Having an affinity for three-man bands from Canada, the band RUSH was a very big part of my childhood. I could not imagine growing up without the sounds of RUSH in the background and in-particular, listening to the best drummer that had ever lived, Neal Peart. I was so sad to hear about his passing today. I didn’t even know he was battling brain cancer.
Often, I sit behind my computer and play different guitar or drum solos, picking one after the other from YouTube and blaring them out of my obstreperous speakers. No matter how many great drummers I would play from Tommy Lee to Gil Moore, nobody and I mean nobody came close to what Neil could do on the drums. When they came through South Florida on November 28, 1981 from the Exit Stage Left Tour at the Hollywood Sportatorium or the Sporto as we called it, the crowd went so wild the cops had to tear gas the place.
The Exit Stage Left Tour and album was legendary and that is when they were in their prime. However, those guys stayed in their prime for a very long time. They were a working band, even when they got inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, they were on tour and had to make it over to Cleveland because they were working and touring at the time. These guys never stopped. It only came to an end when Neil’s health took its toll on him and the band had to call it quits.
We were told that Neil had crippling arthritis and could no longer perform at the level the GOAT was used to. I don’t remember a single word about brain cancer. Just about everyone I knew and grew up with went to go see them on their last tour. My favorite band in the entire world was and always will be a three-man band from Canada, but it wasn’t RUSH, it is Triumph, also a three-man band from Canada. Maybe this reminder of mortality with the passing of Neil Peart will spark the three men in Triumph to give us one more tour before it won’t ever be possible? Father time is undefeated. Rest In Peace Neil Peart and thank you for all that you gave us!