Original Rush Bassist Jeff Jones Recalls Losing His Part To Geddy Lee

When bands enter the music industry at the beginning of their careers, it’s hard to predict what the band will evolve into or whether it will stay the way it started. Some walk away and move on to other ventures, while others hang around and do their best to improve their band. The original bassist of Rush, Jeff Jones, recalled the time the commute became too much for him, and he suggested Geddy Lee to Alex Lifeson as his replacement while speaking to Loudersound.

“So, I just told Alex, ‘Hey, this guy Geddy that you’ve been hanging around with plays bass. He lives right around the corner. Why don’t you ask him to join?’” said Jeff Jones, recalling how he planted the seeds in Lifeson’s mind. “And I guess Alex took that as me leaving, and that was it. Next thing I knew, Geddy was in Rush. There was never any formal conversation beyond that; we just drifted apart.”

Although some wonder how the Rush sound would have evolved if Jones didn’t leave the band, the bassist doesn’t have any regrets about his decision. “I don’t think about it too much,” Jones explains. “We were so young. We didn’t even have a record deal. We never made an album or even got to record anything. And had I stayed on, we would have sounded nothing like Rush did with Geddy. And that’s not a bad thing; it’s just a fact. I couldn’t hit those notes. With me, in many ways, Rush wouldn’t have been Rush.

Right after the bassist moved on from Rush, he joined Ocean. All was well and good for the musician because they had a world tour and a few hits under their belt, but before they knew it, the label company did them dirty. Although Jones eventually found his place on Red Rider, if the bassist had continued with Rush, fate would have been on his side as the band found commercial success and became a prominent act in the industry.