Rush. I have so many memories associated with this band. As I emerged from my fascination with punk and new wave, they offered something completely different, Rush became and stayed a guilty pleasure through the 1980s. Going to see them at the old Wembley Arena became a habit, and though I became less interested in their music in the 90s, I returned with renewed excitement in the 00s and beyond. The last three tours, Time Machine, Clockwork Angels, and R40 were all very, very special.
My excellent friend Curly and I went to the O2 for the Time Machine and it was pure joy – slightly helped by the fact that I managed to sneak a really nice bottle of wine into the venue up my coat sleeve.
I took the equally excellent Ade, and Curly to Clockwork Angels as a thank you for their support in the aftermath of the death of my Dad. We popped a bottle of champagne over the Thames on the riverbus, and though for me there was a tinge of sadness around the gig (2 reasons – thinking of Dad and I spilled a whole pint of overpriced beer!) the music was perfect and we got to see Rush perform The Garden – it only happened on this tour. For me, The Garden is the ultimate song about death, about passing, about what if anything remains. Beautiful and fitting.
When Rush announced the R40 tour there was no European leg. I was 50 when they toured, and I had some work planned in the USA (thank you Laurie I’ll never forget your kindness). The very lovely Carole suggested I try to link the work with the tour – and so I bought myself a ticket to see Rush live in Columbus Ohio. I travelled via Summer Brandcamp where I got to hang out with Dwane, Jason, Laurie, Michael, Jonathan, Amanda and many others, at an outstanding event which changed me for the better. I went on through Cleveland, spending excellent time with friends Tammy and Frank, before driving down to Columbus which included a brief stop to meet Jackie and some of her colleagues. The Columbus gig was excellent. This was the first and only time I saw Rush perform live without a friend to accompany me, and I watched them bring the curtain down in spectacular fashion.
I love how music and other art forms are able to get under the skin – connect you with others, move you, raise you, and drop you too. I never got to meet Neil Peart – but I couldn’t be happier that Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson did. Neil Peart. 12/09/1952 : 07/01/2020 <3