Neil Peart, 1952-2020
My big sister introduced me to Yes and Genesis, but I found Rush myself. I was a drummer, and he was the greatest. It was the late 80s, I was a fresh teenager, and while I listened to every Rush record, it was my tape of Exit…Stage Left that got the most play. The drum solo on YYZ on that record blew me away. I must have listened to it 500 times. That record introduced me to their entire back catalog from that point in time backward. Later I would spend more time with their 80s material, and remain a fan into the 90s.
I observed Neil’s loss of his wife and daughter from a detached distance. When I lost my own daughter in 2010, however, I read his book Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road. It moved me and helped in some small way in my healing.
Rush was the ultimate music for geek outsiders. It was intellectual and technically phenomenal, but the band was humble, even self-deprecating. I love the pictures of Neil reading while on tour.
I got to see their last two shows in Dallas thanks to a good friend. I’m so glad I did.
If you like rock music and have not watched Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, I strongly suggest you do.
How Neil Peart’s Perfectionism Set Him Free is the best article commemorating Neil’s life I’ve read so far.