Consequence Of Sound celebrated the 40th anniversary of RUSH’s “Moving Pictures” album by setting up a round table discussion with four renowned drummers to talk about the album and pay tribute to late RUSH drummer Neil Peart.
Taking part was Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, THE WINERY DOGS, SONS OF APOLLO), Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX), Matt Halpern (PERIPHERY) and Arejay Hale (HALESTORM).
Portnoy, quite possibly one of the greatest stick men out there today, spoke about the greatness and influence of Peart, as well as comparing the late drummer to fellow late, yet iconic, LED ZEPPELIN drummer John Bonham. Portnoy said (see video below): “I think John Bonham has been universally acclaimed as one of the greatest of all time, and deservingly so — he really, really is deserving of that. But with all due respect, his entire recording career only lasted 11 years, and he’s also now been gone for, what, I guess 40 years. So there is something to be said for his place in drumming history because he’s been gone for so long.
“I think Neil had 40 years of a drumming career, and he’s only been gone one year,” Mike continued. “So I think time will tell. It’s ridiculous to even have to choose between the two, ’cause they both brought so much to the drum world and they both left behind such an incredible legacy. But I think the fact that Neil’s drumming career was 40 years long and gave us 40 years of music and drumming to listen to and reflect on, I think, to me, that puts him ahead of John. I think he’s the greatest of all time — I really do. And I think he’s only been gone a year, so it’s hard to really see how that’s gonna be felt five, 10, 20 years from now. But I think he will go down in history as the greatest rock drummer of all time — I really do.”
He added: “Another thing that also showed his impact was when he died last year, how it impacted everybody beyond drummers. The social media feeds, for weeks after he passed, was nothing but him. It was similar to when Eddie Van Halen died last year as well, and Eddie is a similar type of player in the guitar world; Eddie was what a lot of people consider the greatest of all time — up there with [Jimi] Hendrix — and the same here with Neil up there with Bonham. And the fact that they both went in the same year, but both of their deaths — Eddie and Neil — just went beyond just their respective instruments. The whole world was hit by it and affected by it.”