The death of Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart last week, has left a hole in the musical landscape. 3 years fighting brain cancer and we did not even know. Even Rush’s biggest fans were unaware of what he was going through. Whether or not you are, or were a fan of of Rush, Neil’s talent and excellence cannot be denied. He was extremely precise, and very technical in his professorship of percussion. His lyrics were varied and expressive and sometimes hard to follow, but they always took you on a journey.
I am a Rush fan, going back to the first album. That was before Neil joined the band, they had a different sound back then. I guess everyone did though. Rush seemed to be able to stay current and relevant for over 40 years. They made music that was worth listening to, music that took you on a journey. From the long, well orchestrated songs of 2112 to the more straight forward and much shorter hard rock songs of moving pictures. Rush just seemed to flow along with the times.
I didn’t start this column with intent of writing a tribute to Neil. As I sit here listening to the SiruxXM tribute channel dedicated to Rush, it just seems to be happening. I am deeply saddened to know there will never be another Ruch album. We all knew the big tours were done, but surely assumed some new music. You could always tell it was Rush as soon as you heard the music. They definitely had a “sound” that was mostly all their own.
I can honestly say that the album Signals may have saved my life more than once. It was my go to all through the early 80’s, whenever times were rough. The song Suburbs was so spot on for anyone between the ages of 10 and 20. Be cool or be cast out! Thank you Neil for all you have given us, you will be missed by many. I can just see Neil, up there with Keith Moon and John Bonham having the great drum off in the sky. Godspeed Sir!