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Lazie Indie Magazine Special Edition -Neil Peart

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This Magazine is for online reading purpose and not for sale

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When Ann Aria told us about a tribute to Neil Peart it sounded a great idea butwhen we started to work on it we realized how difficult it is to write a tribute toone of the greatest ever musicians who appeared on stage. His worldwide fanfollowing is at times both intimidating and exciting. One can only write one's ownperspective and we do not claim it as a biography of Neil. Instead, it is a tributefrom a Rush fan who is herself one of the finest vocalists around the music scenenowadays and knows quite a bit about Prog Rock being in a band that is numberone in many music communities for years. She is also someone who has proventhe depth she can go in bringing out facts as a writer which can be seen in theearlier tributes she has written in Lazie Indie Magazine. We have used onlyimages taken or created by friends who have given us their express consent foruse of these visuals within this feature to ensure that we do not infringe on anycopyrights. Towards the end, we have added a live interview with Donna Halper who broughtRush to the limelight and we are honored to have her as a part of our interviewseries talking about Neil and Rush. We take this opportunity to thank and congratulate Ann Aria for the herculeantask of creating this fantastic tribute. The entire credit for this special editiongoes to her .... So friends, let us read ...3From Editor's Desk of Lazie Indie Magazine

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Introduction by Ann 'Aria' BurstynWhen I think of RUSH, I fondly remember my youth. It takes me right back to the days of me recording the MovingPictures album onto cassette so that I could leave the house with one of my most favorite bands of all time. I wouldhappily lug my boom box around in order to play this cassette and others, wherever I went. Most days I would ofcourse use my Sony Walkman. But if I wanted to ‘share’, the boom box was the weapon of choice. Friends and Icould blast the tunes out into the ether for all the rest of the neighborhood to hear. And they were going to like itor else. Because we ‘knew’ it was the BEST music EVER. OK, so we were teens, you understand. And in light ofcopyright infringement laws, no, I never had the intention of selling said tapes in my local “subdivisions”, or “in thehigh school halls”, or “in the shopping malls”, nor “in the backs of cars”. Couldn’t resist. The first song I heard fromthem was “The Spirit of Radio” which was making the rounds on the music airwaves in the early 80’s. The song namewas inspired by Toronto radio station CFNY-FM's slogan and its meaning is that of switching between radiostations, playing various music genres which can be heard in the different sections of the track. It was their firsttop 30 single in Canada and reached number 51 on the US Hot 100. It is one of Rush's best known songs. “Begin theday with a friendly voice, a companion unobtrusive. Plays that song that's so elusive, and the magic music makes yourmorning mood”. These lyrical statements have always rung true for me since music has always been my solace; mysafe place in a world of uncertainties. But I surely did know that I was now a bonafide fan of this band.“Subdivisions” drew me in entirely when I was 15. I had already been taking piano lessons and was enthralled withall things synth. I picked out the chords on the piano and would sing along while playing. I searched my local recordstore for more of their music which is when I happened upon their album Moving Pictures. I was intrigued by thecover before ever hearing any of the songs and wanted to unearth the meaning of it all. I discovered it has a triplemeaning: there are movers physically moving pictures while people are crying because the pictures passing alongare emotionally moving and on the back cover, a film crew is making a moving picture of the entire scene. I knewthis band was brilliant in songwriting but this was next level for me as a kid and new fan. Could this powerhousetrio be any cooler? I had a feeling the answer was “yes” so I had to know more and I was not disappointed. Uponhearing the songs I was taken aback. All my senses were alive with the richly melodic passages, well-crafted lyricsand overall complexities within all the tracks. “Tom Sawyer”, “Red Barchetta”, “YYZ”, “Limelight”, “The Camera Eye”,“Witch Hunt”, and “Vital Signs”. “Tom Sawyer” and “Limelight” were groundbreaking hits for the band, catapultingthem from the restraints of the Progressive Rock stigma into the radio-friendly realm. “YYZ” was an unexpectedtrack in that it is an instrumental and not just any at that. The rhythms are amazingly inventive as status quo forRush. In keeping with the band’s traditions of churning out uniquely intriguing works, it’s no surprise there’s aninteresting story behind these rhythmic patterns and the song as a whole. YYZ is the IATA airport identificationcode of Toronto Pearson International Airport, in Rush’s home base of Toronto. A VHF Omnidirectional rangesystem at the airport broadcasts the YYZ identifier code in Morse Code. The band heard the code and its rhythmstuck with them. The song’s introduction repeatedly uses "Y-Y-Z" in Morse Code using various musicalarrangements. Departures, arrivals, and separations are woven into the theme. Not being a drummer, it was stillplain to me and my friends that their drummer was a whole new animal than what any of us had ever heard. Thename Neil Peart was on everyone’s lips. What was he doing? What was THAT? This wasn’t the usual 4/4. But it wassomething more than the varying time signatures. 5

