Monday, December 06, 2004

Ghost Rider on the Big Screen

(Okay...we'll try this again. The school computer ate my attempted posting again...)

I know there are a lot of Rush fans among the assorted friends, acquaintances, relatives, co-workers, and passing maniacs that visit this site. Even if you're not, one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time has been Neil Peart's autobiographical novel, Ghost Rider. Far from being a self-indulgent account of his endeavors as a well-known rock star, it documents the journey he took to try to put his life back together again after suffering an unbelievably tragic series of losses. The book is in many ways along similar lines to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, another novel I really liked, but Ghost Rider is grounded less in abstract philosophy and more in the human sphere. It's interesting to read how he circles all over the North American continent on his BMW motorcycle describing the places he sees and people he meets (willingly or not). He also gets a bit adventurous, sometimes taking roads most sane people wouldn't at times or dates that most sane people wouldn't (mainly because he has trouble figuring out if he really cares or not). And all throughout is Peart's famous lyrical ability, which has graced Rush's albums since the album Fly By Night in 1975.

Interestingly, and ironically, it turns out that the daughter of legendary jazz drummer Buddy Rich (one of Peart's longtime idols) has obtained permission and legal rights to produce a movie version of Ghost Rider. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

I should also mention that Peart has just put out another book. Entitled Traveling Music: Playing Back the Soundtrack to My Life and Times, it documents another cross-country journey Peart recently made, this time by (BMW) car. However, this time the focus of the book is not so much his personal experiences as the music he listens to as he goes along. He apparently selected CDs of tunes from ages past, using them both as appropriate backing music for his travels and also as a "safe" means of reflecting on his past (something he has always tended to avoid). For a music lover or someone who just enjoys reading, it sounds like something worthwhile.

If you don't happen to know anything about Neil Peart, go buy, borrow, or download some Rush right now. It might help to have some background before digging into his books.

2 comments:

Don Snabulus said...

(I am a Peart fan, so I say this with tongue-in-cheek:)

Peart has written three books. The first was about him riding a bicycle through West Africa. The second was about him riding a motorcycle through North America. The third was about him driving a car through the American southwest.

Given the progressive trend towards laziness in each book, perhaps the fourth book will be about his experiences being carried in the royal litter around Bangalore or riding in a rickshaw in China or similar.

(I am [hopefully] just kidding of course.)

Anonymous said...

Philrod Piddlewaif:

Drinking that much The Macallen can do that to a man. That stuff is absolutely wicked. Poor, bloody sod...

Oh, and by the way, INCONSEQUENTIAL!!!!!