We are trying to grasp the reality of the news that “The Professor” Neil Peart has left us.
The legendary drummer and lyricist for RUSH, has died this past Tuesday, January 7th, in Santa Monica, California at age 67, according to Elliot Mintz, a family spokesperson. The cause was brain cancer, which he had been quietly battling for three-and-a-half years. A representative for the band confirmed the news to Rolling Stone.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, bandmates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson called Peart their “friend, soul brother and band-mate over 45 years,” and said he had been “incredibly brave” in his battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. “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,” Lee and Lifeson said. “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.”
Considered by many to be one of the best rock drummers of all time, along with penning impressive lyrics, Peart was renowned for his proficiency, his technical expertise and unique performance style, expertly weaving together techniques from different musical genres, blending jazz and big band with hard rock. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1983. Peart‘s writing also extended beyond music: He penned a number of memoirs exploring his life and travels.
RUSH finished their final tour in 2015; Peart was done with the road and eager to spend more time with his wife, Carrie Nuttal, and daughter Olivia. He would never be seen on stage again.
We feel numb and in disbelief. But there’s no denying that the cause of our grief is gratitude – that such a genius raised the bar so high and delighted us in so many ways. We are all so much richer for his life, for what he shared with all of us. Go listen to a RUSH album, or three or four.
We say Farewell to a King today… but his beat will not be stilled. #RIP