Friday, April 13, 2007

Neil Peart

Greg Prato @ All Music
Ask just about any rock drummer who their influences are and chances are Rush's Neil Peart will be high on the list. With his technically demanding and precise rhythmic style, few rock drummers have scaled the heights that Peart has over the years on both record and on stage as part of the renowned Canadian prog rock trio. Born in Canada on September 12, 1952, Peart began taking drums lessons at the age of 13 and by the late '60s/early '70s, immersed himself in the challenging sounds of such rock drummers as the Who's Keith Moon, ELP's Carl Palmer, Yes' Bill Bruford, and legendary big-band drummer Buddy Rich. After a brief stint living in England (where he discovered the writings of Ayn Rand), Peart returned to Canada in the early '70s and found out that the up-and-coming band Rush, who had just wrapped up touring behind their debut album, was looking for a new drummer. Peart was granted a tryout and was immediately given the nod to join, as the trio (which also included singer/bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson) sought to expand on their musical direction, which then consisted of extended blues jams à la Led Zeppelin/Cream.

Peart's entrance into the band signaled that Rush would focus on more challenging material, while the drummer also took over the reigns as the group's lyricist. While it would take a few releases for Rush's new musical direction to gel (1974's Fly by Night and 1975's Caress of Steel), the band hit pay dirt with the 1976 concept album 2112. The album told the story of a young man's fight against a future world where rock music is outlawed, with Peart applying Ayn Rand's writing style and philosophies to the plot's story line. Rush's commercial success continued, as the band scored up more heavy metal-tinged prog rock classics: 1977's A Farewell to Kings, 1978's Hemispheres, 1980's Permanent Waves, and Rush's finest hour, 1981's Moving Pictures. The group continued to rack up hit albums and sold-out arena tours (with all three members consistently winning magazine polls for being the best at their respective instrument), as Peart's influence on rock drummers had become immense, as evidenced in the styles of Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy, King's X's Jerry Gaskill, and Primus' Tim "Herb" Alexander.

In addition to his Rush duties, Peart has also found the time to become a writer himself, penning the books Radiance Over the Rockies and The Masked Rider, travel the world/sight-see between tours (Peart is an avid bicyclist), as well as organizing a Buddy Rich tribute concert in the early '90s. The future of Rush was thrust into doubt by the late '90s, however, when Peart was dealt two devastating blows in his personal life -- the tragic deaths of both his teenaged daughter and wife a year apart from each other. But by the dawn of the 21st century, it appeared as Peart was back on his feet -- he remarried and rejoined his longtime Rush mates in preparing their first new studio recording since 1996's Test for Echo. =>>>>>>>>>>>

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Rush Drummer Finalist for Literary Award
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 | 12:00 AM ET
CBC Arts

TORONTO - Rush drummer Neil Peart was nominated for a Canadian literary award Tuesday for his book on his emotional recovery after the deaths of his wife and daughter.

Peart's book Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road is one of the nominees in the biography prize category of the second annual Great Literary Awards sponsored by the Writers' Trust of Canada.

The Canadian rock band musician wrote the book after his teenage daughter was killed in a car accident and his wife died of cancer less than a year later.

Finalists for the $15,000 fiction prize are Terry Griggs for Rogues' Wedding ; Ann Ireland for Exile ; Paulette Jiles for Enemy Women ; Lori Lansens for Rush Home Road ; and Nino Ricci for Testament .

For the $15,000 non-fiction prize: Katherine Ashenburg for The Mourner's Dance: What We Do When People Die ; Andrew Clark for A Keen Soldier: The Execution of Private Harold Joseph Pringle ; Marni Jackson for Pain: The Fifth Vital Sign ; Jake MacDonald for The Houseboat Chronicles ; and Lorie Miseck for A Promise of Salt .

For the $10,000 biography prize: Warren Cariou for Lake of the Prairies: A Story of Belonging ; Andrew Clark for A Keen Soldier: The Execution of Private Harold Joseph Pringle ; Charlotte Gray for Flint & Feather: The Life and Times of E. Pauline Johnson, Tekahionwake ; Jerry Kobalenko for The Horizontal Everest: Extreme Journey on Ellesmere Island

Nominees for the $10,000 Journey Prize - awarded to a new writer for a short story or fiction work in progress published in a Canadian literary journal - are Geoffrey Brown for Listen ; Jocelyn Brown for Miss Canada ; and Neil Smith for Green Fluorescent Protein .

The awards will be presented March 6 at Toronto's Arts and Letters Club.

For more arts news, listen to The Arts Report weekdays at 7:12 a.m., 8:12 a.m. and 5:55 p.m. on CBC Radio Two. =>>>>>>>>>>>

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Guitar Center Introduces Neil Peart Commemorative Kit

Westlake Village, CA, October 18, 2006 — Following last year’s nationwide tour of Neil Peart’s actual drum kit, accompanied by long-time drum technician Lorne Wheaton, musical instrument retailer Guitar Center, Inc. (Nasdaq:GTRC) has teamed up with Drum Workshop (DW)and SABIAN cymbals to recreate the legendary drummer’s “R30” drum kit in honor of 30 years of the enduring legacy of RUSH. The DW Neil Peart Commemorative R30 Drum Kit delivers unmatched sound and is replicated right down to the minutest detail.

Each drum is made from hand-selected maple wood with an inner ply of curly maple, while the finish is an extreme custom lacquer process that involves hologram appliqués of icons (inspired by Keith Moon’s "Pictures of Lily" kit) representing many of RUSH's most famous recordings and tours. Each Black Mirra Flake panel is lined with red pin striping and the entire kit including hardware and pedals are custom plated in rich 24-carat gold. The R30 kit also includes a full complement of Neil’s SABIAN Paragon cymbals, which he worked closely with SABIAN to develop. The kit comes complete with 30 pairs of Pro-Mark Neil Peart Commemorative Drum Sticks, an exclusive DVD titled The Making of the R30 Drumkit, as well as a Certificate of Authenticity personally signed by Neil Peart.

Guitar Center is making this once-in-a-lifetime, limited production (only 30 are being produced) DW Neil Peart Commemorative R30 Drum Kit available on October 30th at $30,000.00. For more information, please visit

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