Neil Peart: Legends Never Die

I hoped I wouldn’t have to write something like this for a long time. Those close to me know how big of a Rush fan I am, and how much they inspired me to become LightningSFM and create my own music. Granted, my music is much, much different from Rush, or any other bands that inspired me, but I grew up listening to Classic Rock, and later on got into Punk, Alternative and Rock. Even some Metal. But I digress.

On January 7th, 2020, Neil Peart left this world to be with the angels, including his 19 year old daughter, Selena, who passed in a car accident in 1997, and his first (common law) wife, Jacqueline, who passed ten months later. Their passings inspired him to write the book “Ghost Rider”, based on a motorcycle trip he took afterwards. To anywhere and everywhere. To find himself again. In a way, it was his journal, and he opened his heart to all of us in it, despite being a very private man. Once again, I digress.

Neil Peart

The news of his passing didn’t come out until January 10th, at which point, people who I didn’t realize even knew I existed started sending me links on Facebook, as did my close friends. I really, really wanted it to be a hoax. Plenty of celebrities have “died” many times. Paul McCartney being the first one to pop up in my mind. He’s still very much alive. But Neil’s passing wasn’t a hoax, and I was shocked. It hurt me for a few reasons. The first was what took his life. An incurable brain cancer called “Glioblastoma”. Sadly, I know too much about it, as I lost my grandfather to the same thing in 2008. The second, of course, was for the same reason everyone else was shocked and saddened; our love for Rush. Neil has been dubbed “the best drummer of all time”, and it is so, so true. The other “hurt” I felt was not so much hurt, but rather a warm feeling, that even in death, his privacy was honored. I don’t think I’ve ever seen widespread news of a celebrity’s passing days after it happened. The fact that only his family, and close friends, including Rush band mates Gary “Geddy” Lee Weinrib and Alexander “Alex Lifeson” Živojinović knew about it, in order to allow them the time and privacy to grieve was heartwarming. Tears of joy in a time of great hardship.

Gary Lee Weinrib (Geddy Lee), bassist/vocalist of Rush
Alexander Živojinović (Alex Lifeson), guitarist/backup vocalist of Rush

I wanted to post here when I found out, but I didn’t know how. I could have reported in an emotionless, fact-only tone like most news sites, or I could have put feelings into it, like I do, but that didn’t feel right at the time. So instead, I stayed quiet. Now, a month later, I feel I can say what a lot of us are thinking: he isn’t dead, and he will never die.

Because legends never die.

I’ve seen a lot of concerts in my 33 years of life, but none have made me feel the way I felt at the three Rush shows I’ve seen. I saw them on the Vapor Trails tour, the Snakes and Arrows tour, and on their R30 tour. I’m so, so glad I did. I even got lucky with the Snakes and Arrows show, because we got third row seats, which, how the amplitheater was set up, actually landed us in the front row. Incredible. Those shows will forever stay in my mind, even when I’m old and senile. I’ll never forget them and how they made me feel, or even what they inspired me to do.

And that’s why he will never die.


My uncle is a drummer. He was heavily inspired by Rush. My mother is a singer, also inspired by Rush. My dad is a guitar player and singer, and yes, also inspired by Rush. Every single person I’ve met who loves music, young or old, musician or not, got some inspiration from Rush. Why? Because they are the best at what they do. And Neil was the best drummer of all time. Agree or disagree, but I think he will always be the best. I think even the best drummers out there right now would agree.

Yet another reason why he won’t die.

Neil Peart wasn’t just a drummer and song writer. He was an artist, an author, a private family man, a traveler, a wanderer. He was a legend. And legends never die.

As long as we remember his music, his shows, his love for his fans, his life, and his inspiration, he will live on forever. And that’s how it should be.

Neil Peart in Rush’s earlier years.

RIP to the best goddamn drummer in the universe. To the legend: Neil Peart. We won’t let you die. And thank you.

My Thoughts On Billie Eilish

🎶 This girl is on fiiiiireeee! 🎶

But seriously, she is. Billie Eilish is mainstream music’s reigning queen right now, and honestly? I don’t see her getting demoted or leaving the royal family any time soon.

