The Drums of Neil Peart a History

Blogger Andyo has created the most spectacular history of Neil Pearts Drum Kits check it out at

http://andrewolson.com/Neil_Peart/drums/drumkits/drums_history.htm

Here is a brief history according to Andy O

Before Rush

Neil’s first drum kit: Stewarts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a three piece; red sparkle Stewart outfit (I still remember it cost $150), bass drum, snare drum, and tom-tom, with one small cymbal. It was one of those unbearably exciting days in life, waiting for them to arrive, then setting them up in the front room and playing and playing the only two songs I knew, ‘Land of a Thousand Dances’… and ‘Wipeout.'” (from Traveling Music, page 69)
“The Drums? Well, they’re Stewarts, of course, with an 18” Capri bass drum I got in a trade from my friend, and featuring the finest Ajax cymbals from Japan. (As my colleague Lerxst pointed out, those were the days when “Made In Japan” really meant something―none of your quality materials and meticulous workmanship then, boy.)” (from the Test for Echo tour book).

 

Niel’s second drum kit : Rogers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“A set of Rogers drums, in a gray ripple finish They were so beautiful, but they cost a fortune: $750.” (from Traveling Music, page 71).

 

From Neil Peart’s May, 2010, update Time Machines:

“It was a summer Saturday in 1970, and I was playing with the band J. R. Flood in St. Catharines, Ontario. We were set up on the back of a flatbed trailer on James Street, closed to traffic for a Saturday “whoopee.” The idea was for us to entertain the youngsters, confound the adults, and share a $250 fee. Pictured are the late organist Bob Morrison and guitarist Paul Dickinson, and we had bass guitarist Wally Tomczuk and singer Gary Luciani. I was seventeen.

Neil Peart with J.R. Flood - 1970

“Looking at this particular image can send me off in so many directions. My eyes go straight to those drums, the first good set I ever owned: gray ripple Rogers. Not long after that photo was taken, I stripped them down to the bare shells in my bedroom, painstakingly disassembling all of the hardware, and covered the gray ripple wrap with “chrome” wallpaper, to emulate Keith Moon’s Tommy kit. Only two years or so previously, I had added the second eighteen-inch bass drum (little cannons like that represented a certain “style” then—a hangover from mod, I guess), and another twelve-inch tom. In addition, I had a fourteen-inch floor tom, a chrome “Powertone” snare (a model below the Dynasonic I coveted), thirteen-inch high-hats on a stand with a homemade height-extender, and two Zildjian cymbals, a twenty-inch and an eighteen.

“That day, I remember my twenty-incher was cracked, and I couldn’t afford a new one. A friend of the band’s, Greg, was a local drummer who had a somewhat less violent playing style than my own, but he lent me his twenty-inch Zildjian for that show. I still consider that a brave and generous act. (I didn’t break it.)

Neil Peart with J.R. Flood, 1970

“My pant legs are rolled up like a clown to prevent the bass-drum-pedal beaters from fouling in my flares (I use a bicycle clip these days), and the drumsticks are played backwards, “butt-end,” because I couldn’t afford to replace broken ones, so turned them around and used the other end. I’m sitting on a little square pillow (“liberated” from my mom) atop an upturned metal barrel (in which my dad’s farm equipment dealership sold calcium carbide for bird-scarers—sigh, so much needs to be explained when you’re telling about a time machine: those bird-scaring devices looked like a long megaphone atop a box, and they made a loud explosive noise from time to time, to scare birds out of orchards and vineyards). That steel barrel also served as a hardware case, because after the gig I could fill it with the stands and hardware.

“A drumset is a time machine, literally speaking—a machine for keeping time—though a drummer has to be the clockwork device to subdivide rhythm—to bring the time.

“In those days, I was not that drummer.

“In the opening photo, guitarist Paul is giving me what I can only describe as an “incredulous” look (he was both disciplined and disciplinarian, and I learned a lot from Paul in those days, like how to watch his tapping foot—a time machine if ever there was one—to keep the tempo). At that moment, I was probably racing away. When I hear the demos we made in those days, I find myself thinking, “For heaven’s sake—give that drummer a valium!” (Or a metronome.)

“The spectacles on the optician’s sign remind me of the eyes on the billboard in The Great Gatsby, which Fitzgerald used as a symbol for an impassive onlooker, a remote, uncaring deity, seeing all, changing nothing. “The stars look down.”

“To any drummer who has sweated over a particular set of drums, they represent another kind of time machine—like a classic violin or guitar, a part of one’s life. Still, I don’t get emotional about my old drumsets, and have given most of them away.

“Happily, the Rogers are still in the possession of my friend Brad, who has restored them beautifully, stripping off the cheesy chrome wallpaper to reveal the classic gray ripple finish. A couple of years back I had the opportunity to play them again, in Brad’s basement, with him playing guitar, and we had a fine time.

“No, I didn’t feel transported into the past, but it was fun to share a piece of it. And I wished I could have communicated a few observations to that kid who used to play those drums, so many long years ago. Even just to tell him, “Your ‘time’ will come.”

 

Neil’s Rogers drum kit with chrome wrap (playing with J.R. Flood, 1970)

“… I stripped them down to the bare shells in my bedroom, painstakingly disassembling all of the hardware, and covered the gray ripple wrap with ‘chrome’ wallpaper, to emulate Keith Moon’s Tommy kit.”

