Archive for the Life and music Category

Rush – Snakes and Arrows Tour 7/22/08

Posted in Life and music on July 22, 2008 by Sam Rivera


Neil Peart, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson

l to r: Neil Peart, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson

During the summer of 1981, I was introduced to an album (yes kids, BEFORE cd’s came out there were record albums and cassette tapes!) called “Moving Pictures” by a band named Rush. Rush, the canadian power trio of rock has been around for over 30 years, producing outstanding records and dazzling audiences all over the world with their fantastic live performances and stage shows. Anyone who’s heard of Rush knows of Geddy Lee’s high-pitched vocals and phenomenal bass-playing, Alex Lifeson’s amazing guitar heroics and not to mention “The Professor” Neil Peart’s mind-blowing drumming and deep, thought-provoking, and insightful lyrics. Together, these 3 gentlemen make up the power trio that wrote and were shunned by critics but yet continued to produce records on their own terms, away from mainstream rock or pop. Their album “Moving Pictures” is considered to be an instant classic in the modern rock world. Side A of this album (again, BEFORE cd’s kids!) features the timeless classic rock songs such as “Tom Sawyer”, “Red Barchetta”, “YYZ” (an amazing instrumental), and “Limelight”. These songs are typical “standards” of their concert performances.

Many years have passed since that night when I 1st listened to “Moving Pictures” and I remained a die hard fan ever since. I had seen them in concert numerous times, collected every one of their albums (eventually I got all ther cd’s as time and technology  progressed). I was heavily influenced by their songs – especially the lyrics. Mr. Peart’s writing has inspired me in so many ways – made me think alot about things in my life. And needless to say, I SO wanted to play the drums like him! I always told my friends back in the 80’s and 90’s that if I ever had a son, his name would be Neil.

Well lo, and behold, Sept of 1990, my 1st child was born – a son. His mother knew there was no discussing the matter. His name would be Neil and so it is. When my 2nd son was born in 1993, I lost out on that argument because I wanted to name him Alex (there was no way in the world that she would allow me to name him “Geddy”, so that was scratched). But in all fairness, I was reminded that I got to name the 1st child, so she named our 2nd son Wesley. Hmmmm….Wes….not a bad name at all!

Neil grew up to the almost 18 yr. old he is today and eventually learned to play drums. I would make sure that he got lessons from someone who was qualified. And Wes, who is now 15, took an interest in the bass guitar, so I made sure he took lessons from a qualified teacher too. Both of them love to play their respective instruments and it gives me great joy to see and hear them play. They both share the same enthusiasm for Rush as I do; as I used to tell my friends back in my ‘heyday’ that I would turn them on to who I consider to be the greatest rock band in the world! Yes, folks, I take “Rush” that serious.  🙂

So today, July 22, 2008, I am taking Neil and Wes to see Rush in concert for the very 1st time. And we couldn’t be more stoked! As I mentioned, I had seen Rush perform live many times before and all I could think of is that Neil and Wes are in for a real treat tonight. This is a very cool moment for me. For years I had hoped and wished that Rush would be around long enough so that I could take my boys to see them in concert. Tonight, that wish will come true. How cool is that?!?!?!

“Driving down the razor’s edge ‘tween the past and the future
Turn up the music and smile –
Get carried away on the songs and stories of vanished times”

~ N.Peart “Workin’ Them Angels”, from the album, “Snakes and Arrows” – 2007.