Exposé Online banner

Neil Peart RIP

One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020.

by Jon Davis, Published 2020-01-10

RushCornelius Ellwood Peart was born September 12, 1952 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and took up the drums as a teenager. After an unsuccessful move to London at the age of 18, he returned to Canada and worked in his father's farm equipment business until joining Rush in 1974. He soon became the band's primary lyricist, filling a gap that Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson were relatively uninterested in.

Success came gradually to the band, but they eventually rose to become one of the top-drawing rock bands in the world. As the years progressed and tastes changed, Rush managed to adapt their style and maintain their popularity, recording and touring regularly until Peart's retirement in 2015. Estimates of their total worldwide sales are in the neighborhood of 40 million albums.

Peart's drumming brought together many influences from rock and jazz, and his technical abilities are much studied by drummers around the world.


Filed under: Obituaries

Related artist(s): Rush

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Niacin - Niacin & High Bias – The cover of the first Niacin shows the venerable Hammond B3, a creature of legend. So you get an idea what you are in for. Who is Niacin? I think this would be called a "pet project" where...  (1999) » Read more

Solstice - Spirit – One of the bright spots of 2010 was the return of Solstice. It's been 13 years since their last studio effort, Circles, and I was beginning to wonder if they'd ever return. Other than Andy Glass'...  (2011) » Read more

For Absent Friends - Square One – If you like more rock with your progressive, this is the album for you. Dutch band For Absent Friends’ eighth album is 45 minutes of solidly played (dare I say it?) neo-progressive that is...  (2008) » Read more

Simon Mayor and the Mandolinquents - Dance of the Comedians – The Mandolinquents are an acoustic, mandolin based (how did you guess?) quartet that’s been playing together off and on for a dozen years or more, and this – documenting one of their live...  (2008) » Read more

Solaris - Live in Los Angeles – For anyone that was completely blown away by this band's performance at Progfest in November '95 (everyone in the house, from what this writer could ascertain), this two disc set is nothing...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues