The Reason Geddy Lee Owes His Career To Pete Townshend
The Who’s classic lineup, lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon created and played some of the most iconic rock music songs. The band members contributed significantly to music and young generation musicians’ playing and songwriting techniques with the help of their use of the synthesizer, developing Marshall Stack and large PA systems.
In addition to the other Who members, the band’s guitarist Townshend’s memorable guitar solos, feedback and power chord guitar technique, and unmatchable talent as a lyricist made him a very influential artist for his peers and successors. Rush’s lead vocalist and bassist, Gedd Lee, was one of them that named The Who guitarist as his musical hero.
How Important Is Pete Townshend For Geddy Lee?
Considering The Who’s new approaches to creating and performing music, it’s not surprising that Rush members cited The Who as one of their biggest influences while developing their unique sounds and lyrics, which would gain them great international fame and commercial success in a short time. Rush released nineteen studio albums, and almost every one of them received very positive reviews from the music critics and their fans.
In addition, the band’s frontman Geddy Lee never forgot to give credit to Pete Townshend by naming him as ‘The Ultimate Rock Musician,’ and he shared his ideas and feelings about a famous Who album. The band released their fifth studio album entitled ‘Who’s Next’ on August 14, 1971, and it was defined as The Who’s best album and one of the greatest albums of all time by notable music critics and journalists worldwide.
Lee also agreed with them and talked about the record, saying that it’s their ‘creative peak’ by drawing attention to the band members’ talents and the album’s becoming an essential part of its genre. However, it was neither first nor the last time that the singer paid tribute to the iconic guitarist. In a previous interview, Lee chose ‘My Generation,’ released on the band’s debut studio album, as his favorite song that shaped his career.
Why Did Geddy Lee Say He Wouldn’t Have Been A Musician Without Pete Townshend?
According to the Rush icon, Townshend was one of the few people who could express himself through power chords by showing the song as proof of it. Moreover, during a conversation with Classic Rock Magazine, Geddy Lee recalled when he met his idol as a part of the Governor-General of Arts Award, which could be the most exciting moment of his life.
After being invited to Pete Townshend’s dressing room after the award show, Lee found the opportunity to meet one of his real heroes for the first time. While recalling those special moments, Geddy Lee highlighted Townshend’s songwriting skills by saying that he wouldn’t have been there without his songs. The rocker inspired him so much that he looked up to him whenever he tried to improve his songwriting skills.
In Lee’s words, he said:
“I was in Ottawa, Canada, the capital of Canada, and we were receiving what’s called the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts. It was a wonderful event, and it was this gala, and one of the surprise guests that night was Pete Townshend, who had come to perform with Des McAnuff, who also won an art award that evening. After the gig, we were invited to go down to Pete’s dressing room to meet him.
I’d never met him, and Pete Townshend is one of my real heroes. I can honestly say I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you if he hadn’t written those great songs for the Who. They just inspired me to be the best writer I could be. So meeting him was a bit awestruck, and he was great, easy to talk to. In the back of my mind, I was going, ‘Holy crap! I’m meeting Pete Townshend.'”
You can check out the interview below.