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RIP Neil Peart
RIP Neil Peart
#1
Sorry. Can't let this one pass as just part of the "Cursed Thread". 

Neil Peart, the lyricist and drummer for Rush, passed away on Tuesday - announced on Friday. Geddy, Lee and the rest of his family kept it private for 3 days. A class move to allow Neil's family to grieve in private for at least a little while before the world came crashing in. 

Rush was all about class moves, really - all three of them. Virtuosos, professionals, decent caring human souls all. A true rarity in the business.

I am gutted. Rush is my favorite rock band of all time. They were great from beginning to end. I only saw one show - but it was awesome - I got to see them on their Hold Your Fire tour in 86 (87?).

I was so glad when they finally - FINALLY - got inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 2013. They were already well-respected by their peers. By the late 90s, Peart was commonly referred to as "The Professor". Not just because of his way with words and lyrics, but because every other drummer in the business could learn something from him. 

He was your favorite drummer's favorite drummer. 

I was semi-gutted when Neal retired from the band - and apparently from drumming - at the end of their last tour in 2015.

Speaking of which. It's a wonder the band didn't die in 1997. When Neil's daughter Selena was killed in a car wreck. His wife died less than a year later of cancer. Neil went on sabbatical. Riding his motorcycle tens of thousands of miles criss-crossing North America trying to make sense of it all and his place in the world. Finally he found his answer. A second love in his life, and a renewed sense of purpose for the band, and he notified Geddy and Alex he was ready to start again. Their next album was released in 2001. As well as a book he wrote called "Ghost Rider" about his travels both physical and emotional. 

I always hoped they might get back together for one last studio album. Even if they never toured.

But drumming DOES take it's toll. He was fighting arthritis. (So was Alex) It's not uncommon for hard-hitting drummers who reach that age. Yeah - no wonder he retired. He'd never accept anything less from himself than absolute perfection - and if he couldn't reach that consistently, it was time to hang it up. Also just being on the road for tours for so long. He wanted to spend more time with his (second) wife and child. And I totally respected that.

Going out on top of your game - well there's an absolute integrity to that.

Neal was always incredibly private. Some fans even thought he was stand-offish. Where Alex and Geddy would willingly entertain the fans gladly. But Neal summed it up - "I cannot pretend a stranger is a long lost friend." He was all about realness and integrity.

Best damn rock drummer ever. And the deepest lyrics master. He also wrote several books beyond Ghost Rider. Which I never got around to reading. I feel obligated to do so now.

We were fortunate to have Rush's music and Neil drove so much of it. And there is SO MUCH OF IT. So many rock musicians and bands only have about a 5-15 year span where they are good before burning out or something else happens.

Rush endured for FORTY-FIVE YEARS. There are 20 albums of original material! About 8-10 Live show albums. Compilations. Videos. 

SO many albums. Every single one of them can be listened to end-to-end and - as far as I'm concerned - not a bad song among them. At their worst - in their very earliest years - they sounded a bit of a Zeppelin knock-off. But then - EVERY band was trying to be the next Zeppelin in the mid-70s.

I think they shook that off when Neil joined them. BOOM. "The Professor" had arrived. And nothing was ever the same again. 

"We are only immortal for a limited time."  I think Neil's immortality may last a little longer than he may have expected. He left a deep mark.

One final note: 

The lyrics of "The Garden"  -  When you read these lyrics. When you listen to this. When you know the context it was written in - the placement of this as the very last song of the very last Rush studio album Clockwork Angels. Well - It simply CAN'T be coincidence. This was Rush's goodbye to their fans. And I can't help but think it was Neil's own personal goodbye. To the fans. To his friends. To his brothers and bandmates. 


THE GARDEN

In this one of many possible worlds, all for the best, or some bizarre test?
It is what it is – and whatever
Time is still the infinite jest

The arrow flies when you dream, the hours tick away – the cells tick away
The Watchmaker keeps to his schemes
The hours tick away – they tick away

The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect
So hard to earn, so easily burned
In the fullness of time
A garden to nurture and protect

In the rise and the set of the sun
‘Til the stars go spinning – spinning ’round the night
It is what it is – and forever
Each moment a memory in flight

The arrow flies while you breathe, the hours tick away – the cells tick away
The Watchmaker has time up his sleeve
The hours tick away – they tick away

The treasure of a life is a measure of love and respect
The way you live, the gifts that you give
In the fullness of time
It’s the only return that you expect

The future disappears into memory
With only a moment between
Forever dwells in that moment
Hope is what remains to be seen




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RE: RIP Neil Peart
#2
Thank you for that very eloquent, very heartfelt eulogy, Logan. For that's just what it is.
-- Bob

I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh, Clark Kent, Mary Sue, DJ Croft, Skysaber.  I have been 
called a hundred names and will be called a thousand more before the sun grows dim and cold....

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RE: RIP Neil Peart
#3
Well crap. Sad
[Image: dBiRR3J.gif]
I guess this was part of their reasons to hang up their instruments.

As with Logan, Rush has always been one of my favorite bands.
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RE: RIP Neil Peart
#4
If i never agree with any of you on anything else, i stand with you on this. Rush was one of my early rock loves, i only wish i could have caught them in concert, even once. But like a lot of my early loves, every day i seem to lose that opportunity more and more.

God's speed, and my the sun always shine on your ride.
Wolf wins every fight but the one where he dies, fangs locked around the throat of his opponent. 
Currently writing BROBd

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