So, 90 minutes ago my 14 yr. old son and I took in the last live Rush show we will probably ever see. For him, it was show number 3, for me it was upwards of 20 or so shows since 1984. The show is quite a triumphant achievement, Rush was their typical prodigy selves. There were many moments of humor, lots of neat retrospective images, the greatest rendition of
The finality of the scene, their exit from the stage, left a far greater sense of emptiness than in the past. It is a difficult experience for me, seeing them move on. In fact, honestly, I had been dreading this show. I am 48 years old -with a wife and 3 kids-( yes, I have a life) and this last couple of years has seen dramatic changes in our lives. People die, institutions fade away, close friends divorce, those things that "were alway there", immutable, are suddenly no longer there. And now so Rush goes this same path, as they must, obviously. Time catches up to all of us.
As a child who was essentially abandoned by his parents, I was raised by my depression era grandparents. I loved them as anyone would a mom or dad, and they loved me and gave me everything they could, including a college education that has allowed me to see the world, touring most of the major European cites on foot the last decade or so. However, they and I were very different people, my grandparents from the age of auto-authoritarian respect, me, a doubter, a questioner, a reductionist. Growing up in rural MO such types of people are quite the misanthrope, and I was chastised at times for voicing out loud my thoughts 'Thinking Big' about things like, oh, I don't know... Life, the Universe, and Everything*.
So, when I first heard Rush's music, the lyrics from one of the truly coolest guys I have ever been made familiar with, and hearing that it was okay to think thoughts like I did - to question authority, to have doubts about religion, to try to glimpse what lies beyond. It was a revelation for me. These three guys were my voice in the wilderness. I spent countless hours, and many hundreds of miles, cycling on my 18 speed Motobecan through the Ozark Mountain foothills with these three guys matriculating through my mind via a Walkman cassette player. The sound, the motion, the words, all made sense. And I began to make sense of myself. I really believe I am a changed man as a result of those formative years experiences. It encouraged me to go to school, study in the technical field that I am engaged in, and read, read, read. For I find/ found the lyrics of Mr. Peart to be both alluring and heuristic, encouraging me go beyond their simple meaning and investigate where these ideas originated from.
As a result, I was encouraged to read much of the classical literature available, endless book about science and cosmology, and the library of Joseph Campbell. I don't believe I would have done any of these things without the extra push that my experiences with their music provided me.
So, friends, look forward to a wonderful and engaging show!! And, as I am sure there are many stories out there very similar to mine, don't feel bad about that empty feeling on your way out the door. I liken this last live experience to beloved neighbors moving away. You may catch a glimpse of them from time to time, a letter, a photo, but that everyday experience of them in your life is now over. That is bound to leave some degree of emptiness, In The End.
*copyright Douglas Adams
Edited by fenderjazz, 15 May 2015 - 01:48 PM.
added spoiler tags to the spoilers