SHIP 30 FOR 30 SERIES
What the World’s Greatest Rock Band can Teach us About Staying True to Ourselves
I walk into my home office every morning, and the first thing I’ll see is a pair of drumsticks mounted on the wall — a gift to my son from Neil Peart himself, displayed alongside a copy of Rolling Stone magazine with Rush on the cover — a most unlikely event that until a few years ago, would not have been imagined possible.
It is a constant reminder for me to always be my own hero, because the price to pay for thinking outside the box is that the world might not understand or accept me.
But I must do it anyway. I must be my own hero.
I can think of no better example than the legacy of my favorite band — Rush, and their story of conquering the world has always served as a guiding light and inspiration for my own path.
To them, landing the cover didn’t really matter. Nothing had changed. It was just another day of them doing what they had always done for the past 40 years. Nor did all the events leading up to it. The induction into the Rock Hall. The star on Hollywood Blvd. The documentary. The Colbert appearance. The appearance in “I Love You, Man.” None of it mattered to them. It didn’t change who they were or what they did. Rather, the world figured out just how excellent they were. Jann Wenner had to reverse his decades-long snub of the band. To deny what was obvious to the rest of the world was costing him credibility.
The world had shifted.
I find inspiration in Rush’s legacy. And their defining moment is a lesson for the ages.
It came after a disappointing third album. The record company put pressure on the band to create shorter songs that were more radio-friendly, instead of 12-minute long opuses.
Rush was furious that they were being told how to create their art. They also knew if they didn’t produce a hit album, the label would drop them. So they decided if they were going to go down, they would go down their way.
They released 2112, and the title track was an epic 20 minute, seven-part song which was a futuristic allegory…