Geddy Lee admitted how hard it was to hold his emotions in check while keeping the cancer diagnosis of Rush drummer Neil Peart a secret. Lee spoke about the situation following the band’s 2015 tour in which Peart became ill and eventually died of brain cancer on January 7th, 2020 at the age of 67.
Loudwire.com transcribed some of Geddy Lee’s chat on the House Of Strombo podcast, where he explained that keeping Peart’s cancer diagnosis “in-house” was difficult: “That was hard. I can’t tell you it was easy, ’cause it was not easy. And it was ongoing. He was given 18 months at the most, and it went on three-and-a-half years. (It) was a constant flow of us going to see him, giving him support. What his family had to live through was really difficult. So it was a lot of back-and-forth. And when you’re in that state, it’s very hard to function normally, because you can’t talk to anybody about it, ’cause no one’s supposed to know. And so people hear rumblings and they bring things up to you, and you deflect it. And so that feels, on one hand, it feels dishonest, but on the other hand you’re being loyal to your friend. So f*** the dishonesty part. That wins.”
Lee, who along with Alex Lifeson, decided to end Rush following Neil Peart’s death, went on to say, “I would say that was the most difficult time for us to move forward, during that whole thing, because we were in this bubble of grief sort of walking towards an inevitable and terrible conclusion.”
Last week, Rush released the 40th anniversary deluxe box set edition of 1981’s Moving Pictures album.
- Neil Peart is survived by his wife, Carrie Nuttal, and their daughter Olivia. Peart and Nuttal were married in 2000. His common-law wife of 23 years, Jackie, died of cancer in 1998 — less than a year after their 19-year-old daughter Selena was killed in a car crash in August 1997.
- Last year saw the publication of Neil Peart: The Illustrated Quotes. The book “is the first and only Neil Peart quotes collection authorized by Neil himself. . . and also serves as a love letter to Peart and his beautifully-crafted words that have inspired and influenced millions around the world.”
- The press release for publisher Simon & Schuster’s Peart collection reads in part: “As the drummer and primary lyricist for the multi-platinum selling rock band, Rush, Neil charmed the world with his introspective and eclectic writing. Heavily inspired by science fiction, fantasy, philosophy, and his many cross-country trips on his motorcycle, Neil crafted universal lyrics that encapsulated the social and humanitarian issues of the time.”
CHECK IT OUT: Geddy Lee in 2012 discussing singing Neil Peart’s lyrics: