The first song I learned to play all the way through on guitar was Rush's Xanadu. Then again, I was about 15 or 16 years old at the time, not 7 like this burgeoning drummer playing Rush's Tom Sawyer - impressively too.
The article is about two months old, but I just ran across it this AM. Here are two reasons why Rush rules.
5) They've written songs that will melt your mind.
Why record a three-minute song when you can write an 18-minute, six-part suite instead? Since the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson particle, scientists are now using their free time to study Neil Peart's unique drumming style. Probably.
GEDDY: "When we recorded Hemispheres , we ended up writing things that were hard to record, like La Villa Strangiato. We tried recording it in one take, every day for a week, but we couldn't do it. We had to record it in three parts and edit it together. As we got better, that happened less and less. Either that, or we just lowered our own expectations! [laughs]"
6) They don't take themselves too seriously.
GEDDY: "We've always had a good sense of humour. Even in 1975, we were writing songs that were tongue-in-cheek, like By-Tor And The Snow Dog [Fly By Night]. People thought everything we did was so heavy and serious, but that song is about two dogs in space. What's serious about that?"
To me, what stands out about Neil Peart is how his drum parts are not just about keeping the beat. They are also musical, almost like stand-alone songs. Oh, and he's a pretty smart guy that writes insightful, thoughtful lyrics and interesting books. Here's his latest book, Far and Away: A Prize Every Time. He is a perfectionist, and he still tries to keep getting better although he is already considered to be one of the all-time greats. He (and Rush, for that matter) is to music what Pixar is to movies.
By the way, Neil will be appearing on Late Night with David Letterman this Thursday, June 9th, as the capstone to Letterman's Drum Solo Week.. I haven't watched Letterman in years, but I'll be watching on Thursday.
Lastly, how can it be that Rush has not been able to even get on the ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? I won't be stepping foot in that place until they are inducted.
Still no Rush, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Heart, Kiss, Cheap Trick, Def Leppard, etc. What's the eligibility criteria?
To be eligible for induction as an artist (as a performer, composer, or musician) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the artist must have released a record, in the generally accepted sense of that phrase, at least 25 years prior to the year of induction; and have demonstrated unquestionable musical excellence.
We shall consider factors such as an artist's musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique, but musical excellence shall be the essential qualification of induction.
Ah, now I see why Rush, Iron Maiden, the Priest, etc. aren't in yet. Wait. What?
What stands out to me in this interview is two-fold. First is the body language of the members, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart, and Geddy Lee. There is no leaning away from anyone else. Each looks comfortable with his band mates and it's obvious that these three men are truly friends, not just band mates.
Second is drummer Neil Peart's chattiness. Anybody who is familiar with the band and Neil's books know that he is someone who sees himself as just another guy, but who is embarrassed by the adulation people show him because of his world-class drumming talent, not to mention his intellect that comes out in his lyrics and books. When he finishes a show, he immediately gets in his bus and leaves the venue. He values his downtime and his alone time and he usually lets his band mates do the meets and greets before shows. But in this interview, it's as if he's becoming more comfortable in front of the camera.