Several tragic events have shaped Rush‘s career and the band members’ lives throughout the years. Although tragedies are often unavoidable, the pain accompanying them also doesn’t go away shortly afterward and often impacts people’s future life. It takes time to heal and recover, which can be even more challenging for those who are constantly under the spotlight, which was unfortunately the case for Neil Peart.
The late ’90s were a difficult period for Rush, especially for Neil Peart, who had lost his daughter and wife within ten months. The devastation caused the drummer to leave everything behind and hit the road with his motorcycle. This decision was also hard on Geddy Lee as he had lost his friend and the band went on a hiatus. So, the lead vocalist had to channel his feelings into music to get by during that difficult period.
How Did Geddy Lee React To Neil Peart’s Decision To Leave?
Rush had just released their sixteenth studio album ‘Test for Echo,’ which was well-received by fans and critics. After the album, the band hit the road for their ‘Test for Echo Tour’ in 1996. Everything was smooth sailing, and everyone was pleased about how things were progressing. However, their excitement didn’t last long once everyone heard the news about Neil Peart’s daughter.
Neil Peart’s 19-year-old daughter Selena Taylor passed away due to a single-car crash on Highway 401 near the town of Brighton, Ontario. This devastating, tragic accident shook Peart’s world. Soon afterward, his wife passed away from cancer, which was the last straw for the drummer, as he couldn’t continue anymore, which is why he departed the band. The drummer took his motorcycle and decided to take a spiritual journey traveling North America.
The band decided not to continue after the tragedies inflicted on their bandmate and friend. However, this time was especially hard for Geddy Lee as he didn’t have anything to look forward to, so he decided to work on a solo project. He understood Peart and his desperation to escape everything, so Lee thought he wouldn’t return to Rush.
The vocalist shared in an interview with The Guardian in 2018 that working on his album ‘My Favorite Headache’ was the only way out for him, especially the song ‘Grace To Grace.’ Making music was his savior as he thought he had lost everything and he had to channel his feelings to something.
Geddy Lee’s words about his solo album that brought him solace:
“After a couple of years, I found solace in working and writing. I really did obsess over it and bury myself in it. Neil was so powerfully running away from all that pain. It was understandable to me if he didn’t want to return to the things that reminded him of the life that had been stolen from him. I didn’t think he would return, so this was a savior for me.”