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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Final Performance of Eddie Van Halen

Badlands of Indiana (October 21, 2020) - Eddie Van Halen, the mesmerizing lead guitarist for Van Halen who inspired countless future musicians to pick up the instrument during the arena rock era of the late 1970's, the 1980's and into the 90's, passed away this month at the age of 65.

RELATED | Eddie Van Halen Dead at 65

Footage of Eddie Van Halen's final show with Van Halen is now available to watch on YouTube. The 21 song set includes an over the top guitar solo from the late guitarist was uploaded by user Greg L, who matched footage taken of the event from multiple angles with audio from the soundboard. 

The concert took place on October 4, 2015, and was the second of two shows Van Halen played at the Hollywood Bowl to conclude their summer tour that year. The tour was their third since reuniting with front man David Lee Roth in 2007.

Check out the concert's full set list below:

  1. Light Up The Sky 
  2. Runnin’ With The Devil 
  3. Romeo Delight 
  4. Everybody Wants Some!! 
  5. Drop Dead Legs
  6. Feel Your Love Tonight 
  7. Somebody Get Me A Doctor 
  8. She’s The Woman 
  9. I’ll Wait 
  10. Little Guitars 
  11. Dance The Night Away 
  12. Beautiful Girls 
  13. Women In Love… 
  14. Hot For Teacher 
  15. Dirty Movies 
  16. Ice Cream Man (John Brim cover) 
  17. Unchained 
  18. Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love 
  19. You Really Got Me (The Kinks cover) 
  20. Panama 
  21. Jump

The video has been viewed over 89,000 times since being uploaded on October 14. You can watch it in full below.

Thankfully, high-quality footage of Van Halen’s final public performances, which took place at the outdoor Hollywood venue on October 2nd & 4th in 2015, is still available for fans to enjoy.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Kassi Ashton Partners With Harley Davidson

Badlands of Indiana (October 8, 2020) - Missouri-born country talent Kassi Ashton has released a new song title “Black Motorcycle.” It coincides with the announcement of the MCA Nashville artist’s partnership with the Harley-Davidson motor company as one of its brand ambassadors. 

The track "Black Motorcycle" captured the company’s imagination when Ashton performed it for several employees in Milwaukee Wisconsin last year. “I grew up on motorcycles and to me they’ve always felt like freedom mixed with a tiny bit of discipline,” she says. “Part of what drew me to motorcycles, was not just that Dad always had one and Mom was always on the back of one – it was that when Dad would pick me up on the back of his motorcycle, it was this freeing moment to breathe.”

Ashton and her father visited the Harley-Davidson Museum last November and were treated to a private tour of the H-D archives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Speaking about the song, Kassi says of “Black Motorcycle”: “I’ve always in my head kind of considered my music motorcycle country. I like music with weight at the bottom. That’s freeing and moving, but still sits down here”. “Part of my love for that being gritty and bottom-ended comes from the sound of a motorcycle. When you sit on it and it rumbles through you – I want the music to do the same thing.”

She was described by Rolling Stone as “a devilish songwriter who isn’t afraid to flip convention on its head.” 


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Led Zeppelin Handed Victory

Badlands of Indiana (October 6, 2020) - British rock band Led Zeppelin on Monday effectively won a long running legal battle over claims it stole the opening guitar riff from its signature 1971 song, “Stairway to Heaven.”

The band, one of the best-selling rock acts of all time, was handed victory after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the case, meaning that a March 2020 decision by a U.S. appeals court in Led Zeppelin’s favor will stand.

Lead singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page had been accused in the six-year long case of lifting the riff - one of the best-known openings in rock music - from a song called “Taurus”, written by the late Randy Wolfe of the U.S. band Spirit.

Wolfe, who performed as Randy California, drowned in 1997, and the case was brought by a trustee for his estate. It has been one of the music industry’s most closely watched copyright cases, potentially exposing Plant and Page to millions of dollars in damages.

Led Zeppelin was the opening act for Spirit on a U.S. tour in 1968, but Page testified in a 2016 jury trial in Los Angeles that he had not heard “Taurus” until recently.

The Los Angeles jury found the riff they were accused of stealing was not intrinsically similar to the opening chords of “Stairway to Heaven.”

Lawyers for Wolfe’s estate and for Led Zeppelin could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.


Eddie Van Halen Dead at 65

Santa Monica, California, USA (October 6, 2020) - The iconic guitarist and founder of his eponymous rock band lost his battle with throat cancer. Van Halen’s son Wolfgang shared a touching memorial to his father on Tuesday, confirming the heartbreaking news.

