Rush Drummer Neil Peart Dies From Brain Cancer

Neil Ellwood Peart, passed away on January 7, 2020. He was born September 12, 1952, which made him 67 when he passed. He was a Canadian musician and writer best known as the drummer and primary lyricist of the rock band Rush. Peart received numerous awards for his musical performances [1].  He joined singer-bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson in Rush in 1974.

His style brought fast, hard drumming up front and center, and his live performances for their precision and in your face flamboyance. Rush concerts usually last over two hours and drumming at his level was a wonder to behold.

Cast in this unlikely role
Well equipped to act
With insufficient tact
One must put up barriers
To keep oneself intact
Limelight [2]

Neil’s penchant for privacy had become famous (infamous) where fans were taken back by his inability to be friendly with people he had no relationship other than that the fan had bought an album or heard him on the radio. He even spoke about his views on meeting fans in the song “Limelight.”

Living in a fisheye lens
Caught in the camera eye
I have no heart to lie
I can’t pretend a stranger
Is a long awaited friend
– Limelight [3]

Up until the end of his life, Peart’s family came first and fans second. He told the public that his retirement in 2015 was due to shoulder and age issues, but now we know that, it certainly appears, he was suffering effects from glioblastoma, a very aggressive brain cancer for the last three years.

Rush bandmates, Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee issued a statement Friday afternoon. Lee and Lifeson called Peart their “friend, soul brother and bandmate over 45 years,” and asked, “Those wishing to express their condolences can choose a cancer research group or charity of their choice and make a donation in Neil Peart’s name. Rest in peace, brother.” [4]

He will be missed by his bandmates, fans, friends, and family, but his music contribution will live on after him.


  1. ^Neil Peart – Wikipedia. (2020, January 19). Retrieved from (go back↩)
  2. ^Limelight (song) – Wikipedia. (2020, January 11). Retrieved from (go back↩)
  3. ^Limelight (song) 2 – Wikipedia. (2020, January 11). Retrieved from (go back↩)
  4. ^Neil Peart | (2020, January 20). Retrieved from (go back↩)

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