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What Should I Ask Neil Peart?

I'll be talking to the Rush drummer. Got any questions for him?
Sep | 20 | 2014

Sep | 20 | 2014

On Wednesday, I’ll be interviewing Neil Peart of Rush, my favorite band.*

I never thought that I would write those words!

Our interview will run The Huffington Post next Wednesday. I’ve drawn up some questions. I would like to ask him The Pivot Questionnaire. Still, I would love to hear your suggestions. Just put them in the comments. (I solicited fan input in a similar way when I first interviewed Steve Hogarth.)

I’ll put the top six or seven up for a Wedgies survey and then create a poll. I’ll ask him the two questions with the most votes, time permitting.

Update: 09.20.14, 8:27 am PST

Great response so far. I’ll approve the comments throughout the day. Don’t worry if you don’t see your comment/question up immediately. I promise that they’ll all show up.

Update: 09.20.14, 6:27 pm PST

I am closing the comments now. I have more than 40 questions. Please vote below. I’ll see if he’ll go for the top two. Thanks everyone for the input. There are some great ones here.

I’m limiting votes to two per person.

Update: 09.23.14, 8:27 am PST

These two have won:

  • What one song would you like to play live that Rush hasn’t played in a long time?
  • With Clockwork Angels going in the books as one of the most epic tours ever, is there a possibility we could see more strings in 2015?

Thank you all for voting. Stay tuned.

Brought to you by the letter P.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.



* To be fair, Marillion is a very, very close second.

Update: 09.26.14, 8:27 am PST

The interview went very well. I will post it online as part of a larger story for The Huffington Post on Neil’s new book in a few weeks. Thank you all for your patience.

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  1. Matt

    When was the last time you rode a bicycle? (what kind of bike, ftw)

  2. Bill Thompson

    Who would Mr. Peart choose to play a drum solo at his funeral ?

    • Phil Simon

      A bit macabre, no?

  3. Shaun

    for Neil: The song “Fly By Night” has not been played live since 1978, yet remains a radio staple. Who in the band hates this song and WHY?!?!? Argh! Bring it back – let me complete my Rush live Bingo card, please.

  4. Dustin Petzold

    Is the band working on new material for next spring’s tour?

    • Phil Simon

      Thanks. That’s on my list. I don’t know what will be off-limits, though.

    • Tom Osman

      Would you consider doing celebrity Jeopardy?

      • Phil Simon

        Ooooh. I like that one.

  5. Shaun

    What is Neil’s favorite American backroad ride?

  6. Shaun

    What’s his favorite memory of Alex’s comedic on stage antics?

    • Phil Simon

      That is a good one!

  7. Andy

    What one song would you like to play live that Rush hasn’t played in a long time?

  8. Mike

    Rush is known for being very involved with many charities. If you could pick one charity or cause that you would like your fans to be a part of, what would it be?

  9. Nathaniel Lydeamore

    Will we ever see Rush down here in Australia?

  10. Al Burr

    Are there any plans to release the full concert footage and audio of Exit…Stage Left, Grace Under Pressure Tour and A Show of Hands? PLEASE ask this! I’ve been waiting years for an answer! Thanks dude!

  11. Al Burr

    We know a tour is coming, but some of us are more interested in a NEW album! Please tell us that one is coming! Thanks!

  12. Darrell

    – What hasn’t the band accomplished yet that you still want to accomplish?

    – Last tour you rotated songs on a nightly basis more than ever before. Fan response was extremely positive – especially given how many people see multiple shows. What was the band’s reaction and will you expand on that next time?

  13. Mike Mason

    I’ve always wondered if when Neil is writing lyrics, does he ever envision what the song may sound like, or at least how Geddy will sing it, and if so has it ever sounded just the way he thought it would?

  14. Erik (@NeilPeartFanatics on Twitter)

    After 40 years of touring/playing/biking/riding and dealing with the drudgery associated with all of it, what keeps you motivated? At what point do you say, “That’s it. I cannot possibly top THAT.”

  15. Marcus Edwards

    Is there any country/road left that Neil would like to explore on his motorcycle?

    • Kelli

      That’s a good one!

  16. Dennis Pupello

    Drum circles are growing wildly in popularity. Have you ever participated in one, and what do you think of them? For that matter, do you own and play a hand drum like a djembe?

  17. Lance Kasten

    With Clockwork Angels going in the books as one of the most epic tours ever, is there a possibility we could see more strings in 2015?

    • John

      If strings are present, please play “Losing It”. The electric violin is fantastic.

  18. Bob Milhorat

    What was the inspiration for growing the long ponytail in the mid 1980s and did you or someone else influence the decision to get rid of it?

  19. Jim Nadeau

    Do you feel “trapped” into doing a big drum solo during every show? Is that why you broke it down into two/three smaller ones during the last tour?

    • Shaun

      I like this one. Or… not to be impolite, but did he break it down because of stamina/age reasons?