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It was the phrasing, feel, technical precision, and passion. At times, the other members would fade into the background due tothis enormity of ‘presence’; not to say that Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson are any less incredible in their own rights. Then the airdrumming began. Friends and I would often compete to see who could tap out the correct beats on our laps and in the air. Wewere up for the challenge but could we ever sit down at an actual kit and replicate what Neil was doing? Doubtful, but thatwas OK. We were quite happy to leave him to it and just admire. He was an inspiration. In our eyes, ears, and hearts, there wasno one better. And he was ‘ours’ as a fellow Canadian and that made us all ultra proud. But there was more. Not only was Iaware of his proficiency as a drummer I discovered he was the primary lyricist. One does not normally associate a drummer asa writer whose words are being sung by the main vocalist in a band. This greatly beguiled and impressed me. I have alwaysbeen a fan of ‘intellectual’ lyrics which his were nothing short of. Rush’s songs and words took on a whole new level of awe forme. Rush was officially now EPIC status. What more can be said of Neil and Rush? So MUCH more. And more will be said formany generations to come. But I write this in tribute to Neil as a member of Rush and more so as a person. He has graced uswith a legacy of integrity, class, modesty, honor, highest level of professionalism, top excellence in his craft, a vast body ofmusic, lyrics, prose, books and endless inspiration.6

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Neil Peart Neil Ellwood Peart – Drummer. Author. Lyricist. Motorcyclist. ( Sept.12th 1952-Jan. 7th, 2020 ). "What is a master but a student? And if that’s true, then there’s aresponsibility on you to keep getting better and to explore avenues of yourprofession.” ~ Neil Peart. Neil Ellwood Peart was born on September12, 1952, in Hamilton,Ontario, Canada. Not being the athletic type like other boys his age hecouldn’t play hockey, which was nearly considered to be a curse as ayoung Canadian. Instead he was an avid reader. He was also interestedin music and began drum lessons at age 13, after having moved with hisfamily to nearby St. Catherines. He studied with Don George, a localteacher, and then played in a variety of rock bands. His early musicalinfluences were Keith Moon, Gene Krupa, Ginger Baker, John Bonham,Mitch Mitchell, Michael Giles and Michael Shrieve. Moon was his heroand he aspired to employ his sort of energy but Neil wished to stay trueto his own spirit and style by playing even more extravagantly andmarkedly with precision and focus. Big Band Jazz and improvisationalstyles were his dad’s favorite types of music which Peart learned toplay in his later years due to his restless nature and need to continuallyacquire new musical skills and prowess. At that time drummer GingerBaker then became a major influence in his life.. He was brilliant andthus skipped two full grades and entered high school early. During hishigh school years, he was often bullied for his shoulder length hair, bellbottoms, long capes and purple shoes. He saw himself as a misfit sodrumming “became an instrument of self esteem” for him. Playing drumswas the first time he ever felt admired for anything and that fuelled hispassion to play even more. He dropped out of school at age 17 andsubsequently moved to London, England when he was 18. There he atfirst sought ‘fortune and fame’ but instead lived a life of anonymity andpoverty. He soon realized he was not in agreement with playing musiche did not fully believe in, just for money. He decided he’d much ratherwork a 9-5 job and play as a hobby, than ‘sell out’. He moved back toCanada in 1972 and started working for his father’s farm equipmentdealership, while playing part-time in local bands. At this point hisinfluences were Bill Bruford, Billy Cobham and Phil Collins. Eventuallyhe was drumming full time with a serious band called JR Flood whogigged around Ontario. In July of 1974, after for health reasons, lettingtheir original drummer John Rutsey go, the managers for Rushcontacted Neil and asked if he would audition for them. As the storygoes, Neil arrived in his Mother’s Ford Pinto, drums stashed insidegarbage cans, much to the amusement of Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.Alex was quoted in the documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stageas having said: “I remember thinking, God; he’s not nearly cool enough to bein this band. He pounded the crap outta those drums. He played like KeithMoon and John Bonham at the same time.” Geddy Lee was “blown away”.However, Neil left the audition feeling he had not done well. But Geddyand Alex were very impressed indeed and Neil got the job. 8

