Subject: RIP Neil Peart
Posted on: 2020-01-13 21:30:17 UTC

Sorry for posting a new topic so fast after my last one. But... uh... this happened.

On January 7th, Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for the rock band Rush, passed away after several years of struggling with brain cancer. My sadness over that event should be a surprise to nobody. I have never been particularly shy about my love for Rush, a love that became a running in-joke in the few interludes I have produced. And with only three members, there is no way to describe Neil as anything other than essential to the band.

Yes, he was an exceptional drummer, but beyond that, he was a truly superb writer. Over Rush's 40 years of activity he wrote the words to almost every single song the band composed. Songs that were clever, funny, epic, emotional, insightful, and heartfelt. As quiet as he was, famously reclusive in interviews, Peart's talent with words allowed him to touch millions over the decades, and while the importance of his bandmates should not be understated, Rush simply would not have been what they were without his contributions. Songs like "Closer to the Heart," "2112," "Losing it," "Time Stand Still," "Tom Sawyer," "Red Barchetta," "Limelight," "Spirit of Radio" and countless others just... wouldn't exist. Not recognizably.

Neil's words and the music he helped to make have changed me. When I first listened to Rush, I'd never heard anything like them. I'd never heard songs about Solar Federations with epic five-minute solos, or B-sides about the Twilight Zone. And I'm ashamed to admit that I was introduced to the band by Ernest Cline's truly... bad book, Ready Player One. But beneath the superficial appeal of geeky subjects and cool guitar riffs, Rush actually had substance (unlike the book that convinced me to listen to them). And when I listened to later albums that dealt more directly with the real world, I was more than willing to make that jump, because the words were just as artful as ever and the emotions in the songs behind those words were more transparent than ever.

Neil's work was beautiful. It made me feel, it made me think. And it made me care.

I will miss what he has brought to the world.

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