Neil’s Rogers Kit Today

The Rogers Kit is owned by Neil’s friend, Brad, who has restored it to the gray ripple finish.

“Happily, the Rogers are still in the possession of my friend Brad, who has restored them beautifully, stripping off the cheesy chrome wallpaper to reveal the classic gray ripple finish. A couple of years back I had the opportunity to play them again, in Brad’s basement, with him playing guitar, and we had a fine time.”

Rush

At a Glance:

Drums: Slingerland in Chrome Finish

Used from 1974 – 1977

Cymbals: Avedis Zildjian

Sticks: Pro-Mark 747 wood tip

Hardware: Ludwig, Pearl, Slingerland, Premier

5×14 Rogers Dynasonic Snare – Chrome Over Brass w/10 lugs

Drum tech: Ian Grandy

This Slingerland kit was the first drum kit Neil played with Rush. It was used to record:

Fly By Night

Caress of Steel
Fly By Night
Caress of Steel
2112
All the World’s a Stage

It was also used for tours supporting all the aforementioned albums, as well as Rush.

Kit Specifications

During the 2009/2010 “Chromey restoration,” Michael D.F. Lowe of NeilPeartDrumsticks.com researched the different versions of the Slingerland Kit. This is what Neil used for the Caress of Steel tour.

Neil Peart’s Slingerland Kit – 1974
DRUMS
3-ply Shells of Maple, Poplar, and Mahogany w/Chrome Wrap
9×13 Tom w/W&A Diamond Plate Clip Mount
9×13 Tom w/Set-O-Matic Mount
10×14 Tom w/Set-O-Matic Mount
16×16 Floor Tom
(2) 14×22 Bass Drum
5×14 Rogers Dynasonic Snare – Chrome Over Brass w/10 lugs

CYMBALS
Avedis Zildjian 8″ Splash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 13″ New Beat Hi-Hat Cymbal Pair
Avedis Zildjian 16″ Medium Crash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 18″ Medium Crash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 20″ Medium Crash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 22″ Ping Ride Cymbal

PERCUSSION
LP Rock/Bongo Cowbell

HARDWARE
(2) Ludwig Speed King w/Square Beater
Ludwig Consolette Tom Holder w/3″ rod and tongue on stage left bass
Slingerland Set-O-Matic Double Tom Holder on stage right bass
Slingerland Dynamo Hi-Hat Stand
Slingerland Rocket Snare Drum Stand
(4) Pearl Model #803 Single Braced Heavy Duty Cymbal Stand
Premier Lokfast Flush Base Cymbal Stand w/Cowbell and 8″ Splash
Ludwig Seat Case
Pro-Mark Rock 747 Drumsticks
Rogers Stick Tray Assembly #48-1280

HEADS
Evans All Weather Heavy Duty Rock Chrome Heads – 13″(2), 14″, 16″, 22″(2 bass front 1974)
Evans All Weather Heavy Duty Rock Blue Resonant Heads – 13″(2), 14″, 16″
Remo CS Black Dots – 14″, 22″ (2 bass rear)
Remo Ambassador Snare-side Head – 14″

Bass Heads Artwork

By Michael D.F. Lowe of NeilPeartDrumsticks.com.

The artwork on the bass heads from Fall 1974 to Fall 1975 was on 22″ Evans Rock Chrome heads with the first album RUSH logo in black.

In Fall 1975, with the start of the Caress Of Steel Tour, the kit can be seen with clear 22″ Evans Rock Blue resonant heads with the Caress Of Steel RUSH logo lettered in chrome mylar along with black lettered names on chrome rectangles, “neil” on the stage right bass and “peart” on the stage left bass.

In June 1976 during the 2112 Tour, the bass heads were removed for recording a series of live shows at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada.

These recordings were later released on the album, All The World’s A Stage. Before the heads were reinstalled, the interior of each head was spray painted blue, as seen here today.

You may have also seen photos, or the wall display, of the stage right bass head and its tragic demise.

This was caused by a small nick of the razor when cutting microphone holes in the heads.

It was reinforced with duct tape in an effort to prevent its spread across the surface. As you can
see it didn’t last long but did manage to hold up for about 9-10 months until February – March 1977 as witnessed in dated photos where further duct taping has been applied to the tear. We removed the heads to preserve them from any further damage.

Caress Of Steel

1975 KitAt a Glance:

Drums: Slingerland in Chrome Finish; first album with concert toms

Used from 1974 – 1977

Cymbals: Avedis Zildjian

Sticks: Pro-Mark 747 wood tip

Hardware: Ludwig, Pearl, Slingerland, Premier

Snare: 5×14 Rogers Dynasonic Snare – Chrome Over Brass w/10 lugs

Drum tech: Ian Grandy

This Slingerland kit was the first drum kit Neil played with Rush. It was used to record:

Fly By Night

Caress of Steel

2112

All the World’s a Stage

It was also used for tours supporting all the aforementioned albums, as well as Rush.

Kit Specifications

During the 2009/2010 “Chromey restoration,” Michael D.F. Lowe of NeilPeartDrumsticks.com researched the different versions of the Slingerland Kit. This is what Neil used for the Caress of Steel tour.

