The Reason Geddy Lee Called Fleetwood Mac ‘Pretty Bad’
Rush was founded by guitarist Alex Lifeson, drummer John Rutsey, and bassist and vocalist Jeff Jones in 1968, but a short time later, Geddy Lee replaced Jones. Rush’s power trio, Lifeson, Lee, and Peart, started their studio sessions and live performances soon after Neil Peart joined Rush to replace Rutsey, following their self-titled album’s release in 1974.
The band released nineteen studio albums, and almost all of them achieved critical acclaim and became famous thanks to their well-crafted sounds and lyrics, exploring science fiction, fantasy, and philosophical themes. Rush’s change from a blues-inspired hard rock to progressive rock drew significant attention, but it can be said that the band couldn’t achieve the commercial success that they wished for considering their album sales.
While Rush was trying hard to make it in the music world, they sometimes struggled to earn enough to cover their expenses. Thus, they tried to spend as little time as possible during the recording sessions to make sure they could afford it. On the other hand, another contemporary band, Fleetwood Mac, was rumored to spend millions on their recording sessions, which truly surprised Geddy Lee and led him to question their musical talents.
Geddy Lee Questioned Why Fleetwood Mac Spent Millions On A Record
Rush has sold 25 million albums in the U.S. and over 40 million worldwide even though their records received very positive reviews from their fans and won many awards. According to recent data, the band’s eighth studio album entitled ‘Moving Pictures,’ which was released on February 12, 1981, is currently their best-selling album with 5 million in the U.S. Then the success was followed by the other albums, but they couldn’t compete with ‘Moving Pictures.’
The band’s fourth studio album named ‘2112’ is Rush’s second-highest-selling album with more than 3 million copies sold. However one of their peers, Fleetwood Mac, which was formed by Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, and Jeremy Spencer, became way more commercially successful than Rush. Their highest popularity and success came after American rock duo Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined the band.
Buckingham and Nicks contributed a lot to Fleetwood Mac’s iconic records as songwriters and musicians despite their turbulent relationship and breakup, which caused tensions in the band. Fleetwood Mac sold 120 million records worldwide, and one of their best-selling albums, ‘Rumors,’ defined as the band’s magnum opus, was certified as 20× platinum in the U.S. Therefore, it seems like the band could spend more money on their records for better equipment and experts.
During one of his appearances in 1979, the reporter informed Rush icon, Geddy Lee, about Fleetwood Mac spending over a million dollars on their upcoming record, probably referring to their twelfth studio album ‘Tusk’ released on October 12, 1979. Lee was very shocked and found it ridiculous. He emphasized that Rush couldn’t afford to pay that much for recording sessions and argued that you would have to be ‘pretty bad to need that much money on the studio.’
Here’s what the host said:
“I heard the new Fleetwood Mac album is costing a million point one to record. Are you going for that kind of studio extravaganza?”
In Geddy Lee’s words, he stated:
“I doubt it. We can’t afford it. That’s ridiculous, one million point one?”
The host added:
“What do you think you could spend a million on the studio, have you really tried?”
“I don’t think. You’d have to be pretty bad to spend much money on the studio.”
You can watch the interview below.