Published Dec 11, 2020In November, it was announced that the first drum kit the late Neil Peart ever played with Rush would be headed to auction, and the set of Slingerland drums sold for more than half a million dollars at an auction this week.
Peart's chrome-coloured Slingerland drums, which he played with Rush between 1974 and 1977, fetched a sum of $500,312 USD as part of Bonhams' Music Memorabilia auction.
The kit had been expected to sell for an estimated $80,000 to $120,000 at the auction, which took place between November 23 and December 9 in Los Angeles.
Not long after replacing original Rush drummer John Rutsey in 1974, Peart picked up the Slingerland kit at Long & McQuade in Toronto. He would use the gleaming drums to record studio albums Fly by Night, Caress of Steel and 2112, as well as live album All the World's a Stage over three performances at Massey Hall.
Peart would end up keeping the kit in storage until March 1987, donating it to Modern Drummer magazine for a giveaway contest.
Since 2009, the kit that became known affectionately as "Chromey" had been in the possession of fan and collector Dean Bobisud, who restored it to original playing condition to tour for charity events. He thanked fans of the band and the drum set for their curiosity and interest about its sale.
"I had to make a very difficult and heartbreaking decision to sell Chromey for a myriad of personal reasons," Bobisud wrote on a Facebook fan page for the kit. "For 12 years I've enjoyed bringing the kit to various appearances and at the Rhythm Discovery Center. Over the years I realized how much I enjoyed sharing Chromey with the fans far more than owning it, and I'm always going to miss that heartwarming experience of seeing the fans excitement and how much the opportunity meant to them.
"Remember, it's Mr. Neil Peart we need to thank for putting this drum kit's history in place and blessing us with the opportunity to share it with others," he concluded. "From myself and all who have been on the 'Chromey Crew,' thank you all for so many years of joy celebrating RUSH, Neil Peart, and this amazing drum kit."
Peart passed away in January at age 67, following a battle with brain cancer. Tributes to Rush's late drummer and primary lyricist have included an incredibly detailed statue and a hometown landmark named in his honour.