Geddy Lee is remembering Neil Peart.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the Rush singer opened up about the passing of his bandmate last year.
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Asked whether he was ever in awe of Peart’s musical talents, Lee said, “With regularity. I’ve never met a musician like him. He was a monster drummer of the highest magnitude. I’ve met some great musicians but I had the pleasure to watch him every night onstage and watch him improvise, as he got older, through his solos.”
He added, “When he became determined to add improvisation as part of his drum solo every night, that’s a bold, brave step for him and the level of complexity that he functioned at. I don’t know many other musicians that can function at that level. So for me, I was always trying to live up to his watermark, so to speak, because he pushed me. He would say the same thing about me, but of course, I always thought, No, no, I’m following you.”
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Peart passed away on Jan. 7, 2020, after a battle with brain cancer.
“[Peart] set the bar really high for himself, and as his body started to let him down he worried that he would betray that,” Lee said. “He was really big on that. He used to say all the time that he never wanted to let down the kid in him.”
Talking about Peart’s resilience through his health issues, Lee said, “He struggled through [the 40th anniversary] tour. He had lot of weird issues, physical issues, a tendency to get infections. He was so f**king stoic. … You’d see him limping or something and you’d go, ‘Man, what’s going on?’ … But you had to guess if he even had a cold, because he didn’t grumble about that kind of stuff. He was the exact opposite of me. When I have something wrong, everyone in the f**king organization knows I have something wrong.”