DRUMS
3-ply Shells of Maple, Poplar, and Mahogany w/Chrome Wrap
9×13 Tom w/W&A Diamond Plate Clip Mount
9×13 Tom w/Set-O-Matic Mount
10×14 Tom w/Set-O-Matic Mount
16×16 Floor Tom
(2) 14×22 Bass Drum
5×14 Rogers Dynasonic Snare – Chrome Over Brass w/10 lugs
5.5×6 Concert 5.5×6 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Slingerland Clip Mount
5.5×8 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Slingerland Clip Mount
6.5×10 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Pearl Clip Mount
8×12 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Pearl Clip Mount

CYMBALS
Avedis Zildjian 8″ Splash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 13″ New Beat Hi-Hat Cymbal Pair
Avedis Zildjian 16″ Medium Crash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 18″ Medium Crash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 20″ Medium Crash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 22″ Ping Ride Cymbal

PERCUSSION
Ludwig 4″ Gold Tone Cowbell
LP Standard Agogo Bells
LP Black Beauty Cowbell
LP Rock/Bongo Cowbell
Wind Chimes with about 5 bars
Cluster Chimes with about 10-12 bars
3-piece Temple Bells – vertically strung

HARDWARE
(2) Ludwig Speed King w/Square Beater
Ludwig Consolette Tom Holder w/3″ rod and tongue on stage left bass
Slingerland Set-O-Matic Double Tom Holder on stage right bass
Slingerland Dynamo Hi-Hat Stand
Slingerland Rocket Snare Drum Stand
(2) Pearl Model #803 Single Braced Heavy Duty Cymbal Stand
Pearl Model #803 Stand Base coupled w/Premier Lokfast Upper Rods w/Cowbells and 8″ Splash
Slingerland Extra Sturdy Double Tom Stand w/Set-O-Matic Double Clip Mount Tom Holder
(2) Pearl Tom Tom Clip Mount (Replacing Slingerland mounts on 10″ and 12″ concert toms)
Premier Lokfast Flush Base Cymbal Stand w/Pearl Model #813 Stand Upper Tom Mount Tube
Ludwig Hoop Mount Cymbal Holder on stage right bass drum
Ludwig Seat Case
Pro-Mark Rock 747 Drumsticks
Rogers Stick Tray Assembly #48-1280

HEADS
Evans All Weather Heavy Duty Rock Chrome Heads – 13″(2), 14″, 16″
Evans All Weather Heavy Duty Rock Blue Resonant Heads – 13″(2), 14″, 16″, 22″(2 bass front 1975)
Remo CS Black Dots – 14″, 22″ (2 bass rear)
Remo Ambassador Snare-side Head – 14″
Ludwig Weathermaster CH-Batter Silver Dot Heads – 6″, 8″, 10″, 12″

2112

At a Glance:

Drums: Slingerland in Chrome Finish

Used from 1974 – 1977

Cymbals: Avedis Zildjian

Sticks: Pro-Mark 747 wood tip

Hardware: Ludwig, Pearl, Slingerland, Premier

5.5×14 Slingerland Artist Snare w/Copper Wrap – 3-ply Shell w/8 lugs

Drum tech: Ian Grandy

Kit Specifications

During the 2009/2010 “Chromey restoration,” Michael D.F. Lowe of NeilPeartDrumsticks.com researched the different versions of the Slingerland Kit. This is what was used for the 2112 tour.

DRUMS
3-ply Shells of Maple, Poplar, and Mahogany w/Chrome Wrap
9×13 Tom w/W&A Diamond Plate Clip Mount
9×13 Tom w/Set-O-Matic Mount
10×14 Tom w/Set-O-Matic Mount
16×16 Floor Tom
(2) 14×22 Bass Drum
5×14 Rogers Dynasonic Snare – Chrome Over Brass w/10 lugs
5×6 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Slingerland Clip Mount
5×8 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Slingerland Clip Mount
5×10 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Pearl Clip Mount
8×12 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Pearl Clip Mount
5.5×14 Slingerland Artist Snare w/Copper Wrap – 3-ply Shell w/8 lugs

CYMBALS
(2) Avedis Zildjian 8″ Splash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 13″ New Beat Hi-Hat Cymbal Pair
(2) Avedis Zildjian 16″ Medium Crash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 18″ Medium Crash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 20″ Medium Crash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 22″ Ping Ride Cymbal

PERCUSSION
Ludwig 4″ Gold Tone Cowbell
LP Standard Agogo Bells
LP Black Beauty Cowbell
Agogo Triple Bells
LP Rock/Bongo Cowbell
Wind Chimes with about 5 bars
Cluster Chimes with about 10-12 bars
3-piece Temple Bells – vertically strung
Slingerland-Deagan Glockenspiel #B-58

HARDWARE
(2) Ludwig Speed King w/Square Beater
Ludwig Consolette Tom Holder w/3″ rod and tongue on stage left bass
Slingerland Set-O-Matic Double Tom Holder on stage right bass
Slingerland Dynamo Hi-Hat Stand
Slingerland Rocket Snare Drum Stand
(2) Pearl Model #803 Single Braced Heavy Duty Cymbal Stand
Pearl Model #803 Stand Base coupled w/Premier Lokfast Upper Rods w/Cowbells and 8″ Splash
Slingerland Extra Sturdy Double Tom Stand w/Set-O-Matic Double Clip Mount Tom Holder
(2) Pearl Tom Tom Clip Mount (Replacing Slingerland mounts on 10″ and 12″ concert toms)
Premier Lokfast Flush Base Cymbal Stand w/Pearl Model #813 Stand Upper Tom Mount Tube
Ludwig Hoop Mount Cymbal Holder w/Ludwig Top Rod and Tilter on stage right bass drum
Ludwig Hoop Mount Cymbal Holder w/Premier Top Rod and Tilter on stage right bass drum
Ludwig Seat Case
Pro-Mark Rock 747 Drumsticks
Rogers Stick Tray Assembly #48-1280
Leather 3-pocket Drumstick Bag

