The Rush legend was featured on the finale of Drum Solo Week on The Late Show with David Letterman Thursday night.
Peart delivered an edited version of his solo on the band’s current Time Machine tour, much to the delight of the studio audience at the Ed Sullivan Theater.
"My regular live drum solo is about eight and a half minutes, so I decided I'd have to do a mental edit, accelerate the changes and minimize the improvisational parts and so on,” Neil told MusicRadar. “At the rehearsal, during my first attempt, I had it down to about four minutes and 50 seconds, and the producers were giving me these worrisome looks." Peart's second run-through was more acceptable: "I got it down to about four minutes and two seconds."
Peart admits that when he was approached to be part of the Letterman experience, his initial reaction was, "I don't know…it's not really my thing. But then I thought, Hey, a drum solo on TV - sounds great! I'd be very honored to be the ambassador to drum solos."
Peart’s performance capped off a week featuring Anton Fig, Sheila E. and jazz legend Roy Haynes.
Rush: Neil Peart – drum solo
Drum Solo Week
Late Show with David Letterman – June 9, 2011
HD version (minus Letterman intro)
VIDEO: Sheila E. rocks Drum Solo Week on Letterman
VIDEO: Anton Fig kicks off Drum Solo Week on Letterman
Rush: Neil Peart caps off Drum Solo Week on Late Show with David Letterman
Rush: Neil Peart to appear on Late Show With David Letterman