RIP John Rutsey [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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05-20-2008, 12:32 PM
WHO? Many of you may ask. John Rutsey was the original drummer for Rush and appears on their first S/T album. He's the guy who drums on such hits as Working Man and In The Mood. While there's no doubt that the addition of Neil Peart changed the direction of the band for the better, In The Mood remains a favourite of mine. Besides, any friend of Rush is a friend of mine. R.I.P. John.

Tue May 20, 12:38 PM
By The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Fans around the world are expressing their sorrow over the death of drummer John Rutsey, a co-founding member of the seminal rock band Rush.

Rutsey, who left the group after recording their first album in 1974, died last week in Toronto from complications stemming from a lifelong battle with diabetes.

His family announced the death in newspaper notices. He was 55.

Rutsey co-founded Rush with lead singer Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson in 1968, but left the group for health reasons.

He was replaced by drummer and lyricist Neil Peart just before the group's first U.S. tour.

On the Rush website, Lee and Lifeson say they fondly recall their early days with Rutsey and say that he will be deeply missed.

"Those years spent in our teens dreaming of one day doing what we continue to do decades later are special," they state.

"Although our paths diverged many years ago, we smile today, thinking back on those exciting times and remembering John's wonderful sense of humour and impeccable timing."

The family has requested donations be made in Rutsey's memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Meanwhile, online condolences poured in from Rush fans around the world, with responses to one newspaper notice including messages from Australia, Germany, the United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

"You were the ORIGINAL drummer in the greatest band in the world," writes Douglas Walsh of Metairie, La.

"If not for YOU, who knows what would have happened! Although you may not have known it, you were loved and respected by all Rush fans and the band themselves. God bless ya man! Drum on!"

05-20-2008, 05:33 PM
Sad news! Rutsey has always been one of those enigmatic entities -- out of sight, mystery, trivia question, yet always part of the Rush lexicon by virtue of that first album (and that legendary mug shot from the album cover) and a persistent subject of speculation.

There have actually been John Rutsey fan sites that have appeared over the years despite hardly anyone actually knowing anything about what he's done since Rush's first album. Yeah, he was the butt of jokes, but he was always a fan favorite despite (or perhaps because of) his almost legendary MIA status. I'd always hoped for some kind of old school reunion (sort of like how Tom Petty reunited with his pre-Heartbreakers bandmates from Mudcrutch and recorded a very well received album) and hearkening back to their roots as a Led Zep wannabe. But, sadly that won't happen now. RIP ...

06-02-2008, 09:56 AM
C'mon, we can't be the ONLY ones on this board that know who John Rutsey is! I thought Rush fans were legion on RR! :eek6:

06-02-2008, 10:05 AM
John Rutsey died? That's a shame. He was a very talented drummer in his own right. One has to wonder if Rush would have gotten off to the same start without him.
Maybe he's up there jamming with Hendrix right now. :21:
Being a diabetic myself, I may have to send in a donation.