HEADS
Evans All Weather Heavy Duty Rock Chrome Heads – 13″(2), 14″, 16″
Evans All Weather Heavy Duty Rock Blue Resonant Heads – 13″(2), 14″, 16″, 22″ (2 bass front)
Remo CS Black Dots – 14″, 22″ (2 bass rear)
Remo Ambassador Snare-side Head – 14″
Ludwig Weathermaster CH-Batter Silver Dot Heads – 6″, 8″, 10″, 12″

DRUMS
3-ply Shells of Maple, Poplar, and Mahogany w/Chrome Wrap
9×13 Tom w/W&A Diamond Plate Clip Mount
9×13 Tom w/Set-O-Matic Mount
10×14 Tom w/Set-O-Matic Mount
16×16 Floor Tom
(2) 14×22 Bass Drum
5×14 Rogers Dynasonic Snare – Chrome Over Brass w/10 lugs
5.5×6 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Slingerland Clip Mount
5.5×8 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Slingerland Clip Mount
6.5×10 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Pearl Clip Mount
8×12 Concert Tom w/Copper Wrap and Pearl Clip Mount
5.5×14 Slingerland Artist Snare w/Copper Wrap – 3-ply Shell w/8 lugs

CYMBALS
(2) Avedis Zildjian 8″ Splash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 13″ New Beat Hi-Hat Cymbal Pair
(2) Avedis Zildjian 16″ Medium Crash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 18″ Medium Crash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 20″ Medium Crash Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 22″ Ping Ride Cymbal
Avedis Zildjian 18″ Pang Cymbal

PERCUSSION
Ludwig 4″ Gold Tone Cowbell
LP Standard Agogo Bells
LP Black Beauty Cowbell
Agogo Triple Bells
LP Rock/Bongo Cowbell
Slingerland-Deagan Glockenspiel #B-58
Mark Tree w/35 Brass Bars Chimes
LP Bell Tree w/27 Brass Bells
(5) Slingerland Temple Blocks

HARDWARE
(2) Ludwig Speed King w/Square Beater
Ludwig Consolette Tom Holder w/3″ rod and tongue on stage left bass
Slingerland Set-O-Matic Double Tom Holder on stage right bass
Slingerland Dynamo Hi-Hat Stand
Slingerland Rocket Snare Drum Stand
(4) Pearl Model #803 Single Braced Heavy Duty Cymbal Stand
Pearl Model #803 Stand Base coupled w/Premier Lokfast Upper Rods w/Cowbells and 8″ Splash
Slingerland Extra Sturdy Double Tom Stand w/Set-O-Matic Double Clip Mount Tom Holder
(2) Pearl Tom Tom Clip Mount (Replacing Slingerland mounts on 10″ and 12″ concert toms)
Premier Lokfast Flush Base Cymbal Stand w/Pearl Model #813 Stand Upper Tom Mount Tube
Slingerland Temple Block Stand Model #846
Ludwig Hoop Mount Cymbal Holder w/Ludwig Top Rod and Tilter on stage right bass drum
Ludwig Hoop Mount Cymbal Holder w/Premier Top Rod and Tilter on stage right bass drum
Ludwig Seat Case
Pro-Mark Rock 747 Drumsticks
Leather 3-pocket Drumstick Bag

HEADS
Evans All Weather Heavy Duty Rock Chrome Heads – 13″(2), 14″, 16″
Evans All Weather Heavy Duty Rock Blue Resonant Heads – 13″(2), 14″, 16″, 22″(2 bass front)
Remo CS Black Dots – 14″, 22″ (2 bass rear)
Remo Ambassador Snare-side Head – 14″
Ludwig Weathermaster CH-Batter Silver Dot Heads – 6″, 8″, 10″, 12″

A Farewell to Kings

At a Glance:

Drums: Slingerland in Black Finish with “Vibra-Fibing”; last Slingerland drum kit

Used from 1977-1979

Cymbals: Avedis Zildjian

Sticks: Pro-Mark 747 wood tip

5.5×14 Slingerland Artist Snare w/Copper Wrap – 3-ply Shell w/8 lugs

Drum tech: Larry Allen

This Slingerland kit was the second drum kit Neil played with Rush. It was used to record and tour:

A Farewell to Kings

Hemispheres

From the A Farewell to Kings tour book, by Neil Peart

Neil Peart

Neil Peart

“My drums are all by Slingerland, with the shells all treated with a process called Vibra-Fibing, which puts a thin layer of fiberglass on the inner shell. This helps to improve the natural warmth and resonance of the drums, while it sharpens the attack to give greater projection. The kit consists of two 24″ bass drums, 6″, 8″, 10″ and 12″ concert toms, 12″, 13″, 15″, and 18″, tom-toms, and a 5″ x 14″ wooden snare drum. The cymbals are all by Avedis Zildjian, a 6″ and 8″ splash, two 16″, one 18″, and one 20″ crash cymbals, a 22″ ride, an 18″ pang, and a pair of 13” hi-hats.

