Neil Peart's "Artstar" kit

bolweevil

DFO Master
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
3,829
Reaction score
226
Location
Eau Claire, WI
After re-reading the MD story about the drum shoot-out, I have the urge to search the internet on why he left Zildjian for Sabian.
 

NobleCooleyNut

Very well Known Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
794
Reaction score
943
After re-reading the MD story about the drum shoot-out, I have the urge to search the internet on why he left Zildjian for Sabian.
Lennie DiMuzio is the reason he left Zildjian for Sabian . Neil was very close with Lennie . When Lennie was let go after Armand’s death he went to Sabian . Neil followed Lennie .
 

Bri6366

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,353
Reaction score
504
Location
Levittown, PA
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.
In the grand scheme of things, Gretsch was not a big seller at this point and they didn't have much of an artist roster. Years ago my uncle needed a ride to the Mercedes dealer to pick up or drop of his car. We walked past a salesman and my uncle said he walked in to by a top line Benz and that guy said hold on he just got lunch. He lost a sale over a pizza. That was Gretsch.
 

KingLudwig

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 17, 2011
Messages
64
Reaction score
29
Location
Chicago,IL. USA
I don't know ???
The original owner shot down Neil's request as well as Carl Palmer's. They wanted single headed toms and the owner was very adamate about not making them. From what I was told he said, "we don't do that kind of work here."
 

thejohnlec

Very well Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
567
Reaction score
419
Location
Ohio Valley
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.
Neil and Rush had a huge impact on me for sure, and I’ll always be a fan. That being said, I remember reading this story and thinking that it was a bit ironic that the same good fortune that allowed him to arrange for this level of manufacture contact and research was the same good fortune that prevented him from interacting with the fans that largely helped to put him in that position. I understand there were his personality, shyness, and personal tragedies, I just wish that he could’ve allowed even a little room to the people that just wanted to say thanks.
 

Bandit

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
3,699
Reaction score
1,903
Location
Canada
It was Gretsch, the great drum assembly companies, great loss. Neil was the most important drummer in the industry at that time. You don't have to be a RUSH fan do get that.
 

thin shell

DFO Master
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
3,854
Reaction score
1,078
Neil and Rush had a huge impact on me for sure, and I’ll always be a fan. That being said, I remember reading this story and thinking that it was a bit ironic that the same good fortune that allowed him to arrange for this level of manufacture contact and research was the same good fortune that prevented him from interacting with the fans that largely helped to put him in that position. I understand there were his personality, shyness, and personal tragedies, I just wish that he could’ve allowed even a little room to the people that just wanted to say thanks.
Have you read any of his books? He was a private man who became very uncomfortable with adulation and hero worship. He felt he didn't deserve it because he wasn't anything special. He wrote back to every person who sent him questions through Modern Drummer until the word got out on the internet and then his mail load got too big to handle. He later was able to start replying at some point.

He sent a return address to several people over the years when he felt the person was someone he could be friends with. He said that his intuition had always been correct and had resulted in ongoing and meaningful friendships. He even invited several of them to ride motorcycles with him while he was on tour.

He used to to some meet and greets but after the loss of his daughter and then his wife he couldn't do it anymore. He was very fragile in his grieving process and meeting with fans would have inevitably resulted in people ripping the bandaid off every time through people offering condolences. All with good intentions but he didn't need that. I think most people who had suffered such loss would react exactly the same way.

If you have not read any of his books I would recommend it. It will help you see where he was coming from and why he protected his privacy.
 

langmick

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
75
Reaction score
82
Location
East Lansing, MI
From what I gather, there was a valid reason he traveled with someone carrying a firearm. He recounted some stories in one of his books. How someone deals with crazy adulation it's hard to know, Jerry Garcia had his way of dealing with it, everyone's different.
 

equipmentdork

DFO Veteran
Joined
Sep 20, 2011
Messages
2,086
Reaction score
731
Location
NJ
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!
Neil was definitely THE famous drummer in the 80's/MTV era and I can't imagine why any company wouldn't drop everything they were doing to try to get him. I certainly did not think there was too much MD coverage. I think it would have been funny for Gretsch to offer him the Slingerland Lites to try out. Or, had he approached Pearl, that they could have taken out an ad that had the Pearl logo with the "L" changed to a "T". Sure, it's from the desk of Capt. Obvious, but would have been interesting, or even to have DW do an NP Slingerland kit today(closer than the last retro kit they made for him).


Dan
 

thin shell

DFO Master
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
3,854
Reaction score
1,078
Neil recounted several creepy interactions with fans in his books. He was admired for his drumming but it sounded like more of the intense obsession for his was caused by his lyrics. He recounts several people who felt that he had been speaking directly to them or that he had put secret messages just for them in his words. Cars would follow his tour bus and his security would have to stop and go get them to knock it off. People showing up in his dressing room or on his bus. A bag of beer outside his hotel room followed by call from a deranged fan that expected to be able to hang out with him because of it.

Lots of people on the edge out there. It's only reasonable to be cautious.
 

dale w miller

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Messages
980
Reaction score
842
Location
Ocean, NJ
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.
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.
I definitely agree his personality had to be affected by the amount of disciples he has/had. For god’s sake, in the peak of his popularity the cover of MD was just a picture of his face.

I didn’t necessarily notice it in that article, but I can see how some would. Perhaps the article coinciding the “just his face” cover is too as his reaction to when asked what he needed to do after taking off from playing a long time was just build up his calluses.

Where I did notice it once was was when it was on the way down. That Burning for Buddy record he produced really humbled him. He would have never taken drum lessons with Freddie Grubber if all of the guys who he admitted kicked his ass didn’t suggest it.
 

cribbon

Very well Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
1,226
Reaction score
508
Have you read any of his books? He was a private man who became very uncomfortable with adulation and hero worship. He felt he didn't deserve it because he wasn't anything special. He wrote back to every person who sent him questions through Modern Drummer until the word got out on the internet and then his mail load got too big to handle. He later was able to start replying at some point.

He sent a return address to several people over the years when he felt the person was someone he could be friends with. He said that his intuition had always been correct and had resulted in ongoing and meaningful friendships. He even invited several of them to ride motorcycles with him while he was on tour.

He used to to some meet and greets but after the loss of his daughter and then his wife he couldn't do it anymore. He was very fragile in his grieving process and meeting with fans would have inevitably resulted in people ripping the bandaid off every time through people offering condolences. All with good intentions but he didn't need that. I think most people who had suffered such loss would react exactly the same way.

If you have not read any of his books I would recommend it. It will help you see where he was coming from and why he protected his privacy.
Yes I read one of his books and I thought it was interesting - but that's got nothing to do with my post, nor does his desire for privacy. His piece that I referred to was written before the tragic passings of his wife and daughter. If you read his piece, you'll note that he mentions bringing his wife along on the trip.
 


Top