ANTHRAX bassist Frank Bello has commented on the passing of Neil Peart, who died on January 7 in Santa Monica, California after a three-year battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. The iconic RUSH drummer was 67 years old.
During an appearance on the "Come To Where I'm From" podcast, Bello said (see video below) about Neil's death: "I didn't expect that. I didn't see this coming at all. That's one of my guys. And as a bass player, too, I'll say that. That's the guy I try to lock in bass with… Just think about these crazy things that he did outside the box and experiment and made it look easy. I mean, think about it.
"I'm so sorry I didn't see that last [RUSH] tour. I wasn't home. That last tour, I was never home when they were [near my hometown], and I regret that.
"Man, talk about a loss," he added. "It just breaks my heart. You just want more. 'Cause I don't think there are people like that around. There's never gonna be another RUSH. That came organically.
"Growing up in the Bronx, I'd come home from school, [go over] to my Uncle Joe's deli, worked till eight o'clock. Eight o'clock, eight thirty, I'd grab something to eat, go right to my room and learn a RUSH song."
RUSH announced Peart's passing on January 10, setting off shockwaves and an outpouring of grief from fans and musicians all over the world.
RUSH's final show took place at the Forum in Los Angeles on August 1, 2015. Peart indicated at the time that he wanted to retire while he was still able to play well, along with a desire to spend more time at home with his young daughter.
Peart joined RUSH in 1974. He was considered one of the best rock drummers of all time, alongside John Bonham of LED ZEPPELIN; Keith Moon of THE WHO; and Ginger Baker of CREAM. Peart was also RUSH's primary lyricist, drawing inspiration from everything from sci-fi to Ayn Rand.