Neil Peart made a guest appearance on the first episode of the six-part, Canadian documentary series Walk the Walk which recently premiered on Canadian cable TV outlets Global TV and Slice. The series celebrates the work done by community heroes, surprising them with a visit from a celebrity they admire who has already been inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame; Rush was inducted back in 1999. The episode with Peart focuses on London, Ontario based musician Karl Sloman, who shows compassion, along with perseverance and ingenuity, with the band he formed in 2005 called Trainwreck - an eight-member band divided equally between players with and without disabilities. Sloman has posted the full story of his Brush with Rush to his website here. He talks about his work with Trainwreck and how it came about, and relays the complete, inside story of how he and his band came to be featured on Walk the Walk.
... unbeknownst to me, Graehme and the producers had a a secret that they were planning with the band Rush. After a couple of weeks Graehme received the following video informing him of some special events that were to take place.
Graehme informed me that the producers of the documentary were going to fly both of us to Cleveland Ohio for the meeting and that it would happen on 27 October 2012. This caused a bit of administrative turmoil, because Graehme and I were suppose to be at The Percussive Arts Society International Conference (PASIC) in Austin Texas. However, the producers simply said, "okay we will fly you up from Texas".
On 25 October Graehme and I along with my partner (Kristine Schenk) and one of my students (Zack Lawless) drove from London, Ontario to San Antonio Texas. 36 hours in the car, we caught a flight from San Antonio at 5:00am back to Cleveland. Arriving in Cleveland after 50 hours we were take to a 5 star hotel (Marriott) where we were treated like kings. Interviews and filming were conducted and then we were off to bed for the big day when I would meet Lorne. My mind was racing and I could not sleep. What would I say to him, would I sound intelligent enough, would I ramble (as I am prone to do), would I hog the conversation, would I come across as sincere, a thousand questions raced through my head? ... we were led to centre stage where Lorne was waiting. There was Neil's drum set, gleaming with lights reflecting of its perfect finish, the gold hardware glinting and distorting our reflections like the mirrors in an old fashioned fun house at a fall fair. It was dark in the stadium except for the lighting on the stage. Cameras were located all around with members of the documentary staff looking on. Lorne came and shook my hand and welcomed us. He then began a tour of Neil's set informing me of everything in detail. As we traveled around the side of the set, I looked up and noticed a small fan for Neil's hands, I inquired about it and as I did, I noticed someone had walked up immediately to my left. It was none other than Neil Peart! ...
The post also contains a bunch of great behind-the-scenes photos. Be sure to check out the entire thing at this location, and there's also this minute-and-a-half preview video of the Neil Peart episode which you can check out below or at this link.