  20. Agustin

    One question I would like answered is: “What was your favorite song to play to on the Clockwork Angels Tour?” or “What is perhaps your favorite memory with Geddy and Alex?”

  21. Bill McClain

    In previous interviews regarding ‘YYZ’ Neil has said that he will “never tell” how the crashing noise was created, but we are free to speculate at will:

    Sounds to me like a set of Wind Chimes falling over, or being dropped from a reasonable height, plus a woodslap for the attack.

    Ask him to cough twice if I’m near the ballpark. (Off the record, of course! Hah.)

  22. Mark

    How hot does it get when the flames go up like on One Little Victory? I had 19th row and I could feel the heat, thanks for all the years!!

  23. Shaun

    Does he feel compelled to “step it up” when wife Carrie is at a show watching? 🙂

  24. Nyall

    There are lots of dystopian futures in your writing; do you feel generally positive about the future of the human race, skeptically optimistic, or should I start investing in my own space capsule?

  25. Steve

    What role does modern music play in his off duty life? Does he listen while on long rides? Working out? Hiking? What is the last album he bought?

  26. Wendel

    Is it true you play all concerts with a metronome ticking in your ears?

  27. Pat Harmon

    What inspired you to accept this request for an interview from Phil Simon?

  28. Robert Huey

    What is your favorite Rush album cover?

  29. Mike

    In a very short period of time, Rush has gone from being the band that critics loved to hate, to being widely accepted as the greatest band of the universe. It is now uncool to hate on Rush, and more importantly, Rush will have the long lasting respect reserved for bands like The Beatles, The Who, and the Stones. And while the fans find this vindicating, how has the sudden surge in popularity affected YOU?

  30. Deb

    To what do you attribute the rise in the numbers of female fans in the audience over the past couple tours?

  31. Deb

    And…why do you feel you’ve not had as large a female fan-base in the past?

    P.S. Phil, you might consider skipping the last question on the Pivot questionnaire. Neil has made his thoughts on God fairly clear in his books and other writings, and it might be a sensitive topic for him given the earlier tragedies he’s endured. Just my two-cents!

  32. scott

    Where can I get one of those cool hats he wears at the shows and will they ever do a Rock & Roll cruise like the Kiss Kruise?

  33. Jonathan roach

    I’ve read all his books and he talks about his ability to endure is what’s made him great so to speak.. Just putting in the sheer time and effort it takes to get there so the question is when he’s down what does he think of or hold onto mentally to pull himself through that time when life just feels like hell.. And then of course ask him how his little baby soul is doing.. That’s a phrase or term he came up w/.. Thanks for this and b well and prosper..

  34. Johny Howard

    What’s on your MP3 player?

  35. Alan Lantz

    Will Carrie let you teach Olivia to play the drums? I certainly hope so !!

  36. Steve Hurley

    A long time fan & admirer of both your drumming & lyric writing within Rush here – beyond that tho’ I’ve always enjoyed the tour book essays and descriptions of your life on the road.
    What’s your personal favourite memory of your many visits to Scotland over the years? (Macallan related or not!)

    And would you play Aberdeen please on your next UK tour?? All those years of me travelling down to Glasgow to see you guys, it only seems fair… 😉

  37. Douglas Maher

    Will Rush ever make another record with Terry Brown producing again?

  38. Douglas Maher

    Will Rush start to release the thousands of hours of live material on audio from various tours for download and cd like Metallica and Dave Matthews Band does and how about complete blu ray concerts for Exit Stage Left, Grace Under Pressure, and A Show of Hands which are only available edited and on DVD?

    • Al Burr

      Doug – Aren’t you the guy that said that found the GUP footage?!?!?

  39. Douglas Maher

    Do you regret not filming more in your career in the 70s and 80s so you along with fans could have seen the progression of your drumming on video versus just audio?

  40. Douglas Maher

    Can you name 2 songs Rush fans can cross off their list that they will never see you perform live again or ever period? Can you name 2 that you would like to bring out on the next tour?

  41. Douglas Maher

    Does it frustrate you that critics and radio programming directors play favor to Rush’s period from 74-82 only? If you could say a certain album or two deserve more attention than Moving Pictures and 2112 , what would they be?

    Mine are Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, and Presto. All highly underrated.

  42. Douglas Maher

    Can you give me your thoughts on Double Agent and why Rush decided to never film a video or keep it in the set list after the Counterparts tour? Ditto the four parts of Fear…will we ever see those performed all together?

    • Al

      when will the time be right? any time but now!

  43. Ian in Vancouver

    What is your second favourite scotch behind the macallan?

  44. William Kaminski

    Enjoy your time with Mr. Peart

  45. monkey d

    Release the remaining songs from the concert videos.

  46. chris

    If there’s an upcoming R40 tour, would the band ever consider doing an all (epic) instrumental set?

    It could, perhaps give all of you an opportunity to continue improvising as we know you enjoy doing, and would give Geddy a chance to rest his vocal chords while showing off his bass chords!!


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