Tragic news for rock fans today, Neil Peart, the legendary drummer of Rush passed away earlier this week.
Peart died on Tuesday, January 7th in Santa Monica, California at age 67, after losing a battle with brain cancer. It was a battle he was fighting for three years, a spokesperson for the family told Rolling Stone.
Peart was easily one of the greatest drummers of all time, and his drumkit was that of legend, almost to comedic effect. Heavy metal, and specifically progressive metal was heavily influenced by Peart's playing.
Update: Tributes are already pouring in from all corners of the metal community, and music community as a whole. We've begun collecting tributes here.
Surviving Rush members Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have released this statement:
“It is with broken hearts and the deepest sadness that we must share the terrible news that on Tuesday our friend, soul brother and band mate of over 45 years, Neil, has lost his incredibly brave three and a half year battle with brain cancer (Glioblastoma). We ask that friends, fans, and media alike understandably respect the family’s need for privacy and peace at this extremely painful and difficult time. Those wishing to express their condolences can choose a cancer research group or charity of their choice and make a donation in Neil Peart’s name.
“Rest in peace brother.
“Neil Peart September 12, 1952 – January 7, 2020”
Rush retired from touring in 2015, as Peart looked forward to spending time with his wife and daughter. At the time, he said he suffered from chronic tendonitis. In an interview with Drumhead, Peart said that his daughter Olivia joked that her dad is a retired drummer:
“Lately Olivia [ Neil’s daughter] has been introducing me to new friends at school as ‘My dad – he’s a retired drummer.’ True to say, funny to hear.
“And it does not pain me to realize that, like all athletes, there comes a time to… take yourself out of the game. I would rather set it aside then face the predicament described in our song ‘Losing It‘ [‘Sadder still to watch it die, than never to have known it’].”
Our deepest condolences to the Peart family and Rush fans.