The reports started flying around the Interwebs last night based on an essay by the legendary drummer that was published in Drumhead Magazine. The essay is a “Reflection on 50 Years of Hitting Things With Sticks” and the most commonly cited passage is rather telling and has been embedded for you below the first photograph in this narrative.
… Lately Olivia has been introducing me to new friends at school as “My dad–He’s a retired drummer.” True to say–funny to hear. And it does not pain me to realize that, like all athletes, there comes a time to… take yourself out of the game. I would rather set it aside then face the predicament described in our song “losing it” (“Sadder still to watch it die, than never to have known it”) …
It’s been documented in the past few years that Peart has been suffering from both chronic tendonitis and shoulder problems which are two things that suck in general and can only be far worse of an experience if you are a professional drummer. Bassist Geddy Lee had cited how pained Peart would look after one of their epic three hour shows and as a fan who has witnessed these performances in person can only say how incredible Peart is when it comes to his craft to be able to play through that kind of pain. Think of that the next time you whine about a simple paper cut or knocking your hand into something.
I don’t think that I am only speaking personally here when I say that Neil Peart is one of the most inspiring drummers to not only anyone who has ever picked up a pair of sticks but quite honestly to all musicians based on his overall creativity and stratospheric skills. As a formerly active drummer I can say that I have been listening to the music of Rush with awe since the “Permanent Waves” album. Another drummer who lived down my block and was at this a bit longer had me over to listen to albums and this was their at the time latest work. Of course he offered up “A Farewell To Kings” and “2112” during the same listening session and I was hooked. “Moving Pictures” would be the first album by the band that was purchased with my own cash.
These photos were culled from the first time that I ever worked as a member of the music press with Rush as my subject matter. The tour was for “Snakes and Arrows” and I did them at the PNC Bank Arts Center in New Jersey and while there are three members in Rush to choose from I couldn’t help but keep my eyes and lens aimed at Mr. Peart. I have to admit to being a little bit of a fanboy since I had never taken professional photos of him even though I was already a decades deep fan. I hope you readers enjoy them as much as I enjoyed being able to present them to you. Oh yeah and if you want to read that original concert report that they came from you can click on THIS LINK to check that out.
While I had not seen the last few tours by the band based on scheduling and logistics, I’ve been fortunate enough to offer up my thoughts on numerous audio and video works from their career and when you click THIS LINK the tag will bring you to any and all of the Rush focused content on the PiercingMetal site.
As I draw to the close of this narrative I’m going to cross my fingers that Peart is only going to be sitting out on touring plans and has not opted to stop new musical works being released as well. As much as I love the bands music I don’t really see myself attending any concerts that don’t feature Neil on the drums but I would sure love to hear new and exciting music if they still have it in them to deliver. Thank you Neil for inspiring me to play harder and better when I did this musician stuff. You surely deserve the break and to rest upon your laurels if you are indeed stopping entirely. Hopefully you’ll use the time to pen a historical memoir about being the drummer of Rush with numerous stories and recollections that will forever inspire. Thank you again. What do you readers think about the mighty Neil Peart and this revelation? Please add your thoughts in the comments which have been left open for you to do so. Now I think I will open up that stick bag and fiddle around with the rudiments book.