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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

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Neil Peart visits the abandoned Le Studio in his latest news update at

Mon, Oct 6, 2014@4:52PM | comments

[NEWS, WEATHER, and SPORTS: October, 2014 - Science Island]

Neil Peart has once again updated the news page on his website. The October, 2014 entry is titled Science Island and in it Neil describes a recent visit to Lac St. Brutus in the Laurentian Mountains. He recounts a trip to one particular island on the lake with his 5-year-old daughter Olivia. Olivia dubbed the island Science Island because of all of the scientific discussions about geology, meteorology, and biology she had with her father when visiting the island's natural wonders. Neil also talks a bit about rowing, swimming and other lake-related activities, along with a visit to his neighbor's (a few lakes away) house - someone Rush fans may be familiar with:

... While I was at the lake by myself for the first week, I was happy to be invited to the home of my neighbors (a few lakes away) Paul Northfield and Judy Smith. Their little house on Lac Cochon is elegant and comfortable, good taste evident in art, lighting and music, and they are both fine cooks. Paul and Judy also have long associations with the place that first brought me to the Laurentians-nearby Le Studio, where the Guys at Work and I recorded at various times from 1979 until 1995.

Paul was the engineer on many of those sessions, from Permanent Waves right up to Vapor Trails in 2001 (though recorded in Toronto), on the Buddy Rich tributes he and I recorded in the early '90s, and on my second instructional DVD, Anatomy of a Drum Solo. Judy had been with Paul all through those years, and had managed Le Studio for five years in the mid-'90s. And of course they had known my "first family" all through that era. So we go back.

That night the subject of Le Studio's abandonment and ruination came up, and the very next day I had an email from Meghan at our office asking me to do an interview for the guys at Banger Films (makers of the Beyond the Lighted Stage documentary). They were making a show about one of the Guys at Work, Geddy, and wanted to talk to me.

It was immediately obvious where that interview had to take place. ...

Neil then talks about visiting the abandoned studio that is so important to the history of Rush, and all of the memories and emotions it stirred up. He then gets to the meat of the update - the news that Banger Films (the guys who brought us Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage) is making some kind of documentary/show about Geddy Lee:

...Those reflections from over two decades ago make a good segue to the part of the story the Banger guys wanted me to address: one of the Guys at Work, Geddy. Having said that Le Studio was the most important place in my life, it follows that the most important collaboration in my life has been with Geddy. That's all I really wanted to say on camera-though I don't think those actual words occurred to me until later.

In any case, the interviewer, Sam, had his eye on "the show" they were making. Naturally enough, he was looking for some incisive remarks from me, maybe some kind of "dirt"-if not blood. Preferably bad blood. He was careful about it, trying to bring me around to that sort of nitty-gritty by apologizing for "being like a three-year-old, asking the same question again and again." But a complex relationship that has endured for over forty years is not going to be defined in a sound bite. It's like asking a spouse of that duration to define the other-tread carefully! ...

In addition to all the great Le Studio memories, the update also includes a number of great photographs of Neil in and around the grounds of the abandoned studio. It's definitely worth checking out. You can read the entire update online at this location.