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For thirty years, drummer, author, and songwriter Neil Peart had wanted to write a book about “the biggest journey of all in my restless existence: the life of a touring musician.” Finally, the right time, and the right tour . . . In the summer of 2004, after three decades, twenty gold albums, and thousands of performances spanning four continents, the band Rush embarked on a celebratory 30th Anniversary World Tour. The “R30” tour traveled to nine countries, where the band performed fifty-seven shows in front of more than half a million fans. Uniquely, Peart chose to do his between-show traveling by motorcycle, riding 21,000 miles of back roads and highways in North America and Europe — from Appalachian hamlets and Western deserts to Scottish castles and Alpine passes. Roadshow illuminates the daunting rigors of a major international concert tour, as well as Peart’s exploration of the scenic byways and country towns along the way. His evocative and entertaining prose carries the reader through every performance and every journey, sharing the bittersweet reflections triggered by the endlessly unfolding landscape. Observations and reflections range from the poignantly, achingly personal to the wickedly irreverent. Part behind-the-scenes memoir, part existential travelogue, Roadshow winds through nineteen countries on both sides of the Atlantic, in search of the perfect show, the perfect meal, the perfect road, and an elusive inner satisfaction that comes only with the recognition that the journey itself is the ultimate destination. The inner workings of the tour, the people Peart works with and the people he meets, the roads and stages and ever-changing scenery — all flow into an irresistible story.
Published: ECW Press an imprint of ECW Press on Sep 8, 2006
ISBN: 9781770901391
List price: $13.95
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Although I read Neil's first two published books, I didn't pick up on the next two as I didn't really enjoy his writing style that much. I found it a bit wooden, a bit like recent Rush lyrics ! Anyway, having read some somewhat polarised reviews, I just had to read Roadshow and see which side of the fence I found myself on. On the positive side, I think Neil's writing style has definitely matured, and seems to flow much better than the first books. I definitely felt more engaged with this book than the others and really enjoyed it, whereas with Ghost Rider I started to find it a bit of a slog towards the end. This is helped I think by numerous Rush anecdotes which are fascinating to any die-hard Rush fan such as myself, and the insights into what goes into a Rush tour, the personalities involved, etc. There's also a lot of background information about the places Neil visits which is very reminiscent of Bill Bryson and makes the whole experience informative and interesting. I would have liked a bit more background on the bikes he was riding. I think he could have opened that up a lot more, history of bikes, the way they work, that kind of thing. I like books like that. My problems with the book are that great travel-writing is as much about the people you meet as the places you visit, and quite clearly Neil, by his nature, is not going to meet that many new people, especially if he suspects they have an inkling who he is (although there can't be THAT many out there can there ?) I also found it strange how little was written about Brutus, his enigmatic travelling companion in Europe. Whereas I felt I got to know Michael on the American leg, Brutus didn't really ever speak, either literally or as a character. Other negatives are that most of the Rush performance commentary focuses on Neil's own performance. There's very little said about the performances of the band in general and very little written about the other members of the band on the tour. This may be simply respecting their privacy, but again it tends to make the book seem a bit narcissistic. I appreciate Neil's honesty however, in exposing his own shortcomings, as well as those of his fans. Clearly a risky strategy there, but his sense of humour really shines and he obviously has a great time on his bike, and this is what I took from the book. In conclusion, I think if you're a Rush fan you'll definitely enjoy this.read more
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Reviews

Although I read Neil's first two published books, I didn't pick up on the next two as I didn't really enjoy his writing style that much. I found it a bit wooden, a bit like recent Rush lyrics ! Anyway, having read some somewhat polarised reviews, I just had to read Roadshow and see which side of the fence I found myself on. On the positive side, I think Neil's writing style has definitely matured, and seems to flow much better than the first books. I definitely felt more engaged with this book than the others and really enjoyed it, whereas with Ghost Rider I started to find it a bit of a slog towards the end. This is helped I think by numerous Rush anecdotes which are fascinating to any die-hard Rush fan such as myself, and the insights into what goes into a Rush tour, the personalities involved, etc. There's also a lot of background information about the places Neil visits which is very reminiscent of Bill Bryson and makes the whole experience informative and interesting. I would have liked a bit more background on the bikes he was riding. I think he could have opened that up a lot more, history of bikes, the way they work, that kind of thing. I like books like that. My problems with the book are that great travel-writing is as much about the people you meet as the places you visit, and quite clearly Neil, by his nature, is not going to meet that many new people, especially if he suspects they have an inkling who he is (although there can't be THAT many out there can there ?) I also found it strange how little was written about Brutus, his enigmatic travelling companion in Europe. Whereas I felt I got to know Michael on the American leg, Brutus didn't really ever speak, either literally or as a character. Other negatives are that most of the Rush performance commentary focuses on Neil's own performance. There's very little said about the performances of the band in general and very little written about the other members of the band on the tour. This may be simply respecting their privacy, but again it tends to make the book seem a bit narcissistic. I appreciate Neil's honesty however, in exposing his own shortcomings, as well as those of his fans. Clearly a risky strategy there, but his sense of humour really shines and he obviously has a great time on his bike, and this is what I took from the book. In conclusion, I think if you're a Rush fan you'll definitely enjoy this.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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