January 12, 2020

Original BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward 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.

Earlier today, Ward took to his social media to write: "Red Barchetta has become even more potent today after the news of your passing. Red Barchetta is sad today, and fondly reminding my wife and I of times and places long gone, but still sweet in our hearts.

"What is left is a life's work to praise, converse about, to be in awe of, knowing the world is a better place for your triumphs. What you did in the moments you had, what you created, lends itself to the richness of life, and for those who embraced your passion and love, I believe we are better for it. My wife and I respectfully thank you.

"Our condolences to family members, friends, fellow musicians, and the fans. RIP Neil.

"Love, Bill Ward"

Ward previously talked about Peart during an August 2015 episode of his radio show "Rock 50". He said (hear audio below): "He's an absolute must for the student — if there's young students who wanna say, 'Who shall we listen to? Where can we find guidance?' I would always recommend, 'Go and listen to Neil Peart.' What I like about him is I like the way that he pushes his crescendos with the lyric. It makes the lyric even more than what the lyric is; he's marvelous at that. And that's almost like an orchestrational — or is an orchestrational movement. In addition to that, he's a wonderful jazz player, in my opinion. And I don't know how he feels about that; I just love his playing and his technique."

He continued: "I think he's one of the most incredible drummers I've ever heard in my life. A beautiful man from a beautiful band."

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.

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