Why Geddy Lee Banned Eddie Van Halen From Rush Shows?


In the 1980s, Rush and Van Halen occurred to be staying at the same hotel in Leicester, England, for their live performances. It was the Van Halen bassist’s birthday, so the band headed to the pub to celebrate. It turned out that Rush was renting out the bar that night. In an interview with Creem in 1981, David Lee Roth described what transpired that night.

Here’s where Roth started telling the narrative of the night that got Eddie Van Halen and the rest of Van Halen banned from Rush shows:

“We’re traveling back in time, a year to Leicester, England. You’ll have to check it up; it’s spelled ‘ie’ or something. We’d [Van Halen] just finished playing: terrific show, everyone’s excited, and it was Michael’s [Anthony, bassist] birthday.”

When Van Halen discovered that Rush had covered the bar, Roth stated that his comrades went all in. He recalls:

“We’d return to the bar, and Rush was staying at the same hotel. Later, they discovered that they had rented the bar with all of the alcohol. And our guys didn’t realize that, so they came in and said, ‘What, free booze?! Whoa!!’ And they wiped the place out, which made their guys nervous.”

David also mentioned that Eddie and Geddy were at the same table, which didn’t go well for Van Halen. The rocker explains:

Edward was sitting at the table with Geddy Lee, and they’d both had a few drinks, and Geddy was playing some Rush tapes on a tape recorder.” He said something to Ed, and Ed’s beer ended up in the tape recorder. Well, that produced some friction.”

A year later, during the tape recorder incident, Van Halen clearly heard Rush’s message. Roth continued:

“Jump ahead one year to Las Vegas [not L.A.]. 1981. Rush is performing before Van Halen in Las Vegas, and word spreads that no members of Van Halen are permitted to attend the show. Nobody. No road crew, no one.”

It appears that there is no bad blood, as rumors surfaced years after the accident that Geddy Lee was establishing a supergroup with Alex Lifeson and Alex Van Halen. Although the musicians made no official remark, they also did not deny the rumors.

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