Neil Peart passed away. 67

Grooovepig

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Rush was one of my first concerts. Like so many Gen-X drummers, Neil Peart was one of the big reasons I picked up the sticks. R.I.P. Professor. View attachment 423260
Wow! The first and only time I saw Rush was at Madison Square Garden on September 17, 1984. Grace Under Pressure tour. This band called Fastway opened up for them. I was 14 years old.
 

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It's wonderful to see all the love for Neil here. I really can't add anything that's already been said. I did have the fortune to meet Dean, the owner of "Chromey" last August during the screening of Cinema Strangiato. He was kind enough to invite my wife and I over after the show. (Yes, I'm one of the lucky one's whose wife likes RUSH!) Dean has an extraordinary collection of memorabilia and I was awestruck sitting at the kit of The Professor...
 

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APelletier

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I took me over a week to get to the point to write something about this man... all I can say is, if it were not for Neil, I would probably not be here participating on DFO. Such an influence, such an intelligent and deep thinking soul. A man who had attained rank as one of the best drummers on the planet, yet sought out Freddy Gruber to continue learning. A very private man who had his share of tragedy and loss. It seems clear to me now that Geddy and Alex knew what Neil was facing and that "retiring" was a simplified explanation behind the farewell tour. I believe he understood his impact and that going public with a diagnosis of terminal cancer would not afford him the luxury of peace that he needed to prepare and say his goodbyes to family and friends. He could not pretend that any of us were long awaited friends, but bear in mind... he clearly understood his impact on all of us. He left quite a legacy of memories, drum grooves and lyrics that have personal meaning to each and every one of us. To me, that is the epitome of a successful and full life and to a certain extent... immortality. Farewell, you King of the Drum Kit.

PS - Oh yeah, Eff you Rolling Stone, for suddenly flooding the web with Neil and Rush related stories when you panned this band for decades and decades. Rush is a musician's band, a band for the thinking man, a band born of grass roots. We like them... We don't like you, Rolling stone... bunch of asinine hipster doofuses who think you have your finger on the pulse... more like your thumbs up your hipster arses. That is all... GOOD DAY!
 
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PaulD

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I think it's pretty cool that Neil befriended the drummers that followed the trail that he blazed, like Portoy, Danny Carey, etc. That goes a long way to explaining why this has gotten so much publicity.
 

thin shell

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I don't think that the diagnosis had been made early enough to have had anything to do with his retirement from the band. They are saying it was a three and a half year battle. That would put it around June of 2016. He continued posting to his web site after their tour ended until May 2016. So I would guess that he stopped posting once he was diagnosed.

Geddy stated in an interview with Eddie Trunk in mid Dec 2018 that Neil had retired from drumming completely and that he was living his life. At the time I thought it was sad that he no longer played but thought that if it no longer brought him any joy or his tendonitis made it too painful to do then that would give him more time with family.

There were little hints that something was wrong but being such a private person it also wasn't surprising that he would stop posting on his site.

Several high profile drummers who were friends with him have stated that the have been aware of his situation for at least a couple of years. I'm just glad that the secret didn't get out. He wanted to keep it private and I'm glad that it stayed that way.

People want to complain that he wasn't friendly or generous with his time with his fans but when you look at all of the blogs he wrote on his site, the books that he wrote, the instructional videos, all of the post cards he wrote before the secret got out, Neil gave more of himself than most people in his position. He was incredibly generous. He was just a shy guy and adoration from strangers made him uncomfortable.
 

APelletier

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In a sense, I see Neil Peart being my generation's reason for wanting to get into the drum game... my generation's British Beatle invasion, if you will. Only Ringo had that much influence to sell so many Ludwig drums to all the kids in '64. With the Canadian invasion, I suppose it would have been a whole lot of 6/8/10 roto toms being sold so kids could do those Peart rolls economically! LOL!
 
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ncdrumr

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There were little hints that something was wrong but being such a private person it also wasn't surprising that he would stop posting on his site.

......
People want to complain that he wasn't friendly or generous with his time with his fans but when you look at all of the blogs he wrote on his site, the books that he wrote, the instructional videos, all of the post cards he wrote before the secret got out, Neil gave more of himself than most people in his position. He was incredibly generous. He was just a shy guy and adoration from strangers made him uncomfortable.
Yeah, I had checked back on neilpeart.net from time to time, and I assumed he wasn't posting because he was just living, being a dad and husband....which is actually true, although most of us had no idea that sickness was part of his reality. I agree with what you said. He never owed it to anyone to share any part of his private life, and even if he had interacted with fans less than he did, how much more can one give in terms of creation and performance than he? He took it so seriously. It really is the end of something unique.

