Rush bassist and singer Geddy Lee talked in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine about the unusual way the late drummer and the band’s main lyricist, Neil Peart, presented lyrics to the band.
Geddy Lee recalls the unusual way Neil Peart presented lyrics to the band
“They were all handwritten and he had little drawings at the top of all of them and he loved cartoons that described the song. The titles were always a little on the ornate side. That’s how it would start, and even if he had to rewrite the thing four or five times they always came properly presented.”
“He almost never just banged them out on a typewriter or something. Later on, when it was a computer age, he still managed to find a way to make his presentations to us as artful as possible. It was a big source of pride for him. In the early days when we were writing on the road. He used to add in the top corner which towns we were in when he worked on that song. So it also served as a little travelogue.”
It seems like you loved it when his lyrics started to turn to the more earth-bound in the Eighties.
“Oh, of course, yeah. His lyrics became more about the human condition to a large degree. You could say that he was always talking about one part of the human condition or another even through the years of using science fiction as a device. But it started to become more overt in style and more traditional in shape. I gravitated to that a lot because it helped me as a songwriter and helped me in terms of the direction that I wanted to go in.”
Legendary Rush drummer Neil Peart died at the age of 67 in January 20. The musician was battling a brain cancer for the past 3 years. The disease was never revealed to the fans and was now confirmed by his family. He last moments where in Santa Monica, California. He lived there with his family.
Born in the Canadian city of Hamilton, Peart initially entered the music universe while studying piano. But he never showed much appreciation for the instrument. When he was fourteen, his parents presented him with a drum kit. Peart participated in some groups in his teens. But his life changed – and rock’s trajectory – in 1975, when he joined bassist and vocalist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson of Rush.