Neil Peart's "Artstar" kit

Elvis

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Sorry everyone. Didn't mean to offend, but everyone's talking like he's still around and he's not.
Sad fact, but a fact either way.
 

High on Stress

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Sorry everyone. Didn't mean to offend, but everyone's talking like he's still around and he's not.
Sad fact, but a fact either way.
Anybody who is citing one of his books is almost certainly a fan of the man and knows that he is dead, the snarky way you said it was indeed jerky.
 

paulwells73

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Neil has a Tony Williams Yellow lacquer Gretsch kit . It was mentioned in his excellent book Ghost Rider .
Somebody posted ages ago on one of the drum forums (maybe here?) with some insider info in Neil’s yellow Gretsch kit. At the time, I copied the post into a .txt file and saved it on my computer. Here is the old quote:


"Neil Peart has a 12 13 14 20 Canary Yellow kit he bought from a store (now defunct) in Toronto in 1985 or so.
He bought the 12 14 20 first, then asked to order the 13 2 years later."
 

NobleCooleyNut

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Somebody posted ages ago on one of the drum forums (maybe here?) with some insider info in Neil’s yellow Gretsch kit. At the time, I copied the post into a .txt file and saved it on my computer. Here is the old quote:


"Neil Peart has a 12 13 14 20 Canary Yellow kit he bought from a store (now defunct) in Toronto in 1985 or so.
He bought the 12 14 20 first, then asked to order the 13 2 years later."
I think he may have purchased that from the Toronto Percussion Center ( sadly defunct) - they were the major Gretsch dealer in Toronto in the late 70’s and 80’s.
Not sure when they went out of business . I bought my first professional kit (Gretsch 18/12/14 with snare ) from them in 1978.
 

Skyrm

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In the MD article when Neil did the big multi-brand shoot-out that ended up with him switching to Ludwig, he mentioned that he didn’t include Gretsch because he had a kit at home, and knew them to be “too warm” for what he needed for Rush.
 

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Wxmaggot

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Just read that article thanks for posting thin shell!

The thing that amazes me is that Gretsch was uncooperative according to Neil. I don't understand that. It seems he had the idea he wasn't going in that direction, but still the man was trying to decide on what he wanted. You'd think any and all companies would be willing to help when he came calling!
 

jaymandude

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Just read that article thanks for posting thin shell!

The thing that amazes me is that Gretsch was uncooperative according to Neil. I don't understand that. It seems he had the idea he wasn't going in that direction, but still the man was trying to decide on what he wanted. You'd think any and all companies would be willing to help when he came calling!
You don’t know Fred Gretsch very well
 

dale w miller

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Considering Neil liked the fiberglass spray, I’m surprised Tempus wasn’t a front runner.
 

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As an aside, does anyone know the story behind Larry Allen no longer being NP's drum tech, and his replacement with Lorne Wheaton? Was it an amicable split? Creative differences? Just looking for a change? Burn-out?
 

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Disclaimer: I have no dog in this fight; I do not play Gretsch drums and I respect Neil as a musician of great stature. This is simply a personal observation.

I detect a whiff of umbrage and self-importance in Neil's remark "the company [Gretsch] proved surprisingly uncooperative in regard to this test," seemingly implying that no drum company in its right mind would dare to deny a request from him. Without question, Neil was probably the most popular rock drummer with hobby drummers and drumming fans of his generation - and because of that, he represented potentially large sales for whatever drums he chose to play. That is not in dispute and I believe that he was right if he assumed that.

Where Peart was off course, it seems to me, was that he didn't realize (or maybe didn't want to admit to himself) that he was not the be-all/end-all to everyone in the drumming community. (Someone was recently surprised when learning that Gavin Harrison said he didn't listen to Rush; a lot of people don't listen to Rush.)

Gretsch had been making drums for over a century at the time Neil was planning this test, and they enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) a highly regarded and long held reputation as one of the great drum makers in the world, something they have achieved by virtue of the quality of their drums and their enduring popularity among many serious professionals. In a rather pointed example, when Buddy Rich reportedly offered to use and endorse Gretsch drums for $40,000 per year, they declined (maybe "ignored" may be the more accurate term) his offer. When approached by Peart, Gretsch's feeling might have been that if they could get along without Buddy Rich, they could certainly get along without him.

And while Gretsch probably would have sold more drums had Neil used and endorsed them, in the end he did just fine without them and they have done just fine without him. No harm, no foul.
 

thin shell

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Disclaimer: I have no dog in this fight; I do not play Gretsch drums and I respect Neil as a musician of great stature. This is simply a personal observation.

