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Famous Like Me > Composer > P > Neil Peart

Profile of Neil Peart on Famous Like Me

Name: Neil Peart  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 12th September 1952
Place of Birth: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Neil Peart of Rush.(30th aniversary tour photo 2004)

Neil Ellwood Peart OC (born September 12, 1952 in Caledonia, Ontario) is the main lyricist and drummer for the progressive rock band Rush. Nicknamed The Professor, Peart has received many awards for his recorded performances (for example, from Modern Drummer magazine) and often being proclaimed as one of the greatest rock drummers of all time not to mention "technically amazing", although some say he remains underrated. He uses a famously elaborate drum kit, which has ranged in size from merely large to truly elephantine. His drumming style is eclectic: he cites influences ranging from The Who's Keith Moon to jazz drummer Buddy Rich, and fans look forward to his complicated, technical solos in live shows. His last name is pronounced 'Peert', although many mispronounce it Pert.


Literary references abound in Peart's lyrics, most likely because Peart is an avid reader. Examples include William Shakespeare ("Limelight"), Friedrich Nietzsche ("Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres"), John dos Passos ("The Camera Eye", "The Big Money"), J. R. R. Tolkien ("Rivendell", "The Necromancer") and Samuel Taylor Coleridge ("Xanadu"). Some of the most oft-commented upon are homages to Ayn Rand's novel Anthem, in Rush's 1975 song of the same name on their Fly by Night album, and again in an explicitly acknowledged derivation in 1976's 2112 suite. "There was a remarkable backlash, especially from the English press— this being the late seventies, when collectivism was still in style, especially among journalists," Peart said. "They were calling us 'junior fascists' and 'Hitler lovers.' It was a total shock to me." Weary of accusations of Fascism, or even simply ideological fealty to Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, Peart has sought to remind listeners of his eclecticism and independence in interviews. He did not, however, try to argue in defense of Rand's views. It may have made sense for him to explain that Objectivism is not entirely Right-Wing (it rejects Christianity along with government control over one's personal life) and in fact rejects Fascism.

"For a start, the extent of my influence by the writings of Ayn Rand should not be overestimated -- I am no one's disciple."

Neil Peart in concert with Rush.Milan, Italy (September 21, 2004)

In another interview Peart characterized his political views as simply "libertarian".

Along with his Rush colleagues Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, Peart was made an Officer of the Order of Canada on May 9, 1996. The trio were the first rock musicians so honoured.

Peart's only child, daughter Selena Peart Taylor, was killed in a single-car accident in 1997, and his wife, Jaqueline Taylor, died of cancer only 10 months later in 1998. Peart subsequently married photographer Carrie Nuttall.

Peart is also the author of three travelogues, including such works as The Masked Rider, which documented a bicycle tour through Cameroon in late 1988, and Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road, which recounted his motorcycle travels through Canada, the United States, and Mexico following the deaths of his wife and child. His third, Traveling Music: The Soundtrack to My Life and Times, was released in June 2004, along with a re-release of The Masked Rider.

Peart does not involve any of the lives of his fans in his life because of his reclusive nature. Peart naturally feels that his profession or work with the band is totally separate from his private life. Peart does not sign autographs or speak with fans.


Neil Peart of Rush
Neil Peart

Neil Peart has received the following awards in the Modern Drummer magazine reader's poll:

  • Hall of Fame: 1983
  • Best Rock Drummer: 1980,1981,1982,1983,1984,1985
  • Best Multi-Percussionist: 1983,1984,1985,1986
  • Best Percussion Instrumentalist: 1982
  • Most Promising New Drummer: 1980
  • Best All Around: 1986
  • 1986 Honor Roll: Rock Drummer, Multi-Percussion
(As a member of the Honor Roll in these categories, Neil is no longer eligible for votes in the above categories.)
  • Best Recorded Performance:
    • 1981: Moving Pictures
    • 1982: Exit...Stage Left
    • 1983: Signals
    • 1985: Grace Under Pressure
    • 1986: Power Windows
    • 1988: Hold Your Fire
    • 1989: A Show of Hands
    • 1990: Presto
    • 1992: Roll the Bones
    • 1993: Counterparts
    • 1997: Test for Echo
    • 1999: Different Stages
    • 2002: Vapor Trails


  • Drum Solo listen
  • Drum Solo .mp3
  • Bravado listen
  • Bravado .mp3


  • YYZ Quicktime animated movie of Neil Peart
  • From Limbo Quicktime animated movie of Neil Peart
  • Drum Kit Quicktime panorama view of Neil Peart's drum kit

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Neil Peart