The Reason Geddy Lee Banned Eddie Van Halen From Rush Shows

Back in the 80s, Rush and Van Halen happened to be staying at the same hotel in Leicester, England for their live shows. It was Van Halen bassist’s birthday so to celebrated the band went over to the bar. It turns out Rush were renting out the bar that night. The rest, well David Lee Roth shared the story of what happened that night in a 1981 interview with Creem.

Here’s where Roth began to share the story of the night that caused Eddie Van Halen and the rest of Van Halen to be banned from Rush shows:

“We are going to back in time now – back a year’s time to Leicester, England. You’re going to have to look that up; it’s spelled with an ‘ie’ or something. We’d [Van Halen] just finished playing: great show, everybody’s very up it was Michael’s [Anthony, bassist] birthday.”

Once Van Halen learned that the bar was covered by Rush, Roth added that his bandmates went all in. He recalled:

“We’d come back to the bar and Rush was staying at the same hotel. And as it turns out later – they’d rented the bar with all the booze in it. And our guys didn’t know that and they came in and said, ‘What, free booze?! Whoa!!’ And they cleaned the place out, which put their guys on edge a little bit.”

David added that Eddie and Geddy were sharing the same table which didn’t end well for Van Halen. The rocker explained:

“Edward was sitting at the table with Geddy Lee and they’d both been drinking a little bit, and Geddy was playing some Rush tapes on a tape recorder. He said something to Ed and Ed’s beer got into the tape recorder. Well that caused a little friction.”

A year later the tape recorder incident Van Halen heard the message from Rush loud and clear. Roth continued:

“Jump ahead one year – Las Vegas [not L.A.] 1981. Rush is playing before Van Halen in Las Vegas and word goes out: nobody from Van Halen is allowed into the show at all. Nobody. No road crew, nobody.”

It seems that there is no bad blood, since years after the accident, rumors circulated that Geddy Lee was forming a super-band with Alex Lifeson and Alex Van Halen. Although there was no official statement from the musicians, no one denied the rumors either.

You can read David Lee Roth’s 1981 interview with Creem here.