Just weeks after releasing a new documentary, R40 Live, which covered Rush’s 40th anniversary tour, the band’s legendary drummer and primary lyricist Neil Peart has reportedly retired.
Billboard notes that Peart, held by many as the greatest rock drummer of all time, told Drumhead Magazine that he’s now a “retired drummer.” It’s unclear if this means that he’s only retiring from performing shows or if he’s entirely done with recording and performing with the band. It’s known that Peart has suffered from chronic tendonitis.
Peart explained that his daughter Olivia has started introducing her dad as a “retired drummer.” “True to say — funny to hear,” said the drummer. “And it does not pain me to realize that, like all athletes, there comes a time to… take yourself out of the game,” he said to Drumhead Magazine (via Billboard).
During Rush’s 2015 tour, the band had said that it was likely the last large-scale tour. In addition to Peart’s chronic issues, the band’s guitarist Alex Lifeson suffers from psoriatic arthritis.
Formed in August 1968, the Canadian rock band is known for prog-rock hits like Closer to the Heart, Tom Sawyer, and Xanadu. The band has sold more than 25 million albums during its tenure, and has received seven Grammy award nominations (but has never won a Grammy). Rush’s most recent release was 2012’s Clockwork Angels which debuted at number 2 on the Billboard charts. The record won a Canadian Juno Award in 2013 for Rock Album of the Year.
Peart was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1983 according to the publication, as the youngest drummer to receive the honor. The drummer has previously said that he’d like to spend more time with his wife and his young daughter when he retires according to Consequence of Sound.
Rush has not yet released an official statement.
Updated 12/8/2015: This piece was updated to correct improper wording. Peart is Rush’s primary lyricist, not vocalist.