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Traveling Music: The Soundtrack to My Life and Times
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Traveling Music: The Soundtrack to My Life and Times

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  696 ratings  ·  56 reviews
The music of Frank Sinatra, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, and many other artists provides the score to the reflections of a musician on the road in this memoir of Neil Peart's travels from Los Angeles to Big Bend National Park. The emotional associations and
ebook, 440 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by ECW Press (first published 2004)
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I enjoyed this book. The writing was good and the read was easy.

Neil, as you probably know is the drummer for the band Rush. He has always had difficulty with intrusive fans and I understand why. Please indulge me as I relate some personal experiences to help explain why.

I was at a John Denver concert and couldn't wait to intermission to pee, so I went to the men's room to relieve myself and seconds after I entered, in came Charlie Pride who bellied up to a urinal a couple of slots to my left.
Jason Collins

Peart uses a automobile roadtrip as his usual mobile setting to unload his thoughts on just about everything....but mainly music. As always, Peart's writing is great to read.
Of all Peart's literary works, this one is the least structured, which is OK.
Peart gives his opinions many topics - and readers may not agree with everything he has to say.
I took issue with his diatribes against Elvis and the Beatles. In several chapters, Peart asserts that the Beach Boys were greater than the Beatles. And
As a drummer myself, and occasional lyricist/writer, Neil Peart is certainly a major hero and I enjoyed a lot of the writing in this book. I was surprised and happy to find he digs Limp Bizkit but mortified by his broad swipe at The Beatles, the greatest band of all time for me and so many others. You have to accept these differences of opinion, just like talking about sports teams, religion or politics - it makes Neil real and I'm sure he'd be happy to know that it took the shine off his hero s ...more
Previous TCL Reviews
What’s life without road trips? What is a road trip without the right music? Neil Peart, the drummer for the rock band Rush, takes us on a trip from Los Angeles, California to Big Bend National Park in Texas and back. What does a famous musician and lyricist listen to on a road trip? It made me stop and think why I choose the music that I do and what it means to me. Traveling Music takes Neil, and the reader, back to the past, through the present and on to the future all along the long road to T ...more
Scott A.  Reid
I met Neil Peart backstage at the Roll the Bones concert in Cleveland, Ohio (circa 1991). This is a true story and I may edit this review and tell more of it someday. Conducting a sociological study on the backstage area at rock concerts, my colleague and I ended up backstage with Geddy (what a nice guy!), Alex, and Neil. Prior to this we sat in a small tuning room with Geddy's bass guitars, including the famous blue Rickenbacker. A bass player himself, my colleague Jon picked up the rick and pl ...more
As a memoir, this one is fine. Good, maybe, but not great. But will you indulge my fandom, dear reader? I am a devoted, passionate, lifelong Rush fan, which disqualifies me as a critic of anything Neil Peart produces on drums or in words. For me a non-fiction read doesn't get much better than this: a road trip mix produced and glossed by an articulate, talented, geeky, genuinely nice guy. Plus the road machine is a sweet BMW and the destination is Big Bend National Park. Yes, that's my idea of p ...more
Nov 04, 2008 Emerson rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I have obvious bias because my favorite band is Rush. If I were not, I may have only rated it at a mere four stars. It's well-written, funny, interesting, and informative. Hey now, information is fun, as Peart writes in the book, "How could anyone ever be bored in this world, when there was so much to be interested in, to learn, to contemplate/ It seemed to me that knowledge was actually fun, in the sense of being entertaining..."

He writes in a way that is sprawling, but not distractedly so. It'
Apr 21, 2011 Cameron rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any Rush fan or those interested in starting a journal
This is an interesting book to critique. I loved it for a few reasons.

1. Because I am a huge Neil Peart and rush fan and I love hearing stories about the songs and their history. I don't see how anyone would pick up this book if they were not a fan.

for those who are not fans I would still recommend it for my second reason why I liked it so much.

2. I have always wanted to start a journal but struggled with how I might do it since I am now 38 years old and see things differently now then I did
Carol Waller

It should be 2.5; I'm being generous. Yes, I'm a Rush fan. The writing was decent, although it could have used a firmer hand trimming the longer, descriptive, not-moving-the-thesis-forward parts. I guess what sums it up best is too many drum solos.

