lineup is still touring and recording?). Tour after tour after tour, until they just couldn’t do it anymore. This band NEVER just mailed it in. They gave it everything they had.

I first heard a Rush album when I was 15: Moving Pictures, followed immediately by 2112 and Permanent Waves. I’d never heard anything like it. In the 33 years since, I’ve seen them in concert a dozen times at least. I picked up the bass guitar and joined a rock band because I wanted to be at least a little bit like those guys. Being with my 12-year-old son at his first Rush concert — the Time Machine tour in 2011 — was one of the best moments of my life.

I’ll be forever thankful for that.

So, a final word…screw this RIP shit. Musicians know that if you rest, you rust. Keep rolling, Ghost Rider. No one can stop you now. Neil Peart will be making kick-ass rhythms wherever he is.

He was one for the ages.

4 thoughts on “Ghost Rider passes on

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  1. I didn’t full-on cry when I heard the news, but I almost did. I was at work and had to drop what I was doing for a few minutes to read the news and process it. Then it was back to the grindstone. But this was a tough moment. Great post, Ing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t hear the news until Saturday morning, when the wife told me. My first reaction was a bit of a sinking feeling, but I knew something like this had to happen sometime; we’re getting older, and they’re flat out old.

      It was only towards evening, when I sat down at the computer and started thinking about what it meant — or whether it meant anything at all, since we already knew there was no more music coming — that I started tearing up.

      It makes no rational sense to get all weepy over somebody you never met and who didn’t know you existed, but it wasn’t about a personal relationship at all. The music you love passes the barriers of reason and memory and goes straight into the core of your being. And I LOVE that music. It was thinking about what his music meant to me that broke me down.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, that one hurt me as well. I was about 15 when “Moving Pictures” came out as well.

    A few years back when I heard he essentially lost his entire family in about one year’s time, I wondered how he could ever recover from that. Yet he did. ‘The Healing Road’ was a flat amazing read…

    Liked by 1 person

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