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There's No Retiring In Rock N Roll

by Pencilstorm Contributor: Wal Ozello

Recently it was reported the god-like percussionist and drummer Neil Peart of Rush  was retiring from playing music.

You don't "retire" from rock n roll. 

You quit the band... go on hiatus... take an indefinite break from recording... stop touring... stop to focus on personal things... you fade away... but you don't retire.

"Retiring" is for us deadbeats... for someone who's a working man. Who's up at seven and is working all the time. Somebody punching the clock, counting the days until he doesn't have to work this soul sucking job any longer. Retiring is not for rock stars.

Rock N Roll is a religion and rock stars are our idols. We worship you. You're in it for life. Just like a priest never stops being a priest, you never stop being a rock star.

Sure... I get that Neil's been running a two hour marathon every night for the past 40 plus years of his life.  But do you really think he's going to never pick up a pair of sticks again? Do you really think the only time he's going to play the drum break in Tom Sawyer is when it comes on his car radio and bang it out on his dashboard?

Listen... I get it. Neil's 63 and I'm sure he's getting tired of all of this. But we aren't. No one can do the stuff he does, write the music he comes up with, and play the drums the way he you can. Trust me... I played in a band with a virtuoso drummer. We covered dozens of Rush songs and while my drummer got to near perfection on just about every beat... it wasn't as dead on balls accurate as Neil.

Neil can't retire. He won't be able to. It's in his blood to create awesome music in a way no other can. Without him the world is a different place. 

Take your break, Neil. Six... Nine... twelve months or so. But get your ass back in the limelight, soon. You've been given a gift beyond price. Use the talents that were given to you and none of us.  You were born to rock and we want to listen.

In the meantime... here's a live version of my favorite Rush tune.  (Kind of ironic that a vocalist likes their instrumental song, huh?)

Wal Ozello is a science fiction techno-thriller novelist and the author of Assignment 1989 ,  Revolution 1990, and Sacrifice 2086. He's the lead singer of the former Columbus rock band Armada and a frequent customer at Colin's Coffee.