Neil Peart

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This is the closest you will ever get to seeing him smile.

“God, there is no fucking drummer better than Neil Peart!”

~ Chester Cheetah on Neil Peart

Neil E. Peart (your head will explode if you ever learn his middle name; February 30, 1952 – January 7, 2020) was the drummer for the godly Canadian prog rock band Rush. Born in the mysterious world known as Canada, full of moose, pink Monopoly money, and gasoline purchased in liters, he fought in the Battle of Syrinx. After emerging as one of only two warriors to survive looking at Geddy Lee's face (along with Alex Lifeson), they formed the band Rush, kicking ass and taking names ever since.

Early life[edit]

Peart (that's pronounced Peert, not Purt) was born on February 30, 1952 to parents Celine Dion and Buddy Rich, the latter of which happened to be touring with his band in Canada at the time when he had a night of serious indiscretion. This might explain why Peart had some serious rhythm despite being white. Almost from his very first breath, it was apparent that he was a very gifted child; a gifted child with some real issues. Born with a pair of drumsticks in his hand, he immediately began drumming the beat of "YYZ" with one hand and stabbed the pleasantly chubby doctor through the side of his neck with the other. He then proceeded to watch the doc bleed out, then he severed his own umbilical cord and waddled off his mom's hospital bed to start life anew.

Peart was a precocious toddler and began to hone his skills at a young age, such as drumming, learning Québécois French, reading Ayn Rand, playing the piano, drumming, kicking ass at the Bubble Game and Ball Toss, performing differential calculus, horseback riding, drumming, actually comprehending Elvis lyrics, taking LSD, drumming, and of course drumming. It was not long before he began hunting mooses as well, and by age seven his body count was already in the double-digits (though he has never specified exactly how many).

Battle of Syrinx[edit]

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For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Neil Peart.

Peart was 18 when he heard of a battle raging onward in the nearby Temple of Syrinx. He knew not who was fighting or why, but had a good idea that there would be plenty of music-outlawing soldiers to take out. So one day, he flew by night into the Canadian woods, taking with him nothing but a bottle of maple syrup, a toothpick, and a gold-plated, pearl-gripped Desert Eagle that would make any pimp jealous. When he finished the syrup on the second day, he walked onward for a week with no food or drink, fueled only by his inhuman rage.

While he did manage to wrestle and strangle giant owl By-Tor and his snowdogs with only one hand, Peart did not make it to the battle in time do any slaying. Instead, he found an open field, filled with 2,112 corpses and only two men left standing. One was Alex Lifeson. The other turned to look at Peart, and as soon as he saw Geddy Lee's gravely mug, Ozzy Osbourne sunglasses, and Toucan Sam Jew-nose, he immediately knew what had happened. Yet Neil survived Geddy's Medusa look by concealing his abject horror beneath his carefully-practiced Tom Hanks expression. With 98% of Canada's population dead on that field, the three had nothing else to do and nowhere to go, so they formed Rush and proceeded to kick some serious ass.

Rush[edit]

If a guy has a pirate 'stache that cool, you don't mess with him, K?

Peart's time in Rush was a happy one. Lee, Lifeson, and Peart spent much time smoking each other's pot, stealing lyrics from Ayn Rand, wearing godawful '70s clothing, having godawful '70s hairstyles, and yes, performing some music on the side as well. They started out as nearly-starving unknowns in Toronto, who at one point were so desperate that Peart was reduced to drumming on a street corner to beg for cash. But their insane chops and unique progressive sound eventually won them the hard-earned money of millions of fans. Their breakthrough was the album 2112, describing Geddy's experiences in the Battle of Syrinx. With his newfound fame and fortune, Peart was able to build the Uber Drumkit Outta Hell that he had fantasized about ever since he was a young boy, and he did not care that his bandmates had to live on a diet of ramen noodles and Dasani water to make ends meet. A vicious cycle ensued, with Peart obsessively building his kit bigger and bigger, which led to better drum-wanking in concert drum solos, which led to more fans and thus more money, which he used to add on to his drumkit. However, it was all good in the end, as throughout the '70s and early '80s, Rush just kept getting better and better.

Also during this time, Peart managed to get married and even have a daughter, and was so content with life that his libertarian tendencies subsided and were repressed deep inside his mind. He managed to only berate the most obnoxious Statist fans, and even felt somewhat guilty about doing that. Still, he did throw one of his drumsticks through a Statist fan's head during a solo at a 1981 Iowa concert. He kept the solo going with only one stick, and in fact finished it and the rest of the show out singled-stickedly.

Roadtrip of Spiritual Vengeance[edit]

The only known photo of Neil Peart while on his spiritual roadtrip.

In 1997, disaster struck in Peart's life. His daughter was killed in an auto accident, and only months later, his wife died of cancer. Wishing he could've prevented or foreseen these circumstances, Peart fell into a rut, and his attitude went from controlled to depressed. He told his bandmates that he was leaving the group and retiring, and was last seen by them jumping onto his motorcycle's saddle in the Church parking lot. What exactly happened for the next two years is uncertain, but there has been speculation that he travelled extensively throughout every square inch of North and Central America.

Return to Rush[edit]

Rush in concert. Age is a bitch, ain't it?

Though Neil Peart had chewed up too much of the scenery to count, after four years his sadness was still burning inside. The only way he could think of to diminish it and return his life to normalcy was to get back in the high life again. Thus, Peart remarried, this time to photographer Carrie Nuttall, and announced that he was ready to return to Rush. Soon after, Neil's sadness vanished, and a lasting feeling of calm and peace replaced it.

Peart continued recording and touring with band for the next 19 years, and enjoyed a peaceful and joyous life ever since. He still enjoyed playing drum solos so mind-blowing that they caused audience members' heads to explode. Rush retired in 2018, following the conclusion of their R40 anniversary tour.

Death[edit]

Peart died on January 7, 2020, after a long battle with brain cancer and a complex time signature he just couldn't nail, rumored to be 67/68.