The recent death of Rush drummer Neil Peart hit me like a ton of bricks. While I consider myself a visual artist, I can’t think of a single painter, or sculptor, or photographer whose death has or even would affect me as dramatically as Neil’s has and I can’t really reconcile why that is. It’s just not a simple answer. I’ve been a Rush fan since 1982, but as I’ve said before, it wasn’t the music that grabbed me initially, but the lyrics. Yes, the musicianship was superb, but the themes and the language that Neil used to explore those themes was unlike anything I’d ever heard or more to the point read before. There was also the timing of it all – that time in my life when who I was or was becoming had not yet solidified and I was still malleable and curious and full of wonder. All of this has gotten me thinking about the ways and degrees that others inspire us throughout our lives and I thought it might be interesting to spend some time unpacking it a little with Jon Wilkening, who always helps take the conversations in directions I wouldn’t have thought of.
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