A tribute idea for Neil


New Member
Jan 12, 2020
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Madrid. Spain

I’m Alex, an amateur drummer from Spain, still reeling from saturday’s shocking news of Neil’s passing. I’ve been a big Rush fan since 1984 and from the beginning had an endless admiration for Neil; not only was he a supremely talented drummer, but also an incredibly disciplined artist who worked ceaselessly for 50 years without losing his passion, commitment or joy. He was also an inspiration as a human being, with his amazing resilience in the face of terrible loss and difficulties.

As I was taking a walk thinking all this and privately thanking Neil for all that he gave me and millions of music lovers, I had an idea of how we could honor his legacy and send him a collective salute across the ether.

Here goes.

What if thousands of drummers (potentially everyone with a drumset and an Internet connection) were to sit down at their kits at the exact same moment and play Tom Sawyer together? Wouldn’t that be an incredibly emotional way to send him our love and bond with each other in his name?

The idea would be to pick a day and time (e.g., Saturday, January 25th 2020, Noon, Toronto time (that’s 6:00 PM in Madrid, for example)), connect to a web site set up specifically for that purpose, and start playing the song at the same time.

I guess all we would need is to create a FB / Youtube page with a countdown, and a link to the video of the song, that we could all listen to as we play (if any radio stations agreed to play the song at that exact moment, I guess that would also work for many people).

Those with a webcam could film themselves and upload the videos, which could then be mashed up into a great memorial to Neil, with drummers of all countries and abilities united for 5 minutes to play one of his favorite songs.

The idea, in any case, is to avoid hi-tech setups and possible complications, investments or sponsors, celebrities or speeches. It would just be a bunch of drummers honoring one of their heroes.

Doesn’t that sound great?

If so, we should circulate the idea in the drumming community and work out the details to make it happen.

Of course, I’m sure that many professional musicians and rock gods, who loved and admired Neil so much, are bound to put together high profile memorials and tributes, with proceeds likely going to cancer research, and that is great; I’m looking forward to enjoying those. But what I’m proposing is a simpler, humbler version where unknown drummers everywhere unite to celebrate his legacy.

Let me know what you think…

A big big hug to all,



Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2019
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I like the idea, but it sounds like a nightmare to actually pull off. Keep us updated if you decide to move forward. I'll join in!


DFO Master
Feb 16, 2016
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Pebble Beach, CA
Sounds great, but it should be on the 24th of May (Lakeside Park lyrics) Plus it gives you more time to organize it......

"Everyone would gather, On the twenty-fourth of May,
Sitting in the sand, To watch the fireworks display
Dancing fires on the beach, Singing songs together
Though it's just a memory, some memories last forever."