Many of you know, but perhaps not all of you do. Before radio was my life, drumming was my life. It was my identity. It was what I was best at. And one of my drumming heroes was Neil Peart. I didn't come to know his music until college, but once I did, he changed my views of what being a drummer meant.

In high school, I was known as 'the drummer'. I excelled at it. I played in the marching band, concert band, pep band, jazz band, and show choir. I received division one ratings at band contests my entire high school career. In my senior year, I was chosen first chair All-State Orchestra. From there I received a full-ride musical scholarship to junior college. I played in several different performance groups until my sophomore year. That's when the radio bug hit me.

When I entered college, my knowledge of the world's best drummers wasn't very high. But my freshman year a couple of classmates introduced me to the music of Rush, and drummer Neil Peart. Needless to say, it changed me, musically. No longer was drumming loud and fast. It became intricate, complex, and vital to the makeup of the song composition. No note was wasted. No moment of syncopation was either. I was convinced that Peart of a savant.

I never really became a full-on Rush fanatic. But whenever I needed to hear and feel drumming at it's finest, I'd play tracks like Tom Sawyer, Fly By Night, Free Will, and New World Man.

Peart passed away late last week from brain cancer at the age of 67. Another one of my musical heroes gone. But saddened as we are with their passing, they have left us an amazing gift. Their music.

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