Neil Peart on Geddy Lee’s biggest complaint with Rush


No band can assert that they always have the same idea. Every excellent album where all the ideas comes together will have a few tracks where things either become worse or where everything comes together with a loud melodic thud. Rush has a reputation for persevering through all of their strange experiments. However, Neil Peart said that he and Geddy Lee would constantly run into the same issue.

However, Rush continued to play with original drummer John Rutsey in the group before they became well-known. A large portion of their self-titled album features them creating their future hits in a more bluesy tone. It includes the enormous hit “Working Man,” inspired by the sounds they were hearing from bands like Led Zeppelin.

Rutsey left the band during touring due to health concerns, knowing he couldn’t stay for another year. Peart rose to the situation during a series of scouting drills. He brought in a small drum kit, surprising Lee and Alex Lifeson when they heard him play.

The band began to realize the value of having someone with Lee’s level of reading behind the drum kit. However Lee was already doing vocals. Throughout his life, Peart was an ardent reader, and as time went on, he would take over the role of principal lyricist. He produced songs that either mirrored his mood or created fantasy scenes to fit the music.

The band’s dynamic began to change after that. Lee was frequently handed handfuls of words by Peart. He composed music to fit the lines, unlike just jamming on riffs to see what they came up with. Despite the fact that this led to an excellent working relationship between the two, Peart acknowledged. He frequently ran into issues once Lee began to sing.

When I go over them with Geddy, he’ll complain that either I’ve gone overboard with the alliteration. There are certain vowel-consonant combinations that, from a singer’s point of view, are very difficult to deliver. This is because you have to think so much about the elocution of those syllables that you can’t possibly deliver them with the necessary emotions”. Peart would often recall Lee telling him about their writing style.

When Lee attempted to perform the song “Beneath Between and Behind” appropriately on the band’s debut album with Peart, Fly By Night, he initially ran into difficulty. However, as time passed, the two became more of a creative force, with Peart beginning to regard Lee’s criticism as his lyrical editor.

The songs that emerged from this process were some of Rush’s greatest hits, such as “Limelight”. This expressed his disenchantment with stardom, and “Nobody’s Hero,” which lamented the loss of a friend. Although Rush is renowned for having a few difficult lyrics, Lee was always going to give Peart’s words the finest interpretation possible.

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