I personally am not a huge fan of her voice. It’s just the style, not necessarily having to do with her. It’s the reason I don’t generally listen to Melanie Martinez, and why every other Walker (Alan Walker fan) out there loves his song with Emilie Hollow; “Lily”, while I just stick to other tracks on Different World. That all being said, Billie is quite a different voice in the industry, and she has been welcomed with open arms. And just because I’m not a fan of her vocal style doesn’t mean I dislike her music. I like it. She’s the rebel, tongue-in-cheek fireball we didn’t know we needed. And more power to her!

Billie sang a cover of “Yesterday” by the Beatles for the memoriam at the Oscars the other night, and she absolutely killed it. It was beautiful, it fit the moment, and it did everyone justice. It made me really appreciate her even more, because I’m realizing that she can make literally anything “her own”, and she does it well. I’m still trying to get *ahem* certain covers by Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears cleansed from my mind. We will never have to do that with Billie.

All in all, Billie Eilish is awesome. If you haven’t listened to her stuff, I suggest you climb out from under your rock and give her a chance. Even if you aren’t a fan of her vocal style, her music is good. Very good, actually. And if you can’t be bothered picking a song by her, I would suggest the cover I mentioned above, and then, of course, “Bad Guy”. That song rocks.

Juice Wrld Dead at 21

Jarad Anthony Higgins, or Juice Wrld, has sadly passed away. According to multiple sources, he passed from a seizure shortly after getting off of his plane in Chicago.

Jarad Anthony Higgins (Juice Wrld)

The cause of the seizure is unknown, but it’s been reported that he was found with blood coming from his mouth.

He was just starting to make it big. On top of that, he had literally just turned 21. Wasn’t even 21 for a week and this happens.

This is incredibly heartbreaking. I can’t even imagine the grief and pain his family and friends feel right now. My heart goes out to all of them. It’s another case of a talented young soul taken from this world much too soon.

Rest easy. You will be missed by many.

Johnny Depp is Producing a Musical about Michael Jackson, From the Perspective of His Iconic Glove

Jackson in his later years with his white sequined glove.

Johnny Depp is working on production of a musical of Michael Jackson. The catch is that the stories told will be from his single, white, sequined glove.

Rolling Stone has reported that the musical, titled For the Love of a Glove: An Unauthorized Musical Fable, will debut in Los Angeles in early 2020. The musical was written by Julien Nitzberg, For the Love of a Glove is a biopic based on the accusations against Jackson, but with a plot twist. The glove caused him to do these things. The glove sings these stories in narration. The musical will also feature puppets based on people and animals that interacted with Jackson throughout his life, including The Jackson 5.

Johnny Depp will produce the musical.

This isn’t the first time someone has come up with an idea like this. There was a stop animation version of a similar story, told from the perspective of Jackson’s chimp, Bubbles. In May 2019, production stopped.

Honestly, this sounds like it’s going to be hilarious. If the musical will focus solely on the accusations toward MJ, it will definitely cause a stir. Some people may think that the musical makes light of a dangerous situation, while people who defended MJ, and/or his family will be upset with the musical focusing on those accusations. My personal opinion is that, as long as it’s done properly, and tastefully, I think it could actually be quite entertaining and lighthearted. I may never know, because if it’s a performed musical that never leaves Los Angeles, I’ll never see it. Well, at least until videos pop up on YouTube.

80’s MJ

Either way, it’s certainly an interesting perspective. I’m getting some Idle Hands vibes from it though. A glove that controls the user, like a possessed hand that the body attached to it can’t control. Some say that movie is cheesy or crap, but I actually liked it and thought it was funny. I hope that this musical would be the same. I’m all for it, and hope that I can check it out if it goes past LA.

What are your thoughts about For the Love of a Glove: An Unauthorized Musical Fable About the Life of Michael Jackson, as told by his Glove? Interesting? Tasteless?

The Chainsmokers and Joy Gregory are teaming up to make a drama called ‘Demo’.

I’m excited for this. Love them or hate them, The Chainsmokers’ Alex Pall and Drew Taggart are trying their hand at TV. They are creating a drama for Freeform, called Demo.

Alex Pall (left) and Drew Taggart (right) are the EDM duo, The Chainsmokers.

