Remembering a giant of music

A few days ago we received the news that we didn’t like to hear one bit: the passing of a legend in modern drumming, Neil Peart from Rush, dead at 67. He joins the likes of John Bonham of Led Zeppelin and Jeff Porcaro of Toto fame in the Olympus of music giants.

While not related to Journey, Neil was a legend and a great inspiration to us Canadian musicians, so we couldn’t miss remembering his work and passion for music. Joining in right after Rush’s eponymous album, he brought a breath of fresh air in both the lyrics and the instrumental quality of the trio. His rock solid and at the same time surgically precise and technically magnificent playing set a new bar in progressive rock drumming that reverberated all over the world for decades.

Riccardo: “I was in a Rush tribute band (or would I say cover band, since I was singing and playing keyboards, not bass) when I was back home in Italy. Neil Peart was the member or Rush that I looked up to the most. I was so amazed at the depth of his lyrics and the craft in his drumming. He sits right beside Toto’s Jeff Porcaro as my favorite drummer of all time. There are certain unique qualities to his writing and execution that you don’t find anywhere else. After all the greats that passed in the last few years, the news of his death really weighed on me and the rest of the guys in the band. He now rejoins his wife and daughter in a better place. Until we meet again, Neil.”

#neilpeart #gonetoosoon #rushband

Riccardo and Dan interviewed on

Riccardo and Dan have been interviewed by Caleb Ayers of These are some excerpts from the article:

“[…] For band members like Dan Benezra of 1970s and 1980s Journey tribute band Absolute Journey, there is a lot of pressure in recreating an experience for their audiences.

‘We’re put up to a higher state of expectations,’ Benezra said.

A tribute band mimics another band, with some recreating the entire experience, including visuals and showmanship in addition to the music. Some of those classic rock tribute bands […] will all be in town this weekend for the Ridge Classic Rock Festival at the White Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Blairs. [*satellite city of Danville, Virginia]
[…] Some tribute bands replicate the way the band — assuming they still are active — plays now, while others replicate the band in their prime, said Riccardo Curzi, singer and manager for Absolute Journey.

[…] Curzi was doing lots of cover band work, including some Journey songs, when people began telling him he did an excellent job singing like Steve Perry and he even looked a little bit like him, which led to Absolute Journey. Curzi estimates there is somewhere between 50 and 60 Journey tribute bands in the United States alone, with only a handful of those traveling and touring.

The group first started as a tribute band five years ago because gaining visibility and making a living with a new band that only plays originals is very difficult, Curzi said.

‘It gives you the resources, it gives you the contacts, it gives you equity, that for sure is a launchpad,’ he said.

Having played concerts all over the world and developed the reputation as one of the premier Journey tributes, the band members haven’t ruled out the possibility of later transitioning into original music.

Accuracy is key for these tribute acts, but finding the same instruments and costumes of bands that played several decades ago is a very real challenge. Curzi said musicians have to scour the internet to find the right instruments and he often can’t locate exact matches for his wardrobe choices.

‘Sometimes I have to make [outfits] myself,’ he said.”

You can read the full article HERE