Warning: Before you proceed I must advise you, the reader, to go grab yourself a tissue, because this one is going to hurt.
It is with a heavy heart that I come bearing the news that Neil Peart, the legendary drummer of world renowned prog rock band Rush, has announced his retirement from music. While this comes at no surprise to anyone who has been following the band lately, as he has been vocal about his health struggles and chronic tendinitis, it is a harsh blow to the music world, especially since Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson’s reassurance that the band would continue after their R40 tour. Maybe we’ll get another studio album eventually or the occasional one-off show, but the hardcore touring band Rush, as we all know and love them, will not be continuing in their usual fashion anymore. Speaking to Drumhead Magazine, Peart said this:
“Lately Olivia [ Neil’s daughter] has been introducing me to new friends at school as ‘My dad – he’s a retired drummer.’ True to say, funny to hear.
“And it does not pain me to realize that, like all athletes, there comes a time to… take yourself out of the game. I would rather set it aside then face the predicament described in our song ‘Losing It‘ [‘Sadder still to watch it die, than never to have known it’].”
That is not funny to hear, Neil, but dammit if there is another drummer out there who is more deserving of a nice retirement I don’t know who it is. It’s good to see you choose to go on your own terms rather than have the choice made for you, and thank you for your contribution on the music world. There’s no word from Geddy and Alex whether they’ll continue on with another drummer, but Peart is such a big part of the band that it’s hard to imagine how that would work.
Since it was mentioned by the man himself: listen, enjoy, and try not to cry.
[UPDATE 12/8: Or maybe not. Geddy Lee seems to think that he might have been taken out of context]