Q and A with Neil Peart of Rush

Maclean’s interviews Rush’s now-retired drummer and lyricist

On introverts, learning to improvise, and why people should be nicer to one another

Photograph by Andrew Tolson

UPDATE: On Dec. 7, 2015, Neil Peart confirmed that he was retiring from music. The interview that follows is from 2012.

Rush’s 20th studio release, Clockwork Angels, hit No. 1 in Canada in June—not bad for a steampunk, progressive rock concept album. Its story, about a young man who flees a land designed to function in perfect mechanical order, reflects the philosophy of drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. Now living in Santa Monica with his wife and daughter, the native of St. Catharines, Ont., is preparing with his long-time bandmates, bassist-singer Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson for a concert tour that starts next month. At a Toronto rehearsal studio, he granted a rare interview about musical integrity, freedom and his fight to escape precision.

Q: Thirty-eight years ago you joined Rush, and the next day you went shopping for instruments for your first tour. What are your memories of that time?

A: I remember all of us riding in the truck down to Long & McQuade [a music store in Toronto]. What a young musician’s dream, to say, “Look at those chrome drums. Look at that 22-inch ride cymbal. I’ll have those.” It was one of those unparalleled exciting days of your life.

Q: Did you feel you were embarking on a great, lifelong journey?

A: No, nothing like that. When I was young, my ambitions were very modest. I thought, “If only I could play at the battle of the bands at the Y, that would be the culmination of existence!” And then the roller rink, and you work your way up branch by branch. Whereas if you’re [thinking], “I want to be a rock star”—those kind of people just want to know how they can start at the top, and they’re doomed not even to get to the bottom.

Q: That said, the hero of Clockwork Angels, called Owen Hardy in the novelization [by friend and science fiction writer Kevin J. Anderson, to be published in September], says, “I can’t stop thinking big.”

A: Ah, the classic dreamer, and one of the lovely distinctions that Kevin and I wove over the character with reflection to our own pasts. When I was in the band J.R. Flood in St. Catharines, where we were doing pretty well, I said to my bandmates, “Let’s go to London [England].” I did, on my own, but it surprises me to this day that no one wanted to go with me. I went hungry and wasn’t finding fame and fortune as quickly as I’d fantasized, but there was nothing daunting to me at the time. Like Owen, I did stumble into things, and a trail of events that could not have happened otherwise in one sense led me toward the person I am today. I lived away from home for the first time; I got a real job and proved myself in a workday situation, and thus I was never afraid anymore. As crises came up later on—“Oh, we have to compromise, and the record company wants to do this,” I’d be like, “No, I don’t have to.”

Q: It sounds ideal—having had such a long career without ever needing to compromise.

A: Well, it’s an unending and awful battle, because sometimes you’re up against everybody in the whole world—even your friends and family are saying, “You need a single.” You feel sometimes incredibly alone. When we first got into the professional music business and saw how calculated people were, we called that “the sickness.” We grew up in the ’60s where music was for music’s sake. To us it was pure, and dedicated to getting better, and all of the good ambitions that later became subsumed in the “progressive” moniker.

Q: It seems as though now, with your full-length concept album, Clockwork Angels, you’re swimming against the musical tide.

A: Yeah, but it grew from the bottom up. The reverse is how we worked in the ’70s: I would think of a grand plan and then build the pieces to fit it. This started as a simple [idea]—the steampunk image and aesthetic I liked, I suggested to the guys as the basis for some kind of extended work. It built up to [the album] piece by piece by organic expansion. All the music was created by Geddy and Alex jamming in the studio, and many of the lyrics were just extemporized over email. There’s so much life experience in this story—it’s not just a far-blown fantasy. Wish Them Well [offers] a very mature response to the world that it took me a long time to learn. In a lot of our early stuff, my lyrical inspiration was anger, for sure. [laughs] There’s still a lot I’m angry about, a lot of human behaviour that’s appalling and despicable, but you choose what you can fight against. I always thought if I could just put something in words perfectly enough, people would get the idea and it would change things. That’s a harmless conceit. With people too, you constantly think, “If I’m nice to people and treat them well, they’ll appreciate it and behave better.” They won’t, but it’s still not a bad way to live.

Q: You’ve mentioned being influenced by Voltaire’s Candide and John Barth’s The Sot-Weed Factor—both humorous works. The album’s lyrics, however, are rather dark.

A: They have to be. People don’t realize the limitations of 200 words, and the way they get chiselled down into a song that has to be sung. I love jokes as much as anyone, but I don’t want to hear my snail jokes [he’s collected 16 so far] every day. But I might want to hear a good song every day. We’re just about to film comedy clips like those we used on the last few tours, and of course we necessarily have to ramp them up every time into more ambitious things. To me, the highest expression of life is art with jokes. It’s very rarified, very difficult to accomplish if you want to be more than just funny, and more than just jokes about human gaseousness.

Q: Is there a link between writing about a land that’s meant to function like clockwork and your goal to become a more spontaneous drummer?

A: It’s absolutely coincidental. I have been on that campaign for four or five years. [In the past], my ambition was not a humble one, to try to play with superhuman perfection in the studio and then reproduce that every night. Once I had defined myself as a compositional drummer, I thought, “Well, I want to be an improvisational drummer.” I think in the recorded drum parts on this album, you can sense the excitement and danger: “This guy never played that before, and he just barely made it.” I’m going to cut myself completely loose this tour; I’d always composed and choreographed a tour solo and then improvised within that framework, and this time, I’m throwing that out.

Q: Are you afraid of disrupting generations of air drummers who’ve memorized the classics?

A: The old stuff will remain. A song like Tom Sawyer I don’t need to change. It’s always hard; it’s always satisfying. Why mess with it? And I play some of those songs now so much better than I did then, because I was approximating a style and a feel that now I understand.

Q: Rush received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in May. What was it about giving an acceptance speech that made you nervous? After all, you play for several thousand people night after night.

A: I expect if you’re a professional public speaker, you probably wouldn’t want to go onstage and sing and play drums. Standing in front of a microphone where every word or every slip that you make, especially in these times, is with you forever—you want to say the right thing. I fell into having to extemporize, and it came okay because of tools I’ve learned. I said [to myself], “Remember [to mention] mom and dad.”

Q: You have a reputation for being a private person, but in your blog posts and memoirs, you’re quite forthcoming. In some ways you’re the most open member of the band.

A: It is true, but I’m less comfortable in a gregarious social situation, and you can be introverted and still share everything. It just means that you’re guarded. Certainly there is a line that seems perfectly clear to me about what’s to be shared and what isn’t, but it’s not always so clear to others. Extroverts never understand introverts, and it was like that in school days. I read recently that all of us can be defined in adult life by the way others perceived us in high school. I know [people] who had the popular, good-looking path in high school; they tend not to do so well. It was a little bit too easy for them, where for those of us who struggled in every sense, perhaps our determination and self-reliance and discipline were reinforced by that.

Q: Clockwork Angels deals with concepts of fate, circumstance, and free will, which you’ve been writing about throughout your career. What are your thoughts on these issues now?

A: I remain the optimist: you just do your best and hope for the best. But it’s an evolving state of mind. I still totally believe in individual rights and individual responsibility and in choosing to do good. On the liberal side of things, they go to an extreme of how people need to be led, and they can’t handle freedom. Pure libertarianism believes that people will be generous and help each other. Well, they won’t. I wish it were so, and I live that way. I help panhandlers, but other people are, “Oh look at that—why doesn’t he get a job?” While I believe in all that freedom, I also believe that no one should suffer needlessly. A realization I had lately: it is impossible to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and be a Republican. It’s philosophically absolutely opposed—if they could only think about what they were saying for a minute. That’s when you get caught up in the webs of what people call themselves and how they behave. You just become adaptable and try to lead a good life in ways that make sense, regardless. Because I know at the end of it, if I’m going to meet Jesus or Allah or Buddha, I’m going to be all right.


Q and A with Neil Peart of Rush

  1. Neil.

    All due respect. You’re an amazing talent, but you’re assessment of who can follow Jesus Christ with a certain political persuasion is completely false. Above any party, is my allegiance to my Savior.

    Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, that Jesus is the Christ.

    By the way… amazing album. Keep them coming :)


    • Big amen. I am a Republican and a Rush fan, and one who believes in lifting those around me. But those are, to some degree, mutually exclusive. Neil got it wrong in this case. Never had an agnostic tell me how one can or can’t follow Christ.

      • Interesting statement, Jason. I, neither, have had an agnostic tell me how one can or cannot follow Christ… but lots of “religious” people have told me more than I wanted to know… and more than is humanly possible! Must ponder this…

      • I think Neil is saying the same thing that Gandhi was saying when he said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

        Both Neil and Gandhi were absolutely correct.

      • your own personal opinion is just that, hence neither right nor wrong. if i dont believe what you say, doesnt make it wrong, just means we disagree. Get over yourselves and beliefs, and let a highly intelectual man speak his mind. Agree or not, Neils worth reading.

    • Neil got it totally right, politics and religion don’t mix, oil and water. He’s not telling anyone who can or cannot follow anything, he’s expressing his opinion. I don’t agree with everything he says, but then again, there aren’t many people I do agree with concerning politics or religiopn.

    • I’m sorry Nathan but I can’t agree with you. Although I am also a Christian, I don’t believe anybody should be forced to accept Him as their Savior. Your quote suggests that you don’t agree with me on that.

    • I was hoping that his insane political and religious views would not come out, and it was going so good! Then that little gem, oh brother, does he ever have allot left to learn!

      • No, I think he’s got it right.

        Also, “allot” is not a word.

        I wish you well!

    • I’m not religious, but if there is a God then I really hope this one is true. “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Mathew 19:24 Maybe you just missed that one? Hope you’re not rich!

    • Neil didn’t say you couldn’t believe in Jesus and be a Republican/Conservative, he said you can’t follow the teachings of Jesus and be a Republican/Conservative. If you read through the things in which Jesus taught, you’ll find he was 100% correct, whether you believe him or not. That’s the best thing about truth, it really doesn’t matter if you believe it.

    • The probem, Nathan, is that we see a Republican Party that is reaching for Ayn Rand’s philosophy. Ayn Rand believed in “Ethical Egoism”…that is that when seeking the choice of doing what is right and what is wrong, we choose what is in our own best interest as opposed to “Ethical Altruism”…that is that when seeking the choice of doing what is right and what is wrong, we have an obligation to help and serve those in need.
      Do you give to charity because it’s a tax deduction or do you give to charity because it is a cause in which you believe?
      If we give the rich a bigger tax break will they just pocket the money or will they really create more jobs for the middle class?
      Ayn Rand once wrote a collection of essays called “The Virtue of Selfishness”. She wrote that ultimately a rational person must ultimately look out for his or her own best interests and nothing else.
      By the way, in 2005, Paul Ryan told the Atlas Society that his greatest influence in determining his political philosophy is Ayn Rand.
      Oh…and Ayn Rand was a devout atheist and once wrote, “Religion . . . is the first enemy of the ability to think. That ability is not used by men to one-tenth of its possibility, yet before they learn to think they are discouraged by being ordered to take things on faith. Faith is the worst curse of mankind, as the exact antithesis and enemy of thought.”

      • It’s rather ironic that the Republican Party, which constantly touts its Christianity as a strength and guiding principle, now has as its vice presidential candidate a devoted disciple of Ayn Rand, an atheist.

        • What’s the irony? Truth is what it is .. Ayn Rand happens to tell the truth in regards to failed, fascist, ideologies and bad monitary policy.

          • Ayn Rand was a sociopathic narcissist, she had a severe mental and emotional disorder..she was delusional and suffered from grandiose ideas of herself. Yeah she could write and had a keen mind, but she treated people like shit..and thus..no matter what she wrote..she was just an ugly abusive piece of shit:)

    • Luke 14:12-14 He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

    • Nice post Nathan.

    • Nah..he’s completely right..Jesus said to give everything to the poor and to live for the next world not this one..no Republican will ever do that..lol! Sorry..if you can’t do that then you have no faith in the immortality of your soul, you are just trying to freeload on the back of Jesus, thereby continuously crucifying Him..sorry..and since you are a Republican…I won’t bother praying for you..it’s hopeless..but ..I wish you well:)

  2. Great read. I noticed the picture is the same Time Machine tour drum kit. Certainly hope he launches a new CA’s kit for the new tour.

  3. Neil, you’re one of the brightest objects in the entire universe.

  4. With only a couple of exceptions, I’m not really a fan of Rush’s music, but they all seem like REALLY down-to-earth and genuinely nice guys. In addition, what they’ve accomplished, and the sheer number of artists that cite them as a major influence is nothing short of astounding. If the rock-and-roll hall-of-fame had any sense, they would have been inducted a long time ago.

    • May I suggest the R30 DVD? They are great musicians both in the studio and in the “concert hall”, and Neil does an AMAZING 5-6 minute drum solo.

      • That’s a great one. So is Rush in Rio. So is Beyond the Lighted Stage. So is the new Time Machine one. And definitely go blu ray, not just DVD.

        They are a true rarity in the music world, indeed anywhere in the entertainment business or any other business for that matter. True artists and virtuosos that somehow found each other all sharing the same unwavering fidelity to their music, making the music they wanted to make with no real regard for commercial success. The marriage of music and lyrics and complexity weaved with melody is something you just don’t find very often. Their longevity just as rare and their consistent excellence and quest for improvement and perpetual movement are what most of us only dream of being able to do in our own professions.

        Rush did it their way, the right way, and they still are. The people who appreciate that kind of quality born from integrity became avid, loyal fans. I was raised, at least partially, by Rush. I was lucky. Every teenager should be so fortunate as to find something as special to be the soundtrack for their lives through their formative years well into adulthood.

        • This post just made me realize a connection between, likely, my two favorite bands ev-er…Rush and Pearl Jam. They do what they want, how they want, and when they want; without being pretentious pricks whilst they go about it…

        • Well said, Hornit…

  5. Neil says he gonna cut himself loose on this tour and be more improvisational. I’m sure this is going to be very challenging for the “professor.”