But what really ratcheted down my opinion was the many extended riffs on how music is being written by evil corporate old men, cashing in on the public's emotions and lack of taste. Okay, I can agree that a lot of music is designed (as opposed to writ
Scott L.
As a Rush fan since the 1970's, and especially a Neil Peart fan, I always look forward to hear what "the professor" has to say in his books. The good is that I found this book to be a very enjoyable read. What keeps it from being a five-star book is the "patchwork" essence of the book. I thought that he had a better narrative in Ghost Rider - and perhaps he should have followed the same pattern, although anyone that knows Peart's drumming knows that patterns are not necessarily part of his life. ...more
I really liked the first half of the book and the latter portion for some reason there was a section that just didn't seem to fit in for me. Mr. Peart takes you on a ride with through the desert while nicely transporting you to different era in his life via musical references. This is very nicely done in the first half of the book, however the second half is more travel, which is also very interesting. There is just some space in between that kinda doesn't fit for me... like a middle eight that ...more
Jason Clarke
Just finished reading Travailing Music: The Soundtrack Of My Life by Neil Peart. It's a great semi-autobiographical book about the music, both past and present, that helped shape, arguably, one of the best drummers in modern heavy/progressive music. Neil takes us on yet another long trip, this time in his favorite car. He goes back to the beginning of his musical memory and takes us with him as he listens to and enjoys the music of his life. As Neil puts it "The music of my internal transistor ...more
believe it or not neal peart is a good writer, smart, tough, thoughtful in his observations. so that is bonus because his stories i don't think are what you think.
his wife up and died on him tragically, so fucking tragically. he took off and rode his bike from morocco to south africa. well tried. it was suicide by bike. he made it?(?) and wrote a book about it and joined his band backup and toured the world about a million times. he rode his bike between shows, so after houston he'd run out of t
Aside from the sometimes lengthy descriptions of subjects I had no interest in (minute details of his cars and motorcycle), I thoroughly enjoyed Neil Peart's book. It made me appreciate him so much more as a drummer and as a person, and in general, the music of Rush. I'm sure many who read this, myself included, can relate to an uncomfortable coming-of-age, the glorious discovery of music, the trials of early adulthood, and beyond.

My personal favorite chapter was his recounting of his adventure
Peart wins me back with this one,after reading Roadshow. But it's probably because he combines two of my favorite pursuits as topics: road tripping and working my way through a music collection in the process. Wasn't expecting, and really liked, how he delved into the "backstories" behind the music he was describing. Some of it you can tell he had to search for, as well as research. And not research done as a researcher would do, but as a fan would. This book didn't touch upon some of the 4-star ...more
So far, so good. I'm through the first few chapters. Neil really gets into his musical influences, professionally and personally. It's evident that he's really intelligent, well-read, and well-versed in music history. One doesn't need to be a Rush fan, or drumming enthsiast, to enjoy this. When I was an acne-faced 14-year-old, I had the opportunity to meet Neil after a show. He denied that he was Neil Peart, and refused to give me and my friend the time of day. Especially by reading this book, I ...more
AdultNonFiction Teton County Library
Teton County Library Call No: 786.9166092 PEART
Mark A's rating: 3 stars

