NEIL PEART - Anatomy Of A Drum Solo
May 1, 2006, 15 years ago
If you thought that the superlative gold DVD standard Rush has maintained over their last two power-packed video yummies was a fluke of spontaneous, inspired ambition, this one proves once and for all the deliberateness of their wok ethic. Peart has assembled a gorgeously packaged two DVD extravaganza that drives home how much thought goes into making his solos, solos that even at the nine minute mark, keep drummer and non-drummer alike interested in the flow and the chapters and the what’s next and the video and the synch-up with the video and the technology. Nice things about this… a plethora. I love the way he talks about all his influences, Peart’s insights into Keith Moon and Gene Krupa, Ginger Baker and the progsters helping to explain how we all build on the greats. And on that subject, another cool bit was how his current drum set picked up ideas from his own past and that of Peart’s heroes. The red sparkle was from his first set of red sparkles as a kid. The rectangular pattern was from his dream set of drums, a particularly flashy kit of Moon’s. Then he’s got bits of graphics from past Rush albums. Heck, he even talks about the milling of the cymbals being custom, and custom for his personality. Also, his ’04 tour solo, man, he talks about how it moves through the history of drumming – the heartbeat, African drumming, a European march into waltz, into jazz and then rock. You get vintage shots of Neil as a teenager, some stills and some motion picture. You get bits of his solos over the years, along with the hair styles and the readily embraced then morphing relationship with technology. There are audio tracks of drum “songs” he’s written, which use electronic xylophone and marimba for melodies, along with his trademark quite tuned toms. Camera angle features show up, spontaneous solo workout things flourish, and then the root of the journey, there’s Neil walking us through the solo and explaining the whole thing in his intelligent, thorough, very helpful manner, a contrast to the stiffer, more rehearsed intro background footage as he wanders around his grounds talking about Bruford and Collins and Palmer and Giles. There’s even a PDF transcription of his ‘Der Trommler’ drum solo (The Drummer in German, from the Frankfurt show), along with shots of Sabian, interviews with technical support guys for the huge Rush production… man, it goes on and on. Peart’s probably done more to get current metal drummers excited about drumming than anybody ever, and man, they are going to dig this more than anybody. And, like Neil says, his whole idea is to open imaginative and technical gateways within each of those guys, to find his own solo voice. He’s already done loads and loads of that for these guys already, but this’ll just kill ‘em with kindness.