Neil Peart died, and I’ve been reflecting on his enormous impact on my life.
Peart’s erudition earned him the nickname “The Professor.” It was apt: Carrying himself with an air of well-spoken authority, he possessed knowledge about a variety of topics, owing to his extensive global travels — on Rush tours, he was known for taking off on bicycle rides and, later, would hop on his motorcycle to travel between gigs — and a voracious curiosity about the world around him. In his 2002 book, Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road, he described going to art museums in the afternoons before Rush concerts “to feed my growing interest in paintings, art history, and African carvings.”
Their album Signals is the first record I can think of having bought the very day it came out. The video above is the last track, a soaring tribute to the launch of Space Shuttle Columbia, April 12, 1981, which RUSH came to Florida to personally witness.