HEART's Nancy Wilson 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 11),Wilson took to her Twitter to write: "So sad to learn Neil is gone. What a immense talent and influence on the course of rock music for all time. He was such a magical cornerstone in the Temple of Rush. Rush is forever timeless. #rush #NeilPeart"
In a 2013 interview with Huffington Post, Nancy stated about RUSH: "I am into RUSH. We are into RUSH now. We watched that documentary 'Beyond The Lighted Stage'. I found it so completely great, I took it on the road and me and [HEART singer] Ann and [other Wilson sister] Lynn watched it on our tour bus and we're, like, 'Oh my god! We get it! We understand where it comes from now.'"
She continued: "I wanted to check 'em out because they were so tight with our producer Ben Mink. He's one of Geddy Lee's oldest dearest friends from back in the day in the '70s, so we kind of ended up hooking up with them more recently and I wanted to check 'em out again because of him and because RUSH is kind of one of those bands that are kind of like a dog whistle that only men can hear."
Nancy said that she was always aware of RUSH's work but had now decided to take things to the next level.
"I've always liked a lot of their songs on the radio over the years, but I've never felt compelled to pick up their albums," she admitted. "But now I want to pick up their new one. We've become RUSH fans. … They've got this incredibly cool, complex… it's thinking man's rock. But it's also got a big tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, like when they're basting their rotisserie chickens on their backline and they've got their washing and drying going [on stage]. And the movie 'I Love You Man', too, was just hysterical."
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.
Photo courtesy of Miles High Productions