Oh no ! Say it isn’t so ! Well I guess at 63, it’s ok. Neil notes that his health and his struggle with chronic tendonitis as the top factor behind this decision. Per Neil:
“Lately Olivia [ Neil’s daughter] has been introducing me to new friends at school as ‘My dad – he’s a retired drummer.’ True to say, funny to hear.
“And it does not pain me to realize that, like all athletes, there comes a time to… take yourself out of the game. I would rather set it aside then face the predicament described in our song ‘Losing It‘ [‘Sadder still to watch it die, than never to have known it’].”
I think I listened to Hemispheres more time than any other album on earth. That was the bible of drumming for me when I first heard it and I still know every single nuance of the drum track. I still throw that album on my headphones and play along on my Roland kit. I also still have the April/May 1980 issue of Neil Peart’s first interview in Modern Drummer magazine and how he said he didnt’ like Cygnus X-1 and thought the lyrics in the Trees were “doggerel” even though he wrote them and all of Rush’s lyrics.
My next door neighbor introduced me to Rush when I was in the 8th grade. He showed me the cover of “All the World’s a Stage” and I couldn’t believe the size of Neil’s drumset. He put on the album and I heard Geddy’s voice and was immediately hooked. My band in 10th grade band “Anthem” played 2112 at battle of the bands although no human on earth could sing like Geddy. Kudos to Mike Ellis for trying.
I still have my t-shirt from one of the first Rush concerts I went to. Of course, it is faded and a little tight.