Glen Peart, the father of legendary RUSH drummer Neil Peart, has died after a battle with cancer.
The news of Glen's June 12 passing was confirmed by Neil's sister, Nancy Burkholder, in a social media post the following day. She wrote: "On behalf of our Mother and all of our family members, The Peart Family would like to thank everyone for the expressions of sympathy for the passing of our very beloved Glen; husband, father, grandfather, & great grandfather.
"Thank you to Hospice Muskoka Andy's House staff for the wonderful care and facility.
"If anyone would like to donate to our charities in the Peart name, please see the links below.
"Thank you so much to everyone for your thoughts".
Glen, who was the president of an agricultural equipment dealership, had four children, of whom Neil was the eldest.
In a 2019 interview with Farm Equipment, Glen talked about his son's life before he landed the job as RUSH's drummer.
"This was a natural fit; he had worked with me for several summers while attending school, was good with numbers and had an easy way with people," he said. "But Neil had only one burning passion — to be a drummer. He had several local gigs and some local success. But he was disgusted that the other band members did not share his passion.
"All the music that Neil wanted to play was coming out of England. At the age of 18, we talked it over and he would be working with me for the summer. I said whatever he could save up, I would double.
"In the fall, we built a plywood crate for everything he owned — pretty basic — plus his precious drum kit, and off he went. The pickings were pretty slim; he ended up working for a Canadian who operated a souvenir shop on Carnaby Street in London. Neil was to clean up the old store paint it and get it ready for merchandise to put on the shelves. Neil had been working this project for a few days when the owner popped into the shop and said, 'I'm going to be away for a few days. The merchandise will be arriving. Could you just open the cartons and put it on the shelves?'
Glen continued: "Neil was glad to have the job. As it arrived, he lined it all up on shelves as he had done many times in our dealership. When the owner returned, he was so pleased, he said, 'Why don't you stay here and manage this store for me? His dealership experience did pay off.
"In the fall of 1973, our dealership won a sales campaign trip to England with many other Canadian dealers and his mother, Betty. I had the chance to spend a couple of days with him in London. Betty was concerned that he was so thin and pale. The English climate will do that to you, but he was obviously homesick and missed all his friends.
"Neil and I had a talk. I said, 'Neil, you are managing the store here and I have a parts department that could sure use you.' So I know this was working on him and in the New Year (1974), he sent us a note and said, 'Dad, I'm coming home.' I don't know who was happier — his mom or dad — but it was a celebration.
"When he arrived home, we computerized the parts inventory, set up some new controls and he slipped into the position quite comfortably. I know that all of the basics and the experience he had working with all our other employees formed a solid base on several levels that helped him cope with all the new challenges he would be facing."
Peart died on January 7, 2020 in Santa Monica, California after a three-year battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was 67 years old.
RUSH announced Peart's passing three days later, setting off shockwaves and an outpouring of grief from fans and musicians all over the world.
RUSH's final show took place at the Forum in Los Angeles on August 1, 2015. Peart indicated at the time that he wanted to retire while he was still able to play well, along with a desire to spend more time at home with his young daughter.
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.
On behalf of our Mother and all of our family members, The Peart Family would like to thank everyone for the expressions...
I am told that late last night, Neil Peart's dad lost his battle with cancer and passed. Many of us in the Rush fan community had the chance to get to know Glen. He was a dear person. Please keep the family in your thoughts during this difficult time.
— Donna Halper (@DevorahLeah) June 13, 2021
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