Original KISS drummer Peter Criss 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.
Criss took to his web site to write: "It is so devastating to say these words... I am so deeply saddened by the death of one of my brother drummers and dear friend. Neil was a hero to all of us drummers. He was a great man and a great musician. My heart goes out to Alex and Geddy for their loss and all the family, friends, and fans . May he rest in peace and be met by the lord in heaven. God Bless, Peter Criss"
Several years ago, Criss said the first time he heard Neil's drumming was when RUSH opened for KISS in the 1970s. "Their [original] drummer just left," Peter said. "It was [Neil's] first night, I believe. He was amazing — so inventive."
Peter added: "I love to watch Neil play. He is also a great songwriter. We just think he's one f'in great drummer!!!
"If you really want to see what the drums are about... just go see Neil play."
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.