The most important guitarist in shaping the sound of Rush


The music of Rush has an incredibly beautiful yet chaotic quality. You never know where a song will take you or what journey it will lead you on. The group has a taste for great music and instrumental brilliance. Whether it’s a ten-minute prog-rock masterclass or something a little more polished and radio-friendly.

It’s challenging to listen to them and identify a single, clear inspiration for the band’s sound. Naturally, Geddy Lee has always been a huge fan of Cream. In fact, during their first performance together, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart, and Geddy Lee covered Cream songs.

Speaking of his influences, Lee remarked, “Cream kind of changed my life. They blew my mind. I recall that they were visiting Toronto. Since none of my friends were interested in seeing them perform, I went down to Massey Hall by myself after purchasing a ticket.”

However, Rush’s sound is much more than just Cream’s psychedelic rock influence. Consequently, bands that could incorporate a lot of experimental sounds while still managing to produce a cohesive whole became one of Alex Lifeson’s main sources of inspiration. In an attempt to solve this, he looked to The Who and generally acknowledged Pete Townshend as the guitarist who helped to define Rush’s sound.

He remarked, “Rhythm was a very dynamic group in Rush. Neil and Geddy were very involved players, and the guitar frequently had to hold the fort. This was kind of the opposite of what usually happens.”

In particular, Lifeson remarked of Townshend, “Pete Townshend is one of my greatest influences.” He was the guitarist who most helped me learn how to play rhythm guitar. He also showed me how important it is, especially in three-piece bands.

Remarkably, Geddy Lee mentioned John Paul Jones in the same context when talking about what he believed contributed to Led Zeppelin’s success. He emphasised the dynamic quality of players such as Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Bonham. He also credited John Paul Jones for skillfully maintaining the band’s cohesive yet exciting sound.

Echoing Lifeson’s assessment of Pete Townshend, Lee remarked, “John Paul Jones’ bass playing was the thing that held the whole thing down.” “So, even though the song ‘How Many More Times‘ gets a little crazy at points, John Paul Jones just keeps everything together so smoothly.”

It’s great that there are experimental musicians who want to push the boundaries of sound. However, without supporting musicians, the experimental sound wouldn’t be revolutionary; rather, it would be almost unintelligible.

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