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Neil Peart & Rush Neil officially joined Rush on July 29th, 1974 and though he was elated to be following his dreams, the situation wasn’tentirely ideal. He had two short weeks to learn Rush’s full live repertoire in preparation for a long-awaited US tour; a truebaptism by fire. His Rush debut was August 14th at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena opening for Uriah Heep and Manfred Mannwith an audience of eleven thousand fans. Along with his new bandmates, they left their indelible mark that night and neverlooked back. Neil was “one of the weirdest people” Geddy and Alex had ever met. He was the extremely literate, opinionated,serious one who didn’t quite fit in with Alex and Geddy right away. Geddy and Alex had already been long time friends whoconsidered themselves to be goofy, so they gave Neil space to find his way into their orbit. Part of that time Neil foundhimself reading a lot as he often did throughout his life. It was said he had a photographic memory and could recall titles,authors and link all the information within every book he’d absorbed. Geddy noticed Neil’s growing talent with language andvocabulary and realized he could probably write lyrics. Neil was up to the task and began writing. Geddy felt Neil’s lyricswere “stimulating“, but also thought they were “a mouthful to sing” in the style he was used to. Neil then offered Geddy vocaladvice on ways to expand his singing technique using his type of wording. Many lyrics were written while on tour whichresulted in the songs for the forthcoming album Fly by Night. It was musically different than their debut record. For thisreason, their record company was unsure about the direction the band was headed. Neil was integral in this evolution of theband’s sound. They were writing longer more thematic, multi-piece songs. Caress of Steel was similar. Sadly this was not wellreceived by their record company, management or fans. They were encouraged to write more commercial songs. Theydecided they would rather not ‘cop out’ and wrote what they thought would be their “last hurrah”. “No, we’re not doing any ofthat. No you can’t tell us what to do and no we don’t care.” ~Neil Peart. Enter “2112” with its message about “The individualagainst the mass”; which resonated with their fans. Their level of musicianship was unmatched at this point. “2112” was unlikeany music heard up until then, especially notable for such a full sound coming from a ‘mere’ trio. The album is like a journeyrather than a simple listening experience. It even inspired some fans to learn more about literature due to the nature of thelyrics. “2112” as a concept album in the end granted Rush their creative freedom; “We have assumed control”. Despite thenegative press, loyal fans were more dedicated than ever. The boys also had their own fashion sense. They wanted to find away to stand out so while visiting a Japanese area in San Francisco, they happened upon what would become the infamouskimonos. Geddy refers to them as “the absurdly prophetic robes”. As their continued success grew, so did Neil’s percussion anddrum kit. He enlisted a sprawling array of dozens of drums, cymbals, cowbells,10

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timpani, wood blocks, triangles, glockenspiel, tubular bells, chimes, a gong and more which seemed to embrace him in all their gleamand glory. Additional gear was brought onboard by the other members as well. The impossibly larger than life sound that hadpreviously come from only three people had further broadened beyond most listeners’ comprehension at this point. The live albumAll the World’s a Stage and A Farewell to Kings followed and soon after, Hemispheres, which became a fan favorite, beingambitious, experimental and challenging. Rush was now known as the “High Priests of conceptual metal”. “La Villa Strangiato” is amonumental piece of epic-ness from this record. If a musician can play this, they can play anything. It is the ‘master song’ for allmusicians of the genre. But 1978 was the “end of the epics” for Rush. They decided to head into a different direction with their newalbum Permanent Waves with fresh approaches: new instruments, sounds, put into a more focused stream. Neil was a big fan ofThe Police and this shone through in some of Rush’s newer music on this record especially on “The Spirit of Radio”. The music wasaccessible to the average radio listener and still pleasing to their long time fans. Geddy was quoted as saying it was “the mostimportant stepping stone” for them leading to Moving Pictures. Neil had felt that Rush was “born” with Moving Pictures. Itrepresents all they had learned about songwriting and arrangement, and is when they brought Rush’s identity together asindividuals and as a band. “Are we having fun yet? Yes, we are. And that, now that I think about it, is why we do what we do, and why wekeep doing it. We have fun together. Not only that, we work well together, balancing each other like a 3-sided mirror, each reflecting adifferent view, but all moving down the road together.” Peart~ “Tom Sawyer” was difficult to play no matter how many times he did it,said Neil. At this time concert audiences doubled. They were the band of that year. They had indeed “conquered the world” as Alexand Geddy had mused upon as an aim when they were in their teens. Neil thought it a mixed blessing because fame was difficult forhim. Their intelligent music and lyrics continued to connect with fans on deep levels. Some say it was music for nerds and musicgeeks. “Subdivisions” lyrics made the 'un-cool' kids feel recognized and that it was OK not to be in with the ‘cool’ cliques. It was theband’s highest-selling record in the U.S. which rose to #3 on the Billboard charts and still remains Rush’s most popular andcommercially successful album. Their virtuosity in songwriting reached a new pinnacle. But success did not stop them from aspiringto improve. Rush released the live album Exit… Stage Left next. In 1982 they put out Signals and in 1984 Grace Under Pressure.Neil then tried the electronic drum kit for a change of sound. The band as a whole went for a more electronic feel on PowerWindows. They embraced new technology, new music, new pop, essentially New Wave. “There was no such thing as that doesn’t suitRush. Those words have never been uttered” said Neil. The new tech spurred on more creativity but a lot of fans did not enjoy this eraof Rush as they moved away from Rock. But the core fan base was steadfast and curious to see where Rush would lead them. HoldYour Fire was the next record, pushing toward a jazzier, softer style. The live album A Show of Hands was then put out. Shortlythereafter, producer Rupert Hine came onto the scene to try to edge them back to Rock. As one of the few power trios in the world,Rupert saw to it that they got back to this ‘power’ and with that came Presto and Roll the Bones. Counterparts followed up usingless synths and related technology. Neil then felt stiff in his playing style. He decided to try more of a ‘swing style’ and relearn howto hold his sticks and flow across the drums, using a ‘traditional grip’. Fans saw that their hero was still willing to improve. All thewhile, Neil was still struggling with the idea of fandom. “Ok I was the World’s biggest Who fan as a kid. I never dreamed of trying to findtheir hotel and knocking on their door or interfering in their lives in any way. I don’t understand. I love being appreciated, being respected isawfully good but anything beyond that just creeps me out, you know, any sense of adulation is just like so wrong.“ Neil Peart~ 13

