Suddenly You Were Gone, From All the Lives You Left Your Mark Upon
January 10, 2020 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart has died. Neil Peart, long time drummer and lyricist for Rush died from brain cancer on January 7th.
posted by BigHeartedGuy (176 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
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posted by griffey at 1:41 PM on January 10


Ouch.

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posted by Sing Or Swim at 1:43 PM on January 10


YYZ forever.

-. -- -. -- --..
posted by deezil at 1:43 PM on January 10 [18 favorites]


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posted by grumpybear69 at 1:45 PM on January 10


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posted by fings at 1:46 PM on January 10


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posted by skycrashesdown at 1:47 PM on January 10


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posted by Inkslinger at 1:47 PM on January 10


\m/ \m/
posted by bondcliff at 1:48 PM on January 10


A thousand years have come and gone but time has passed me by
Stars stopped in the sky
Frozen in an everlasting view
Waiting for the world to end, weary of the night
Praying for the light
Prison of the lost
Xanadu

posted by swift at 1:48 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


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


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posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:50 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


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posted by vverse23 at 1:51 PM on January 10


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posted by Groundhog Week at 1:52 PM on January 10


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posted by jquinby at 1:53 PM on January 10


We go out in the world and take our chances
Fate is just the weight of circumstances
That's the way that Lady Luck dances
Roll the bones


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posted by luckynerd at 1:53 PM on January 10 [7 favorites]


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posted by azlondon at 1:54 PM on January 10


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posted by cwarmy at 1:56 PM on January 10


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posted by nubs at 1:57 PM on January 10


How terrible - I had not even heard that he was ill.
Perhaps this is what they meant by saying, when they retired, that he physically could not play live any more.

rip
posted by thelonius at 2:00 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


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


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posted by mefireader at 2:02 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


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posted by dlugoczaj at 2:05 PM on January 10


Perhaps this is what they meant by saying, when they retired, that he physically could not play live any more.

To my knowledge, they had said that he was struggling with tendinitis and other shoulder issues. The cancer is a shock.
posted by dlugoczaj at 2:06 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Peart and Rush were a big part of my formative years. The first four songs of Moving Pictures - Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, YYZ and Limelight - are as good a start as any album. Time to listen to it again.
posted by chris24 at 2:08 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


"...was a Canadian musician and writer best known as the best drummer ever,.." - Wikipedia
posted by hal9k at 2:08 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


Usually I do the . - however, because Peart's words are so important to me I am going to use my words instead.

I have (as an adult) some weirdly bittersweet feelings about Rush as a band. They were the first band that teenage me was a big fan of - but I learned about them from my then-boyfriend now-ex who was (and still is) a complete abusive shithead. I really liked their entire catalog of music well into my late 20's, to the point that it's a bit of a running joke now among friends that if Tom Sawyer (ironically I don't like that song much) comes on jukeboxes it's my fault.

I used to drum, and so Neil Peart was a huge icon, though I haven't touched a drumstick in over 20 years, so it's VERY used to (and I was never very good)

Peart wrote probably 95% of their lyrics, and even now, even in my 40's, grown out of the "I'm not like other girls I love Rush" of my 20's, and the anger of my recovery from domestic violence, there are songs that he wrote that still inspire me, still motivate me. The first dojo where I took martial arts had a belt test requirement around the 2nd degree black belt level where you had to develop your own form, and it was encouraged to set it to music. "The Enemy Within" was always that song. It's about conquering internal fear.

I rarely have strong emotional reactions to 'celebrity' deaths - (Carrie Fisher was the last one) but this is really hurting me today. There won't be any more new lyrics that mend my soul. More than the drumming, Neil Peart's words reached out to me.
posted by FritoKAL at 2:09 PM on January 10 [64 favorites]


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posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 2:10 PM on January 10


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posted by a complicated history at 2:11 PM on January 10


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I would say more, but I won't.
posted by lothar at 2:11 PM on January 10


Some time ago, perhaps the early 90s, I swear you could spin the FM dial, any time or any place, and you would hear a Rush song somewhere on the dial. They definitely made their mark.
posted by sjswitzer at 2:11 PM on January 10


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posted by Big Al 8000 at 2:19 PM on January 10


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posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:20 PM on January 10


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posted by Gaz Errant at 2:24 PM on January 10


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Fuck cancer. And triple fuck glioblastoma.
posted by Etrigan at 2:25 PM on January 10 [18 favorites]


Summer's going fast
Nights growing colder
Children growing up
Old friends growing older

Freeze this moment
A little bit longer
Make each sensation
A little bit stronger


To quote Krieger: Neil Peart stands alone.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 2:26 PM on January 10 [14 favorites]


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posted by TedW at 2:27 PM on January 10


A very important man and band in my life.

