"These blokes don't entirely stink!"
- Captain Gwain Greenwald Knight -Gangster of Boats
I've been a huge fan of RUSH and Neil Peart for many years.
No other drummer (with the possible exception being John Bonham of Led Zeppelin) has held my attention more than Neil Peart; infinitely fascinated by his energetic style and unparalleled attention to detail.
My initial exposure to RUSH was ‘All the World's a Stage’ when a friend cranked up ‘Working Man/Finding My Way.’ From my first time hearing that drum solo, it’s been a quest for me to learn as much as possible. I've had the pleasure of meeting RUSH a handful of times (through a mutual friend and Jack Secret) and attended many soundchecks over the years. During those visits on various tours, I was afforded the rarest of all treats… sitting behind Neil’s drums!!! Also, I must add, attending RUSH’s afternoon soundchecks alongside just a few dozen people in a 20,000-seat arena… doesn’t exactly suck!!!
The conversations and questions most often asked of me concern my drumkit, because for many, it’s the closest they’ve seen to Neil Peart’s kit itself.
“How much does your drum kit cost?” is often the first question, to which I invariably reply, “I have no idea. A lot… I guess!”
I play a maple DW ‘Collectors Series’ kit in 'Custom Candy Apple Red. Lacquer,' arriving at this particular color through my love of NEP’s famous early 80’s red set coupled with the ‘Snakes and Arrows’ DW touring kit!. The shells are the exact sizes and configuration as the 2004 R30 kit (devout Peart fans often know these specifications). I’ve been playing Zildjians all my life, (so it’s impossible to turn this ship around in the harbor) and my cymbals are all A-type Zildjians, with exception of Peart’s Signature Line Series 19" Paragon China and 20” Diamondback. (Again, Peart fans will know these cymbals sizes match up exactly). You’ll also find the 5 cowbells…
Now, to go completely over-the-top… my octagonal drum riser rotates 180 degrees to showcase a Roland vDrum kit! My intent with this “Back 40” (as my buddy calls it), was to assemble this electronic kit to the same specifications as Neil’s Snakes & Arrows touring kit. Here, I must thank Garrison of the Artist Relations group at DW Drums for his invaluable assistance. After informing of my wishes, they accessed Neil Peart’s actual 2008 invoice as to replicate the exact sizes. These Roland vDrums are all mounted in DW Collectors Series maple shells color matched to my Candy Apple Red acoustic kit. The specifications are: 12”x 12” kick mounted with Roland KD120 inside, two (2) 5”x 10” shells and four (4) 6”x 10” shells all mounted with Roland PD-105’s and a 5”x 12” snare with a Roland PD-125. Also are two 13” vCyms designated as crashes, a 14” vCym for my ride, a 12” vCym for a China-type and lastly Roland VH13 hi-hats.
Finally, my additional trigger sounds all come from Ableton Live which are spread across the MalletKAT, the Roland vDrums (via two Roland TD-30 drum modules), Dauz triggers and FatKat pedals. My hardware is mostly a combination of DW 9000s, and 3000 Cym Stands/Booms all sitting in Gibraltar 1 ½” rack tubes.
For all the technical support I would like to thank:
Garrison and Jessie at DW Drums - http://www.dwdrums.com
Mario and Connie at Alternate Mode - MALLETKAT - www.alternatemode.com
Dan Dauz – DAUZ TRIGGER PADS - https://dauz.com/
The Artist Relations Group at 64 Audio - IN EAR MONITORS - www.64audio.com
Tom Henry at Drum Tech - FATKAT Triggers - https://www.linkedin.com/in/tom-henry-03305b125/
AND LASTLY. . . Lorne ‘Gump’ Wheaton for all the hospitality shown to me over the years and for answering questions as to how he and Neil came up with and improved upon, the most iconic drum kit in the history of Rock & Roll.
Thank you, Neil Peart -- for the years of unending inspiration!!
I'm a Texan...raised by Texans. I discovered Rush at an early age. One day in middle school I pulled out my typical reading material of the era - Guitar World magazine. As I was thumbing through the pages the guy next me said, "hey, do you play guitar?" to which I replied in the affirmative. "Cool, I play drums," he said. Can you see where this is going?
So - fast-forwarding to the RUSH part - after a couple years and rotating members, that drummer and I called our band Still Life, and we were getting good enough to expand our repertoire past the classic rock and grunge music of the day. We aspired to play more complex music, and RUSH was our gateway drug. After some house parties and talent shows, the band got a 10 minute showcase before intermission to a captive audience of proud parents and grandparents who came to see their baby sing at the high school choir show. So what did we do - we crushed them with some loud RUSH instrumentals. La Villa Strangiato, 2112 Overture & Finale, and YYZ. Our final glory was a senior class fundraiser - a concert we put on in the school corral (remember - Texas). Graduation arrived, high school was over, and it was time for the next adventure.
In a strange twist of fate - all three members of Still Life (oh yeah - there were only three of us) were accepted and attended The University of Texas at Austin. Austin was still a college town in the 90's and was "The Live Music Capital of the World." I quickly drifted away from being a performer and focused on becoming a recording engineer. One night I took a risk and showed up to Austin Music Hall during the load-in of the inaugural G3 tour. This bill was Adrian Legg, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and one of my biggest influences in life and music - Eric Johnson. Eric had just released his masterpiece, Venus Isle, the follow up to his Grammy-winning breakthrough Ah Via Musicom. I walked up on stage as Eric finished soundcheck and introduced myself. Always gracious and polite, Eric suggested I speak to his sound man who also served as his studio engineer and co-producer, Richard Mullen, who had recorded nearly all of Stevie Ray Vaughan's catalogue. I eventually got an internship at Eric's studio and got to work with him and Richard for nearly two years ultimately receiving engineering credits on three of Eric's albums.
So that graduation thing happened again. After a brief stint at Apple Computer in Austin, I started sending resumes to LA, New York, Nashville, and anywhere I might get a start in the music, TV, or film business. I landed in Washington, DC at National Public Radio. Every city has an "NPR", but I was at THE NPR - headquarters - where the shows and content we produced were distributed world wide. As a broadcast engineer and technical director for 13 years, I had more incredible experiences than I could possibly write down. I got to record John Mayer, Derek Trucks, Vince Gill, Bonnie Rait, Tony Bennett, and even Placido Domingo with the Washington National Opera. I engineered the live broadcast from Mile High Stadium the night Barack Obama accepted his presidential nomination. My proudest and longest-serving duty at NPR was being the technical director for the show Weekend Edition for eight years. My time with NPR ended mutually in 2013 about a year after they moved into a new headquarters, and I needed a fresh start.
I turned a serious hobby into a real job in 2012 when I started Hunn Amplification LLC, my amp building and repair business. This allowed me to work from home and also shuttle my three daughters to and from school and activities. For nearly a decade I worked in my basement, but in 2022 I finally built a real workshop. With my business busier than ever, with more guitars, amps, and gear than the real Alex Lifeson, I heard that THE RUSH EXPERIENCE might need a new Alex Lifeson. It was the role I had prepared a lifetime for. It synergized the whole of my education, abilities, and career. After years recording and supporting professional musicians, it was time to come off the bench and get back on stage. It is my honor to be in this band and I look forward to performing for you in the years to come.
Born on a Saturday… the fourth of July, sometime during the 20th century, in the heart of the city, the BIG city, yeah, you know the one.
Between a sitcom called ‘Barney Miller’, a fire-breathing Demon and a song called ‘2112’, a young David decided to focus his proclivity for the dramatic into the lowliest of all possible instruments… the electric bass.
By the mid eighties, Dave and his elder brother’s first band, ‘KiddStuff’ were rumored to have played SO LOUD as to crack plaster, often causing the neighbors to respond with unison shotguns blasts and threats.
For punishment, the boy’s parents would take their guitars and amplifiers to grandma’s house on the other side of town. Fortunately for David, their “Mom Mom” liked to rock, proudly hosting her knitting circle and the neighborhood kids for an egregiously distorted recital of overtly insensitive ‘KiddStuff’ classics such as the ructious ‘Tick Pie’ and the more delicate ‘Baby Grinder’.
David was voted best musician in high school, not that he actually WAS the best musician, he just looked the part, with terrifyingly long hair, post pubescent stubble and a penchant for portable keyboards.
As the soundtrack to his life, young David was on a heavy diet of RUSH classics such as, Xanadu, Hemispheres, Jacob’s Ladder and YYZ… dreaming of a day beyond the soul-crushing piss-poor sounds of a Casio keyboard…
In the late 80’s, David’s heaviest and most notorious band came in the form of the infamous, ill conceived and ultimately tragic, ‘FEEDUS THE FETUS’, a marginally musical project protested by both local nuns and soccer moms alike. The review in a local paper once stated “While the group has possibly THE most metal bandname of all-time, their reliance on feedback and gore effects left the crowd more stunned than entertained.”
During the day, David would perform elaborate magic shows for children of all ages.
At night, he would not.
Prior to the horrors of the global Y2K tragedy, David joined an equally loud group of chaps called MERE MORTALS, billing with an endless array of washed-up acts (Ratt, DIO, Jackyl, LA Guns, Skid Row, Nazareth, Slaughter, Black Label Society, etc.), at prestigious venues such as Jimmy’s Greasy Spoon on taco Tuesdays.
Playing bass as a hired gun with numerous projects during the 2000’s, Dave, like Chappelle before him, became restless and was not seen for many, many years… by anyone… anywhere.
In most recent years, David has co-written dozens of original songs with his project HARD ROCK RADIO and is currently recording their magnum opus, “12”, which, of course will only be half as good as 2112. - Anonymous