I never liked the old adage, “Familiarity breeds contempt”, but I must admit that may explain why I had grown to take Neil Peart‘s Mt. Rushmore of talents for granted over these many years. You see, I have been a big Rush fan for far longer than most, having played the trio’s first album on their own indie Moon Records label, pre-Peart even, on my first radio show in Ohio in early 1974. I saw Rush with their new drummer then, Neil Peart, open for KISS in concert at Ohio Northen University in Spring 1975. I interviewed Peart at length on opening night of the Grace Under Pressure tour in Albuquerque, something he rarely granted.
Now that Neil Peart is gone, I am just listening to him work live, through new objective ears, and marveling at the combination of power, technique, musicality, and brilliant lyrical insights. Here is “Big Money” by Rush from Dallas 2012 on the Clockwork Angels tour. –Redbeard