In an interview with Revolver regarding Godsmack's 2003 record Faceless, frontman Sully Erna tells the story of being super inspired by Peart's words and finally meeting the band before a show in Miami. Erna said the band was extremely cool to him and Godsmack, and that he got the chance to ask Peart to play drums on "Serenity" after showing him the lyrics. Peart declined and, as every single story about The Professor goes, gave Erna some sound advice that still resonates with him today.
"But my fondest memory is I got to meet my idol on that record. It turned out that Rush was playing in Miami when we were down there living and recording that record. Neil's assistant reached out to my assistant at the time. He's like, 'Hey, we're in town. We know you guys are fans of the band and Sully always talks about Neil [in interviews] and he'd love to have you guys at the show.'
"So they invited us, and it was so ironic because I had just been reading his book Ghost Rider, and I was so moved by the book that it inspired me to write the song 'Serenity.' I had just demoed the thing and handwritten all the lyrics. And so we went to see them. Of course, we had a great time. They put us on the stage during the drum solo and me and Shannon sat there with our Rush hats and shirts and tour books looking like nerds.
"And I get to meet Neil. I gave him the lyrics to 'Serenity' and even asked if he'd be interested in playing the drum track on that song, although he politely declined. He said, 'You'll see one day when you're well into your 50s that when you're on break, you're on break. And once this is done, I'm going to be taking some time off.' And now I get it because I'm in my 50s. But it still allowed me to establish a relationship with him, and over the years I got to know him really well and hung out with him a few times."
It's also worth noting that Erna is a very solid drummer, and even covered Rush's "Spirit Of Radio" pretty damn well!