I know that this date hasn’t happened yet, but I have to share with everyone, my joy.
See, I’ve loved the band RUSH all of my life, it seems. Their 40 years of touring…I’ve been there! This will be (I lost count in the 90’s) either the forty-seventh or 48th time seeing them live! And I remember meeting people in the 90’s who had already seen them over forty times! I’m a (was a…)drummer, and long-time music fanatic. And these three guys make the most beautiful music!
This is the guy who puts it all together! He’ll take a poem Neil wrote and sample some of Alex’s guitar riffs and melodies and mixes them up into a hit song! THEN, he plays the most complicated bass-lines I’ve ever seen as he sings the song, and hits samples on his keyboards with his feet, utilizes the MOOG bass-pedal synthesizer the same way (quite a dance!) and controls a lot of his own lighting effects! Geddy Lee rocks! He is by far the best all-around musician ever!
Gotta love this dude. He’s playing an over/under six-string, with a 12 string on top! And in some concerts he plays off of a stand, either a six-string classical or twelve-string guitar, and lately he’s added a mandolin to his repertoire! All this with at least a regular electric guitar under all! Just as an example, the songs “Xanadu”, and “Farewell to Kings” from the album as the same name as the 2nd song. Alex walks you through a classical scene into a heavy-metal hard driving melody and bring you to new and exciting places in your head and heart! In concert, many times lately, he’s done these off-the-cuff solos at the end of some songs (ex. “Bravado” from the ‘Rush in Rio’ video), and these solos will make you lean in closer to hear from the start, then carry you to heights of pleasure as he plays it out all-around the fretboard! I get shivers to this day from the solo on “By-tor and the Snow-dog” on the live album (CD, MP3, iPod, etc.) “All the World’s a Stage”. When I saw them play in Syracuse, NY in the mid-70’s Alex did the most amazing solo for “By-tor…” where he utilized his own bass pedal synthesizer to make the greatest sound effects, that at first you’re like, “What the HELL?” and you’ll find yourself lost in the sounds he makes by using volume swells and pick scratches that are…you just gotta listen to their entire “All the World’s a Stage” first double-live album.
Now, when they first started and recorded most of the first album, self-titled “RUSH” in Geddy’s garage, they had a different drummer named John Rutsey. A straight meat and potatoes player…in fact, whenever you listen to a classic rock station and they play “Working Man” from the first album; you can hear the difference. When Rutsey became too much of a drunk and had other health failings, they advertised for a drummer and the rest is 40 years later history!!! Neil is the main lyricist, so if he never joined, then “Tom Sawyer” never would have happened, and the music world would have had a void that was supposed to be filled…but it happened! Neils’ influences for writing began with Ayn Rand, and Tolkein, as can be seen by their concept albums of the early seventies. When “2112” came out, I never looked back as a drummer, or a musician in general. I have self-taught myself Keys, guitar, bass, just plain reading and understanding musical notation. But the drums was something that I fell into naturally, and the greatest influence of my life is Neil Peart. His writings alone speak volumes! He writes about real world problems, i.e. “Red Tide” which is about pollution. I’m hoping that this will turn you into Rush fans! If you appreciate well orchestrated music, be it classical, heavy-metal, or the perfect blend of the two; you’ll love this band.
I saved the best for last! Neil Peart puts out the most unique of all drum solos!
This is one of many of his set-ups. This is from the “Time Machine” tour ’bout 3 years ago. Try this…using your feet, tap out a ‘waltz’ feel; right-left-left, right-left-left…now DON’T break rhythm and use your hands to just go left-rlght over and over again! Throughout my life as a drummer, I tried this again and again, with crappy results. And I am a natural player, but I would never hold a candle to this gentleman.
Love his philosophical views as well. He’s published several stories, mostly biographical, like his bike tour of Africa where he added that tribal feel to a little song that he composed and did all of the music to. “Momos dance party” and he made a piece of it incorporated into his solos! Awesome solos that’re getting longer each tour as he gains more and more unique syncopations to add. Now he’s been doing three, yes 3 solos in concert. Each one has its own name even! Geddy introduced him on the 1st live “ATWAS” as “Ladies and gentlemen, the Professor on the drum-kit!” And I have all of his videos telling his philosophy of music. The best two are “Anatomy of a drum solo” and “A Work in progress”.
I should close this out.
I called this my last Rush concert, because it probably is. I have my debilitating syndromes which work against my body every day to the point where I cannot leave the house for weeks ’cause I just can’t stand up straight for a moment let alone a whole three-hour concert! I’m even tearing up a bit just thinking about my musical heroes retiring like me. Neil, I know how your shoulders feel, buddy!
I wish one more thing. I want to meet these guys. I want to chat with Neil about his philosophy and play on his kit. I want to talk with Alex and talk with Geddy…probably never happen. Shout-out to Rush! I’ll see you guys July 27th in Phoenix! Love you guys!🎼🎶🎸🎹🎤