Neil Peart Remembers Rush Photographer Andrew MacNaughtan
Rush drummer Neil Peart remembers Andrew MacNaughtan as a dear friend, the man who introduced him to his wife and a brilliant photographer. On his website, Peart eulogized the 47-year-old, who died last week after suffering a heart-attack during a photo shoot with the trio.
Peart recalls their first meeting in 1985, and gives fans the Cliff notes version of their relationship over the next three decades. In addition to becoming the band's near-exclusive photographer, MacNaughtan also served as their personal assistant for two tours.
"As other assistants we have employed over the years would agree -- were they not bound by strict confidentiality agreements -- it was not a glamorous or easy job," Peart writes.
"Throughout that turbulent time, all of us remained friends. Though Andrew was something of a self-confessed neurotic, he had a terrific sense of humor, and like me, he could laugh himself into helplessness -- especially over the antics of Alex (guitarist Lifeson), who Geddy and I have long described as 'the funniest man in the world.'"
It was MacNaughtan, Peart says, who helped him through the most difficult times in his life. After his wife succumb to cancer in the late '90s, he says he was "lost in my own sorrows and traveling aimlessly by motorcycle all over North America."
"Andrew was determined to find a 'match' for this crusty old widower. When my motorcycle had carried me back across the continent yet again, to pause in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Andrew sent me a few test Polaroids of a photo assistant he had been working with -- a pretty dark-haired girl named Carrie. Again, I was reluctant, gruffly telling him, 'not interested' -- but finally I made my meandering way west again, and stopped for a while in Los Angeles."
Peart and Carrie Nuttall eventually married, with MacNaughtan speaking at their wedding. "Even long after all of us who knew Andrew are gone, his name, his unique creative 'eye,' and his beautiful and perceptive images will live on."