Far and Away: A Prize Every Time by Neil PeartFar and Away: A Prize Every Time by Neil Peart

Far and Away: A Prize Every Time

byNeil Peart

Paperback | September 1, 2011

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Following in the tradition of Ghost Rider and Traveling Music, Rush drummer Neil Peart relates nearly four years of band tours, road trips, and personal discoveries in this introspective travelogue. From the ups and downs of a professional artist to the birth of a child, this revealing narrative recounts 22 adventures from rock’s foremost drummer, biker enthusiast, husband, and father. Both playful and insightful, Peart’s love of drumming and the open road weaves throughout the stories as he explores horizons that are both physical and spiritual, sharing his observations about nature, society, and the self. Full-color photos round out this tour of the open road that will resonate with Rush fans and motorcycle enthusiasts alike.
Neil Peart is the drummer and lyricist of the legendary rock band Rush and the author of Ghost Rider, The Masked Rider, Roadshow, and Traveling Music. He lives in Los Angeles.
Title:Far and Away: A Prize Every TimeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 10 × 8 × 0.5 inPublished:September 1, 2011Publisher:ECW PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1770410597

ISBN - 13:9781770410596

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Prize In Multiple Formats Like every single other one of Peart's travel-biographies, this one goes straight up my "must recommend" list; but unlike his previous works, this one is the most interesting in that most of the content has already been accessible via Peart's blog. As I read through the sequence of articles, adventures (which are, as Peart continually states in an ongoing ode to Hemmingway "no fun when you're having them") and retrospective commentary, I was blown away with the fact that there is, indeed, a prize in each and every tale collected in this book. Peart seems most at home when he is not spotlit on a stage, but rather, blending into the crowd and absorbing the abundance of what each day's adventure has to offer. He's not one for the fuss and bother of being fawned over by fans, and amazingly humble in the overwhelming "cheers" for his multiple creative outlets. His stories reveal that attitude as well as his thirst for perfection in his personal accomplishments and the sheer joy in the act of sharing these tales. The blog posts are reminiscent of the personal hand-written letters that appear in Ghost Rider, in that they are the result of Peart's desire to put into words the things he sees in the world around him, capturing interesting moments and singular activities that become timeless and enduring. After all, who would have thought that reading somebody's blog posts from 2009 about the strange personal quest for two neighbours to find the base of a "phantom tower" that suddenly appeared on the horizon in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec or the tranquil reflections of watching a hummingbird family in the backyard bougainvillea vines could be fascinating for strangers to read. But they are. And amazingly so. Peart deftly brings the reader right along for each one of his adventures and observations. The experience is less like reading a book and more akin to sitting across from a dear friend on a warm summer night and listening to them recount the fascinating day they just had. It find it interesting that I could have read most of the content of the book for free via Peart's blog, or could have just left it at reading the free digital NetGalley copy I received. But if I had done that, I would be missing out on a truly glorious experience of holding the 10 1/2 " X 8 1/2 " hardcover in my hands, of flipping through the pages, seeing photos and then being drawn back into the tales that accompany them. Simply, the hardcover is gorgeous. It beautifully crossed the boundary between text prose and coffee-table picture book, offering much of the best of both worlds in a single bound edition. The physical manifestation of the book itself is evidence of how a tried and true format of the print book simply can't be replaced. But even putting that "collectible" and "displayable" artefact aside, the compilation of these posts into a single package with a defined beginning and end give it something special, and I applaud Peart, his travel companions (who are also photographers), his editors and ECW Press for putting the proper time and effort into producing this fine book.
Date published: 2011-05-29

Read from the Book

JULY 2007With only a few days at home after the first leg of the Snakes and Arrows tour (sixteen shows, 7,257 miles of motorcycling), this will definitely be the “short version.” Still, I wanted to try to put up something new.Photographs of the performances are plentifully available elsewhere (my view of the audience this tour is studded with innumerable cell–phone cameras, sticking up like periscopes), so I thought I might just display a couple of motorcycling photos. On this tour Michael and I haven’t even carried cameras with us on the bikes, let alone bothered to ease our steady pace to take photos, but recently we had a camerahappy “guest rider,” Richard S. Foster. The name might ring a bell to dedicated readers of album credits—our song “Red Barchetta” had a note on the lyric sheet: “Inspired by ‘A Nice Morning Drive’ by Richard S. Foster.”Rick (as he is known to his friends, among whom I now number myself) tells our long story in another forum, and it’s quite an amazing sequence of coincidences and synchronicities. (See photo credits for details.)The short version (I keep saying that) is that despite my attempts back in 1980 to contact the author of the short story that had inspired “Red Barchetta”—a story I had read in a 1973 issue of Road & Track— we only recently managed to actually make contact.Rick rode with Michael and me through the back roads (the very back roads) of West Virginia for a couple of days between shows in near– D.C. and near–Pittsburgh (so many of those amphitheaters are in the exurbs), and then he attended his first Rush concert in (or near) Boston.But that’s his story, and I’ll leave it to him to tell. Michael only left Rick with one request, from the movie Almost Famous, when the singer says to the young journalist, “Just make us look cool.”(How well Rick succeeded with that challenge, the reader may judge by his story.)For Michael and me, it was great just to have some photographs of us riding—something we do every day, after all, so it is nice to have it documented like that. After last tour, when I was constantly so intent on note–gathering for the book that became Roadshow, this time I have been feeling a real sense of freedom—the freedom of not having to document anything. I can simply experience it, think about it or not, and let the day flow by me as it will.That being said, so far this tour has certainly been worthy of a book, too, in its way. I kind of wish someone else was writing one about it, but I don’t think it will be me. My journal notes consist only of our daily mileages—though I couldn’t resist noting a couple of church signs: “GIVE SATAN AN INCH, SOON HE’LL BE A RULER,” and one I just love: “TO ERR IS HUMAN, BUT IT CAN BE OVERDONE.” So good. And I admire it not only for the worthy sentiment, but for the perfect phrasing, too.Another church sign caught my eye because of the word “faithless,” as in our song on Snakes and Arrows. This one seemed kind of mean, though: “AND JESUS REPLIED, SAYING, ‘YOU ARE A FAITHLESS AND PERVERSE GENERATION.’” I assured Michael that he was the only one of us who was both.