According to Billboard, the duo is partnering with writer Joy Gregory for the show. Gregory has worked as a writer on Madam Secretary and Switched at Birth, so she definitely knows her way around these things.

Demo will be about a woman in her 20’s, leaving her life with her family and rock band behind to pursue pop song writing in Los Angeles.

So, first, let me say that I love these guys. It seems like they are sort of the ‘Nickleback’ of the EDM industry, but whatever. I still enjoy them. I love their pre-#selfie stuff, as well as their newer style. Not to mention, I’m definitely crushing on Drew. It helps that he went to college in my area. I literally could have bumped into him anywhere! 😂 😂

Joy Gregory, writer of Madam Secretary will be working on Demo.

Anyway, I digress. *clears throat*

Not only do I like The Chainsmokers, but I’m so very proud of them. Proud of how far they’ve come in music, and proud of them for this project. Now, I’m not entirely sure if this is going to be a TV show, or a TV movie. Either way, I’ll definitely be tuning in to watch it. Even if I didn’t like the guys, I would watch it. It sounds pretty interesting.

Then again, I’m a bit of a sucker for crossovers like this. I fangirled when Lady Gaga was on American Horror Story, or when I found out Taylor Swift was in the new Cats, etc. Then again, I do have a tendency to fangirl over silly things, so maybe I’m weird.

The Chainsmokers live, with Australian drummer, Matt McGuire

Either way, this could be a good thing for them. It’s good to see they are expanding their creative canvass and trying something new. When it releases, you bet your butt I’ll be writing a review!

P. Diddy Claps Back at Comcast for Reverence in Byron Allen Lawsuit

Byron Allen says Comcast is not licensing his channels due to discrimination.

In February of 2015, Byron Allen filed a lawsuit against Comcast over racial discrimination, which is now being heard by the Supreme Court. He claims that Comcast has not licensed channels owned by him, but they have taken on “lesser-known, white-owned channels”. He says they are in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, as it prohibits race discrimination when making/enforcing contracts with African Americans.

As reported by Billboard, Comcast used P. Diddy’s channel, REVOLT TV, and Oprah Winfrey’s OWN to prove that they do not discriminate.

Sean (P. Diddy) Combs, owner of REVOLT TV, releases a statement against Comcast, in defense of Allen.

Diddy had an issue with this, issuing a statement in response to Comcast. He explained that even though REVOLT is carried by Comcast, it is not in an affordable package, and he feels it doesn’t reach their target audience because of it. He also said that Comcast spends billions of dollars a year, but only a few million is paid to African American owned channels.

He also responded to Comcast telling Allen that he needs to prove that racial discrimination was the only reason Comcast didn’t license his channels in order to have a case. Allen in turn argues that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals made it known that he only needs to state, allegedly, that racial discrimination was a factor, not the sole reason. Diddy says what Comcast is asking is “hard to prove” and “NOT OK”.

P. Diddy

Comcast responded with a statement from David L. Cohen, the senior executive VP, to Diddy, sent to Billboard, saying,

“Comcast is proud of our strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, including an unmatched record of supporting diverse and independent networks, carrying 160 independent networks like Revolt, 100 of which are targeted to diverse audiences. We are also proud to have launched eight new minority owned cable channels since 2011, including being the first company to launch Revolt and to bring the channel into millions of homes. From the start, we provided a long-term commitment to carriage of the channel and to its success as well as other African American owned channels that we carry on our systems. We are fierce defenders of the civil rights of minorities and women in America – and of the civil rights laws. It has always been our intention to maintain the strength of the civil rights laws, and we believe a review of the oral argument at the Supreme Court demonstrates that. Based on the oral argument, any fears that this case would have broad implications on civil rights enforcement have been proven unfounded.”

Billboard News
Byron Allen

Byron Allen also released a statement, in part saying that Comcast doesn’t want his to have a case, because they know he will win. Full statements and quotes can be found at the original sourced, linked in the second paragraph.

My Thoughts

Wow….this is a lot to take in. I actually feel a bit behind the times, because I had no clue this was happening. So, my first thought is, while I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, Byron Allen makes a good case. It definitely seems like Comcast is doing something fishy. And immediately saying, “oh, but heyyy, look over here! We have P. Diddy and Oprah!” doesn’t exactly make them look any better.

