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#129667 I Was There...

Posted by Jay on 12 January 2020 - 03:16 AM

Guess this as good a time as any to open the creaking, rusted door of the place where it all started for me, clearing away the cobwebs as I enter. I'm old now, eyes red from tears, beard gray from years. I see some vaguely familiar faces sitting around the table, the room illuminated by one single candle.

I wrote this on Facebook yesterday, and wanted to share it with the few people remaining in the old family home; where it matters the most.

*****

I was there. Their very last show at The Forum in Inglewood CA, August 1, 2015. 8th row center. The first time I'd ever seen them not on a lawn a quarter of a mile from the stage. They were there, right in front of me. I was there.

That was it. Their final show. Neil was done. Retired. Something he'd been waiting for, for a long time. No little surprise one-off reunion jam at some tiny club in Toronto. No new album or quicke EP. Fucking Christ forbid, no bankroll replenishment reunion tour. It was their last show, and I was there.

It was perfect. The most brilliant and gorgeous bookend to the first time I saw them, my heart spilling over with joy, both times, the entire time, from house lights off, to house lights on. I was fucking there.

Being blessed enough to have earned a ticket that was worth close to $1,000, I was surrounded by absolute fucking titans of the rock music world. To my left was Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, air drumming to 2112. To my right was Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters, headbanging to Working Man. Two rows behind me was Danny Carey from Tool. Danny mother fucking Carey from  TOOL. He was standing there the with an ear to ear grin the entire show. He was there. I was there.

Having spent a few years in recording studios and around the music scene, I'd met a good amount of famous people, and after a while, you stop getting starstruck. After all's said and done, they're just regular people doing their thing. But Danny Carey from Tool was practically standing over my shoulders, with his ear to ear grin. Danny fucking Carey from Tool. A god in the rock drumming world. I was there.

It was the first time in an extremely long time that I'd felt starstruck. During intermission, I wanted nothing more than to go talk to him, to tell him how huge of an impact his music made on my life, and hopefully maybe get a selfie. He was standing around chit-chatting with his friends, not looking too particularly engaged in anything. Just as I was about to give into the temptation, I remembered that ear to ear grin, and it hit me: in that moment, he wasn't Danny fucking Carey from Tool, titan among titans. He was Danny Carey, Rush fan; I was Jesse, Rush fan. We were the same people there for the same reason: to marvel at our heroes one last time, and I was fucking there.

I didn't approach him. I didn't interrupt him shooting the shit with his pals. The house lights came back down for the second set, and  came back his ear to ear grin. He was Danny Carey, Rush fan; I was Jesse, Rush fan. He was there, fanboying the fuck out just like me. I wouldn't take that away from him. Maybe someone else would, and most likely did, but not me. He was Danny Carey, Rush fan and I was Jesse, Rush fan. And I was there.

Neil Peart was an EXTREMELY shy man. From the beginning, at the end of a show, he was out the door and on his motorcycle to the next venue before the house lights came on. Not that night. As Geddy Lee was giving his usual goodnight speech, Neil ran up to the front of the stage and put his arm over Geddy's shoulder. Even Geddy was taken aback by the gesture, exclaiming into his mic "oh, well this is a surprise!" Neil motioned Alex Lifeson over into his other arm, and they took a bow. All three of them. It was unheard of. These thousands of people were witnessing something special. And I was there, 8th row center. The smile on Neil's face as they took their bow. Danny Carey's ear to ear grin as he clapped. That was Neil saying goodbye to us. I was there.

When I got the phone call from one of my best friends this afternoon, my heart dropped to the floor like an anchor with those two words from her shaking voice: "Neil died." I was there. It sort of registered, but it sort of didn't. I wasn't there, but I was there.

As I sit here, tapping these little buttons on my phone, thinking back on that show, and the last 24 years that their music has been with me through it all, almost crying into my pint glass in front of a pub full of people, I was there.

I'm still there.

I'm still here.
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#88193 We lost one of us, R.I.P. Windshield Fly

Posted by Drewsifer on 17 March 2015 - 03:34 AM

The speculation that this was intentional on his part is just that. The news reports here are inconclusive. I'll reiterate what I said earlier; Fly had a really rough year. The specifics of his troubles are not the business of anyone who did not really know and love him. And for that matter, those specifics don't mean dick now. He's gone. Those who loved him are shocked and saddened. So instead of speculating and passing any kind of judgment, please just celebrate the goodness we were blessed with in counting him as a friend.


#129862 The Return of Rudy

Posted by fenderjazz on 17 January 2020 - 03:52 PM

I joined CP in 2002, which apparently was right after whatever happened because I never had a clue about it other than what I saw posted here. But I vaguely remember someone getting on Rockline during that time and their question was about the board wars. Geddy and Alex had no clue about it. I remember thinking the caller was a moron for blowing his opportunity on that.

There's a guy on TRF, canadianice, who people are convinced is Alex. Just in case he is, I thanked him for the tshirt he threw me in 2010.

 

I think the main problem with the "board wars" was really all over hyperlinks.  Rudy had a thing about his board, his artwork being consumed elsewhere.  He wanted all the traffic himself so that he could paint himself as the leader of all Rush online social activity.  In reality he was a cruise director on a sinking ship.  Still, as I say, this type of environment, even CP is a dinosaur.  It was even then.  I'm happy to keep it going because the people who still are here prefer it to interacting publicly on one of the big social media sites.  I surely wouldn't say things I say here there.  As George Costanza said, "Worlds collide Jerry!  Worlds collide!"  Social media is an unhealthy mix of family, friends, co-workers.  This is truly one of the last vestiges of online freedom and anonymity.  I promise to never "dox" anyone here.  I also promise to never raise private information shared here in the social media that I have you on.  Would always treat that as a "blank slate" and recognize the "world's collide" scenario.  I think that is our new terms regarding how to behave here given the way the world has changed.


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#130118 Neil Peart September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020

Posted by KMH on 25 January 2020 - 10:06 PM

Hi everyone. 

 

I posted my tribute on Facebook. My wife has had 3 occurrences of cancer in 10 months. Head and Neck cancer. First tumor was in her tongue, 2nd and 3rd in her neck. The 3rd occurrence was so extensive, they gave her chemo to shrink the tumor, then surgery to remove the tumor, removed her right neck muscle, flipped a pectoral muscle into her neck (to replace the muscle removed), followed by 6 weeks of daily radiation to both sides of her neck. She had her first scan post treatment a few days ago, and we get the results of the scan in a couple of days. The first post treatment scan after the first surgery last March, showing more cancer, shook us. We're expecting no cancer this time, but know there is that possibility....

 

With all that said, we are living the fuck out of life. We just got back from a Caribbean cruise. Next cruise is booked. We're going to the Bay Area in May to see Rae Rae's (she's 17, let that sink in) boyfriend graduate high school. 

 

I believe Neil lived the fuck out of life as well. I was very saddened and shocked to hear the news. But I wasn't gutted. Neil did what he wanted, when he wanted. I am grateful for what he gave us, and will cherish all the good Rush times. 


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