Neil Peart, Iconic Rush Drummer, Dead at 67

Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for Rush, died on Tuesday in Santa Monica, California at age 67. He died after battling brain cancer for three years, Peart family spokesperson Elliott Mintz told Rolling Stone. A representative for the band also confirmed the news.

Peart is considered one of the best drummers in rock history, and contributed the lyrics for Rush's classics. He joined bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson to form the group in 1974.

"Neil is the most air-drummed-to drummer of all time," former Police drummer Stewart Copeland said of Pert in 2015. "Neil pushes that band, which has a lot of musicality, a lot of ideas crammed into every eight bars — but he keeps the throb, which is the important thing. And he can do that while doing all kinds of cool s—."

After Rush finished their last tour in 2015, Peart stopped performing to spend more time with wife Carrie Nuttal and daughter Olivia.

Lifeson said the 2015 tour would be their last due to his psoriatic arthritis and Peart's chronic tendonitis, reports Concequence of Sound. Peart also confirmed he was retiring.

"Lately Olivia has been introducing me to new friends at school as 'My dad – He's a retired drummer,'" Peart told Drumhead Magazine in December 2015. "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')."

The group officially broke-up, with Lifeson confirming the decision was due to Peart's health.

“We had such a great time on the tour," Lifeson explained in a 2018 interview with The Globe and Mail. "And it was really nice to go through all the material in reverse chronology, and I think our fans really enjoyed it. I think that no matter how long it would have been, it would have been too short. Neil was prepared to commit to 30 dates and he told us that right from the very beginning. He didn’t even want to do the tour, to be honest with you. It’s been increasingly difficult for him, but he committed to the tour and we got through it. As far as he was concerned, that was the end of touring…his shoulders were hurting, his arms were hurting, his elbows, his feet, everything, He didn’t want to play anything less than 100 percent. He was finding it increasingly difficult to hit that mark on this last tour.”

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