Neil Peart: The Man Behind the Kit -- Remembering Rush's Drummer on the Anniversary of his Death
Neil Peart reminded us that we are "Only immortal for a limited time" when he penned the lyrics to Dreamline, the opening track from Rush's 1991 studio album Roll the Bones. Today, as we remember Neil on the second anniversary of his passing, we look back and revel at just how much life and energy the Rush drummer put into his period of immortality on this Earth. During his lifetime, Neil was heralded for numerous accomplishments, from his lyrical mastery of Rush's catalog of music, to his chronicling of his time on the road and beyond through the books he authored. However, it was what he achieved behind the drum kit that will forever cement Mr. Peart as one of the finest musicians of all time.
Neil wasn’t simply a powerhouse percussionist who pounded away at the drums to establish a beat to Rush’s music. Neil was an artist in the purest sense; one who savored every note he created and ensured that each note served a purpose, even if it might get buried within the song. There’s an old quote Neil made that has always resonated with me:
“…It's not the music you hear in your head that other people are going to hear. You have to be able to make it true enough to the image in your head, and that's where technique, technology, and knowledge come in…”
As complex and immersive as Neil’s drumming was, I often wonder how expansive it was in his head as he created the arrangements for many of Rush’s songs. That’s what made Neil so truly extraordinary. He strived for perfection in his writing, in his music, in his life. And though he knew perfection could never truly be achieved, it was the effort itself that made the journey worthwhile.
So today, as we look back at Neil’s impact behind the drum kit, I present to you a collection of over 200 carefully selected images aptly titled Neil Peart: The Man Behind the Drum Kit. Photos taken from his earliest, Pre-Rush days through to his final performances with the band. You can access the gallery of photos by following this LINK.
We will all remember Neil in our own ways, but I believe we’ll also always see him where he stood alone; behind the drum kit that brought him the recognition and praise that he so deservedly received.