From time to time, Rush drummer Neil Peart posts lengthy blog entries on his personal site, neilpeart.net. They frequently cover a variety of recent events and subjects close to his heart. In January he wrote about the recording of the band's new album Clockwork Angels (out next week!), and in his latest essay, he talks about two recent awards Rush received: the Ronnie James Dio Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement, at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in L.A., and the Governor-General’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Performing Arts, in Ottawa, Canada. He discusses meeting Pete Townshend of The Who, a longtime idol and inspiration, and pays tribute to legendary jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette.
Here's a brief excerpt, about the Golden Gods Awards:
"The admirable Jack Black and his Tenacious D bandmate, Kyle Gass, said they would present the award, if at least one of us showed up to accept it. Geddy said he couldn’t be there because he would be in Japan, and I said I couldn’t be there . . . because I’m me.
"Never comfortable amid crowds of people, especially if they’re making a fuss about me—plus facing up to public speaking, and public praise—I just feel tense and embarrassed. Anyone acquainted with me knows I try to avoid such situations whenever I can. (Of course it’s different when I am drumming—that is a more-or-less natural environment for me.)
"So Alex manfully volunteered to appear on our behalf and accept the award. However, just days before, Alex had a personal situation at home in Toronto that wouldn’t allow him to travel to Los Angeles for the event. Discussing it all on the phone with our manager, Ray, he started to say, 'I don’t suppose you would consider—'
I cut him off, 'No possible way—are you serious? You know I don’t do that kind of thing. And it’s my moving day!'
"That was true, but in the same breath that was saying 'no,' my mind echoed with the true answer, 'yes.'
"Clearly I would have to do it, that’s all there was to it—it was the right thing to do. The only thing to do. Obstacles would have to be surmounted. Or ignored.
"Alex felt terrible about disappointing everyone, and I felt a loyal obligation to bail him out. And besides, it would be too rude for none of us to show up. We are Canadians, after all."