Well, this was a shocker, to say the least. The legendary drummer Neil Peart of the Canadian Classic Rock Hall of Fame Trio Rush has passed away at the age of 67. The news broke late this afternoon, and the world of Rock was stunned. Neil succumbed to brain cancer, and has apparently been battling the disease for some time. Rush last toured in 2015, and has since retired from the road. When you think of Neil Peart, you think of a rabid, intense, flawless, intensely skilled master of the drum kit. The man defined what Rock drumming was, and is. When I was growing up, as a 12 year old, I listened to “Tom Sawyer”, and “Spirit Of The Radio”, and was excited as all hell to play drums, which I did, on and off thru High School. Everyone, and I mean everyone made it clear, there was one master of the kit, and it was Neil Peart of Rush. No one compared. Many drummers in Rock today, almost all of them, credit Neil Peart as their favorite, and the reason they picked up the sticks. Think Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters, as an example.
Today is a sad day. Not only was Neil Peart a ridiculously skilled drum master, but he was a Father, Husband, and best friend to Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. Peart was skilled with words, and was the lyricist of all of the Rush songs as well. Highly intelligent, he read read thousands of books. He disliked praise, meet and greets, and anyone “fawning” over him. He notoriously skipped the band’s meet and greets. I had a chance to meet Alex and Geddy backstage in Chicago in 2011, and they were unbelievably sweet, but Neil walked by, not wanting to be involved, more out of embarrassment than anything. He was one of a kind. I’ll be doing tributes on the Morning X, and we’ll sprinkle in some amazing Rush songs this weekend. Long live the king. Neil Peart, Rest In Peace, you will be greatly missed, and thank you for 40 plus years of amazing Rush music with your band mates.