RIP, Neil Peart

What a drummer. A dab hand with lyrics, too. He will be missed.

In memorial of his passing, my favorite Rush song. Lyrically very appropriate for the day.

22 Comments on “RIP, Neil Peart”

  1. I’m glad I heard it from you.
    I want to say something profound, but this hit me hard and I can hardly think at the moment.
    I’d come to terms Ruth the fact that I’d never see Rush in concert again after their final tour, but I knew that the guys had time to relax and enjoy their lives.
    I guess not.
    Cancer is the worst. Particularly brain cancer. We’ve lost my cousin and my wife’s Aunt to brain cancer.
    I’ll miss you, Neil. Though we never met, you were an important part of my life, as you were for countless others.

  2. My older cousin turned me on to Rush when he loaned me his vinyl copy of 2112 in 1977. They’ve been with me since. This song came out a few months after I got married and I was young and naive enough to think I could relate. I had no idea.

    RIP Neil.

  3. I used to think Rush was a sort of discount Yes. Then I realized all these songs I liked were by them, d’oh!

    Thanks Neil. You guys made a helluva sound for just three artists, in the best way possible.

  4. My favourite band of all time. The lyrics and music are the very fabric of my life. Name an album and I can tell you where I was in my life. I know they had called it a day but there was always that glimmer of hope that they’d play again. But it isn’t too be and there is a huge hole in my life.

  5. As I recall, Peart collaborated on a few short stories with a horror author back in the 1990s, specifically one for the anthology Shock Rock. I could be mistaken.

    Requiescat In Pace.

  6. Rolling Stone put it well in their obituary:

    Peart was one of rock’s greatest drummers, with a flamboyant yet utterly precise style that paid homage to his hero, the Who’s Keith Moon, while expanding the technical and imaginative possibilities of his instrument.

    “Flamboyant yet utterly precise.” I don’t think you can improve on that.

    I didn’t become a fan until the 80s. I was teaching guitar to teenagers who brought songs for me to learn and teach back to them. Most of these songs were crap but I grew to like Rush a lot through playing their music. As a guitarist/bassist I normally focused on those players, but Neal Peart blew me away. He wasn’t the foundation of their sound, he was up front along with the others. He was a really busy player, but he was a clean busy player who used a lot of different timbres, textures, and dynamics for variety. Such control he had!

    I even liked his lyrics. As a (former) guitarist, I feel that lyrics exist to provide context for the most important part of a song, the guitar solo. But his rose above that. Red Barchetta tells a great story, Limelight is an incisive slice of his life as a performer, FreewillI, oh screw it, I’m not a writer, I just really like the lyrics even though I loathe Ayn Rand. There are so many other great songs, including the one Scalzi linked to.

    I appreciated Peart’s lyrics even when I didn’t agree with them. And how many rock lyricists wrote lyrics meaty enough to disagree with, anyway?

  7. Sigh, sad occasion for my first comment here.

    Rush were the first ‘real’ band whose work spoke to me. I’d heard a few songs on the radio but never really paid attention until the video for ‘Marathon’ (the ‘A Show of Hands’ version) appeared on MuchMusic back whenever that was. I guess I was in Grade 11, but that was the first time I even *noticed* the drums. And I loved they way they swapped the roles of their instruments around, letting the bass become the lead instrument while Alex created these lovely atmospherics with his guitar.

    I’ve never managed to learn to play music, but I credit Rush with turning me into a discerning *listener* of music.

    I know there are a huge number of people who only seem interested in their 70s stuff, but I always appreciated their desire to move on to new sounds.

    And you know, after all of Neil’s tragic experiences in the late 90s, I was so happy when he got back at it and somehow managed to play even better than before. The Vapor Trails show was such a wonderful experience.

    Not many bands with 40 year careers manage to put out some of their best work right at the end, but these guys sure did.

    I assumed their touring days were well and truly over, but I at least thought there might’ve been a studio surprise or three up their collective sleeve. But I guess not.

  8. Great choice of commemorative song. I had completely forgotten about this one. Lovely to hear Aimee Mann’s vocals again. Not sure it’s the best choice to show off Peart’s chops as a drummer. One of the band’s non-vocal songs (ie: YYZ) might be a good choice in that regard.

  9. Ya I was pretty crushed by this. One of my musical heroes (even though I play bass) for most of my life. Analog kid will always be my fave Rush tune, everything about it speaks to me.

  10. Rest in peace, Neil. I remember when Permanent Waves was their latest album. I have everything they had on vinyl up until… Power Windows, I think, then I got everything on CD. This band has meant so much to me throughout my life. THey just always seemed so timeless and so permanent, it’s hard to believe that Neil is gone. At least I had the pleasure of seeing them live a couple of times.

  11. Up here in Atlantic Canada Tom Sawyer can be heard somewhere on the radio dial at least once an hour. I learned of his passing on Friday from my daughter. Had to look it up for myself, only 67 , man. For me the most rockstar thing about Mr. Neil Peart was his passion for adventure motorcycling. He was a powerful artistic force. It hurts that he is gone.

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