The Rush song Geddy Lee didn’t like playing bass on

Geddy Lee

Every member of a power trio usually has more than their fair share of responsibilities. Musicians often play different instruments or restructure their musical approach to meet the requirements of a song. This is essential to ensure that everyone contributes effectively and maintains the overall harmony. This prevents the risk of the music falling apart. Geddy Lee may have established himself as one of Rush’s most virtuosic bass players. However, he admitted that he never wanted to touch the instrument while working on one of their deep cuts.

Throughout the band’s early years, Lee effectively transformed the bass into its own lead instrument. Following in the footsteps of artists such as John Entwistle and Chris Squire, Lee wasn’t satisfied until he had a bass sound that cut through the mix. He played lines that many would mistake for lead guitar licks if pitched an octave higher.

The band added drummer Neil Peart to the lineup for the album Fly By Night. Following this addition, Lee’s approach to the instrument became even more complex. He often played in different time signatures to suit the song’s needs. Although the band could make a lot of noise as a trio, Lee knew more things could be done. He recognized the potential for additional musical possibilities once the keyboards arrived in the studio.

Lee first appeared on albums such as 2112 and A Farewell to Kings. After that he frequently played keyboards and bass when Rush performed. He even played a few basslines with his feet when he couldn’t take his hands off the keys. Although the band’s celebrated prog era featured a balanced mix of keyboard and bass playing, things began to change as they entered the 1980s.

Rush followed the trendy sounds of the time. They even created more mainstream material while maintaining their vision. This includes heartfelt progressive moments on albums such as Grace Under Pressure. As the band continued to work on the album Presto, Lee would have put down his bass while recording one of their songs.

Lee disliked the idea of playing bass on ‘Available Light’, as it was one of their most synthesised albums. Even though the track lends itself well to a mix of the two sounds, Lee believed that his abilities as a keyboardist far outweighed anything he could contribute to the bass.

When asked about the song after recording, Lee said, “On a song like ‘Available Light,‘ where the bass just provides some simple, low-end support, I’d rather play the keys and sing. It is simply a matter of determining which instrument will be most rewarding to play from a player’s perspective. If the keyboard only plays a strict four-chord repeating pattern, I’d rather programme it into a MIDI pedal. And have some fun playing bass.”

This marked one of the last instances when keyboards played a prominent role on the album, despite all the band’s innovations in the 1980s. The guitars returned in full force on subsequent albums like Counterparts and Test For Echo. Even though Rush never thought there was a bad sound for them, this was one of the first times Geddy Lee admitted to feeling uninspired while strapping on his four-string.

Leave a Reply

You May Also Like