Rush’s Geddy Lee Says Neil Peart Was Destroyed When His Daughter Passed Away
Rush icon Geddy Lee spoke to Louder Sound and recalled the challenging times that his late bandmate Neil Peart went through after losing his daughter tragically. Also, the musician shared details about this process, the drummer’s situation, and what they decided to do about that.
Shortly after Rush finished their Test for Echo Tour, unfortunately, Peart’s daughter Selena Taylor passed away in a car crash on Highway 401 on August 10, 1997. Of course, her unexpected and untimely death devasted his parents, friends, and Peart’s longtime bandmates, Lee and Alex Lifeson. However, it wasn’t the end of his suffering; Peart’s partner of 23 years, Jacqueline Taylor, died due to cancer the following year, which the drummer defined as heartbroken.
Losing his daughter and wife changed Peart’s life irrecoverably, and the musician wished to leave the band and traveled throughout North and Central America on his motorcycle. The drummer revealed his memories and feelings in his autobiography entitled ‘Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road.’ Lee opened up about Peart’s daughter’s passing as his bandmate and friend, saying it destroyed Neil.
The singer highlighted that he and Lifeson supported Peart and Jackie, and they were struggling with a lot of pain. Therefore, they didn’t focus on Rush’s future and projects which would be very selfish considering the drummer’s problems. However, he realized that Peart would need some time to recover by creating himself a different life without being sure. They waited until the late drummer was ready to talk to them about these things.
Lee shared his ideas, saying:
“It was a shocking and awful time. Neil was destroyed, so all we cared about was being there for him and Jackie. Did I think the band was done? My instinct said it’s unlikely he will want to go back to his previous life. But of course, you don’t know for sure. So Alex and I just decided that we won’t talk about it until Neil’s ready, and in the meantime, take stock and figure out what we should do with ourselves individually.”
After his long motorcycle journey, Peart finally decided to move on and reunite with his bandmates, which meant the end of Rush’s hiatus. The trio started creating and recording and continued to stay together a few years before the drummer passed away on January 7, 2020, after his battle with cancer.