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Traveling Music : The Soundtrack to My Life and Times Hardcover – September 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
He uses the songs of a solo drive over an extended weekend as the springboard for reflections on his past and his evolution to what he has become. The music and his life have many parallels.
I found the diversity of music he likes fascinating and certainly got turned onto some music I never would have considered seriously before reading this (Frank Sinatra, Linkin Park) while others were fairly obvious influences that I directly related to.
It was interesting how open Neil was about his past, esp. his Teen years and how the behavior of others so permanantly and dramatically impacted who he became as an adult. I think we can all relate to that.
This book could easily have become confusing and bogged down in the changes from distant past stories to recent past to present time. But it doesn't. It easily kept my interest, had me nodding in agreement, and search in the music store and bookstore shelves for referenced books and albums.
My one complaint, and it was a complaint with Ghost Rider as well, is that he doesn't include a biography of the books and albums he mentioned. I kept a bookmark and pen handy and wrote down most of the albums I want to check out and books I want to read, but it would be nice if they'd have been included with full information and potentially even comments in an appendix.
If you're a fan of Neil or just a fan of well written biographies of interesting people I think you'll enjoy this book.
"Traveling Music" is different. Here, we find the Canadian establishing roots in (Oh, God - not really) America of all places. Peart's observations on the United States - especially those in "Ghost Rider" - are almost shamelessly typical of non-U.S. citizens, often boiling down to how crass and arrogant Americans are, but with an obvious appreciation for all the richness of the land and, yes, even the culture. While many of his critical views in "Ghost Rider" felt particularly (I hate this term) unfair, he paints with broader strokes in "Traveling Music" and reveals himself to be a man far more at peace.
The book details a drive through parts of the U.S. while listening to the music that has carried the most profound impact throughout his life. In the process, we get glimpses of the history ad progression of rock and roll from someone who has made it his life's work. But these opinions are also peppered with observations of other types of music and cultural developments that have helped shape his own distinction as well. While the reader may not agree with all his opinions regarding musical taste, his awareness of the cultural sway and the business we call "show" is keen and acute.Read more ›
After reading the book, I read the reviews here on Amazon. I suppose the theme that keeps coming up in reviews for this book as well as "Ghost Rider" is an assumption that the voice in his writing is arrogant, snobby and/or elitist. Speaking strictly of "Traveling Music", I do not hear that voice in the writing. Riding solo on his motorcycle while the "rest of the band" is on the bus is basic to the personality Peart reveals in this book, and to me did not come across as elitist. Who knows... I'd rather be flying down the highway on a bike than in a bus any day. Ordering him to join the band every day on the bus might well tinker with the magic that is Peart's creative, driving force behind Rush, and besides, he'd just do his own thing anyhow. That is one of the points of this book: living individually while participating in community. Therein are lessons. Today's publicly visible artists, as Peart writes, are unfortunately not always treated well by those that claim to appreciate them (he mentions John Lennon... point made). If the man wishes to lead a life of seclusion and peace, who is to begrudge him? Like most people, he writes of wanting to go to work, give it his all, and then, well... go home or go private. Peart apparently is quite cognizant that there are those who feel he shuns them, and at least makes an attempt to address it. Peart writes of his frustration with people who invade his privacy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another very enjoyable book by Neil Peart. An interesting mixture of biography (focusing on his childhood and early adulthood), travelogue, philosophy, natural history/geography,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Formulaphil
Not Neil's best work but I enjoyed most of this book. Neil referenced his childhood a lot and I felt it allowed me to get to know him better. Read morePublished 2 months ago by lisa satterly
Neil is such an eloquent writer! He always puts me right in the situation or emotion that he is trying to capture with his words. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Marcella Korczakowski
Pretty interesting read. Really enjoyed reading the book and then pulling up Amazon music app and listening to the music, mostly free on Amazon Prime, Neil was talking about at... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kakkarnold