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What Is It About Neil That Makes So Many Grown Men Cry?


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#1 presto123

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 04:35 PM

Now...I realize nothing wrong with men showing their emotions, but I've never seen anything like it. I think it's wonderful so many people cared that much about a celebrity they really didn't know. I have literally seen HUNDREDS of comments by men on youtube and such who said they have been crying for days after Neil passed. I can relate. I still get a few tears daily.

Personally for me, he was not only my early drum hero and the only reason I started playing, but it's also the fact that he really lets his guard down in his books. He reveals far more about himself and his thoughts than Geddy and Alex ever have. I think so many people feel like they actually knew him a little bit. Not to mention his lyrical abilities. He was able to connect with people that is a rarity indeed from a "rock musician". Still feels like I'm mourning a family member. I think people also have empathy about the unfairness of so much tragedy being visited on such a good guy.

Edited by presto123, 16 January 2020 - 04:38 PM.


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#2 grep

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 04:54 PM

I am one of those guys. Can't say that I've been crying for days, but I was pretty choked up for the first 24 hours. Tears were involved.

The band was part of almost my whole life, 35+ years out of 52. Even though Neil was a private person, I still rememeber the sound of his voice and his intelligence - though all the interviews he did in the 80s and early 90's. Before the tragedies.

Even though he was a private man, and a rock star I'd never met, I knew that he was a good man. A thoughtful man. Through the cards he wrote to fans over the years, the letters he'd written to the guys who won the drumming contests he'd judged.  Through the accounts of other people in the industry through the years. Many of which are being echoed and restated in the last week.

It's mourning for a rock star who helped influence my own life through his work, but also for him because of the things he'd been through, recovered from, only to find a cruel tragedy waiting for him and thus leaving his new family alone.

That's why I shed tears over a guy I've never met.  The only other celebrity I've done that with is Carrie Fisher (well Debbie Reynolds too..was pretty much the same event).

Edited by grep, 16 January 2020 - 04:55 PM.


#3 LeaveMyThingAlone

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 05:01 PM

I knew Neil for 30 years. He didn't know me, but I sure knew him. He added more to why life then any one man should add to a person's life. He made an unbearable life at times bearable. He understood me in a way few do.


I think what's making me cry more than anything is the imagery of the last couple years for Neil. And the fact that he was given a 2nd chance at being a full-time dad and husband and had it taken away one more time in the cruelest of fashions. It's just so incredibly f***ed up. It wasn't supposed to be that way. Now, the latest being the image of Neil in a wheelchair and unable to speak. Grrrrrrr

#4 RUSHHEAD666

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 05:11 PM

View Postpresto123, on 16 January 2020 - 04:35 PM, said:

Now...I realize nothing wrong with men showing their emotions, but I've never seen anything like it. I think it's wonderful so many people cared that much about a celebrity they really didn't know. I have literally seen HUNDREDS of comments by men on youtube and such who said they have been crying for days after Neil passed. I can relate. I still get a few tears daily.

Personally for me, he was not only my early drum hero and the only reason I started playing, but it's also the fact that he really lets his guard down in his books. He reveals far more about himself and his thoughts than Geddy and Alex ever have. I think so many people feel like they actually knew him a little bit. Not to mention his lyrical abilities. He was able to connect with people that is a rarity indeed from a "rock musician". Still feels like I'm mourning a family member. I think people also have empathy about the unfairness of so much tragedy being visited on such a good guy.

DITTO

#5 Wil1972

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 05:18 PM

Yea I cried the first day I found out. Neil was an inspiration. For 30 years I have been a fan.

#6 preetha_1987

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 05:31 PM

This is exactly how I feel! It has been very difficult for me to keep it together. I must confess that there are certain hours of the day when my mind wanders and thinks of Neil. I still cannot believe he's gone! :( I feel like I have lost a friend! I know that it has been two weeks, but the grief has not worn off! I don't expect it will for a while. It is not something that I can control.Yes. I am a 32 year old grown woman, who cried her eyes out for Neil. I am not ashamed to admit it.

Below are my thoughts on why I am grieving for Neil. As strange as this may sound, the guy meant a lot to me for reasons that I have stated below.

