Rush had a loyal worldwide fan base and sold millions of records. Mr. Peart, who was also the band’s primary lyricist, was among the most admired drummers in rock.
Neil Peart, the pyrotechnical drummer and high-concept lyricist for the Canadian progressive-rock trio Rush, died on Jan. 7 in Santa Monica, Calif. The cause was brain cancer, according to a statement from Elliot Mintz, a spokesman for the family.
Rush was formed in 1968 but found its long-term identity — as the trio of Geddy Lee on vocals, keyboards and bass, Alex Lifeson on guitars and Mr. Peart on drums — after Mr. Peart replaced the band’s founding drummer, John Rutsey, in 1974.
Mr. Peart’s lyrics transformed the band’s songs into elaborate suites exploring science fiction, magic and philosophy, often with the individualist and libertarian sentiments that informed songs like “Tom Sawyer” and “Freewill.” And Mr. Peart’s drumming was at once intricate and explosive, pinpointing odd meters and expanding the band’s power-trio dynamics.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the band said that Peart had had glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain tumor, for three and a half years.
Neil Peart September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020 pic.twitter.com/NivX2RhiB8— Rush (@rushtheband) January 10, 2020
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