  6. Neil is right about so much here, especially how bewildering introverts are to extroverts. They simply will never understand what it’s like to be that guarded and uncomfortable in certain social situations. I also agree with him about being a Christian and a Republican, though I would toss Democrat in there as well. Both parties are servants of Mammon (i.e., corporate interests, banksters, the military industrial complex and so forth), and you can’t serve God and Mammon.

    • I do believe there’s a slight difference, though. In a world with shades of gray, the GOPs seem a bit more shady than the Democrats(judging by the last few decades). And there are, of course, those on both sides that stand out more as men of principle than the regular politician.

  7. I love how he says ” it is impossible to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and be a Republican “…..I would agree with that but I would add Democrats and most other Politicians to that also…Because they are ALL out of touch and they don’t have a problem violating people Constitutional rights…And it’s not only Politicians for some reason there are a lot of Americans that have no problem with the telling people how to live while fighting to keep people from telling them how to live

    • What on Earth does violating Constitutional rights have to do with Jesus?

      • Well, to some the Constitution is treated almost like an amendment to the Holy Scriptures… Pathetic, if You ask me!

  8. So am I a bad Republician or bad Christian? Neil is consistant – he continues to write fiction!

    • Possibly a bit of both?

    • Yeah, this album kinda bums me out. I mean, you can see where his atheism and “take that Christians!” stance comes into play.

      • It appears to me that he has no animosity toward Christians in general, just those who claim to be such but yet do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ in their actions. I’ve met a lot of agnostics/atheists who did more for the poor and underprivileged than some Christians I know.

      • Where are you seeing Atheism in anything Neil has ever said or written? Because he may not be absolute-Christian that automatically makes him atheist? That is what turns me against Christianity myself. But does not mean I do not believe in God. On the contrary, I probably have more faith than anyone because I’ve chosen not to alienate myself by choosing a religion. Read the last line in this interview: ”
        Because I know at the end of it, if I’m going to meet Jesus or Allah or Buddha, I’m going to be all right.”
        Religion doesn’t have to matter so long as you believe in something.

        • He is an admitted atheist. It’s quite evident in his lyrics too, has been for years.

          • Show me where he is an admitted atheist, and for that matter anything in his lyrics that say so. And, while you’re at it, look up “atheist” and “agnostic” before you start spouting off “he said this,” and “he said that…”

          • This is from Neil’s website –

            Another loss to the world in 2011
            was the Anglo-American writer, Christopher Hitchens. He died young, at
            62, of esophagal cancer—which also claimed my friend Ian Wallace a few
            years ago. Though I didn’t know Mr. Hitchens, I greatly admired his
            powerful mind and graceful writing. A quote of his reflects on some of
            the same topics we have been discussing here: of faith, using one’s time, and facing life’s blessings and tragedies with grace and gratitude:

            “The only position
            that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a
            creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and
            the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty
            and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up,
            we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love.
            There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.”

        • “I’m a linear thinking agnostic, but not an atheist folks.” Neil Peart, The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa. If you’d prefer lyrics: “If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.” -Freewill. Neil has clearly chosen not to decide at all; no amount of “if you aren’t with us, you’re against us” assertion will change that.

          I can see how one might construe some of his lyrics, for example “BU2B”, as full-on atheism. However, consider Neil’s statement in the Snakes and Arrows liner notes: “I was also thinking, like Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, about how children are usually imprinted with a particular faith, along with their other early blessings and scars. People who actively choose their faith are vanishingly few; most simply receive it, with their mother’s milk, language, and customs.” Granted he’s talking about a book that strongly advocates atheism, but if Neil is an agnostic it stands to reason that he’d be interested in the arguments on both sides.

          I don’t think Neil has any problem with true belief (despite not having faith himself) but rather takes issue with slavish adherence to the teachings of others. If his lyrics seem confrontational to believers it is probably because he has a tendency to call faith into question. Those who blindly follow their religious leaders cannot easily answer the questions Neil raises, and resort to dismissing him out of frustration because their teachers did not provide an easy answer. Those with mature spiritual beliefs have likely found the answers to the questions Neil raises and are unfazed because the answers to his questions are the very foundation of their belief system.

          Christians must *especially* keep themselves from blindly adhering to the doctrine of religious leaders, as Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for that exact reason: “He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’” -Mark 7:6-7. To me that seems to be a call to all Christians to read and comprehend the Bible without the influence of popular doctrine. The Pharisees used the Torah as the basis for much of their teaching yet were wrong in God’s eyes; what TRUE Christian could be so foolish to believe that there are no modern-day Pharisees paying lip service to the Bible while muddling its message with their own human rules?

    • Neil merely points out that the message of Jesus Christ that we should help the poor and needy directly contradicts Republican ideology. If you believe that we should help the poor then yes, you are a “bad” Republican. If you believe that we should ignore the poor, then yes, you are a “bad” Christian.

      • Dare I point out that Jesus’ message was for the individual person not a guide to government policy

        • That’s Neil’s point – religion and politics don’t (and shouldn’t) mix.

          • We need to consider the source….. we are discussing the comments of a capitalist rock star whos band has done 1 charity concert (I think). I would encourge David L to spend some time researching what the Bush II administration did for aids in Africa…

      • We must consider the source….the interviewee is a capitalist rock star whos band had done only one concert for charity. David L….considering looking into what the Bush II Administration did for aids in Africa as compared to any other person, adminstraion or quite frankly…what any other nation has done for the poor and needy. Great Dialog! Rock On!

    • Unfortunately, none of us can answer that for you.

  9. Funny how the whole interview is going unnoticed with the exception of the last few lines. I for one just enjoyed the whole thing.

  10. Neil is awsome became a rush fan in 1976 have never looked backed.Neils lyrics have helped me and inspired me all along. Love the guys forever.

  11. Clock work angels is the best Rush album for the last 30 years! OK not as good as Farewell to kings and 2112 or Moving Pictures, but definitely on a par with Signals and Grace Under Pressure. it really is that good! This is the first Rush album in 30 years that I actually WANT them to play lots of songs live. These tracks stand up to some of the classic 70’s and early 80’s tracks. keep up the good work guys!

  12. “Let your heart be the anchor and the beat of your song….” Greatest drummer EVER. After spending a few minutes reading some of their Neil’s lyrics, I feel unworthy and too humble to cast even a negative look at this man’s picture. You really must read his book to identify his journey and why he believes what he does. He has overcame horrific tragedies that most people cannot comprehend….I never criticize others for their beliefs because they are THEIR BELIEFS. Saw them at MGM Grande last year. Perhaps the best all around rock show I have seen, and I have seen 122. See their next tour. Just the Rx to quiet any petty & inconsequential criticisms of a music industry legend whose character is beyond reproach! RUSH FOREVER!

    • Yea- you don’t get something for nothing!… More people should realize that.

    • Many people suffer tragedies just as bad and worse than he did, but most us have to get up and go back to work after a few days. How many of us could afford to take off a couple of years and travel to deal with our grief. While it’s true that the man is entitled to his beliefs, my only gripe is that as a famous person, there’s always a camera or microphone to broadcast his opinions and many, many easily influenced people will follow lockstep with what he says just because he’s a talented musician. I truly wish that artists would just leave the politics and religion out of the art!

      • Politics and religions tend to invade art in the first place………besides what he says is true, “You just become adaptable and try to lead a good life in ways that make sense, regardless.” Most people who are Republicans AND Christian are so because they want to live a good life the way they believe it should be lived, even though the ideals of being a Republican and Christianity oppose one another…… perhaps you should take a closer look at either your faith and/or political stance.

        • How do the ideals of Republicans and Christians oppose each other? That’s just nonsense perpetuated by the popular media hacks. The Republican platform is predominately about smaller government, individual accountability and free-market principles. None of that oppose Christianity, from what I know. I was raised in the Bible belt as a fire and brimstone Baptist and I see nothing in the Republican ideals that are opposite the teachings of Christ. The fallacy is that those on the right do not care about the plight of the less fortunate when the truth is they just don’t see government as the answer. Government can help when someone is in dire need but faith-based charities are much more proficient in helping people out than the government could ever be. BTW, I’m an independent.

          • Many ideals of the republican party such, as abortion and gay marriage breeds intolerance

          • and that’s what opposes the teaching of Christ, in which he would rather have people accept and respect the choices of other human beings.

          • If you think Christ would be okay with abortion you are tripping badly.

          • Actually, Christ probably would be okay with people choosing abortion. He might not like it or agree with it but he would respect their decision and let them be on their way…… forgiveness granted ; )

      • I completely disagree. If Neil believes that he might influence a tiny amount of people to take a more balanced stand in this divided world – why shouldn’t he?

  13. Surprising for all of his years of reading Rand Neil seems to misunderstand a crucial part of libertarianism. Pure libertarianism doesn’t believe that society will be better out of generosity per se… I think Milton Friedman put it well:
    “As Adam Smith wrote over 200 years ago, in the economic market people who intend to serve only their own private interests are led by an invisible hand to serve public interests where there was no part of their intention to promote. In the political market, there is an invisible hand operating as well. But unfortunately it operates in the opposite direction. People who intend only to serve the public interest are led by an invisible hand to serve private interests that was not part of their intention to promote.”

    • The Cobb – I love Peart’s musicianship and his ideas, I understand why he believes as he does, but most libertarians and those on the social left miss your very brilliant point.

      • Or, I should say, Adam Smith’s “point” – thanks for bringing it up

    • Friedman did put it well. Friedman put most everything well. I’m now envisioning Friedman schooling Neil like he did Donahue and the relative virtue of self vs. political interest, and this is disheartening given the impact Neil’s lyrics had on me in my youth. Oh well, c’est la vie. I still have Rand and thankfully her thinking can’t “evolve” anymore. :)

      Reagan put it well too in a more succinct way when he said …”The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

    • Neil is still clearly Libertarian, but is less atheistic than his pure Randian period. He is obviously also gun shy from the years of being called a fascist because he’s a reason based free market proponent. The genius left calls everything to the right of Obama “fascist” or “racist”.

    • The problem with America’s political system is that politicians are today merely puppets on the strings of corporations. The invisible hands have been replaced by not-so-invisible ones… Money has replaced principle.

  14. In my experience those ‘popular’ kids in high school did become successful, so i find it frustrating when i always read people say the opposite, it’s clearly not true. Maybe the system in the uk is different.

    • If the “Up” series provides an accurate portrayal of contemporary Britain, I think the answer is yes. But then I completely fit the teen loser makes good pattern, so perhaps I’m just being subjective about it.

  15. Sorry Abe Lincoln. Neil said it was impossible for you to have followed Christ.

    • Yes, because the Republican Party of today is EXACTLY the same as the Republican party of 1860. Idiot.

  16. Neil you should stick to what you are good at. Keep politics out of it. Republicans have bought your albums and bought your concert tickets. After this comment, we will not be buying your new album or going to your concert!!

    • That’s absurd. The fact that he plays drums professionally means he’s not allowed an opinion on politics??? And you- are you a professional politician or political scientist or political commentator? If not, who are you to opine on politics and say that someone else can’t?

  17. this is the best interview i have ever read.

  18. I wish Neal could pretend a stranger was a long awaited friend.

    • or long awaited enemy….it goes both ways.

  19. Keep your inept Candian liberal mindset. You need to keep your nose out of US politics, socialism is creeping upon us already like an unwelcome SDT, no need for you to preach to us. Play the drums and STFU!!

    • Whoaaaa there. Hold your horses.
      Liberal is not libertarian. Two very different things.

      Secondly, libertarianism is 100% against socialism. They’re mortal enemies.

      And, his nose IS out of US politics. You read his thoughts on a minor website. He’s not “preaching” to anyone; you’re reading his interview where he stated his thoughts (same as you’re stating yours).


      • This is precisely the reason he is a little withdrawn. One comment that gets blown way out of propotion. And over analyzed sparking a political debate.

        I say just read the interview and STFU…….

    • Get lost you typical, pathetic, disgusting, neanderthal reactionary right wing cretin! He’s not preaching, you puny minded maggot. He is expressing his views little boy. By the way, it’s ‘STD’, not ‘SDT’. But then, it doesn’t surprise me at how inept and truly stupid you people are! Just like the doofus with the now famous sign “Get a brain morans!”, or the dolt who cried out “get your government hands off my Medicare!” Sheesh.

    • Your nickname truly suits You.

  20. Neils Last answer just gave me chills. I thought I was the only one that thought like that.

  21. You don’t know anything about Jesus or Republicans. I am going to see Ted Nugent instead of Rush.

    • Given your reaction, Neil probably wouldn’t object. Have fun shooting things with a crazy guy and killing poor people.

      I wish you well!

    • your going to miss a MUCH BETTER SHOW

  22. I have been a Neil/Rush fan since the 70’s but I think that he’s a bit blind on some of these things. To say that one can’t follow the teachings of Christ and be a Republican is an absolute statement and only makes him look foolish. That’s stating something as fact when it’s just his opinion. If you look at what he says about stumbling into things and a trail of events that made him what he is today – that flies directly into the face of what he said in “Beyond the Lighted Stage” when he said that he got where he is by working hard when his contemporaries were ‘sitting around waiting to be discovered’. I hate to break it to Neil, but if he hadn’t been introduced to Alex and Geddy through a mutual friend (an act of chance) he quite possibly could still be selling tractor parts. Neil is a supremely talented writer/musician but that doesn’t make his opinions hold any more water to me than the next guy.

    • I disagree Alien man. His years of experience and growth has given Neil the wisdom to see that you can’t have it both ways…either you are a giver or you are not; and if you are a Repub. you cannot truly follow Jesus’ teachings.

      • Its easier for a Canadian to talk down about typical American politics. Since, they are already overrun by socialism in Canada. If you rely on hippies and liberals to back you up when you need it, you’ll fail. Conservatives even being NOT perfect, will build wealth and prosperity. That means you’ll have a job at some point. Hence, the point we’re at right now with turd boy in office.

        • Remember during the Bush years, when he drove this country into the ground with tax breaks for people who didn’t need them, and the Canadian dollar passed the US dollar in value?

