THIN LIZZY guitarist Scott Gorham has paid tribute to RUSH drummer 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.
"I was shocked & saddened to hear that Neil Peart, percussionist and lyricist extraordinaire with Canadian band RUSH has passed away," Scott wrote on social media earlier today (Saturday, January 11). "In the 70's THIN LIZZY was privileged to tour with RUSH in the States and I recall how blown away we were when we saw the band perform for the first time, especially Neil's drumming. We had so much fun in that tour, plus we learned so much from all the guys in the band."
He continued: "RUSH were only a three piece band, so Neil became a major part of the RUSH sound and feel. Neil never demanded respect, it was freely given by all of us in the music community and the fans.
"Rest well Neil, you will continue to be an inspiration for many aspiring drummers, setting a standard many will be measured by. An exceptional and highly regarded individual, who also overcame great personal tragedy, will be greatly missed by his band mates Geddy and Alex, his family, friends and fans around the world."
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.
THE POLICE drummer Stewart Copeland once called Peart "the most air-drummed-to drummer of all time."
RUSH had been completely inactive since completing its "R40 Live" tour five years ago.
Neil's survivors include his wife Carrie and daughter Olivia.
He was also the author of numerous books, including a number of memoirs exploring his life and travels.
In 1997, Peart and his bandmates — guitarist Alex Lifeson and bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee — became the first rock musicians to be inducted into the Order of Canada.
They were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2013.