Neil Peart joined Rush in 1974, and his contribution to the band’s music and lyrics was crucial, as he had a particular style of playing and was a prolific lyricist. He died in 2020, at the age of 67, following a long battle with cancer. His sister Nancy Peart Burkholder discussed his death and how the family prepared for it in an interview with Kelly Barrett (transcribed by Blabbermouth). Neil Peart, Rush’s principal songwriter, is still regarded as one of the best drummers of all time. Neil Peart’s sister discusses her brother’s death. “We knew it was coming because we had three and a half years to prepare.” And then there was that week of radio silence where we couldn’t notify anyone. And then we got — I suppose we got 10 minutes warning before it went live to the rest of the globe.” “So we had 10 minutes to apologize to everyone we hadn’t told in three and a half years. Everything isn’t right.’ So, yeah, it was a really difficult — that week was the most difficult week we went through because we knew but couldn’t communicate it.
” She then recalled what it was like when news of his death spread over the world: “Oh, our texts were exploding. My kid eventually turned off her phone. She’s also an accomplished musician. She’s in the (music) business. And she really wrote a song called ‘Radio Silence’ that week because we were experiencing radio silence. It was performed during ‘A Night For Neil’ (a memorial event held in October 2022 at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada).” “It was amazing. So, sure, that was a strange week. But that 10 minutes was like… I have no idea who I phoned in that 10 minutes. I had to message everyone I knew all at once because we just had 10 minutes.” “And then it came on the air just as one of my best pals was getting my message. And then, of course, they were all summoned since their families all knew the link and that — the same thing — had 45 years with him. “It was definitely a shock that went around the world,” Nancy Peart said.