Neil Peart dies at 67
Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for the Canadian progressive-rock trio Rush, died on Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 67.

The cause was brain cancer, according to a statement by the band’s spokesman, Elliot Mintz.

Rush was formed in 1968 but found its long-term identity — as the trio of Geddy Lee on vocals, keyboards and bass, Alex Lifeson on guitars and Mr. Peart on drums — after Mr. Peart replaced the band’s founding drummer, John Rutsey, in 1974.

Mr. Peart’s lyrics transformed the band’s songs into multi-section suites exploring science fiction, magic and philosophy, often with the individualist and libertarian sentiments that informed songs like “Tom Sawyer” and “Freewill.” And Mr. Peart’s drumming was at once intricate and explosive, pinpointing odd meters and expanding the band’s power-trio dynamics; countless drummers admired his technical prowess.

In a recording career that continued into the 2010s, Rush headlined arenas and had more than a dozen platinum albums. Mr. Peart was also an author, writing books about his travels and his memoirs. After a Rush tour in 2015, he retired from performing, citing its physical toll. According to the band’s statement, he had been suffering from brain cancer for three and a half years.

”His drumming was songwriting,” Foo Fighters’ drummer, Taylor Hawkins, said during Rush’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. “It was just as musical, just as melodic, as any other instrument in the band.” He also noted that Mr. Peart had “spawned a generation of air drummers for decades to come.”

Neil Peart was born on Sept. 12, 1952, in Hamilton, Ontario, where his parents, Glen and Betty Peart, had a dairy farm. In 1980 he told Modern Drummer magazine that as a child he would “pick up chopsticks and play on my sister’s playpen.”

Mr. Peart is survived by his parents; his wife, Carrie Nuttall; a daughter, Olivia Louise Peart; two sisters, Judy and Nancy; and a brother, Danny. His first wife, Jackie, and his daughter Selena died before him.