Rush Says Band is Over After Death of Neil Peart

by Suzanne Halliburton

Rush has called it quits. Thursday, on the one-year anniversary of the death of drummer Neil Peart, the band spoke on life after the rock legend.

The surviving members of the Canadian rock band made the announcement in an interview with “Rolling Stone.” The magazine did a cover story as a tribute to Peart, an original member of Rush along with Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee. Peart was only 67 when he died last year of an aggressive, malignant brain tumor.

But, there is hope that Rush may regenerate in the future. The members of the group hinted at that during the interview.

But for now, it’s too tough to play on after Peart’s death.

“I love playing and I never, ever wanted to stop,” Lifeson told “Rolling Stone.” “And I thought, you know, ‘One day, when I’m just sitting around s—ing my pants, I’ll still want to play guitar.’ And that’s kind of gone now. After (Peart) died, it just didn’t seem important. But I think it’ll come back.”

Added Lee: “For the longest time, I didn’t have any heart to play. I still feel there’s music in me and there’s music in Big Al, but there’s no hurry to do any of that.”

Until Peart’s illness, Rush had rocked since 1974. Since the group started in Toronto, the band went from hard work to progressive rock, then back to its origins. Peart took a sabbatical from the group in 1997 after the death of his daughter.

He rode his motorcycle for more than 55,000 miles and chronicled his travels in a book “Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road.” He then rejoined Rush.

Rush hit pause on touring in 2015. Three years later, the group said it wouldn’t do it anymore. In the “Rolling Stone” interview, the surviving members of the band said they knew about Peart’s illness for about three and a half years before his death. But the two never talked publicly about his illness.

In fact, the two didn’t give an interview about Peart’s death until the magazine’s cover story.

Peart was Rush’s primary songwriter. He helped the group achieve 19 studio albums. Ten of them each sold more than 1 million. “Billboard” magazine said Rush ranked third for most consecutive gold or platinum albums by a rock band.

Rush earned seven Grammy Award nominations. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame added the group in 2013.

One of Rush’s most popular songs is “Tom Sawyer.” Here’s the video.