Neil Peart, Rush drummer who set a new standard for rock virtuosity, dead at 67

Neil Peart, the virtuoso percussionist and writer for Rush, died Tues, Gregorian calendar month seventh, in Santa Monica, California, at age 67, per Elliot Mintz, a family representative. The cause was brain cancer, that Peart had been quietly battling for three-and-a-half years.



Peart was one in every of rock’s greatest drummers, with a flamboyant nevertheless precise vogue that paid court to his hero, the Who’s Keith Moon, whereas increasing the technical and ingenious potentialities of his instrument. He joined singer-bassist Geddy Lee and guitar player Alex Lifeson in Rush in 1974, and his artistry and literate, philosophical lyrics – that at the start actor on author and fantasy, and later became additional personal and affective – helped create the trio one in every of the classic-rock era’s essential bands. His drum fills on songs like “Tom Sawyer” were pop hooks in their claim, every one associate ineradicable mini-composition; his drawn-out drum solos, fastidiously made and filled with drama, were highlights of each Rush concert.


In a statement free Fri afternoon, Lee and Lifeson referred to as Peart their “friend, Black man and bandmate over forty five years,” and same he had been “incredibly brave” in his battle with brain tumor, associate aggressive kind of brain cancer. “We raise that friends, fans, and media alike intelligibly respect the family’s would like for privacy and peace at this very painful and tough time,” Lee and Lifeson wrote. “Those wish to specific their condolences will opt for a cancer analysis cluster or charity of their selection and create a donation in Neil Peart’s name. Rest in peace, brother.”

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A rigorous person, Peart was additionally the author of diverse books, starting with 1996’s The covert Rider: athletics in geographical area, that chronicled a 1988 bicycle tour in Cameroon – therein memoir, he recalled associate impromptu hand-drum performance that actor a whole village to look at.

Peart ne'er stopped basic cognitive process within the potentialities of rock (“a gift on the far side worth,” he referred to as it in Rush’s 1980 track “The Spirit of Radio”) and scorned what he saw as over-commercialization of the music trade and dumbed-down artists he saw as “panderers.” “It’s regarding being your own hero,” he told Rolling Stone in 2015. “I kicked off to ne'er betray the values that 16-year-old had, to ne'er sell out, to ne'er bow to the person. A compromise is what I will ne'er settle for.”

Peart was a percussionist’s drummer, beloved by his peers; he won prizes in trendy Drummer’s annual readers’ poll thirty eight times, and was a formative influence on innumerous young players. “His power, precision, and composition was best,” Dave Grohl same in an exceedingly statement free Fri. “He was referred to as ‘The Professor’ for a reason: we tend to all learned from him.”

“Neil is that the most air-drummed-to percussionist of all time,” former Police percussionist Stewart Copeland told Rolling Stone in 2015. “Neil Peart pushes that band, that features a ton of musicalness, a great deal of concepts crammed into each eight bars — however he keeps the throb, that is that the necessary issue. And he will try this whereas doing every kind of cool shit.”

Rush finished their final tour in August of 2015, when cathartic their last album, mechanism Angels, in 2012. Peart was through with the road. He questioned whether or not he may keep physically capable of taking part in his exigent components, and was wanting to pay longer along with his mate, Carrie Nuttal, and female offspring Olivia.

On August tenth, 1997, Peart’s 19-year-old female offspring, Selena, died in an exceedingly single-car accident on the long drive to her university in provincial capital. 5 months later, Selena’s mother — Peart’s unwritten mate of twenty three years, Jackie Taylor – was diagnosed with terminal cancer, quickly succumbing. Shattered, Peart told his bandmates to contemplate him retired, and began a solitary motorbike trip across the us. He remarried in 2000, and located his method back to Rush by 2001.

Peart grew up in Port Dalhousie, a conservative Canadian suburbia seventy miles from provincial capital, wherever he took his initial drum lessons at age thirteen. As a teen, he curly his hair, took to sporting a cape and purple boots on town bus, and written “God is dead” on his sleeping room wall. At one purpose, he came hassle for pounding out beats on his table throughout category. His teacher’s plan of penalization was to insist that he bang on his table nonstop for associate hour’s price of detention, time he jubilantly spent re-creating Keith Moon’s components from Tommy.

Peart joined Rush simply when the recording of their initial album, replacement original percussionist John Rutsey. His breakthrough with the band came with 1976’s 2112 — the primary facet of the album was a concept album set therein far-future year, combining Peart’s sci-fi vision and Rand-ian ideology (which he later disavowed, line of work himself a “bleeding-heart libertarian”) with explosive prog theatrics. A later milestone came with the 1982 “Subdivisions,” associate autobiographical tale of residential area misery (“The suburbs don't have any charms to appease the restless dreams of youth”).

“A ton of the first fantasy stuff was only for fun,” Peart told Rolling Stone. “Because I didn’t believe nevertheless that I may place one thing real into a song. ‘Subdivisions’ happened to be associate anthem for a great deal of individuals WHO grew up below those circumstances, and from then on, i noticed what I best to place in an exceedingly song was human expertise.”

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