          Remember Mitt Romney’s job-destroying frenzy at Bain Capital, and how much money he personally made from it? He certainly built wealth and prosperity, but only for himself. Everyone else got fucked over.

          That’s pretty much why your “That means you’ll have a job” quip is so unintentionally hilarious. It’s like you’re giving a presentation without knowing any of the sales figures, just making it up as you go along.

          Canada is doing great right now. Their per capita income is higher than the US, and they have universal health care, which is a huge step towards preventing life-ruining catastrophes that happen all the time in the US. They also have far fewer gun nuts, lower crime, and nationally recognized holidays (We have none in the US).

          So what, exactly, leads you to believe that conservatives will build wealth and prosperity? And given that Bush’s tax breaks for the rich contributed immensely to the economic crisis, do you still support candidates who claim they need to give tax breaks to the rich because it “will create jobs”?

          On a similar note, do you still believe in “trickle down economics”?

          • It really is sad to see such abject, uninformed ignorance in a thread about Rush. First, Bush wasn’t a true conservative, he was a “compassionate” conservative trying to get the vote of the hopelessly irrational, like you. He spent a lot of money trying to prove it too, on programs you would have wet yourself over if a socialist Canadian had done it. Never the less, his tax cuts FOR ALL, not the rich, pulled the country out of recession, made worse by 9/11 and a record number of consecutive months of GDP growth above 4%. It resulted in what is called full employment (below 5%) and record tax revenue to the Treasury. The country had never seen such tax receipts pouring in AFTER the tax cuts, so why don’t you explain again how they drove the country into the ground? Facts are stubborn things, but kool-aid and class envy sure do taste yummy for someone who finds their salvation in government.

            Romney’s job destroying frenzy at Bain huh? You mean the private equity firm who’s risk taking provided the ability for Clear Channel, Domino’s Pizza, Burger King, Sealy Corporation, Dunkin’
            Donuts, Gymboree, Toys R Us, RJR Nabisco, Michael’s Craft Store,
            Burlington Coat Factory and Staples among others to become successful and hire hundreds of thousands of people? Yeah, he built prosperity only for himself in your delusional, propaganda filled alternate reality. And he’s not really a conservative either, but he was one heck of a good businessman who’s contributed more to society in 10 years than 10,000 of you would in a lifetime.

            The things that contributed to the economic crises began with the community reinvestment act and ended with Fannie and Freddie. You ought to get curious one of these days and do some actual reading and research on how the government inference and displacement of markets, along with the Fed’s insane Keynesian policy that you crave and think works was the culprit, and will continue to be for the next crisis that’s coming and you can blame on Republicans too, since one of your masters will tell you to.

            So we’ve added $6 Trillion in deficit spending, 2 rounds of quantitative easing in 3.5 years and we have a record number of months of unemployment over 8%, oil and gold through the roof, food prices going up, no economic expansion and we’re looking at another recession already coming off the worst recovery in history and I’m sure you still believe demand side stupidity works even though this is just the last failure of exclusive failures whenever it’s employed around the world. That won’t stop a true believer from believing though.

        • The US isn’t building wealth, lately.

    • I totally agree with mcw2112. I’m a huge Rush fan but Neil comes off as asinine with his comment about Republican’s being unable to follow in the teachings of christ. Excuse me Neil but I don’t think christ would condone the mass killings of innocent fetuses, a platform typically held by the democratic party. I have to be careful here or I could very well fall into stereotyping people in much the same way Neil just did. Neil always tries to come off as some liberal deep thinker but that comment makes him look like a buffoon!

      • As opposed to the mass killing of innocents who happen to live in a country with whom the USA is at war? He probably wouldn’t like that either.

      • Both Republicans and Democrats have obtained abortions. Besides, not everyone is religious, and/or believes Jesus was the son of some deity. It’s not a matter of “Christ condoning them”, as you say, but a matter of what each unique situation warrants. It’s none of YOUR business!

        • You just made my point for me (we are talking about Neil’s interview here, aren’t we?). Every person and situation is unique and that’s why Neil’s comment about stereotyping Republicans is idiotic

          • It’s not idiotic. The Republicans pander to easily-swayed voters by using religion, and then act directly against christian ideals by attempting to gut social safety nets so they can give tax breaks to the rich. I’m sure there are lots of decent republicans out there, but when they vote for sociopaths like Scott Walker and Paul Ryan, who have shown nothing but outright hostility to the needy in society, it’s hard to believe they take their religion very seriously. It’s almost as if they think screaming extra hard about the homosexuality passage in Leviticus will draw attention away from every other section of Lev that they’ve chosen to ignore.

            The only part of Leviticus that christians still follow is the only one that doesn’t inconvenience them. Not being able to eat shellfish is an inconvenience, so they ignore it. Not mixing fabrics is an inconvenience, so they ignore it. But gay sex? Not having gay sex only inconveniences homosexuals, so it’s pretty safe to rail against and never have to worry about being inconvenienced, while still pretending you’re a moral religious individual.

            In the same fashion that christians have matured and gotten over the shellfish and fabric rules, we’re hoping they’ll eventually reach full maturity and realize that using leviticus to criticize homosexuality while ignoring every other part of it reflects terribly on the individual, and betrays an evil, hateful soul who’s latched onto something that provides a defense for being an intolerable cunt. Nothing pious about that, just an immature child with a lot of growing up to do.

          • Keep drinking that Kool-Aid Gerald. You’re an idioit!!!

          • Your inability to actually address a single point is duly noted. “idioit” indeed.

          • ‘JC’… IF you had 2 brain cells, they’d FIGHT!

  23. Love Rush, love Neil, and he was asked his opinion, so he gave it. Funny thing though we Republicans tend to out give democrats 4 to 1

    • The studies I have seen have it closer to 3 to 1, but your point is well taken and the NY Times has even bemoaned that liberal bleeding hearts tend to be tightwads whereas the allegedly selfish conservatives tend to give very generously to charity. Liberals do like to be generous with other people’s money, though I’m sure Neil gives a lot more than just to the occasional panhandler. I’m also not sure how a guy as bright and well read as Neil arrives at the conclusion that “people won’t help each other”. Sure, there are specific people who won’t, but that’s an anecdote that has evolved into a generalization. “People” in a generic sense most certainly will and do help people. It is irrefutable and it is especially true that Americans are incredibly generous overall when it comes to that, which should be a source of pride. Of course, a whole lot of that helping each other emanates from churches and religious organizations, who do a tremendous amount of charitable good, but I think Neil sees them as so destructive in other ways that he disassociates almost anything that has to do with people helping each from religion. Perhaps that’s the blind spot, I don’t know. Just seems weird that he would say or believe such a thing when it runs so contrary to actual, demonstrable and empirical evidence.

      • Try 1.3:1 Ron. The book that the article you’re quoting is based upon says “When it comes to giving or not giving, conservatives and liberals
        look a lot alike. Conservative people are a percentage point or two more
        likely to give money each year than liberal people, but a percentage
        point or so less likely to volunteer. . . .this similarity fades away when we consider average dollar amounts donated. . . .households headed by a
        conservative gave, on average, 30 percent more money to charity than
        households headed by a liberal ($1,600 to $1,227).” -Arthur C. Brooks, “Who Really Cares”

        You also left out the point in the article that mentioned how religious contributions were a large portion of that giving: “It’s true that religion is the essential reason conservatives give more, and religious liberals are as generous as religious conservatives. Among the stingiest of the stingy are secular conservatives.”

        I think that last bit about the secular conservatives is more telling than anything else. Conservative nonbelievers are guided only by their own ideology and/or that of their party, and the result is that their actions are the opposite of Christ’s teachings. Who gives more is not a question of political affiliation, but a question of morality and faith. Without the good deeds of its Christian members, it’s clear that the Republican party (on its own) is less Christlike than so many of those who Republican Christians call their enemies.

        Perhaps we should all take a moment to clear the logs that blind our eyes before attempting to remove the grains of sand from our brothers’ eyes.

        • You left some things out. It’s not just Brooks’ book. As Kristoff, a well healed liberal, laments in his NY Times article on it, “The problem is this: We liberals are personally stingy.”

          He then goes on to say….

          “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by
          conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by
          liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average
          annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those
          of liberals. Other research has reached similar conclusions. The
          “generosity index” from the Catalogue for Philanthropy typically finds
          that red states are the most likely to give to nonprofits, while
          Northeastern states are least likely to do so.”

          Another thing you conveniently left out about secular Conservatives, when adjusted for percentage of income…

          “According to Google’s figures, if donations to all religious
          organizations are excluded, liberals give slightly more to charity than
          conservatives do. But Mr. Brooks says that if measuring by the
          percentage of income given, conservatives are more generous than
          liberals even to secular causes.”

          And as Brooks himself said……

          “When I started doing research on charity,” Mr. Brooks wrote, “I
          expected to find that political liberals — who, I believed, genuinely
          cared more about others than conservatives did — would turn out to be
          the most privately charitable people. So when my early findings led me
          to the opposite conclusion, I assumed I had made some sort of technical
          error. I re-ran analyses. I got new data. Nothing worked. In the end, I
          had no option but to change my views.”

          And contrary to what you said, he said “liberals give less than conservatives in every way imaginable, including volunteer hours and donated blood.”

          Apparently, even though he had no choice but to change his views, you still cling tightly to yours.

      • Maybe You’re viewing thinsg from a purely national perspective? Neil probably views things in a more international way, including the poor in the third world.

  24. Love you Neil but totally disagree with the “it is impossible to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and be a Republican” comment. A lot of Republicans believe that Christlike service is a personal endeavor and not to be forced by the barrel of a government gun. You’re still amazing though :)

    • Yet those Republicans want to have a say about who can marry who or who controls their own bodies.

      • Not all Republicans. Just like there are some Democrats that are pro-life or against gay marriage. Speaking in absolutes displays your naivete and is why our politics are divided today… if you are a Republican, call out your extremists. If you are a Democrat, call out yours too. The world will be a better place when extremism isn’t tolerated by either side.

        • I’m a Sith.

          • Figures. :p

        • The anti-choice abortion stance (sorry, I don’t call it “pro-life” because that really isn’t what it is – you can disagree with abortion but still honor the differing views of others) and the stance against gay marriage are core political philosophies the Republican party chooses to exemplify. The candidate of a political party is assumed to agree with the core values of the party, unless they personally proclaim otherwise. If they stand separate from the party on too many core principles, they will no longer be supported by the party. Hence what LesterBallard said about Republicans is valid, based on the party’s political rhetoric. I never felt he was speaking in absolutes, and it was wrong for him to be accused of such.

          • The pro-death abortion stance (sorry, I don’t call it “pro-choice” because that really isn’t what it is – see how it works? You weren’t taking your own advice. You didn’t honor a differing view, you went out of your way to dishonor it.

            It’s always seemed more than obvious to me that the battle over social issues between Republicans and Democrats amounts to nothing more than who gets the power to control people’s social behavior. Democrats have just deluded themselves to the point of actually believing they are motivated out of some sort of compassion, but nothing is further from the truth. They just want the power to define according to their wishes, be it marriage, abortion, whatever. I don’t see them fighting for a full liberation of marriage rights. I see them fighting for same sex marriage between two people. Where is their love for the bisexual, who may want one or more spouses of each sex? Where is your love for the polygamist? Where’s your fight to just keep the government out of our relationships all together?

            Allow me to educate you on the actual “core political philosophies” of Republicans. It’s called Republicanism, which means outside of the authority specifically enumerated in the Constitution and given to the federal government, the power resides with the individual states. It was an ingenious design by the founding fathers intended to prevent the subjugation of the individual to the majority, to keep the central command and coercive control of government at bay by diffusing it and keeping the power closest to the individuals. This way the peoples of each state can be their own masters of such affairs and if you find yourself on the losing side of those votes, you can also vote with your feet and go to a place that better agrees with your sensibilities. And while it’s true some Republicans have lost their way on this concept too, it’s still what is at the core of the Republican political philosophy.

            Finally, we can debate social issues like this all day, but in the end, there is no liberty at all without economic liberty. And there is no economic liberty without the respect for and vigilant defense of private property. Your victory in winning some official federal recognition of same sex marriage will likely ring rather hollow when you’ve sold us all into servitude to the all powerful federal government that you’ve helped to create in the process.

          • You’re a clown. “The founding fathers”? The Republican party was founded in 1854. In what year was the Continental Congress first convened??? Oh…

            [cue circus music]

          • And you’re an illiterate bigot. I never said nor implied the country was founded by the Republican Party numb nuts. Oh…

            [cue Justin Bieber music]

          • I know exactly what you said, owing to my ability to both read and *understand* (something which you’re clearly lacking). This explains why you revert to insults. Better luck next time with your paid trolling…

          • Sounds almost like segregation to me and you can’t call yourself an American if you hate the other 49 states! Oh and the Civil War showed us how much state rights really matter in the grand scheme of this great nation. Social issues and government intrevention is a problem on both fronts. Let’s not forget about Iraq.9 years ago I didn’t want my tax dollars going towards finding weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist but yet no one in the Republican party had an issue with that lie? Oh that’s right, this points back to the reason Mr. Peart says what he did. It is impossible to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ when you support war mongers who start wars to line their pockets under the guise of nationalism(support your troops). But how quickly I forget, it’s Obama’s fault.

          • Economic liberty? A lot of Republicans oppose something as obviously beneficial to wealth as free trade!

        • I do agree, I’m not a fan of the generalization he used, but I am intelligent enough to know that no phrase is ever all encompassing.

        • I’m a Marxist; whatever it is, I’m against it.

      • But didnt Jesus, being God in the flesh, also uphold the tradtional view of marriage and what we should and shouldnt be doing with our bodies and minds? How is this an incompatible view?

        • Yeah, and Jesus said if you want to be perfect sell all you have and give to the poor. I don’t know many Christians who want to be perfect. Personally, none of it means shit to me.

          • In context he was speaking to one particular guy who had this as an issue .. so I suppose those who also have this issue should do likewise .. not everyone who has money …

          • In context. I love the centrifuges some people have. They can spin the shit out of anything.

          • I doubt any of us care what means shit or not to you…

          • Ahhhhhhhhhhh, you’ve hurt my feelings on the internet.

