Legendary Canadian drummer Neil Peart has passed away at 67 in Santa Monica, California, on January 7, after battling for years against glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer. His death was confirmed by his bandmates on the Rush Twitter account. Peart was well known for his technical skill as the rhythm backbone and primary lyricist of the progressive rock band Rush, which featured complex styles that inspired countless future musicians.
Neil Peart joined Rush on July 29, 1974, and along with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, the trio have been together since, releasing more than 50 albums and countless tours across the world. The band went to great lengths to produce an immersive live sound for their audiences, which led to the addition of large amounts of equipment on stage for each member, incorporating keyboards, triggers, synthesizers, percussion, samplers, in addition to traditional instruments. Peart’s drumset was no exception, with impressive arrays of equipment surrounding him during live performance, not merely for show, but to produce a variety of live sounds used to immerse audiences during concerts.
Countless musicians have been inspired by Peart’s dedication, precision, and work ethic, and he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and the US Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. His skills were not limited to rock or progressive rock; he had strong jazz drumming fundamentals that were well recognized across the world.
Peart retired from music in 2015, and leaves behind a wife and daughter.