Former NIRVANA drummer and current FOO FIGHTERS frontman Dave Grohl has paid tribute to RUSH's Neil Peart, who passed away on Tuesday (January 7) in Santa Monica, California after a three-year battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Grohl, who inducted RUSH into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2013, wrote in a statement: "Today, the world lost a true giant in the history of rock & roll. An inspiration to millions with an unmistakable sound who spawned generations of musicians (like myself) to pick up two sticks and chase a dream. A kind, thoughtful, brilliant man who ruled our radios and turntables not only with his drumming, but also his beautiful words."
Grohl continued: "I still vividly remember my first listen of '2112' when I was young. It was the first time I really listened to a drummer. And since that day, music has never been the same. His power, precision, and composition was incomparable. He was called 'The Professor' for a reason: We all learned from him.
"Thank you, Neil, for making our lives a better place with your music. You will be forever remembered and sorely missed by all of us. And my heartfelt condolences to the RUSH family.
"God bless Neil Peart."
Grohl's FOO FIGHTERS bandmate Taylor Hawkins simply said: "Neil Peart had the hands of God. End of story."
In a 2013 Rolling Stone interview, Grohl said that it was Peart's work that inspired him to pick up the drumsticks. "When I got '2112' when I was eight years old, it fucking changed the direction of my life. I heard the drums. It made me want to become a drummer," Grohl said.
Grohl went on to recount how he met Peart for the first time during rehearsals for the Rock Hall ceremony. "I was coming to rehearsal and I was meeting Neil for the first time, and this man was as influential as any religion or any hero or any person in someone's life. He said, 'So nice to meet you. Can I make you a coffee?' And he made me a coffee, man," Grohl said. "And later on that night, I went to dinner and had a couple glasses of wine, and I started fucking crying because my hero made me a fucking coffee. It was unbelievable, man. So that's kind of how this whole experience has been."
RUSH had been completely inactive since completing its "R40 Live" tour four 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 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.