I got bitten by the bug at about age 15 or 16 in the early 80s. A schoolmate lent me a VHS of Exit, Stage Left. Mind=blown. Saw them the first time on the Grace Under Pressure tour in Johnson City TN, and I couldn't take my eyes off him. I guess I saw them 7-8 times total over the years. I branched into a lot of other music and moved on from my obsession with Rush and with the man himself, but I never lost an appreciation for their approach. It seems to me they made the art they wanted to make, which matters....to me, anyway. ;-)
 

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A few years ago, I got to spend an evening "shadowing" Neil when the band received a lifetime achievement award. He was not a fan of the crowds, and definitely did not enjoy walking the red carpet. At the intermission, he was introduced to a young band that played Rush covers in their basement and were featured in a tribute video. He became way more relaxed around these teenage musicians, and seemed genuinely happy to be talking to them - I think he gladly would have spent the rest of the evening hanging out with them instead of going back for the rest of the show.

My friend Patrick also has this postcard he received when he was in high school 30 years ago. He had written to Neil for a school project (the teacher had a family connection with the band), and a few months later, he got this nice note in the mail. I like to think that Neil actually wrote it, and sometimes imagine how excited I would have been getting a letter from my drumming idol at that age.

Rush Postcard.jpg
 

thin shell

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Several years ago my wife, who happens to be one of those rare female Rush fans, won a meet and greet with the Indigo Girls. It was a very small one. Two people won it, so it was me and my wife who is a huge fan and another guy who we know who is a huge fan and happens to be a singer and songwriter and his wife. This was the first meet and greet that I have even attended so it is kind of exciting.

So we are waiting there and they come in. They introduce themselves and we all shake hands. My wife got to speak with Amy Ray a bit. She said we were originally from Atlanta and talked about some of the early shows that she had seen back when we lived in Atlanta. It was very subdued and respectful. I just said hi since my wife is the huge fan. The guy we know starts in on this rambling fanboy story about how he used to follow them around on a bus with other fans and really just making a fool of himself. He monopolized most of the time and you could tell Amy and Emily were pretty uncomfortable. It made my wife and I uncomfortable. We got to take pictures and then they were on their way.

I was struck by how surreal this whole thing was. We knew all kinds of things about them yet they knew absolutely nothing about us but they had to act like they were happy to meet us. They were very nice and gracious but it was just such a lopsided experience. Neil immediately came to mind and I completely got his feelings about meeting fans. I would hate to be in their position being a very shy person myself. I don't know that I would be interested in another meet and greet or backstage type of thing. It just made me feel creepy, and I was not the famous person.
 
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singleordoubleheads

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It's wonderful to see all the love for Neil here. I really can't add anything that's already been said. I did have the fortune to meet Dean, the owner of "Chromey" last August during the screening of Cinema Strangiato. He was kind enough to invite my wife and I over after the show. (Yes, I'm one of the lucky one's whose wife likes RUSH!) Dean has an extraordinary collection of memorabilia and I was awestruck sitting at the kit of The Professor...
So awesome man!! I would be humbled as well--it had to be a surreal feeling to be able to walk right up to (and go behind) such an iconic kit! I myself would probably pass out if I could do what you did with Carl Palmer's famous Stainless Steel kit which is also now in private hands as far as I know
 

singleordoubleheads

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I don't think that the diagnosis had been made early enough to have had anything to do with his retirement from the band. They are saying it was a three and a half year battle. That would put it around June of 2016. He continued posting to his web site after their tour ended until May 2016. So I would guess that he stopped posting once he was diagnosed.

Geddy stated in an interview with Eddie Trunk in mid Dec 2018 that Neil had retired from drumming completely and that he was living his life. At the time I thought it was sad that he no longer played but thought that if it no longer brought him any joy or his tendonitis made it too painful to do then that would give him more time with family.

There were little hints that something was wrong but being such a private person it also wasn't surprising that he would stop posting on his site.

Several high profile drummers who were friends with him have stated that the have been aware of his situation for at least a couple of years. I'm just glad that the secret didn't get out. He wanted to keep it private and I'm glad that it stayed that way.

People want to complain that he wasn't friendly or generous with his time with his fans but when you look at all of the blogs he wrote on his site, the books that he wrote, the instructional videos, all of the post cards he wrote before the secret got out, Neil gave more of himself than most people in his position. He was incredibly generous. He was just a shy guy and adoration from strangers made him uncomfortable.
I can agree with almost everything you wrote, but I still think Neil was wrong to not do the "meet and greets" with the rest of the band. We've probably all seen the clips of it on BTLS doc, and it's not a massive, out of control manic thing--the folks are in and out pretty quick--and it's over and done. It would have made a LOT of fans day even MORE if the Entire Band would have been there. I don't think it was asking that much more...
 

