Donielle Flynn

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LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 18: (L-R) Inductees Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart of Rush perform onstage at the 28th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 18, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
I saw Rush in the 90’s when I was working for a radio Station here, in Detroit. I wasn’t a big fan, until I saw them live. Once I saw Neil Peart playing the drums, I was hooked. A double sided drum kit that rotated and he stood up switching sides with out missing a beat.  I was absolutely blown away.

Some people have thought Neil Peart had a doctorate degree… In reality, he never even graduated high school… and yet, he was incredibly intelligent, well educated and regularly used words I would need to look up.  Neil Peart was known for his drums but he was also the main lyricist of Rush.  He never wrote a song about sex or drugs and yet it was still rock n roll.

Through a time when most bands were struggling with addiction and watching their relationships blow up from indiscretion, Rush stood apart.  They gave a strong example of being able to rock without behaving badly.  We needed that. We still do.

Neil Peart didn’t just write lyrics… he wrote books too.. he wrote 7 nonfiction books about his travels and journeys through life.  In 1996, his daughter, Selena, was killed in a car accident.  10 months later, his wife, Jackie, passed from cancer.  Neil said she died from a broken heart. The book, Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road, chronicles his extensive motorcycle rides over North and Central America as he contemplated his life and came to terms with his grief.

Neil had an organized mind and that’s what he preferred. Saying, “ I don’t like lyrics that are just thrown together.”

A private person, his family and friends kept the secret of his battle with brain cancer for the last three years.

Neil Peart wasn’t a rock n roll bad boy. He was a strong man, with incredible talent and precision.

“If you choose not to decide… you still have made a choice.”  Neil Peart chose to live his life well. He will be missed.