We woke up to some unfortunate news this morning. Legendary rock drummer Neil Peart from the band Rush passed away from brain cancer at the age of 67. It was reported that he was battling cancer for the last three and a half years. Neil was a massive inspiration to drummers all over the world and played a significant part in the drum scene worldwide. He will be sorely missed but his legacy will forever live on.
“Neil is the most air-drummed-to drummer of all time”– former Police drummer Stewart Copeland told Rolling Stone in 2015.
Peart’s drumming skills and technique are well-regarded by fans, fellow musicians, and music journalists. His influences were eclectic, ranging from Pete Thomas, John Bonham, Michael Giles, Ginger Baker, Phil Collins, Steve Gadd, Stewart Copeland,Michael Shrieve and Keith Moon, to fusion and jazz drummers Billy Cobham, Buddy Rich, Bill Bruford and Gene Krupa. The Who was the first group that inspired him to write songs and play the drums. Peart is distinguished for playing “butt-end out”, reversing stick orientation for greater impact and increased rimshot capacity. “When I was starting out,” Peart said, “if I broke the tips off my sticks, I couldn’t afford to buy new ones, so I would just turn them around and use the other end. I got used to it, and continue to use the heavy end of lighter sticks – it gives me a solid impact, but with less ‘dead weight’ to sling around.”