Friday, January 10, 2020


Say it ain't so....


Via UCR:

"A big influence on me was John Steinbeck’s The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights, which he never finished in his lifetime," Peart told Rolling Stone in 2015. "It opens with a little preface that said, ‘Some people there are ... .’ I said, why? Strange turn of phrase. But he had obviously deliberately chosen it. And some of those formal phrasings were because I was very much driven by rhythm of words – and still am. A line will strike me just because of its drumming rhythm."

Rush had already put out a self-titled debut album before Peart made his performance debut with them, when they opened for Uriah Heep on Aug. 14, 1974, at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena. But that concert marked a critical turning point for Rush, for their gangly new 21-year-old drummer – and for rock.

"Among the many memories of that life-changing experience, I would never forget standing on the floor beside stage left while Uriah Heep played 'Stealin'," Peart said in his 2006 book Roadshow – Landscape with Drums: A Concert Tour by Motorcycle. "The big dark building, colored lights on the heroic figures up on the stage, the roaring audience, the sheer electricity in that place. Halfway through their show, the retractable dome of the Civic Arena had peeled back, open to the summer night."

He'd almost given up on this dream, resorting to working at the parts counter at his father's farm equipment dealership in St. Catharines, Ontario. Peart memorably arrived for this tryout driving his mother's Ford Pinto, with his drums packed into garbage cans.

"I remember thinking, 'God, he's not nearly cool enough to be in this band,'" Lifeson said in Beyond the Lighted Stage. "And then he started playing, and he pounded the crap out of those drums. He played like Keith Moon and John Bonham at the same time."

Peart's studio debut on 1975's Fly by Night is now recognized as the group's true starting point. That kicked off a creative then commercial juggernaut marked by critically lauded triumphs like 1976's 2112 and multi-platinum smashes like 1981's Moving Pictures.

Peart provided a steady presence through stylistic changes, as the '80s saw Rush move into then-modern synth-forward sounds, before a return to their sturdy bass-guitar-and-drums trio approach. Personal tragedy also played a role: Peart's first daughter, and then-only child, died in a single-car accident in 1997, just after Rush ended their Test for Echo tour. Her mother died of cancer 10 months later, and Peart's professional life ground to a sudden halt.

Peart hit the highway. He said he racked up 55,000 miles on his motorcycle during the lengthy sabbatical that followed, roaring throughout North and Central America in a journey chronicled in his 2002 book Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road..."

Well, this hurts. I got to know Rush sometime around 1981, via John D, still one of my best friends...

... who made me listen to their then brand new album Moving Pictures...

...which features a.o. Tom Sawyer...

God bless Neil, and Rest in Peace. You are now reunited with Selena and Jacqueline. May Carrie and Olivia find the strength to carry on. And... thank you from the bottom of my heart for your contribution to GREAT music.


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