Geddy Lee Admits He Wasn’t The Founding Member Of Rush But Just A Pal Beside Of The Real Founder
During an interview made at his home in Toronto, Canada, Geddy Lee remembered the time when it was the early days of the band, revealing he was not a founding member of the band Rush but was sort of just a pal.
The award-winning musician Geddy Lee is mostly known as the lead vocalist and bassist of the rock band Rush, to which he joined after his childhood friend Alex Lifeson‘s request replacing the original member Jeff Jones. His technique of playing the bass guitar has inspired several famous rock musicians including Metallica’s Cliff Burton, Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris, Dream Theater’s John Myung, and Tim Commerford.
On May 9, 1996, Lee was made an Officer of the Order of Canada together with his bandmates which made the band the first rock band to have the honor. Ranked 13th on Hit Parader’s list of the 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Vocalists of All Time, Lee also released his only solo work titled ‘My Favourite Headache’ in 2020.
While he was talking about the beginnings of his musical journey, Lee revealed that he was not in fact the founding member of the band Rush. Lee said during the interview that he met Alex Lifeson when he was in high school, and he was playing the guitar back in those days. According to him, they then started to jam together and he learned that he was in a band called Rush, which makes Geddy Lee not a founding member but a kind of a pal as the founding member was technically Jeff Jones.
Lee then recalled the time when they were scheduled to do a show but Jeff Jones could not make it for some reason at that time, and he played instead of him during that show at a request by Alex which started his career with Rush.
“… I was in junior high school at the time. And around that same time, there was a fellow in my class named Alex Živojinović [roughly translated as ‘son of life’ in Serbian], and we both sat at the back of the class, and he was really funny. We sort of connected and he played the guitar. Before you know it, we were starting to jam together.
I didn’t know at the time that I would spend the rest of my life with this crazy Serbian guy. He was actually in a band called Rush, and so I wasn’t a founding member, I was sort of just a pal. They were scheduled to do a show at a local drop-in center, which was in the basement of a church, and their bass player couldn’t make it for some reason, and Al called me up in a panic, saying, ‘Do you think you could play the gig with us?’ And I said, ‘Well, sure.’
So I went down, I learned the songs that afternoon, I think we only knew about four songs anyway, we just kept playing over and over again. And we did the gig, and then we went to the local deli for French fries and gravy, which was the tradition of the band that day. That’s how my career with Al started.“
On January 7, 2020, the drummer of Rush, Neil Peart died at the age of 67 as a result of his battle with brain cancer. One year after his death, Lee told Rolling Stone that Rush was over, and it was impossible for the band to continue without Peart.