The Professor is no longer with us

There are some people you don’t expect to die. Not because you think they’re somehow above the laws of nature, but because they have always been a part of your life, they always contribute in their way. They have effectively become part of your eternal surroundings, like an old oak tree in your garden.

Neil Peart, drummer and main lyricist of Canadian rock band Rush, was such a man. He was there before I was, his band helped me through puberty and youth, his lyrics were brilliant and thoughtful, his music transcended eras and tastes. He was one of the very few musicians I felt a personal connection to, no matter how irrational or idiosyncratic that may be. When I was going through a bad patch I read his “Ghost Rider”, which I guess was the main cement of that connection. I adored his lyrics, admired his drumming, I mean, Neil was one of those legendary artists who was the whole package. A person to look up to, a person that could help you sail the stormy seas of existence.

I guess I, and many others with me, will have to weather life’s storms without him around.

I am not one to send out prayers, but my thoughts in this time of loss go out to Neil’s loved ones as well as his band mates in Rush. And also to the world of progressive rock for which he was a huge source of inspiration.

I feel gutted. Going to put on “Presto”, hoping I will keep it dry during “The Pass”, then go through my angry phase with “2112” at max volume.

Catch the spirit, Neil, catch a fish.