Yesterday (Jan 10, 2020), the news broke of one of my musical heroes passing away. I’ve posted elsewhere about how his drumming influenced my playing (I’m a drummer too). But I thought I’d share here that Neil Peart also inspired my love of writing. I first discovered Rush in about 1978 when a school friend loaned me a copy of the Fly By Night LP. The overall musicality surprised me, but it was the drumming that really grabbed me and opened my eyes and ears. But once the music started to seep into my brain, I started to really notice the lyrics. And then I realized that both of those things came from the same person. Neil was not only an incredibly technically proficient drummer, one of the greatest in the world, he was also an accomplished writer. He wrote all the lyrics for Rush songs (with one or two exceptions), and his words were lush, literate, poetic, and imagery-laden. I learned about Tolkien, Coleridge, Rand and more from Neil. In later years, he published travelogue books and collections of poetry. He taught me that being a drummer wasn’t a one-dimensional thing. Reading his lyrics gave me a love of language and expression. In short, Neil made me want to be a writer. I started writing stories. I wrote articles. I got involved in my high school newspaper. I’ve written lyrics in every band I’ve been in. And now I write books. I love writing. And it was Neil Peart who started me off on that path. Thank you, Professor.