Morning Reading…

Neil Peart’s passing yesterday…

Over two decades ago, I began writing in a notebook character ideas, sketches, scenes and dialogue snippets that eventually found their way into an opening outline of an unfinished screenplay with a working title of Metaphysics of Music. Neil Peart‘s passing yesterday reminded me of the original ideas behind the script and forced me to get out the notebooks. All of it seemed then and still now, to surround a painful notion of mine that rock and roll was dying, possibly already dead, and what that meant for humanity, or at least to a Gen-Xer who had grown up with a life soundtrack that included Rush.

I was introduced to Rush via my friends older brothers and sisters, the ones that were in their teens in 1977, when I turned ten. The 2112 album was a party standard. As bong smoke filled basement keggers reached the midnight hours when things would be winding down, 2112 would enter the rotation.

In October of 1978, Rush released Hemispheres, followed by Permanent Waves in January of 1980. Thirteen months later, in February 1981, Geddy, Alex and Neil would release Moving Pictures, and that would be the first Rush album I raced out and purchased at a record store in the Center Shopping Mall. I was thirteen and Rush became mine. Within months, I had purchased Permanent Waves, Hemispheres, 2112. I would go on to own Signals (1982), Grace Under Pressure (1984) and Power Windows (1985).

Moving Pictures began heavy rotation in my thirteenth and fourteenth years on Earth. A time of teenage angst, love and rebellion that would supply the background sound for a growing abuse of alcohol and a decent reliance on drugs I was enjoying and would lead to an unfinished screenplay, Cool. A run that would lead to 40 days and 40 nights in a treatment facility in 1982, during the opening moves of Ronald Reagan‘s War On Drugs and Nancy Reagan‘s Just Say No campaign, when it wasn’t much fun anymore. A stay that introduced me to the ways of the world with a bunch of other like-minded misfits – many that are still my friends today, nearly forty years later, and poured the foundation for another screenplay, Just Say Yes. A hodge-podge group from every walk of life, that would embrace the Signals album in September of 1982 with sobriety in the same manner they had embraced Moving Pictures and drugs in 1981, giving rise to another screenplay, Backlog. It was as though Rush was writing lyrics for us.

Rush is a staple in my music diet. Give me some volume on this!