When I discovered Rush in March, 2014, I could not believe how in sync they were with my thoughts on so many subjects. Trust me. I am an extremely complex person and that is not an easy thing to achieve! I must confess that some of my peers look at me funny on my rather outlandish views on subjects like religion, sexuality, etc. And yes, I have always had trouble "fitting in"! And boy, do I hate that phrase!! With Rush, I FINALLY found a band that I could have an extremely deep and personal conversation with. I then discovered that it was Neil who was the mastermind behind all the beautiful lyrics! In my eyes, he will always be the ultimate lyrical maestro! I felt incredibly fortunate to have discovered such an intellectual band! Rush is more than just a rock band. Rush is an educative experience and we all have Neil to thank for it!

Every time I play a Rush album, I always have the CD booklet beside me, wherein I scrutinize the lyrics very closely. I love the musical prowess and the deep thinking that went into each album! Maybe I do read way too much into the lyrics, but as cliché as this is going to sound, I feel that there were so many songs that were written especially for me! For instance, I adore the song "Totem" from "Test For Echo". It echoed my innermost thoughts, feelings and sentiments. But with that being said, having studied at a Catholic school, trust me the nuns will most certainly despise my current train of thought and may choose to label me as a "heathen" at this very moment. As amusing as I find this pretty interesting predicament to be right now, my 17 year old self would have been absolutely terrified to have my mind think this way! With Neil writing such lyrics, it was as if there was a lovely man out there who was trying to tell me: "Don't stress out, kid! It is OK to feel what you're feeling! Trust me. You're OK!".

I was so amused when Neil stated so modestly at the R&R HOF Induction Ceremony that all it took was a "rhyming dictionary" and a "guitar"! What a guy! A consummate professional and gentleman to the very end! I am so glad and thankful that I existed when he, Alex and Geddy walked the earth!

I now need to get acquainted with the books that Neil so lovingly put together. It is time. I was so busy immersing myself in Rush's brilliant discography that I couldn't quite find the time.

I also do not get how some folks perceived Neil as "aloof", "reticent", etc. I mean the guy literally poured his heart and soul into not only his drumming, but also into his books and into the lyrics to practically all of Rush's songs! If someone were to ask me which member of Rush I can really relate to on an extremely personal level, my answer without a doubt would be Neil Peart!

Edited by preetha_1987, 16 January 2020 - 05:55 PM.


#7 Analog_Bro

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 05:43 PM

With Neil, his humanity and empathy really I think was just as special as his eloquence in speech, drumming, and lyric writing was.

He wasn't a "typical rock star".  He was just a guy who saw the big picture of the world and wanted to learn more about it, while also being a part of a kickass band and working at his craft.  And to me that is symbolic of a person who really puts positivity into the world, and for me that is why I always loved Rush as a band.  Three guys who just wanted to put thoughtfulness into the world

Of course we are all here as fans of Neil and not personal friends - but it is very hard not to take the loss of Neil personally because his art and writings certainly hit us all on a personal level

#8 Blue J

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 05:51 PM

View Postgrep, on 16 January 2020 - 04:54 PM, said:

I am one of those guys. Can't say that I've been crying for days, but I was pretty choked up for the first 24 hours. Tears were involved.

The band was part of almost my whole life, 35+ years out of 52. Even though Neil was a private person, I still rememeber the sound of his voice and his intelligence - though all the interviews he did in the 80s and early 90's. Before the tragedies.

Even though he was a private man, and a rock star I'd never met, I knew that he was a good man. A thoughtful man. Through the cards he wrote to fans over the years, the letters he'd written to the guys who won the drumming contests he'd judged.  Through the accounts of other people in the industry through the years. Many of which are being echoed and restated in the last week.

It's mourning for a rock star who helped influence my own life through his work, but also for him because of the things he'd been through, recovered from, only to find a cruel tragedy waiting for him and thus leaving his new family alone.

That's why I shed tears over a guy I've never met.  The only other celebrity I've done that with is Carrie Fisher (well Debbie Reynolds too..was pretty much the same event).

:goodone:

Excellent post, grep. Just excellent.

I am one of those who has had a virtual lifetime of Rush (and even though they were not active for the past few years, I’ve never truly thought of them in the past tense...until now). I’ve been a fan- well, more than that, they’ve been the most important band in my life, for 40 of my 46 years.

I never have thought of it as if I knew Neil at all...but the body of work that he and the band created will resonate for all time, for me- for me and so many others, I know.

It makes the sadness so much more palpable, the grieving ever more bittersweet, that the three of them loved (and love) each other the way they do. To my mind, that is another thing that sets them apart, above and beyond, any other group of musicians I can name.

