R.I.P. 2020



  • Super-shitty news. I just heard that Neil Peart, the virtuoso drummer for RUSH, as well as their lyricist, died at 67 years old. Apparently he died three days ago, and the news is just being announced.

    Frankly, I’m shocked. He was one of the fittest rockers ever, and certainly one of the most physical. He used to bicycle behind the tour bus from city-to-city, then put in the equivalent of two test matches at the evenings’ performance. The band retired from stage several years ago because he felt he could no longer operate at the supreme level the fans expected of him. He refused to give only a part of himself, it was either the whole real thing or retirement, and he chose the latter. As far as anybody knows, he never did drugs.

    R.I.P.



  • Brain cancer, for 3-1/2 years. If it was public, I never heard about it.

    Some lovely tributes coming in from people I would not have expected, like Brian Wilson and Chuck D. I like the Copeland quote in this Guardian obit, which if you’ve ever seen thm live you would know is undoubtedly true.

    “Peart was seen as one of the industry’s most technically proficient rock drummers. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer hall of fame in 1983, making him the youngest ever honouree. The former Police drummer Stewart Copeland called him “the most air-drummed-to drummer of all time”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jan/10/rush-neil-peart-dead-67

    The Detroit Free Press obit headline calls him the best-ever. There’s certainly some debate there, but he was absolutely on any shortlist.

    Neil Peart of Rush has died at 67: A tribute to rock's greatest drummer

    He's known as the Professor.

    But that's not all they call Neil Peart. Stick the phrase "Neil Peart is…" in Google, step back and watch the accolades fly. As far as the Web is concerned, the Rush drummer is unreal, the greatest, a legend, the man. He is, some breathlessly proclaim, a rock god.

    At his concerts, they stare and study, their arms busy in the air, miming his every move across his colossal kit. He doesn't stare back: Focused, intense, deeply invested, Peart is all business as he steers Rush through its marathon live show.

    The enduring phenomenon of Neil Peart is one of rock music's rarely highlighted realities. In a rock world where musical prowess is often discounted, where his peers are often stereotyped with an amiable joke ("What do you call a drummer without a girlfriend?" "Homeless"), Peart is a rare sort indeed: a drummer beloved foremost for his virtuoso chops — and a personal image directly opposed to rock flash. [...]

    If you want to start an argument, walk into a room full of rock fans and declare that so-and-so is the best whatever. But the conventional wisdom on Peart — that he is one of rock history's very best — is about as close to consensus as it gets. It's a reputation built on a lengthy, rarely flagging career, even as Rush has flown under the mainstream radar since Peart joined in 1974.

    The stoic Peart is a drummer's drummer, a player whose high-end work has made him a legend among fellow musicians. He dominated Modern Drummer magazine's annual best-of polls so comprehensively during the 1980s that the publication eventually took him off the ballot and placed him on a special honor roll.

    "He perhaps doesn't loom as large in the overall music world, or even in rock," says senior editor Rick Van Horn. "But within the drumming community, his stature is beyond iconic. No one has had this much impact for so long. He's influenced so many people and remained at the pinnacle of popularity for 30 years." [...]

    https://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/music/brian-mccollum/2020/01/10/neil-peart-rush-dies-rocks-greatest-drummer/4435206002/



  • This is a sweet beautiful tribute.

    Dave Grohl on Rush Drummer Neil Peart: ‘We All Learned From Him’

    “His power, precision, and composition was incomparable,” says Foo Fighters frontman and Peart acolyte who inducted Rush into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

    Dave Grohl, a Neil Peart acolyte who inducted Rush into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, penned a tribute to the drummer following news of Peart’s death Friday.

    “Today, the world lost a true giant in the history of rock & roll,” Grohl said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “An inspiration to millions with an unmistakable sound who spawned generations of musicians (like myself) to pick up two sticks and chase a dream. A kind, thoughtful, brilliant man who ruled our radios and turntables not only with his drumming, but also his beautiful words.”