I detect a whiff of umbrage and self-importance in Neil's remark "the company [Gretsch] proved surprisingly uncooperative in regard to this test," seemingly implying that no drum company in its right mind would dare to deny a request from him. Without question, Neil was probably the most popular rock drummer with hobby drummers and drumming fans of his generation - and because of that, he represented potentially large sales for whatever drums he chose to play. That is not in dispute and I believe that he was right if he assumed that.

Where Peart was off course, it seems to me, was that he didn't realize (or maybe didn't want to admit to himself) that he was not the be-all/end-all to everyone in the drumming community. (Someone was recently surprised when learning that Gavin Harrison said he didn't listen to Rush; a lot of people don't listen to Rush.)

Gretsch had been making drums for over a century at the time Neil was planning this test, and they enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) a highly regarded and long held reputation as one of the great drum makers in the world, something they have achieved by virtue of the quality of their drums and their enduring popularity among many serious professionals. In a rather pointed example, when Buddy Rich reportedly offered to use and endorse Gretsch drums for $40,000 per year, they declined (maybe "ignored" may be the more accurate term) his offer. When approached by Peart, Gretsch's feeling might have been that if they could get along without Buddy Rich, they could certainly get along without him.

And while Gretsch probably would have sold more drums had Neil used and endorsed them, in the end he did just fine without them and they have done just fine without him. No harm, no foul.
I don't see it as self importance at all. By that point Rush was a well established band having charted gold or platinum on 11 albums. I think it is reasonable to expect that any drum company would be interested in helping to convince a drummer with a pedigree like that to become an endorser. Now if Neil had said this after Fly by Night then it would be an ego thing.
 

Buffalo_drummer

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Disclaimer: I have no dog in this fight; I do not play Gretsch drums and I respect Neil as a musician of great stature. This is simply a personal observation.

I detect a whiff of umbrage and self-importance in Neil's remark "the company [Gretsch] proved surprisingly uncooperative in regard to this test," seemingly implying that no drum company in its right mind would dare to deny a request from him. Without question, Neil was probably the most popular rock drummer with hobby drummers and drumming fans of his generation - and because of that, he represented potentially large sales for whatever drums he chose to play. That is not in dispute and I believe that he was right if he assumed that.

Where Peart was off course, it seems to me, was that he didn't realize (or maybe didn't want to admit to himself) that he was not the be-all/end-all to everyone in the drumming community. (Someone was recently surprised when learning that Gavin Harrison said he didn't listen to Rush; a lot of people don't listen to Rush.)

Gretsch had been making drums for over a century at the time Neil was planning this test, and they enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) a highly regarded and long held reputation as one of the great drum makers in the world, something they have achieved by virtue of the quality of their drums and their enduring popularity among many serious professionals. In a rather pointed example, when Buddy Rich reportedly offered to use and endorse Gretsch drums for $40,000 per year, they declined (maybe "ignored" may be the more accurate term) his offer. When approached by Peart, Gretsch's feeling might have been that if they could get along without Buddy Rich, they could certainly get along without him.

And while Gretsch probably would have sold more drums had Neil used and endorsed them, in the end he did just fine without them and they have done just fine without him. No harm, no foul.

I have to admit, the multi-part story that MD did concerning his "quest" for a new kit came off a bit odd. I get he was a once-in-a-generation drummer but still was odd to see the mag fawn over his every word during this and it reeked of self-importance.
 

thin shell

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I have to admit, the multi-part story that MD did concerning his "quest" for a new kit came off a bit odd. I get he was a once-in-a-generation drummer but still was odd to see the mag fawn over his every word during this and it reeked of self-importance.
This was a single article written by Neil who was a regular contributor to MD at the time. So where did it reek of self importance? I just re-read it and can't detect any. I just hear a drum nerd sharing his experience with the readers.
 

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I remember hearing an older drummer in the early 1990s complaining the Modern Drummer magazine should change their name to "Neil Peart Book" because of what he felt was an over saturation of coverage Neil was getting at the time. There have been other times in the magazine’s history when certain popular drummers were a bit over-exposed (Travis Barker, anyone?) Neil was particularly present in MD during the 80s because he was also a talented prose writer who took the opportunity to hone his craft by writing for magazine, as well as appearing in ads, interviews, etc.

As for the drums, Neil likely helped Ludwig sell a lot of drums in the late 80s-mid 90s. I’ve heard some people say that his decision to endorse Ludwig kept the company from going under. Not sure if that’s true. Curious if any collectors or historians can point to 80s/90s Ludwig kits on the current used market that appear to be from a possible "Neil Peart market boost" of that era.

I also wonder what would have happened to Gretsch if he happened to choose them instead. Maybe there would be a lot more used Square Badge kits on the used market today? I wouldn’t mind that!
 


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