Original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley has paid tribute to Neil Peart, who died on Tuesday (January 7) in Santa Monica, California after a three-year battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. The iconic RUSH drummer was 67 years old.
On Saturday (January), Ace took to his social media to write: "Neil will be greatly missed as a precise & innovative drummer! He was also a good friend, and when we toured together in the '70s, we spent many an evening laughing and exchanging jokes & road stories till the sun came up! My condolences and prayers go out to his family and Alex & Geddy!"
A day earlier, Frehley's former bandmates Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons took to Twitter to express their condolences. Stanley wrote: "Absolutely Horrible News. Neal Peart [sic] has died after fighting brain cancer for years. His later life was filled with so much family tragedy. So, so sad. I'm just shocked." Simmons offered "prayers and condolences to the Peart family, fans and friends," adding "Neil was a kind soul." Guitarist Tommy Thayer, who joined KISS in February 2003, stepping into the boots of Frehley, echoed Simmons's sentiment, adding that he was "so sad to hear about Neil Peart passing."
During a November 2018 SiriusXM Town Hall, Stanley said that RUSH was the "most exciting" opening band KISS has ever had. "We first had them playing with us in Canada and John Rutsey was still the drummer," he said. "The first album was so… It was HUMBLE PIE, it was [LED] ZEPPELIN. They obviously found their footing in something they wanted to do later on. They were always great."
Drummer Eric Singer, who has been in KISS on and off since 1991, concurred, saying: "I thought RUSH was the best. I saw RUSH open for KISS. I thought they were the coolest opening band. That was the 'Fly By Night' tour— early '75. KISS had 'Hotter Than Hell' out and RUSH had just gotten Neil Peart and they had 'Fly By Night'."
Peart joined RUSH in 1974. He was considered one of the best rock drummers of all time, alongside John Bonham of LED ZEPPELIN; Keith Moon of THE WHO; and Ginger Baker of CREAM. Peart was also RUSH's primary lyricist, drawing inspiration from everything from sci-fi to Ayn Rand.
Neil's survivors include his wife Carrie and daughter Olivia.
Neil will be greatly missed as a precise & innovative drummer! He was also a good friend, and when we toured together in...
Absolutely Horrible News. Neal Peart has died after fighting brain cancer for years. His later life was filled with so much family tragedy. So, so sad. I’m just shocked. pic.twitter.com/EM4Ea1quaY
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) January 10, 2020
My prayers and condolences to the Peart Family, Fans and Friends. Neil was a kind soul. R.I.P....... Rush Drummer Neil Peart Dead at 67 - Rolling Stone https://t.co/icYz6fnXfE
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) January 10, 2020
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