Neil Peart, in between shows with his newly minted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Rush, likes to take motorcycle rides to free his mind. A recent trip, however, turned into a nightmare.
Peart, out west for the third leg of Rush’s on-going North American tour in support of Clockwork Angels, found himself and a buddy on a too-sandy stretch of trail and became stuck — and then stranded on some unmapped, unpaved road in arid western Arizona.
If not for the help a friend group of passing folks in sturdy quads, none of whom knew at first who Peart was, he might have had to hike back to civilization. Whether they would have made it or not was another story, since Peart and his friend Michael were running low on water.
The strangers helped pull their cycles out of the sand, and pulled them back to where the road goes from too-soft dirt to manageable gravel again.
It was at this point, Rush’s co-founding drummer did something he never, ever does.
“I introducing myself — by name and by profession — to our rescuers,” Peart relays, via a new post on his web site. “I started by asking Tom, ‘Are you a fan of rock music?’ He nodded tentatively, not knowing what I was getting at. Turning to face all of them, I said, ‘Well, I play for the band Rush. If any of you are going to be in Phoenix tomorrow night, I would like to invite you to our show.’”
Tom, one of the quad-driving rescuers, responded: “Whoa — I used to listen to Rush all the time.”
Bet he does a lot more these days. Peart took their names, and had passes waiting for them at the next show.
“Later, (Michael) said to me: ‘Wow — after traveling with you all these years, I’ve never seen you ‘come out’ before,’” Peart remembers. “I fixed him with an ironic glare, ‘Someday you’ll learn that there’s always a proper time to come out.’”
Upcoming 2013 dates and venues for Rush …
Wed, May 22: Manchester MEN Arena, Manchester, England
Fri, May 24: The O2, London, England
Sun, May 26: Birmingham LG Arena, Birmingham, England
Tue, May 28: Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, England
Thu, May 30: SECC, Glasgow, Scotland
Sun, Jun 2: Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tue, Jun 4: Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany
Thu, Jun 6: O2 World, Berlin, Germany
Sat, Jun 8: Sweden Rock Festival, Solvesborg, Sweden
Mon, Jun 10: Hartwell Arena, Helsinki, Finland