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In happier times, here's Neil and Rick Mercer doin' it up.
posted by hearthpig at 2:33 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


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posted by rhiannonstone at 2:35 PM on January 10


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posted by hanov3r at 2:35 PM on January 10


Many journeys end here
But the secret's told the same
Life is just a candle
And a dream must give it flame

posted by The Tensor at 2:39 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


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FritoKAL - I went to half a dozen Rush concerts over my lifetime and every time I was stunned by how many women there were in the audience. Rush seemed like a band that would appeal mostly to male geeks but I guess there was a substantial female geek appeal too.
posted by ensign_ricky at 2:42 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


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posted by Canageek at 2:43 PM on January 10


I'm utterly shocked. I've got Exit, Stage Left CRANKED right now and my wife is bracing herself for a nonstop Rush soundtrack all weekend. Because I am old, my first memory was while in my freshmen college year, hearing from some Canadian kids say "We got our own Zeppelin now, eh". And then I heard this jaw-dropping wall of sound. I am fortunate enough to say that I first saw them Geddy announced "This is side one from our new album, this is 2112." Brains melted that night.

I saw them numerous times over the years, the Snakes and Arrows tour was the last time. By the time they did the farewell tour I was hundreds of miles from the nearest venue and I curse that. But I will cherish each show, each album, and every damn drum fill that goes in a direction you couldn't predict.

RIP Professor
posted by Ber at 2:44 PM on January 10 [15 favorites]


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posted by fregoli at 2:45 PM on January 10


For all the terrible nonsense he'd been through, it's good to see him laugh.
posted by herrdoktor at 2:46 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Anthem of the heart and anthem of the mind
A funeral dirge for eyes gone blind
We marvel after those who sought
The wonders in the world, wonders in the world
Wonders in the world they wrought

posted by MorgansAmoebas at 2:47 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


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We can rise and fall like empires
Flow in and out like the tide
Be vain and smart, humble and dumb
We can hit and miss like pride

posted by Daily Alice at 2:51 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


My fave Neil quote: "Schopenhauer, what an asshole."

(It's actually pretty funny in context. There's an interesting anecdote in his memoirs when he contracts a weird fever after visiting Africa, doctors tell him it's incurable, he reads his old diaries and sees this comment, then looks up Schopenhauer in the dictionary, and notices that the next entry is "Schistamatosis". He went back to his doctors and told them to review their diagnosis, and finally got proper treatment.)
posted by ovvl at 2:52 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Cursed stereo in the Nissan only gets to 40. I need at least 80 today.
posted by MorgansAmoebas at 2:53 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


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posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 2:54 PM on January 10


My step brother played drums in our basement with Lee and Lifeson before Peart was part of their band. He's 20 years older than I am and went to school with them.

One of my classmates was Lifeson's nephew and was always correcting people on how to pronounce Peart's name.

Rush were a huge part of the North York community that I grew up in.

RIP.
posted by dobbs at 2:56 PM on January 10 [24 favorites]


This is incredibly painful.
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posted by blurker at 2:56 PM on January 10


Cursed stereo in the Nissan only gets to 40. I need at least 80 today.

For best results play at maximum volume
posted by The Tensor at 2:57 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


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posted by Splunge at 3:00 PM on January 10


Holy crap, what?

I don't know the names of many drummers, but as a Canadian of a certain age, I do know the drummer of Rush. (And lyricist!) What a talented guy. And 67 is way too young.

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posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:00 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


If you need a Rush-related laugh. I've been caught doing this to many Rush songs over the years.
posted by ensign_ricky at 3:03 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Aww.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:08 PM on January 10


I played drums from fifth grade up though college, and, no matter what else I listened to, I always came back to Neil, just for his sheer propulsive force.
posted by RakDaddy at 3:10 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


-.-- -.-- --..
posted by popcassady at 3:11 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Damn.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:11 PM on January 10


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 3:11 PM on January 10


I didn't hear of Rush into I was in college and one of the hallmates was playing Rush, air-drumming while saying 'roll the bones'.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 3:12 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


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for the three times I saw him play live. Hemispheres, Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures. The Progressive Era.
posted by philip-random at 3:15 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Exit, the warrior.
posted by rocket88 at 3:16 PM on January 10 [15 favorites]


“We’d like to play a song for you...... it’s off our new album......we call it ‘2112’”

As a kid my best friend and I would sneak into his older brothers room to see all of the rock posters on the wall. Rush.

The first FM rock station in town, the cool station. Rush.

Decades later, going to a concert with my wife, cresting the back berm of an amphitheater right as the opening notes started at what she just now called the best rock concert of her life. Rush.

Sitting in a conference room at work today, taking a break, catching the news that Peart is dead, calling my wife, crying.

The day the music died keeps happening, but, man, today was hard.

All this machinery
Making modern music
Can still be open-hearted
Not so coldly charted
It's really just a question
Of your honesty, yeah your honesty
posted by grimjeer at 3:18 PM on January 10 [13 favorites]


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posted by eirias at 3:26 PM on January 10


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I have a sort of special relationship with Rush. I grew up less than 200 metres from the Anthem recording studio, and Alex Lifeson's house was down the street. I played road hockey with his kids a few times which I think might be about as Canadian as it gets. I was a little too young for Rush but my older next door neighbour was a rabid fan and, he being a charming 11-year-old, would sweet-talk samples from the studio. He pilfered me a copy of Bob and Doug Mackenzie's Great White North with the sleeve corner punched out to show it was not for sale. I didn't come to appreciate Rush's depth, and especially Neil Peart's incredible skills until much later, but I do have distinct memories of hanging out with my neighbour listening to his epic drum solos.

