Rush Wiki

Neil Peart

OC Neil Peart (born Neil Ellwood Peart, September 12, 1952 — January 7, 2020), was a Canadian musician and writer. He was the drummer and lyricist for Rush. Along with Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee, he became an Officer of the Order of Canada.


Early years[]

Neil grew up on a farm in Hagersville, which is located in the outskirts of Hamilton. Peart attended Gracefield school, and enjoyed it. By the time he was a teenager, he started to get into music. The first instrument he played was the piano, which he later said did not have much impact on him. He had a habit of using chopsticks to tap on different things in his house like drums. For his 13th birthday, his parents bought him drumsticks and a pad, and said if he stayed with it for a year, they would get drums for him. He got a drum set for his 14th birthday and started taking lessons at the Peninsula Conservatory of Music. His first stage debut was at a Christmas pageant at St. Johns Anglican Church Hall. He next appeared at Lakeport High school, with his first band, the eternal triangle. Peart got a job at a fairground, but his slackness in his work got him fired. He then went on to play in many different bands.

Career with Rush[]

With Rush Neil Peart joined Rush in 1974, after the release of their first album, "Rush," and shortly before their first international tour. He was with the band ever since, except for a brief time in the late 1990's and early 2000's when the death of his only daughter (at the time), Selena Peart, and his wife of 22 years, Jackie Taylor, died within 10 months of each other in 1997. He then got on his motorcycle, and rode it across North America for a few years to help him recover. Afterward, he wrote the book, "Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road," and returned to Rush, ending their five year hiatus. They then recorded their first album of the 21st century, Vapor Trails. (1)

Personal Life[]

On August 12, 2009, Neil Peart's current wife, Carrie Nuttall, gave birth to their daughter, Olivia Louise Peart. (2)


On January 7, 2020, Peart died from glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer. His death was announced on January 10. From the official Rush website:

It is with broken hearts and the deepest sadness that we must share the terrible news that on Tuesday our friend, soul brother and band mate of over 45 years, Neil, has lost his incredibly brave three and a half year battle with brain cancer (Glioblastoma). We ask that friends, fans and media alike understandably respect the family's need for privacy and peace at this extremely painful and difficult time. Those wishing to express their condolences can choose a cancer research group or charity of their choice and make a donation in Neil's name. Rest in peace brother.

Further Reading[]

The Masked Rider

Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road

Traveling Music: The Soundtrack to My Life and Times

Roadshow: Landscape With Drums: A Concert Tour by Motorcycle

Far and Away: A Prize Every Time