Rush is a Band

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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Fri, Nov 22, 2019

Neil Peart news update: Cruel Summer

Wed, Sep 15, 2010@3:09PM | comments

Neil smiling on Big Al's 57th birtday[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS: September, 2010 - Cruel Summer]

As he usually does after any extended tour break, Neil Peart has updated the News page on his website with some stories from the road. This update is titled Cruel Summer and Neil describes a series of unfortunate events that befell him and his crew on this last leg of the tour including Neil's riding partner Michael Mosbach getting food poisoning, their bus breaking down, a couple of flat tire incidents, a wind/rain/hail storm, and a computer breakdown - not to mention his inner ear issues which he addresses here:

... The headphones I’m wearing also round off the ear-infection story, for now—or at least suggest the short version. After much experimentation with eardrops, creams, and hypotheses, two excellent doctors, Dr. Buzz Reifman and Dr. David Opperman, persuaded me to visit their clinic in Denver, specializing in “Care of the Professional Voice,” but also a musician’s ear, nose, and throat problems. Both ears were badly infected, aggravated by wearing the in-ear monitors onstage, and perhaps by wearing earplugs on the motorcycle, too—heat and moisture create a rainforest environment for bacteria, fungus, eczema, and psoriasis. The doctors prescribed a heavy regimen of three different antibiotics, and recommended that I switch to headphones (and no earplugs on the bike, but its Cee Bailey windscreen is pretty quiet). Within a few days, they had given me back two reasonably healthy ears. Never again will I take for granted simply hearing what I’m playing, what the other guys are playing, and—in everyday life—what people are saying to me. ...

He also addresses the tour and how good he feels about the band's playing:

... Even well into the second leg of the tour, after almost twenty shows, I felt that we seemed to enter a new “zone.” The basic structure of the show, the details of arrangements, tempos, and transitions, had been refined night after night as we went along (noting that we rehearsed for two months for what was to have been a three-month tour), but once we had nailed down the foundation, each of us was reaching higher. More determination and care were being poured into our individual performances, and together those energies were fusing into a white-hot unit that surprised even us. Raw energy sparked in our improvisational sections, especially—Geddy in the bass rideout to [SPOILER SONG TITLE], Alex ... in his frenetic leadwork in the middle instrumental section of [SPOILER SONG TITLE] in which he plays with what a long-ago reviewer called “seeming teenage abandon.” During that part, at the end of the night, when I look out from the drums and see Alex skipping back as we begin the ensemble section out of that solo, I can’t help but smile at the crazy guy I’ve been watching for thirty-six years.

So magic still happens. ...

Indeed it does. You can read the entire thing at this link. Thanks for the update Neil!