R.I.P.
posted by simra at 3:31 PM on January 10 [10 favorites]


I once stood next to him as he bought 170-odd pairs of drumsticks at the long-gone Percussion Center in my hometown. No way he's gone.... tragic. The only "criticism" of him that I ever heard was that he was too perfect. But it wasn't only the flawless technique -- it was the mind that created the rhythms. Sublime.

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posted by buzzv at 3:33 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


Man!

This sucks!
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:35 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Rest In Peace. And thank you
posted by gt2 at 3:40 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


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posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:47 PM on January 10



posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 3:48 PM on January 10


damn.

RIP
posted by birdsong at 4:08 PM on January 10


🥁
posted by w0mbat at 4:09 PM on January 10


Dinner with Rush

Just 3 regular goofy giggly guys who just happen to be world-class musicians and brilliant songwriters.

posted by philip-random at 4:10 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


I was in high school when Rush was at their peak and I'm a drummer. Rush was, of course, one of my favorite bands and Peart's drumming was formative. In the years since, I've come to appreciate a number of drummers more than I did then and I no longer think of him as the "best". That said, I've found that there's something indelible about his music — everything he does is integral to Rush's songs. His toms are often melodic, not unlike Lee's bass. Every note is crystal clear in my memory.

This is a very sad day.

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posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:16 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I'm rarely moved by a celebrity death, either. But this one...

My husband was a professional orchestral violinist. Kid 1 had perfect pitch from about age 5. Kid 2, well, music didn't seem to be his thing, and that was okay. In fact, he couldn't carry a tune in a bucket in a family of otherwise decent singers. One night at supper, when he was in grade 4, he told us how a new music teacher passed around a djembe, and, "Look what I can do!" as he drummed a pattern on the kitchen table. My husband was impressed and asked Kid 2 to copy some more, and more complex, beat patterns. Kid 2 may not have been into melody or harmony, but by God, he had rhythm.

Within weeks, he'd discovered Rush, and wanted lessons. A couple of years later he was transcribing and performing most of Peart's solos. He began winning local talent shows. He began composing. And weirdly, around age 15, developed perfect pitch and became a better-than-decent singer.

He also discovered other talents, by which now he earns his living, and supports himself and his wife. His drumming is pretty much limited to church worship services nowadays. But Rush, and especially Neil Peart, are what brought him to music. Luckily, he had the opportunity to see Rush live a couple of times. Kid 2 is going to be gutted by this.
posted by angiep at 4:22 PM on January 10 [38 favorites]


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posted by but no cigar at 4:29 PM on January 10


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posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 4:33 PM on January 10


I propose a 21 drum salute. That's only like half his kit, so should be easy enough.

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posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:38 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


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posted by kneecapped at 4:38 PM on January 10


. . . o\ . . .o\ . . .((O))
posted by filtergik at 4:39 PM on January 10


The healthiest but least mature thing I did to deal with the anxiety of being home with my family for the holidays was go on an Aqua Teen Hunger Force bender. We just watched Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters – coincidentally, right before I learned Neil Peart died, I was talking about that movie with respect to the formatting of article subtitles in library metadata – and he's in it, playing himself. In the movie, he brings the dead back to life by playing the Drum Solo of Life.
posted by avocet at 4:51 PM on January 10 [8 favorites]


It occurs to me that when I first really got into rush, Neil was as old as I am now. So sad.
posted by klausman at 5:07 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


My late wife was a huge Rush fan - we played "Red Barchetta" at her funeral. One of the last shows we were able to see together before we knew she was sick was the Rush 40th Anniversary tour. I'm sure she'd be gutted by this news if she were here today.

I was never a fan, but I recognized their talent, and that they all seemed to be good guys. Rock on, Neil. Say hi to Hels if you see her. She'll certainly want to hang out.
posted by ralan at 5:13 PM on January 10 [25 favorites]


Just 3 regular goofy giggly guys who just happen to be world-class musicians and brilliant songwriters.

Thanks, philip-random. I've been thinking about the last time I "saw" him, which I guess was the end of the fantastic documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage which I guess this is taken from, maybe it's a DVD bonus that they used part of for the ending of the movie? In addition to all the things he did for me (the music! the songs! even the books!) I draw some comfort for that peek into his friendship with his colleagues.
posted by stevil at 5:14 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Sheesh, ralan, why'd you have to make it so damn dusty in here.
posted by stevil at 5:15 PM on January 10


I saw them at Merriweather (the tour where they turned their amps into washing machines) and a tiny thunderstorm cell rolled through during a song from 2112. There was barely any cover, and they just played through it while horizontal rain pelted the stage for two or three minutes.

