R.I.P. Glen Peart, Father of Rush's Neil Peart

R.I.P. Glen Peart, Father of Rush's Neil Peart
Glen Peart — the father of Rush drummer and primary lyricist Neil Peart — has died. News of the elder Peart's passing came from daughter Nancy Peart Burkholder and Donna Halper, the historian and radio DJ credited with discovering Rush, who shared that the musician's father passed away June 12 following a battle with cancer.

"On behalf of our Mother and all of our family members, the Peart Family would like to thank everyone for the expressions of sympathy for the passing of our very beloved Glen; husband, father, grandfather, & great grandfather," Nancy Peart Burkholder wrote in sharing the news on Facebook.

Halper added, "Many of us in the Rush fan community had the chance to get to know Glen. He was a dear person. Please keep the family in your thoughts during this difficult time."

Neil Peart was the eldest of Glen and Betty Peart's four children, and worked with his father's agricultural equipment dealership while playing drums in pre-Rush outfits Mumblin' Sumpthin' and the Majority in Southern Ontario.

"[Neil] had worked with me for several summers while attending school, was good with numbers and had an easy way with people," Glen would tell Farm Equipment in 2019. "But Neil had only one burning passion — to be a drummer. He had several local gigs and some local success. But he was disgusted that the other band members did not share his passion."

At 18, Neil would move to England to pursue success as a professional drummer. "In the fall, we built a plywood crate for everything he owned — pretty basic — plus his precious drum kit, and off he went," Glen recalled. "The pickings were pretty slim; he ended up working for a Canadian who operated a souvenir shop on Carnaby Street in London. Neil was to clean up the old store paint it and get it ready for merchandise to put on the shelves. 

"Neil was glad to have the job. As it arrived, he lined it all up on shelves as he had done many times in our dealership. When the owner returned, he was so pleased, he said, 'Why don't you stay here and manage this store for me? His dealership experience did pay off."

Neil would return to Canada in 1974 to put his managerial experience to use at Glen's dealership and continued playing drums in local outfit J.R. Flood. His fortunes would change when a white Corvette paid the business a visit, driven by Rush's management who were hoping the younger Peart would audition for the band.

"Neil was consumed with guilt because we were just coming into our busy season and he felt he was letting me down," Glen shared with Farm Equipment. "I finally said, 'Neil, this could be the chance of your life. We have to talk this over your mother when we get home, but I feel you have to do this. It could be a dream come true and if it doesn't work out, there will still be a Parts Department that can use you!' Obviously, Mom agreed with my thoughts and the rest is history!"