Rush is my favorite band too but Neil was also my favorite artist. Long before I picked up a guitar, I air drummed to Neil's playing while reciting from memory every lyric he'd written.
For those out there that may not care for Rush's music, I encourage you to sample Neil's writing. He was an equally gifted writer. Neil's Ghost Rider memoir is a remarkable account of overcoming his grief of the tragic loss of his daughter and wife.
The best in my book and the standard that drummers are measured by... Doesn’t matter if you think he was the best of all time, but you can’t talk about the best without his name being thrown in the hat.
Today makes me sad that I have never and will never get to see him live.
I was not an OTT Rush fan; mostly due to Geddy's shriek, but I did respect their music deeply. Three superb musicians who never forgot where they came from (Canada!). A great lyricist but it was a collaborative effort, Geds wasn't above saying,"I'm not singing that!" He will be missed, the Ghost Rider.
I have been a huge Rush fan for over 40 years, so his passing was hard to believe. I started down the YouTube rabbit hole of Rush material the other night and came across this CBC interview. My wife (has been to one Rush concert with me but knows little about the band) really became engaged in the interview. She commented about how impressive and interesting Peart was.
I was kind of at a loss for words and said the first thing that came to mind, "He was a thoughtful genius."
I realized I have faithfully listened to Rush for 43 years.
The YouTube rabbit hole for anything associated is deep. One publication I read informed "us" that early on Rush filled the niche for nerds. Laughed at this one...
I went down the rabbit hole too. he had an interview where he is asked why the stayed a band so long and his comments about friendship were really interesting. Shared sense of humor, when to give each other space, insisting on an equal footing in the relationship so there was never a two against one scenario and then compared it to the other classic three member band that made it big just as they were, the Police. How when he watched the Police play how they never seemed to enjoy one another's company, no jokes, no looking at each other on stage, nothing. I guess it was even more interesting because Stewart Copeland, the Police's genius drummer is a pretty good compare and contrast in personality to Peart. Copeland's brash, kinda mean and kinda hilarious, enjoys the spotlight, is quick with a quip and a putdown, and paid homage to Peart as the most air-drummed drummer of all time, which is as close to high praise as you hear from Copeland. Peart on the other hand, like the rest of the band, is kinda earnest, super observant, not looking to get ahead at the expense of someone else, and also a drum genius. In thinking about these two drummers (I love the Police also) I think they for me made rock music interesting if the percussion lines are complex and weird. It took me years to figure out why most dance or hip hop or unce-unce trance sorta music is a nonstarter for me- the drum lines suck, they are super predictable, there is virtually zero math to them, and then the whole auto tune- jesus- give me Geddy's weird voice any day over autotune....
Another Canadien trio that didn't get the recognition, but I thought was a great band and severely underrated with lyrical messages other than sex, girls, drugs, and parties, Triumph, but that's a different discussion. Neil Peart inspired 1000's ! We've lost some big names past couple of years, sad.
Triumph was a solid, fun band, saw them in about 1983 in Seattle. Rik Emmett was a very skilled musician. They notoriously did not get along too well and split at the seams finally. Seems most do.
Add my 2 cents since as I am a big fan of the Police, Rush -and Triumph as well.
Rush was so well balanced on and off the stage. They shared song composing skills that brought out the best of each one I guess. They were a team. I do not know of a lot (any?) studio demos where one of the Rush guys brought in a completely finished song to share with the others, where as Sting has polished finished demos-ala Pete Townshend, that were just plug and play with a band member.
Those songs were the Golden Eggs, where as Rush brought sperm, egg and incubator (..hatchet, axe and sword...ok ok : )
The Police started equals, but quickly became basically one guy, undeniable dictator, with two unique and proficient musicians, but those two also wanted to add songs..but, apparently they had to fight pretty hard to get anything even considered on albums. That has to be rough. Sting got all the attention outside of the band.
Drummer Stewart Copeland started the band, wrote their first semi-hit.."Fallout" and added a few quirky songs here and there. Guitarist Andy Summers was 10 years older and was a true professional already, but Sting quickly laid all those golden eggs and those other guys had to check their ego..and they did not do a good job of it. At all.
Sting's Police work was mostly introspective/personal. Rush had Peart's worldly opposite, looking expansively at the universe, big skies and ideas. Great work!
Neil Peart left us with alot of great music and words. And seemed like a cool person. Super grateful he chose an art form to share that is so easy to tap into.