I could write paragraphs upon paragraphs about his thought provoking lyrics (oh wait, I have), but for now I think your time will be best spent just listening to his rhythmic skill. Please feel free to devote your next 8 minutes and 43 seconds to THIS.
If you see him do this live, your heart soars.
For a long time, I wasn't quite sure how to reconcile my high views of Neil's lyric-writing genius with some... other views of his choice of musical instrument. I suppose I always sorted out the relative "importance" of the various pieces of a song or a band in the following order:
- lyrics (vocals)
- melody (lead guitar; sax; etc.)
- bass & rhythm guitar
PS: The title of this post comes from a much shorter (1 minute exactly) and more avant garde drum solo, Didacts and Narpets, that Neil included on 1975's Caress of Steel. Didacts are teachers, but nobody is quite sure what narpets are supposed to be. In an interview, Neil noted that "narpet" is an anagram for "parent," but I've always been more intrigued by the fact that it's also a nifty little anagram for "N Peart." :-)