Neil Peart has passed.
Many people have written about his incredible ability behind a drumset. Many have written about his lyrics that were both sci-fi tinged and undeniably personal and moving.
I can’t add to that. So I will simply say the following:
He made me feel being weird was acceptable.
He made me feel that hearing the world differently was acceptable.
He made me feel that feeling an unusual beat in my life was acceptable.
He made me feel that changing metaphorical time signatures in the middle of the metaphorical song was acceptable.
He made me feel that dropping obscure references to things I loved and enjoyed in my writing – and conversations – was acceptable.
He made me feel being precise wasn’t incompatible with being passionate.
He made me feel being unusual could be a positive, not a detriment.
He made me feel that being true to yourself and not doing things you were uncomfortable with was acceptable.
All of that said, his influence remains. His drumming, his writing and other contributions are all still here. In addition to the music, highly recommended are his books, especially Masked Rider, Ghost Rider and Traveling Music. Each tells a different aspect of Peart’s life and experiences, showing how he dealt with grief or just how he moved through the world.
But Neil Peart has passed. And the world is a little poorer for it.