That being said, the point Diddy made about how much money was being spent by Comcast, vs. how much of it was being paid to African Americans, while he does make a point, I can’t help but think it’s partially due to there simply being more white people who own channels and networks than people of other races. I could be completely wrong, though. I know next to nothing about TV and who dominates what market. I just think talking about money spent may not necessarily reflect poorly on Comcast, simply because the amount of channels in that category may be lacking.

There are still plenty of valid points made by Allen and Diddy. And again, between what I mentioned above, with Comcast pretty much pulling the “I have friends that are black” card, and their attempts to tell Allen he doesn’t even have a case unless he proves it was their intent to discriminate against him, it kind of makes the whole company look like a bunch of d*cks. All I can picture is the pouting toddler, folding their arms and scowling because they don’t want to eat their veggies. It doesn’t really look good for them. I honestly feel like Allen has a strong case, and I know I’ll definitely be following this to see what comes of it.

What do you think? Is Comcast denying channels owned by African Americans? Do you think Allen has a good chance at winning the lawsuit? Let me know! 😁

Drake Announces New Cannabis Brand – With Flowers

This guy is quite creative! Such a pretty announcement.

So, Drake is going to be growing cannabis, and he is doing so under the brand name More Life. According to an article on, “More Life will be ‘centered around wellness, discovery, and overall personal growth with the hope of facilitating connections and shared experiences across the globe.'”

He announced this launch, partnered with Toronto’s Canopy Growth Corporation, and sent flowers all around Toronto. Which is pretty beautiful.

Apparently, Canada legalized marijuana last year, which I had no idea about until now. So, thank you, Drake. The ‘Great White North’ can now be the ‘Smoky Green North’, and people are probably pretty happy about that. If only the US would hurry up and do the same.

I’m all for legalization. I don’t personally smoke, and won’t even if it’s legalized, but it would solve a lot of “crime” problems, where many people go to jail for possession, and shouldn’t have to. I mean, if alcohol and cigarettes are legal, I feel marijuana can be, too, without problems. When was the last time you heard about someone dying from marijuana, besides the latest stories about people vaping black market THC? Black market stuff though, that’s a whole other topic. I wouldn’t trust anything from the black market.

Back to Drake; man I just love this guy. I don’t like his music, but as a person, he’s kind, generous, and just seems like an awesome guy to be around. Things like this solidify my point. He’s producing a feel-good drug, but only where it’s legal, and he chose to announce it by sending flowers around Toronto. Does it get any better than that? More power to him! I’m glad it’s him who’s doing this, and not a shady celebrity. Go get ’em, Drake!

What are your opinions on legalization?

Rapper T.I. Faces Backlash from Planned Parenthood and Twitter for Comments About Daughter, Deyjah

Whew. Longest title ever.

So, T.I., the rapper from…my childhood (lmao) has said some…pretty weird stuff regarding his 18 year old daughter, Deyjah. I first found this out by watching a video by Philip DeFranco, but then read it on Huffpost and The Hill. Buckle up, kids. This one’s a doozy.

So, in an interview with the Ladies Like Us podcast, T.I. was asked if he had had “the talk” with his daughter. He went on a rant about not only having the sex talk, but also making sure that her gynecologist checked her hymen to make sure it was still intact. Here’s his quote, as written by Huffpost:

“This is what we do. Right after the birthday we celebrate. Usually like the day after the party she’s enjoying her gifts. I put a sticky note on the door: “Gyno. Tomorrow. 9:30.” So we’ll go and sit down and the doctor will come and talk and, you know, the doctor’s maintaining a high level of professionalism. He’s like, “You know, sir, I have to, in order for me to share information” ― I’m like, “Deyjah, they want you to sign this… so we can share information. Is there anything you would not want me to know? See, doc? Ain’t no problem.” And so then [the doctor] come and say, “Well I just want you to know that there are other ways besides sex that the hymen can be broken, like bike-riding, athletics, horseback riding and just other forms of athletic physical activity.” So I say, “Look, doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bike, she don’t play no sports. Man, just check the hymen please and give me back my results expeditiously. I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact.”

