Rock drummer impresario, Neil Peart passed away at age 67 in Santa Monica, CA. due to an incurable brain tumor that was detected 3 and half years ago. Rush had retired after an unimaginable 40 years selling over 40 million albums…Reputation and legacy had provided Rush with the opportunity for musical diversity across their discography. As with many bands known for experimentation, changes had inevitably resulted in dissent among critics and fans. Regardless, the group has been awarded 24 gold, 14 platinum and 3 multi-platinum albums.That ranks them fifth – behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Kiss and Aerosmith – on the all-time list for most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band.
Peart was open about having severe tendinitis but was private regarding his other health issues. Being a drummer is hard work… and it takes its toll on the body. He was anguished by the untimely deaths of his daughter from a traffic accident and 10 months later his wife from cancer. He soon developed an acute fear of flying and would become weary of traveling via bus. Peart would ride a bike in between tour stops.. and that led to him riding a motorcycle. The wind against his face and the natural beauty of Americana became his inspiration… Peart would visit art museums and historical spots wherever he could; and this connection was about his “self” and ingenuity. There was never a show that Rush wouldn’t give it his all… it’s about care.… He was an avid reader; and he corromed between the writings of Ayn Rand and Tom Robbins. He grew up listening to the great Gen Krupa and Buddy Rich…but his style was more precise and built with amazing synchronicity.
Peart authored seven non-fiction books, the latest released in September 2016.was a chronicle manifest of riding his motorcycle through North America. His literary prowess allowed for him to write the lyrics to many of Rush’s songs…In his early days with Rush, much of his lyrical output was influenced by fantasy, science fiction, mythology and philosophy. Known for his dry sense of humor he had a swarm of nicknames..Pratt.. The Professor… John Ellwood Taylor… Bubba… and Milton Banana…
Since the arrival of Neil Peart in the summer of 1974, Rush had produced six consecutive quality albums rock albums, up to and including “Permanent Waves” in 1980. It took their following album, “Moving Pictures”.. as their “Pièce de résistance”! In many ways this was their musical masterpiece and in all ways would become the most popular album they ever released. This album also would represent a crossroads for the band, at once showcasing many elements of the sound that they had forged throughout the late 1970s while also mildly previewing their new wave influenced sound of the early 1980s. In this sense, it may well be the most diverse album that Rush ever produced as well as the most complete and rewarding album overall of 1981, making it “Album of the Year” by every credible music charts. Peart’s lyrics explored more diverse subjects than he had in the past, finding lyrical inspiration in classical literature as well as contemporary events.
The best track on “Moving Pictures” was the instrumental, “YYZ”.. intended to read “Y,Y, ZED”.. which was detailing in morse code the airport in Toronto… as YYZ…It was Peart’s drum fills are absolutely astounding! A preposterous track whose opening segment sounds like it was nicked off one of those punishing 70s “Prog” albums nobody actually listens to all the way through. YYZ was built to sate the appetite of bedroom air guitarists/bassists/drummers. And for all its tricksky fills there’s that moment of sublime, tuneful beauty when Peart’s drumming kicks on.