Neil Peart, drum­mer for in­flu­en­tial rock­ers Rush, dead at 67

Antelope Valley Press - - WEATHER / OBITUARIES -

SANTA MON­ICA (AP) — Neil Peart, the renowned drum­mer and lyri­cist from the in­flu­en­tial Cana­dian band Rush, has died. He was 67.

His rep­re­sen­ta­tive, El­liot Mintz, said in a state­ment Fri­day that Peart died at his home Tues­day in Santa Mon­ica. The band posted a mes­sage on Twitter also con­firm­ing the news.

“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 over 45 years, Neil, has lost his in­cred­i­bly brave three and a half year bat­tle with brain can­cer,” the band wrote. “Rest in peace brother.”

Peart was revered for his drum­ming skills, but was also the band’s key song­writ­ers, known for his fan­tas­ti­cal lyrics. The re­spected mu­si­cian placed fourth on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Great­est Drum­mers of All Time, just be­hind Gin­ger Baker, Keith Moon and John Bon­ham.

Peart, along­side band­mates Geddy Lee and Alex Life­son, were in­ducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, and hon­ored for com­bin­ing “the sig­na­ture traits of pro­gres­sive rock with a proto typ­i­cal heavy-metal sound.” Their most known songs in­clude “Tom Sawyer,” “The Big Money” and “The Spirit of Ra­dio.”

“We’ve al­ways said it’s not some­thing that meant a lot to us, but we knew our fans cared so much to be validated like that — that their fa­vorite band like their fa­vorite sports team should be cel­e­brated as cham­pi­ons,” Peart told The As­so­ci­ated Press when Rush was in­ducted into the Rock Hall. “We al­ways knew that was the case and cer­tainly to see it blos­som af­ter this is a tes­ta­ment to the truth of that.”

Peart was born on Septem­ber 12, 1952 in On­tario.

When Rush formed in 1968, its orig­i­nal lineup in­cluded Life­son, bassist Jeff Jones and drum­mer John Rut­sey. Af­ter a few weeks, Lee re­placed Jones, and in 1974 Peart re­placed Rut­sey weeks be­fore Rush’s first U.S. tour.

Rush’s first al­bum with Peart — now the band’s prin­ci­pal song­writer — was 1975’s plat­inum-seller “Fly by Night.” They re­leased a sec­ond al­bum that same year, “Ca­ress of Steel,” which reached gold sta­tus.

But in 1976 the band marked a ma­jor break­through with the al­bum “2112,” which sold three mil­lion units in the U.S. Rush’s most successful al­bum was 1981’s “Mov­ing Pic­tures,” which sold four mil­lion copies and fea­tured the rock hit “YYZ,” help­ing the band earn its first-ever Grammy nom­i­na­tion. (They earned seven nom­i­na­tions through­out their ca­reer.)

Rush’s 1990’s “Chron­i­cles” was a dou­ble plat­inum suc­cess, while 11 of the band’s al­bums were cer­ti­fied plat­inum and 10 al­bums reached gold sta­tus.

The band was heav­ily in­flu­en­tial and fans of Peart and Rush paid trib­ute on so­cial me­dia.

“Today the world lost a true gi­ant in the his­tory of rock and roll. An in­spi­ra­tion to mil­lions with an un­mis­tak­able sound who spawned gen­er­a­tions of mu­si­cians (like my­self ) to pick up two sticks and chase a dream. A kind, thought­ful, bril­liant man who ruled our ra­dios and turnta­bles not only with his drum­ming, but also his beau­ti­ful words,” Dave Grohl, who in­ducted Rush into the Rock Hall, said in a state­ment Fri­day. “I still vividly re­mem­ber my first lis­ten of ‘2112’ when I was young. It was the first time I re­ally lis­tened to a drum­mer. And since that day, mu­sic has never been the same. His power, pre­ci­sion, and com­po­si­tion was in­com­pa­ra­ble. He was called ‘The Pro­fes­sor’ for a rea­son: we all learned from him.”

Jack Black tweeted, “The master will be missed — Neil Peart RIP #RushFor­ever.” Gene Sim­mons called Peart “a kind soul,” while Chuch D of Pub­lic En­emy re­called be­ing in­ducted into the Rock Hall on the same night as Rush, say­ing back­stage he and Peart shared “a unique mo­ment with­out much word. Rest in Beats my man.”

Slash, Bryan Adams, Paul Stan­ley and Quest­love of The Roots also paid trib­ute to Peart.

“Thank you for in­spir­ing me and for all your help and ad­vice along the way, es­pe­cially in the early days when you took the time to talk to a young green Dan­ish drum­mer about record­ing, gear and the pos­si­bil­i­ties that lay ahead,” Me­tal­lica’s Lars Ul­rich wrote on Twitter. “Thank you for what you did for drum­mers all over the world with your pas­sion, your ap­proach, your prin­ci­ples and your un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to the in­stru­ment! Rest In Peace.”

In 2015, Peart an­nounced he was re­tir­ing from tour­ing.

Peart is sur­vived by his wife, Car­rie and their daugh­ter, Olivia Louise Peart. He was also an au­thor and pub­lished six books.


Neil Peart of Rush per­form­ing dur­ing the fi­nal show of the R40 Tour in Los An­ge­les in 2015. Peart, the renowned drum­mer and lyri­cist from the band Rush, died Tues­day at age 67.

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