Legendary Rush drummer Neil Peart died earlier this year following a private battle with brain cancer. Now, a beloved piece of Peart history is up for grabs: one of his earliest drum kits, his chrome Slingerland, is being auctioned.
Peart originally purchased the chrome, double bass drum Slingerland in Toronto in August 1974, mere weeks after officially joining Rush. That same kit was used by Peart during his first-ever live concert with the band later that summer in Pittsburgh.
More than just an onstage instrument, the Slingerland was also frequently used in the studio. Peart played the kit on his first three albums with Rush — 1975’s Fly by Night and Caress of Steel and 1976’s 2112. He can also be heard pounding on the drum kit on the 1976 live album All the World’s a Stage, recorded during Rush’s three-night residency at Massey Hall in Toronto.
The drum kit was retired not long after the release of that live album and was eventually included as part of a giveaway prize from Modern Drummer magazine. It’s since switched a few hands before landing at Bonhams auction house.
As Ultimate Classic Rock notes, the Slingerland is part of Bonham’s music memorabilia sale and is expected to fetch anywhere between $80,000 and $120,000. The auction began today, November 23rd, and will run through December 9th. It’s quite the expensive Christmas gift, but it was Neil Peart’s, and who can put a price tag on a rock icon?
For more information on the Slingerland, including all its literal bells and whistles, head to Bonhams’ website. Check out photos below.
Since his untimely passing, countless musicians and celebrities have paid homage to Peart. Tool’s own Danny Carey honored him during his Grammys speech, while diehard fan Paul Rudd offered up his own moving words. Even the Toronto Blue Jays did something special for their hometown hero.
Last month, a virtual livestream tribute was dedicated to Peart; it featured rock music’s most prominent drummers, including Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith, The Police’s Stewart Copeland, and Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins. Next spring, “A Night for Neil – The Neil Peart Memorial Celebration”, a physical event organized by his family, is set to take place in Ontario.