We're on a fortune hunt that's far too fleet. I would do a . but the Bluetooth speaker will soon rock like it's a house party in Manassas
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:17 PM on January 10


Help a guy out: if all I know is Tom Sawyer (and find it pretty meh), and I wanted to go through not a list of most-beloved Rush songs but a list of ones that showed just what made Peart special, what would I be looking at?
posted by Palindromedary at 5:22 PM on January 10


It slips between your hands like water
This living in real time
A dizzying lifetime
Reeling by on celluloid
Struck between the eyes
By the big-time world
Walking uneasy streets
Hiding beneath the sheets
Got to try and fill the void

rest in percussion, Professor
posted by Sauce Trough at 5:36 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]




Help a guy out: if all I know is Tom Sawyer (and find it pretty meh), and I wanted to go through not a list of most-beloved Rush songs but a list of ones that showed just what made Peart special, what would I be looking at?

This live take of Spirit of Radio starts with a cover of the Stones' Paint It Black and you see the difference in drumming between the two. Black just takes a few drums, Spirit uses them all (plus a glockenspiel) and shifts through a few styles/tempos.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:36 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Palindromedary: I'd say start with YYZ. for drumming and I'll get back to you on a pick for lyrics.
posted by Sauce Trough at 5:38 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Like around 1:12 of YYZ, check out that sick trademark ride cymbal pattern, that is the purest Peart I think.

Try not to be distracted by the 70000 Brazillians singing along to an instrumental.
posted by Sauce Trough at 5:41 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Palindromedary, I've always loved The Trees and Red Barchetta as great songs with some amazing drumming but that don't overwhelm the songs. And he was also the group's lyricist and these songs are good there as well.
posted by chris24 at 5:46 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Maybe if all the nerds in the world combine their Raspberry Pis they can resurrect him.

Love,

A prog baby nerd.
posted by Young Kullervo at 5:54 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


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posted by Chrysostom at 6:01 PM on January 10


🥁
posted by dgeiser13 at 6:04 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Maybe if all the nerds in the world combine their Raspberry Pis they can resurrect him.

What?
posted by STFUDonnie at 6:05 PM on January 10


It’s just a joke, computer nerds, myself included love Rush.
posted by Young Kullervo at 6:13 PM on January 10


Palindromedary: Submitted for your approval is Freewill, specifically the break around 3:00 that proves Peart can rock out when competing with two great soloists
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:13 PM on January 10


I dunno why but I find this tribute super touching: accomplished drummer Josh Freese air-drums that famous Tom Sawyer break
posted by Sauce Trough at 6:17 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


"Red Barchetta"

It's hard to describe how wonderful it was in the 80s to be listening to the radio and basically every rock song you hear is about partying or getting laid and then Geddy Lee comes on and sings this thrilling little Neil Peart science-fiction story set to 3-4 songs worth of cool musical hooks. Zoom!

Thanks for helping make my childhood musical landscape a lot less bland, Mr. Peart.
posted by straight at 6:25 PM on January 10 [7 favorites]


Rush is one of the bands I've seen the most because my best friends growing up are huge Rush fans. I always remember one of the concerts where the entire row of teenage boys right in front of us air drummed every drum part exactly.

I love about 10 of their songs and the concerts were always great because they're amazing musicians.

Adieu, Neil Peart.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:44 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


This live take of Spirit of Radio  starts with a cover of the Stones' Paint It Black

That's SARSstock Toronto, so AC/DC followed Rush, followed by the Rolling Stones.
posted by avocet at 6:47 PM on January 10


I saw them for the last time in 2015 at a hockey arena and there was someone in the nosebleeds air-drumming with glowsticks and they were killing it.

me I was not as confident and I kept my airdrumming on the DL; Mrs Sauce and I were holding hands and I think I finger-drummed the entire 3-hour show into her palm.
posted by Sauce Trough at 6:55 PM on January 10 [7 favorites]


In a world lit only by fire
Long train of flares under piercing stars
I stand watching the steamliners roll by
The caravan thunders onward
To the distant dream of the city
The caravan carries me onward
On my way at last
On my way at last



I can't stop thinking big
I can't stop thinking big

posted by jazon at 7:01 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Heartbroken. My brother gave me an appreciation for Rush that turned into many years of love and enjoyment. I was so lucky to see them on their very last tour. It meant so much to me.

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posted by littlerobothead at 7:02 PM on January 10


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My brother was a huge Rush fan in the late 70s to early 80s, so I picked up enough Rush to get an appreciation. So many guys my age (especially in 🇨🇦) will be grieving tonight.

Pro Toronto tip: if you need to get past a PIN-pad, there's more than evens chance that the code you seek is 2112.
posted by scruss at 7:42 PM on January 10 [10 favorites]


Ok, more time to write after my .

He was a giant. I think it is a legitimate thing to say that rock and roll has saved lives. Certainly mine. If rock and roll is a religion, Peart was certainly one of its most important prophets. I don’t think it’s possible to say “So and so is rock’s greatest guitarist/singer/drummer” but literally *no one* whose opinion matters would argue that Neil Peart wasn’t on the short list list of rock’s greatest drummers. And for that matter, one of rock’s most technically proficient musicians. I’m honored to have seen him live many times.

