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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

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New Neil Peart news update at

Sat, May 25, 2013@8:26AM | comments removed/disabled

[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS: May, 2013 - The Sweet Science]

Neil Peart has once again updated the news page on his website with a story titled The Sweet Science. Neil describes his motorcycle travels between shows, the Rock Hall induction and more. Neil reveals several behind-the-scenes moments from the Rock Hall induction and rehearsals that are a blast to read, including this letter in which he reflects back on the evening:

... I had spoken and played well. Not only on our songs and the "Crossroads" jam, but even laying down a (hopefully) funky groove behind a pair of full-on master rappers. ... Geddy and I met in a backstage room with Chuck D from Public Enemy ("911 is a Joke in Your Town") and the "DMC" of Run-DMC. They described the rhythmic feel, and where we should come in, and on what line we should stop. We nodded.)

There was also the star- (guitar-) studded "Crossroads" jam, for which I was also responsible for laying down the foundation of tempo and feel. So . . . my state of mind leading up to "all that" might best be expressed by "yikes!"

Just moments after it was over, as Geddy and I met in the quick-change tent at stage left (just like Madonna!), he said, "We laid it DOWN."

And, shockingly, we did.

During the previous night's rehearsal (our hip-hop brethren did not attend), after the "Crossroads" jam (do you believe that lineup of guitarists? Whoa!), one of the "presiding geniuses," some rumpled-looking guy in a suit and tie, came up to me onstage and suggested that the tempo should be slower. I knew I was playing it the way we had recorded it, modeled on Cream's version, but - I am a professional.

So I pulled it back a notch, and we played it again. It felt fine to me either way, but the boge [our slang for "square"] said it felt heavier and better for the soloists to breathe. I could see that. Then he suggested even a notch slower yet, and I said, "Okay." There was no time to rehearse that, but I fingered out [how Brutus always says "figured"] a proper "feel" for a slightly slower tempo in my brain ('cause it ain't just math, eh?). I also asked the geniuses to pass around to all the other players that I would be playing it slower.

(If nothing else, I wanted them to know it was on purpose!)

Well . . . Geddy wrote back in response to that report with, "That boge was Jann Wenner!" [Founder of Rolling Stone, and co-director of the Hall of Fame.]

Ha ha! - Perfect!

The world's most powerful Rush-hater, rumored to have personally kept us out of the HOF all these years!

[Taylor Hawkins told me later that at that moment he had to walk away so he wouldn't hit him­ - and when I wrote about it to another mutual friend and fellow drummer, Stewart Copeland, he wrote back that he wished he had been there, so he could head-butt the guy!

Nice to have the support of my drum-brothers, but I didn't see it as an insult, but a challenge. I am Canadian, and "We aim to please." ...

You can read the entire thing on Neil's website at this location.

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