Neil Peart

Ask just about any rock drummer who their influences are and chances are Rush's Neil Peart will be high on the list. With his technically demanding and precise rhythmic style, few rock drummers have scaled the heights that Peart has over the years on both record and on stage as part of the renowned Canadian prog rock trio. Born in Canada on September 12, 1952, Peart began taking drums lessons at the age of 13 and by the late '60s/early '70s, immersed himself in the challenging sounds of such rock drummers as the Who's Keith Moon, ELP's Carl Palmer, Yes' Bill Bruford, and legendary big-band drummer Buddy Rich. After a brief stint living in England (where he discovered the writings of Ayn Rand), Peart returned to Canada in the early '70s and found out that the up-and-coming band Rush, who had just wrapped up touring behind their debut album, was looking for a new drummer. Peart was granted a tryout and was immediately given the nod to join, as the trio (which also included singer/bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson) sought to expand on their musical direction, which then consisted of extended blues jams à la Led Zeppelin/Cream.