Iconic guitarist Eddie Van Halen rockin' it

“I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning."

He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift,” said Wolfgang, 29, who was the band’s bassist since 2006." “My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”

His wife Janie was by his side as the cancer spread throughout his body. He passed away in Santa Monica on Tuesday. The rocker experienced several health difficulties over the years following his cancer diagnosis. In 2019, he was hospitalized after suffering a bad reaction to his cancer medication.

Eddie was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and came to the US in 1962. Ten years later, he and his brother formed the band along with vocalist David Lee Roth and bassist Michael Anthony.

They went on to break barriers in rock music, selling 80 million records worldwide and joining the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

World Tallest Mohican Mohawk

Park Rapids, Minnesota, USA (September 16, 2020) - After previously trying to obtain an official record title, Joseph Grisamore is now officially on the pages of this year’s book after achieving the world’s tallest full Mohican Mohawk.

Measuring 1.08 m (42.5 inches) in height, this lengthy hairdo can easily be spotted from a distance. "My favorite thing about the mohawk is just the rarity of it," Joseph said. "I’ll admit that peoples’ reactions are pretty priceless too. I’m 6’1 tall, and my mohawk is pushing 4 feet now."

"Doors aren’t over 7’ tall, ceilings 9’, and cars are impossible to get into - so I’m limited to where and how I move around when I’m all done up, but the crowd usually comes to me.”

Joseph wanted to break this record back in 2007. However he was too afraid to shave the sides of his hair, which is required for the record attempt. Since he’s been known for having long hair most of his life, he thought this was the perfect record for him to have.

After being inspired to try again, he needed to start from scratch due to his hair becoming too dreaded – so Joseph regrew his mane and actually managed to have it reach the length of four feet in just seven years! One of the most surprising elements to Joseph’s hair is that it actually does not require much maintenance.

When he’s not wearing it in a record-breaking tower, Joseph keeps his hair braided and in two knots as to avoid sitting on it. During his time in quarantine, Joseph has been an essential worker at a healthcare facility in Minnesota and has tried to look for silver lining amid the global changes.

One these includes becoming a Guinness World Records title holder and being featured in the 2021 book, a feat he is incredibly proud of. “When I was first informed that I’d become a Guinness World Records title holder, I was over the top. Having a goal become a reality is always a thankful experience."

"I’m honored to be added to a list of one-of-a-kind record holders. My wife wants me to stay humble, but instead I’m considering becoming the ‘Mohawk King’, and attempting the tallest Mohawk spike title, which is how I’d begun my journey with record-breaking in 2007."

SOURCE: Guinness World Records

Saturday, September 12, 2020

'Confusion Wheel' by Tom Petty

Badlands of Indiana (September 12, 2020) - A previously unreleased song by Tom Petty has been released in anticipation of his upcoming Wildflowers & All the Rest box set.

“Confusion Wheel” was written by Petty in 1994 and has remained on the shelf ever since. The tune begins with the late rocker singing over a jangly acoustic guitar part. From there, the song slowly expands, as drums, vocal harmonies and electric guitar add extra layers to the poignant track.

Lyrically, Petty explores internal fears, searching for safety in a chaotic existence. “So much confusion has entered my life / So much confusion has torn me apart / So much confusion has made me afraid / And I don’t know how to love / And I don’t know who to trust / And I don’t know what I did,” he sings on the song’s chorus. Still, Petty tries to maintain a positive outlook, noting that “One of these days we’ll drive away / Drive away singing a brand-new song / We’ll wake up singing a brand-new song.”

You can listen to “Confusion Wheel” below.

The song is one of 10 tracks that make up the All the Rest portion of the upcoming set. The box will also feature the original Wildflowers LP, a collection of 15 Petty home demos, live versions of 14 songs recorded between 1995 and 2017 and 16 alternate studio versions of Wildflowers tracks.

Deluxe, Super Deluxe and Ultra Deluxe editions will offer the set in various forms, with varying bonus material, including a lithograph, tour-program replica, reproductions of handwritten lyrics and specially commissioned illustrations accompanying some of the versions.

Wildflowers & All the Rest will be released on Oct. 16; it's available for pre-order now.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

School of Rock Instructs Online

Badlands of Indiana, USA (March 29, 2020) WHR - The music show must go on and at the School of Rock, nearly 40,000 students worldwide will keep jamming with remote music lessons.