I get that the music isn’t everyone’s bag and that’s fine. My own personal arc with it went from (middle school kid) “this is some fucking seriously deep profound shit that speaks to me!” to (college kid) “this is some seriously cliche nerd-ass shit written by a 14 year old” to middle age me “yeah, this is kinda naive and nerdy but in my bitter old age, I think you were kinda right to hold on to this nerd-ass shit cuz I don’t have any deeper truths that hold up any better. Shine on you crazy Canadian.”

That his seriously nerd-ass technically amazing music sustained him through deep and prolonged personal tragedy and allowed him to continue to radiate hope and beauty to the world...

...well... you kids have heard of Elvis and Lennon and Cobain? Peart was that kind of artist to many of us.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:47 PM on January 10 [12 favorites]


I've got my own spirit level for balance
To tell if my choice is leaning up or down
And all the shouting voices
Try to throw me off my course
Some by sermon, some by force
Fools and thieves are dangerous
In the temple and marketplace
In the temple and marketplace

Like a forest bows to winter
Beneath the deep white silence
I will quietly resist

I don't have faith in faith
I don't believe in belief
You can call me faithless
You can call me faithless
I still cling to hope
And I believe in love
And that's faith enough for me
And that's faith enough for me


I'll be listening to Snakes And Arrows tonight. It's such a late-career album, but it's very nearly perfect. It works as a single unit, unveiling its through line of perseverance in a hostile world while holding on to hope with wit and delightful musicianship. If you only know older Rush, I highly recommend this album as a new exploration for you. It's truly that good.

Neal, you've been a giant part of my life for so many decades, and you still will be. Thanks for all the music and all the thoughts.

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posted by hippybear at 7:52 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Just one more thing...when Rush’s record contract was running out in the mid 70s and they failed to score another hit, they had funding for one more record. Instead of reaching in vain for commercial success, they made the collective decision to fail on their own terms and recorded a metal opera about a futuristic fascist universe that is liberated by a man’s discovery of an old electric guitar, with 20 minute instrumental songs and called it 2112, which turned out to be simultaneously the cheesiest and most revolutionary pop record ever made and launched a 45 year career. How do you not love the hell out of that?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:00 PM on January 10 [21 favorites]


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posted by JamesD at 8:03 PM on January 10


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posted by Afghan Stan at 8:12 PM on January 10


Growing up in the 70’s, every single guy I dated in high school was a huge Rush fan. When I think of my teenage years, I mostly remember sitting in a car in the middle of the desert in the dark, with Passage to Bangkok playing on the quadraphonic 8-track.

This sucks.

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posted by MexicanYenta at 8:20 PM on January 10 [8 favorites]


OMG this live version of The Weapon is a goddamn drumgasm, like a disco sundae with sixty different sauces.
posted by Sauce Trough at 8:32 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


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posted by jabo at 8:33 PM on January 10


I have never been a huge Rush fan: I have always admired their sheer musicianship but they never connected with me on a deeper level the way they did with many of my peers (and many of you, clearly). But Peart dying of a glioblastoma barely two years after it brought down Gord Downie (and six weeks after John Mann succumbed to early-onset Alzheimer’s)... man, it feels like the Canadian music scene of my time is emptying.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:41 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I had a freind who could air drum Rush.

Man, just made a comment about Rush in Meta.

one, if not the greatest drummer there was.

🥁
posted by clavdivs at 8:44 PM on January 10


speaking of suburban Toronto -- anyone know what high school Lifeson and Lee went to? I've got a feeling it's the one I was destined for before the family migrated west. Rush have always had that feeling for me. Endless wintertime suburbia, long, long nights, the lights sort of fading toward the cold void of the north. They made the sort of noise that could give it all a little meaning.
posted by philip-random at 8:52 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


So long and thanks for all that. Especially the little break leading into the reggae bit of Spirit.

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posted by j_curiouser at 8:56 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Philip-random, google tells us that Geddy went to Newtonbrook Jr High and Georges Vanier Secondary.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 9:03 PM on January 10




Oh and Lifeson went to Vanier then AY Jackson.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 9:06 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


There has never been such a victorious drum solo
posted by hippybear at 9:13 PM on January 10


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robocop is bleeding: Black just takes a few drums; Spirit uses them all (plus a glockenspiel) ...

Hold on. I used to play glockenspiel. Never thought I'd hear it on a rock song. I have got to listen to this.

(And shit. Glioblastoma. It took a complicated friend, a dear ex, far too young. It is vicious. Shit.)
posted by virago at 9:25 PM on January 10


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posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 9:27 PM on January 10


Oh and Lifeson went to Vanier then AY Jackson.

thanks. I would've gone to Don Mills Collegiate, further south, other side of the 401 from George Vanier. Anyway, same basic sprawl.
posted by philip-random at 9:33 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Honestly I haven't listened to Rush in ~20 years.

But goodness I listened the heck out of them as a teen. My reflex is to say that it was because, as a teenage bassist, Geddy Lee's playing inspired me.

