While I didn’t know the man, his music has given me much joy and connected with me emotionally since I first heard them on WAAF almost 40 years ago. The song was “Freewill” from "Permanent Waves" and at first it was Geddy Lee’s penetrating soprano that got my attention. After that it was the ace musicianship that grabbed me for good. I have been a fanboy ever since. Not missing a tour starting with “Signals" and ending with the bittersweet “R40” career finale. That “Signals” album is still the one that I go back to often. Peart’s lyrics about being an outsider trying to find you’re identity as a teenager in the suburbs definitely spoke to me growing up in Natick, Massachusetts. As well as his prophetic lyrics for “Digital Man” which ring more true today than when they first were heard back in 1982:
Needless to say she was also devastated by the news. As she says in the interview below, she was not as close to Neil as she was to his band mates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, but they shared a love for literature and music. She gifted Peart a copy of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” in the early days of their careers and he had kept it through the years.
In the interview below Halper not only talks about Peart’s amazing skill and dedication to his craft, his dedication to remaining true to himself, but also his kindness which was not often spoken of due to his intense privacy.
Travel well Neil.