Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Rush lyricist/drummer extraordinaire returns with another collection of essays about life on the road, the pleasures (and perils) of the journey and lessons learned along the way.
In continuing to chronicle his unique way of getting to “work”—that is, motorcycling between concert venues while his band mates, or the “Guys at Work,” travel by more conventional means—Peart (Far and Away: A Prize Every Time, 2011, etc.) serves up both a chronological and thematic sequel to his last collection. Originally published on the author’s website, these essays are very much intended for a core audience of Rush/Peart fans, though references to the band’s music and performances are less prevalent than might be assumed. Instead, the focus is on roads less traveled—primarily physically but also metaphorically—and the challenges and benefits of pursuing such paths, whether on a motorcycle or intellectually. As the author is fond of saying, “The best roads are the ones no one travels unless they live on them,” and he makes it his business to seek them out whether he’s traveling through the American Southwest, Canada or Eastern Europe. With the assistance of his riding companions/longtime friends/security detail, Michael and Brutus, Peart peppers the text with a series of photos that frequently show him riding off on his two-wheeled steed into parts un(der)explored. The author’s flair for mixing in local color, historical anecdotes and personal philosophy keeps pages turning even when the formulaic nature of the entries becomes repetitive. His sense of humor, by turns sophomoric and sophisticated, may induce occasional groans, but it’s a small price to pay to experience the sheer joy Peart takes in life and his passion for sharing it with others.
Far less scandalous than “rock drummer writes book” might suggest but far more interesting, too.