Neil as he appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman in 2011
Neil as he appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman in 2011

Marty Morin Remembers Neil Peart From His Own Days In Wireless

Drummer Marty Morin first made his mark as a drummer in Canadian power-rock trio Goddo, toured for a brief time with Klaatu, and in recent years was on the road across North America in the ensemble known as Classic Albums Live. In between, for several years in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, he was the drummer for Wireless, a band signed to Rush’s label, Anthem Records, and managed by Ray Danniels who also managed Rush. In the following feature, Marty recalls being on the road opening for Rush, and in particular his encounters with Neil Peart. It’s a fond remembrance.

I got to work with Neil Peart back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s and his influences on me as a professional musician and critical thinker were enormous. I find it hard to put into words what that meant to me. He and the band Rush certainly made me see how much hard work went into their success. Nothing comes free. They toured until they were exhausted.

Every time they went out on the road, they would always try to top themselves. I found Neil to be very accommodating, sincerely curious about my own musical and life endeavours and yet he seemed to march to a different drummer. He was determined to live his life on his own terms. He almost always drove his motorcycle between shows as we crisscrossed the USA and Canada. He said it was so he could soak in the culture. He rarely travelled with the rest of the guys and he would always show up on time.

A true professional.

He would spend so much time with his drum tech prepping his drums and himself for that evening’s show. Before each concert, just after the dinner break, he would warm up in a room with a small drum kit. He was always learning. True to his reputation, whenever he had some downtime he’d always be buried in a book. |A voracious reader. He was a thinker.

He was always very gracious but suffered no fools. At the end of our first USA tour together he gave me one of his cymbals, a gross of drumsticks and the set of Chinese wooden temple blocks that he used on the 2112 album.

An intelligent and hard-working man who knew what he wanted and saw no reason why he shouldn’t achieve his goals.

I’m sorry I can’t come up with more than that about him. I leave that to the writers, journalists and professional bloggers among us.

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