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When Neil was 10, he suffered an intensely traumatic event while swimming inLake Ontario. He grew tired and attempted to grab hold of a buoyed raft. Someolder kids thought it amusing to keep him from getting onto it. He felt himselfbegin to drown when thankfully two classmates came to his rescue to save hislife. This left him with a lingering distrust of strangers, particularly when caughtin crowds of fans. It would cause him to relive those terrifying moments even allthose years later and he developed a phobia of feeling “trapped”. “I can’tpretend a stranger is a long-awaited friend”. This eventually caused his extremediscomfort with fame and built up his need to avoid the sequestered world oftouring. He would ride his bicycle on days off, in the country, to get away fromthose ‘trappings’. Many times he would ride his bike, alone, to the next city theywere to perform in, which he found to be gratifyingly thrilling. He also wentriding through Africa with a bicycle troupe. Back in the ‘arena’ and while ontour, he felt pressured to live up to his reputation of being “God of drums”which must have felt a burden at times. Riding his bike and then his BMWmotorcycle was a way to escape those feelings. With their 1996 release of thebeefier sounding Test for Echo, the band was feeling some creative exhaustion.But Neil still thought he had done some of his best playing to date using his new‘traditional grip’ style for this album. The band then stopped touring for fiveyears. The Order of CanadaOn February 26th, 1997, Peart and his bandmates became the first rockmusicians to be inducted into the Order of Canada. They had raised over amillion dollars for charities such as food banks and The United Way whichcreated an awareness of society’s less fortunate. Grief and LossOn August 10th, 1997, Peart’s then only child Selena Taylor, at the age of 19,tragically died in a traffic accident on her way to Toronto where she was tobegin her life as a University of Toronto student. Neil’s and his wife Jackie’sworld collapsed. At her funeral Neil announced to his band mates hisretirement. “Everything to do with the band ended at that moment. It just didn’tseem important. It was not something you even thought about thinking about. “AlexLifeson~ “They didn’t really know what to do with themselves so they left Toronto;they got away from all those reminders. And then Jackie got sick. After she passedaway, he was uh, lost and so he ran. He got on his motorcycle and ran.” Geddy Lee~In 1998 his wife Jackie Taylor succumbed to cancer. “When his wife died, he hadto do what he needed to do to just find some kind of peace. He embarked on a long,very, very painful journey just going and going and going and going.” Alex Lifeson~Rush was on indefinite sabbatical. Neil rode about 55k miles starting fromQuebec going up to the Arctic, Alaska, Mexico, down to Belize, stopping inmotels along the way. He was rarely recognized and in fact enjoyed the manypleasant encounters he’d had with people who didn’t know who he was. He justwanted to be “a guy”. That was enough for him. Travel was “a soothing balm”, justlike babies generally enjoy while in the car. His “little baby soul would only besoothed by motion”. He “traveled out of the darkest place a human being can comefrom and it was landscapes, and highways and wildlife that revitalized” him.Another integral part of his self therapy was writing, keeping diaries, and noteswhich later saw him publish a number of novels; the most popular being theinspiring, poignant memoir of his grieving process and of his motorcyclepilgrimage,15

