Neil Peart has just posted another update to his "News, Weather, and Sports" website blog. The July 2013 entry is titled On Days Like These which is a reference to the song of the same name by Matt Monro.
As is the case with many of Neil's entries during a tour, he talks extensively about his motorcycle travels between shows, taking in the sights of Canada and North America. Referencing the song and the notion of On Days Like These, Neil had this to say:Every riding day during this run of the tour, through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and across Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, that song played in my helmet. (Talking about that phenomenon with other riders, we agree that a song can be mentally playing while you’re cruising along, then when you need to concentrate on more demanding traffic or road conditions, the music goes into “pause.” When mental space allows, the song of the day will resume at exactly the same place. That would be one advantage of listening to that “analog” playback as opposed to digital earbuds—it cannot distract you at the wrong time.)Later in the entry, Neil discusses the rain-shortened Quebec City show:
“On Days Like These” was not like what is called an “earworm,” some annoying old song that you can’t get out of your head, but a combination of words and music that always rang true. Every day seemed like “that day”—perfectly appropriate for that song, playing over and over in my inner jukebox.
“On Days Like These” . . .The only dark spot was the Quebec City show. It was held outdoors in a vast open area—another famous battleground, the Plains of Abraham, from a battle between the French and English in 1759. It was just one theater of the Seven Years War—perhaps the real first World War, as it involved most of the Western Powers. (In Voltaire’s satirical novel Candide, published in 1758, he described the North American part of this war by saying they were fighting over “quelques arpents de neige”—some acres of snow.) That war’s effect on Canada’s history will come into this story again, when we finally “return” to the ending, Balancing Rock in Nova Scotia.Finally, the news of a possible remastering of Vapor Trails sneaks into the entry:
With something like 40,000 people in front of us—making more of a landscape than an audience—the first set went very well. During intermission, Geddy remarked how much he enjoyed playing these festival-style shows. (We had recently played similar events in Ottawa and Sweden.) He liked how the younger fans were able to make their way up front, instead of the older (and wealthier) people buying up the front rows, and the overall energy and excitement in such a setting.
I agreed, but said, “The weather always makes me nervous.”
During the second set, just before we began “The Garden,” I started to see flurries of raindrops in the spotlight beams over the crowd. As we launched into the song, the wind gusted up, swirling rain all through the colored lightbeams flashing around the stage. Behind the vast crowd in front of me, lightning flickered in the distant darkness. Raindrops covered my cymbals enough to dampen their sound (literally and figuratively), and striking a crash cymbal sent a colorful fountain into the air. Of greatest concern were the exposed electronics—keyboards and foot pedals—and the delicate violins and cellos. (Later cellist Jacob told us, “If it had been anyone but you guys, I would have been off that stage.”) Just as we finished the song, monitor engineer Brent’s voice came over our ear monitors, “The show is over. A storm is right on us. Make an announcement, and get off the stage.”
Hard to believe that in almost forty years, we had never had to stop a show in the middle like that. Only once, a couple of tours ago in Chicago, had an outdoor show been called just minutes before we were supposed to go onstage. (We made that one up later.) But never once in all those years had we stopped a show in the middle—so we had no policy.The band had recently been overseeing a remixed version of our Vapor Trails album, from 2002, as we had never been happy with how it turned out. I found that trying to listen to those songs again was too upsetting, taking me back to a mindset and emotional state that hadn’t been good to live through then, or to relive now. I had to “recuse” myself from those judgments, and the Guys at Work understood, of course.You can read Neil's entire entry via this LINK.
And to check out every News, Weather, and Sports entry Neil has made dating back to 2005, they are all available at the News, Weather, and Sports Archives.