Neil Peart R.I.P.

FILE - This Aug. 1, 2015 file photo shows Neil Peart of Rush performing during the final show of the R40 Tour in Los Angeles. Peart, the renowned drummer and lyricist from the band Rush, has died. His rep Elliot Mintz said in a statement Friday that he died at …

Canada has produced the two of the three greatest song lyricists in modern history, Leonard Cohen and  Neil Peart. And while I’ve always liked Cohen, I absolutely loved Peart.

I’ve never liked big crowds, so I didn’t go to many of the large scale concerts. There’s probably less than a half-dozen other big name bands who managed to draw me to one. Yes, ELO, Metallica and Chicago are the only ones I remember. I went to see Billy Joel twice. Rush however, I saw six times in concert and loved every one of them. The bands unique sound and Peart’s one-of-a-kind lyrics was why I braved the crowds.

Their songs provided my younger self with a means of escapism as joyous as any of the sci-fi yarns I devoured weekly.

I don’t listen to much metal anymore, except occasionally when I want a shot of childhood nostalgia and drive back present shadows with a borrowed, bright ember of youthful idealism. Invariably, when that mood hits me, the Rush comes out and I crank the speakers to 11!

Neil Peart was much more than a rocking drummer and songwriter, however. I will allow Dr. Turley to do the honors:

My Thanks and my Prayers are yours, good sir!

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