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Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road. Through his unabashed insights within thisbook you see him become “The Ghost Rider”; a sort of existentialist travel guide forreaders (vicarious passengers) many of whom also cite the book as therapeutic foranyone else dealing with loss. “I am the Ghost Rider. The phantoms I carried with me, theway the world and other people’s lives seemed unsubstantial and unreal, and the way Imyself felt alienated, disintegrated, and unengaged with life around me.” It alsoaccentuates his deeply inquisitive nature, quest for adventure and in the end his zestfor life. The most important message it leaves one with is that even in the darkesttrials of life, beauty and light can still be found and that just being alive is a gift.Meanwhile, the band released Different Stages, another live album. Four years wentby and it was felt by Geddy and Alex that the band was officially “done”. “I don’t wannaplay in Rush without those other two guys, you know. There’s no replacing anybody in thisband. It’s just not possible. It is the band, the three of us”. Geddy Lee~The Master Returns In 1999, Neil met Carrie Nuttall, who he married in 2000 and with whom he had adaughter, Olivia. Then eventually feeling ‘healed’ enough, he came back to Ontario.Upon returning, he was apprehensive, being a perfectionist. He wasn’t sure he couldwrite new material and get his chops back up. Anger and confusion presented in hisplaying and lyrics on their harder edged Vapor Trails album, which was released in2002. “Coming back to the stage was the biggest recovery possible” for him. There was agroup hug before their comeback show, where it wasn’t lost on them that getting tothat point had been nearly impossible. The crowd welcomed them back with openarms. Neil reconnected fully with his band mates, his music and the fans that night.With this rebirth of the band, they had a willingness to go where they hadn’t before, asecond chance to perform in new places. Their audiences often appeared as oneentity perfectly in sync in movement and singing, with one of those occasions being inSao Paulo, Brazil which was their largest attendance to date at 60k people. In 2004Feedback was realized as an EP of cover songs of their youth. 2007 saw the creationof Snakes & Arrows, another edgy album, still true to their melodic roots. Snakes &Arrows Live followed. Two years later Grace Under Pressure Live was put out. Theirfinal album is Clockwork Angels, released in 2012, which debuted at No. 1 in Canadaand at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album won the award for Rock Album ofthe Year at the 2013 Juno Awards. Many critics and Rush fans consider this to betheir best and final masterpiece of an album. A fitting grand finale to their incredible40 year career reign as progressive rock Godly Kings. The song “The Garden” isespecially moving with the beautiful opening Fender Bass intro, shimmering strings,melodious guitar passages, Geddy’s rich and shining vocals and Neil’s bittersweetlyrics. “I have now arrived at that point in my own story. There is a metaphorical garden inthe acts and attitudes of a person’s life, and the treasures of that garden are love andrespect. I have come to realize that the gathering of love and respect, from others andmyself, has been the real quest of my life.” “The measure of a life is a measure of love andrespect, so hard to earn, so easily burned, in the fullness of time, a garden to nurture andprotect”. Neil Peart~ A perfect summation of Neil and Rush’s bestowment to ourPlanet’s Garden in which they three sowed those seeds of love and respect andnurtured, with their musical and humanitarian contributions. It is the end song on thealbum and is thought to be their ‘swan song’; a precognitive epitaph of sorts. In 2015,Rush embarked on their 40th anniversary R40 tour. It was their last, at that time duemostly to Neil’s chronic tendonitis and shoulder issues. They performed a careerspanning set chronologically in reverse including songs pre-dating Neil’s era. Neilthen retired fully from drumming. He was a perfectionist and did not want to16

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continue knowing he could not give his all. Also, Alex was having troublewith psoriatic arthritis. They decided against a farewell tour so as not totry to capitalize. They felt this was the right way at the right time. Neildid intend to continue his writing career though. He was happy to be afull time dad to his young child Olivia. They were each other’s Universe.He was looking forward to spending time with his family at his stunninglakeside country home in Quebec. He was living life on his terms for thefirst time in decades. But his contentedness was soon upended with thesolemn diagnosis of glioblastoma, a very aggressive form of brain cancer.He told only his closest loved ones including his devastated band mates.Everyone was sworn to secrecy so that Neil could remain living privatelyand undisturbed by would- be well- meaning people who might haveinvaded his safe haven. “I think I started crying right there,” Alex said ofreceiving the heartbreaking news while golfing. “He accepted his fate,certainly more gracefully than I would.” said Geddy. “What’s the mostexcellent thing I can do today?” Neil quipped. Neil was as well known forhis thought provoking quotes as much as he was for his lyrics and otherartistic abilities. This particular quote can now be seen in most Rushforums. The effect being that others have now begun asking themselvesthe same question, instead of dwelling on the negatives. He talked withAlex and Geddy about only things that felt most “real to him”, includinghow he had been reviewing the band’s music catalogue and how he felttheir music and all his personal works still stood the test of time for him.He conveyed his sense of pride in what he and the band hadaccomplished. His friend Doane Perry said, “Where he was really mostcomfortable was in nature and in quiet and a degree of solitude”. Leereflected back on the band’s final show explaining it was really the onlytime there was an unspoken conversation that this was it for Neil, bywhat they could plainly see in his eyes. Add to that he went up front withhis band mates at the end of the show, something he had not done in 40years. “That was a beautiful moment” said Lee. The last time Lee andLifeson saw Peart was at a dinner where they told jokes, reminisced,laughed and just enjoyed the “natural and right, and complete” air of it all.Neil did not play drums after the band’s last show but his 11- year olddaughter Olivia is taking lessons. He said “She has it.” His wife Carrie said“She did inherit what he had. And of course, that thrilled him. He made a hugeeffort to not make her feel intimidated by him. He didn’t sit there and stare ather having her lesson. He would be out of sight, but he’d be listening.” It’salready of great interest to many, to see where the instrument leads herand vice versa. Exit… Stage LeftNeil passed away on January 7, 2020, in Santa Monica, California. Hisfamily and band mates made the announcement on January 10: “It is withbroken hearts and the deepest sadness that we must share the terrible news thaton Tuesday our friend, soul brother and band mate of over 45 years, Neil, haslost his incredibly brave three and a half year battle with brain cancer(Glioblastoma). We ask that friends, fans and media alike understandablyrespect the family's need for privacy and peace at this extremely painful anddifficult time. Those wishing to express their condolences can choose a cancerresearch group or charity of their choice and make a donation in Neil's name.”Carrie hosted a small dinner gathering with the band and friends in LA andlater a formal memorial choosing a beautiful spot overlooking the Pacific. 180

