Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart, citing health and physical issues, has announced that he is retiring.

Rush is currently wrapping up their R40 tour, and it appears it will be their final as the threesome that rose to fame in the 70's. Peart joined the group in June of 1974, just weeks before he and bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee and guitarist and backing vocalist Alex Lifeson embarked on the band's first tour of the united States. He replaced original drummer John Rutsey

Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Rush has sold more than 28 million albums in the United States, and are ranked 80th by the Recording Industry Associates of America in all-time U.S. sales. Their world-wide sales are estimated at over 44 million units sold. The group has received seven Grammy nominations, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Formed in Toronto in 1968, Rush's musical style has changed substantially over the years. Its debut album was strongly influenced by British blues-based hard rock: an amalgam of sounds and styles from such rock bands as Black Sabbath, the Who, Cream and Led Zeppelin. The group, especially lead vocalist Lee, became increasingly influenced by bands of the British progressive rock movement, especially the 'Peter Gabriel era' Genesis and Jethro Tull.

"Sadder still to watch it die, than never to have known it".     Rush from "Losing It"

Peart tells Drumhead Magazine: "Lately Olivia has been introducing me to new friends at school as 'My dad - he's a retired drummer.' True to say, funny to hear. And it does not pain me to realize that, like all athletes, there comes a time to... take yourself out of the game. I would rather set it aside then face the predicament described in our song 'Losing It'".

The song, from the group's 1982 album Signals, features the line "Sadder still to watch it die, than never to have known it".

Story courtesy of UltimateGuitar.com