    Grohl continued, “I still vividly remember my first listen of 2112 when I was young. It was the first time I really listened to a drummer. And since that day, music has never been the same. His power, precision, and composition was incomparable. He was called ‘The Professor’ for a reason: We all learned from him.”

    As Grohl told Rolling Stone in 2013, ahead of Rush’s Rock Hall induction, it was Peart’s work that inspired him to pick up the drumsticks. “When I got 2112 when I was eight years old, it fucking changed the direction of my life. I heard the drums. It made me want to become a drummer,” Grohl said.

    The Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer also reminisced about meeting Peart for the first time during rehearsals for the Rock Hall ceremony. “I was coming to rehearsal and I was meeting Neil for the first time, and this man was as influential as any religion or any hero or any person in someone’s life. He said, ‘So nice to meet you. Can I make you a coffee?’ And he made me a coffee, man,” Grohl said in 2013. “And later on that night, I went to dinner and had a couple glasses of wine, and I started fucking crying because my hero made me a fucking coffee. It was unbelievable, man. So that’s kind of how this whole experience has been.”

    Both Peart and Grohl landed in the upper echelon of Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time. Grohl, like many drummers in rock, paid tribute to one of the greatest to ever play the instrument. “Thank you, Neil, for making our lives a better place with your music. You will be forever remembered and sorely missed by all of us. And my heartfelt condolences to the Rush family,” he wrote. “God bless Neil Peart.”

    https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/dave-grohl-neil-peart-tribute-936401/



  • That’s shit news. Poor Neil.



  • This is ridiculous, and awesome.

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  • English Conservative philosopher, Sir Roger Scruton died of cancer aged 75 today.

    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2020/01/roger-scruton-a-man-who-seemed-bigger-than-the-age/



  • @sparky said in R.I.P. 2020:

    English Conservative philosopher, Sir Roger Scruton died of cancer aged 75 today.

    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2020/01/roger-scruton-a-man-who-seemed-bigger-than-the-age/

    Damn .



  • As a longtime Rush fan I was shocked to hear the tragic news over the weekend because, frankly, no one apart from family and close friends even knew he had been suffering from this horrible disease in recent years. When Rush called time on their career in 2015 we were all expecting Peart to enjoy his well-earned retirement with his wife and young daughter. For those who don't know he lost his first daughter (car accident) and wife (cancer) within the space of 10 months in the late 1990s.

    I was fortunate to see Rush live once in 2007 in Milan. It cost me a lot of money to change my return flights to be able to attend the concert but it was well worth it.

    There have been plenty of tributes about Peart the drummer but equally he was one of the best lyricists in modern rock music. So in Neil's own words:

    Suddenly, you were gone
    From all the lives you left your mark upon (Afterimage)

    When we are young
    Wandering the face of the Earth
    Wondering what our dreams might be worth
    Learning that we're only immortal
    For a limited time (Dreamline)

    RIP The Professor



  • @Bovidae

    I don’t know that I can properly call myself a diehard Rush fan, but I am a fan. I saw them three times from late 70s through to mid 1990s (Hemispheres, Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows tours), mostly as a tag-along to a gang of rocker excellent friends who were enormous devotees and had probably seen the band at least 25 times apiece. If you hang around rockers and musicians long enough, you’ll discover the Rush freaks. They’re a cult band, an acquired taste, and for years I laughed at them, I thought my friends were goofy, but in the End they won. Rush has as passionate and loyal and devoted a fan base as any band in rock — ever — and the nerdiness of it is contagious. And boy, they can play! Hard rock, psyche, prog, fusion. They nail it. The tributes this past weekend have been incredible. I haven’t seen as many tears from grown men over the death of a rock artist like this for decades.



  • @Salacious-Crumb

    Yeah, a good description of the band and Rush fans. They never toured NZ or Australia so for many down here they won't be that well known, although I have seen a few people wearing Rush t-shirts. I became a fan in the mid-1980s and have followed them since then.