Currently, there are a growing number of families being asked to remain in their homes or limit travel. At School of Rock, the health and safety of our students is their top priority. As part of this commitment, they have launched a virtual, one-on-one music education program that allows students to take music lessons remotely.

School of Rock Remote will further your child’s musical journey in a way that prioritizes well-being through social distancing. Weekly one-on-one instruction is conducted by their expert School of Rock instructors in a safe virtual lesson room.

Students will receive their training using their proprietary education program, The School of Rock Method™, which couples virtual lessons with our proprietary Method App™, SongFirst Approach™ and Method Books™. This new offering results in a comprehensive music experience that is fun, educational and safe.

School of Rock uses a performance-based approach to provide students of all ages guitar, drums, bass, keyboard, and singing lessons.

“At School of Rock, the health and safety of our students is our top priority, which is why we have rapidly adapted our operations in order to meet students’ needs,” said Rob Price, CEO of School of Rock.

“School of Rock Remote along with our School of Rock Method App is a fantastic way to provide continuity and connection. Our instructors are gigging musicians, and they have shown their flexibility to make sure the music goes on.”


All of their music programs for kids, teens, and adults are designed to help students gain amazing musical proficiency. School of Rock Remote is no exception. Students in the Remote program have access to all major elements of their industry-leading education approach, but are able to take lessons from home.

Online guitar lessons, online piano lessons, online drum lessons, online singing lessons, and online bass guitar lessons are all offered through the School of Rock Remote online music lesson program.

SOURCE: School of Rock

Sunday, March 22, 2020

David Bryan Tests Positive

Badlands of Indiana, USA (March 22, 2020) WHR — Keyboardist David Bryan of Bon Jovi says that he has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

David said he received his test results today. According to Bryan, he has "been sick for a week" but says that he is "feeling better each day," according a statement posted to Instagram. David, who didn't say if he had any idea how he contracted the virus, says he has been quarantined for a week.

His full statement reads as follows:

"I just got my results back today and tested positive for corona virus. I've been sick for a week and feeling better each day. Please don't be afraid!!! It's the flu not the plague. I've have been quarantined for a week and will for another week. And when I feel better I'll get tested again to make sure I'm free of this nasty virus. Please help out each other. This will be over soon... with the help of every American !!"

Bryan is a Tony Award-winning composer whose latest musical, "Diana", about the late Diana, Princess of Wales, was in previews before it was postponed, as were all Broadway due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The fatality rate of the new coronavirus is believed to about 1 percent. "It's about ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes Of Allergy And Infectious Disease, said in congressional testimony on March 11.

So far, COVID-19 has killed around 12,700 people worldwide and around 285 in the U.S.

U.S. officials have repeatedly urged Americans to heed what federal, state and local officials are asking of them in order to curtail the spread and dampen the impact of the virus on the population.

California recently estimated that more than half of the state — 25.5 million people — will get the new coronavirus over the next eight weeks.

The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) put its worst-case scenario at 1.7 million COVID-19 deaths in America.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Street Survivors Trailer Released

Badlands of Indiana, USA (February 29, 2020) WHR — Told from the perspective of drummer Artimus Pyle, the film centres on the tragic Mississippi plane crash on 20th October 1977 that claimed the lives of legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and his backing vocalist sister Cassie Gaines, road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray.

Powered by Artimus Pyle’s first-hand recollections of the crash, the film focuses on the hours leading up to the crash in the rented plane, and the aftermath.

The film premiered at 7.30 pm on Sunday 16th February at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival before hitting select cinemas Stateside this spring.

Artimus Pyle says of ‘Street Survivors: The True Story Of The Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash’: "This film's story — MY story — is not just about the plane crash but also about my personal relationship with the genius that was Ronnie Van Zant — whom I loved like a brother and still miss to this day."

Watch the trailer below:

Named after Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1977 album of the same name, ‘Street Survivors…’ is directed by Jared Cohn and features Cleopatra Records founder Brian Perera on production duties.

The cast includes Ian Shultis as Artimus Pyle, Taylor Clift as RonnieVan Zant, Samuel Kay Forrest as Steve Gaines, Rich Dally III as Allen Collins, Hudson Long as Billy Powell and Nick Cairo as Leon Wilkeson. Neill Byrnes and Anthony Rocco Bovo play Aerosmith rockers Steven Tyler and Joe Perry.