        • To what “traditional view” do you refer, Robert? The traditional view that I can rape a woman and simply pay her father 50 silver coins for the right to marry her (Deut 22:29)? Or the traditional view that I can take multiple wives (Ex 21:10)? Let’s clarify first.

          • You quote the old Testament which was written for the Jews not Christians. Let’s clarify…..the New Testament was written for Christians and it does NOT say you can rape or buy a wife. I get so tired of people who think they have all the answers or know all about the bible yet their comments show their lack of knowledge on the subject.

          • Thanks for the clarification. The next time my Christian pastor talks about God’s creation of the universe or the Ten Commandments, I’m going to raise my hand and ask him to stop preaching that Jewish stuff, we’re all Christians here!

        • we also used to give dowries…

        • I think He said something like – ‘For those who can accept it’ He was having to placate various political factions in that hot-bed region.

      • Everybody wants to have a say about who can marry who. I would expect Neil, being the smart guy that he is, to understand this. Apparently he doesn’t. The battle is over who gets to define what marriage means. Conservatives want to define it as it always has been, the traditional view of one man and one woman. Liberals want to define it differently, the progressive view of any two consenting adults. Both sides appear to see two as the magic number and both would still be “having a say about who can marry who”.

        I assume your other point about controlling their own body is about abortion. Even some Atheists and many Agnostics believe an unborn child’s body is its own. Some put the mother’s right to her body above the right to life of a fetus. Others believe in defending a right to life for the most defenseless among us. Reason, as opposed to faith, can lead one to the position of pro life. Those who believe they are champions for individual liberty because they are uniquely in the know of when human life begins are self deluded. If you point is about what people can put in their bodies, i.e. legalization of drugs, I think you’d find many more conservatives be on board with that if the personal responsibility and accountability side of that equation was included. Freedom and individual liberty exist only in unison with accountability and the biggest problem conservatives have is that most people want the liberty and then vote to shift the accountability onto others. And promising people that they can find such a utopia if they’d just exchange their self reliance for the security of government has become the platform of the Democrat Party unfortunately. And based on Neil’s belief that nobody should suffer “needlessly”, it appears he’s fallen under the same utopian illusion. It’s a shame because the guy is just too bright to not understand that the most needless suffering and misery in human history has happened when the force of government has been applied liberally to solve that problem.

        • Again marry who you want. You are wrong – no one gives a crap who you marry it is only in your mind.

          • I already did marry who I wanted. But I’d have done it whether the government officially recognized it or not. I wasn’t talking about me, so why are you?

            Meanwhile, where’s the fight for multiple partner marriage? I don’t see anybody from either party fighting for the “marry who you want” definition. So how am I wrong about that?

        • Actually the Bible has many traditional definitions of marriage, some of which would be considered horrific now, marriage as an institution has always changed with the culture. The cultural change in favor of gay marriage has been so swift that it’s impossible to turn back. It’s similar to how interracial marriage was considered in the 50’s – conservatives are fighting a losing cause here (though they may hold out longer in the deep south, which is always a ways behind). Neil’s probably smart enough not to make an error of classification – to label everything “government” as one class. There is a difference between, say, a communist government and a democratic government. To demonize government is weak thinking – the key is to figure out what things government can do for good and support those, and oppose those which cause pain.

          • I made no reference to the bible. I don’t care about that. It matters not which “cause” loses the fight for popular opinion. The point remains, both sides are seeking to have their specific definition applied. Both definitions are inherently exclusive. Neither side holds the moral high ground. I also didn’t demonize government as a generic entity. Yes, there is a difference between a communist government and a democratic one, but that doesn’t mean a democratic one isn’t just as capable of oppression. The means by which they get there may be different, but when the result is the same, what difference does that difference make? The key is understanding the inherent threat governments pose to liberty and limiting its scope and power protecting and defending it. Outside of that, what you think you’ve figured out government does that’s good and causes pain may be, and probably is, very different than what I believe it should do and does that causes pain. Just because you might get more people to agree with you that a good thing government can do is make me your slave than I can convince to oppose it, doesn’t mean you’ve just figured out the key to good government. Accepting of the subjugation of the minority to the majority because it was democratically determined to be for the greater good is weak thinking. Authoritarianism always requires the least amount of thinking.

        • The US applies liberal use of armed forces in faraway places, causing severe misery.

      • I don’t care who marries who and what you do with your body. Just don’t make me pay for it! BTW several recent studies have shown that middle-class conservatives give a higher % of income DIRECTLY to charities than all liberals including the latte-sipping limousine liberals.

        • How would you have to pay for any marriage, let alone gay marriage? Did I miss something about having to pay for the actual weddings?

          • Uh yes you missed something. Perhaps I didn’t phrase it very well. I don’t care who marries who. Period. In regards to the second part of my original statement, don’t make my tax dollars go toward funding abortions for people who are too stupid to use birth control without the state paying for it. You get knocked up, deal with the consequences. If you are too stupid, lazy and irresponsible to deal with it, that’s your problem.

          • Who the fuck mentioned abortion and birth control?

          • So, there are things you don’t want your tax dollars to pay for. I recall not wanting my tax dollars to pay for an unnecessary war with Iraq. A war that I was told would cost about 60-70 billion tops; and that would be basically over in six months. How many tax dollars did that ring up? About a trillion?

          • Hello? Hello? Hello? Howdy!

          • And who got us into that war? That’s right, Steven Harper. Paul Martin refused to allow Canada to become involved. The moment Harper was in office he sent our men and women into Bush’s war. Bush and Harper were butt buddies to the point Harper allowed Canada to bend over and acquiesce to the United States crap.

          • I think you’re assuming I’m Canadian. I’m from the US.

          • @LesterBallard: Sorry, as a woman I find your statement “you get knocked up, deal with the consequences” repugnant. When the Repuglicans will not even allow for abortion in the case of incest and rape then your argument falls totally flat. When the ‘law’ requires a daughter who did get ‘knocked up’ due to rape from her father to have to inform that father of the pregnancy then it’s an abomination to have to ask her to go through that trauma again. Same with rape. When even some supposed ‘right to lifers’ won’t even allow the morning after pill in terms of rape then they become just like those Priests of Syrinx in Rush’s “2112” with their “our way or the highway” mentality. Even in late term abortions where there are clear birth defects, they want those children born regardless of the defect. So let’s say there is a child in utero without a brain, only a brainstem, what is more HUMANE: To force that child into existence to suffer or to take it before it’s born to be human? And let’s not even get into the aspect of “Be fruitful and multiply”. In this world where missionaries go into zones where there is high famine then hold a book and a can of beans up and tell them they won’t get the beans until they convert to the book, that’s disgusting. Look at what happened to the Native Peoples when the Pilgrim came to the United States. We don’t talk about the wholesale slaughter of not only a culture, but a nature older than Christianity, Islam or Buddha. But yet I as a woman, humanist and free thinker have to yield when a new government comes in that is opposite to what I think. Peart is right in what he says about Republicans being not like Christ. Christ would never have approved of the behaviours of these people. He’d have rebuked them. Even back then his ‘church’ was founded on the woman, yet who has conscripted all pagan based rituals for their own? That’s right, Christianity. So if Christianity wants to survive it has to evolve as author Ann Rice has said. When it won’t even allow women to become priests and for nuns to give out birth control in the field in places where populations must be stabilized before it can be fed and clothed…then and only then can Christianity be taken seriously. Not to forget Islam where a woman can be burned with acid or fire or killed to restore ‘honour’ to the family name for the simple thing of being a free thinker and wanting to choose her own path. Until you’re a woman, then and only then can you open your mouth about women’s issues. That is the one thing I admire about Neil, Geddy and Alex…they adore their wives and think of them as higher than themselves.

        • Which studies are you referring to? I’d love to read the methodology used to track “latte-sipping limousine liberals”, whatever that is.

      • Really?? We Republicans do not give a shit who you marry. We just do not want you to fuck with or chicken sandwiches. Enough already you are so fucking brain washed into thinking that we give a fuck who you marry, Really we do not.We are sick of paying for lazy bastards that do not want to work.

        Please dumb ass people – it is a game and we are all the pawns. Do you think that Obama and Biden like gay people??? No they are just pandering for your vote.

        Fuck Jesus – I have been in so many god dam wars that when I die I am going to bring a tire iron to heaven and beat the shit out of Jesus and God for making this world a fucked up mess. I have seen thousands of bodies piled up and plowed into a hole.

        So people stop with the Dem / Rep bullshit. Obama is the devil and he just says what you want to hear.

        • You’re funny. Thanks.

        • Jesus and God made the world a “fucked up mess”?? I think we did that, maybe you should beat the hell out of yourself….

        • That seems to me to be nothing more than a racist statement.

    • For sure. As Jesus said in the Gospels, “Love thy neighbour as thyself, unless they’re dirty, no-good, job-stealing immigants. I hate those guys!”

      • This man is an icon. My older brothers got me into Rush circa the “Signals” album and I have seen them on tour ever since “Grace Under Pressure” back in 1984. My brother’s conservative roots trace back to the 2112 album. Read Ayn Rand and you will see why. Neil also mentions liberalism: “On the liberal side of things, they go to an extreme of how people need to be led, and they can’t handle freedom.” That is true. Extremism is any form is going to get you in trouble. If there is one thing I find fault with Neil’s interview is the whole you can’t be a follower of Jesus Christ and be a Republican. What kind of nonsense is that? I will forgive him because I can’t wrap my mind around such a broad-based statement. I have voted Democrat, Green, Independent, and Republican and consider myself a follower of Christ. One of the reasons I have registered Republican is due in large part because of how the current Administration, in Neil’s words, “go to an extreme of how people need to be led, and they can’t handle freedom.” An honest man will see that about the heavy handed Federal Government-currently an extremist force that wants to meddle in every aspect of my life from cradle to grave. Forcing or compelling people to be compassionate is not Christ-like. I will continue to treat others as I would like to be treated. I will try and keep the commandments as best as possible and when I screw up I will repent and continue on my journey. I will forgive others because that’s what I want from Christ. Being a Republican has nothing to do with it. How I feel about the Federal Government does.

        • If you think you have to “forgive” Peart for having an opinion you don’t like, then you’re not much of a Christian. Last time I checked, it wasn’t a sin.

        • You sound like a real nut.

        • But it is ok to take Your money and wage war in faraway places? To force and compel people on the other side of the world “to behave”? I imagine You could have better use for those MASSIVE amounts of money at home.

        • Commingle from an any rand disciple i’m shocked

      • Poor attempt at sarcasm. In order for sarcasm to work, the taunt has to be aimed at a target that actually exists. Your attempt to create a cartoon character that has nothing in common with any reality except your own altered one, then ridiculing it, no doubt gives you great satisfaction, but falls flat outside of the Bieber Fever club.

      • Jesus must love the millions and millions of immigrants who have children out of wedlock, drop out of high school, gangbang, and live off the taxpayer like the bloodsucking leeches they are. By the way stupid, Evangelicals are lobbying for amnesty and for open borders. You should volunteer with them. Just don’t reveal your sexual orientation. If they take you to Chick-Fil-A for lunch, just go along with it. Remember your ultimate mission: to destroy the culture and the middle class of America (or North America).

        • Immigrants drop out of high school, eh? You are right off your nut.

          The biggest leeches in America are billionaire oligarchs, who rail for bigger “tax cuts”, which are really just tax shifts to the poor.

          Also, why don’t you ask your wife what my sexual orientation is? She’ll be glad to tell you, just as soon as she spits…

    • “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” Guess who said this?

      • Your mom?

      • I know exactly who said it. Unlike you, I also know what it means: Pay your goddamned taxes!

    • Well said.

    • But pointing costly barrels en masse at people in faraway places is more Christ-like than spending money at home?

      • if you have never had to defend your country overseas, you shouldn’t so quickly pass judgement on those who have and still. You’re right though I guess, we should just accept people coming here and flying planes into our cities and killing innocents. At least American Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen fight an armed foe. We are not trying to convert them or make them behave. they can do whatever they want as long as they don’t try and kill Americans to make some point.

        • So what Americans were those thousands of innocent Iraqi and Afghan children and other civilians trying to kill? For example, during the whole “shock and awe” campaign in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of innocent, unarmed civilians were killed, most of them from the carpet bombing conducted by military aircraft on Iraqi cities. Which city did those Iraqi children fly planes into and which innocents did THEY kill? You condemn the killing of AMERICAN innocents but obviously don’t give a damn about the killing of innocents in other countries by the American military.

        • Iraq never had anything to do with 9/11. Oh, and that wall You’ve built along some portions of the Mexican border seems to be money down the drain. No effect on the amount of latinos entering the US, and no effect on the amount of drugs being smuggled in. Apparently, of those 25 people performing terror deeds in the US in later decades, 20 arrived by aircraft and 5 were born in the US. Not a single one entered through Mexico! The only effects of that wall are non-desirable ones like hindering wildlife and causing floods as water cannot flow naturally.

    • Jesus taught us to help the widow and orphan but Republicans don’t want to do anything but ensure their rich buddies can hoard all their money. They call taxes a penalty on their success, well what does that make it for those that struggle every day? I am blessed not to struggle like that, but I can have compasison for those that do without calling it a handout in a negative connotation. Neil was absolutely correct.

    • When has the government used violence or the threat of violence to force people to do “Christlike service?”

  25. Neil… Thanks for being the best drummer you can be. It concerns me that so many people will follow your religious advice, just as they copy your style of drumming. Making no choice at all as to whom you will follow, is still a choice. Sound familiar? You dont just roll the dice and wait to see who greets you at death’s door. You have to accept the hand of salvation from your Lord Jesus Christ. You speak of all the sacrifices you made for your music… He died on a cross for you and your sins. The all important free will you speak of is there so that we arent puppets. We can choose not to choose, you still have made a choice. To die and spend eternity in a place of unbelieveable horror.

    • I’m not anticipating meeting anyone at deaths door. Judging by Neil’s lyrics neither is he. I’ll still try to be as good as I can be. I don’t need a reward in the afterlife, or a punishment.