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"It was a beautiful afternoon. It was a healing time for everyone.Carrie put together a wonderful slide show of pictures going rightback to when he was a boy.” said Perry. Presently Lee andLifeson have had little inspiration to continue playing but in thelast few months they have both been quoted as saying they are leaning more towards the idea of working together in somemusical capacity. This is of course very positive news for thetwo of them and for fans around the globe. And just this pastweek, very exciting news as Alex has just released two newsongs and his Les Paul Axcess Standard signature electricguitar as well as launched his new website Neil’s death is vastly lamented by fans and musicians, whoconsider it a substantial loss for the world of music. In fact, hewas known as “The Professor” because of his complex,meticulous writing and playing skills and thus so manydrummers and other musicians have been inspired to pick updrums and other instruments and learn from him. “Suddenly youwere gone, from all the lives you left your mark upon.”“Any pain?” I asked “No pain” the reply. What a blessing that was.This is a loss that is difficult and impossible to summarize in a fewshort paragraphs. Extraordinary, singular talent and beautiful manwith a mind like no one I have ever met, touching beyond words.Apart from his deeply gifted, genius talent and prolific output, whichhe brilliantly displayed through music, lyric, and prose writing andthat staggering storehouse of knowledge across an array of subjectsin multiple fields, he remained a kind, gentle, considerate andmodest soul and a consummate gentleman as well as anextraordinary friend. If you were his friend, you knew it and heunderstood how to be the best friend that you could ever hope tohave. I think I speak for all, known and unknown to him, to say hewill be deeply missed, eternally loved, appreciated and rememberedfor his many invaluable contributions to music, art and the writtenword. That will be forever celebrated.” ~Doanne Perry, Drummer/Percussionist of Jethro Tull Discography/Videography: RUSH: Fly by Night, Caress of Steel, 2112, All the World’s aStage, A Farewell to Kings, Hemisphere’s, PermanentWaves, Moving Pictures, Exit… Stage Left, Signals, GraceUnder Pressure, Power Windows, Hold Your Fire, Presto, AShow of Hands, Roll the Bones, Counterparts, Test ForEcho, Different Stages, Vapor Trails, Rush in Rio, Feedback,R30 DVD, Snakes & Arrows, Snakes & Arrows Live DVD,Grace Under Pressure Tour Live, Time Machine 2011 DVD,Clockwork Angels, Clockwork Angels Tour DVD, R40 LiveDVD, Time Stand Still DVD/Blue Ray, 2112 40thAnniversary, RUSH: Beyond the Lighted Stage. 20

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Neil’s Non-Fiction Works:The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa , Ghost Rider: Travels on theHealing Road , Traveling Music: Playing Back the Soundtrack to My Lifeand Times, Roadshow: Landscape with Drums – A Concert Tour byMotorcycle, Far and Away: A Prize Every Time , Far and Near: On Dayslike These , Far and Wide: Bring That Horizon to Me!Neil’s Fiction Works:Drumbeats with Kevin J. Anderson, short story published in ShockRock II edited by Jeff Gelb, re-printed in Tesseracts Sixteen: ParnasusUnbound, Clockwork Angels, written by Kevin J Anderson, based onthe story & lyrics by Neil Peart, Clockwork Angels-The Graphic Novel,written by Kevin J. Anderson & Neil Peart, Clockwork Lives withKevin J. Anderson.Neil’s Side Projects:Jeff Berlin’s Champion, Vertical Horizon's albums Burning the Daysand Echoes from the Underground, Burning for Buddy: A Tribute tothe Music of Buddy Rich Vol. I & II, brief cameo in film Aqua TeenHunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, in which samples of hisdrumming were played, brief cameo in film Adventures of Power andin DVD extra does a drum-off competition, appeared in concert withRush in film I Love You, Man, as well as in the web short Funny or Die,“” released a master class conducted by him:Frontiers of Composition and Articulation, developed productswith Sabian Cymbals: the collection of cymbals known as Paragon.Neil’s DVDs:Anatomy of a Drum Solo, The Making of Burning for Buddy, TakingCentre Stage: A Lifetime of Live Performance, Fire on Ice: TheMaking of the Hockey Theme, A Work in Progress.Neil’s Awards & Honors:Modern Drummer magazine reader’s poll awards Hall of Fame1983, Best Rock Drummer: 1980-86, 2006/08, Best Multi-Percussionist: 1983-86, Best Percussion Instrumentalist: 1982,Most Promising New Drummer: 1980, Best All Around: 1986, 1986Honor Roll: Rock Drummer, Multi-Percussion, Best InstructionalVideo: 2006, Best Drum Recording of the 1980’s, 2007, BestRecorded Performance: 1980-86, 88-90, 92/93, 97/99, 2002, 2004,2007,2011/12. DRUM! magazine awards: Drummer of the Year:2007-2010, Best Progressive Rock Drummer: 2007, 2008 (Runner-Up), 2009, 2010 (Runner-Up), Best Mainstream Pop Drummer:2008 (Runner-Up), Best Live Drumming Performer: 2008, Best LivePerformer: 2007, 2010 (Runner-Up), Best DVD: 2007, BestDrumming Album: 2007.21

