Rush drummer Neil Peart has posted a tribute to the band's longtime photographer, Andrew MacNaughtan, who died suddenly on January 25. It reads, in part:


"From our first meeting in 1985 until his tragic and unexpected passing (the day after what we never suspected would be our last photo shoot together), Andrew and I shared a lot of history, from the best to the worst. With Rush, we had toured together all over North America, South America, and Europe, and Andrew and I also spent a lot of 'family time' in our various homes in Toronto and Los Angeles, at the MacNaughtan cottage on Georgian Bay, and at ours in Quebec. Andrew’s path first crossed mine when we both lived in Toronto, and continued when we both lived in Los Angeles—in my case, entirely because of Andrew.


"But to begin at the beginning...


"Andrew’s photographs first caught my eye in 1985, when I was assembling material for the tourbook to accompany Rush’s Power Windows tour. At that time the band didn’t employ any exclusive photographers, so Pegi Cecconi at our office sent me a big pile of submissions from numerous people—mainly plastic pages of slides, in those days.


"Andrew’s live shots really stood out from the rest; they were more vivid, somehow—highlighting both the drama of the rock stage and the personalities of the players. That was an unusual quality, and I chose several of his images for the book.


"In later years, Andrew became the band’s near-exclusive photographer, in concert, formal portraits, and documenting our rehearsals and recording sessions. He even served (suffered) as our personal assistant for two tours, Presto and Roll the Bones. 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.


"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, who Geddy and I have long described as 'the funniest man in the world.'"


Read the whole thing
.