“My collection of percussion ‘toys’ currently includes tubular bells, glockenspiel, wind chimes, temple blocks, timbales, bell tree, triangles, and a set of melodic cowbells.

“I use Remo Black Dot drum heads on my snare and bass drums, Ludwig Silver Dots on the concert toms and timbales, and Evans Looking Glass (top), and Blue Hydraulic (bottom) on the tom-tom. I use Promark 747 drumsticks, with the varnish sanded off of the gripping area.”

Niel Playing His Black Slingerland

After Rush:
In a letter that Neil published in Modern Drummer on Sept 15, 1982, Neil wrote, “I still have my black Slingerland kit at home for practice…”

Hemispheres

At a Glance:

Drums: Slingerland in Black Finish with “Vibra-Fibing”; last Slingerland drum kit

Used from 1977-1979

Cymbals: Avedis Zildjian

Sticks: Pro-Mark 747 wood tip
5.5×14 Slingerland Artist Snare w/Copper Wrap – 3-ply Shell w/8 lugs
Drum tech: Larry Allen

This Slingerland kit was the second drum kit Neil played with Rush. It was used to record and tour:

A Farewell to Kings

Hemispheres

From the Hemispheres tour book, by Neil Peart

Hemispheres neil_d9

“My drums are all by Slingerland, with the inner surface of the wooden shells treated with a process called Vibra-Fibing. This consists of a thin layer of glass fiber and resin. (The drums include) two 24″ bass drums, 6″,8″,10″, and 12″ concert toms, 12″, 13″, 15″, and 18″ tom-toms, and a 5″x14″ wood shell snare drum. All cymbals are by Avedis Zildjian, with the exception of an 18″ Chinese cymbal. The Zildjians are 6″ and 8″ splash, two 16″, one 18″ and one 20″ crash cymbals, and 22″ ride, a pair of 13″ hi-hats, and 18″ pang and a 20” China type.

“In the percussion department are orchestra bells, tubular bells, wind chimes, crotales, timbales, tympani, gong, temple blocks, bell tree, triangle, and melodic cowbells.

“For heads I use Remo black dots on the snare and bass drums, Ludwig silver dots on the concert toms and timbales, and Evans Looking Glass (top), and Speed King pedals, and Tama and Pearl stands. I use Pro-Mark 747 drumsticks with the varnish sanded off the gripping area.”

Hemispheres 2

The Slingerland Kit

The Slingerland Kit

Permanent Waves

Permanent Waves Album Cover

Permanent Waves Album Cover

Permanent Waves is the seventh studio album released on January 1, 1980. It was recorded at Le Studio, Morin Heights, Quebec and was mixed at Trident Studios in London, UK. Permanent Waves became Rush’s first US top five album hitting a lofty #4 and was the band’s fifth gold record, (eventually hitting platinum) selling album. Permanent Waves marks a transition from long, conceptual pieces, into a more radio-friendly style and a produces a significant expansion in Rush’s sales.

Neil’s drum kit at a glance:

Drums: Tama in Rosewood Finish with “Vibra-Fibing”; first Tama drum kit

Used from 1980 – 1981

Cymbals: Avedis Zildjian, Wuhan (China type)

Sticks: Pro-Mark 747 wood tip

5.5×14 Slingerland Artist Snare w/Copper Wrap – 3-ply Shell w/8 lugs

Drum tech: Larry Allen

Used to record and tour:

Permanent Waves

Moving Pictures

Permanent Waves post _1_small

“I recently became the proud owner of a new set of Tama drums, once again with the inner side of the wooden shells coated with the Vibra-Fibing treatment. Along with the custom finish and the brass-plated metal hardware, this operation was performed by the Percussion centre of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The sizes of the drums remain unchanged, consisting of two 24″ bass drums, 6″, 8″, 10″ and 12″ concert toms, 12″, 13″ 15″ and 18″ closed toms, and a 5 1/2 x 14” wooden snare drum. I probably need hardly (to) add that both on the road, and most especially on this newest record, I am very pleased with the combination of the thick, wooden shells, and the dependable, modern hardware.

“All my cymbals are still by Avedis Zildjian, with the exception of one 18″ Chinese cymbal. They are a 6″ and 8″ splash, two 16″, one 18″, and one 20″ crash cymbals, a 22″ ride, a pair of 13″ high-hats, an 18″ pang, and a 20” China type.

Permanent_Waves neil_2

“Digging into the toy box we find the usual assortment of effects, including timbales, melodic cowbells, orchestra bells, wind chimes, tubular bells, bell tree, tympani, temple blocks, triangle, gong, and crotales.

“On my snare and bass drums I use Remo black-dot heads, Ludwig silver-dots on the concert toms, and Evans Looking Glass (top) and Blue Hydraulic (bottom) on the other toms. Ludwig Speed King Pedals and Tama hardware complete the set-up. My drumsticks are still Pro-Mark 747’s with the varnish removed from the gripping area.”

Moving Pictures

Moving Pictures Album Cover

Moving Pictures Album Cover

Moving Pictures is Rush’s eighth studio album. The album was recorded and mixed from November 1980 at Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec, Canada, and released on February 12, 1981.
Moving Pictures became Rush’s biggest selling album in the US rising to #3 on the Billboard charts and endures to this day as the band’s most popular and commercially successful studio recording.

