Rush's Neil Peart talks Tom Sawyer, with vintage studio footage

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Its “Y” “Y” “Zed” and Neil Peart stands alone.


One of my first concerts; mid 1980s. I was 15 and sitting at the Richfield Coliseum with my friends Benny and Bill. Bill’s mom was kind enough to take us to the show and she sat there with us, smiling politely as numerous people around us started smoking weed. House lights went down, and the opening guitar of “The Spirit of Radio” filled the air. The crowd went nuts! Thank you, Neil Peart, for helping create the soundtrack of my youth.



(boom chish boom boom chish)


I’ve seen some of this footage of them in Quebec’s legendary Le Studio before, but never noticed the Eraserhead poster in the background.


basically the same story applies to me! Signals tour, '82-'83. my first concert. we BEGGED my aunt to take us. the air was green with pot smoke, and she thought they were too loud, but otherwise she said she really enjoyed them. i’m crushed by the news of neil’s death. also, if you are a fan of rush and you haven’t seen that documentary, RUN DON’T WALK. it’s fantastic.


First Rush concert was Hold Your Fire tour in '87 Dallas. Many, many concerts in between all the way up to R40 in 2015 which turned out to be their last.

Not just the soundtrack of my youth but a steady drumbeat throughout my entire life. Thank you Geddy, Alex and Neil


sadly, i only saw them that once. my cousin (who went with me that first time) saw them many times afterwards, including their last tour, i believe. i always INTENDED to see them again, but here we are and now i’m regretting it.


I saw them in WVa in '79 … Wow.

Seems like yesterday.

I recorded a King Biscuit Flour Hour show of theirs about that time on my dad’s reel to reel. I played that show until the tape warped beyond repair.

Good times.


And “It’s Pea-urt”, not Purt. One syllable with a snappy T sound at the end. Guilty. Just learned that on CBC.

edit: Archer link:
edit2: 17:15 CBC link


At the end when he says they were all over the radio, I’m like wha? Maybe in some places. It always felt like I was one of probably less than ten fans in my little town, but much later as an adult I realized, you know if you can find their albums in a record store in my podunk town, they aren’t that obscure.

I bought Moving Pictures because a friend said “they’re awesome, the singer sounds like Mickey Mouse on speed”. First album I bought with my own money. Holy shit I didn’t know what I was getting into.


Even after listening that song over a hundred times, it still gives me a chill down my spine to hear it again.


My introduction to Rush was Tom Sawyer via a drummer-friend of mine. Blew my mind. Opened my mind. Wonderful.
I got lucky many years later: I was on a business trip layover on a cross-country flight from CA to Boston, and I decided to stay the night in Toronto (hey it saved a lot of money and I’d never been there). My brother, living in Montreal, drove up and we had a night on the town. Noticed in the events-newspaper that Rush was playing THAT NIGHT. So we ran over to the venue to see if there were any cancelled tickets, and lo-and-behold there were some (I MAY have jumped the line a little…). Got seats on the floor near the mixing board and was amazed (“I Mother Earth” opened, too, and I was a huge fan of them as well; even got Edwin’s autograph).
Years later, when my life fell apart, I was on an extended motorcycle camping trip and came across “Ghost Rider”. I won’t claim my life fell apart to the same degree as Neil’s at that time, but it spoke to me very deeply.
Thanks, Neil. RIP


Great post. Seeing Rush in Toronto would be amazing. I haven’t read Ghost Rider yet but I was intrigued by Neil’s method of dealing with personal tragedy. A cross country motorcycle trip seems like a pretty good prescription to help sort things out.


I never heard them in high school; a friend played Signals for me in 1984. It blew my mind; had to go get caught up immediately.

I LOVE this band. It hurts to think about Neil having to bear another stressor and be the one that closes the door on them.


It started for me in high school in the 80s, heard The Trees. It was like a poem of meaning set to music. The next hundred times I heard it, I found more details in it that just made me appreciate the attention to detail. And those details were mostly in the percussion.

I knew this time would come.
Sorry to lose Neil
in many ways, an ideal;
He’s gone home; he’s now all done
and beyond the gilded cage

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