Principle photography on the film began in April 2017 in Los Angeles, however in August of that year, sole original member Gary Rossington and heirs of Van Zant and Gaines successfully won a court injunction to halt production of the film.

The judge decided that the film violated a “blood oath” consent order Pyle signed with his band mates in 1988, that allegedly gave individual band members permission to tell their own life stories but not exploit the Lynyrd Skynyrd name after the crash.

However, in October 2018 the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, New York overturned the permanent injunction and Cleopatra Records Inc. were free to distribute the film.

“That crash is part of the history’ of the band, but it is also an ‘experience’ of Pyle with the band, likely his most important experience,” the ruling read.

“Provisions of a consent decree that both prohibit a movie about such a history and also permit a movie about such an experience are sufficiently inconsistent, or at least insufficiently specific, to support an injunction.”

River City Rockfest Canceled

San Antonio, Texas, USA (February 29, 2020) WHR — After six successful installments, San Antonio's River City Rockfest has joined the ranks of defunct Texas music festivals, including Houston’s Day for Night and Austin’s Sound on Sound Fest.

Officials with Spurs Sports and Entertainment, which launched hard rock-focused RCR in 2013, said they were forced to decide its fate after struggling to land a 2020 headlining act. Organizers had already canceled in 2019 for similar reasons but had hoped to return this September.

The number of top-drawing rock and metal acts has dwindled in recent years, said Casey Heverling, vice president at Spurs Sports and AT&T Center's general manager. What's more, those with big draws have hiked fees to make up for sagging music sales. Metallica, for example, now asks $10 million for a festival slot.

That left organizers the tough choice of raising ticket prices well above $60 — a longtime RCR hallmark — or cobbling together a subpar lineup.

"We had to decide whether we wanted to go away from our vision of presenting an affordable festival and turning it into something it was never intended to be," Heverling said. "Rockfest was an anomaly. To be a small, niche festival that ran for six years was a feat in itself."

Held on the grounds of the AT&T Center, RCR drew around 25,000 to 35,000 fans annually, including many from the Rio Grande Valley, West Texas and Northern Mexico. Headliners included Nine Inch Nails in 2018, Def Leppard in 2017 and Scorpions and Disturbed in 2016.

RCR's dissolution comes as festivals around the country face tough times. Last year, Woodstock 50 folded amid reports of late artist deposits and uncleared permits. Closer to home, Central Texas' Float Fest cancelled its 2019 installment after being denied a permit to use the San Marcos River.

“It’s kind of like playing poker: You can be good at it, but in the end, if you don’t get the cards, you don’t get the cards,” Austin promoter Graham Williams recently told the Current about the festival biz.

Heverling said RCR's demise doesn't diminish Spurs Sports & Entertainment's interest in hosting concerts at AT&T Center and sister venue Freeman Coliseum. It plans to heighten its focus on delivering a world-class experience for attendees and artists — both of which have rising expectations.

Indeed, San Antonio's growth and increased diversity are generating a live music boom the company's eager to build on. AT&T and Freeman hosted a dozen of last year's 20 top-drawing concert acts. That compares to just five in 2014.

As evidence that hard rock and metal will continue to be part of the mix, Heverling ticked off a list of concerts headed to its venues this year: Five Finger Death Punch, Deftones and Judas Priest.

"The music business in San Antonio is growing like crazy right now," he said. "We've been part of that growth, and we want to remain on top of it."

SOURCE: My San Antonio 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

New Inductees for Rock Museum

Joliet, Illinois, USA (February 26, 2020) WHR — Illinois' rich history of rock and roll music will soon be celebrated in a new museum. The song "Vehicle" was a smash hit for Jim Peterik and one of his bands, The Ides of March.

The Ides of March will be in the first class inducted into the new Illinois Rock & Roll Museum's Hall of Fame, along with other musicians from the state including Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon and blues artists Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy.

The museum is the brainchild of Ron Romero, who said the response so far from fans and musicians has been overwhelming. He's converting an old retail space in downtown Joliet into the museum. Romero has tons of memorabilia from photos to instruments donated by artists and supporters. The museum will also feature a tribute to the history of radio.

Romero said Joliet will make a great home for the museum. "We're the fourth largest city in Illinois, it's easy to get to. It's kind of a big town atmosphere in a small package," Romero said. The first Hall of Fame includes legendary Chicago DJs Larry Lujack and Dick Biondi. At the ceremony in March, many of the inductees will be invited to perform.

