Neil Peart on Music and Writing

SKF NOTE: This 30-plus minute conversation with Neil Peart is one of my favorites. It is a conversation with two guys who love music, drumming, and writing. Neil talks about his goal to transition to professional writer from drummer/lyricist, once he experiences “diminishing returns” on improving as a drummer.

I’m afraid I had forgotten where this interview took place and in which issue of Modern Drummer magazine it appeared. Since I originally posted this I was reminded this interview is the source for Neil’s April 1984 MD cover story.

And re-reading that interview online here, I discovered in my own words, “this interview…was done [in a room backstage] on the last day of Rush’s five-concert series at Radio City Music Hall.”

Finally, Neil sent me the photo used here of he and his daughter. Neil is so happy in this pic. I attributed Neil’s happiness to his triumph in reaching his goal of becoming a pro writer, while focusing less on his former role as “Rush’s drummer/lyricist.” Because Neil published this photo elsewhere, I am comfortable using it here.

NOTE: There are some glitches in this sound file. The original sources were cheap cassette tapes. Digitizing these tapes exposed low-volume and loss of some data. So there are perhaps eight spots where the sound is missing. I shortened the “dead air” spots, but left them in place so listeners will know what they are.

I think Neil’s writing fans will especially enjoy hearing him here. This is the Neil I remember. A bright, curious guy with no airs about him, enjoying our conversation.

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