Listened a while back to Rush: Signals and reacquainted myself with some of the genius of Neal Peart. Now, I used to know the entire Rush catalog backwards and forwards. You could name a song, and I'd know what album it was on. Don and I would quiz each other on songs. (He was much better on the later releases like Presto and Counterparts, but I like to think I held my own on the older stuff). Anyways, I put "Signals" on, and realized that "The Weapon" was on that disc. I remember when I first heard "The Weapon", with the intricate hi-hat part that fades in. I saw it on an MTV presentation for the Grace Under Pressure tour that a friend taped for me. It's on the off beats, and it blew my high-school mind at how intricate it was. But, what was Neal doing? He was flipping his sticks during this intricate off-beat pattern. But, I should have expected nothing less from the man who used a single stick for the 16th note hi-hats on Tom Sawyer that just about every drummer who hasn't seen Neal play muddles through with two.
Neal Peart didn't influence my drumming. He defined and refined it.