  • I'm not a fan (not in a "i don't like them", i just don't listen to them) but it says something that all the dudes in bands i like, love Rush.



  • He was an astonishingly accomplished drummer. And one that continued t learn and expand his craft. A musician's drummer.



  • @Bovidae I know people who were at the last shows who told me they met a pile of Aussie fans who shelled out big dollars for the final chance to see them. I recall the last time I saw them (about 25 years ago) there was a small tour group seated nearby from Japan who flew explicitly to follow them around. I remember thinking at the time, WTF, is this becoming like the Grateful Dead cult?



  • @antipodean One of the things I’ve read in several tributes that never really dawned on me before — since Peart wrote all the lyrics, he knew where the drum parts were supposed to go before the other two musicians were even handed the lyrics. He’d said a number of times in interviews that he pitied the drummers who didn’t write the songs (meaning: nearly every rock drummer, ever) because he couldn’t image receiving a song with so little time to prepare and solve where the fills were supposed to go and when to get out of the way of the lyrics.

    And it makes me smile reading stories about how he passed the audition to be their new drummer, and they immediately asked him to be their songwriter too, because they hated writing lyrics and saw his nose buried in a book all the time. He’d never written a song in his life, they already had a recording contract under their belt, he was trying to concentrate on developing his impossibly high standards on his kit, and he agreed to start writing songs! Amazing.



  • Friends have been sending me links to photos of billboards along freeways across the U.S. commemorating Peart. Fans with big wallets are forking out to honour their guy.

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  • Am I weird in that I have never heard of Rush?



  • @booboo said in R.I.P. 2020:

    Am I weird in that I have never heard of Rush?

    Me too, but I will check them out now - maybe a bit late 😞



  • @booboo said in R.I.P. 2020:

    Am I weird in that I have never heard of Rush?

    yes



  • @booboo

    I’d say not. I seem to recall hearing “Closer to the Heart” played on Hauraki, maybe once, in 1978, and that was it.

    Although they released a ton of records (incl. many, many live records), they were really a touring band. They made it a point of their identity that they didn’t want to make studio records that the three of them couldn’t replicate live on stage, so they were touring constantly — but they never made it to NZ or Oz.

    It’s also notable that critics hated them for the first decade of their existence, and Geddy Lee’s voice was certainly a part of that. They didn’t get accepted into the mainstream until the Moving Pictures album in ‘81, and then they kinda exploded. I believe there was only 5 platinum-selling rock records in the USA that year, the worst year for rock record sales since the birth of rock, and Rush fully accounted for three of them (new fans who discovered them started buying the earlier releases). As far as hard rock meets prog at the time, Bonham was dead and Yes became The Buggles v2, which left Rush holding the bag.

    Critics still weren’t on board, but the kids were, and the more the critics lambasted them, the more it galvanized those kids and made them intensely loyal. Nobody gave critics the middle-finger the way Rush fans did. And then they started dominating the musicians polls, Peart especially. He was treated like he was superhuman philosopher-king, which was why he retreated from public life. The fandom was suffocating him. How many times can a man hear “You’re the greatest ever” before he wants to climb into a hole, and he was hearing this from the time he was 24 years old.

    I remember many observers being gobsmacked in the mid 1980s when Los Angeles radio station KROQ, at the time the pre-eminent classic-rock and contemporary rock FM station in America, was having annual listeners “Battle-Of-The-Bands” tournaments and it was coming down to Rush vs Zeppelin, and Rush was winning!!

    My own preferences for hard rock-prog-fusion in the 70s/80s were more for Crimson, Jeff Beck, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever etc., I didn’t really rate Rush. But some of their songs were guilty pleasures, and I’ve come to appreciate them over the years simply because there was nobody touring like them.

