James S. Fell of the Los Angeles Times recently spoke to legendary RUSH drummer Neil Peartabout how a rocker can keep his body a skin-smashing machine after 37 years in the same rock trio giving calorie-combusting concert performances that would blow the lumbar discs and ventricles of lesser men.
“It was actually drumming that gave me the stamina to get into sports later,” Peart said. “I started playing drums at 13, and when I got to the international touring level … I got interested in cross-country skiing, long-distance swimming, bicycling … things that require stamina, not finesse. I’m still no good at ball-and-stick games. If I go play golf with the guys, it’s intended to be a joke.”
He added, “Stamina is the force that drives the drumming; it’s not really a sprint. The stamina aspect is great because you don’t lose that with age so quickly. I know there will be a day when I just can’t do it, but at 58 years of age it hasn’t come yet. I can still play as fast and as powerful and as long as I ever could.”
“Playing a three-hour Rush show is like running a marathon while solving equations. My mind is as busy as it can be, and so is my body; full output all the time.”
“Years ago I got involved in a charity trying to help troubled kids and came up with a slogan: ‘If you’ve got a problem, take it out on a drum.’ I can’t do it professionally because it’s so disciplined — I’ve got to control the band and tempos — but there is such a thing as getting a kid’s aggression out on a drum set.”
Read more from the Los Angeles Times.