“It is with broken hearts and the deepest sadness that we must share the terrible news that on Tuesday our friend, soul brother and band mate of over 45 years, Neil, has lost his incredibly brave three and a half year battle with brain cancer,” a statement from the band read.
Peart, who started playing the drums at the age of 13, is regarded by many as one of the most technically gifted drummers of all time. Remembering his brilliance, Jethro Tull’s Perry has taken the opportunity to pay homage to his fighting spirit in the midst of serious illness.
“This brutal, aggressive brain cancer bravely, philosophically and with his customary humour, sometimes light and occasionally dark – all very characteristic of him, even given the serious situation and the odds handed to him at the time of the diagnosis and subsequent surgery. But he fought it,” Perry said in a post on Facebook.
“By his own request for privacy, few people knew, but his understandable response to this news in no way excludes or diminishes ALL of those who also knew him, worked with him or loved and admired him from up close, or at a distance,” Perry added.
“His tenacious approach to life served him well during these last years and although he primarily kept his own counsel, he retained his dignity, compassion, understanding and his deeply inquisitive nature, which never deserted him. Remarkably, considering the severity of his condition (glioblastoma) and through the resulting aftermath, he really had no pain. This was always my first question when I saw him.”