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  • Roadshow

  • Landscape with Drums: A Concert Tour by Motorcycle
  • By: Neil Peart
  • Narrated by: Brian Sutherland
  • Length: 15 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (63 ratings)

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Summary

For 30 years, drummer, author, and songwriter Neil Peart had wanted to write a book about "the biggest journey of all in my restless existence: the life of a touring musician." Finally, the right time, and the right tour. 

In the summer of 2004, after three decades, 20 gold albums, and thousands of performances spanning four continents, the band Rush embarked on a celebratory 30th Anniversary World Tour. The "R30" tour traveled to nine countries, where the band performed 57 shows in front of more than half a million fans. Uniquely, Peart chose to do his between-show traveling by motorcycle, riding 21,000 miles of back roads and highways in North America and Europe - from Appalachian hamlets and Western deserts to Scottish castles and Alpine passes. 

Roadshow illuminates the daunting rigors of a major international concert tour, as well as Peart's exploration of the scenic byways and country towns along the way. His evocative and entertaining prose carries the listener through every performance and every journey, sharing the bittersweet reflections triggered by the endlessly unfolding landscape. Observations and reflections range from the poignantly, achingly personal to the wickedly irreverent. 

Part behind-the-scenes memoir, part existential travelogue, Roadshow winds through 19 countries on both sides of the Atlantic, in search of the perfect show, the perfect meal, the perfect road, and an elusive inner satisfaction that comes only with the recognition that the journey itself is the ultimate destination. 

The inner workings of the tour, the people Peart works with and the people he meets, the roads and stages and ever-changing scenery - all flow into an irresistible story.

©2011 Neil Peart (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Roadshow

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I listened to it during work.

I find myself a lucky person that I am allowed to listen to music or audiobooks during the day since I do manual work which requires focus and attention. Audiobooks are brilliant to keep me in this productive mood.
This book is amazing, very entertaining. I highly recommend to everyone.
What I didn't like that much was the narrative voice and speed. A bit too fast and very monotonous. You can get bored with it.
But overall it's worth the money.
Loved it!

3 people found this helpful

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Really good, but a slight 'but'

Where does Roadshow rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Quite high as I love and respect everything by Neil Peart

What was one of the most memorable moments of Roadshow?

His overall honesty and saying about his shyness or rather not liking to stand out

Did Brian Sutherland do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

Well, I like his voice BUT I found his ending sentences often sound rather flat? It bothered me at first, but overall a nice tone and warm

Any additional comments?

So nice to hear tales about and extraordinary mixture of being a rock drummer AND traveling on a motor bike. A great and unusual mix :)

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  • PJ
  • 04-05-22

Great company!

This is an epic ride across the USA and Europe. Certainly in the first half, not a lot happens for long stretches, but Neil Peart is great company and it’s interesting to hear his take on life, work and people. The European tour is more eventful. God knows how he rode all those miles and then played 3 hours at night. A good book. I enjoyed it.

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Perfect mix

Wonderful mix of Neil's descriptive writing along with a brief glimpse into the backstage set up of a beautifully private band..

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2/5

Mein gott this is a boring book. I bought it on sale when I had nothing else to listen to. Fact is, silence would've been far better. It listens to a guy moaning about the necessity of gigs between the rides.
Imma listen to Rush from now on and pretend I'd never listened to this pile of bore....

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  • Jim In Texas!
  • 04-10-14

Enjoyable, even for a non-fan of Rush

I was aware of the band called Rush, but didn't care for the little bit of their music I had heard in the past.

I had never heard the name 'Neil Peart' until a month ago when I listened to 'Ghost Rider'. I wouldn't call Ghost Rider an enjoyable book due to its central tragedy, but it was certainly well written and compelling.

I used my next credit for 'Roadshow'. This is a much more enjoyable book. It was interesting to learn how a big traveling music show operates.

I do have a little bit in common with Mr. Peart, we were both born in 1952 and we both like touring motorcycles. I've always been a shy person around strangers, but I can see I'm Mr Outgoing compared to this author.

Mr Peart's relationship with his fans is interesting. He appreciates them, but he's also very frightened by them. So frightened that immediately after a show ends he usually runs to his bus and 'gets of dodge' as quickly as he can.

The 'my fans scare me' theme runs throughout this book. Another theme is the authors love/hate relationship with the United States. I think love is winning out.

And of course, as a long distance rider I found the motorcycle stuff fascinating, and there is a lot of motorcycle in this book. It certainly would be nice to not worry about the cost of frequent visits to BMW dealers to fix all the little problems that come with a shiny red GS.