And we the fans are all the richer for it, too.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again- we all, in some capacity, have gotten to be a part of something that in the whole course of human history, only lasted a mere forty years. I count us all extremely fortunate for that.



(Well, just about 47 years, if you happened to go to Geddy and Alex’s first gig together. But you know what I mean).

#9 Fridge

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 06:13 PM

Beats me, didn't affect me that way....

#10 OneZeroZero

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 06:59 PM

I cried last Friday when I found out, and I've briefly teared up a number of times since then. The reasons, I think, are many, but first and foremost, as others have mentioned, it's the cruel irony of him leaving a wife and young daughter behind after all he'd gone though. It's guilt at having expected the band to keep going for my own pleasure, knowing that he could've been at home enjoying time with his family instead. It's regret that it's really, truly over, and that the world lost such a remarkable talent. It's grief at the passing of an incredible human being who deserved to have a much longer life. All of these things together just coalesce into a huge wave of sadness that washes over me. It shouldn't have ended this way.

#11 Jimbo66

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 07:46 PM

I really have no idea. Yes it's sad, and indeed tragic for his family and those closest to him. I also don't doubt that his playing and writing have had a profound affect on many of us, myself included but I personally find the notion that his loss is somehow akin to losing a member of ones own family stretching the point somewhat. I've lost enough family members to know that it's nothing like that at all. This is a person the vast majority of us never even met, let alone knew.

#12 jc4gd

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 09:52 PM

“When I heard that he was gone I felt a shadow cross my heart” It’s because we’ve all met him, through his words, his lyrics wrapped around our hearts. No matter what our background, if we connected with him, it was real. We all have our stories we/”I remember”. YT has quite an outpouring too.

Then you add the music to this and we are cemented to the guy and the band. Almost in every thread and post we could quote him. “Closer to your heart.” (I always wait for that last line) That reality brings a lot of us to tears. It’s okay to cry. Like a inner cleansing and peace we get out of it. ”Like the solitary pine on a bare wind blasted shore we can only grow the way the wind blows.” (sorry, songs just keep coming into my head, and tears.) Thanks Neil Peart!

#13 Perchance to Dream

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 09:57 PM

I didn't cry. Honestly, I was in shock.

I'm still there.

#14 jc4gd

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 10:22 PM

View PostPerchance to Dream, on 16 January 2020 - 09:57 PM, said:

I didn't cry. Honestly, I was in shock.

I'm still there.

We all process it differently. It's okay not to cry. I didn't at first. Later I did.

#15 TexMike

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:30 PM

Saddest part to me isn't even that he died, but what he had to endure while alive.  He loses his first family within a short timespan and then barely gets time with his second before being stricken with freakin' brain cancer.  WTF.  :(

#16 BK 2112

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:49 AM

"How can you cry over someone you didn't know?"

That's the thing isn't it? We did know him. If you think about it, as private of a person as he was, through his numerous writings; lyrics, books, website blogs, etc., I think we probably knew him better than we know Ged or Al.

#17 Jack Aubrey

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 04:42 PM

I cried when I found out and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

#18 Rush Didact

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 05:53 PM

I cried.  I felt - and feel - legitimate, full-bodied grief knowing that he's gone.

For me, it's the way his lyrics affected my life.  I've explained in other posts how the philosophy espoused in Available Light led me to the place that I am today.  That song gave words and structure to a shapeless impulse deep in my psyche, then brought it into the light and turned it into action.  More than any other work of art, the words to that song made me who I am.

Neil didn't know I existed, and there's no meaningful sense in which we shared a connection.  But I certainly had one to him, and it meant a lot to me.

#19 Rushman14

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 06:00 PM

View PostTexMike, on 16 January 2020 - 11:30 PM, said:

Saddest part to me isn't even that he died, but what he had to endure while alive.  He loses his first family within a short timespan and then barely gets time with his second before being stricken with freakin' brain cancer.  WTF.  :(

Yes. He was blessed in so many ways and got to live a life most of us could only dream of. On the flip side, he endured some of the worst tragedies life could dish out.

I shed a few tears the first couple of days.

Edited by Rushman14, 17 January 2020 - 06:01 PM.


#20 _hi_water._

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Posted 30 December 2020 - 08:08 PM

I remember finding out the news of this on death... I was just surfing the news, not reading the text yet, and I see a picture of Neil and go "oh, what's this?" Clicked on it, and my soul left my body.




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