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Neil Peart
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Neil Peart

Neil Ellwood Peart (born September 12, 1952) is the lyricist and drummer for the rock ensemble Rush. A perennial favourite of younger drummers, he has received many awards for his recorded performances (for example, from Modern Drummer magazine). He uses a famously elaborate drum kit, which has ranged in size from merely large to truly elephantine. His drumming style is ecletic: he cites influences ranging from The Who's Keith Moon to jazz drummer Buddy Rich. He was born in Caledonia, Ontario; his last name is pronounced 'Peert'.

Literary references abound in Peart's lyrics. Examples include William Shakespeare ("Limelight"), Friedrich Nietzsche ("Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres"), John dos Passos ("The Camera Eye", "The Big Money"), and J. R. R. Tolkien ("Rivendell", "The Necromancer"). 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. Weary of accusations of "Fascism", or even simply ideological fealty to Rand's philosophy of "Objectivism" for acknowledging influence by Rand, Peart has sought to remind listeners of his eclecticism and independence in interviews.

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

In another interview Peart characterized his political views as "left-leaning 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 in 1998. Peart subsequently remarried, to photographer Carrie Nuttall.

Peart is also the author of three self-published 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.

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Geddy Lee | Alex Lifeson | Neil Peart | John Rutsey
Studio Albums
Rush | Fly by Night | Caress of Steel | 2112 | A Farewell to Kings | Hemispheres | Permanent Waves | Moving Pictures | Signals | Grace Under Pressure | Power Windows | Hold Your Fire | Presto | Roll the Bones | Counterparts | Test for Echo | Vapor Trails | Feedback
Live albums, Compilations, etc.
All The World's a Stage | Archives | Exit...Stage Left | A Show of Hands | Chronicles | Retrospective I | Retrospective II | Different Stages | | Rush in Rio
Side Project Albums
Victor | My Favorite Headache