Basic Background Info

Birth: September 12, 1952
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Band: Rush
Genres: Progressive Rock, Arena Rock, Hard Rock, Art Rock
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician, Writer


Neil Peart has garnered momentous amounts of well-deserved fame and respect from fans and critics alike, thanks to his technical drumming proficiency, as well as his poise as a lyricist. Neil Peart joined Canadian wonder-band Rush more than thirty years ago. To date, Rush has sold more than 25,000,000 records. Neil Peart, even after thirty years, is regularly featured at the top of Modern Drummer, DRUM!, and Drummer World reader polls.

When Neil Peart expressed interest in drums a child in Ontario, Canada, his parents agreed that if he consistently practiced for one year (on practice pads and with lessons), they would buy him a drum kit. Neil Peart earned the kit and his parents paid for him to receive lessons at the Peninsula Conservatory of Music. His first band, The Eternal Triangle, allowed Neil Peart to play his first solo for a high school audience. As a teenager, Neil Peart performed with local bands Mumblin’ Sumpthin’, Majority, and JR Flood. 

On the hunt for musical opportunities, Neil Peart traveled to London. His overseas search proved virtually fruitless, so he returned to Canada and auditioned for Rush. On July 29, 1974, Neil Peart officially joined Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. Neil Peart wasted no time in affirming that Geddy and Alex had chosen the right drummer for the job. Before long, Neil Peart also took over primary songwriting duties for the group. Rush’s first album, Fly By Night, was fairly successful, but their follow-up, Caress of Steel, fell flat. Refocusing their efforts musically, Rush released the breakthrough album 2112 and, suddenly, all the ears in the U.S. and Canada seemed to be tuned in on them.

By the late 1970s, Rush permeated mainstream listeners and, while each member proved themselves to be individually excellent, Neil Peart’s drumming evolved a step beyond into brilliance. Neil Peart’s influences included unique players like John Bonham, Buddy Rich, and Gene Krupa. Neil Peart's fans appreciated the imaginative, detailed drum fills and dazzlingly elaborate solos. Peart’s popularity grew as Rush continued recording and touring. 

Amid Rush’s success, Neil Peart continued to improve his style and technique. In the mid-90s, he took lessons from Freddie Grubber and ultimately learned to incorporate a traditional grip along with his long-time matched grip. Neil Peart also learned to incorporate electric drums into his set and frequently played both sets in a unique 360 degree kit. Always adept at integrating an array of percussion (orchestra bells, tubular bells, wind chimes, crotales, timbales, timpani, gong, temple blocks, bell tree, triangle, and cowbells) into his performances, Neil Peart eventually used electronics to help him physically reach every percussion instrument in his set. Neil Peart also frequently played with the “wrong” end of his drumsticks. Neil Peart learned to do this as a young musician who couldn’t afford to buy a new pair of sticks every time he broke off the tips. Neil Peart used the heavy end to create a solid impact without the hassle of a weighted stick.

Neil Peart suffered a personal tragedy in the late 1990s when both his daughter and wife unexpectedly passed away. Rush went on hiatus to allow Neil Peart some time to recover. In 2000, Neil Peart remarried and returned to Rush. Their next album, Vapor Trails, was critically applauded, as was as their 30th Anniversary Celebration.

Neil Peart’s talent is not limited to the drum set. Neil Peart has authored several non-fiction books, mostly personal reflections and travelogues of his many road trips.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1975 Caress of Steel Rush
1975 Fly by Night Rush
1976 2112 Rush
1976 All the World's a Stage Rush
1977 Farewell to Kings Rush
1978 Closer to the Heart Rush
1978 Hemispheres Rush
1980 Permanent Waves Rush
1980 Rush Through Time Rush
1980 Universal Juveniles Max Webster
1980 Villa Strangiato Rush
1981 Exit...Stage Left Rush
1981 Moving Pictures Rush
1982 Signals Rush
1984 Grace Under Pressure Rush
1985 Champion Jeff Berlin/Vox Humana
1985 Power Windows Rush
1987 Hold Your Fire Rush
1989 Presto Rush
1989 Show of Hands Rush
1990 Chronicles Rush
1991 Roll the Bones Rush
1992 Whale Music Rheostatics
1993 Counterparts Rush
1994 Burning for Buddy: A Tribute to the Music of Buddy Rich Various Artists
1995 Greatest Hits Kim Mitchell
1996 Test for Echo Rush
1997 Exit...Stage Left Rush
1997 Retrospective, Vol. 1 (1974-1980) Rush
1997 Retrospective, Vol. 2 (1981-1987) Rush
1998 Crossroads Jeff Berlin
1998 Different Stages: Live Rush
1999 Moontower Dan Swanˆ
2000 Buddy Rich Memorial Scholarship Concert Deluxe Set Various Artists
2001 Chronicles/Moving Pictures Rush
2001 Concert du Siecle Various Artists
2002 Vapor Trails Rush
2003 Rush in Rio Rush
2003 Spirit of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987 Rush
2004 Feedback Rush
2005 Chronicles Rush
2005 R30 Rush
2006 Gold Rush
2006 Replay X 3 Rush
2007 Far Cry Rush
2007 Snakes & Arrows Rush
2007 Halloween (Original Movie Soundtrack) Halloween
2009 Retrospective Vol. 3 Rush
2009 I Love You, Man (Movie Soundtrack) Theodore Shapiro
2009 Burning the Days Vertical Horizon
2010 Icon Rush
2011 Sector 1 Rush
2011 Sector 2 Rush
2011 Sector 3 Rush
2011 Icon 2 Rush
2012 Clockwork Angels Rush
2012 5 Classic Albums Rush
2013 Vapor Trails Remixed Rush
2013 Lords of Salem (Original Soundtrack) John 5
2013 Echoes from Undeground Vertical Horizon


  • Neil is a long-time fan of author and philosopher Ayn Rand. Occasionally, her individualistic philosophy appears in his lyrics.
  • Neil’s books frequently chronicle his cross-country motorcycle rides. He currently rides a BMW 1200GS.
  • An avid reader, Neil regularly recommends his favorite books through Bubba’s Book Club on his website. Neil also regularly updates the news portion of his website with interesting personal and travel information.
  • Neil was first inspired by The Who to start drumming and to write stongs.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Drum Workshop
Cymbals: Paragon by Sabian
Hardware: Drum Workshop
Heads: Remo
Sticks: Pro-Mark

Pics & Clips