“He wanted to be in control”


The wife and comrades of late Rush drummer Neil Peart have discussed being asked to keep Legend’s health battles private in a new interview.
Peart passed away last January after struggling quietly with brain cancer for three years.

Rush members Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson and Peart’s wife Carrie Nuttall have now spoken Rolling stone to mark the first anniversary of the drummer’s death yesterday (January 7).

In the interview, Lifeson said that Peart “asked us not to discuss [the illness] with anyone, ”adding,“ He just wanted to be in control. The last thing in the world he would want are people sitting on his sidewalk or in his driveway singing “Closer to the Heart” or something like that.

“It was a great fear for him. He didn’t want that attention at all. And it was really hard to lie to people or to get around or deflect somehow. It was really difficult.

Neil Peart of Rush. Credit: Fin Costello / Redferns

“He didn’t want to waste the time he had left talking shit like that,” Lee added. “He wanted to have fun with us. And he wanted to talk about real things until the very end.

Elsewhere in the interview, Lifeson recounted how Peart spent his last days revisiting Rush material and reflecting on his musical life.

“I guess he was just going over some of the things he’s done, in terms of music, anyway,” he said. “And I think he was a little surprised at how well that turned out. I think it happens, you forget a bit.

“It was interesting to see him smile and feel really good about it. And when he could still write to us, he wrote about how he revised some of our old music and how that defended him.

In the days following her death last year, Donna Halper – the woman credited with discovering Rush while working at an Ohio radio station in 1974 – responded to the rumors according to which Peart was unable to speak in the months before his death after a three-year battle. with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

“Sad to say, there are rumors about Neil Peart’s last months circulating on social media,” she wrote on Twitter. “The vast majority are incorrect. As for me, I choose to remember Neil as he was and want to respect his family’s privacy during this difficult time.

A NME Peart’s obituary describes him as “the drum teacher who spun fantasy into rock”.


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