I have a Yamaha FJR sport touring bike, similar to the author's BMW, except faster. My Yamaha never breaks down, so I don't have to opportunity to become best friends with Yamaha dealers all over the country. ;)

I wish Mr Peart was not so quick to bash people based on their outward appearance, accents, or religious beliefs. His elitist attitude can be bit off putting at times. Still, keep in mind that the author really bares his soul in his books, showing the bad alongside the good.

We can appreciate his frankness in sharing some less than perfect sides of his personality.
Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

The narration and production values of this audiobook are excellent. Brian Sutherland voice seems perfect for the job. I've watched some interviews with Mr Peart, and noticed that Mr Sutherland's voice is almost indistinguishable from that of Mr Peart.

Since reading these two books I've tried to listen to some Rush music. It's just not for me, with the exception of Mr Peart's drum solos. I don't know if he's the best drummer in history, but he's certainly the best drummer I ever saw!

11 people found this helpful

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  • AR15 guy
  • 01-03-20

Very disappointed

I was excited to listen to this. I am a huge life long fan of Neil Peart. However, I just can not get past the arrogance and condescending comments that are so consistently annoying. I tried to push through and finish it but I just could not. If you liked Neil Peart and you have any kind of belief system, I would recommend not listening to this. You will lose all respect for him.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 24-10-17

Neil's best so far

I am a huge Rush fan, but haven't loved all of Neil's books. This one, however, I enjoyed very much. To take the time to write this book for his fans, this one about touring, I feel like it was one more gift from a band who has already given us so much, and with so much poise, integrity and class. Sure he's a cranky guy some of the time but if you accept that and just appreciate being taken on the trip with him via this book, you will enjoy it. He is a special person and it was fun and fascinating to see the world through his eyes in this book. Thanks again, Neil.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Todd R Fredricks
  • 27-10-15

A Hackneyed Polemic by a Supposed Objectivist

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It would have been so much better if accompanied by a pdf download of photographs. Peart is a fair author. Not great, not bad, but fair. His descriptions are somewhat illustrative and helpful for the imagination of the listener but photos would have really added needed color.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

As a RUSH fan of over 30 years and as a drummer who, like all drummers, loves to watch Peart play, I was truly shocked at the outright anti-Christian tone of the book. I am a Christian academic who works daily with other university intellectuals who do not share my faith. They never resort to invective in our discussions because I assume that they know that I respect and love them as Christ taught and they respect my objective analysis and scientific rigor within my field.

Peart sadly, lacks such class. That would be disappointing to me if I were a younger man because of my love for RUSH's music and their phenomenal creativity. As an older man with some mileage and wisdom, I hope, I have learned as Taylor Swift might say, "Haters Gonna Hate", and I can separate my analysis of Peart's anti-Christian ignorance from his incredible musical talent and showmanship.

He should understand that there are a lot of folks like me in his audience who have helped him afford his trips to Lake Como. Thus it might behoove him to tone it down a little or at least find some time to actually investigate a cross-section of American Evangelicals with the same rigor that he seems to apply his investigative expertise in his other adventure travels before he chooses to castigate a class of millions. As the saying goes, "To assume..."

Did Brian Sutherland do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

The book would have been far better had Peart himself narrated. Mr. Peart has an enjoyable and melodious voice and I have enjoyed his personal interviews. I think in the future he should tell his own stories. Sutherland was mellow to the point of nearly sleep inducing at times. Add to that odd overdubs where the timber of his voice changes and it was not an optimal narration.

Was Roadshow worth the listening time?

As a symbol of what I think Mr. Peart was trying to convey; the laboriousness of a major rock tour, yes. I was ready for it to be over around London as I think Mr. Peart was as well, but the story is great if you enjoy the vastness of the world and descriptions of the terrain and places to which Peart motorcycled. The brief glimpses into the actual playing were also interesting but little is added to the knowledge of the band as individuals other than Peart exposing himself as an anti-Christian bigot who, at least at the time he wrote it, portends to be objective, rational and shy while seeming to lose his shyness any time another unfamiliar celebrity that he takes interest in shows up for a chat.

Peart clearly arrogates to himself the role of proclaiming to the world the "extremism" of American evangelicals and I gather exposing any who would identify themselves in that manner as ignorant clods not worthy of the sort of Epicurean existence that he fawns over while in Europe.

He somehow forgets that his very profession, dependent upon the right of free expression, celebrates individualism and freedom of thought, while he takes great pleasure in repeatedly blasting the sort of philosophical tidbits found on Christian Church signage.