    Check out youtube some time, search for “Billy Corgan” + “Rush” and you’ll get an insight into the intensity of the band; He claims if they came out now “Pitchfork would be all over them, because they’re strange-as-fuck.” And if you want to see one of the best rock documentaries ever, download “Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage.” After I saw that, I surrendered. I couldn’t help but like the band and their values.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rush:_Beyond_the_Lighted_Stage



  • @Salacious-Crumb said in R.I.P. 2020:

    @booboo

    I’d say not. I seem to recall hearing “Closer to the Heart” played on Hauraki, maybe once, in 1978, and that was it.

    Although they released a ton of records (incl. many, many live records), they were really a touring band. They made it a point of their identity that they didn’t want to make studio records that the three of them couldn’t replicate live on stage, so they were touring constantly — but they never made it to NZ or Oz.

    It’s also notable that critics hated them for the first decade of their existence, and Geddy Lee’s voice was certainly a part of that. They didn’t get accepted into the mainstream until the Moving Pictures album in ‘81, and then they kinda exploded. I believe there was only 5 platinum-selling rock records in the USA that year, the worst year for rock record sales since the birth of rock, and Rush fully accounted for three of them (new fans who discovered them started buying the earlier releases). As far as hard rock meets prog at the time, Bonham was dead and Yes became The Buggles v2, which left Rush holding the bag.

    Critics still weren’t on board, but the kids were, and the more the critics lambasted them, the more it galvanized those kids and made them intensely loyal. Nobody gave critics the middle-finger the way Rush fans did. And then they started dominating the musicians polls, Peart especially. He was treated like he was superhuman philosopher-king, which was why he retreated from public life. The fandom was suffocating him. How many times can a man hear “You’re the greatest ever” before he wants to climb into a hole, and he was hearing this from the time he was 24 years old.

    I remember many observers being gobsmacked in the mid 1980s when Los Angeles radio station KROQ, at the time the pre-eminent classic-rock and contemporary rock FM station in America, was having annual listeners “Battle-Of-The-Bands” tournaments and it was coming down to Rush vs Zeppelin, and Rush was winning!!

    My own preferences for hard rock-prog-fusion in the 70s/80s were more for Crimson, Jeff Beck, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever etc., I didn’t really rate Rush. But some of their songs were guilty pleasures, and I’ve come to appreciate them over the years simply because there was nobody touring like them.

    Check out youtube some time, search for “Billy Corgan” + “Rush” and you’ll get an insight into the intensity of the band; He claims if they came out now “Pitchfork would be all over them, because they’re strange-as-fuck.” And if you want to see one of the best rock documentaries ever, download “Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage.” After I saw that, I surrendered. I couldn’t help but like the band and their values.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rush:_Beyond_the_Lighted_Stage

    I only know them from this



  • @jegga That's all I know them from too. Good movie that.



  • They were Spinal Tap, if Spinal Tap were virtuoso musicians.



  • @Salacious-Crumb

    If you watch any of the concert footage you will always see flags from various countries in the audience. I knew a Kiwi who flew to LA to take in multiple shows every tour. I regret not seeing them myself when I lived in the US.

    That photo must be the billboard on the I95 near Philly that I read about.

    Beyond The Lighted Stage is available on Netflix NZ.

    As to local radio airplay, you still hear Tom Sawyer and Limelight on The Sound. For those that haven't heard Rush before Tom Sawyer is their biggest "hit". Even if you don't like the song you will enjoy the video intro they have used on recent tours.



  • The other thing I will add is that Neil Peart also wrote some well-received books detailing his travels around the world. I haven't read them myself but those people that have enjoyed them.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Masked_Rider:_Cycling_in_West_Africa
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_Rider:_Travels_on_the_Healing_Road
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traveling_Music:_Playing_Back_the_Soundtrack_to_My_Life_and_Times



  • I found Rush by accident. My Mum went into Musicor record shop in Whangarei and asked the owner for something for me for Christmas, random 17 year old who liked The Led Zeppelin. He had an import of “Archives” that he convinced her I would love. I did, but funnily enough it was “Working Man” from their first album (that Peart wasn’t on) that grabbed me first. Soon loved the weirdness of By-Tor though, and loved them ever since. I can’t remember where I read it but I recall they toured with Kiss when they were at their debauched worst, and Gene Simmons said the Rush boys were very straight and nice. They would go out and play volleyball instead of getting wasted and laid.