And it did. But, reading the lyric snippets here, many of which I can easily recite, 20+ years later, make me realize that Peart had a much larger influence than I knew at the time.

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posted by Theophrastus Johnson at 9:45 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


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posted by pt68 at 10:08 PM on January 10


In this one of many possible worlds, all for the best, or some bizarre test?
It is what it is - and whatever
Time is still the infinite jest

The arrow files when you dream, the hours tick away - the cells tick away
The Watchmaker keeps to his schemes
The hours tick away - they tick away

The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect
So hard to earn, so easily burned
In the fullness of time
A garden to nurture and protect

In the rise and the set of the sun
'Til the stars go spinning - spinning 'round the night
It is what it is - and forever
Each moment a memory in flight

The arrow flies while you breathe, the hours tick away - the cells tick away
The Watchmaker has time up his sleeve
The hours…


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posted by spinifex23 at 10:10 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


FWIW, streaming music services have many of their live albums. The Hemispheres reissue is peak Rush prog goodness
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:26 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


What!? Oh, no.


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posted by droplet at 10:33 PM on January 10


Oh man. This one hurts a lot. Rush has always been important to my relationship with my dad, and Neil lived at the center of that. My family marks time in Rush eras, from the first time my dad heard YYZ as a kid in Detroit suburbs to the years we played Presto and Moving Pictures in the mornings before we went off to school. My husband and all of my close friends have all learned Rush's discography because it's that central to my family's history.

On a really personal level, Peart has been essential to helping my family understand neurodiversity. Peart has often been armchair-diagnosed as somewhere on the autism spectrum, with his strong aversion to social performance and intense focus on his chosen skillset. Regardless of whatever Peart's life actually looked like, this narrative became a lifeline to my family. When my brother was diagnosed with autism in the early 90s, there were very few depictions in the larger media -- it was basically Rainman, and that was it. But the more my dad learned about the spectrum, the more he could contextualize it within the framework of the person he admired most in the world, the person he'd looked up to since he was a teenager. Peart's avoidance for the limelight mirrored my brother's avoidance of social situations; his mastery and preternatural ability on drums presaged my brother's obsessive interests in various topics. Peart's lyrics and rhythms gave my dad the framework to trust that there was a complexity to my brother's world, even if he couldn't understand it himself. Especially because the rest of the world in the 90s couldn't provide any possible framework for understanding; that was still the era where a few doctors blamed my brother's diagnosis on having a "refrigerator mother," so we were pretty much on our own.

Peart became an essential method of communication, not just for my dad's own internal understanding but also the vehicle he used to help me understand my brother's world. Peart's famously long solo motorcycle trips became the metaphor for my brother's prolonged disappearances into his media of choice; his laconic personality proved you didn't have to be social to have deep thoughts. (My dad was also keen to emphasize stories about how Rush were famously non-partiers when they toured with Kiss, but I think he probably had ulterior motives with those stories.) Most importantly, I think Peart's role in Rush was the most important lesson I learned: Geddy Lee had the stage presence and Alex Lifeson had the humor and skill, but everyone (everyone) knows Peart was the foundation. Not only was Peart useful for his skills, but he was THE distinguishing factor. Rush wouldn't be Rush if it weren't for Neil Peart... and Neil Peart wouldn't be NEIL PEART if it weren't for his eccentricities. I really struggled as a kid with having a sibling who was so incredibly different than everyone else, and though Rush didn't make it any easier at the time, my dad's lessons about them got buried deep enough to flower later.

I can't thank Peart enough for those gifts. I can't underestimate how important a lifeline he was for my family. That his words were powerful enough to become the narrative for my father's life as a teenager, only for those words to take on even more meaning when he had a kid with special needs. Peart helped my dad cultivate an island of equanimity and acceptance of neurodiversity decades before anybody else in our world began to accept it, and he also provided me the fodder to understand the challenges that my taciturn dad always refused to talk about. I can understand why "Closer to the Heart" means so much to him, and I can feel how those drum solos echo what he used to have and what he cares about now. Really, he's so woven into our life stories I have trouble choosing just one to memorialize him, which is why I am so gutted. I can connect my own life to music because of Peart, and because of Peart I can better understand the life stories of my family.
posted by lilac girl at 10:41 PM on January 10 [75 favorites]


......of salesmen!

Sad to see him go. I got to do a report for 7th grade fall-asleep music class, in 1982, on Moving Pictures and Exit Stage Left. MTV would play one of their concerts every few weeks Fridays at Midnight, and it wasn't until I had MTV did I realize what musicians were actually doing on stage with those things—I'd only heard the radio. I also knew immediately that these musicians in particular were playing extremely well. So I was very astonished that nobody had picked Rush before it came my turn to choose a band to do a report on. Nobody's done Rush? YESSSSSS and WHYYYYYY.

My first band, I was maybe 18, and our drummer had a shitty Pearl drumset. We took a piece of masking tape and immediately turned it into the Peart drum set.

