Thread: Neil Peart
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Old 09-21-2006, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: Neil Peart

Originally Posted by Pocketman
I'll say this about Neil Peart. His drumming changed the course of my life. Like so many of you, I started playing the drums beacuse of him. I was 13 and saw the video (back when MTV played videos let alone by a progressive rock band) for Subdivisions and all I could think about was how cool this serious looking guy playing the drums was. Not to mentioned WHAT he was playing. I was so hooked and there was no looking back. Throughout high school my bedroom and locker were covered in Rush pictures. My dad took me in 1984 to see them on the Grace tour. As I watched the opening band play I saw Neil's kit behind them covered by a sheet. I remeber just staring at it KNOWING what was under there. When he first came into view under the lights playing 'Spirit Of Radio' I was in heaven. Like it's been stated before, you knew everything he was going to play before he played it and that was just how I wanted it.

Thanks to Neil I became a drummer and dedicated more time to it than anything else in my life. Lessons, practicing, gigs, college degree, etc. Over time my tastes have changed and I don't listen to Rush as much any more. But on their last tour I was able to see them second row. As I sat there seeing my childhood hero right in front of me, I went from a home owning, married father to a teenager again.

Thanks for everything Neil.
Here are some things which Neil contributed:
  • He made the drum solo an inexpendible and much anticipated part of a concert. How many times do you hear drum solos anymore?
  • He integrated keyboard instruments on a grand scale into a rock band. There may have been other multipercussionists, but no one else was incorporating Tubular bells, Orchestral Bells, and Crotales into the music, thus making the younger more impressionable drummers rethink percussion as a whole. All of the band directors in the world should be thanking him for this as well as Musser and Deagan. This also makes me wonder if Pete Best and John Rutsey ever have lunch together?
  • He welcomed technological change into his playing when most drummers wouldn't.
  • The one thing that I admire him for was the statements he would make regarding what sticks he used or cymbals. Neil, at that time, felt that what a drummer has to contribute to the music was far more important than what heads he used. I didn't understand ths at the time; now I do. Because it isn't important to be a Neil clone or a Steve Gadd clone; it is more important to be the best drummer you can be. And if that is using a pair Germanic hand cymbals for hi hats, so be it - just be careful how you enter Poland! Furthermore, in this same mindset was the fact that Neil removed logos from his cymbals until the Paragon line came out and it was his demand that the Paragon logo be subtle. His statement is that you should be finding you own voice not copying his!
  • When asked about the samples used on his solo during the Show of Hands live recording, he stated that he did use sampling be reconstructed the samples so as to not just rip off something digitally from a record, showing some character and more tech savy.
  • He wanted the rap section on the song "Roll the Bones"

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