Fans have been paying tribute to Neil Peart, the visionary drummer and lyricist for Rush who died on Tuesday (January 7), by sharing some of his best work – including some remarkable footage from the band’s final date on their farewell tour.
Signing off at The Forum in LA on August 1, 2015, the band played a selection of songs pulled from 15 different albums across the night, including four tracks from their breakthrough album ‘2112’.
Performing ‘Cygnus XI’ – originally a two-part song series which closed the 1977 album ‘A Farewell to Kings’ and opened the following year’s ‘Hemispheres’ LP – singer Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson step aside around the 3:12 mark to allow Peart to unleash what would transpire to be his last ever public drum solo. Watch the clip below.
Confirmed by Elliott Mintz, a spokesperson for the Peart family, the 67-year-old passed away this week after quietly battling brain cancer for the past three years, according to Rolling Stone.
Often considered one of the greatest drummers to ever pick up a pair of sticks, Peart joined Rush in 1974 along with singer/bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson. His flamboyant yet definitive style helped make the trio one of the key bands of the classic-rock era.
Lee and Lifeson released a statement today (January 10), calling Peart their “friend, soul brother and bandmate over 45 years,” and said that he had been “incredibly brave” in his battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
“We ask that friends, fans, and media alike understandably respect the family’s need for privacy and peace at this extremely painful and difficult time,” Lee and Lifeson said. “Those wishing to express their condolences can choose a cancer research group or charity of their choice and make a donation in Neil Peart’s name. Rest in peace, brother.”