Neil's the person every drummer wanted to be when they were a kid. Sad to see him go, but glad that he was able to climb through the grief in his life and come through the other side. And goddamn if I couldn't just listen to him play drums for hours and hours. I would buy an album solely of Peart drum breaks.

Good luck Neil!
posted by not_on_display at 10:58 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


lilac girl: That's amazing, I thank you so much for sharing. I was once at a Rush concert at the Gorge Amphetheater in Washington State and I saw a family of 4 generations attending the show on the lawn. Granted, the youngest members were barely walking, but it was an astonishing statement about how this band has traveled across time. And how they will continue to travel across time even now that the era of their new output has ended.
posted by hippybear at 11:06 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


As mentioned on Twitter, it seems poetic that Peart passed on the day Max Roach was born.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:36 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Peart also played jazz. Here he is playing Cotton Tail at the 1991 Buddy Rich Memorial Concert. One O'Clock Jump at the same show.

The YouTube channel "Lost in Vegas" has a nice reaction video to La Villa Strangiato, one of my personal favorites.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:39 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


That his words were powerful enough to become the narrative for my father's life as a teenager,

METAFILTER: that moment when you realize you're older than the parents of some of your neighbours.
posted by philip-random at 11:39 PM on January 10 [12 favorites]


I loved Rush from the age of 9 or so in the early 80s. I remember adults around me thought it was cool a little kid was into Rush. Neil’s drumming grabbed me immediately. I listened to a lot of Rush growing up. Presto was my first or second concert, and I have a large scar from that show. At some point I realized among some punks that Rush wasn’t cool. Whatever. For 40 years I’ve thought they were amazing. And Neil’s drumming is sui generis, truly. RIP.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:56 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


OK, I'm not Canadian, so I don't even know who Lester B. Pearson is or how beloved of a figure he is, but I think we can all agree he's had a good long run and it's time they rename YYZ the "Toronto Peart International Airport".
posted by The Tensor at 1:59 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


OMG this live version of The Weapon

mulleted Geddy with the Steinberger: maximum 80's
posted by thelonius at 3:21 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Rather than dwell on the undeniable sadness of his passing, I offer this light-hearted video as a tribute to Neil and his band.
posted by fairmettle at 3:24 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


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posted by drworm at 3:53 AM on January 11


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posted by eclectist at 5:11 AM on January 11


So, I'm not even a hard rock fan, nor a prog rock fan unless we're talking Prague rock like Can and Neu! or some Deep Purple or... Fuck, I don't even know where to go with this.

But I have learned and deep respect for Rush and Rush has earned that respect so much. After 30+ years of hipster DIY lofi bullshit showbiz and learning some shit about polyrhythms and drumming and music. Watching random Neil Peart drumming videos over the years has taught me some stuff about music and rhythm because he was a machine.

Neil Peart really does stand alone. Buddy Rich might have style and swing and steeze, but Neil Peart will bury him with clockwork sprockets and triplets and rolls that he couldn't even imagine.

I have imagined Neil Peart is the only person who could ever really and truly slaughter Animal from the Muppets. Not just hold Animal off, not play, not jam, not be friends - bury him, for good.

I'm digressing. I'm also totally tearing up and crying for the first time since Bowie and Prince passing, and I never thought I would be emotionally involved with Rush at all.

Deep respect to the Rush and Neil Peart fans in the house. I have most of Rainer right here, and it's getting poured out.

Instead of a dot imagine some wild 3/4 or 7/8 bridges or breaks. I don't even know how to write that out but I might accidentally drum it in a sequencer or hand drum.

Neil Peart could, though.
posted by loquacious at 5:11 AM on January 11 [8 favorites]


Rush was all over MST3K, and Peart specifically gets shouted out in multiple episodes. Tom Servo, specifically, loved to call out “Neil Peart on drums” when appropriate.

“I think it should be mentioned that one of the high points of Geddy’s career, and Neil’s career,” Lifeson said in a 1994 interview, “was the fact that they’ve both have been mentioned on Mystery Science Theater and I haven’t because I’m a bum.”
posted by ensign_ricky at 6:04 AM on January 11 [8 favorites]


My best friend was a big Rush fan. He also died, about two years ago, of a glioblastoma.

It's a terrible way to go - at least, it was for Mike. It was just memory skips for a little bit. Then suddenly, at work, he collapsed, and went to the hospital where they found it and found it was inoperable. His memory went worse, and then his mind wasn't there. A man who'd written books and talked for hours without words; a man known at gaming conventions for being "that guy at the booth wearing a suit" unable to even dress himself or take care of himself.

He'd been about to launch his third Kickstarter for a gaming book, his magnum opus, his gameworld, and then his mind, where so much of it lived, not written down, was gone.

This hits on two levels for me and both of them hurt a lot.

Goodbye Neil. Be kind to Mike when you meet him. He talks a lot, but thats because he's excited to meet you.
posted by mephron at 7:06 AM on January 11 [12 favorites]


First concert ever was Rush on the “Signals” tour, Radio City Music Hall. First Rush album was “Moving Pictures”.

The entire documentary “Beyond the Lighted Stage” is brilliant, but the section about where NP, at the top of his game, goes back for drum lessons with “The Yoda of Drums” is really something.