Jim Peterik, who won a Grammy with the band Survivor for the song "Eye of the Tiger," said the Illinois Hall of Fame is huge. "The biggest honor besides that is this induction," Peterik said. "We're so excited about it."

The plan is to have the museum's first floor finished and open for business by the end of the year. The second and third floors are expected to open in 2021, including the Hall of Fame exhibit.

SOURCE: ABC7 Chicago

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Prince Preforms ‘Purple Rain’ During A Downpour

Badlands of Indiana, USA (February 1, 2020) WHR — A tribute to a legend that has passed too soon, we take a look back at Prince’s iconic Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show through a rain and wind storm.

It had not rained during the Super Bowl in over 40-years, but when Prince took to the stage to showcase the Halftime Show, it was pouring. The rain and wind didn’t stop Prince from putting on one of the best Halftime Show’s in the history of the Super Bowl.

While the electrifying performance seemed effortless and even fitting in the rain — because, honestly, what’s cooler than “Purple Rain” in the rain? — Hayes revealed that it was extremely slippery to perform in the rain and that he and some of the other performers almost fell during the show.

In fact, Hayes revealed that it was raining so hard that while the musical equipment worked during the show, the instruments wouldn’t turn on again after the performance. ‘It was as though Prince ordered the rain’.

Prince’s incredible showmanship and talent shined through the rain and when he closed out his set playing ‘Purple Rain’, the moment could not have been any more perfect.

This was truly one of the best, true performances from an artist who was not looking to promote himself, but share his incredible talent with the entire world.

Rest easy Prince.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Bikers needed for movie being filmed in Alaska

Fairhope, Alaska, USA (January 29, 2020) WHR — Reports are coming in about a potential upcoming movie that could be filmed on the Eastern Shore.

So far the City of Fairhope has not approved the production, which is proposed to be filmed in downtown Fairhope. However, city officials are expected to approve the production at their next scheduled city council meeting.

A city official updated news 5 earlier this week to say producers are working with city leaders to minimize the impact the movie shoot might have on local businesses.

They are learning that extras are needed for the movie, more specifically bikers and were told the bikers would receive $125/day if they bring their motorcycle to the shoot.

To apply you’ll need to submit the following information to

Close up snapshot, full length snapshot, name, height, clothing size, cell number and city of residence.

News 5’s Blake Brown is gathering more information and details on the movie. He’ll have an update later today.


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Aerosmith drummer booted from performing

Los Angeles, California, USA (January 22, 2020) WHR — A Massachusetts judge has denied founding Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer a chance to perform with the Rock Hall of Fame band at two Grammy-related events this weekend.

Because he was injured, Kramer was forced to recently “audition” for his own job of 50 years, and he apparently failed. So, Aerosmith plans to use a temporary replacement.

Superior Court Mark Gildea denied Kramer’s request to order the band to let him participate in Friday’s MusiCares benefit honoring Aerosmith and on Sunday’s Grammy Awards when the band is expected to perform its 1986 hit “Walk This Way” with Run D.M.C.

Kramer issued a statement late Wednesday:

“Although I’m extremely disappointed by the Judge’s ruling today, I respect it. I knew filing a lawsuit was a bit of an uphill battle considering that the corporate documents don’t reference any process for a band member returning from an injury or illness. However, the band waited until Jan. 15 to tell me that they weren’t letting me play at the awards ceremonies this week. I can hold my head high knowing that I did the right thing.

“The truth speaks for itself. Ever since I injured my foot last August and went through many hours of physical therapy to heal, not once did the band in its entirety offer to rehearse with me. That is a fact. I was also sent the full rehearsal schedule on Jan. 18 and flew to LA the next day to rehearse and have many texts and emails stating the band can’t wait for my return…. When I showed up to rehearse, I was greeted by two security guards who prohibited me from entering.”

When Kramer injured his shoulder last year, his drum tech filled in for a few gigs during Aerosmith’s residency in Las Vegas in April. Kramer did, however, perform in July at the Twin Cities Summer Jam in Shakopee.

Joey Kramer's  kick ass drum solo & Aerosmith performing "Rag Doll" at the famous Hollywood Bowl on August 6, 2012.

On Tuesday, the other four members of Aerosmith – Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton and Brad Whitford – issued a statement, that said, in part:

"Joey Kramer is our brother; his well-being is of paramount importance to us. However, he has not been emotionally and physically able to perform with the band, by his own admission, for the last 6 months. We have missed him and have encouraged him to rejoin us to play many times but apparently he has not felt ready to do so…. We are bonded together by much more than our time on stage."