  26. Okay. Everyone needs to stop arguing about religion.
    Neil did not “get it wrong.”

    You did not “get it right.”
    Nobody is getting anything right or wrong. It’s religion, not truth or fault.
    Also, everyone needs to stop addressing these messages to Neil. He’s not going to read them. He’s busy being the best drummer in the whole world. Get over yourself.
    Additionally, EVERYONE ALREADY KNEW HE IS AN ATHEIST AND A LIBERTARIAN. Don’t be so surprised his answers align with his ideals.

  27. I’m not entirely sure what to make of that last bit. I consider myself a Christian, and live my life by that ideology above all others. I also refuse to register with any political party, because I can’t completely fall in line with any of their ideologies.
    But I would be a liar if I said I had never voted Republican. So, I would agree that one could never be totally devoted to both Christianity and any political party. But for a lot of us cynics come voting time, we basically have to vote for whoever comes closest to our particular beliefs, whatever organization they choose to associate themselves with.

    • I never comment on a political threads. I don’t practice a faith, but I have to agree in that I can’t fall in line with either party 100% or even 90%. I’ve been a registered democrat, republican, domocrat and it seems that this election will be much like the last, in that I don’t yet have a candidate in mind and I’ll make up my mind — not by what the propoganda commercials that both parties are airing; rather, I’ll watch the debates and personally read any proposals that Obama’s layed out which I’m certain can be found online. And I’ll do the same with Mitt Romney.I think both parties have good ideas and I just wish they’d work together and come up with a few great ones, but they never will — that is, “politicians” never will b/c it’s seems as if they care more about their party and protecting their party, than then care about the People and protecting the People.

  28. religon and politics do not mix…..

    • Actually they’re hopelessly entertwined .. if you live what you believe how could they not be?

  29. I think the point of Peart’s message is consistent throughout. The sad hipocracy that seems to be the nature of most human beings, or rather, people.

  30. Neil, Christianity has been about living the life that God gave you. And by that we follow the Lord’s work and plan for all of us: be good to each, give alms to the poor, prevent the destruction of life, give comfort and aide to the sick, etc. You don’t have to be a Libertarian to think that or live that. It goes for all of us: Catholic, Baptist, etc. It seems like you were never given a religious education(take that up with Mother and Father Peart)so you don’t have the knowledge of how Christianity affects the people.

    I used to be a Neil Peart fan.

    • Janet, you don’t understand Peart’s response here. He’s not saying Christianity is evil. He’s saying that he believes that the Republican agenda is a selfish ideology which fights to make things easier for the successful at the neglect of the poor, which is contrary with the teachings of Jesus. He’s saying that many people who call themselves Christians yet align themselves with Republican ideology are going against the teachings of Christ. I’m pretty sure Peart is an atheist, but from this comment, I would say that he admires many of the teachings of Jesus. I know that there are Christian Republicans who give to charity, volunteer, etc, but yet there are so many Christian Republicans who are terrified that the rich may have to pay a greater share of taxes (which is a rather un-Christian thing to concern oneself with), who are racist, and are hatefully concerned with imposing their religious views on other people. I don’t agree with everything that Neil Peart believes in, but I’d have to agree with him here, and I think he probably does have a pretty good grasp on religion and how it can affect people.

      • The problem here is evident in your response, Powertip. It is a fallacy that Republicans are all of those things that you say. I’m an independent, but i consider myself politically independent and nearly all of my family are Republicans – and most of my friends, and yet I don’t know any of them that are racist and don’t care about the poor and all of that garbage that the left heaps on the right all the time. And to say that hate is mostly practiced by Republicans is a bad, bad joke. I can name you a giant list of self-professed lefties that spew hatred all day every day when someone disagrees with them. Bill Maher is the leader of that garbage but he has many, many allies in the entertainment business that will say the most vile, vitriolic things to whomever they wish without anyone on the left saying a thing.

        • I think that all types of people are capable of hateful rhetoric and of being bad people. And while I should have better clarified that there are good Republicans, I have met Republicans that are all of those things I said. I do know Republicans who say racist, homophobic things and are indifferent to the struggles of the poor. And for every Bill Maher or Michael Moore on the left heaping excessive accusations on the right, there’s a Rush Limbaugh or Glen Beck on the right spewing unwarranted hatred onto the left. And in the end of the day, when it comes to things, I think there’s a bit more racism and a lot more homophobia, sexism, Islamaphobia, and anti-atheism on the right, certainly not from everyone on the right, but as all of these are things I hate, when you get people spewing hate against these groups, it makes the hate from the left seem a little less extreme (although I know there’s plenty of lefties criticizing Christianity, etc.).

      • Then I would say Neil doesnt understand the Agenda and has accepted the popular perception narrative offered by others who dont really get the GOP agenda …

        • Robert Clark, you’re totally entitled to your opinion, as I am to mine and Neil Peart is to his. I think that most people, conservative, liberal, or moderate, are doing what they think is right, and support a system that they believe will create a just society. But, I think the Republican view of things, while in theory seems reasonable and fair (of course those who work harder, go to college, and strive for more should end up more successful than people who are lazy), but in practice I think it just leads to the rich keeping the excess money that they don’t need at the expense of the poor, regardless of if they’re lazy or hard-working. And I refuse to believe that the wealth disparity in Western society is solely or even mostly due to how hard one works. Do you really think that the fabulously wealthy members of the Walton family worked thousands of times harder to get their $2.7 billion that they’re expected to make in dividends off their Walmart stock than the employees of Walmart work to make disgustingly paltry wages? So, in short, I don’t think the Republican ideals work, because wealth doesn’t trickle down nearly as well as it should when you have the obscenely wealthy trying to make as much money as possible with little-to-no-regard for what effects their actions might have on people whose very livelihoods they more or less control. But I don’t think that Neil Peart is hostile to all Republican ideology. I think he very much supports the idea of being self-sufficient and working hard, but he also supports the idea of helping those less fortunate than oneself. Again though, this is all my opinion on Republicans, and I wish I’d made that clear in my original post, and I expect you probably still disagree with me, which you have every right to. I should also point out that I think the left is often very much complicit in much of what I’ve accused Republicans of here, so I’m not trying to blindly throw my support behind Democrats either.

  31. I AM

  32. Such a well spoken man. One of Canada’s greatest treasures.

  33. A real life inspiration… the world needs more of this kind of thinking. “…its not a bad way to live. ” A pleasure to read.

  34. It is impossible to be a Christian and a democrat.

  35. I’m looking forward in seeing the band in Boston!

  36. There are few people in this universe that captivates my attention when they speak or write as does Neil. Neil is one of those who always gets me thinking about things that I have either not thought much of or have not been able to relate to. I always enjoy his take on things and his better than average ability to communicate them.

  37. Great interview until it got into religion/politics. We all have our opinions on religion and politics.. From the Faithless lyrics “I don’t believe in faith, but I believe in love” is something I have always followed. Be good to your neighbour, help the less fortunate in every way possible to know you are living in the best life. If there is a spiritual belief behind it for you great! if not, you can live each day knowing that you were kind, giving, and those left behind may inherit the good behaviour you did.

  38. But as a follow of the Christian faith practice, I try not to judge what others say and think. Neil’s faith orientation is not my concern, his music insight has helped guide me throughout my adolescent and adult life. As a registered Libertarian (and a Christian) here in the states, our
    current political situation is in dire straits at best. I do not agree
    with his indictment of Republicans as unable to be Christian, but I get
    what he’s saying, especially in this over dramatic political time. If I
    were an outsider to this madness, I’d likely draw a similar conclusion.

  39. Come on, who doesn’t love a good human gaseousness joke?

  40. I love the music of Rush, but I also enjoy listening to Rush Limbaugh. I was preparing to read one of Mr. Peart’s books but his ridiculous comment about Jesus Christ and Republicans gives me pause. As a Christian, I provide for the poor and the reason I have the funds to do so can be attributed to the free enterprise system through God’s grace. In fact, I think I will donate 10 times the price of his band’s latest album to charity and not buy the album. So I guess his silly comment served some social good.

    • Rush recently prevented your Mr Limbaugh from using their music so I’d think they’d disagree with your listening choices there. But it’s a free country, listen to what you like, everyone doesn’t have to like it.

    • Wait, you mean Rush Limbaugh, the racist woman-hater who is for the death penalty? Awesome. Good for you!

    • I’m still pointing the finger at American Evangelicals for the moronic, trillion-dollar Bush war in Iraq. Without their support, the war wouldn’t have happened, and perhaps we wouldn’t have Obama in office now. Thanks also to the Southern Baptist Convention for endorsing officially and lobbying for the amnesty of millions of illegals. The fundie wackos think they can lead them to Christ and away from lives of gangbanging and producing illegitimate children by the tens of millions. The SBC should examine its collective conscience about its denial that massive tax burden and social burden brought on by illegals and open immigration is anything other than outright theft, one of God’s big no-no’s.

  41. There has never been, nor will ever be, any drummer as great as Neil Peart. Period.

  42. As a believer, I hope that Neil is or will be saved so I can meet him in Heaven some day! I’m not worried about all his political or religious positions – whether I agree or not is irrelevant. As humans, none of us have the right answer as none of us are perfect and never will be. The only eternal justification for the account of our individual lives is Christ!

      Enough with the fairy tales already!

    • It’s great how “believers” always make sure they present their beliefs like they’re actually facts.

  43. No other band has influenced my life like Rush. I can remember the first time I heard 2112 in one of my best friends room as a teenager. The hairs stood up on my arms, and every note resonated in my brain. I was hooked! Bands will come and go, but I will ALWAYS be a die hard fan. Two words….Awe Inspiring…

  44. too bad one comment ends up the focus for so many readers

    • A lot of the comments seem to focus on issues Neil didn’t bring up in the first place.

  45. Really come on people did you read the part regarding a new drum solo!!!

  46. Wunnerful. A drug addled moron lecturing on theology and political science. Gimme a break.

    • I don’t believe Peart does drugs. At his age, if he does, they’re probably for hypertension or incontinence. As for his theology and politics, I firmly believe he is ‘spot on’, and he is entitled to his opinion. He is certainly not a ‘moron’.

      • OH! I was confounded by hinckleybuzzard’s comment too, but realized he must have stumbled onto what he *thought* was a comment thread about Rush Limbaugh. Now THAT guy definitely is a “drug addled moron lecturing on theology and political science.”

  47. Excellent interview! RUSH has been one of my very most revered and loved bands, since I ‘discovered’ them in high school back in 1976. Their music and lyrics move me immensely. To the person commenting that politics and religion should be left out of art, I say nonsense. Art is an expression of many things personal and public, including politics and/or religion if the artist so chooses. No limitations or rules should be imposed on the artist, as long as no humans (or animals) are being harmed of course. That said, I also essentially agree with Neil’s statement that “it is impossible to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and be a Republican.” Especialy these days! I’m an ‘independent’ who has voted for both parties over the years, but lately, the once respectable and sane Republican Party of yore has been ‘hijacked’ by myopic, often hatemongering, hypocritical evangelicals and ‘Tea Party’ fringe nutcases. Jesus would CRINGE at how his name is being used and abused to further the hate and divisiveness!

    • Grow up, study history, and show how any other system has produced more wealth and prosperity for the greatest number of people. Then demonstrate how the socialistic and collectivistic programs that have a record of failure will somehow work this time.

      • For some reason the Scandinavian countries haven’t yet gotten your memo on “record of failure” and have been performing fantastically under the nordic style of democratic socialism. You may want to contact the leaders and let them know they aren’t supposed to be as successful as they are.

        Here’s some fun data: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD?order=wbapi_data_value_2011+wbapi_data_value+wbapi_data_value-last&sort=asc

        Try sorting by per-capita income, and then note that nearly every country with a higher per-capita than the USA is socialist.

      • Funny, I never said anything about wealth and prosperity you cretin. I was specifically responding to Neil’s comment on Jesus and Republicans, and how ‘ugly’ and vile the Republican Party has become as of late. Your typical off-subject ‘knee jerk’ reaction proves my point. And for the record, the United States is not ‘number one’ in most everything that counts anymore. We have slipped greatly in many important ‘markers’ such as education, healthcare access, child mortality, and life expectancy, just to name four. Get your reactionary partisan hack head out of the ground and realize this.

        • Sure we do. The cause is 20,000,000 illegal immigrants and 1.5 million legal Third World immigrants admitted yearly since 1965. Yours truly, Xenophobe.

      • So You actually think the GOP policies of latter decades has served America well? Look at the deficit, look at the unemployment rates and then come back with a more thought over reaction!

  48. I recently (out of the blue) sat close to Neil in a restaurant in california,off the highway 1, and wanted to approach him. After following Rush since the 70’s, and being a drummer myself, I thought, “What on earth could I possibly say to him”? Turns out he truely is a nice, humble guy, inspite of just running into him off the street. Every article, interview, book, or video I’ve endured, backs up everything I’ve come to know about him! Thanks for giving me your time Neil!

    • I saw him and some riding partners at Furnace Creek, Death Valley NP. I thought if I approached him to say hello, one of his heavies accompanying him would block me. He seems to be opening up to Rush fans, presumably after criticism from all quarters, including family and management. In the documentary, he’s defensive about his reputation for privacy and standoffishness, saying that he’s just avoiding the embarrassment brought on by the fanatical fan. However, in the past decade or so, he’s been open about himself in print (er..online) and with the public. After his losses, maybe he’s appreciative about his life. He may also be at an age to see the need in getting beyond being an introvert.

  49. Neal is my favourite all time musician!He taught me everything I know about drumming!I’ve actually memorized a few of the solos :)Awesome interview!

    • NEIL sp

  50. read the paul ryan budget plan..and then read the sermon on the mount..nuff said
    fav Rush song.”WitchHunt”

    • Listen to Obama tell a woman her mother should “just take a pain pill” instead of have a hip replacement

    • And how will instituting programs that will bankrupt the country help anyone?