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Several years ago my wife, who happens to be one of those rare female Rush fans, won a meet and greet with the Indigo Girls. It was a very small one. Two people won it, so it was me and my wife who is a huge fan and another guy who we know who is a huge fan and happens to be a singer and songwriter and his wife. This was the first meet and greet that I have even attended so it is kind of exciting.

So we are waiting there and they come in. They introduce themselves and we all shake hands. My wife got to speak with Amy Ray a bit. She said we were originally from Atlanta and talked about some of the early shows that she had seen back when we lived in Atlanta. It was very subdued and respectful. I just said hi since my wife is the huge fan. The guy we know starts in on this rambling fanboy story about how he used to follow them around on a bus with other fans and really just making a fool of himself. He monopolized most of the time and you could tell Amy and Emily were pretty uncomfortable. It made my wife and I uncomfortable. We got to take pictures and then they were on their way.

I was struck by how surreal this whole thing was. We knew all kinds of things about them yet they knew absolutely nothing about us but they had to act like they were happy to meet us. They were very nice and gracious but it was just such a lopsided experience. Neil immediately came to mind and I completely got his feelings about meeting fans. I would hate to be in their position being a very shy person myself. I don't know that I would be interested in another meet and greet or backstage type of thing. It just made me feel creepy, and I was not the famous person.
I agree that your experience was not handled properly, but , from what I've heard and seen about the Rush m&g it is much more organized and streamlined, specifically so fans WONT do what your friend did. Plus, it's only a few extra minutes, so why not give fans (who have dropped a LOT of coin) a thrill of a lifetime??
 

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I can agree with almost everything you wrote, but I still think Neil was wrong to not do the "meet and greets" with the rest of the band. We've probably all seen the clips of it on BTLS doc, and it's not a massive, out of control manic thing--the folks are in and out pretty quick--and it's over and done. It would have made a LOT of fans day even MORE if the Entire Band would have been there. I don't think it was asking that much more...
Over the past week, I've watched a few interviews with him, Geddy and Alex. Based on how Neil is in those interviews, I'm going to go out on a bit of a limb and say Neil was "on the spectrum". There's one in particular with some CNN guy and Neil kind of talks over Alex and Geddy, and they just let him go. It would also be consistent with how obsessive he could be and how uncomfortable he was around strangers in that setting.

I don't mean this to denigrate him any way. In fact it probably contributed to his greatness. Hell, my dad is definitely on the spectrum and it's part of why I recognize it.
 

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Sometimes a person is very uncomfortable with large crowds of people, but are fine in a small group and some not even that. Outgoing types don't understand this and consider it being rude, but it cannot be helped.
 

thin shell

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He could have been somewhere on the spectrum but I don't know. In reading some of the things people have written about their relationships with Neil, they talk about him giving them bear hugs and being very warm, caring and generous. He also talked somewhere about loving to talk to a stranger at a gas station as long as the person didn't know him because it was just two people talking. If he felt comfortable with you, it sounds like he was all in. Look at any of his writings. He was very verbose. Especially when he was enthused about something.

I can relate. I am a very quite and shy person around people I don't know. I am not good with small talk but if I run into someone with a common interest then I find it much easier to talk to them even though I don't know them. Once I know someone then I am pretty chatty, if I have something to say.

I very much believe that someone who is famous owes me nothing except what they want to give. If an artist does something I like but doesn't feel comfortable with interacting with fans, then that's fine. They have still given me performances that inspire me. That is enough. I was in a restaurant in London a few years ago with my family and I was just people watching as I walked out and there in front of me was a very well known actor having dinner and carrying on a conversation with the people at his table. I kind of did a double take and kept on walking. No way was I going to interrupt his dinner. I felt bad about the double take and hoped that he didn't notice me noticing him.

Neil was much more than a drummer and since his words meant so much to so many people I'm sure that many people would have wanted to gush about how much his words had meant to them or how they had saved their lives. Very heavy and sincere stuff but to an introvert, it would be hard to take in.

Once Selina and Jackie died, I can see how he would not want to meet with fans who would have inevitably, with good intentions, kept on offering condolences, thus continuing to bring up the tragedies that he was healing from and trying to move on from. He talked about it in Ghost Rider and in Beyond the Lighted Stage but other than that pretty much stayed away from the topic. He discussed it on his terms.

Neil was OK in my book. As I said earlier, he was very generous with himself on his terms. I have read a few comments online where people have said that he should have disclosed his illness because it was such a blow to his fans to find out that he had died. BS. His illness was a private affair and what really mattered were the relationships with those that he was close to. In Ghost Rider he talked about people coming to see his house when it was for sale because it was a famous person's house. Given that he had lost his family he referred to that as Ghoulish. If he had gone public with his illness it would have been that plus 1000 and that would have made his life miserable.
 

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Just to clarify my post above, if I were famous, I think I'd try to be like Geddy and Alex but I could certainly sympathize with Neil's take on all of it.
 

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