In Remembrance of Neil Peart

I couldn’t believe the news yesterday. I saw a story on my Facebook newsfeed that said Neil Peart had died. I hoped it was a false report like that recent one that went around about Ozzy being on his deathbed. But unfortunately upon further investigation it turned out to be absolutely true. And my heart sank. It was a shock for sure, as he has always been a private man and kept his illness from the public.

I’ve never been one to be quiet about my love for Rush. I grew up with this music. I love listening to Rush and it fills me with joy. I can’t be in a bad mood when I listen to Rush. So with a heavy heart I began playing every Rush album one after the other, and actually cried. And now that joy is mixed with the sorrow of grief. 

This brilliant mind that helped bring this music to life is now gone. The world has truly lost a great talent. I know at least 10 drummers personally who would cite Neil Peart as a main influence and inspiration for their playing. Most of my favorite bands are influenced by Rush. There’s no doubt my taste in music as a whole is deeply rooted in all those Rush albums I grew up on. I’m absolutely certain they’re the reason I have a penchant for analog synths in rock and metal music, and why I gravitate more toward drummers who do more than just keep the beat.

And not only was he unmatched in his talent on the drums, he was such a great writer! The lyrics he wrote for the songs about philosophical ideas and science fiction and fantasy filled my head with wonder. With just a few lines of a song he could paint a picture in your head better than a lot of long-winded novelists out there. As a kid I liked the more story-oriented songs and as I grew up I grew to really love the contemplative philosophical stuff too. And let’s be real, a lot of the books I have decided to read in my life were because there was a Rush song about them. 

He also penned a few beautiful books about his experiences traveling on the road, and my particular favorite “Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road” about traveling and dealing with the loss of his wife and daughter. He was a truly remarkable person. I hope they reprint the books because I think everyone who is a fan of Rush, or even just a fan of traveling, should give them a read.

So, of course one of my fellow Rush-loving friends put out a challenge for people to list their 10 favorite Rush songs. I could never choose 10 songs, but I decided I could at least do albums. Although I love every album, and I do not believe there is a BAD Rush album, I have ranked my top 10 favorites:

10 Power Windows
9 Vapor Trails
8 Fly By Night
7 Signals
6 Moving Pictures
5 2112
4 Clockwork Angels
3 A Farewell To Kings
2 Hemispheres
1 Permanent Waves

Thank you so much for the music, Neil, you will be sorely missed.

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