At a Glance:

Drums: Tama in Rosewood finish with “Vibra-Fibing”; wooden timbales instead of metal; tympani and gong replaced with Tama “gong bass drums”

Used from 1980 – 1981

Cymbals: Avedis Zildjian, Wuhan (China type)

Sticks: Pro-Mark 747 wood tip

5.5×14 Slingerland Artist Snare w/Copper Wrap – 3-ply Shell w/8 lugs

Drum tech: Larry Allen

Used to record and tour:

Permanent Waves

Moving Pictures

“I am still releasing my hostilities on Tama drums, all with wooden shells, and the inner side ‘Vibra-Fibed.’ The bass drums are 24″, the toms are 6, 8, 10, 12″ concerts, and 12, 13, 15, and 18” closed toms. I am still using my ‘old faithful’ wood-shell snare, a 5 1/2 x 14 Slingerland, and have recently made a switch to wooden timbales, and retired my tympani and gong in favor of a pair of Tama ‘gong bass drums,’ which are open-ended bass drums on a stand, utilizing oversize heads to give a very deep, resonant sound.

Moving_Pictures_neil

“My cymbals are Avedis Zildjians, with the exception of one genuine Chinese China type. The Zildjians are 8″ and 10″ splash, 13″ high-hats, two 16″, and one each 18″ and 20″ crash cymbals, a 22″ ride, an 18″ pang, and a 20” China type.

“In the Percussion Department are orchestra bells, tubular bells, wind chimes, temple blocks, cowbells, triangles, bell tree, crotales, and Burma bell.

“I use Remo clear dots on my snare and bass drums, Ludwig silver dots on the concert toms, and Evans Looking Glass (top), and Blue Hydraulic (bottom) on the closed toms. Clear Remos are used on the timbales and gong bass drums. Ludwig pedals, Slingerland hi-hat, Tama hardware, and Pro-Mark 747 drumsticks are the final details.”

After Rush

Adam Roderick won the kit as part of a Modern Drummer essay contest and is still using the kit today in his Rush tribute band Trilogy. Here is Adam receiving the kit with the help of Larry Allen, Neil’s then drum tech.

Adam Roderick receiving Neil's kit.

Adam Roderick receiving Neil’s kit.

Signals

Signals Album Cover

Signals Album Cover

At a Glance:

Drums: Tama Art Star “prototype” in Candy Apple Red finish with “Vibra-Fibing”

Used from 1982 – 1985

Cymbals: Avedis Zildjian, Wuhan (China type)

Sticks: Pro-Mark 747 wood tip

5.5×14 Slingerland Artist Snare w/Copper Wrap – 3-ply Shell w/8 lugs

Drum tech: Larry Allen

Used to record and tour:

Signals

Grace Under Pressure

Power Windows

“Well, well! Hello again for another tour! (This is getting to be habit forming!) I’ve got some new drums to tell you about. Once again, they are Tamas; with the custom candy-apple red finish, the brass plated hardware, and the Vibra-Fibing of the inner shells performed by the Percussion Center of Fort Wayne. The sizes remain the same: two 24″ bass drums, 6″, 8″, 10″, and 12″ concert toms, 12″, 13″, 15″, and 18″ closed toms, and 20″ and 22” gong bass drums. My snare is still the same old wood-shell Slingerland, and I am using the Tama wooden timbales with great satisfaction.

neil_d7

“With the exception of the trashy Chinese cymbal, all my cymbals are by Avedis Zildjian. They are: 8″ and 10″ splash, 13″ High Hats, two 16″ crashes, one each 18″ and 20″ crash, a 22″ ride, an 18″ Pang, and a 20” China Type.

“In the Department of Percussion Effects are orchestra bells, tubular bells, wind chimes, temple blocks, numerous semi-melodic cowbells, triangle, bell tree, and crotales.

“There are Remo Clear Dot heads on the snare and bass drums, Evans Heavy Duty Rock on all the toms and the gong bass drums, and Evans Tom-Tom models on the bottoms of the closed toms. These are all non-Hydraulic heads. I use clear Remos on the timbales. All of the stands and hardware are by Tama, and I am still using Promark 747 sticks, with the varnish removed from the gripping area by Larry.”

Grace Under Pressure

Grace Under Pressure Album Cover

Grace Under Pressure Album Cover

Grace Under Pressure is Rush’s tenth studio album. It was released in 1984 and reached #10 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album went platinum shortly after it’s initial release. Cover art was painted by Hugh Syme, a collaborator of Rush since his days as a guest musician on the song “Tears” from the 2112 album.

At a Glance:

Acoustic drums: Tama Art Star “prototype” in Candy Apple Red finish with “Vibra-Fibing”

Used from 1982 – 1985

Electronic drums: Simmons

Cymbals: Avedis Zildjian, Wuhan (China type)

Sticks: Pro-Mark 747 wood tip

5.5×14 Slingerland Artist Snare with Candy Apple Red Finish – 3-ply Shell w/8 lugs

Drum tech: Larry Allen

Grace_Under_Pressure_1

Grace_Under_Pressure_2

Used to record and tour:

Signals

Grace Under Pressure

Power Windows

“Hi there folks! I’m the blurry blob in the middle of all those DRUMS! I don’t know where they came from, but every time I turn around there are more of them! When they’re packed away in those dark, warm cases you don’t suppose they…? (Eerie music fades up)

“‘You are entering a world of imagination…’

“You are entering a world of drums ―that’s what! I’ve got drums literally coming and going this year. Everywhere I turn, more of ’em close in around me. More and More of them, getting bigger and bigger ― and they’re red!! Red, like blood! “Izzen dat scaddy kids?” O-O-W-H-O-O-O-o-o-o.

