Rush Drummer Neil Peart Passes Away at Age 67

Rock and Roll lost a legend this past week when drummer Neil Peart of Rush died at age 67 from brain cancer. Peart joined band members Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson in 1974 when he replaced original drummer John Rutsey who left the band following the release of the first album. Neil Peart recorded eighteen studio albums with Lee and Lifeson over a forty-four year history with the band, and following fourteen years of debate from 1998-2012, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Rush bandmates in December of 2012. Oddly, the debate was by no means related to their popularity nor record sales but said to be due to their genre classification as a progressive rock band, go figya.

Neil Peart was a master of his trade, and an orchestrator of drums and percussion. His colossal drum kits included a wide variety of percussion instruments beyond standard drums which he tastefully injected into his drum parts both in the studio as well as live on stage. Having seen Rush in concert, I can say that his drum solos were by far some of the most amazing displays of modern drumming that I have ever seen. Peart is said to have been influenced by such rock and roll drummer legends as Keith Moon of The Who, Ginger Baker of Cream, John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, and studio legend Carmine Appice who has played for everyone from Ozzy Osbourne to Rod Stewart.

Peart was also Rush’s primary lyricist having wrote the lyrics to songs which have accounted for some twenty-four gold and fourteen platinum records throughout Rush’s four-decade history. He has also been referred to as one of rock and roll’s most accomplished lyricists. If anyone has ever read the lyrics to Rush’s songs, they are at times extraordinarily complex and well thought out. Having played in bands which have covered Rush’s material if conquering the drum parts weren’t hard enough for the some of the drummer’s I have played with, watching singers attempt the lyrical phrasing of their songs was even more entertaining. Particularly the song The Spirit of Radio from the 1980 Permanent Waves album.

Neil Peart fought off glioblastoma multiforme also known as GBM. GBM is a malignant tumor which grows on the brain and it is the most aggressive and deadliest form of cancer. GBM is not one of the curable forms of cancer. When a patient is diagnosed with glioblastoma, they are generally given a three to twelve-month window to extend life if chemotherapy treatments are successful. Unfortunately, there are an extremely low percentage of patients who survive longer than three years following diagnosis. Neil Peart survived GBM for three and half years but sadly passed away on Tuesday January 7, 2020 in Santa Monica California.

(Shown Above) One of my favorite Neil Peart Drum Kits from the 2015 R40 Tour. We do not own the rights to this picture and image may be subject to copyright laws. Image credits belong to Andrew Olson http://andrewolson.com/ and it was originally taken by Joe Sokohl @mojoguzzi in Bristow VA.

Our Knotfest Roadshow 2019 Experience

My passion for music is as extensive as it is devout and my taste in music genre is equally as broad. The way I view music is that there really is no good or bad since like art I rate music by how it moves me. A big part of it for me has to do with the presentation because when I am listening to music I try to envision what the artist is attempting to express, thus the expression in itself can have no real good or bad valuation but rather more of a level of impact since it is genuinely a matter of interpretation.

When I go to see a live show it’s really about whether or not the physical performance is aesthetically pleasing. The Knotfest Roadshow 2019 was the perfect comeback show for me and the Austin 360 Amphitheater, which is now the Germania Insurance Amphitheater, at Circuit of the Americas complex in Austin Texas was a great venue to go see an outdoor show.

Slipknot

Slipknot did not disappoint; they were everything that I had expected them to be and since I had already known much of the new album’s material, the set list was very familiar. The latest album We Are Not Your Kind track for track is likely what one might expect from Slipknot. In your face guitar riffs, vocals shifting from melodic voicing to out and out aggression, and pounding rhythms from Alessandro Ventruella on bass and the insane percussion section. Bottom line is that like many other Slipknot albums they leave little if anything on the table for debate. They played all the fan favorites one might expect them to i.e.; Sic, Wait and Bleed, Psychosocial, Duality, Spit it Out, Vermillion, and from the newest album both Unsainted and Solway Firth were epic. The stage show was truly a spectacle to see and from my viewpoint it was a 5 star performance. Here is Slipknot’s setlist.fm from that day.

Gojira

Gojira was the band that beyond Slipknot I most wanted to see heading into this show. Before going to the Knotfest Roadshow 2019 show I had really done some homework on these guys because I had read that some industry journals were referring to them as the metal band of the decade and that was intriguing. I knew of them but had not really delved into their music till we purchased the tickets. Their performance from the Pol’and’ Rock Festival which I attached the link here to truly gained my attention. Mainly because the musicianship within this group is phenomenal. Thinking back to their set in Austin I wished they had played “Only Pain” but I was thrilled to see them perform two of my other faves in “Stranded” and “Flying Whales” and they were spot on. I would see them again in a heartbeat for sure, here is Gojira’s setlist.fm from that day.

Behemoth

Of the four performances on the bill that day Behemoth was the biggest surprise for me because having not been to a live festival type show in some twenty-three years, I was shocked that for an opening act they had such a big sound and they made quite the impact on both me and my son. From the opening number “Wolves Ov Siberia” off the I Loved You At Your Darkest album I thought they had an incredibly in-your-face sound. I can imagine how much more impacting both their set and their sound might have been if we were seeing them indoors or even later in the show after nightfall. They are an extreme metal band, thus lights, makeup, costumes, and stage appearance would have been truly amazing after dark. I would definitely see them again as well. Here is Behemoth’s setlist.fm from that show.

