RIP Neil Peart: ‘Rush Survived All These Years Because We Care’

Rush Neil Peart passes away - Courtesy Rush
Rush Neil Peart passes away at 67 - Courtesy Rush


Neil Peart, superstar drummer from Rush, has passed away following a long battle with brain cancer, the band said on Friday.

Peart died January 7 in Santa Monica, California at 67 years old.

“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 of over 45 years, Neil, has lost his incredibly brave three and a half year battle with brain cancer (Glioblastoma),” it was posted on the Rush Instagram account. “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.

The band added: “Those wishing to express their condolences can choose a cancer research group or charity of their choice and make a donation in Neil’s name. Rest in peace brother.”

Neil Peart Interview on CBC Music:

During their long career, Rush has been one of Canada’s most beloved hard rock bands, but has sometimes been overlooked by the mainstream press and radio. The band was formed in 1968 and Peart came on as drummer in 1974. Rush was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 by Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters, who befriended the band.

Rush back in the day - Courtesy Rush
Rush back in the day – Courtesy Rush

In 2002, Peart published a book “Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road,” in which he writes about recovering from the loss of his wife and daughter. In discussing the book, Peart told CBC that the band’s devotion to the fans and their own sound has been a reason for longterm success.

“It’s an unfashionable word, ‘care’ but I really would like that to be the case in all of our music that’s written and recorded, in our live performances and certainly anything I put my name to in terms of prose writing or any other enterprise,” he said. “It’s going to get as much care as I can.

“I kind of think that’s a big element as to why the band has survived as a live entity, because the commitment and conviction of believing in what we were doing was present in every show we ever played,” Peart said. “Among the three of us we have never played a show that was less than all we had.”

Rush – Tom Sawyer