As in “Loosing It”, we all knew this day would come and we all knew we were witnessing it on this last tour. Just glad that I got to see him play one more time. Just like Rush is a band’s band, Neil is a drummer’s drummer. Loved to watch, listen, learn and mimic. Bittersweet day indeed.
Neil was (is) the quintessential progressive power drummer. Complexities, time signatures and the infamous 7/8th beat. It was Neil that got me into drumming, listening to 2112, Permanent Waves and A Farewell to Kings. It got me that five piece Ludwig that ended up being a double bass eight piece kit over time. Carmine Appice once wrote in a drum magazine that the perfect rock drummer would have the power of Neil Peart, the complexity of Stewart Copeland and the simplicity of Charlie Watts. Couldn’t agree more. I remember first seeing the Exit Stage Left concert video. Broones Bane/The Trees/Xanadu portion. Watching Neil getting up and playing teh tubular bells. As a kit, that was just magical for some real. What’s a drummer doing with full tubular bells behind him, and wind chimes, and every other conceivable sound making metal.
But let’s not forget the other half of the equation. What a fantastic lyricist. Writing the words for Hemispheres (obviously my favorite song), Loosing It, Freewill, Tom Sawyer, The Trees, Different Strings, Natural Science, the list goes on and on. Seems like there’s a set of lyrics for every part of life, the ups, the downs, the good and the bad, the motivations and dare I say the spiritual. Neil reminded me that it’s OK to be a nerd, and to dream. For that, thank you very, very much. Well, off to watch R40 again…
In an interview with Drumhead Magazine, Peart spoke about his retirement.