I feel fortunate to have met and spoken with Neil back in the 70’s on his first U.S. tour with Rush. We worked on cutting a promo spot for the station I was working at (Hi, I’m Neil Peart of Rush and whenever I’m in Allentown I listen to WSAN). Been a big fan ever since.
Neil was far more talented than being a world class drummer. He wrote most of the lyrics. In fact, when he cut the promo I wrote about above, he sat down at an old upright piano we had in the back studio and composed a little jingle we used as a music bed for the spot. I had asked “What tune from the (two) albums should I use for a music bed?” and he said “why don’t we just use something like this” and proceeded to play a little jingle. After a minute or two of noodling around he said “OK, I’ve got it” and directed me back to the booth to record it. He did the voice over in the same take.
You all know how much of a Rush fan I am. It’s more than that – I consider Neil, in a way, to be the author and performer of the soundtrack of my life. The music connected with me in a way no other music ever has.
And the thing is, I know that there are, literally, millions of people that feel the exact same way I do. Vitality being one, as he shared above.
Getting word of Neil’s passing was a shot right to the nuts. How do I describe the sadness, the tears (of which there are plenty), over the passing of a musician which I never met?
Neil is on that BMW he loved so much, traversing the roads less traveled, in a much better place. Thank you for everything.