  • Rush are a bit musicians musician.

    I’d only heard of them in the same way as Grateful Dead- knew they were legendary US musicians with hardcore fans but that’s it. When I first saw “I love you man” I enjoyed what I heard so did some Spotify of them and found a lot of it recognisable. Similar to Led Zeppelin you hear a lot of their riffs / timings in other music.

    Real artists.



  • Another tribute:

    NP.jpg



  • @JC By-Tor was one of the earliest songs that I liked, as far as 70s prog goes it’s an amusing fun song. They supported Kiss on a number of tours, played quite a few dates when Kiss exploded ‘74-76. In the Rush documentary Simmons talks about how they were always trying to get Rush out to party and score females, but were dismayed ‘cos they just wanted to go back to their hotel rooms and read books.



  • @Bovidae The Washington Post published it’s 4th tribute yesterday, a story by one of their columnists about how Peart saved a relationship with his father. But that’s beside the point. What boggles my mind is that number. The Washington Post published FOUR tributes to a drummer of a Canadian metal band.



  • @Salacious-Crumb Jeff Bezos could be a Rush fan. 🙂

    He did pick up The Expanse for Amazon which has a Rush reference in the name of their ship, the Rocinante.



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  • RIP Rocky Johnson. Former WWE tag team champion and Hall of Famer, but best known for being Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson's father.



  • @Godder said in R.I.P. 2020:

    RIP Rocky Johnson. Former WWE tag team champion and Hall of Famer, but best known for being Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson's father.

    I saw him wrestle several times in person, and fondly remember when The Rock made his debut in WWE (as “Rocky Maivia”) my buddies telling me he was Rocky’s kid. Must have made Dad extremely proud to see the enormous success that Dwayne had. RIP.



  • Was reading today that Godsmack drummer said Peart was sick before the end of the last tour; and he said Peart had been confined to a wheelchair for months and couldn’t speak. Very sad. Nice to see people are discovering his legacy, though...

    Rush Claims 23 of 25 Spots on LyricFind Global Chart After Neil Peart's Death

    https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/chart-beat/8548267/rush-lyricfind-global-chart-neil-peart-death



  • @Salacious-Crumb said in R.I.P. 2020:

    @booboo

    I’d say not. I seem to recall hearing “Closer to the Heart” played on Hauraki, maybe once, in 1978, and that was it.

    It’s also notable that critics hated them for the first decade of their existence, and Geddy Lee’s voice was certainly a part of that.

    Geddy's voice was one of the things I specifically liked. His voice reminded me of David Surkamp's which was a good thing give I was Pavlov's Dog's only fan.



  • BTW, for any non-Rush people who want an easy introduction to what Peart's drumming and lyrics are all about (as well as the overall Rush vibe) should start with Witch Hunt off Moving Pictures.



  • @JC

    Two things I read the past week describing Geddy’s voice; 1) testicles crushed in a vice; and 2) makes Robert Plant sound like Leonard Cohen. Both made me laugh.

    I also learned this week that Geddy is not his real name. His actual name is “Gary,” but his mother was a European Jew (holocaust survivor) and always pronounced “Gary” as “Geddy” and since he was a kid that’s what his friends called him and it stuck. That might have been covered in the documentary, but if it was then I forgot it.

    Peart wrote a song for Geddy about his mother, on “Grace Under Pressure,” from stories she told. If there’s actually such a thing as a cool uptempo rock song about the horrors of Holocaust, “Red Sector A” might be one of the few.



  • Red Sector A is my favourite song from GUP.

    The band all had nicknames amongst themselves too.

    Geddy = Dirk
    Neil = Pratt
    Alex = Lerxst (Lifeson is not his real surname either, it's Živojinović)

    Their sense of humour was evident in the videos used at their concerts. For example:






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