Re: Neil Peart
oof. too many pages to take in...
the thing i admire most about neil is his dedication to the craft, and his decision to go back and take lessons. i think that says a lot about someone's humility and sensibility.
i was a rush fanatic way before i even started playing drums. i found their music exciting and distinctive, and i loved that the drums were so integral to the music and so upfront. definitely did my share of airdrumming to a lot of their tunes.
while i enjoyed their live performances [must've seen them at least 25 times], in retrospect, i think they, ehhh... rushed everything. they weren't sloppy, just too rapid-fire. maybe it was the adrenaline.
i completely lost interest in the band after moving pictures. i thought the music was dull and one-dimensional and too smooth and processed-sounding. i hated that geddy changed his singing. i always liked that rush was one of those bands you either loved or hated -- that's a good position to be in!
as for neil's playing... i think it's great in the context of rush. i think sometimes he intellectualizes his playing too much; i'd like to see him just go to town. but i think that's his personality: a little anal, very intelligent, very calculating. with drums, sometimes you need to put passion before intellect, and take some chances.
as for his overall mastery of the drums, i don't think he is as developed as many other players out there. he does his thing, which is great; but there's a lot he can't do, and he admits it. obviously, he can't really play jazz [burning for buddy, anyone?], but he's neil peart, so no one's expecting him to.
i will always admire him for what he contributed to one of the most successful rock bands in history. i love that he made the drummer important. and i appreciate that he lays the 'dumb drummer' stereotype to rest.
but i don't think i'd look to him as the guy that embodies what drumming is about.