Neil Peart died yesterday, taking with him a reputation as quite possibly the most respected rock drummer on the planet. People might joke about drummers, and they might joke about Rush, but nobody’s who ever listened seriously to the band’s songs—or, god help them, tried to play one—could discount Peart’s skill behind the set. Today, then, has seen an unsurprising outpouring of tributes to Peart’s life and career, including from several of his percussive contemporaries and successors, including Dave Grohl, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, and Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins.
Grohl and Hawkins released their statements together, understandably; the former’s is long and thoughtful; the latter’s is an unambiguous statement on Peart’s enduring skill.
The pair were joined in their desire to pay tribute to the master by many of the planet’s most successful drummers, many of whom talked about the inspiration they took, both from Peart’s technical chops, as well as his skill as a lyricist and a warn presence in the rock scene. Ulrich, Questlove, Chad Smith, and more offered their remembrances of The Professor today:
Not that it was only drummers paying tribute to Peart’s life today, of course: Actors, other musicians, and the occasional world leader weighed in, too, demonstrating just how widely his influence and talent were felt.