by Amanda Wicks
This year marks Rush‘s 40th anniversary and, depending who you ask, may end up being the end of the line for them. While no one has said concretely that the R40 tour will be their last, Geddy Lee did give Rolling Stone something of a hard maybe. “I can’t say for sure,” he said. “But it doesn’t mean we don’t want to work together still, it doesn’t mean we won’t do another creative project, and I’ve got ideas for shows we could do that don’t involve a tour.”
August 1st at the LA Forum marked the last show in the supposed last tour. A lot of lasts, including one last drum solo from Neil Peart while on a major Rush tour.
According to TheRock.com, the performance so moved Queens of the Stone Age‘s drummer Jon Theodore, who was in the audience, that he felt pressed to comment. “The solo was so impressionistic,” he said. “Stripped down to just Neil and the drums. No vids or sequences. I never saw that much flow and color and instinct set free in him before. Just fucking beautiful.”
Nicely said, indeed.
Peart heard about Theodore’s words and responded in kind with his own. Besides drumming, he’s also responsible for penning most of Rush’s lyrics. It makes sense then that his response would be a poetic one.
Peart explained how hard he worked on constructing the solo through months of rehearsals. Really, though, it took much longer to reach its conclusion. “A lifetime of achievement, really,” he shared.
As Peart rehearsed his solo, he receive no feedback from the other band members or those on the crew. The silence stunned him, making him second guess his aims. “I worried that my ambitions were too high — my reach exceeding my grasp,” he said.
In his response, Peart explained the concept, “My vague design for that solo was deceptively simple. I would approach it as if I was just sitting down at the drums to start playing — to exercise the improvisational skills I have been working on for, oh, about ten years now. Technically, I was determined to exemplify everything I thought I knew about drumming, and everything I love about the drums — almost 50 years of experience and passion had to go in there somehow.”