The man came back from losing his daughter and first wife in quick succession, and went on to eventually find a life again. That is... I’m constantly amazed at that fact. That’s a kind of strength I’ve never had to search for. But I know it can be done if needed.

Begin the day with a friendly voice
A companion unobtrusive
Plays that song that’s so eluisive
And the magic music makes your morning mood

posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:03 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


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posted by evilDoug at 8:22 AM on January 11


Tonight in Canadian Valhalla: Neil Peart playing The Hockey Theme.

In all the talk about technical proficiency, let us not forget that he rocked the fuck out.

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posted by whuppy at 8:25 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


Each must do their part.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:32 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


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posted by davelog at 8:51 AM on January 11


I thought I wasn't too affected by Neil's death when I first heard about it the other day, but here I am drowning out the thunder outside with Vapor Trails and crying.

Sunrise on the road behind
Sunset on the road ahead (There's nothing to stop you now)
Nothing can stop you now
There's a shadow on the road behind
There's a shadow on the road ahead (There's nothing to stop you now)
Nothing can stop you now

posted by egypturnash at 9:37 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]


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posted by oozy rat in a sanitary zoo at 9:39 AM on January 11


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posted by Citrus at 9:56 AM on January 11


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posted by tuesdayschild at 10:47 AM on January 11




Rush was the soundtrack to my teenage years. When I got my first CD player in 1986, Signals was the first thing I bought, even though I had all their albums on vinyl. I still know every word and note by heart, and still get a little misty when I hear Losing It.

Thanks for everything, Neil.

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posted by chbrooks at 11:50 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


YYZ

I'm 11-years old.
Arrangement was hard and so both footwork on baseline.

posted by philip-random at 12:05 PM on January 11 [6 favorites]


RUSH -The Spirit Of Radio (Reaction)

"Where y'all from? Honolulu or something?"
posted by thelonius at 12:10 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Following up on my initial comment above: Rush - Caravan - Clockwork Angels Tour Live 2013. From their final album, incredible playing from all three boys, backed by strings. Thoughtful lyrics, great shots of Neil in his drum castle, intricate rhythms, a complete master of his craft.

Many will try, but there will only ever be one Neil Peart.
posted by jazon at 3:34 PM on January 11


Both of the NFL playoff games today had Rush songs during at least one of their commercial breaks. Respect.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:14 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


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posted by coppertop at 5:34 AM on January 12


"Beyond the Lighted Stage" is great, I went looking for it last night to rewatch and maddeningly it seems to be on US Amazon Prime but not Can., I eventually found it on some microsoft streaming service I didn't know existed. There aren't many things I'd sign up for a $#%$!! M$ service to see, but this was one of them. Fantastic.

In the process I also discovered the more recent documentary "Time Stand Still", about Neil's decision to stop performing due to the sheer physical wear and tear of his job, and prepping and holding The Final Tour. It was great but hard to watch, that much more so because of what has happened here recently, but still, both highly recommended. Be alert for extra dust in the air in your designated viewing space.

Lastly, I have a memory of seeing a third documentary-ish thing, which is at minimum noteworthy because there's footage of Geddy and Alex basically playing out the "We like to talk, and we like to not talk,...and we both like SOUP" routine from Christopher Guest's Best in Show, but I can't seem to find it.
posted by hearthpig at 8:07 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]





posted by Gelatin at 10:06 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]



"Beyond the Lighted Stage" is great, I went looking for it last night to rewatch and maddeningly it seems to be on US Amazon Prime but not Can.,

pretty sure it's hiding in plain sight here:

RUSH - The Story Of Rush - Polish subtitles (polskie napisy)
posted by philip-random at 12:34 PM on January 12 [5 favorites]




I still remember that time on the Colbert Report where Rush played their own song in Rock Band.
posted by hanov3r at 9:07 AM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Above, Ivan Fyodorovich posted a link to a response video from Lost in Vegas, which is one of my favorite (okay, my only favorite) reaction video channels on YouTube. There's nothing like watching someone experience amazing music for the first time, and I get a kick out of their first Rush reaction video when they discover YYZ.
posted by vverse23 at 4:32 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


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posted by sarcasticah at 5:51 PM on January 13


Goodbye Neil. My heart is broken for your family, friends and former bandmates. The music you helped create has meant the world to me. I know that, like myself, you didn't believe in any kind of afterlife. Still, you were such an inveterate traveler, I can't help but thinking it: Safe Travels.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 9:49 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


My older brother had seen them in the early 80s, maybe for Permanent Waves, so I was aware of them and him before a lot of my peers. I also played drums throughout my schooling, and from Moving Pictures on he was always The Best Drummer™. I didn't agree for unimportant reasons -- I took a detour into jazz at the point others discovered Rush -- but I was surrounded by him in my daily life in high school and I had a fake book for drum set that had several Rush songs in it. They were well-transcribed and among my favorite songs in that book to play along to! The music world would be much simpler had he not passed that audition.

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posted by rhizome at 12:59 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]


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