According to The Pulse of Radio, RUSH bassist/singer Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson issued astatement over the weekend about the death of original drummer John Rutsey, who passed away last week in Toronto from diabetes at the age of 55. Lifeson and Lee wrote,
"Our memories of the early years of RUSH when John was in the band are very fond to us. Those years spent in our teens dreaming of one day doing what we continue to do decades later are special. Although our paths diverged many years ago, we smile today, thinking back on those exciting times and remembering John's wonderful sense of humor and impeccable timing. He will be deeply missed by all he touched."
Rutsey's family has requested that donations be made in Rutsey's memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, located in Ontario. Fans around the world have posted condolences online over Rutsey's death, with one writing, "Although you may not have known it, you were loved and respected by all RUSH fans." Rutsey and Lifeson formed RUSH in 1968, with Lee joining a short time later. Rutsey played on the band's self-titled 1974 debut album, but left the group due to health concerns. His replacement, Neil Peart, joined the group on its second effort, "Fly By Night".