Rush aficionado Dave Grohl has revealed why he wouldn’t replace Neil Peart in the band.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the Foo Fighters frontman and ex-Nirvana drummer was asked the highly hypothetical question ‘Neil Peart is retired. What would you do if Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson asked you to play drums for Rush on a tour?’
Emphatically ruling it out, Dave responded: “I would say, ‘I’m not physically or musically capable, but thanks for the offer.’ Neil Peart, that’s a whole other animal, another species of drummer. I know the arrangements, but I’m like (The White Stripes’) Meg White to Neil Peart. And she’s one of my favourite drummers!”
Neil Peart announced his retirement from Rush after their R40 Live Tour finished in August 2015 and was blighted by agonising pain from chronic tendonitis, a foot injury and shoulder problems throughout the 35 shows.
Neil Peart in 2015 © REX/Shutterstock
In a January blog for the Globe and Mail, guitarist Alex Lifeson effectively spelled the end of the Canadian band, saying: “It's been a little over two years since Rush last toured. We have no plans to tour or record any more. We're basically done. After 41 years, we felt it was enough.”
A lifelong fan of Rush, Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighters band mate Taylor Hawkins inducted Rush into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 and also performed ‘2112’ while dressed in up like Rush circa 1976, complete with wigs, platform shoes and kimonos.
Dubbing the experience "one of the most special nights of my life”, Dave said: "When I got '2112' when I was eight years old, it f***ing changed the direction of my life. I heard the drums. It made me want to become a drummer."
Reflecting upon meeting Neil Peart for the first time, he added: "This man was as influential as any religion or any hero or any person in someone's life. He said, 'So nice to meet you. Can I make you a coffee?' And he made me a coffee, man. And later on that night, I went to dinner and had a couple glasses of wine and I started f***ing crying because my hero made me a f***ing coffee."
Elsewhere, in his Rolling Stone interview, Dave was questioned about how he feels about seeing classic rock acts retire.
He said: “I started thinking about it at the 12/12/12 concert, where you had all the greats — McCartney, the Stones, the Who, Roger Waters. And most of those people came from a specific time frame. I was thinking, “Well, God. Does that mean at some point there’s going to be that window closing, and it’s gonna dissipate really quickly?”
Refusing to draw any comparisons between Foo Fighters and the aforementioned bands, Dave added: “I would never put ourselves in that category or that echelon. But it’s weird. First of all, I can’t believe we’re still a band [after] 20-whatever years. And I can’t believe we’re playing arenas and stadiums.
“And that it’s gotten to this point where I look out at the audience and I don’t just see Foo Fighters T-shirts anymore. I see people in their sixties and seventies. I see kids that are 10 years old, teenagers, and it seems to me that when we come to town, people hear there’s a rock show and they just come on out. So we’ve gotten to the point where I think that we represent something . . . um . . . general (laughs). You know?
You can read Planet Rock’s report on Foo Fighters’ triumphant Manchester Etihad Stadium show earlier this month right here.