Neil Peart has gone beyond the lighted stage. The rock music icon, known for his many years as the drummer and primary lyricist for Rush, died Jan. 7 at age 67, after a battle with brain cancer. Peart was widely beloved for his musical proficiency and skill with various styles, as is reflected in the range of celebrities who paid tribute to him on social media after news of his death broke.
Naturally, many of Peart’s fellow musicians posted reactions, including Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, and drummers Max Weinberg of the E Street Band and Tyler Stewart of the Barenaked Ladies. Other celebrities paying tribute included actors Jack Black and Dave Foley, baseball star Mike Piazza, and CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“Oh man… Neil Peart. Every drummer just ran to their kit to bust out Tom Sawyer,” Fargo star Patrick Wilson wrote, referencing one of Rush’s signature songs. “His dedication and RE-dedication to his craft is a lesson in always improving. Never be complacent. You can ALWAYS be better. R.I.P.”
“Definition of gut punched,” actor-comedian Brian Posehn tweeted. “I feel like I just lost my cool uncle. My cool uncle that was also the best rock drummer to ever live.”
“I feel real bad about this – he was way too young,” wrote Brian Wilson. “Neil was one of the great drummers and he’ll be missed. Love & mercy to Neil’s family.”
Read on for more reactions and tributes.