RIP Neil Peart – traveling invisible highways
Scott K. Fish, Special to the Piscataquis Observer • January 17, 2020
The news came through first at 7:12 pm; a voice message from friend Chip Stern, driving his taxi in Brooklyn, N.Y. But I hadn’t checked my phone.
At 9:30 p.m. Eileen received a text message from her daughter, Leanne: “Tell Scott I’m sorry to hear about Neil Peart.”
“What happened to Neil?” Eileen asked.
“I don’t know,” I said.
Neil Peart and I first met in 1982. He was a famous drummer and lyricist with the rock band Rush. I was Managing Editor of the world’s most popular magazine for drummers, Modern Drummer (MD).
I liked Neil as a person, a human being. Had we met first in a diner, striking up conversation knowing nothing about each other, we would still have clicked. We remained friends much less because of what we did for a living, and much more because of our common interests in drumming, writing, politics, and life’s run-of-the-mill moments.
In 1982 Neil asked if MD was interested in coordinating a “Neil Peart Drum Giveaway” contest. I worked with Neil on the contest. Neil’s Tama Superstar drumset was beautiful and well-known. Neil gave away those 15 drums, seven cymbals, hardware, and drum cases delivered to the contest winner.
I was impressed Neil chose an essay contest. Contestants had to print or type 100 words or less on “Why I Would Like to Win Neil Peart’s Drums.”