We don’t think it’s a stretch to say that drummers for Rush (Neil Peart, John Rutsey) are some of the most talented and influential musicians in rock history.

We are not sure what is more impressive: their incredible compositional skills or their ability to keep up with 2 other virtuoso players?

Either way, they deserve a post dedicated to them!

Who was the original drummer for Rush?

Who was the original drummer for Rush?
Photo by ultimateclassicrock.com

John Rutsey played for the Rush from their start in 1968 until 1974, so only six years versus Neil Peart, who played for 44 years.

John Rutsey left Rush because he had health problems and was diagnosed with diabetes which was the cause for him to retire.

He played on the band’s debut album in 1974 named “Rush”.

After leaving Rush, John went into bodybuilding.

Unfortunately, John died in May of 2008 caused by a heart attack; he died in his sleep. As a probable cause, doctors claim to be diabetes.

Is Neil Peart the best drummer of all time?

Photo by theguardian.com

Although drumming isn’t a competition, yes, Neil Peart is considered one of the best drummers of all time. However, for those who are not familiar with big names in drumming, some drummers can play faster or play music way more complex than Rush; that’s why we found it hard to say he is “the best”.

With Rush being his biggest band, Neil Peart has had many collaborations with many big musicians such as Sting and The Police drummer Stewart Copeland on the album “Rhyme & Reason”, Todd Sharpville from Zappa Plays Zappa, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, Eric Johnson drummer Jerry Mercer, Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy on the albums “Snakes & Arrows” and “Clockwork Angels” (he does backing vocals for both albums), Marco Minnemann drummer for Steven Wilson (musical genius) and Joe Bonamassa.

As an author, he’s written several books about drumming.

10 Ways To Play Drums Like Rush’s Neil Peart

What did Neil Peart pass away from?

Neil Peart passed away from brain cancer on January 7th 2020.

He was diagnosed three and a half years ago, but this illness is something he never talked about. It’s not surprising considering how closely guarded his secret was in Peart’s inner circle until the day of his death.

His family announced the news on January 10th.

Where is Neil Peart Rush buried?

Neil was cremated; his ashes were given to the family.

How many members of Rush are still alive?

Two out of three members are still alive today, singer and bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson.

What other bands did Neil Peart play in?

Neil Peart moved to London so he could pursue his dream of becoming a professional musician. He didn’t have any luck, so he went back to Canada.

After returning to Canada, Peart was recruited by the St. Catharine band known as J R Flood.

They quickly became popular on the Southern Ontario bar circuit, and that’s when he auditioned for Rush.

What happened to Neil Peart’s drum kits?

What happened to Neil Peart's drum kits?
Photo from flickr.com

His largest drum kit, known as the “Time machine set”, is currently in Drum Workshop headquarters in California, while his old Rush kit is sold on an auction for $500 000.

How much is Neil worth?

Neil Peart is worth between $30 Million and $40 Million.

Neil answered that question pretty well in his autobiography, “Far and Away” (page 290). He said he got royalty checks for over $13 million in 1996 alone, after refusing to tour with Rush during their Test For Echo Tour. We are sure he’s made at least that much since then.

Who were Neil Peart’s favourite drummers?

Neil was influenced by great jazz drummers such as Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and rock and session legends like John Bonham, Hal Blaine, Stewart Copeland.

Who did Neil Peart influence?

Mike Portnoy

mike portnoy favorite drummer
Photo by rockcelebrities.net

In almost every Interview, Mike mentions Peart as one of his drumming heroes. While he was in Dream Theater, his drum kits resemble a kit Neal used to play, and it’s inevitable to say that his drumming style is very similar to Neal’s.

Dave Grohl

dave grohl favorite drummer
Photo by musicradar.com

In one of his interviews, he said that the Rush was the band that inspired him to play the drums, so Neil Peart became his idol. For this reason, he bought a Tama kit like the one used by Peart during Moving Pictures.

Chad Smith

chad smith favorite drummer
Photo by loudwire.com

Chad said that Neil Peart influenced him, so he became a drummer. Currently, he plays for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and besides Neil’s rock influence, you can hear a lot of funk influence in his drumming.

Lars Urlich

lars urlich favorite drummer
Photo by Greg Chow/Shutterstock

In the interview he gave for Howard Stern Show, he said, “you can’t play the drums and not love Neil”. He also mentioned John Bonham, Ian Paice and Phil Rudd as those who influenced his drumming.

Taylor Hawkins

taylor hawkins favorite drummer
Photo by ultimateclassicrock.com

Taylor said that he likes Neil Peart and cited him as one of the reasons why he started drumming. His other influences are John Bonham, Alex Van Halen and Keith Moon.

More about the Rush

Did Rush have a one-armed drummer?

Did Rush have a one-armed drummer?
Photo by ultimateclassicrock.com

No, the band famous for their one-armed drummer is Def Leppard, and the drummer is Rick Alen.

How did Rush meet?

Neil was born on September 12th 1952, in Hamilton, Ontario. He moved to Port Dalhousie in his early life, where he met Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson by chance at a schoolyard music event.

The pair were so impressed with Peart that they invited him back to their house to jam under a pine tree called “the family room” with Geddy on vocals and his bass being played through an old tin fridge television speaker… 45 minutes turned into 4 hours of solid practise by all three members.

What is the band Rush famous for?

What is the band Rush famous for?
Photo from en.wikipedia/org

Rush is famous for its progressive rock style and lyrics, which heavily influence sci-fi and cyberpunk music.

Many bands in the seventies and eighties sound like the dirty guitar chords of Rush influenced them; for example, Lacuna Coil with their harder rock. As a result, there is a great deal of crossover appeal to listeners of modern metal bands such as Tool or Radiohead. They were also influenced by these seventies bands like Rush that mostly only got airplay on public television.

Why did Rush break up?

Rush broke up for drummer Neil Peart’s health reasons. It’s not just Neil who decided to leave Rush, but he decided to quit music for good.

He stated the reasons are chronic tendonitis and other health issues that turned out to be diabetes.

This happened at the very end of their world tour in 2015. Guitarist Alex Lifeson said, “We have no plans to tour or record anymore. We’re done. After 41 years, we felt it was enough”.