“O-kay!… Ahem. The main kit remains the same, the prototype for what they’re calling the Tama Artstar these days. Two 24″ bass drums, 6″, 8″, 10″ and 12″ concert toms, 12″, 13″, 15″ and 18″ closed toms, and a 22” gong bass drum is the basic outfit. The “Old Faithful” 5×14″ Slingerland snare is still number one, and I am again using a metal timbale, a 13″ Tama to be exact.

Grace_3_neil_grace2

“The cymbals are of course by Avedis Zildjian, 8″ and 10″ splash, 13″ hi-hats, two 16″ crashes, one each 18″ and 20″ crash, a 22″ ride (ten years old now!), an 18″ pang, and a 20″ China type. There is also a China type which is really from China. (As opposed to America, Switzerland, Italy or Turkey.) On the rear kit there are more Zildjians ― another 22″ ride, 16″ and 18″ crash, 13” hi-hats, and another of those Chinese jobs.

“The rear set consists of a Tama 18” bass drum, another Slingerland snare, three Simmons tom modules and one snare module, and the Simmons “Clap Trap” with foot switched both fore and aft.

“The incidental percussion department is also in a change of state as we speak, but may consist of orchestra bells, wind chimes, crotales, temple blocks, cowbells and/or a bell tree, I’m just not sure.

“I’m still using the Remo clear-dot heads on the snare(s) and bass drums, Evans Heavy Duty Rock (top) and Evans Tom Tom (bottom) on the closed toms, Remo black-dots on the concert toms, and plain Remos on the timbale and gong bass drums. All of the hardware (but for a couple of small bits) is by Tama, as are the “Camco” chain-drive pedals, and I’m still chewing up Promark 747 sticks, which have the varnish filed off the shoulder area by Larry. (He’s the blurry black blob in the back tearing his hair and gnashing his teeth over the drums, the monitors, the headphones, the electronics and all of the presets for the Simmons and the Clap Trap!)

Grace_4_

Power Windows

At a Glance:

Acoustic drums: Tama Art Star “prototype” in Candy Apple Red finish with “Vibra-Fibing”

Used from 1982 – 1985

Electronic drums: Simmons

Cymbals: Avedis Zildjian, Wuhan (China type)

Sticks: Pro-Mark 747 wood tip

5.5×14 Slingerland Artist Snare with Candy Apple Red finish – 3-ply Shell w/8 lugs

Drum tech: Larry Allen

Power_Windows_1_

Used to record and tour:

Signals

Grace Under Pressure

Power Windows

“Well the big news this time is in the area of electronics. My experiments last time in combining the Simmons electronic drums with my acoustic setup worked out very well, and having the two separate drum sets back-to-back has allowed me to expand the variety of sounds I can choose from without compromising the feel and voice of natural drums.

“With the use of Simmons SDS-7 digital modules and the EPROM unit (Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) I can now reproduce, for example, the African drums which I played on “Mystic Rhythms”, stored on tiny little chips and triggered by the pads. This is a very exciting area of exploration, as you can imagine. Without losing the excitement and energy of real drums at the heart of my playing, I can have an infinite variety of other percussive sounds and effects to call on at the stroke of a pad or the kick of a switch. Larry and I have even invented a little trigger (called “Sidney”) which mounts between my front toms to give me easier access to effects. fun stuff.

“You’d be right in thinking that these machines are complicated, experimental, and sometimes frustrating. In spite of my instinctive distrust and antipathy for things electronic, I find myself unable to resist the limitless variety of sounds I can create and reproduce. I didn’t realize that when I first played with a little Mattel drum synthesizer ― I’d get hooked!

“Everything else remains pretty constant, the Tama drums are the “Artstar” prototypes, except for the snares which are the old Slingerland “Artist” model. All the cymbals are by Avedis Zildjian, except for the Chinese ones which are from Wuhan in China. Timbale, crotales, wind chimes, glockenspiel, temple blocks, cowbells, “Clap Trap”, and a gong bass drum round out the toy box.

Hold Your Fire

Hold_Your_Fire_Album_Cover

Hold Your Fire is Rush’s twelfth studio album. Hold Your Fire was released on September 18, 1987. The album was recorded at The Manor Studio in Oxfordshire, Ridge Farm Studio in Surrey, Air Studios in Montserrat and McClear Place, Toronto, Canada. Hold Your Fire was the last studio album released outside Canada by PolyGram/Mercury

At a Glance:

Acoustic drums: Ludwig Classic in white opalescent finish with a hint of pink with “Vibra-Fibing”

Used from 1987 to 1990

Electronic drums: Simmons, KAT midi-marimba

Cymbals: Avedis Zildjian, Wuhan (China type)

Sticks: Pro-Mark 747 wood tip

5.5×14 Slingerland Artist Snare with matching white opalescent finish – 3-ply Shell w/8 lugs

Drum tech: Larry Allen

Hold_Your_Fire_1

Used to record and tour:

Hold Your Fire
Presto
Roll the Bones (new Ludwigs used on tour)

“Well, lots of Big News in the equipment department this year, for those of you who are interested in such things. When I decided last year that I wanted to get a new set of drums, I went about it in a very methodical way. This time I wanted to be absolutely sure that I was using the best sounding drums there were. So I went down to the Percussion Centre in Fort Wayne, and we tried out six different makes of drums, side by side with the same heads and tuning. The result was a new set of Ludwig drums ― the ones which sounded the most lively and exciting. A similar “A-B” comparison confirmed the effectiveness of the Vibrafibing treatment, and that process of a thin layer of fiberglass has been applied to the inside of the shells.

