Godsmack's Sully Erna Says Neil Peart Was The “Most Influential Musician” Growing Up

January 14, 2020
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The recent loss of RUSH's Neil Peart has been felt by many, especially those within the music industry. 

In an interview with RADIO.COM's Mistress Carrie of WAAF, Sully Erna of Godsmack opened up about the legendary drummer and his profound impact. "Growing up I will say that he was probably the single most influential musician in my life -- [Peart] and John Bonham and Shannon Larkin that's my big 3" he said. "Honestly his technique, his hands, his amazing rythyms is really what kind of tuned me up to become the drummer I became. Between Bonham and Neil Peart those were the guys!" 

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Since the news broke countless musicians took to social media to offer condolences, share stories, and honor his legacy.

"When I got the call man it was like a big part of my life ended there too because you know he was a tremendous influence -- I can't even articulate how much this guy meant to me and how big of an inspiration he was and an influence on me being a musician. He was one of the everything people in my life." 

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Erna did get the "surreal" opportunity of meeting Neil multiple times and he took a moment to share a funny story from one of the last times he got see him. "One of the last times we got to see him was the 2nd to last show of their Our 40 Tour. I was with Shannon and we were on tour and we had a day off…we could get to the 2nd to last show in Irvine, CA. After the show, well in between sets, we brought him a nice bottle of Macallan that he loves and we got to sit with him."

He went on to say, "Shannon goes, ‘so are you done, are you really done?’ and he goes ‘yeah I’m done kid’ and he goes ‘but are you just going to play for fun or whatever?’ and he just goes ‘no, I’m done’ and he [Shannon] goes ‘well you’re going to have to like have a drum set in your basement or something you’re Neil Peart are you never going to touch drum sticks again?’ He [Peart] put his arms around Shannon and he looked at him – and I’ll never forget – he goes, ‘you know what kid? I think I’ve done about everything I can do on the drum set’ and Shannon goes ‘yes you have sir!’ and walked away. It was one of the best things I’ve ever seen!" 

RELATED: Rush's "Patron Saint" Donna Halper Talks About Neil Peart

At the end of this story, Peart told them something that Erna has always remembered. "He said 'you know all great things come to an end' – and that was the first thing I remembered when they told me he passed. There it is – another great thing come to an end."

Listen to Sully Erna's full interview with Mistress Carrie below: