Rush's Geddy Lee Clarifies Neil Peart's Retirement Comment

Neil Peart of Rush
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Neil Peart of Rush performs on stage during the R40 LIVE Tour at KeyArena on July 19, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. 

Update: In a statement today (Dec. 8) to TeamRock, Rush frontman Geddy Lee clarified the alleged retirement of drummer Geddy Lee. “I think Neil is just explaining his reasons for not wanting to tour, with the toll that it’s taking on his body,” Lee said. Apparently the legendary drummer isn’t necessarily quitting Rush entirely, just backing away the touring side. 

But there are still talks to be had. Lee continued:

"We’ll get together eventually and chat about things. But in my view, there is certainly nothing surprising in what he said. Neil just feels that he has to explain with all the thousands of people asking, ‘Why no more tours?’ He needs to explain his side of it.”


Early last month (Nov. 13), Billboard premiered footage from the film R40 Live which documented Rush’s R40 Tour, celebrating the 40th anniversary of their first album together and also of drummer Neil Peart’s being in the band. There had been word that this would be the band's final large-scale tour, and that they would be calling it quits due to Alex Lifeson’s psoriatic arthritis and Peart’s chronic tendonitis.

In an interview with Drumhead Magazine, Peart spoke about his retirement. The fan site Rush Is A Band reports Peart as having said, “Lately Olivia has been introducing me to new friends at school as 'My dad -- He’s a retired drummer.' True to say -- funny to hear. And it does not pain me to realize that, like all athletes, there comes a time to… take yourself out of the game.”

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Who knows if Peart just means taking himself out of the game of touring or making studio albums. No official statement has been given by the band on the matter.