I’ve pretty much sworn off any mention of the so-called “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” here, but I consider some recent comments by Rush drummer/lyricist Neil Peart worthy of inclusion, as he shares his thoughts about the group’s longtime exclusion from the institution, and their recent inclusion into the Canadian Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.
Rush has always given the impression that they don’t spend a whole lot of time worrying about what other people think of them. They’ve been content to make the kind of music they want to make, without the same regard for commercial success that some other groups may concern themselves with.
That attitude is reflected in a recent telephone interview with Peart by the The Canadian Press.
When asked about the lack of recognition from the “Rock Hall,” Peart indicates that the band does not really care.
“It would matter a lot to our fans for us to have that validation. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ve got the success and respect that we’ve had, and the opportunity to do exactly what we wanted for 35 years, do we need them to make us feel better? No, not at all,” Peart said.
Regarding the news that they will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters’ Hall of Fame elicits a very different response from Peart. “Being in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, that’s 10 times – 100 times – more (important) than being in some critics’ list,” according to Peart.
Peart makes and excellent point, I’ve pontificated about Cleveland’s “Rock Hall” enough in the past, so even with consideration for a little national pride that may be showing itself on the part of Peart and Co., many rock fans probably agree with his assessment.
The ceremony for induction of Rush into the Canadian Songwriters’ Hall of Fame is scheduled for Sunday. The group is being honored for five songs that will be quite familiar to Rush fans. "Limelight," "Tom Sawyer," "The Spirit of Radio," "Subdivisions" and "Closer to the Heart” were deemed worthy of recognition by the institution, although a lot of Rush fans could likely add a few more to the list with little trouble!
With regard to future plans, Peart echoes what he said a short time ago about the possibility of writing a few new songs, releasing them, bringing them to the fans on tour, and then getting back to more songwriting. Nothing is set in stone at this point however, and he stresses that the decision is “immensely complicated,” and they are still thinking things through.
The group is planning to start pre-production work for two new songs within a few weeks. What comes after that is not certain, but I think Rush fans can feel safely confident that we’ll be hearing more from them in the near future.