Neil Peart, the drumming fulcrum and lyrical voice of legendary Canadian progressive-rock outfit Rush has passed. Rolling Stone reports that Peart had succumbed to aggressive brain cancer at age 67.
“Neil was a force,” says Coheed And Cambria drummer Josh Eppard in an email to AP. “He helped shape so many drummers, young and old, his passing will be felt forever. This is a devastating loss: Our sincere condolences to the Peart family and his Rush family.”
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Peart replaced original Rush drummer John Rutsey after the release of their 1974 self-titled debut album. Since the release of the band’s 1975 album Caress Of Steel, Peart not only assisted in raising the trio’s high musicianship, he was also responsible for much of the band’s lyrics, as well. His work with the band encompasses 19 studio albums and 11 live releases. He was also a prolific writer whose 2002 memoir Ghost Rider: Travels On The Healing Road was acclaimed by both stans of his band and literary fans.
In the 2010 Rush documentary film, Beyond The Lighted Stage, it was revealed the band had fans from various music realms. From arena metal types like Skid Row (Sebastian Bach) to alternative rock royalty (Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Danny Carey of Tool, Jimmy Chamberlain of Smashing Pumpkins) to at least one emo pillar (Jason McGerr of Death Cab For Cutie), Rush and Peart’s scope of influence is both legendary and unparalleled.
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Peart and his Rush bandmates vocalist/bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2013.
Our thoughts are not only with Peart’s family and close friends, but also with the myriad of drummers who were influenced by him, as well as those who were inspired by his lyrics. He leaves a body of work that will continue to transcend generations. To that end, here’s Peart throwing it down on The Late Show With David Letterman, first broadcast in 2011.