"There are lots of people who laugh at their audience. Lots of bands and lots of writers and lots of authors do it."
"But let's face it - rock music ain't Jesus Christ back on earth," I said. "It's simply another mode of entertainment. It can be funny."
"If you look at it that way. To me, it's a reflection of my life. I spent the better part of my life learning how to do it, so to me it's not a joke."
Well, seeing that things were really moving along, I figured I'd try the old aren't-you-guilty-now-that-you're-rich chestnut.
"Do you feel guilty at all about making as much money as you do compared to other people who work every bit as hard as you do?" I equivocated.
"Uh, no; on the contrary. There's no amount of money that could pay you back for what you go through doing what we do."
"What about other people?"
"Which other people?"
"You know, the ones that work for a living."
"It's not really the same. I mean, I have done ordinary jobs. You can't go out in from of 10,000 people and make a fool of yourself. It's really not the same as going to work in a factory every day, I'm sorry," he said, addending his nervous-tic laughter.
"But I've heard the Stones slop up some songs beyond belief - I mean, the Stones - I heard Keith Richard come in on a chorus of 'Honky Tonk Women' where there was no chorus! It was OK."
"They're the people who laugh at their audience," explained the patient Peart.
"Sure they do. You don't think they're good?" This wasn't a question; it was a statement.
"I think they've written a good song or two."
"You can't say they're good musicians," countered Peart, who was evidently talking about some other Stones than the ones I've been listening to.
"They're good musicians. They're astute songwriters."
"Astute? In other words, clever marketing strategists."