What’s life without road trips? What is a road trip without the right music? Neil Peart, the drummer for the rock band Rush, takes us on a trip from Los Angeles, California to Big Bend National Park in Texas and back. What does a famous musician and lyricist listen to on a road trip? It made me stop and think why I choose the music that I do and what it means to me. Traveling Music takes Neil, and the reader, back to the past
Ever wonder what touring with a major rock band is like? Like motorcycles and travel? You won't be able to put this book down. Spun with increasing craft, Mr. Peart shares aspects of his life with others few get to see.
adri patamoma
como fã do rush, sou suspeita ao comentar os livros do peart. fato número um: ele escreve BEM. fato número dois: me apaixonei pela escrita dele lendo 'ghost rider', que é o melhor livro do peart até agora, na minha opinião. 'traveling music' é legal, mas não tão empolgante, nem tão interessante quanto o 'ghost rider'. como fã do cara, adorei saber o que ele gosta de ouvir, e como reage a músicas durante uma viagem. gostei muito também de saber mais da vida dele, do que cada música traz em forma ...more
I really enjoyed this one and it is inspiring. I adore Neil Peart and loved that his destination in the book was a place I also love--The Big Bend. Neil writes like Bill Bryson in a way.... what starts as a travelogue goes off in many directions that are interesting and educational.
Parts of the book were tedious, long boring descriptions of diners and roads, etc. However, some descriptions of history of music, different people involved in recording projects were cool. The portions about Africa were really entertaining. The better parts were a la Bill Bryson type writing. Good overall book.
Greg Canellis
This book is structured around a road trip, and the CDs Peart listens to along the way. Peart loves to digress, and we get a history of his musical roots and growth via early records and rock & roll TV shows of the 1960s. Peart is also tedious, and we get every detail and analysis of a CD, from Sinatra to obscure Canadian bands that no one has ever heard of. If it had ended there, the book would have been fine. But, at the end, Peart had to throw in a segment of a bicycle tour of West Africa ...more
I really liked this book. It works well as a travelogue and as a music review. The book chronicles a road trip and the music that is consumed during the trip. I really enjoyed the ways that Peart described the music he listened to and how it impacts him emotionally and professionally. I found the chapters following the music to be more interesting and better constructed than the, chorus, chapters, focusing on his growing up and formative years. Some artists I like, Frank Sinatra, were inspiring ...more
Found this book by accident, and really enjoyed it. It's hard to categorize -- The book is part biography, part travelogue, part music appreciation and, part essay on being creative. Peart is an enthuastic and articulate writer with an eye for detail -- and an eclectic taste in music. Even if it is occasionally tangential, the book mostly hangs together for anyone who is willing to go in something other than a straight line or easy label. This is a great book to take on a vacation or road trip. ...more
Shawn Morris
Another enjoyable read from Mr. Peart making wish I could take off on a long road trip by myself.
This book describes a brief trip that Neil took in his Z8 to Big Bend National Park,TX , and the music that he listened to along the way. He also includes many other tangents that tell childhood stories, how he was influenced early in his music career, along with other interesting side notes.
It was very surprising to hear what he likes to listen to,( from Frank Sinatra to Linkin Park ), and what early music shaped his drumming career.
I also learned alot about how much time, effort, and perfectio
Glad I took my time with this one, it brought up a lot of memories of my own around music in my teens and beyond.

I liked this one better than Roadshow in the fact that he was a lot more forgiving of the fans he encountered. I get the need for privacy and all that but he can be overly prickly about it IMHO.

Loved the moment when he met Charlie Watts! Very funny.

Great read for Rush fans, I may just have to check out some of these artists he describes and see for myself if I agree.. Nice read.
Aug 18, 2008 Scott rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who enjoy travelogues, memoirs
This book is the traveling chronicles and somewhat memoir for Neil Peart, the percussionist and lyricist for the rock band Rush. Though I've been a disciple of Peart for 15 years, the reading of this book and his last book "Ghost Rider" demonstrates that he is well-versed yet unfortunately very arrogant.
It was still better than "Ghost Rider," but it was a struggle to endure to get through it all.
Insightful look into Pratt's life and love of music through his musical playlist. Great for those who are looking for new music to listen to. Leaves a great literary taste in your mouth upon completion. Also, a GREAT book for Rush fans (Peart recounts the start of his involvement in the band, as well as the history of his drumming).
Seminole County Public Library
(submitted in the Summer Reading Grand Prize Drawing at the West Branch - chosen as a staff favorite)

A truly interesting story of a drummer’s life. Neil Peart of the rock and roll band RUSH is a very talented writer and great musician. I recommend this book for enjoyable summer reading.

-submitted by Ellen
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Neil Peart (pronounced /ˈpɪərt/) OC, (born Neil Ellwood Peart) is a Canadian musician and author. He is best-known as the drummer and lyricist for the rock band Rush.

Peart grew up in Port Dalhousie, Ontario, Canada (now part of St. Catharines) working the occasional odd job. However, his true ambition was to become a professional musician. During adolescence, he floated from regional band to regio
More about Neil Peart...
Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa Roadshow: Landscape With Drums Far and Away: A Prize Every Time Far and Near: On Days Like These

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“Whatever is left behind in the passing of a rare talent, so much is always lost.” 0 likes
“As the train rolled through the countryside, so lush and green, and into the sprawling suburbs of south London, I stared around at all the strangeness: the narrow little “terraced” houses all in rows of brick and chimneypots, the tiny back gardens with clotheslines and garden sheds, the little cars all on the wrong side of the road — it was all so delightfully foreign, and exotic. My first lesson that the rest of the world really was more different than I knew or imagined.” 0 likes
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