Prophets of Rage/Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave bassist Tim Commerford discussed meeting Rush drummer Neil Peart in a new interview with Matt Pinfield. Alternative Nation transcribed Commerford’s comments.
“I was such an over the top Rush fan, I met Geddy and Alex, and they couldn’t have been cooler. I spent all this time talking to Geddy, and Geddy was like, ‘Do you want to meet Neil?’ I was like, ‘Oh my god yeah! I would love to.’
So Geddy brought the security guard in, who then brought me down the hall to go meet Neil Peart. I walk in this room, his back was to me, he was talking to Taylor Hawkins, Chad Smith, and one other drummer. It was like a drummers forum, he was talking to these three drummers and him. I walked in, and he turned and looked at me, I was like, ‘Hey, I just wanted to let you know, you probably hear it all the time, but I’m a huge fan and I just really wanted to thank you for everything that you’ve done. You really inspired me to be a musician, and to try to be as good as I can be.’
I always used to hear that he would ride his bicycle, at that time I thought it was his bicycle, but I found out later it was his motorcycle, he would get off the bus, and ride his motorcycle to the venue. I was like, ‘Hey, do you still ride your bike to the venues?’ He goes, ‘My motorcycle!?’ Real mean. ‘My motorcycle!?’ I was like, ‘No, your bicycle.’ ‘I don’t ride bicycles! I ride motorcycles!’ Before I could even say anything, he kind of gave the nod to the security guard, and the guy just wrapped his arm around me, and just started pulling me out of the room.
I know Taylor really well, Taylor and I ride mountain bikes together, and I was just waving to Taylor as the guy is just dragging me out of the room. It was just really an uncomfortable weird scene, luckily I was able to turn it into a joke. I went back and actually started talking to Geddy again, ‘Dude, so he just [grabs] me, and took me out of the room.’ I was laughing about it, but it was one of those things, he’s just kind of a dick.”
He added, “Without getting too into it, I watched this latest Rush documentary, and it became clear that the reason why Rush isn’t going to tour anymore is because Neil Peart doesn’t want to tour anymore. The other two guys clearly still want to tour, and Neil Peart is obsessed with trying to get to level 5, and play the parts better than he did before, or equally as good as he did on the recordings, and that’s getting harder and harder as he’s getting older and older. For me, as someone who is sort of obsessed with riding bicycles, it keeps me in shape, it makes me feel good about myself.
“I would argue that if Neil Peart rode bicycles, he’d be in better shape, he might still be in Rush, and be able to attain level 5 for a longer period of time. End of story.”