The passing of Neil Peart has removed one of the absolute greatest drummers and lyricists from the rock world. His drumming style was super-distinctive — the way he used every bit of his gigantic drum kit. And his lyrics added an unmatched intellectual quality to Rush’s songs. Check out this part of a Geddy Lee interview where he talks about singing Neil’s lyrics:
Apparently, former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy said he knew for two years that Neil Peart had brain cancer but Neil asked him to keep it a secret. He says that even though he may have had time to process Peart’s eventual passing, still it “took the wind out of my sails.” He couldn’t imagine how shocking it was to fans when they were shocked by the news of Peart’s death last Friday. He last saw Peart in 2015 when Peart allowed Portnoy‘s son to sit behind his drum kit during Rush’s farewell tour.
Also, Godsmack frontman Sully Erna opened up about the final days of Neil Peart in a recent radio interview. Erna, who says he “kept in touch” with Peart and conducted one of the Rush drummer’s last on-camera interviews, says Peart was wheelchair-bound and unable to speak in the months leading up to his death last week. Erna says he knew about Peart’s battle with brain cancer and kept quiet “out of respect for Neil”, who he called “probably the single most influential musician in my life”.
Of course, the Prime Minister of Canada also weighed in. Sending out a tweet last Friday, Justin Trudeau wrote “We’ve lost a legend. But his influence and legacy lives on in the hearts of music lovers in Canada and around the world. Rest in peace Neil Peart.” Rush were one of the more “openly Canadian” rock bands.
Remember to join Mitch Michaels Sunday night on The River as he talks about the music and memories of Neil Peart. https://www.959theriver.com/music-memories-neil-peart/