There are few bands that I’ve listened to consistently for 40 plus years, with regularity. There are far fewer bands that have stayed intact that long; with the same members, performing the same original music.
Few bands that have remain dedicated to performing their music in their own unique style; free of trends and kowtowing to industry demands.
Rush was one of those bands.
This Canadian trio forged music on its own terms, uncompromising, diligent to the point of exacting, both live and in the studio.
You cannot deny the talents of front man and bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson, but behind it all was the percussive magic of drummer Neil Peart and the lyrics that gave the sound its soul.
Together these three musicians were unparalleled.
The band stopped performing live in 2015, releasing its last studio album in 2012.
The oft asked question was whether the band would ever play together again, or whether there would be another album.
The questions were answered Friday when it was announced that drummer Neil Peart had died following a three-year battle with brain cancer.
As I read the news Friday, about his death earlier in the week, I went numb. The quote above, one of the first I read on my mobile device that afternoon, stuck with me.
This man — this band — never compromised. As a result, we were rewarded with decades of amazing music. Rush did what they did, and they did it well.
The band will forever be more than a footnote in the annals of music history.
Rush left an indelible mark.
I’m still listening.