Neil Peart's Puerto Rican Experience

Neil Peart Beach Riding in Puerto RicoAs some of you were probably bored silly about my many rantings about the first ever Rush concert in Puerto Rico, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. I have one more for you.

For those of you that aren't fans, you should know that Neil Peart, the band's drummer, is an avid motorcycle enthusiast and has probably ridden well over 150,00 miles by motorcycle. After riding 55,000 miles after a double personal tragedy where he lost his daughter and then his wife, he documented the healing process in his second book, "Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road."

As the only lyricist for the group, writing is another of Neil's passions. Ever since 2006 he has carried his motorcycle with him while touring with the band and will ride between shows when possible, or on off days. From those experiences he has written another book, "Roadshow: Landscape With Drums, A Concert Tour By Motorcycle" and keeps website up to date with fresh writing of his experiences.

Neil Peart in Puerto Rico

Well, when he visited the island recently, Puerto Rico was no exception. So in his latest installment, "South by Southwest", Neil writes about his experience riding around Puerto Rico and has some really nice things to say. Although the article includes a discussion of other tour stops as well, the Puerto Rico piece includes some interesting observations and pictures. One such example is:

"Passing the famous observatory at Arecibo, we reached the northern coast, then detoured onto a small road that followed the shore for a few miles of undeveloped beach (increasingly rare on any tropical island)."
The picture at the beginning of this post accompanies this passage. And while he adds a bit of humor, I also think the following passage is something we can all relate to:

"Other similarities to Mexican roads were the hazards of chickens, dogs, iguanas, cows, horses, ancient smoking cars and pickups, erratic driving, non-functioning brake lights and turn signals—not only unused, in the fashion of thoughtless drivers everywhere, but actually not working, their bulbs seemingly shaken to bits on the local roads."
It's really a nice little article and it shows why, for one of many reasons, Neil Peart has developed into one of my, dare I say, heroes. His ability to deliver, produce, improve, and indulge in his passions, should be an inspiration for everyone. Believe it or not, your life resides, where your passion lies. One special passage captures all of that:
There is a saying in French, “Ça vaut la peine”—it is worth the grief, or pain. That’s how I feel about those journeys, and what it takes to deliver the kind of performances we’ve been giving lately.
How many of can say that we love what we do with such a passion, that we are willing to endure physical pain in order to do it, and not only do it, but do it to the ultimate best of your ever improving abilities?



30 de mayo de 2008, 10:52
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Awesome stuff. I was a bit worried Peart may fall into a hole on a street or have an accident before the concert. Glad he had a good time.

MC Don Dees

30 de mayo de 2008, 11:49
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Yes, most definitely very awesome. Yeah, I didn't want to bum everyone out, but I was afraid of the same thing too.

In yet another one of those wierd unexplainable connections I have with Puerto Rico. Back in the 70's my oldest brother amost died here in Puerto Rico from a motocycle accident. He was stationed at Ramey when riding up in the mountians, like Peart, he was hit head on by some Jibaro in a pick-up truck.

He flew over the truck, landed on his ass, broke his cocyx and some 25 years later ended up in a wheelchair because of the accident.

I always wanted to ask him where exactly the accident happened, but we lost contact and he passed away earlier this year.

So anyway, I definitely agree with you. I was very glad the same fate didn't happen to Neil. You know how kind, patient, and respectful Puerto Rican drivers are!