The guitar legend that Neil Peart didn’t like listening to

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Rush, the iconic Canadian rock trio, was synonymous with groundbreaking music, constantly reinventing rock with each album. While embracing the golden era of rock, drummer Neil Peart, surprisingly, wasn’t captivated by one rock legend’s charm.

In his early drumming days, Peart was profoundly influenced by the British Invasion, particularly by Keith Moon. His admiration for Moon fueled his exceptional drumming, rivaling Moon’s dynamic performances.

Rush, initially facing modest album sales, found their distinct sound with the album “2112,” which garnered acclaim from their record label and fellow artists. This breakthrough coincided with the rise of Cream, the supergroup formed by Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Jack Bruce. Cream, known for their experimental sound, blended psychedelic and blues influences, as heard in albums like “Disraeli Gears” and their rendition of ‘Crossroads’.

Clapton, post-Cream, was hailed as a guitar virtuoso. However, Peart, despite acknowledging Clapton’s technical prowess, admitted that Clapton’s guitar style never resonated with him. In a conversation with Marc Allen, Peart differentiated between taste and quality, recognizing Clapton’s skill but not being particularly fond of his playing style.

This perspective didn’t make Peart a music elitist. Rush continued to explore diverse musical genres, incorporating reggae rhythms and jazz elements in their later albums, like “Permanent Waves” and “Hold Your Fire”.

Interestingly, despite his views on Clapton, Peart didn’t dismiss Cream’s impact. Rush even covered ‘Crossroads’ on their EP “Feedback” in the 2000s. Peart’s approach to music was open-minded, yet he wasn’t swayed by popular opinion.

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