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Neil Peart’s Six Favorite Drummers are Hal Blaine

Andrew Vaughan

Rush’s drum maestro Neil Peart recently spoke about his inspiration as a young drummer to Joe Bosso at

Peart explained that he learned to play by listening to records by his favorite artists: “When I was growing up, I played along to the radio, so I played along to Simon & Garfunkel, The Beach Boys, The Association and The Byrds, and I was really playing along to Hal Blaine. He played on all of those records and so many more. There was another drummer who said that he was shattered to find out that his six favorite drummers were all Hal Blaine!”

Peart also talked at length about his philosophy on solos. “If drummers are ‘anti-solo,' that's up to them. They're musicians, and they can play whatever they want. But my inspirations early on were people like Buddy Rich, seeing him on The Tonight Show, or Gene Krupa. I think of The Gene Krupa Story movie, which opens with an overhead shot of him playing so energetically and beautifully...

“Stewart Copeland, who's a good buddy of mine, he's very anti-drum solo, too. Yet he jokes that when he was a kid, around the same era as I was, that any drummer who didn't play drum solos was 'lame.' But it can be too much of a good thing, sure. Take John Bonham, who's a drummer I greatly admire: I watch some of his performances, and they're fantastic, but you know, it gets long and self-indulgent.”

Just don’t ask Peart to play “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” He says: “’In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’ was the antithesis of what I wanted to do. It was plodding and monotonous. People would come up to me and go 'Can you play “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” man?' And I would go, 'No, I cannot. I can play ‘Wipe Out!’”

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