Canada — Fans of the Progressive Canadian rock band Rush breathed a collective sigh of relief after lead guitarist Alex Lifeson announced that former White Stripes drummer will replace the ailing Neil Peart on an upcoming North American tour. There have been numerous reports that Mr. Peart was sadly unable to continue due to increasing chronic arthritis pain,and many fans thought that Rush’s critically acclaimedR40tour last year was in fact the final Rush tour of their career. “We’ve worked very closely with Meg White over the past few months,” said Mr. Lifeson in a Scooper telephone interview earlier this week. “Neil has been intimately involved with showing her the set. As you can imagine, there’s no one to replace him on drums, but we believe that Meg will bring a fresh perspective to some of our classics.” Megan Martha “Meg” White (b. 1974) is an American drummer known for her work with Jack White in the Detroit rock duo The White Stripes. Her drumming style has been called “primal” for its simplicity, and drew both praise and criticism from fans and critics. “It’s going to be a different set for our fans,” continued Mr. Lifeson, “but wait until you hear her take on YYZ or Cygnus. I mean when you think about it, Tom Sawyer was practically written for her.” Reaction from the Rush fan base was generally confused, with some questioning the bands replacement. Most vocal of these, was current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, an ardent Rush fan. “I’ve been a Rush fan since High School,” said the United Speaker of the House. “It’s safe to say that they turned me onto Ayn Rand, who guides my every decision. I’m going to take a ‘wait and see’ approach before passing judgement on Meg. I mean, I hope she’s not planning on writing any lyrics or anything like that.” The 28 city tour is kicking off this summer in Buffalo, New York and ending in Vancouver, British Columbia in October.