….um. What? Firstly, why the hell are you putting that out there for the world to hear, or see? Your poor daughter is probably beyond mortified. Second, ew! Creepy! But more of my thoughts later.

Planned Parenthood immediately had issues with this, and for good reason. They posted a series of Tweets (shown below) on the subject.

This started a Twitter hashtag; #Shes18 to go around, which some people had mixed reactions to. Some people said it doesn’t matter what her age is, what he’s doing is creepy and overbearing. Some people couldn’t understand why he thought it was okay to do this, and put it in public. Some people feel that because she’s an adult, her dad has no power to insist to know these kinds of things. Many people found it disgusting and disturbing, regardless of what their viewpoint was. I agree.

Backtracking a bit, the doctor was trying to explain to T.I. that there are other ways to break the hymen, so she could still technically be a virgin, but break the hymen via a bike, horse, playing sports, etc. For example, I “lost my virginity” to a tampon. I was 16. There, I said it. My secret is out. SCANDALOUS! However, dear old Daddy dismissed it and said it just couldn’t be possible since she doesn’t do those things. My god, I hate to think what would have happened if the hymen wasn’t intact anymore.

Deyjah Harris; T.I’s Daughter

So this brings up a few questions. How far is too far when a parent is worried about their child’s health, sexually or otherwise? Some people might think what he is doing is alright. Most people don’t. But then there are parents who insist on knowing everything their child is doing, sun-up to sun-down. If there are diaries, they read them. If they have friends who have some rumors around them, as teens often do, because let’s face it, high school is brutal, parents don’t want their child around that person. They fall victim to the same rumors teenagers do. What is acceptable, and where do we draw the line, as a whole?

When it comes to sexual health, it’s hard to say. I feel like these are things we just don’t talk about. I have two kids, who are thankfully too young for me to worry about these things with yet, but my daughter is 10. It won’t be long before I may be shut out, when I’m not “a cool mom” anymore, and I feel the only way I can see what’s going on in her mind is to check her computer or diaries, if she kept diaries. Personally, I won’t check diaries, but no promises on the computer. And of course, she will start seeing a gynecologist, but I will never ask what the status of her va-jay-jay is. That’s too much. Just tell me if you find something abnormal so we can treat it. Done deal. Oh, and of course, the HPV vaccine, but that’s a given.

Either way, I feel that T.I. should address this respectfully. Address the concerns people have, and maybe give his reasons why. I understand what he’s trying to do, but it backfired in his face – HARD. He’s trying to protect his daughter, allow her to save herself for the right man, that kind of thing, but the way he’s going about it, and the fact that now the whole internet knows about it, yikes. If I were in her shoes, I would be very angry with him, and really embarrassed. Pretty sure that wasn’t his goal.

So, parents. Don’t be weird and creepy like T.I. And everyone as a whole, never piss Twitter off. Twitter never forgets. And for this, I’m okay with that. What he’s doing isn’t okay. It’s overbearing at any age, but even more now that she’s 18 and a legal adult. It’s time for her to make her own choices without Daddy breathing down her neck. Let her live.

The 2019 MTV EMA Award Winners

Well, here are the winners from the Europe Music Awards. I’m certainly pleasantly surprised! Note: I’m directly copying and pasting this list from MTV News.


Ariana Grande

Billie Eilish

Lil Nas X


WINNER: Taylor Swift


Alessia Cara

Avril Lavigne

Carly Rae Jepsen

WINNER: Johnny Orlando

Shawn Mendes


Ariana Grande, “thank u, next”

Billie Eilish, “bad guy”

Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road” (Remix)

ROSALÍA, J Balvin ft. El Guincho, “Con Altura”

WINNER: Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco, “ME!”


