Friday, May 16, 2008

JOHN RUTSEY 1953 -2008

Rush fans will recognize the name John Rutsey: he was the band's original drummer, and played on their self-titled debut album from 1974. I found this obit on the Rush fansite Power Windows:

"RUTSEY, John Howard - It is with deep sadness that John's family announces his untimely passing due to complications from his lifelong affliction with diabetes, at age 55. Donations may be made in John's memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 7100 Woodbine Avenue, Suite 311, Markham, ON, L3R 5J2 (online:, by phone: 905-944-4631). Online Condolences: Published in the National Post on 5/15/2008."

Apparently, Rutsey left the band because of his diabetes, which would have caused problems on extended tours. He sort of dropped out of music, and at one point got into bodybuilding. Still, I wonder what it must be like when your ex-band comes to town to play a sold-out night at the local arena.

The first Rush album is really underrated in my opinion. They hadn't gotten "prog rock" yet, that came with drummer Neal Peart. The first album is a mostly underappreciated Zep-influenced garage rock gem. It really swung, and you can't swing without a solid drummer. Rest in peace John Rutsey.

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