Friday, January 15, 2010

Neil Peart Records Blistering Version of the Canadian Hockey Theme Song

Neil Peart put together an incredibly awesome drum-laden version of the Canadian Hockey Theme song, which debuted last night on TSN. This is akin to someone doing a blazing modern version of the Star Spangled Banner in the States. Explaining why this is important to Canadians, Peart told the Globe and Mail:

... "I tell Americans there is no analog for this song in the U.S. People hum it. They have it as a [cellphone] ring tone," ... "I gave a little speech in the studio before we started [recording] saying: 'Every mother, father, grandfather, grandmother, child, moose and beaver will see and hear this.' "I'll be very curious to know how Canadians respond to this." ... "The year before last, [TSN] first approached me about doing something and we'd just finished a Rush tour. ... This year was just perfect. I had time off and I was reinvigorated," he said. "I knew the [Hockey Theme] arranger because he was at the Buddy Rich tribute show. We needed a whole orchestra [17 musicians in all] but I knew people who could arrange that. It all came together." ... "We played the song a few hundred times. We filmed every step of the way as a documentary [for the Drum Channel website]. I'd go home and listen to it and we only had a minute for the song but I'd say: 'There's room for more drums in there.' I put everything I knew into that one minute," Peart said. "I start off with some Latin patterns I'd just been working on. There are three different rhythmic steps. There's a faster one at the start, then some slower rhythms, then the climax with the full Buddy Rich snare drum roll. As a band, we wanted to be true to the melody of the song. At the same time, I'm not going to play those parade drums." ... "I'm not co-ordinated; I say I'm dis-co-ordinated because I can get my four limbs to work independently," he said. "I was hopeless as a sports player as a kid. But drumming gave me the endurance so if I couldn't do things well I could at least do them for a long time [hence the cycling, swimming and cross-country skiing]." ...

The drum set used in this video will be donated to the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the song will be available on iTunes January 19, according to a newsletter email I got this morning. Dig it!

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