It was with great sadness that I learnt this weekend of Neil Peart's death. Neil was Rush's drummer and always has been ever since I first heard them on Christmas morning in 1975. My Mum and Dad had got me their LP Fly By Night and I was simply blown away. Neil's drumming and his song writing were out of this world and I've loved them ever since.
Rush were my teenage youth, along with Budgie and Lynyrd Skynyrd. I rocked till I dropped to Rush's mystical tracks like By Tor and the Snow Dog and the amazing 2112 album. I formed my own band with their riffs in my ears.
I regret that I never got to see Rush play live and see Neil pounding his way through Anthem or In the End. I must have practised air drumming and air guitaring to those tracks till I knew them off by heart! Rush were a big deal for rockers in 1975 and I once had a heated argument with a mate about who was the best rock drummer around. For me it was Neil Peart. No contest. My mate said Cozy Powell. Neil ended up being officially the fourth best drummer of all time. Dunno what happened to Cozy.
Having suffered from cancer for three and a half years it's time to rest Neil. You made millions of us happy for 45 years with Rush and your music will live on forever. Hang up your sticks and rest in peace my friend.
With a tear in my eye I'll play In the End.