The Ghost Rider – The Depth and Touch of Neil Peart

neil peart rip

Guest blogger: Curtis James Healy

For those who know me, it seems often I am always just in a sticky wicket, facing some kind of challenge that never dissipates.

For the most part, I face those challenges by taking on an echelon of information and knowledge in books and reading. To paraphrase Richard Wright, “…in books I found the power to save my life’.

Today, I highly recommend Neil Peart’s ‘Ghost Rider’, not only the eponymous song, but the book that prefaces the album ‘Vapour Trails’.

Among hundreds of volumes I have read, this one obviously stands out today. It recounts how Neil reclaimed his life, after the death if his daughter in a tragic car accident and then his wife’s death a year later in a failed fight against cancer.

He just got on his motorcycle and drove off, from Quebec, to Alaska, down to Mexico and back. I read it five years ago almost, and will forever be grateful to this man, who knew harrows I still cannot understand, not only for his formidable cadre of music, but the fact he felt it important to cast down a portion of his privacy, feeling it worth the telling, for imparting so much wisdom that kept me hanging on, though our experiences were greatly different.

In almost the past five years, I’ve known twenty people who have died, about five a year, formative heroes, friends, associates of friends, and family, and tonight it climbs to twenty-one.

There are so many thoughts and emotions swirling right now, how along with other artists, geniuses, philosophers in the Canadian Hagiography, there is now a trifecta of those who contract and perish from brain anomalies and ailments.

Neil Peart now enters into a trinity with Marshall McLuhan, for which much of his music, though sourced differently, tracked much of Marshall’s speculations and observations of technology, and Gord Downie.

Gord’s speed to another master lost, whose wealth unto this world and your home shall never perish, though the world is poorer this evening, fly by night, Neil, nothing can stop you now.