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Rush’s Neil Peart Suggests He’s Retired: ‘There Comes a Time to… Take Yourself Out of the Game’

Mike Lawrie, Getty Images
Mike Lawrie, Getty Images

It was the news some were expecting, but hoping wasn’t true. It looks like the ultimate power trio Rush no longer fall into the “trio” category. After months of speculation that Rush would no longer be a touring band, it appears drummer extraordinaire Neil Peart has swiftly answered the question that has been on the rock community’s collective minds. Loosely commenting on his retired state, the stickman gave an interview that suggests he’s hanging up his sticks.

In an interview with Drumhead Magazine, Peart spoke about his storied career with Rush. Mentioning his young daughter, he said, “Lately Olivia has been introducing me to new friends at school as “My dad — He’s a retired drummer.” True to say, funny to hear. And it does not pain me to realize that, like all athletes, there comes a time to… take yourself out of the game. I would rather set it aside then face the predicament described in our song “Losing It,” “Sadder still to watch it die, than never to have known it.””

Peart makes no mistake counting himself among athletes. In his four decades with Rush, he has laid down some of the most challenging and complex drum parts and has consistently performed three hour sets, hammering away at his kit with fevered aggression. As a result of the physical demands, Peart suffers from chronic tendonitis in his arms, which was revealed as Rush announced their R40 tour. The band stated the tour “will most likely be their last major tour of this magnitude.”

The decision for Peart to bow out has answered not only the question from fans, but for the rest of the band as well. In November, frontman Geddy Lee said “it doesn’t look good” commenting on Rush’s touring future. Alex Lifeson, the band’s founding guitarist, was also disappointed they didn’t extend the R40 tour to include more dates.

If this truly is the end of the live Rush experience with this iconic trio, it is a farewell to one of the greatest rock lineups to ever step foot on the road and to one of the greatest drummers of all time.

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