      • War is already well on its way towards bankrupting the US…

  51. When is RUSH going to play GREECE and ISRAEL???!!! PLEEEEASE!!!

  52. Love Rush, love Neil, but have to chime into this whole Christians can’t be Republicans because they don’t want to help the poor thing. There is difference between government providing a safety net as opposed to a hammock. I, and most Republicans I know, aren’t against helping those who truly need it it. The problem comes when you have able bodied people not working on purpose, knowing the government is there to give them free food, money, and housing. Can he not understand that seeing someone at the grocery store, yucking it up on an iPhone, paying for everything with a food stamp credit card, then getting into a brand new Explorer with $2,000 rims, tends to piss off the people who’s taxes pay for it? Don’t act like that doesn’t happen. There was a deadly sin in the bible know as sloth. The value of an honest days work is also mentioned in there I believe.

    • I always hear about people like that but never see it. If your example is an actuality, you have to ask yourself how someone managed to get that Explorer while on assistance. Maybe they have family that gave them the cell phone and car because they’re struggling and needed help. Maybe they’re foolishly racking up huge credit debt. It’s certainly not a valid excuse to demonize government assistance based on the worst possible abuse thereof. The fact that you are judging someone without really knowing the whole story is also mentioned in the Bible. If government assistance is such a cushy lifestyle, why isn’t everyone intentionally failing and lining up for free money? Certainly not because of values, you all know that it’s not a sustainable existence.

    • I believe You might have misread or misunderstood Neil’s remark.

    • A man named Jonah who was swallowed by a whale and lived inside of it for 3 days is also mentioned in there I believe…

    • A man named Jonah who was swallowed by a whale and lived inside of it for 3 days is also mentioned in there I believe..

  53. Thank you for this awesome interview.

  54. Neil, while leading a good life/doing good deeds is a good thing, doing so will not get you into heaven.

  55. “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Jesus)

  56. He is an amazing human being. Will always be one of my heroes.

  57. Shame on the Rock-and-Roll Hall of fame! Shame Shame Shame.

    • Rush is on record as saying they don’t care about the RNRHOF, and would actually prefer being left out. The RNRHOF is an organization that has their own ideas of who to induct and who not to. If they aren’t interested in having progressive rock groups such as Yes, Rush, Genesis, and King Crimson, whose loss is it? The RNRHOF doesn’t bestow its inductees with greatness — they are great regardless. Rush doesn’t need the RNRHOF to justify the band’s greatness. I wish we’d all stop giving too much credit to the RNRHOF. They are nothing without the artists.

  58. Neil has been a major influence for me going back 30 years now. He never disappoints in lyrics nor response to some of what I consider the most mundane and idiotic questions some of these reporters through at him. My suggestion to anyone that may have the wonderful distinction of interviewing Mr. Peart in the future, do your homework. Study your subject and know him well. then plot your coarse. I have learned so much from this guy over the years I can’t even begin to explain the depth of his intellect. Awesome individual!!!

  59. This is what happens when you move to Santa Monica.

  60. Clockwork Angels is an amazing piece of work that proves good people can still make music “for music’s sake.” Thank you for it and your years of service to RUSH. BTW, I “got the idea” and the music does “change things.” In ways one can not possibly perceive.

  61. well rush has been my all time favorite band since early 1980 when i started learning to play their music. neil is my favorite drummer of all time. i always love to hear his open analogies and concepts cos he is a very deep and interesting person. for the first time in my life i have to say that i was shocked and disagree with his th’t process on christians and republicans? either party can be extreme, but i dont know how he comes to that conclusion. a real christian gives and helps others. maybe not in money but in all ways. i’m sure he has read the bible since he is a big reader, but i think understanding the concept of godly principle does not fall on the liberal side. and like neil, i have witnessed and lived some very hard times. i never got to play with such musical talent such as himself. whats funny, is geddy and i are born on the same day 10 yrs apart, and he is my biggest inspiration in my bass playing talents. hey neil….i’m a nobody, and i dont want any money or nothing from you, but you could do me a great favor and its my bucket list top want….. play music with me in private. or let me sit in on a song with rush. i have saved little money since i raised my daughter when her mother died in a car wreck. and i never had a vacation in my life,…but i would take my last dollar to meet rush in private and just play a song or so? now what better act of kindness could a group of great men do for such a nobody like me? at least give this guy a memory of a lifetime..that no money, no charity, no pity, can compromise?

  62. Neil should consider clarifying or apologizing for the comments regarding Christianity and republicans. At best, the comments are gratuitous and really ignorant. Neil should check his history, republicans like George Bush _increased_ welfare payments to millions of americans with incremental spending of billions of dollars. Bill Clinton, working with Newt Gingrich and others, helped millions of americans _get off_ welfare by providing incentives for many of them (that were able) to work. The subsequent increase in US productivity helped drive one of the largest economic expansions in history. I’d argue that “blank check” liberalism hurts society more than it helps. Massive deficits also put the entire system at risk where seniors, the disabled, etc. may find themselves completely without a safety net. Also, providing too big of an incentive for able people to _not work_ is not charity or good for society.

    So, are republicans uncaring, cold hearted people that don’t care about the less fortunate? No, they are not. Many people (“liberal” and “conservative”) on both sides of the political spectrum are greedy and self-centered. Neil, look at how much Al Gore, Joe Biden or even Obama give as a % of their income compared to certain conservatives like Romney. Now, just who isn’t living like Jesus when you consider the facts? We can _all_ do a little better to care about the person next to us.

    The new CD is brilliant, and Rush has helped change my life for the positive. I have to say that these particular comments were really offensive and just plain ignorant.

  63. Neil is doing a completely improvised solo on this tour? WOW. How can you not totally respect a man who continually WORKS to grow and improve in his profession and not just be satisfied with “doing the job” everyday? I have been a RUSH fan since the 70’s and I am so thankful they have been a band who has continually earned our money and support by being thoughtful and intellectual about their music instead of just churning out single after single just to make themselves a living. Even now, with ticket prices to concerts being EGREGIOUSLY high (not all due to the performers – there are far more fingers in the increasingly large pie than that) I at least respect the fact that I am paying to see a band who isn’t just touring and making money off of 30-year-old “singles”. Their new album is simply amazing. Neil’s concept and the musical genius of all three “Rushians” produced a Rock Opera of epic proportions (my opinion)! Funny enough, Neil’s comment about Jesus and Republicans doesn’t offend me as a Christian Republican because I do my best every day to always put the CHRISTIAN before the REPUBLICAN but tend to vote for those who believe that those who are physically and mentally capable of working should EARN a living and not just be handed it. That doesn’t conflict with Jesus’ teachings – he taught us to use the talents God gave us wisely and in that way our WORK makes God proud. Jesus also taught us to give to those who are LESS FORTUNATE (meaning don’t have the capability of EARNING a living – NOT who simply don’t WANT to earn a living). I think in his own way that’s what Neil is attempting to communicate – the idea that we should all live sensibly and do as much as we can to do right by others as well as ourselves. Whether he believes that ideal came from some sort of higher power or magically appeared out of thin air is not mine to judge nor is it relevant to me. I can thoroughly respect his intellect, work ethic and view points without having to always agree with them. I appreciate Neil for all he’s accomplished and for “Finding His Way” back from his personal struggles. RUSH has truly earned the respect of their fans and continues to do so. Thank you for your work Neil – Alex and Geddy, too. For as long as you choose to share yourselves and your talents with us fans we will all be there to listen, support and enjoy!

    • A problem with this is that work opportunities are not so abundant these days. We live in an automated, global world and I believe that we have to re-think some old “truths”.

  64. You people are idiots. Why do you have to politicize everything? You were just granted a beautiful interview with one of the most inspiring writer/musician ever and you have to squabble over politics? Did you not read the rest of the interview? Did you not understand when he said he wished people were nicer to one another, or are rude religious debates ON THE COMMENT BOARD OF AN ARTICLE just irony? Did you feel the need to defend pride that hadn’t been attacked? Or do you just get uppity when someone outside of church says Jesus?

  65. Sorry Neil, but you completely mis-understand the tenants of Christianity, – this surprises me considering how well read you are in general! The Christian faith is not about doing good works, it is ALL about accepting Jesus Christ as your lord and savior. You aren’t going to get to heaven just by doing good deeds (Catholics please take note of this). You actually have to have faith and believe!

    • This doesn’t make Neil’s statement invalid. Christians are supposed to talk each other back to their senses whenever they fail…

  66. The comment was interesting, but it’s true. If you read the words, christianity is socialism. In the US, the Republican Party would cut welfare, the Democrats are just a little bit closer to the teachings, for example, food stamps, health care, education, etc.

  67. One Word Can not describe RUSH ( Awesomeundescribleamazingness ) Keep Um Coming..

  68. As far as really understanding the principles of Republicans (conservatives) and Libertarianism and how those principles tie into Christian beliefs….Neil is surprisingly shallow in his thinking…..Several posts below call him out well

    • I’m pretty sure he could elaborate on that, given the space. People here make too much of his statement without knowing exactly what he meant.

  69. Love it, even outside of music Rush inspires spirited debate!! What starts out as a statement from the greatest drummer of all time has evolved into a debate on religion, gay marraige, politics, drumming, taxes and someone named “turd boy”. Lets see Aerosmith do that!!

  70. Personally I have always wondered how neo-cons enjoyed their music when 99% of all artists are overtly liberal.
    I can’t stand the thought of Hank Williams vibrating the air no matter how much I like the beat, hook or phrase…it’s still the same goddamn redneck bigot, and that in turn sours the entire discography.

    • Neocons are liberals, you amateur.

  71. I like to say I’m a conservative with liberal leanings! In other words, I like to think for myself and not follow the popular tide!

  72. “If they could only think about what they were saying for a minute. That’s when you get caught up in the webs of what people call themselves and how they behave.”

    True words, Neil. One glance through the comment section is enough to prove it. All the insecure faux-Christians responded with vitriol and hate, mindlessly regurgitating talking points from political and religious leaders as if their ability to memorize the arguments of others will pass for true understanding and belief. Meanwhile, the Christians who actually *behave* like Christians were able to respectfully state their disagreement (or agreement) and provide real counterarguments for debate.

    Regardless of your affiliations, Neil’s message rings true: peoples’ actions often contradict their supposed beliefs because they don’t take the proper time to evaluate their beliefs. Again it’s clear that there are plenty of both in these comments, so for safety’s sake let’s all take a good hard look at WHAT our beliefs are, WHY we believe them, and HOW they fit in (or rather don’t) with our actions.

  73. I think I have it figured out.

    Neil is an Atheist. He says you can’t follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and be a Republican. Therefore, Neil is a Republican.

    In any case, I think Neil has fallen victim to the bogus idea that Jesus’ objective was to change the hearts of men through the implementation of powerful, coercive government rather than through the acceptance of him as their savior. I fail to see how an ideology that espouses limited government, states rights, traditional values, self reliance and personal accountability and strong defense is philosophically opposed to the teachings of Jesus. Admittedly, I’m not all that religious myself, but this seems like a serious stretch and fundamental misunderstanding of what both the scriptures say and Republicans believe.

    Aside from that, this interview was a fun and interesting read. Actually, including that it was.

    • Jesus didn’t teach traditional values. A lot of what he said was very challenging at the time, and has proven to still be very hard to grasp or accept. Also, Jesus didn’t teach self-reliance. His teachings summon up to the fact that You are dependent on Your savior!

  74. Surprised no one chimed in on not wanting to hear snail jokes everyday.

  75. If you read the comments on this article, i think you find one thing in common no matter what side you fall on. And that is, we are all Rush fans and we have been influenced to be proud of who we are and stand up for what we believe in. To do it our way. I remember when people said there was no intelligence in rock music. Rush destryed such a notion and we the fans are inspired. As for this article, Im always excited to take time from my day to stop and listen to what “The Professor” has to say. I have been a fan since i was a kid. I am so proud to call myself a fan and so happy that these wonderful guys are still the absolute best. They have been with me through good times and bad times. It is truly wonderful to see, in an industry that is dominated by weirdos with inflated egos that havent got one ioda of talent, that these three down to earth real people have made it through the years together and are still friends and that they do things the way they believe they should be done. They truly are people that are great role models, great musicians and the world is a better place because of them. May theyre music live on forever! I would love to see the new years celebration of the year 2112! Thanks Neil and we are looking forward to seeing you in our town again!

  76. So a duck asks a snail “How did you get stupid?” The snail says, “I haven’t caught you yet”

  77. I think Neil is right about Christian and Republican values being diametrically opposed. The difference is he interpreted the New Testament from the unbiased perspective of a reader where as Republican Christian Fundamentalists are told how to interpret the Bible.

    Jesus, Himself, says His entire teachings can be summed up as: “love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Mark 12:30-32) Republican ideology, however, is based on unfettered greed and selfishness and people callously looking out for number one.

    Jesus also said that no one can serve two masters: “you will hate the one and love the other. You cannot serve both God and money. ” (Mat 6.24)

    In another passage, a rich man asked Jesus what was required to enter the kingdom of Heaven. He told him to give away all his riches to the poor and come follow Him. The rich person walked away, disappointed. Jesus concluded, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” (Mat 19:21-24.)

  78. There are times when Neil seems to speak from his heart, in his book ghost rider, he did just that. Going through a similar struggle myself, I resonated with his adventure. I think part of his human side showed. I see that in this interview as well, I think he is right on. His a much more mature , settled Neil Peart with no pressure to perform or create. When we create without pressure, but simply from a desire, I think it brings out our best.

  79. Neil is my hero. Bottom line – a great human being I admire so much and not because he is a drummer. Rock On – Love you!!

  80. This is one of the reasons I love Rush and Neil Peart. They incite passioned, intelligent debate. Not many other rock bands out there can say that. Plus they rock!

  81. AMEN. I love you Neil.

  82. Again, Neil has proven the quote by Roderick MacIver ” As human beings, we are possessors of a unique life; we are energy manifested in a unique form. It is our responsibility both as human beings & artists to create a life and work that is ours alone. That is the gift we offer the world—not a gift of talent, or even of hard work, but of our own uniqueness” Long live Rush & the men who stayed the course to their own freedom

  83. I’m as big a fan of Neil Peart the thinker and dreamer as I am a fan of Rush and their music. Few bands can touch them musically, and even fewer rival their thought-provoking lyrical content. There’s always more to their music and lyrics, no matter how many times I’ve heard it.

