Farewell to a king

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Neil Peart, the ‘drummer’s drummer’ of rock band Rush, has died aged 67.

Peart was the reason there were so few Rush tribute bands, because he was pretty much the only person who could actually play their drum tracks.

His dedication to his craft was legendary – once being described as the only man who rehearsed for rehearsals – and he combined a poetry in lyrical composition with an instrumental precision, speed and dexterity that created an entire one-man percussion section which was effectively unique.

He leaves behind a body of work that is unsurpassed in its field, with an uncompromising creative vision which was nakedly contemptuous of commercial considerations – an attitude which directly led to the bands’ commercial success.

His ability lifted Rush beyond the confines of Prog to a global audience, thanks to belting tracks like The Spirit of Radio providing a doorway to dreamy, soulful songs about wizards and spaceships to people who would otherwise never had anything to do with such things – and gave a hope of understanding to those told to conform or be cast out.

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Neil once said that we are only immortal for a limited time. Some are less limited than others.