Whether you were a lover of the Rush drummer’s restlessly inventive and polyrhythmic percussive tricks or a fanatic for his science fiction-inspired lyrics, news of Neil Peart’s death at 67 from brain cancer shocked and saddened all. Peart was legendarily a musician’s musician, and his passing immediately turned rockers of all stripes tearful at the thought. Among them: Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl who credits Peart with inspiring him to “pick up two sticks and chase a dream.” See Grohl’s and more social media reactions below.
When guitarist Peter Frampton offered his own rest in peace Tweet, followed by “so sad to hear,” Heartbreakers keyboardist responded with “Oh no no no.”
Geezer Butler, a founding member of Black Sabbath Tweeted his RIP.
Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith’s Instagram account has long been filled with photos of him with Peart and other members of Rush. On Smith’s Twitter, late into Friday evening, he posted a shot of himself and Peart, clad in leather, standing alongside their motorcycles with the message, “Farewell to a king.”
Soon after Smith sent his admiration for Peart, fellow Pepper Flea chimed in with his own Instagram post, stating that he was going to “spend the whole day air drumming” in tribute to the Rush drummer, and “That dude f7——g shredded.”
Questlove, the drummer from The Roots and bandleader from NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” went on to Instagram to declare “Neal the GAWD. All Respect due to the legend.”
Actor and Tenacious D vocalist Jack Black also hailed Peart as “the Master” who “will be missed.”
Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan found a photo of a long haired mustachioed Peart for Instagram and provided a lengthy commentary: “On the passing of Neil Peart, please let me add my voice to the chorus in praising this incredible musician and poet. His influence on the Smashing Pumpkins is indelible: giving us wings to soar with and a road map to ultimately find our own way. There isn’t a modern rock drummer alive who hasn’t heard him, and spoken his name with a reverence that’s reserved for the very few. And as a lyricist, Mr. Peart is without compare. I am forever in his debt, and humbled to say that though I never met him, I feel I knew him as a friend. Which brings to mind his great line, ‘I can’t pretend a stranger is a long-awaited friend…’May God embrace you, Neil, as His own.”
Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante said of the Rush rhythmatist, “There are drummers and then there is Neal Peart…. I would Rush ( no pun) home from school to play Natural science , subdivisions and numerous other tracks.”
Taylor Momsen, the singer from The Pretty Reckless, offered up a handsome photo of Peart, and stated “Such a loss, one of my favorite musicians of all time. His influence and music will live on through anyone who picks up an instrument.”
Beach Boys legend and composer Brian Wilson quoted from one of his own solo songs when he Tweeted, “I just heard about Neil Peart passing. I feel real bad about this – he was way too young. Neil was one of the great drummers and he’ll be missed. Love & mercy to Neil’s family.”
Fellow drummer Max Weinberg from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band Tweeted out his condolences, with “So saddened by the passing of Neal Peart. Drumming legend as we all know but a truly kind man. Personally arranged for my son, Jay (then a teenager) to open at a venue in Boston for Rush. Huge for an aspiring drummer! Condolences to his family from our family.”
Stephen Drodz from the Flaming Lips went on to Instagram to post a photo of a youthful Peart, and offer his comment on being “seriously saddened by Neil Peart passing on… he created a whole new world for a lot of us.”
Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich took to Instagram to expres his genuine gratitude, and that of all drummers, for the inspiration Peart brought to the metal man’s rhythm skills.
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Thank you Neil. Thank you for inspiring me and for all your help and advice along the way, especially in the early days when you took the time to talk to a young green Danish drummer about recording, gear and the possibilities that lay ahead… Thank you for what you did for drummers all over the world with your passion, your approach, your principles and your unwavering commitment to the instrument! Rest In Peace.
KISS’ members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley also expressed their remorse.
Even the city of Toronto shared its grief upon hearing news that “the Greatest Drummer of all-time has passed away.”