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RIP Neil Peart


I was playing some Rush for my 15 year old son on our trip to/from the movies.

Moving Pictures... We made it up to Limelight :)

We have lost a musical legend but his artistry will endure.


I've been trying to keep myself together tonight and sifting through what I think is the best of the stuff that The Professor did for us. And there's this gem, which I've loved since I first heard it. The story goes that Geddy got a new fretless jazz bass delivered in the studio and was trying it out. Neil only had a little practice drum set available, but he and Geddy threw down this improvisation on the spot, and Alex came along later and overdubbed some guitar on it. So it's a drum and bass jam basically, but those two just kill it, I mean listen to the sinister things they do to the meter in this thing...

One of my Facebook friends, Don Stahl, posted this and I think it’s worth sharing here:

As this night drags on, the reality of Neil’s passing digs deeper and deeper into my soul. This is fucking painful, man.
When you’ve spent 1000’s of hours with that music, it becomes so PERSONAL, the soundtrack of your adolescent and adult years...
and because it touched you so profoundly, you put in the study, and then (unbeknownst to you) you became part of a “club”. Musicians KNEW.
I know this after 47 years on this earth, meeting other drummers and musicians who grew up with the music of Rush. We were all touched and influenced by the magic of their music, and proud to talk about it together. Instant bonds would happen if you could speak, “Rush”.

We’re all hurting immensely tonight.

Our hero is unexpectedly gone from our lives, and without any warning. THAT is what makes this so devastating. I honestly think MAYBE tonight would be easier had any of us known he was sick in any way.

I learned of the news today while at work and it was really hard to keep it together around my coworkers for the last 2 1/2 hours of the work day. I was in shock. I wanted to leave very badly.

(I live and breathe “music” and am fanatical about the greats I listen to and watch on YouTube or wherever. If I like it, I go DEEP and then learn to LOVE IT. Jeff Porcaro and Allan Holdsworth’s passings are the only others that have affected me so profoundly.)

I still don’t think it’s fully hit me. I find myself on the verge of tears, but have yet to fully let them go.
I LOVED Neil, and there’s no way to describe how influential his work with Rush (and their music) affected my knowledge of rhythm and music. It’s just not possible to express in any language, the importance of that influence. His drumming and those albums are part of my DNA, man. I LOVED that guy and will be forever influenced by the body of work he left us.
Such a horrible night..


I grew up in Canada - Hamilton, Ontario, the same town where Neil was born and just down the road from YYZ. I saw Rush for the first time in a high school gymnasium. Then I saw them at a town ice rink a year later. There were maybe 250 people there, maybe less. There was a noticeable progression in their live shows in that short time. After Moving Pictures, they exploded and it was nothing but arenas and stadiums after that.

I think the beauty of Rush for most young people was that when you first heard them, they felt like a band that you were relating to on a level that no one else could understand. You felt like you discovered them. At least, that’s how I felt.

I moved to the States permanently in 8th grade and promptly got in to a fight with a Detroit kid who insisted Ted Nugent was better than Rush. Rush won. I also made a lot of friends when I played the few Rush songs I knew on the guitar. We played the high school talent show a year or two later and did the intro to 2112 then Bastille Day and Working Man. According to the gym teacher, who also played guitar, we almost caused a riot. I later asked that same gym teacher if I could check out his guitar as it was sitting in his office. He said, “After i saw what you were doing to your guitar, there’s no way you’re touching mine!” Damn jazz guys.

I moved on musically and moved away from the area after high school. I lost track of Rush around Subdivisions era but was always happy to hear they were still going strong. I’ll occasionally grab an album off the shelf, tell my wife that she might want to go for a walk, and I’m immediately taken back to that high school gym, that ice arena and my youth. I still love cranking up a JC120 model and playing “Closer to the Heart” or riffing on the trippy phaser sound off “The Necromancer”. Of course, you can’t cover Rush in a band because no one can sing it. 😀

I told someone recently that if Canada were my Hundred Acre Wood and I was Christopher Robin, Rush was my Winnie The Pooh. Neil’s lyrics and the music they performed got me through the trying times of adolescence, changing countries and the rest of the unsettled teen angst. I used to carry a Rush picture in my wallet. I saw that same image on the web today. They were young men, long hair, standing in front of the drum riser, Neil in the background. Alex with his white 335. Geddy with his Rickenbacher. It made an impact. I watched their Rock Hall induction with Jann Wenner and shed a tear or two.

This is really, really a sad day. Going for a ride... Exit the warrior. RIP. We have assumed control.
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Power User
I think most people would like to leave a lasting, positive mark on this world. Neil did that indeed, in a huge way.


Power User
I've been off here for a few days in the wake of this devastating news. Neil has been such a positive and important influence to me, probably as much for his lyrics and prose as his drumming. I can remember periods of my life going back nearly 40 years distinctly related to the Rush songs I was getting into and the meaning behind those lyrics. I learned all the most valuable lessons in life from my parents, but they often didn't really sink in until I heard them echoed in a book or a song lyric. On a recurrent basis, I would find a common truth in Neil's writing and it would often clarify and solidify my own beliefs while also expanding my view of the world. Even while still a relatively young man, Neil had read, traveled, and saw much further than most people do in a lifetime. He would reconcile his experiences and distill them down into sublime and timeless written words. Neil has probably influenced me as much as any other person in my entire life when I really think about it. I'm going to miss him so much.
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Power User
Man, this one really hits hard. Back in my teens in the early 90s, Rush was the first band that I would just replay songs over and over and over....

Like many of you, Rush is the band that I've seen more than any other. Dozens of shows, and many of them multiple times per tour. So much great music, and so many thoughtful and inspiring lyrics. To this day, I still use lyrics from various songs in everyday conversations - Mostly unnoticed from my wife or average passers-by, but every once in a while someone recognizes them and there's an instant bond/friendship that is created. I thank you for that, Neil!

I'm just so glad his legacy was recorded with so many albums and live BluRay/DVD concerts. I'll be watching through them over the next few days. It's been a couple years since I've binged through them.

In addition, in an interview about Neil's favorite songs around 2006, he listed Porcupine Tree's "Open Car"... which turned into an immediate purchase of Deadwing for me, and the introduction of PT and Steven Wilson's music, which is my current favorite active band.

Thank you Neil, for decades of enjoyment and inspiration you've given me!

Your post echoes my experience to a great degree. Got into Rush in the early 80's, I liked them during the MP and Signals era, GUP was the first album I bought on release day and also the first tour I got to see them in concert (Texas Jam '84), and I would see them on Power Windows as well. I would have liked to attend multiple shows per tour over the years, but a long Army career took me to austere places and so there was a gap until R30, but I've seen every tour since then, a few of them for multiple shows. R30, Time Machine tour at Red Rocks, Clockwork Angels tour in Dallas (filmed for Blu Ray), and R40 are probably the highlights, but they were all fantastic. I had a similar experience with PT, hearing them play in the pre-concert mix (chose by Neil if I remember correctly), and I think it was FOABP during the Snakes & Arrows tour. I also became a huge PT/SW fan after that.
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I could write a book about Rush - I have them all - but I will let their music speak for itself.

The biggest musical influence on my life, the whole reason I started playing guitar at age 14, after first listening to them since I was 12 - a couple of months before the 2112 album was released. The first song I ever heard was Bastille Day (they were never on the radio in my area until Permanent Waves was released) and I loved the Necromancer. Went back and bought their first 2 albums, and then 2112 came out, and I had my new favorite band that no one in my small town of Iowa my age had ever heard of! Thanks to my big brother, Joest, who's 5 years older than me, and who loves music and introduced me to so much music, especially RUSH!

Neil was already missed in his retirement, now that he's passed on, we are still lucky to have so much music left behind for us to listen to. Long live the music of Rush!


Power User
So much said already ... Like many, Rush was part of the score to my adolescence, which persisted throughout my entire life.

Something I heard recently with regard to Neil’s passing: “Do not be sad for his death, but happy for his birth.”

Easy to imagine, hard to live.
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