  84. Neil, The contradiction you observe with the religious not helping the poor is more about people not following religion than about political ideology. Jesus and believers in freedom believe that it’s up to the individual to be charitable. Jesus never wanted anyone to pay more taxes to support the poor. He said you should do it on your own.

  85. religion and politics…can’t find common ground. Music, however, fills the soul and satisfies completely. Thanks to Neil, Alex and Geddy for decades of exceptional artistry.
    Now back to your regularly scheduled debate

  86. ‘A realization I had lately: it is impossible to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and be a Republican. It’s philosophically absolutely opposed—if they could only think about what they were saying for a minute. That’s when you get caught up in the webs of what people call themselves and how they behave. You just become adaptable and try to lead a good life in ways that make sense, regardless. Because I know at the end of it, if I’m going to meet Jesus or Allah or Buddha, I’m going to be all right.’

    One thing Neil’s always been wrong about… Conservative in the ethical sense; true. Conservative in the political sense; absolutely false. Conservatism strives to make it known that people *can and * should help people, but of course they won’t always do it. And what is your definition of ‘good’ Neil? You have no basis of good or bad. I have Jesus Christ, the ultimate judge and the perfect man to emulate, who only knows good.

  87. Well, I’m a Conservative and follow Jesus and my wife and I help, we donate to the Boys and Girls Clubs and the U. S. Veterans! To me it’s what you do in life not spewing quotes out of a religious book. There will always be differences between republi and Democrats, there is a reason people from all over the world want to live in the United States and it
    because of OUR Republic! The individual achevement! Yes , there are people that need help and can’t do it on their own, but there are people that abuse the system and affects US hard working tax payers. There are not enough people paying in to support the ones that are helpless. We tax payers fork out a Trillion dollars a year in food stamps and other Gov. entitlements. A Trillion a year! How much is enough? Thats to much! People need to get off their lazy ass and work!!! God Bless America!!!

    • Amen! A sensible, God loving Rush fan as myself!

    • So what do You do for starving people in the third world or people suffering from the consequences of American warfare? Neil is not a nationalist, and I’m pretty sure Jesus was neither.

  88. Nice one! Open and honest and very realistic. I have always admired this man he inspired me to write my books. Thanks Neil for inspiring me to become an author. ‘James Pittaro’

  89. Neil’s point, I believe, is that people get conflicted by clinging to labels. Trying to live up to the implications of each of those labels leaves us inconsistent. If, in the libertarian bent, we accepted a set of personal principles to do good for both the individuals around us and to our communities, we’d find personal satisfaction while contributing meaningfully to society. In that, as individuals we’d measure up well, though never perfectly, to which ever yardstick your neighbor is holding.

  90. Help get RUSH into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Sign the petition at rushthehallcom.

  91. neil peart. the most intelligent person i never met.

  92. Great article and interview…Neil and his writings will always be a major influence on my life! Glad to see that I’m not the only one who sees the dichotomy between the mantra of the GOP and Christianity! As a reformed, no longer practicing Catholic, thank you for saying it out loud Neil!

  93. You guys need to read the last statement again. Neil played the “Political” card to show you all something about yourselves. “That’s when you get caught up in the webs of what people call themselves and how they behave”. Where will you spend eternity and will you arrive justified. Neil is confident in his actions towards others and wants us to be mindful as well. When you read some of the comments left here I an not so sure we are all thinking the same.


  95. WOW! Neil as always the few things said open to reveal an amazing man behind an amazing drummer.
    To the rest of you…This is what he was talking about. Stop hating on each other for what you believe. Must you be the conform or cast out crowd? Live your life with the inegrity of your own convictions. Through your example others will either be impressed and moved to your philosophy but likely not through your rhetorric.

  96. I’m sorry Mr. Peart, but your statement about Jesus and Republicans was pretty juvenile, the kind of mindless mantra a teenager might shout or scribble on their notebook cover. From someone who generally speaks intelligently and with an open mind, that was a pretty narrow minded statement and a cheap shot at a political party you apparently don’t like. As far as I recall, Jesus didn’t advocate for governments to force you to do this or that, which is something most political parties (Democrats, Socialists, and Communist included) try to do.

  97. Love the new album, though. Maybe not as good as Snakes & Arrows overall, but still excellent.

  98. Oh Neil? Republicans in general give much more money and time in service to the needy. To give of one own time and money to the poor is commendable and good. To force others to give of there money and time through edict, taxation and vote grubbing wealth redistribution is theft and is evil. I thought your study of Ayn Rand would have taught you this.

    • Where in the bible do You find support for taxes as an evil thing?

  99. Wow. Peart’s remark about it being impossible to be both a Republican and a Christian has sure touched a lot of nerves on both sides. I have only one thought to share about this. If you are truly secure in your beliefs, Peart’s opinions shouldn’t offend you. If you are not truly secure in your beliefs, Peart’s opinions are the least of your problems.

  100. Can’t the man have his own opinions about Jesus and politics? Why must we , as a society, always be so quick to judge others for their OPINION. The bible does say judge not lest ye be judged. And if you really stop and think about what the republicans platform is….you would understand that he is 100% correct.

  101. “If I could have a drink with Neal, I would ask him….” Why he wrote “flashes AND fades in the summer sky” instead of “flashes THEN fades in the summer sky” in Marathon. I certainly would not ask about Christanity and Republicians. It’s clear that Neal is neither open minded enough nor intellecutally advanced enough to discuss the merits of either tenet.

  102. Jesus told us that you and I need to take care of the poor, sick, homeless, etc. He never said that our governments or political parties should.

    • Neil just observed that the poor, sick and homeless of this world are not properly taken care of. He didn’t propose any specific action as a remedy…

  103. Must keep things in perspective….
    Neal is a drummer, he hits things with sticks. Not that noble of a calling – a Geddy Lee quote.
    I am a capitalist, I will gladly pay to see Neal hit things with sticks this fall!
    I am also a Christian and will pray for “Jack Death”, a contributor to these discussions.

  104. “it is impossible to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and be a Republican.” Yes, exactly!

    • Not sure exactly what he means by that, but I know exactly what he means by this….

      “On the liberal side of things, they go to an extreme of how people need to be led, and they can’t handle freedom.”

      Yes, exactly!

      I don’t care whether you follow the teachings of Jesus or not. I only care if you support authoritarians that can’t handle freedom.

      • The social-con nanny-state is far closer to authoritarian than the liberal one. And if you vote conservative in North America you are voting for economic freedom for businessmen and social authoritarianism for everyone else.

        I have heard Neil describe himself as a “left-leaning libertarian.” That would imply left-leaning on the left-right economic scale (degree of government involvement in the economy) and libertarian on the social scale.

        The Political Compass shows where politicians stand on the two scales and you can find out your own position.


  105. I’ve been a BIG fan of Rush since 1977 and I’m still blown away by Neil’s drumming on ‘Anthem’, ‘YYZ’, ‘Freewill’, and so many others. He is an inspiration to all musicians and a credit to humanity in general. I feel sorry for non-Rush fans that haven’t got a clue to what they are doing.
    I’d love to shake Neil’s hand and say thanks for all the wonderful music, but apparently he’d hate that.

  106. Sorry to sound ignorant, but what the hell does ‘steampunk’ mean?
    Other than that, it was a good interview. I especially liked his comment about it being impossible to follow Jesus Christ and be a Republican. If only Mitt Romney could read this.

  107. Sad how some of you people are polluting an interview with Neil Peart by insulting and arguing with each other over politics and religion. Get over yourselves and get back to the music.

  108. Let’s just arrive at this point; Neil Peart is the Mortimer Adler of the Rock ‘n’ Roll World!

  109. half of the people don’t understand RUSH and the other half are mesmerized.the only thing i can say to someone who is not a fan or don’t like them,go see them live and witness them walk on water!!!this band has saved my life in so many different ways,thank you infinity.

  110. You always hear “If you could meet anyone, who would it be?” For me, hands down, it would be Mr. Peart. Besides the huge influence he has been during my 36 yrs. of drumming, his philosophy and his life journey are an inspiration. Very much looking forward to the opening evening of the “Clockwork Angels” tour.

  111. I don’t understand Peart’s statement about liberals—though maybe he’s talking about the Canadian version. As far as I can see in the States, it’s the Republicans who want to run your life—no gay marriage, no pot, no abortion, prayer in schools, Family Values (as defined by the Republican party, of course) etc. The liberals want businesses regulated so they don’t kill citizens with pollution or crappy products, and they want guns controlled to protect the average citizen, and are in favor of social programs to assist the citizenry (but those programs are hardly mandatory, you have to apply for them).

  112. thx for posting this. It’s always uplifting to read any of Peart’s lyrics, spoken, written or sung

  113. I’m a huge fan of Rush and of Neil, (and I too was a shy introverted kid, not one of the cool kids) but I think someone needs to call him out on his recent trend of saying how people are not generous to others, and therefore we need a vast coercive Entitlement State. Based on what? Mr. Peart, can you point to some concrete examples of what you are talking about here, since your argument against pure liberty is resting on this premise? There is a vast amount of evidence that the north american public is hugely generous to charities etc. And it is very well documented that before the welfare state there were tons of charitable organizations out there. I don’t think the panhandler on the street proves anything. You would have to come up with a lot better evidence than that to prove that forced wealth distribution is moral.

  114. Neil always had some prolific things to say, and this confirms it. However, just my observation, usually a writer tends to be extremely open and forthcoming not just because of guard, but because words and emotions tend to flow better in a writing sense over a verbal sense. Being a writer myself, I’m able to flow my emotions better in word than in verbalization.

  115. Even Neil’s opinion is just that. He is no religious authority for sure.

  116. So… A snail walks in to a bar…

  117. republican jesus statement makes no sense. stupid.

  118. Aye, they make great intelligent music and they’re really nice chaps too with a good sense of humour! I can’t praise them enough and Alex is a total lune, very funny! :)

  119. Actually, you will find most followers of Christ are Republicans, because it is the GOP that gives you the choice to live freely and put God Before Country, while the Democrats insist that and pass laws where God IS the Government, rendering unto Caesar what is God’s. As wise as Mr. Peart is, he fails to grasp this concept.

  120. j-rock, your right about the rock and roll hall of fame. i will never visit until they induct rush. RR hall can lick my balls

  121. I disagree that being a kind person isn’t appreciated, and doesn’t change people. Being kind is the foundation for helping others, and when you help people, change happens. Most of the time maybe not, but sometimes. As for appreciation, people often appreciate kindness…most are just poor at or negligent about communicating that. But regardless of all of this, I agree with Neil – being kind is the way to be.

  122. I became a drummer because of this guy, so I can say: Thank you for changing my life!

  123. I’m sort of ‘on the fence’ about the new record, not in a bad way by any means. I just haven’t gotten used to the different patterns Neil is playing however the music as a whole is absolutely kick ass. PS. I’ve been a drummer on and off for 36 years and have seen Rush every tour except Grace Under Pressure (had to work at Domino’s Pizza that busy Friday in 1984 in Atlanta.) The Time Machine Tour was phenomenal hearing Moving Pictures in it’s entirety.

  124. Neil is a realized human’s human. Simple as that.

  125. Why doesn’t RUSH talk about what’s happening in Canada?

    It doesn’t take long for a healthy democracy to shift into
    an autocratic state, with a strong centralized power passing laws in the
    interest of a very narrow group of people, leaving the majority to accept the
    new reality or face persecution for speaking out against the abuses of power.

    Thankfully, Canada is still a democracy and up until
    recently, I would have characterized our country as having a healthy democracy.

    But this is quickly changing.

    Our prime minister, even though he is the head of a minority
    government, has used every lever of power at his disposal to centralize his
    power, silence his detractors, and render the Parliamentary process


  126. Neil, experience in life counts! You are the best!

  127. Even Democrats are further to the right than any Canadian or British Political Party. Republican views/values are so far to the right they are off the radar screen. If it weren’t for George W Bush the US would’t be in the hopeless mess it’s in. Butter, not guns.

  128. Neil is a drummers drummer. Love you man!

    As for the Christ/Republican comment, Neil is entitled to his opinion and so I’d let it be. He’s a drummer. I am too and no one would care what any drummer has to say about it… :)

    But if you did…

    We would all agree that most Christians and Politicians (both sides of the aisle) are not perfect, and some even fall terribly short of expectations, but that is why we live life. To try to get it right. I think he may be trying to say that.

    True Christians DO love everyone. True Politicians DO say “yes” to everyone. Kinda apples and oranges to me.

  129. Neil cleverly avoids political alienation by skirting around words like Republican and Jesus over the years in his lyrics. Choosing instead words like Faith and Clockmaker . Neil slipped up here.

  130. Rush (as collective) is breath of fresh air. It is very a daunting task to remain with the same bandmates for over thirty years. How many bands can say what they have done professionaly compared to Rush. To the guys individuals they are humble, and are gentleman each is very good at what they do, as muscians, and performers. But Rush to me is all about their music. There music has stood the test of time. Enough said.

  131. you are all missing his point you bunch of plugs. religion is the worlds biggest argument and the cause of many wars. neil despies religion. do you people actually believe in a taking snake. you read a drummers interview and turn it into a political forum. move out of your parents basement and get a life. if you want to meet jesus so bad- find a tree and end it. the only thing you are going to find is that you’ve turned into worm food!!!

  132. I think Neil is missing the boat on his comment about being a Republican and following Christ. Many church going Republicans are the most generous in the world and help the poor through charity and not the state.

  133. Love rush but the comment about the gop was totally misguided. Obama is a Marxist bankrupting america

  134. This coming from an any rand fan. And Getty and Alex’s parents were put in concentration camps

  135. Everybody is missing Neil’s point. Rebublican doesn’t necessarily mean pertaining to a political party. I think he means the more basic definition of being a proponent of a Republic. You can’t have a Republic if Jesus is King, duh! If you could only think of what y’all are saying for a minute…

  136. Though I am a huge Rush fan, as a Christian and a Republican I was offended and disappointed by Neil’s remark. When will entertainers learn to stop alienating half their fan base by making such uninsightful political pronouncements?

