Neil Peart's First Gig With Rush Was in Pittburgh

Original Rush drummer John Rutsey had serious enough health issues that he couldn't continue touring. Which meant Geddy and Alex had to find a new drummer. Neil Peart was hired in July, 1974 and Rush hit the road soon after.

Neil Peart's first live gig as the band's new drummer was in Pittsburgh. And today is the 43rd anniversary of the concert. 

In Neil's own words:

"Among the sleek buildings that indicated Pittsburgh's successful transition from Iron City to a technological center, I caught a glimpse of the low dome of the Civic Arena. That was where Alex, Geddy and I had played our first show together, on August 14th, 1974, opening for Manfred Mann's Earth Band and Uriah Heep in front of about 11,000 people. Among the many memories of that life-changing experience, I would never forget standing on the floor beside stage left while Uriah Heep played 'Stealin'.' The big dark building, colored lights on the heroic figures up on the stage, the roaring audience, the sheet electricity in that place. Halfway through their show, the retractable dome of the Civic Arena had peeled back, open to the summer night."

Mike Steele

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