Apparently Mr. Peart at the time of his writing had not found the time to actually read the implications of Bryson's book A Short History of Nearly Everything in which Bryson, who clearly is not in the camp of young earth creationists is still objective enough to lay out in mathematical terms the improbability of the very things into which materialists and biological determinists seem to place all their hope.

Sadly, as well read as Peart is, he seems to have greatly shortchanged himself of any serious study into Christian apologetics,objective commentary by Christian philosophers, mathematicians, physicists and scientists who actually try to reconcile observed scientific findings with observed non-Newtonian order and concepts of the soul and consciousness.

And all of this is just a pity because Peart is a very creative and artistic musician. His music is inspired but he chooses the very intolerant (dare I say, Non-Canadian?) path of denigrating an entire group of people simply because he, a simple musician, without any letters in any scientific discipline that I know of, assumes his own omniscience about the things that very serious academics still wrestle with on complex terms.

So is it worth listening too? Hmmm, I doubt I will ever listen to another one of his books and I certainly won't add this to my permanent hard cover collection, as I did Bryson's book, but if you enjoy RUSH and you want to see the self-professed inner conflicts, logical inconsistencies and hypocrisy of one of their members, then yes, it is worth the listen.

Any additional comments?

I read Ghost Rider on my second tour of Iraq. A fellow RUSH fan gave it to me and I really identified with Pearts' loss of his daughter and partner. I was happy for him that he found his new wife and I wish the best for him; as I would for anyone who endured the same loss. His writing has not matured since Ghost writer but it is heartfelt and so the two books have given me a picture of an interesting individual and thus for that purpose they are worth investigating.

I will still listen to RUSH, watch their videos and wish them success in their professional and personal lives. One would hope that at some point Peart will lose his inner anger and wish the same for those he hates.

3 people found this helpful

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  • C.S.Kelly
  • 17-04-15

Fascinating

Reading any of Neil Peart's books is rather like eating potato chips...you just want more.
What an interesting man and what a fascinating life. His adventures unfold like a map..he not only shares what he has accomplished but shares his thoughts , feelings, humor and observations. He does not seem to filter anything and has a sense of when he has used enough words. He certainly has not rested on his laurels nor has he allowed himself to think he breathes only the rarified air of one as famous and accomplished as himself. He has a wonderful way of sharing with the readers his views and beliefs without trying to be preachy or trying to convert the reader to any of them. Here is a man who is always on a quest for knowledge and experience...his life has not been without tragedy...he has suffered some of the worst experiences that can befall any human...parent or spouse.
Getting to the end of any of his books is (just have to say it)...is a Rush. Thank you Neil for sharing your life's experience and inviting us in.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Dave
  • 03-02-20

Godspeed at your tempo

Thanks for the music and the words brother You’ve done your job here and you’ve done it well!

2 people found this helpful

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  • ANTHONY MAZZARELLA
  • 24-05-19

Loved it on so many levels!

Needless to say I’m a Rush fan. I came to the table a bit late on full appreciation of all eras of Rush, but I’m there now. It lead me to finding this and Neil’s other books. As a business traveler who loves to find adventure in every new city, the tales of the road felt familiar and comfortable. As a musician recently retired from playing the crappy bar scene, I feel the dilemma of giving up something you’ve loved for so long due to the monotony and feeling of fulfillment that fades over time. As a shy person by nature, the stories of Neil’s social encounters allowed me to feel the same anxiety and discomfort he felt at times. I too dash out of the dive bar when the music is done. Finally as a writer, the story is woven together in a way that makes you feel like your there with him...although that would be creepy and he’d likely not appreciate it. A better description would be to say his writing style allows the reader to share the experience of the North American and European tour in a way that feels real. Loved it and just bought the Book describing the R40 tour.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Alan A
  • 15-01-19

Love the adventure

A unique drummer and story teller. Only a professional musician that is as respected as Neil could write about his life during a bands tour. I felt like I had lived the tour with Neil... although he would never have let that happen in his protected world... read the book to see what I mean. Thank for sharing Neil!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-21

Classic Neil

A simply brilliant account of the R30 tour as TD by the Professor. A must for true Rush fans!

1 person found this helpful

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  • smac1968
  • 03-01-19

Thank you Neil.

As a BMW motorcycle rider from Ohio and long time Rush enthusiast, I related to the artful expression of scenery and insightful observations of every mile. Neil is a master of describing each encounter and adventure, enticing the reader to see the world through his experiences as a motorcycle riding musician. Thank you Neil.

1 person found this helpful