Variety reports: Neil Peart, the legendary drummer of RUSH, has died. He was 67. The cause of death, according to a spokesperson, was brain cancer. Peart passed on Tuesday, January 7th, in Santa Monica.
One of the most innovative drummers in rock history, Peart was famous for his state-of-the-art drum kits — more than 40 different drums were not out of the norm — precise playing style and onstage showmanship. He joined Rush in 1974, after the band’s cofounders, bassist/singer Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson, had released one self-titled album.
The addition of Peart, whose technical chops and use of melodic percussion instruments — vibes, chimes and later synthesized percussion — vastly expanded the band’s musical palette, and he soon assumed the role of the band’s lyricist as well; he was famously influenced by science-fiction and particularly Ayn Rand, author of “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged.” The band embarked on a series of increasingly elaborate albums whose lyrics and storylines were as sophisticated as their growing musical ambitions. “Necromancer,” a conceptual song on their 1975 album “Caress of Steel,” paved the way for the full-blown 1976 concept album “2112,” a dystopian tale about a future society without music.