only today did i read a review of a rush album, the name of which i now can't remember, where he was compared to ginger baker and keith moon, both comparisons i figure are well wide of the mark. though the late keith moon was perhaps a more technical drummer than his persona would have us believe, i don't ever remember his drumming being the subject of hours of deliberation, unlike neil peart who seems to agonise for ages as to which hand should lead into a triplet phrase around his myriad tom toms. ginger baker is surely far too laid back and funky to ever find himself in the same room as the funk-less peart?
for die-hard rush fans whose blood pressure is now on the rise, fear not, for i do have a modicum of respect for neil's 23 inch bass drum, though i find the adulation that follows his every stick-whirl to be sycophancy of outlandish proportions. there seems little chance of this decreasing to any appreciable level anytime soon, as we prepare for the release (in early november) of a dvd entitled neil peart - taking centre stage which promises over six hours of footage and a somewhat excessive one-hour interview, explanation and demonstration of a new rush song, one that lasts for only five minutes forty seconds. surely procrastination to an unheard of standard.
most of this revolves around the recently completed time machine tour, and in keeping with his predilection for displaying a new specially decorated, humungous drum workshop kit for every tour, neil has proved his predictability in this respect. however, this time he has decided that nothing succeeds like excess, and turned attention to his substantial array of sabian paragon cymbals. i will not go into the background details as to why he found this necessary, but suffice it to say that he requested that sabian decorate the tops of each with varying alchemist symbols to match the exquisite decoration of the drums.
these he referred to as steampunk cymbals.
for those not familiar with the demands placed on drumset cymbals, the general idea is that the lathing and polishing are intended to result in superior and definitive sounds appropriate to the end user. in this case, neil peart. applying decoration of any ilk is more than likely to affect this sound generation, generally dampening it in a less than ideal manner. which, of course, is exactly what happened when sabian attempted to follow through mr peart's request. several sets were subjected to varying treatments and methods of decoration before the drummer was satisfied that the set required for rush's 2010 time machine tour was equal to the task. many man hours were spent on achieving graphic certitude, and one would imagine that sabian, as peart's cymbal supplier/sponsor would have carried out this detailed work at no expense to mr peart.
in the bicycle world, such extreme lengths would doubtless have been recouped by selling a verisimilitude to the great unwashed, but in the case of neil's extensive supply of decorated paragon cymbals, sabian have made it perfectly clear that these will not be offered to clamouring rush fans. you can almost hear the disappointment.
there is, however, one major fly in the ointment pertaining to the above concept, and i'm sure all the drummers reading this will have realised it by the end of the third paragraph. for those less well-versed in the percussive arts, let me make a rather obvious statement: neil peart's cymbals sit on top of (in this case) copper plated dw cymbal stands. the operative feature here is 'on top of'. if it's still not obvious, the decoration on those paragons is on top of the cymbals, sitting on top of the cymbal stands, surrounding a drum kit sited on top of a drum riser. in other words, apart from neil peart and his drum roadie, nobody is ever going to see those hours of effort unless they've taken a look at sabian's website.
though in full view of anyone in a following or surrounding peloton, the same can be said of the applied dye sublimation on santini's metis breezewall jacket. it's available in two colours: blue or white, and while white is white is white, i do so wish santini (and others) would avail themselves of adobe's kuler extension in photoshop and provide us with shades of a more modern constitution. and in the process of doing so, it would be greatly appreciated if they would please stop themselves from plastering seemingly random portions of their metis jacket with pointless and unnecessary (in this case) gridlike decoration. all they're doing is lessening the visual appreciation of an otherwise fabulous jacket.
carping aside, we are about to enter the time of year when a jacket such as this will be spending very little time on the coat-hanger. replete with three substantially sized (my digital camera was all but lost in one of them) rear pockets, santini have bypassed my constant demand for a fourth zipped version by piggy-backing a smaller internal (but non-zipped) pocket inside the middle one. the full length front zip features a so-called zip garage at both top and bottom, the first time i've come across this welcome attribute. the collar is high, the sleeves are long and the fleece lining makes this as cosy as snuggling under the duvet on a cold night. there is some interesting contouring in evidence on the lower portion of the forearms, removing any tendency for the sleeves to 'tug' at the elbows when reaching into one of those cavernous rear pockets en-route.
if your place is anything like my place, the ambient temperature during any given ride is subject to perennial change, a condition that necessitates tempering such cosiness with brief periods of ventilation. the latter is achieved by raising or lowering that front zip, and i have to say that the santini tagged zip puller is the finest i have ever had cause to pull up and down; easy doesn't even begin to describe it. though thoroughly windproof (and i'm in just the right place to verify that), the metis jacket is remarkably breathable. though certain rides this past week have been in milder climes than designed for, at coffee time and home time both baselayer and/or jersey were commendably dry.
and while we're on the subject of commendably dry, though the accompanying product tags mentioned it not at all, the outer layer of the jacket seems quite happy to repel untoward showers, which was a bit of an unexpected bonus.
originally priced at £129.95, it's your lucky day, as the chaps at prendas have lowered the price to an extremely amenable £75, meaning that not only can you expect to remain toasty in even the coldest of weathers that the forthcoming winter is likely to dispense, but you can do so while protecting the sorry-looking number at the foot of your bank statement. however, if anyone has any influence with the design department at santini, please, please, please point them in the direction of kuler.adobe.com/, and then persuade them against adding pointless design features to jackets that simply have no need of them.
as worn by neil peart (not).
posted saturday 8 october 2011..........................................................................................................................................................................................................