Friday, January 17, 2020

Chris Darrow of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Dead

Badlands of Indiana, USA (January 17, 2020) WHR — Chris Darrow, a country-rock pioneer who made his mark over the '60s and '70s, most notably as a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, has died at the age of 75. No cause of death has been released yet.

Darrow was born in South Dakota in 1944, but grew up in the Southern California suburb of Claremont, where he first honed an interest in folk and bluegrass music. He formed the Dry City Scat Band in 1964 while pursuing college and graduate school, and during this time became acquainted with Chris Hillman of classic rock legends the Byrds, who had a profound influence on his transition from bluegrass to rock music.

Darrow went on to form the genre-bending rock band Kaleidoscope, recording several albums before his joining influential country-rockers the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1967. He worked with the band on two albums, and also appeared in the Clint Eastwood musical, Paint Your Wagon.

In1969, he formed the Corvettes, which became the touring band for Linda Ronstadt, who herself was quickly exploding as an influential artist in the country-rock scene.

Darrow also had a prolific solo career, releasing a total of 10 records between 1972 and 2006. He worked with such notable artists as Leonard Cohen and James Taylor, and mentored younger singer-songwriter and fellow Southern Californian Ben Harper.

Information on Darrow's passing and survivors is limited.

SOURCE: Taste of Country

Friday, January 10, 2020

Rush drummer Neil Peart dies at 67

Santa Monica, California, USA (January 10, 2019) WHR — Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for groundbreaking Canadian prog-rock band Rush, died Tuesday at age 67, according to a statement issued by a family spokesperson.

The statement said Peart died in Santa Monica, Calif., from brain cancer, “from which he suffered” for three and a half years. Born in Hamilton, Peart joined Rush in 1974, after the band’s first album, replacing original drummer John Rutsey.

Over a career that spanned four decades, Rush enjoyed considerable success in both the U.S. and Canada. Several of their albums — “2112,’’ “Moving Pictures,’’ “All the World’s a Stage’’ and “Exit ... Stage Left’’ — have sold more than one million copies each in the U.S. alone.

Peart was known for his proficiency at playing an almost impossibly elaborate drum kit, which in addition to the traditional kick, snare, and tom drums could at any given time also include bells, chimes, symbols, gongs and electronic elements.

“Neil Peart was, in fact, one of the greatest drummers the universe has ever seen. He ranks up there with all the best,” said Alan Cross, a broadcaster and music historian. “We have lost one of the most important musicians this country has ever produced.”

Cross said Peart used his diverse collection of percussion instruments in innovative ways that went far beyond merely keeping the beat.

There could be a “very melodic sense of what he was doing, every bit as much as a guitar player,” Cross said. “Nobody sounded like him.”

Knowing that a local band could make it big on the world stage was a major source of inspiration for musicians in the city, said Dave Bidini, a member of the Toronto band the Rheostatics, who grew up listening to Rush in the 1980s.

Bidini, who wrote the 2016 documentary about Rush called “Time Stands Still,” said a turning point for the band came in 1976, when they played Massey Hall for three straight nights.

“That was a big deal in Toronto musical culture, having a band from Toronto achieve that measure of success. There weren’t a lot really before them,” Bidini said.

Rush’s career was particularly impressive, he said, because it was proof bands could achieve commercial success while pursuing their own musical vision. The band’s songs were idiosyncratic, often containing key changes and running far longer than typical pop tunes made for the radio.

“I don’t know if it was fearlessness or stubbornness or whatever, but they were really good at being themselves,” Bidini said.

Although a member of one of the most famous bands Canada ever produced, Peart famously eschewed the spotlight. He was reluctant to indulge in the typical trappings of rock stardom and often avoided meet-and-greets with fans and interviews with the media.

“Even as a kid, I never wanted to be famous; I wanted to be good,” he told the Star in 2015, a few months before Rush embarked on its 40th-anniversary tour, which would be the band’s last.

An avid motorcyclist, while on the road with Rush, Peart would ride to shows on his motorcycle rather than travel with the rest of the band and its entourage.

His travels fuelled one of his passions outside of music — writing. He wrote seven non-fiction books and co-authored a science-fiction novelization of Rush’s 2012 album “Clockwork Angels.”

In his 2002 book “Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road,” Peart recounted the motorcycle trip he took across North America to cope with the grief of losing both his daughter and wife in the span of 10 months.