Ariana Grande

J Balvin

Miley Cyrus

WINNER: Shawn Mendes

Taylor Swift


Ariana Grande, “7 rings”

WINNER: Billie Eilish, “bad guy”

Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road” (Remix)

Post Malone, Swae Lee, “Sunflower”

Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, “Señorita”


BTS, Halsey, “Boy With Luv”

Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road” (Remix)

Mark Ronson, Miley Cyrus, “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart”

WINNER: ROSALÍA, J Balvin ft. El Guincho, “Con Altura”

Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, “Señorita”

The Chainsmokers, Bebe Rexha, “Call You Mine”


Ava Max

WINNER: Billie Eilish

Lewis Capaldi

Lil Nas X




Ariana Grande

Becky G

Camila Cabello

WINNER: Halsey

Jonas Brothers

Shawn Mendes


Ariana Grande


Ed Sheeran


Travis Scott


WINNER: Green Day

Imagine Dragons

Liam Gallagher

Panic! At The Disco

The 1975


21 Savage

Cardi B

J. Cole

WINNER: Nicki Minaj

Travis Scott



Lana Del Rey


twenty one pilots

Vampire Weekend


Calvin Harris

DJ Snake


WINNER: Martin Garrix

The Chainsmokers


WINNER: Halsey

J Balvin

Lil Nas X




Ariana Grande


Billie Eilish

Shawn Mendes

Taylor Swift



Billie Eilish



Jade Bird

Juice WRLD

Kiana Ledé


Lewis Capaldi





Bebe Rexha: Isle of MTV Malta 2019

Hailee Steinfeld: Isle of MTV Malta 2018

WINNER: Muse: Bilbao, Spain 2018

The 1975: Lollapalooza Paris Festival 2019

twenty one pilots: Lollapalooza Paris Festival 2019


Lewis Capaldi



Ed Sheeran

WINNER: Little Mix (Social Wildcard Winner)

Seems like Taylor Swift and BTS dominated the ceremony. I actually wouldn’t expect any less from BTS, given their popularity. And Taylor, well she’s doing really well for herself.

BTS won awards for Best Live and Biggest Fan base.

I’m pretty excited about the diversity of the winners. It seems all too often that one celebrity will dominate the whole awards show. I thought that would be the case with Ariana Grande. I’m shocked that it wasn’t like that. Or maybe not. It does seem like Europe is a bit more diverse on their tastes compared to Americans. I can sit and watch an award show, and almost always predict who will win. Reading this list, though, I was wrong most of the time.

Martin Garrix, Dutch DJ, won Best Electronic at the EMA’S.

Martin Harris is doing pretty well, isn’t he? Seeing the list of nominees, I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t really listen to the radio, so I could be completely wrong about this, but with The Chainsmokers, Marshmello and DJ Snake nominated, I certainly didn’t expect Martin Garrix to win. I’m definitely not complaining. He does some awesome work.

All in all, seems like it was a great, diverse show. I’m happy for all of the winners, and even the nominees. Great work!

Axl Rose Falls Onstage

Axl Rose took a bit of a tumble while performing Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door in Las Vegas with Guns n’ Roses on November 1st. He was fine, and stood back up, checked the floor, then walked off to find a towel. He started wiping the floor, continuing some comments he started making after the fall. You can see the video of it here.

I’ve gotta say, I’m impressed. Axl has been known for his temper, and he didn’t yell, cuss and leave the show because of what happened. When I first saw the title of the article (I found this on, I honestly thought that’s how it was going to go. But no. I could be wrong, but it actually looks like he moved himself a little and did a sexy pose with a smile on his face to make the crowd laugh. Is he okay? That’s NICE, for him.

He gets up, goes over to the side of the stage and grabs a towel, and someone else came onstage and did the same. Together, they cleaned up whatever was there. The band just kept playing the song, taking it all in stride. There was definitely some serious self-control going on, from everyone. I wouldn’t have been able to keep it together. Probably would have laughed my ass off once I knew he was all right.

Axl Rose with Slash and Duff McKagan .

Side note: GNR actually had GNR members at this show, not just Axl. I think I need to look into this, but I had no idea they were doing shows together again. I’m happy about this. It’s about time. And, as I said above, it seems like Axl has tamed his anger issues, so maybe everyone is getting along again. That’s good to see.

So, he’s probably going to have a bruise on his cheeks, but at least he made the best out of the situation. I give him some serious props for that. It sounded like the crowd laughed when he did his little pose, so everyone was in good spirits about it.

What was the most embarrassing fall you’ve ever had?

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