Rush's Exit Stage Left: bass and guitar player's impression of a drummer

haroldo_psf

Senior Member
Rush's Beyond The Lighted Stage: bass and guitar player's impression of a drummer

I was just watching Beyond The Lighted Stage again last night, and I noticed the different first impression Alex and Geddy had of Neil.

Alex says something along the lines of: "...and I saw him, and he was pouding on those drums! ...."

Then Geddy says: "...and I saw him, and his playing was incredible, he was doing his triplets, and it was just amazing...."

It sounds like Alex just noticed that Neil was a fast drummer making a lot of noise, while Geddy really saw how techically apt Neil really was.

Is this another indicator of the connection that a bass player and a drummer typically share?
 
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inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
I was just watching Exit Stage Left again last night, and I noticed the different first impression Alex and Geddy had of Neil.

Alex says something along the lines of: "...and I saw him, and he was pouding on those drums! ...."

Then Geddy says: "...and I saw him, and his playing was incredible, he was doing his triplets, and it was just amazing...."

It sounds like Alex just noticed that Neil was a fast drummer making a lot of noise, while Geddy really saw how techically apt Neil really was.

Is this another indicator of the connection that a bass player and a drummer typically share?
The question I had after watching that was how did they end up auditioning Neil? I don't recall them saying how they found Neil in the first place. It was amazing that they had a matter of 1-2 weeks to get him ready to go out on tour. Talk about pressure!

Regarding your question, I don't know if it is a bassist vs guitarist thing. I've played with guitarist who were very attuned to the drums and bassists who are not.
 
S

sticks4drums

Guest
Myself I think it was just the difference between Alex and Geddy and how they express themselves. Geddy is much more of a thinker than Alex. Alex is the fun more simple one, that just kind of says what he feels. Geddy is more like Neil. Very smart and detailed. I am not saying that Alex is dumb. Just that he is more simply stated. I just watched the latest movie on them the other night(can't think of the name right now) but it reminded me of just how great these three guys really are. Not just musically, but as role models, in the rock and roll world. They all just seem so down to earth. They are all really well spoken, and great family men. To last this long in this kind of industry, you have to be doing something right. I think they are the greatest band of our generation. They have gone through so many musical transformations, and come out the other side, stronger musically than when they entered.
 

haroldo_psf

Senior Member
The question I had after watching that was how did they end up auditioning Neil? I don't recall them saying how they found Neil in the first place. <snip>

The whole story of how Neil got started is explained in much more detail in his DVD "Work in Progress", which is a great watch, by the way.

The band (or Rush's management, can't remember) was in town passing by, and while talking to locals, they mentioned they were desperately looking for a drummer. The locals said: "Oh yeah, you have to go talk to the parts manager, Neil. He is pretty good!".

Out of desperation and having nothing to loose, they went to check him out....
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Floating around youtube there are two very long interviews with Geddy and Alex and between the two interviews, you get a better picture of the audition.

One aspect was before the auditions started, Alex and Geddy made a deal they wouldn't make a decision until everyone was done, and they had a chance to go discuss it. Neil so impressed Geddy, that Geddy wanted to toss out the agreement to go talk about it and giv the job to Neil right there. Alex was trying to stick the agreement to not jump to any rash decisions.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
The whole story of how Neil got started is explained in much more detail in his DVD "Work in Progress", which is a great watch, by the way.

The band (or Rush's management, can't remember) was in town passing by, and while talking to locals, they mentioned they were desperately looking for a drummer. The locals said: "Oh yeah, you have to go talk to the parts manager, Neil. He is pretty good!".

Out of desperation and having nothing to loose, they went to check him out....
It was Management. Neil discuss that part on the "Beyond the Lighted Stage" movie.

Management went around and rounded up numerous drummers in the area, and scheduled auditions.

The story is the guy before Neil came in, and had the 1st Rush album written out in lengthy charts, and set up music stands and politely played through the material reading the charts. And then Neil came in and just killed it.

In on the of the youtube interviews, Geddy also mentioned that he started to play a 7/4 bass riff that would later become the song "Anthem" and Neil had been the only guy who could follow the 7/4 without a problem.

In one of Neil's books, Neil discusses how he had actually given up on the idea of playing drums in bands, and had resigned himself to just working in his father's store when Rush's management showed up.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
This also points out the more elemental, emotional aspects of Alex's approach to music as opposed to Geddy's "thinking man" approach.
 

haroldo_psf

Senior Member
I meant to say "Beyond the Lighted Stage", and not Exit Stage Left! (tried to change the thread's title, but can't...

anyway, you get the idea :D
 

haroldo_psf

Senior Member
Another question...

I tried to find the Colbert show Rush interview, and I couldn't. I really pisses me off, I want to see that so bad!

Is there any chance that one of you die hard Rush fans DVRed it and could upload it to youtube?
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
Another question...

I tried to find the Colbert show Rush interview, and I couldn't. I really pisses me off, I want to see that so bad!

Is there any chance that one of you die hard Rush fans DVRed it and could upload it to youtube?
This is most of it:

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/176346/july-16-2008/rush-is-here

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/176340/july-16-2008/rush

http://www.videocure.com/video/183087.html

http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=101047

There are also clips of them backstage after the show playing Tom Sawyer in rockband, but those should be easy to find.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Did Neil know any of Rush's music when he auditioned, or have time to prepare?
They never really made that clear in any of the interviews I've seen.

Although in the movie, Neil mentions after he won the job, he only had two weeks to learn all their material before the first show, so I sort of assume he didn't actually know the songs from the 1st album for the audition.
 

Fuzrock

Silver Member
In one of Neil's books, Neil discusses how he had actually given up on the idea of playing drums in bands, and had resigned himself to just working in his father's store when Rush's management showed up.
That's kind of mind blowing if you think about it. One of the world's most influential rock drummers almost never was. What a waste that would have been.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
That's kind of mind blowing if you think about it. One of the world's most influential rock drummers almost never was. What a waste that would have been.
I think most professional musicians would tell you they almost weren't. In almost every instance there is a chance encounter or audition that they got that was the difference between getting that life changing gig and a life in anonymity.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I think most professional musicians would tell you they almost weren't. In almost every instance there is a chance encounter or audition that they got that was the difference between getting that life changing gig and a life in anonymity.
From that movie, I don't think Rush thought they'd ever be a band with how they were touring around and around, then doing Caress of Steel and everyone hating it. They certainly had their low moments as an entity, let alone becoming successful musicians. The only thing they had going for them was their youth to be able to put up with it. It would've been a very different story if they were in their 30s as opposed to their 20s, I think.
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
That's kind of mind blowing if you think about it. One of the world's most influential rock drummers almost never was. What a waste that would have been.
Undoubtably there are thousands of other musicians who never got to the point and their talent was wasted. Just think if McCartney and Lennon never hooked up.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
That's kind of mind blowing if you think about it. One of the world's most influential rock drummers almost never was. What a waste that would have been.
Yeah. Or if John Rusty had stuck it out. Or of the band had picked someone else, and they never progressed beyond their Led Zep jr sound. The whole thing may have never been.

I think most professional musicians would tell you they almost weren't. In almost every instance there is a chance encounter or audition that they got that was the difference between getting that life changing gig and a life in anonymity.
True.

But some people just never give up, and keep going, trying and trying again. Neil had basically stopped trying at that moment in time. Although who is to stay that he wouldn't have eventually started trying again at a later time.
 
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