Neil Peart during the R40 tour in Vancouver 2015 Colin Smith Takes Pics

An iconic member of one of Canada’s greatest bands has passed away. 

Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for the Canadian prog-rock group Rush, died on January 7th in Santa Monica, California, according to media reports. 

Peart had been battling brain cancer for three years before his death at age 67. A family spokesperson confirmed his death in a statement made to CBC news

Shortly have the news broke, Rush posted the following statement on Twitter:

With bandmates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, Peart became one of Canada’s most legendary musicians, gaining accolades from fans and fellow musicians around the world. 

Rush formed in 1968, and went on to win several JUNO awards and Grammy nominations. The band released 24 gold albums, 14 platinum albums, and 3 multi-platinum albums. 

The band was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Neil Peart was born on September 12th, 1952, near Hagersville, Ontario. 

According to a profile in the popular website DrummerWorld, “Peart is known for his creative and intricate drum parts and extensive drum solos that delight both drummers and non-drummers alike.”

Colin Smith, a photographer with Victoria Buzz’s event and concert phot who provided the featured photo in this article, says the news is incredibly emotional for himself and millions of other Canadians.

“As sad as this news is today, I can’t help but be reminded that my life was once saved by the music of Rush,” Smith wrote to Victoria Buzz. “13 years ago in the beginning of my recovery from drugs and alcohol, the only thing that seemed to affect and awaken my soul were the lyrics and music of Rush.

“As this news broke today I’m not just filled with sadness, I’m filled with great gratitude that I am alive.”

 

👋 Subscribe to the Victoria Buzz newsletter to receive the latest news, events and more directly to your inbox. Every weekday.