Peart Takes Centre Stage

Rush Drummer Releases Huge DVD Set

By David West, Rhythm, November 2011, transcribed by pwrwindows

Neil Peart and Hudson Music have joined forces for a brand new DVD - Neil Peart: Taking Center Stage

The near-seven hour, three-disc set was a labour of love for the drummer and Hudson's Paul Siegel, Rob Wallis and Joe Bergamini.

After months of whittling down ideas and concepts, the team began filming ahead of rehearsals for Rush's Time Machine tour.

"In April 2010, the Hudson Music crew brought their cameras to film my rehearsals at Drum Channel, in California," Neil says. "A few months later, when we filmed me entire live show in Saratoga Springs, New York, on 23 July, we also captured my pre-show warm-up, along with some comments from me about that and about the show I was just about to go onstage and perform."

As 2010 drew to a close Peart and co were left with hours of footage and the next step was narration. Peart's preference was to film outdoors, and they came up with a truly stunning location. Neil explains: "Death Valley is one of my favorite places in the world, offering unparalleled scenery and many different variations of its stark desert landscape. I could stand in front of various locations, and the Hudson guys could film me speaking about each song in the show.

"I had often travelled around Death Valley on my motorcycle, so I wanted to include that element as well. While we moved to different places in the park, the crew filmed me riding on those spectacular roads. Greg McKean [director] had a big effect on the whole show, but really came into his own in the Death valley setting in his element of scenery and light."

The result of all this hard work is a monster DVD set packed with footage from Neil's rehearsals, backstage on the Time Machine Tour, live drum-cam clips and much, much more. It's a package that all involved are proud to be associated with. Hudson Music's Joe Bergamini says: "I can't wait for everyone to see this thing! If, like me, you ever wore out a copy of Exit Stage Left as a kid, I think you're going to be pretty amazed."

Neil concludes: "This project was inspiring to think about, and to work on. But the best result for me is that now it is inspiring to watch. I hope others will have the same feeling."

Taking Center Stage is out now. Rush's Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland DVD is also out now.