Neil Peart's version of 'The Hockey Theme' debuts

TSN.ca Staff
1/14/2010 7:12:34 PM
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Drum roll, please! 

After legendary Rush drummer Neil Peart recorded a new rock version of The Hockey Theme last month, the percussion-inspired rendition of ''Canada's second national anthem'' made its NHL on TSN debut Thursday night prior to the Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs game.

Peart's unique rock version of The Hockey Theme will be used during select NHL on TSN broadcasts throughout the remainder of the NHL season.  It will also be available for digital download on iTunes on Tuesday, January 19th.

The new version of The Hockey Theme showcases Peart on a custom drum kit by DW Drums featuring the logos of all 30 NHL teams.  Peart and DW Drums are donating the custom kit to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, where it will be on display for hockey and music fans alike to enjoy. 

The St. Catharines-born percussionist worked with Grammy Award-winning producer Nick Raskulinecz to create his interpretation of the iconic theme. 

''Growing up in Southern Ontario in the '50s and '60s as 'a kid who couldn't skate right' was a serious handicap,'' said Peart.  ''Hockey totally dominated our lives for half the year -- Sunday nights with my dad at the St. Catharines Arena cheering on the Junior A Blackhawks, anxiously watching NHL games on television, arguing in the schoolyard over favourite teams and players, trading hockey cards, putting them on our bicycle spokes, and playing on backyard rinks and frozen ponds, on the street, and on those old tabletop games.  Hockey ruled.

So, all these years later, being invited to create a new version of ''Canada's second national anthem'' for TSN's NHL broadcasts was a huge honour to me, and an exciting musical challenge.  The day of recording and filming it - in the presence of the Stanley Cup - was truly one of the great experiences of my life.  (Take that, bullies from 50 years ago!)''

For the recording, Peart wore his trademark cap adorned with the logos of the original six NHL teams.  He also wore a hockey jersey featuring his 'Bubba's Bar & Grill' logo on the front and the number three on the back, in reference to the three members of Rush.  The band's name was also sewn onto the jersey's nameplate.

Peart is widely regarded as one of the world's most accomplished and respected drummers/percussionists.  As Rush's drummer and primary lyricist, Peart has recorded 18 studio albums with the band which have sold more than 40 million units worldwide.  Along with his band mates, Peart was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Neil Peart (Photo: TSN Screenshot)


(Photo: TSN Screenshot)
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