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Other Honors & Awards:1994-Inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame. 1996- made Officer of the Order of Canada; as the first rock band to behonored, as a group. 1999-Star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. 2003- Inducted into Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame. 2009- Rush were awarded the International Achievement Award at the annual SOCAN Awards. 2010-Star on Hollywood Walkof Fame, Inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award and Juno for Rush: Beyondthe Lighted Stage documentary. 2012- earned The Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime ArtisticAchievement, Canada’s highest honor in performing arts, inducted in Guitar Center’s Rock Walk and won Ronnie James DioLifetime Achievement Award from Revolver Magazine which Neil accepted on behalf of Rush. 2013-Rush inducted into the Rockand Roll Hall of Fame. 2016- Presented the Keys to the City of Toronto. 2020-The Percussive Arts Society included Neil in their2020 Hall of Fame and Modern Drummer magazine honored Neil at their festival on his birthday with proceeds going to braintumor research. The St. Catharines city council is currently in process to name the pavilion in Lakeside Park after Peart. Odd & Ends: Master of drum soloing; used variety of rhythmic and dynamic phrasing and created/used interesting fresh textures, heavily usedodd time beats and fills such as in “YYZ”, bird lover, scaled and reached summit of Telescope Peak alone, preferred seeing andhearing fans singing along to his lyrics over air drumming to his drum parts, had two riding partners during some of hismotorcycling travels: Brutus and Michael Mosbach, judged music by the intention behind it and how genuine the messages fromthe artist were. “Miracle in Colorado”: A wonderful and touching story of a sort of divine intervention, from Neil’s personal website; Spirit Vision Quest: This photo seems to “reveal my spirit as a Ferruginous hawk-not some showy, vainglorious eagle, you understand, but just one step below, the largest of hawks.” ~Neil Peart, Photo by Greg Russelland Craig M. Renwick22

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In ClosingRush’s catalogue is generational music, passed down to fans’ kids; fans have stuck with them through and through, withalways sold out shows. It has been heartening to see the same three gents get along all those years and make musictogether for an over 40 year stretch. They are nearly an anomaly. They have led a righteous, sincere and honest path.With 24 Gold and 14 Platinum, and 3 Multi-Platinum records, Rush is third behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stonesfor most consecutive gold or platinum albums by a rock band (more than 40 million records sold worldwide). They alsowon 10 Juno Awards. Rush was (still is), no “fly by night” band; “all the world’s indeed a stage”, “lit up” by their “limelight”, bythe “grace” of their music, and they shall remain “closer to the heart”, even though we have recently had to say our“farewell to kings”. Neil Peart’s legacy will live on through his daughter and other loved ones, his bandmates Alex Lifesonand Geddy Lee, his books, music and other works. As the saying goes, “Legends never die” and he more than certainlylives up to this status, albeit as a reluctant hero, being an admittedly ‘imperfect’ human being like the rest of us. And heshall be remembered for this modesty as well and other positive attributes as pointed out throughout this feature, andif nothing else, his integrity absolute in all things. Thank you Neil for being part of the soundtrack, and more, of so manyof our lives and may you fly high and free in Rock And Roll Paradise. “It’s always hard for me to talk about Neil because he was a friend. He was a colleague. He was someone whosemusic I played. He was a person I admired and he was a part of my life for more than 4 decades. Now, I’d be lying if Isaid I was close to him, I mean we communicated, we kept in touch over the years but I saw Alex and Geddy a lotmore than I saw Neil and yet he was always there and he is always here now. And every time I play a Rush song, orlisten to a Rush song, or talk to a Rush fan, I’m thinking about Neil. May his memory live on in the music that he leftus with.” ~ Donna Halper, Media Historian; Professor; Author; Former Broadcaster & Radio consultantwho discovered Rush.“For someone perceived as “the professor” and a very serious person, the Neil I knew was exactly the opposite.Goofy, funny, charming and shy.” ~Cathy Rich, Daughter of renowned Drummer Buddy Rich“Neil was so many things to so many of us; incredible drummer, brilliant musician, prophetic lyricist and humbleteacher. His legacy will be with us for generations to come.” ~ Randy Cooke- LA/Toronto Session Drummer“On working with Freddie Gruber, I think it’s very admirable, ambitious, modest, and grounded for someone who isconsidered to be among the best at their craft to still be open to an education ON their craft.” ~Gene Godfrey-Music Aficionado, Host of his Radio Show Classic FM for 42 years“Listening to Rush, was like a door opening up to a musical world that broke ground in ways previously unexploredfor me. Listening to Neil, and being a drummer myself, opened a new universe of unexplored possibilities”. ~ JasonNichols, Drummer of Progressive Rock Band Taurus“Like DLR-era Van Halen, Rush didn’t allow the record company to dictate to them what they could & couldn’t do.They followed the beat of their own drum (or maybe drummer) and achieved success their way. Gravitas,boys!!”~Frank Kohl, Long- Time Rush Fan24

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Links:,,,,,,,,,, with Donna Halper on Neil and RUSH as part of the Canadian Content Corner Conversationseries:

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Glen Peart: Sadly passed away recently and has beenreunited with his beloved son Neil. We extend oursincerest condolences to his wife and Neil’s mother BettyPeart and the extended family and friends.From Dream Aria A Tribute to Neil Peart“The Professor”:"Please know this comes from the bottom of our hearts. We arenot a Rush cover band, nor is this a Rush song or promotion ofour band. Also, it is not about the adulation Neil was sostrongly against. You will notice his face is never shown butinstead metaphorical imagery in reference to album and songtitles, quotes from his books, likenesses and such. The lyricsfollow the same vein. It is part of a grieving process and this ishow the band chose to help go through it. We hope others findcomfort from it as well. We also hope we’ve done Neil somejustice, especially in light of how much he enriched the lives ofothers. As Canadians, we are confident we can speak for manyof us in saying that we shall always be proud to call him “one ofour own”; a national treasure. Thank you Neil Ellwood Peart.” 26

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Introducing Our Esteemed Contributors Lazie Indie Magazine and Ann Aria Burstyn thank the following long time Rush fans for their contributions to this special edition feature tribute Donna Halper Media Historian Professor Author Former Broadcaster Radio consultant who discovered Rush https www facebook com donna halper http dlhalperblog blogspot com https www facebook com photo fbid 10157941155361407 set a 10150985970436407 Charlie Roy Well known Scottish Artist and Featured Painter of the 7 Neil Peart Rush Portraits I became a RUSH fan early on and saw their first gig in Scotland in 1977 Although I listen to many different kinds of music nowadays RUSH will always have a special place in my heart https www facebook com charlieroyart https www facebook com Charlie Roys RUSH artwork112690041055331 Carl James Powell Owner of the Neil Peart Caricature I m from an old mining town in Mountain Ash South Wales I ve been a Rush fanatic fan from the age of 13 years https www facebook com photo php fbid 10223689575325075 set p 10223689575325075 type 3 https www facebook com carl j powell Richard Bradbeer Artist Creator of the Neil Peart Caricature https www facebook com richard bradbeer 7 https www facebook com brads sketch pad132274266784975 https www facebook com permalink php story_fbid 4097862620226100 id 132274266784975 Donald Gadziola Freelance Concert Photographer Since 1976 https www facebook com donald gadziola Nick Vanderzwet Photographer Videographer Drummer creator of Hometown Heroes Art Poem I was 13 years old my brother popped a cassette tape into a portable radio I heard The Spirit of Radio for my very first time I was instantly hooked on this band NV Photography https www facebook com NVPhotography 120978082795786 https www facebook com nvanderzwet https www facebook com The Battered Mushrooms 109239513751215 Steve Fournier I live in Kankakee Illinois My first Rush show was the 2112 Tour in Mount Prospect Illinois 35 1976 I and a friend would follow the band around on every tour till the end of the R40 one I ve seen 135 shows over the years Love the life you live Live the life you love Truly Madly Deeply https www facebook com steve fournier 2112 Laura B Ward Ive been a Rush fan from 40 years I swear every time I listen to them I hear something different Their combined talent will never cease to amaze me https www facebook com lbw123 https andthentherewasthis home blog 2020 01 23 exit theprofessor fbclid IwAR1O3K6f8WICfrmSXmY2rbN7m1Jg1MlZbQFGsAwB0bBoxVmhk51KAkoyWlw

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Image caption

This is a fan tribute to Neil Peart and has references and quotes gathered from reliable sources. We do not claim any rights over those quotes or such references and have used them here only for the purpose of storytelling. The photographs and artwork are from contributors who have given their full consent for use of said works and are credited at the end of the feature. This edition is not for sale and only for entertainment and reading purposes. We have kept the information as objective as possible when necessary. Thank you for your time and support. Sources: Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage Documentary, Rush: Time Stand Still Documentary, Neil Peart’s Official Web Site:, Rush’s Official Website: , Friends: Randy Cooke, Rob Kay, Frank Kohl, Steve Fournier, Donald Gadziola, Charlie Roy, Nick Vanderzwet, Jamie McGill, Carl James Powell, Christian Gaarn, Rush Fan ForumCommunity:ForeverRush:-,DonnaHalper,Wiki: Rolling Stone:, Writer: Brian Hiatt- Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road  Travelling Music: Playing Back the Soundtrack to My Life and Times, Alex Lifeson Official Website: