Only a handful of bassists have successfully faced major rock bands: Paul McCartney in The Beatles, Phil Lynott with Thin Lizzy, Stik in Police, Lemmy Kilmister with Engine head. Even fewer have done so with flair and virtuosity rush’s Geddy Lee.
Although he was not technically involved in founding Canada’s prominent prog band, Lee joined Rush in 1968, almost instantly replacing original bassist Jeff Jones. From there, he became the group’s lead singer, balancing the two roles with astonishing ease. (After a period of writing lyrics, he left these duties almost exclusively to the drummer Neil PeartWHO joined in 1974.)
The classic Rush lineup – Lee, Peart and guitarist Alex Lifeson – developed their early hard rock style into a clever form of progressive rock during a series of 70s LPs, including their groundbreaking 1976 album, 2112and subsequent classics A farewell to kings and Hemispheres.
“As our tastes became more blurred, we discovered more progressive rock-based bands like YesVan der Graaf Generator and King Crimsonand we were very inspired by those bands, ”Lee once said. “They made us want to make our music more interesting and more complex, and we tried to mix it with our own personalities to see what we could come up with that was indisputably us.”
Rush moved into a more accessible sound – and achieved wider commercial success – with the 1980s Permanent waves and the 1981s Moving imageswhich both reached the Top 5 on the Billboard 200. They continued to merge proggy games and punchy hooks across their catalog, all the way up through their latest album, 2012’s Clockwork Angels.
Rush’s last trip wrapped in 2015, and Pearts 2020 dead joined the band. Lee and Lifeson have focused their time on collaborative projects, including one line of labeled beers, Lifesons Envy of Nobody band and Lees 2018 Great beautiful book about bass. And they have not completely ruled out working together at some point.
Below, we take a look at Geddy Lee Year-by-Year Photos 1974-2022, and collect photos from each year since he joined Rush – except for one stretch where the band went on a short break.