Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist of Rush, has died at 67

Sunday, 12 Jan, 2020

Rolling Stone is reporting that famed Rush drummer Neil Peart has passed away following a silent battle with brain cancer.

The Canadian musician, who grew up about 70 miles from Toronto and had lived in Santa Monica for several years, succumbed Tuesday to glioblastoma, which he had fought for 3 1/2 years.

The cause of death was brain cancer, which he had been quietly battling for three years, the spokesperson said.

Peart's lyrics transformed the band's songs into multi-section suites exploring science fiction, magic and philosophy, often with the individualist and libertarian sentiments that informed songs like "Tom Sawyer" and "Freewill".

Peart made up one-third of Rush, the popular progressive rock band, along with bassist and singer Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson. He remarried in 2000 and the band resumed recording and touring the following year.

He is survived by his wife, and their daughter, Olivia Loise Pert, who was born in 2009.

Peart grew up in Ontario and took to music after being inspired by big band drummers such as Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. "God bless Neil Peart".

And his style of playing, which recalled Moon's, won over his Who-worshipping bandmates immediately even though Peart - an avid reader who also authored seven non-fiction books - was much more precise and meticulous.

The last coming at Madison Square Garden in New York City on their farewell 40th Anniversary Tour in 2015, which Peart said would be his last to spend more time with his new wife and their young daughter. "That would just kill.' Frankly, I wouldn't have done it that way - I don't think I would have been so assertive - but Geddy suggested it and I said, 'OK, I'll try it'".

"I was very academic until I discovered drums", he explained in a 2017 interview with Classic Rock.

As the news of Peart's death spread online, heartfelt tributes to beloved drummer filled Twitter's timeline.

He also noted that Peart had "spawned a generation of air drummers for decades to come".