Neil Peart's News, Weather and Sports, October 2005

My instructional video on drum soloing, Anatomy of a Drum Solo, is almost a reality. Or, it will be October 14th, our deadline to hand in the editing and artwork. Or it will be November 1st, the projected release date.

Too many elements of it are still in the "changeable" stage for me to say too much more about it, but I can say that I'm very excited with how it's coming together. Paul Siegel and Rob Wallis, from Hudson Music, have been great collaborators once again, as they were with A Work in Progress, and I've also had the support and expertise of my other long-time collaborators, engineer Paul Northfield, photographer Andrew MacNaughtan, and art designer Hugh Syme.

So it's all going "my way," and I'm glad about that.

The band's "R30" concert DVD is also approaching its release date - in fact, the same deadline of October 14th, the same release date of November 1st, and the same art director. So we've been keeping Hugh busy. And it's not just dreaming up a nice front cover that takes so much time and effort; there are all the little details involved in a complete package: slipcover front, spine, and back, front cover, spine, back cover, undertray, lettering, booklet, disc label, booklet, credits, photos - it's a big job, especially doing two at once.

My book about the R30 Tour, Roadshow: A Concert Tour By Motorcycle (shortened by one subtitle this week - leaving out Landscape With Drums), is all ready for its final revision, just as soon as I get all this video stuff off my desk. I have collected a pile of input from my editors Paul McCarthy and brother Danny, plus a select few readers, and for now, it's kind of nice to let it sit and "cool off" until I'm ready to attack it single-mindedly.

In a word, nasty. The Santa Ana winds I described at the beginning of Traveling Music - the aptly named Devil Winds - have been driving their hot, dry, gritty rasp through the Los Angeles Basin this week. I have decided they are the worst kind of California weather - as rain in winter is the worst Canadian weather - and they've also been fanning brushfires over in the San Fernando Valley. With the Devil Winds blowing toward the ocean, they carried the smoke and ashes right through our neighborhood. At night the smoke filled the air like fog, and the ash looked like snow in the streetlights. But snow is pretty. And smells nice.

For me, nearly all games are fun to play, but hardly ever fun to watch. But that's just me.