In Memoriam: Neil Peart [1952-2020]

I’m angry. The gods have taken one of the greats. Yes, I know that’s the way it goes. A great man once wrote, “Can any part of life be larger than life? Even love must be limited by time.” But this time, the gods were wrong, and I just want to tell them so. Neil Peart of Rush, the greatest rock drummer of all time, passed away last week at the age of 67, reportedly due to a multi-year battle with brain cancer.

Of course, I’m very sad to lose a huge influence on me, starting at a very early age. But I can take comfort in knowing he will live on for generations to come, truly making him immortal. What more could a musician ever hope for beyond that? Not to mention, his work as a published writer, will also live on many lifetimes ahead.

As Rush fans, we are all well aware of the “bonus rounds” we were gifted by the second life the band, which saw them returning from their several-year hiatus in the late nineties. And truth be told, we had no reason to expect a return. But not only did they come back, but they came back arguably better than ever. And they blessed us with tour after tour after tour, and a few solid albums in between, plus a plethora of live releases that never seem to leave rotation in my house for very long. We got so much more than we could have ever hoped for. It was worth every penny, and I’ll thank them with icing and a cherry on top for the rest of my days.

They bid us farewell with the R40 tour, which was probably the best tour I have ever seen from them. Maybe because we thought we’d never see them again. I was good with that. They gave so much that they earned their trip home. Especially Neil, especially with a wife and daughter again, at home waiting.

That was 2015. So, I am heartbroken to learn of his passing, but that I can get over. There are parts of me that I took from him and his wisdom that I’ll carry on with—as he would probably say—”The Work.”