The first concert I ever went to was RUSH during the Signals tour. I had listened to Moving Pictures and the incredible Tom Sawyer many times. The summer before, you heard that song everywhere. Then at Christmas, I got Exit Stage Left. A short time later, Signals.
I remember the concert well. We arrived early and just outside Maple Leaf Gardens, I got a pin from Q107. I kept that in a Sucrets tin for a long time. I still have it hidden in a can of memories from my younger days. I wore it proudly for a long time before it found its way there.
The Payolas opened up the concert. They were quite good and a solid opening act for Rush. As my first concert experience, I tried to soak everything in. I got the program for the concert and still have that. I was too excited to drink a coke and I didn’t want to end up in the bathroom when my favourite song was playing.
It was an amazing concert and the drum solo during YYZ was just incredible. I hung on every chord, every lyric, and every beat on the drums and cymbals. I was so young and impressionable.
As you can imagine, when I heard about Neil Peart succumbing to brain cancer, I was saddened. I listened to those albums I mentioned so many times and can hear echoes of those drumbeats all the time. Having seen them in concert and hearing about the legendary drummer for someone who worked as the drum tech when they were in Toronto, I know just how masterful he was.
Thank you for the music. You will most definitely be missed.