Volbeat
Pictures of Volbeat by Tyler J. Hicks

Normally I would have put these short reviews in order of their appearance on the bill, but then again sometimes its fun to save the best for last. In this case it is neither of the two. Plain and simple I didn’t enjoy Volbeat. Even though I thought they were terrible, by far that does not mean that it was not a good performance because for those that do like them it was probably epic. I will give them this, a lot of people at the show that day seemed to be into them and they appeared to know the material. I saw people around us singing along during their set which honestly left me scratching my head as a lifelong fan of the metal genre. Guitarist Rob Caggiano is from our neck of the woods in New York, and when we lived there we were roughly ten minutes from his studio in upstate NY. I have been a long time fan of his playing thus I’m still perplexed as to the musical connection here. Nonetheless here is Volbeat’s setlist.fm that day.

It was typically hot day in Texas and it was funny that Nergal of Behemoth made mention of that. My son has some great clips of the show on his You Tube channel at Arch Knight. You can find me tweeting about sports on Twitter at Puck2theHead @thenotablymisc1 or checkout my music playlists on You Tube at my channel: TheRemarkablyMiscellaneous

Appreciating Music As An Art Form

Author Georgia Cates in her book Beauty from Pain said that “Music is what feelings sound like out loud…” (Cates, 2013), that is profound on so many levels. American poet and writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) said that “music is the universal language of mankind” and while the list of insightful descriptions of music is likely endless, so too can one’s taste in musical styles.

While music as an art form must remain infinite in its diversity to be able to appeal to a broader audience, equally with music genres from Alternative to Zydeco and all types of variety in between, one might argue that there is something in music for everyone.

With respect to taste in music genre and so many parameters to consider, no specific genre could ever solely satisfy my musical palate exclusively. Music has had significance in my life from the very first time I picked up a guitar around twelve years old to how I listen to music now as an adult.

Expressing my appreciation for music in words is very difficult since on any given night if inspired to immerse myself in music I might listen to one or more genres of music but then later physically play music from a distinctively different genre in the same evening.

When it comes to music an art form and the appreciation thereof, it is more about preference rather than good or bad as a valuation. Music is about aesthetics and presentation, thus while a person may have a particular preference in musical style or genre, it seems unreasonable to think that subjectivity can ever be a compliment to appreciating music on the whole as an art form.

Please note the views and opinions expressed in the written works contained within this site are solely those of the individual authors themselves. They are not intended to, nor meant to imply any type of endorsement, professional relationship, or affiliation to any of the individual people, organizations, or associations mentioned in the site’s publication. All written work is the sole property of the author of this website and may be subject to copyright laws 2019.

Five Guitar Gods That Left A Lasting Impression On Me


My personal love for BB King and his music comes from the early days of learning how to play guitar as a young teen. At a time in life when learning how to play a blues scale was one of the most important parts of equally learning how to jam. While BB King and Lucille his nickname for his famous black Gibson ES-345 guitar often made it look easy, trying to learn his style required just as much listening time as it did playing time. His music taught me how to be a better listener as well as a better guitar player. BB King’s guitar playing style epitomizes what it means to play an instrument with feeling.


Eric Clapton fondly nicknamed “Slow Hand” or simply EC by his followers, and he is by far the most difficult one of the five for me to define. Eric Clapton’s incorporation of feel and technique is at times paralyzing to watch and his articulate phrasing ability leaves intermediate players like me awestruck. Eric Clapton’s chord progressions are conquerable for even the beginner, but from experience it is fair to say that it takes years of mechanical practice to join the chord patterns with his solo parts. Like fine wine Eric Clapton’s playing got even better with time, especially if one considers his early days with Cream. If the intent is to learn EC’s style then three words come to mind: scales, scales, and scales.


David Gilmour’s picking style makes learning and covering his music one of the single most challenging for me personally. Learning to play his chord progressions and subtle fill lines is at times as baffling as it is tedious. David Gilmour has an elusive open chord playing technique and his extensive use of sound effects in the studio makes learning some his note patterns confusing at times, but it equally compliments the smooth sound he is so well-known for. For the beginner to intermediate player, covering Gilmour’s work takes both time and practice to perfect. One suggestion for learning David Gilmour’s playing would be to learn how to bend notes while staying in tune.


JIMMY PAGE
When Jimmy Page comes to mind so do phrases like “innovator of the trade” or “lord of the riff” because as a rock and roll guitarist, Page’s mind-bending riffs are as widely known and as recognizable as the national anthem. Simply put -he is an iconic Rock and Roll guitarist. Jimmy Page and his innovative ability goes far beyond just his use of the violin bow on song’s like Led Zeppelin’s Dazed and Confused for which he renowned for. When one considers the evolution of Rock and Roll into Hard Rock and eventually into what is now known as Heavy Metal, Jimmy Page’s guitar riffs are the embodiment of all. To know Jimmy Page is to know how to drive a power chord home and transition from open chords to barred chords.


Reflecting on Stevie Ray Vaughan is like none other because no matter how one describes his playing it will never change the simple fact that he was gone from us too soon. Vaughan died as the result of a helicopter crash on August 27, 1990 and it was a great loss to the guitar world and those who never had the chance to see him perform live. Once coined the “Pride of Austin Texas” Stevie Ray Vaughan was all about skill and pace. He was blindingly quick and watching him turn a bluesy jam into a ten-minute freestyle like solo was the norm for concertgoers and his Double Trouble bandmates alike. Vaughan’s quick paced rhythms and jaw dropping solos often left onlookers frozen in amazement. Stevie Ray Vaughan was astounding to watch, and he was a highly skilled performer who shared the same two things in common as all the above mentioned do, a love for BB King and a love for the blues.

Please note the views and opinions expressed in the written works contained within this site are solely those of the individual authors themselves. They are not intended to, nor meant to imply any type of endorsement, professional relationship, or affiliation to any of the individual people, organizations, or associations mentioned in the site’s publication. All written works are the sole property of the author of this website and may be subject to copyright laws 2019.