Sully Erna, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for Godsmack, recalled meeting Neil Peart, the drummer for Rush, with affection in a recent interview.
Neil Peart was an inspiration to Erna, and their conversation revealed his aspirations for a musical career in his latter years. But, according to a Revolver interview, Erna’s desire for Neil to sing on Godsmack’s “Serenity,” a song dedicated to Peart, is where the dialogue actually got started.
Erna made careful to express to Peart how much he respected and liked his work at the moment of their heartfelt encounter. They had a good talk about music, and Neil was gracious and courteous. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Sully sent Peart the lyrics of the song “Serenity” and invited him to play the drums on the tune. Peart, though, disagreed.
The musician revealed, “I get to meet Neil Peart. I gave him the lyrics to ‘Serenity’ and even asked if he’d be interested in playing the drum track on that song, although he politely declined. He said, ‘You’ll see one day when you’re well into your 50s that when you’re on break, you’re on break. And once this is done, I’m going to be taking some time off.’”
The “break” that Peart was referring to was when he took a vacation from the spotlight following the terrible deaths of his wife of 23 years (1998), who had been his wife for 23 years, and his daughter, who tragically perished in an accident in 1997. Peart spent a lot of time grieving and thinking, while also writing numerous Rush songs. Around this time, Erna’s gentle nudge didn’t convince him to pursue a new musical project and public image, and Erna was happy with it because his rejection had nothing to do with the singer personally.
“And now I get it because I’m in my 50s. But it still allowed me to establish a relationship with him, and over the years, I got to know him really well and hung out with him a few times.”