Hold_Your_Fire_2

“When Geddy saw the color I had chosen for them, he asked: “Whatever possessed you?” Well I’m not sure about that, but it’s another “hot rod” finish like the red ones, this time a combination of white opalescent, with a few “flip-flop” sparkles, and a little hint of pink.

“Just different, that’s all.

Hold_Your_Fire_3_ludwig_mdjpg

“The hardware, which has been brass plated, is a combination of Premier, Tama and Pearl fittings, while the cymbals are by Avedis Zildjian, with the exception of the Chinese ones which come from Wuhan province in China. The venerable Slingerland “Artist” snare drums remain, as do the Promark 747 drum sticks.

“Big News in the electronics department as well ― the Simmons pads now trigger an Akai digital sampler through a Yamaha Midi Controller. This has expanded my range of available percussion sounds enormously, allowing me to have absolutely any sound available at the flick of a stick or the kick of a switch. Nice. I’ve also added a KAT keyboard percussion unit, which again gives me all of the keyboard percussion sounds in a neat little package.

“In the “traditional” percussion domain, there are a temple blocks, timbale, crotales, a Tama gong bass drum, cowbells and wind chimes.

“What else was I going to say?

“I forget.

“Oh well.”

After Rush

Lorne Wheaton wrote in November, 2010: “As far as I know (the first Ludwig kit) was given away through Modern Drummer.”

Presto

Presto_Album_Cover_

Presto is Rush’s thirteenth studio album which was released in 1989. Like many of Rush’s studio albums, it was recorded at Le Studio in Morin Heights and McClear Place Toronto, Canada. Presto was Rush’s first Atlantic Records recording. Rush signed with Atlantic in early 1989 because they had decided not to renew their contract with Mercury/PolyGram Records.

According to many of Rush’s fans, Presto was the beginning of a transition period, which had the band move away from a sound dominated by synthesizers and toward more traditional rock instrumentation and pop songwriting.

At a glance:

Acoustic drums: Ludwig Super Classic with purple finish with “Vibra-Fibing”

Used from 1987 to 1990

Electronic drums: d-drum, KAT midi-marimba

Cymbals: Avedis Zildjian, Wuhan (China type)

Sticks: Pro-Mark 747 wood tip

5.5×14 Slingerland Artist Snare – with matching purple finish – 3-ply Shell w/8 lugs

Drum tech: Larry Allen

Prsto_1

Used on the following tours:

Hold Your Fire
Presto
Roll the Bones

Buddy Rich Memorial Concert (1991)

Here’s a run down on the kit used for this concert:

5.5×14 Slingerland Artist Snare – with matching purple finish – 3-ply Shell w/8 lugs

Sticks: Pro-Mark 747 wood tip

Cymbals: Avedis Zildjian, Wuhan (China type)

Acoustic drums: Ludwig Super Classic with purple finish with “Vibra-Fibing”

Smaller “Jazz” setup built from pieces of the “Presto” kit

Images from Buddy Rich Memorial Scholarship Concerts (2006)

Images from Buddy Rich Memorial Scholarship Concerts (2006)

The world witnessed a rare event when Neil Peart agreed to headline the Buddy Rich Memorial Concert held in New York City in 1994. As a rule Neil avoids performing clinics, but on this occasion he accepted the top billing because his participation in the concert would help provide a college scholarship for a needy drummer.

The question that begs to be asked is what was it like to go from a three-piece rock group to a sixteen-piece big band? According to Neil, (excerpt taken from Modern Drummer, “In Search of the Right Feel,” February 1994, p-66), “It was a major, major challenge. I vacillated a lot about accepting it, and I wished I had an excuse not to! I wished I could have said, ‘Sorry, I’m going to be in Finland that day.’ All kidding aside, I realized that year that I had been playing drums for twenty-five years, so I felt I should do it for myself to mark the occasion. I got the video of the first Buddy Rich Memorial Concert, and I was just so impressed at how well everyone played…I had enormous self-doubt after seeing it,” Neil admits.

“But then I got inspired and thought, I’ll do it like Buddy would have done it! I realized that all the other drummers essentially just ‘did themselves,’ as opposed to trying to play in a similar style to Buddy. I tried to learn what Buddy played on the songs I was going to be performing, exactly as he played them. I wanted to honor him by trying to play as much like him as I could. I even tried to figure out the stickings he used, as much as possible. I felt safe, in a way, following his example into what were unknown musical waters for me. It was such a challenge because I had to try and get into his mind. Wandering around inside Buddy’s conception of things was amazing. To see how he would set up a fill and execute it, and even how he would view an entire arrangement, was very rewarding research for me.”

“The performance helped to inspire Neil in other ways. “When I got back to Toronto, Rush was in the midst of working on Roll The Bones, and I was writing the lyrics for a song called ‘Bravado.’ It has a line, “We burn our wings flying too close to the sun.” Well, I’d aimed for this incredibly high goal, to play like Buddy Rich in his band—to play like the greatest drummer who has ever played. If I burned my wings a little, big deal!”

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