I go onto Twitter and “Neil Peart” is trending. At age 67, brain cancer took him.
And Rush worked because of all three of them. You couldn’t take any of em out. It was a sum of its parts.
As a guitarist, Alex Lifeson is a huge influence, but the grooves that Peart lays down on under the guitar riffs proved to be a bigger influence.
Like the drum beats in “La Villa Strangiato” before the slow middle solo and then the drum beats to pick up the song again and get it into the “Swinging 30s” section. It’s my favourite Rush song hands down.
But my first ever Rush purchase was the “Exit Stage Left” album, which had most of “Moving Pictures” on it.
Like the drum beats in the chorus of “Limelight” as Lifeson goes from clean tone arpeggios to power chords.
Or the drum beats in the solo of “Limelight”. Just listen to it and see how Peart makes something simple sound complicated with some nice grooves.
Living in a fish eye lens
Caught in the camera eye
I have no heart to lie
I can’t pretend a stranger
Is a long-awaited friend
I love that lyric about pretending that a stranger is a long awaited friend, which sums up to me, how people come out of the woodwork and pretend to be your friend, so they can get a cut of the pie.
“YYZ” is an instrumental that never gets boring at all. Listen to the section from about the 2.55 mark when the keyboards come in. It’s a simple progression but Peart makes it sound epic with his choice of beats.
Or can anyone escape the opening drum beat of “Tom Sawyer”. It’s so simple it’s beautiful. And when the guitars come crashing in, even James Hetfield liked em enough to use for “Welcome Home”.
Though his mind is not for rent
Don’t put him down as arrogant
Obedience and servitude is what governments want. If you have a disobedient view, prepare to be proved/bashed into acknowledging you were wrong.
No his mind is not for rent
To any god or government
Always hopeful, yet discontent
He knows changes aren’t permanent
But change is
Be who you are. Know that you can help things change. And as history has proven, change always happen.
I love the simplicity building up of the intro in “The Camera Eye”. Because you know as soon as Peart lays down the beat, the canvas is clean for Lee and Lifeson to decorate.
And the lyrics about governments watching its own citizens, without them really knowing, especially in democracies, is a forewarning.
WikiLeaks exposed this in 2010 and the person who did it is still seen as a terrorist. All because they exposed their government for being nothing better than a dictatorship style government when it came to spying.
Facebook and Twitter and Amazon and Google watch our clicks and searches. Cambridge Analytica spied on Facebook users during election campaigns. It’s even more troublesome now as we all have devices in front of us that can act as spy agents.
“Witch Hunt” was a song I forgot about until Machine Head covered it as a bonus track for “Unto The Locust”.
Madmen fed on fear and lies
To beat and burn and kill
Create a boogie man or a false story which instills fear and watch what happens.
Although the song “witch hunt” is about the witch trials that happened centuries ago, we are seeing the same history repeat today.
They say there are strangers who threaten us
In our immigrants and infidels
Leaders of the world use these exact words. A narrow viewpoint that all of the ills with the nation are because of immigrants, while the most horrific crimes are committed by white people who have been in the country for generations.
The shooting in the US at a country concert in Vegas or the shooting at a Mosque in NZ. Both committed by white people. In Norway, the biggest mass murder of people was committed by a white person.
Putting other people into a bucket of good and bad based on skin, race or religion is wrong. But all races do it. It’s not just a white problem.
That those who know what’s best for us
Must rise and save us from ourselves
The Catholic Church played this moral leader during the witch hunts. Anyone who didn’t believe in God or had a differing viewpoint was killed. Take out the minds they couldn’t rent, instill fear and obedience will follow.
And today, it’s no different when it comes to viewpoints. Evidence shows one thing and people refuse to believe it or accept it.
Quick to judge
Quick to anger
Slow to understand
Ignorance and prejudice
And fear walk hand in hand…
Truth We are all guilty of it.
And Neil Peart’s lyrics are a perfect antidote to the sex, drugs and rock and roll style lyrics. His social conscience, love of fantasy and way of words proved special. He could spin a story about the making of the nuclear bomb, an experiment to test for echoes along with issues about free will and working nine to five along with the magic of radio and worlds in different places.
Too many to mention. RIP.