John Buckland's Commemorative Kit

John Buckland is one of the lucky owners of an R30 Commemorative Kit. Like a lot of NEP fans out there, I've been curious about who bought the R30 kits. I was surprised to learn that John had never played drums before he bought this kit. But once I read his story, I was inspired by John's passion and what this kit means to him.

John Buckland 1

The story of John's R30 drums

I purchased Neil's kit at the (Snakes & Arrows tour) opening night in Atlanta this year. It was delivered the following weekend and set up in my basement in place of my wife's dining room table and chairs (THANK YOU SWEETIE!!). I knew that I had to have this drum kit and that I was going to pursue my passion of learning to play drums on my favorite musician's kit. Some would say that is extreme. But it all comes down to what you appreciate and what your dream may be.

Rush was one of the first Rock bands that I used to overhear my Brother listening to late at night in the early 80's when he was in his Rock and Metal phase. He does not realize that his exposing me to the musicians on those nights would have a lasting impact on me.

Neil and Rush have always been more to me than just another great band. They are THE GREAT band that has managed to reflect their idols in the best way possible.

They inspire me to pursue my passions and be attentive to what inspires me at all costs. That is what Life should be about.

So to own the kit that Neil plays and to have a piece of who he is in the kit that I am naturally gifted to learn to play; you cannot put a price tag on that experience. To go down to my basement and sit behind and play the instrument that he is responsible for helping shape--WOW!!! Yes everyone needs to envy that. It truly is an awesome experience!!!

On a deeper level my Father (God Rest Him) passed away last year. A very proud man he was that always instilled within me the drive to pursue my dreams. It was a portion of his inheritance that he left for me that I was able to use to purchase the kit to pursue this dream. So I now have a piece of Neil and a HUGE reflection of my Dad in my basement. Each time I play it, I am merging the two it seems and that energy makes me better each time I sit behind it. Thanks Dad!!

It is amazing! When the kit first arrived, I had never owned a kit. Neil's is the first one that I have ever owned. I WAS TERRIFIED OF THE THING WHEN I FIRST SAT BEHIND IT!!

I had to allow the Drum techs from Guitar Center, Atlanta (Randy and Mark) be the first ones to have a chance to play behind it. It was exciting for me to see them as excited as I was. It has that effect on you--as does watching Neil, Geddy and Alex play.

Now, here I am, 5 1/2 months later...I know that this instrument is the one that I had inside of me all of these years. My progression has been amazing and the kit no longer intimidates me at all. I have found comfort in being able to incorporate all aspects of the kit and have even made my own adjustments to suit my needs and style. For example, I have repositioned the cowbell tree to the opposite side of the kit next to the floor toms. And have moved my Chinas to the end of the kit behind the floor toms as well. WHY SOME MIGHT ASK? Because I can, and the one thing that Neil has always inspired me on is originality in spite of all of the norms. Neil's kit is slowly becoming mine as well. How cool is that? I will soon be adding some pieces as well. Merry Christmas to me!!

Now I seek the technical side of learning. I wish I could have the chance to sit with Neil and learn just a piece of what he knows to give his kit the justice that it deserves. However, I will do my best for now and continue practicing my 2-3 hours a day living vicariously through the kit of my idol. Perhaps one day I will meet him and I can share with him the impact he has had on my life and our shared passion for motorcycles.

Picture of John on his 2004 Honda Rune 1800 (One of 1500 made):

John and his Honda Rune 1800

Thanks Neil--It is truly a pleasure and honor to OWN YOUR DRUMS!! And thanks for the autographed "Roadshow" Copy as well. It and the top hat that was sent to me are proudly displayed on my wall.

God Bless Rush!!