  137. Just downloaded (legally) on Zune a RUSH radio broadcast from ’74. Amazing! Here Again live! I can hardly wait until they reach town! Great article too.

  138. he is the man.

  139. Awesome Neil….very inspiring words.. Thank You!!!!

  140. I am a big Rush fan, and Neil Peart is my favorite lyricist, but I find it hard to believe the article’s contention they never compromised.I would call Genesis and Rush both moving from art-rock to pop in the early 80’s a big compromise. I still liked Signals,their first pop album,but not the ones that came after.As far as his statement you can’t follow the teachings of Jesus and be a Republican, why the writer of the song Freewill cares about the teachings of Jesus I would love to know.Peart has publicly called himself a libertarian, libertarians are more right-wing, not less, than traditional Republicans on money.The new Tea Party Repulicans, who I dislike, have a libertarian point of view on economics.

  141. “That’s when you get caught up in the webs of what people call themselves and how they behave” NICE!

  142. That article makes me smile. Its funny how fans (possibly all with more than one commonality) are attracted to a certain sound or influence (such as Rush) , then end up having alot of the same values and beliefs.

  143. Like Chain Lightning in the Available Light.

  144. Hey Neil, I grow up with you guy’s, my first Rush LP, was, 2112.

  145. I am a Rush fan, I am a Republican and I am NOT a Christian.

  146. never can forget the story of xanadu Neil .Awesom.e

  147. introverts are hot!

  148. You always be a great drum and percussionist player in the world¡¡.. Saw you en mexico. In the Vapor trails Tour, And I`ll know that won’t be a pleasant experience There, But I`m still, believe in the Band. And I`ll always want to tell these cause, hope that you will return some day.
    However, Want to tell you. that awesome are you and your solos are impressive¡¡..
    My memory never forget all the moments in my life, and things that aim doing listen RUSH.. Earth`s Mighty Band.
    Thanks for read These¡¡..
    (If you read it).

  149. Neil Peart a free-marketeer. Hmmm. Funny, he and the rest of the band live in both the U.S. and Canada as permanent residence. His new daughter currently has dual citizenship and Peart is currently paying taxes in both countries. What does his Canadian taxes pay for? Government-controlled health care. Peart also buys alcohol at the LCB. What is the LCB? Liquor Control Board (government-controlled liquor store). What I can’t grasp is, why is he called a libertarian, but abides by the socialist values of Canada? Because he has no choice? Yes he does. He can always denounce his citizenship from Canada…but he does not. If Neil were truly a free marketeer, he would have. Yet some of you may say: look at 2112. OK lets look at 2112.

    Rushites know that 2112 was about the “hero” found a guitar, created music, shared the music with the priests, the priests destroyed his guitar and eventually the hero kills himself. First of all, I never knew government representatives were called priests living in a temple. This sounds more like a theocracy. Yet where did the inspiration come from? The band was resisting the recommendation from the record industry to sound more pop. They said no.


    Is the record industry government? Is it regulated by We the People? No, it’s a corporation…though Governor Romney did say corporations are people and look where it landed him…but I digress. So where is the correlation between 2112s: Priests/Record industry and government? There is none. And the song was not written based upon resisting the Canadian government. The song was neither in response to the U.S. government, though taxes were at 74% for people like George Soros, There is no correlation. And if Peart was truly a Libertarian, he would, again, denounce Canada and their socialist values and pay less in taxes in the United States. But no. He would rather COLLECTIVELY support the people of Canada and yes, the people of the United States…as do Geddy and Alex.

    Sorry, he’s no libertarian, and he is a linear-thinking agnostic…hey no one is perfect! There is no god.

  150. Peart should stop bashing Christians, I mean, sheesh, give it a break old chap. What’s the point? Let people have their own beliefs and leave them alone about it.

  151. So smart and open-minded. Great guy. I m practicing Roman Catholic who loves rock music and my fave is Rush.

  152. Having never meet Neil I can only surmise from the work
    He has put forth he has a level of intellect that does not
    Need to create gods to explain the obvious , lightning is a unbalanced
    Charge between the eath and atmosphere , and most of
    The other god fearing episodes is nature working
    Towards a equilibrium ( volcanoes eathquakes and so on)
    God is a simple mans way to deal with very hard to answer
    Questions and the enormity of the universe , considering there are
    More stars in the universe than leaves on all the trees on earth lots of which
    Have planets we can safely say there are millions of other life
    Forms out there , do they get to have a god I would have to say
    Based on the religions man believes in the answer is no,
    Our fellow earthlings aren’t alowed access to our beloved creator
    So the obvious answer is no ( animals people with other views)
    Taking this as you will but if man does not get off this self righteous
    Path of all is good as done in the name of god we will shortly fail
    And the true intelligent creatures of eath will prevail . I once remember
    A statement that the meek will inherit the eath

    • The righteous rise with burning eyes… certain that their ways are best….

      Neil as usual, your a genius and rock. POINT MADE LOUD AND CLEAR!!!

      • I forgot about the witch hunt good point , I ran out to buy the cd it’s
        Only been in the last year or so that I have really been into looking at
        The words of there songs , lots of thought and meaning , having grown
        Up in the same city as niel ( St. Catharines ontario ) I can tell you that that
        From 1973 when I moved there from Toronto , till now a lot of Canadian
        Smaller city’s have gone from friendly nice places to ignorant self indolgent groups only out to take all they can , it’s the problem that happens around the would as soon as a place gets big enough to support the scummy lawers and bankers the town is all but done
        They call it progress , for example lakeside park is now becoming a condo community , the willows will be dozed under , real shity

  153. hmm

  154. It is refreshing to hear Mr. Peart speak of his experiences and elucidate upon them( albeit, in a nutshell) as a journey of sorts, and the opportunities for growth through the slings and arrows of personal decisions and the subsequent consequences. I can be very introverted my self in person, but long winded in written communication. So, I get that:) . His revelation of Republicans and Jesus are spot on! And I am talking about the actual teachings of Jesus as a way of Life, not just, “Oh I believe he died for my sins,, I accept Him..so it’s all good now” No, it’s deeper than that, Jesus said to do as He did, live as He lived..not just , “Okay.. ya’ll go ahead have a good time be evil and selfish, I got the tab” ..so..no you can’t be a Republican and ‘follow” His teachings..all you will do is act like you believe..but not walk the walk. I’m hoping to be able to see this tour, hopefully the Chicago area show the 28th of June, but, due to my own slings and arrows of fate and decisions..I’m close to being one of those panhandlers Neil speaks of helping. But who knows, maybe I will get a wink from the Eye of Shiva and be able to see this tour. I haven’t missed tour since 1988..and have been a fan since the beginning…right on Neil( although..I highly doubt he reads these comments) kudos and much respect to you and those two other chuckle heads:)..you chuckle head:P

  155. I have to admit, even reading this story again, I am impressed by Neil’s writing. Still the comment:

    While I believe in all that freedom, I also believe that no one should
    suffer needlessly. A realization I had lately: it is impossible to
    follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and be a Republican. It’s
    philosophically absolutely opposed—if they could only think about what
    they were saying for a minute. That’s when you get caught up in the webs
    of what people call themselves and how they behave. You just become
    adaptable and try to lead a good life in ways that make sense,
    regardless. Because I know at the end of it, if I’m going to meet Jesus
    or Allah or Buddha, I’m going to be all right.

    Is correct. I doubt that I will see any of them, as I will become a part of the earth and when the sun supernovas, I will and everyone will become stardust and our solar system will be a nebula. When you have an extremists saying that I am a right winged Christian, but wishes to buy all the firearms in the world, where is that Psalms 23 bit? The lies also, like Sodom and Gomorrah. Oh God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their homosexuality, when their own Bible says:

    Ezekiel 16:49
    “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.

    Where does it says gay?



    The word “Lucifer” in Isaiah 14:12 presents a
    minor problem to mainstream Christianity. It becomes a much larger
    problem to Bible literalists, and becomes a huge obstacle for the claims
    of Mormonism. John J. Robinson in A Pilgrim’s Path, pp. 47-48 explains:

    “Lucifer makes his appearance in the fourteenth chapter
    of the Old Testament book of Isaiah, at the twelfth verse, and nowhere
    else: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
    How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”

    The first problem is that Lucifer is a Latin name. So how did it find
    its way into a Hebrew manuscript, written before there was a Roman
    language? To find the answer, I consulted a scholar at the library of
    the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. What Hebrew name, I asked, was
    Satan given in this chapter of Isaiah, which describes the angel who
    fell to become the ruler of hell?

    The answer was a surprise. In the original Hebrew text, the
    fourteenth chapter of Isaiah is not about a fallen angel, but about a
    fallen Babylonian king, who during his lifetime had persecuted the
    children of Israel. It contains no mention of Satan, either by name or
    reference. The Hebrew scholar could only speculate that some early
    Christian scribes, writing in the Latin tongue used by the Church, had
    decided for themselves that they wanted the story to be about a fallen
    angel, a creature not even mentioned in the original Hebrew text, and to
    whom they gave the name “Lucifer.”

    Why Lucifer? In Roman astronomy, Lucifer was the name given to the
    morning star (the star we now know by another Roman name, Venus). The
    morning star appears in the heavens just before dawn, heralding the
    rising sun. The name derives from the Latin term lucem ferre, bringer,
    or bearer, of light.” In the Hebrew text the expression used to describe
    the Babylonian king before his death is Helal, son of Shahar, which can
    best be translated as “Day star, son of the Dawn.” The name evokes the
    golden glitter of a proud king’s dress and court (much as his personal
    splendor earned for King Louis XIV of France the appellation, “The Sun

    The scholars authorized by … King James I to translate the Bible
    into current English did not use the original Hebrew texts, but used
    versions translated … largely by St. Jerome in the fourth century.
    Jerome had mistranslated the Hebraic metaphor, “Day star, son of the
    Dawn,” as “Lucifer,” and over the centuries a metamorphosis took place.
    Lucifer the morning star became a disobedient angel, cast out of heaven
    to rule eternally in hell. Theologians, writers, and poets interwove the
    myth with the doctrine of the Fall, and in Christian tradition Lucifer
    is now the same as Satan, the Devil, and — ironically — the Prince
    of Darkness.

    So “Lucifer” is nothing more than an ancient Latin name for the
    morning star, the bringer of light. That can be confusing for Christians
    who identify Christ himself as the morning star, a term used as a
    central theme in many Christian sermons. Jesus refers to himself as the
    morning star in Revelation 22:16: “I Jesus have sent mine angel to
    testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the
    offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

    And so there are those who do not read beyond the King James version
    of the Bible, who say ‘Lucifer is Satan: so says the Word of God’….”

    Henry Neufeld (a Christian who comments on Biblical sticky issues) went on to say,

    “this passage is often related to Satan, and a
    similar thought is expressed in Luke 10:18 by Jesus, that was not its
    first meaning. It’s primary meaning is given in Isaiah 14:4 which says
    that when Israel is restored they will “take up this taunt against the
    king of Babylon . . .” Verse 12 is a part of this taunt song. This
    passage refers first to the fall of that earthly king…

    How does the confusion in translating this verse arise? The Hebrew of
    this passage reads: “heleyl, ben shachar” which can be literally
    translated “shining one, son of dawn.” This phrase means, again
    literally, the planet Venus when it appears as a morning star. In the
    Septuagint, a 3rd century BC translation of the Hebrew scriptures into
    Greek, it is translated as “heosphoros” which also means Venus as a
    morning star.

    How did the translation “lucifer” arise? This word comes from
    Jerome’s Latin Vulgate. Was Jerome in error? Not at all. In Latin at the
    time, “lucifer” actually meant Venus as a morning star. Isaiah is using
    this metaphor for a bright light, though not the greatest light to
    illustrate the apparent power of the Babylonian king which then faded.”

    Therefore, Lucifer wasn’t equated with Satan until after Jerome.
    Jerome wasn’t in error. Later Christians (and Mormons) were in equating
    “Lucifer” with “Satan”.

    So why is this a problem to Christians? Christians now generally
    believe that Satan (or the Devil or Lucifer who they equate with Satan)
    is a being who has always existed (or who was created at or near the
    “beginning”). Therefore, they also think that the ‘prophets’ of the Old
    Testament believed in this creature. The Isaiah scripture is used as
    proof (and has been used as such for hundreds of years now). As Elaine Pagels explains though, the concept of Satan has evolved over the years and the early Bible writers didn’t believe in or teach such a doctrine.

    The irony for those who believe that “Lucifer” refers to Satan is
    that the same title (‘morning star’ or ‘light-bearer’) is used to refer
    to Jesus, in 2 Peter 1:19, where the Greek text has exactly the same
    term: ‘phos-phoros’ ‘light-bearer.’ This is also the term used for Jesus
    in Revelation 22:16.

    The King was Nebuchadnezzar as per the Hebrew text, the religion based upon the Judeo-Christian belief. This confusion, this lie is merely part and parcel for the Christian right and a teabag Christian who believe in the rapture tend to leave this out.


  156. Though an old story, I guess some things never get too old:

    Ted Nugent Threatens to Kill Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton During Vicious Onstage Rant

    Renegade right-winger Ted Nugent recently went on a vicious onstage rant in which he threatened the lives of Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Decked out in full-on camouflage hunting gear, Nugent wielded two machine guns while raging, “Obama, he’s a piece of shit. I told him to suck on my machine gun. Hey Hillary,” he continued. “You might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.” Nugent summed up his eloquent speech by screaming “freedom!”

    This isn’t the first time Nugent has been caught spewing hatred. Last January, the guitarist caused a scandal for Republican Texas governor Rick Perry when he wore a Confederate flag shirt and insulted immigrants at Perry’s inauguration event. In July, Nugent was quoted in a Wall Street Journal story blaming “stoned, dirty, stinky hippies” for “rising rates of divorce, high school drop-outs, drug use, abortion, sexual diseases and crime, not to mention the exponential expansion of government and taxes.”

    Gee, this is how Christians are? This is why I’m an atheist.

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