RUSH Drummer Discusses 'Roadshow: Landscape With Drums' Book

Stephen Clare of reports:

Neil Peart has been busy.

Since returning to full form in 2002, the 54-year-old drummer for Canadian mega-rock trio RUSH has been preoccupied with a series of personal and professional projects: two studio albums, subsequent concert tours, DVDs, a website, and the writing of three books, including his latest work, "Roadshow: Landscape With Drums".

Speaking on the phone from a Toronto recording studio where he and bandmates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson are at work on their 18th original studio album, Peart explains his motivations for chronicling his motorcycle journeys during RUSH's 2004 30th anniversary tour.

"This book works on different levels," he says. "On the one hand, it became the logical culmination of so many desires to try and explain what it is really like to be a touring musician and the kinds of personal and artistic conflicts that exist in trying to survive and make a living doing something creatively satisfying.

"At the same time, it is a travel diary of sorts, as I have a passion to communicate what I see and who I meet when I am out there on my bike."

As the longtime beat-keeper and lyricist for his band, Peart is no stranger to shifting gears.

"It's a little like juggling hats," he says. "When I'm writing lyrics I always wear a cowboy hat, because I figure that you can never take yourself too seriously with a cowboy hat on.

"And then when I go in and work on drum parts, I'll put on my little African hat. Then, when I am writing prose, I'll wear either my BMW motorcycle hat or a Toronto Maple Leafs hat."

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