by Gene Fambrough
As a young drummer, my biggest influences were drawn mostly from the rock music that I was listening to at the time. One of my favorites was Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for the band “Rush”. From his early use of concert percussion instruments in his setup (glockenspiel, chimes, crotales, temple blocks, etc.) to his experimentation with electronic percussion and triggering, his playing was the stuff of little kid dreams. Many hours after school were spent drumming along to my Rush cassette tapes, which made Neil Peart my surrogate teacher during those early formative years. I truly believe that his playing, along with the music of Rush, is one of the main reasons I pursued a career in music.
This composition, Le Batteur, is an exploration of some of the most recognizable beats, patterns, fills, and solos that have appeared in the Rush catalog over the past 40 years. Some figures are taken as direct quotes, others are more freely employed against other figures, either through layering, augmentation, or other methods. The figures are not presented in chronological order, nor is every single album represented. With so much material to choose from, some things were going to be left out. Additionally, some figures appear only briefly while others may be more prevalent and recurring throughout the piece.
All three members of the band “Rush” hail from Canada, and French is the second language of much of the population. “Le Batteur” is French for “the drummer.”