Farewell Professor


(from the RUSH album Grace Under Pressure, 1984)
lyrics by Neil Peart

Suddenly —
You were gone
From all the lives
You left your mark upon

I remember —
How we talked and drank
Into the misty dawn
— I hear the voices

We ran by the water
On the wet summer lawn
— I see the foot prints
I remember —

— I feel the way you would
— I feel the way you would

Tried to believe
But you know it’s no good
This is something
That just can’t be understood

I remember —
The shouts of joy
Skiing fast through the woods
— I hear the echoes

I learned your love for life
I feel the way that you would
— I feel your presence
I remember —

I feel the way you would
This just can’t be understood…


These lyrics are fitting, as Neil wrote them in remembrance of Robbie Whelan, a friend who died in a car crash at the age of 31. Robblie was an engineer at Le Studio in Quebec and worked on several of Rush's albums, most notably Moving Pictures and Signals.

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I was recently at PASIC in Indianapolis. Besides all the artist concerts and clinics, one of the great things is being able to go to the gear expo and see all the latest things, and most importantly, try them out. 

This year I had the chance to once again see and test MAPEX's MAATS (Magnetic Air Adjustment Tom Suspension) mounts, and it's still as overblown and unwieldy as its name. Check out the MAPEX page here.

As you can see in the photo above, this thing is a monster. Designed by drum hardware guru, Randall May, it's a thing of beauty and efficiency. Yes, it works well, but it's so freaking big and ugly. The mount uses magnets and is adjustable for the amount of sustain on your toms. Sweet, but did I mention that it's so freaking big and ugly?

I admire most of May's hardware designs. His marching carriers have become the standard for most corps and bands. But sometimes he can fall victim to over engineering a solution to what really isn't a prob…