S.S. Professor Drum Kit Tour

Close encounter with Neil Peart's drums

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Posted 9/27/05

Seeing Neil Peart's kit up close was something I'd always wanted to do. Sure, I'd been lucky enough to sit in the front row at a Rush concert, but I knew seeing it only a few feet away at eye level would be a much different experience. And being able to hear Lorne Wheaton talk about the drums and how he works with Neil as his drum tech also sounded very interesting.

It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

I also wanted to see one of my best friends, Brian, who moved down to Burbank almost two years ago to continue his filmmaking career.

So I flew down to LA.

Guitar Center HollywoodOn Tuesday, the day of the S.S. Professor clinic, I woke to the sound of thunder ripping through the valley. Outside, rain pounded the sidewalk and streets. Traffic snarled around Warner Bros. Studios across the street from where Brian lived.

Brian woke up and said, "Do you have any idea how rare this is?" Oh, I knew. And I also knew that wherever I travel, no matter what time of year, I bring the rain. I guess it's one of those Seattle curses.

A little later that morning, I called Guitar Center and asked when the event started. They said it would be earlier than 4:00 (the previously-advertised time), and that I should plan on getting down there by 3:00. So, Brian and I drove out and eventually found ourselves crawling down Sunset Boulevard.

The Guitar Center parking lot was closed because of the event, so we drove around and found some parking in the neighborhood. When we walked in the store, they asked, "Here for the Neil Peart drum thing?" and pointed us to the back door.

We walked to the back door, and this is what we saw...

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