Geddy Lee Reveals the Band He Thinks Is Impossible to Copy

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In 1969, at the tender age of 16, Geddy Lee faced the profound grief of losing his father early in life. This experience instilled in him a keen awareness of life’s fleeting nature, propelling him to passionately pursue his dreams. Despite his mother’s concerns, he left school to chase a career in music.

Lee’s resolve wasn’t dampened by his mother’s skepticism; it fueled his commitment. He transformed his basement into a sanctuary of rock, which often reverberated to his grandmother’s kitchen. Their intense practice sessions were so vigorous that they once shook glasses off shelves, sending them crashing into her chicken broth.

Geddy Lee, driven by his dreams and craving new experiences, was thrilled to attend The Rock Pile concert in Toronto, featuring the then-emerging Led Zeppelin. Accompanied by Alex Lifeson and their first drummer, John Rutsey, they endured long lines for tickets.

At the concert, Led Zeppelin, led by Jimmy Page, commanded the stage. Not yet famous, they delivered an unforgettable performance. Geddy and the early members of Rush, enduring the long wait under the sun, secured front-row seats. The show was so powerful that plaster cascaded from the ceiling during the encore.

This concert marked a turning point in Lee’s musical journey. He regarded Led Zeppelin as the band that redefined his musical path during his formative years.

On the day Led Zeppelin released their debut album, Lee and his friends were among the first at the record store. They hurried back to his room, where they were mesmerized by the powerful beats of “Communication Breakdown.”

Led Zeppelin’s influence on Rush was clear, but the young band found it challenging to replicate their sound. They practiced tirelessly in their basement, struggling with the complexity of Led Zeppelin’s music, especially during their early bar performances.

Lee acknowledged that their attempts to emulate Led Zeppelin were instrumental in developing Rush’s distinctive sound. They wove various influences into their music, creating something uniquely their own.

Lee reflected, “Led Zeppelin explored realms that other metal bands overlooked. Robert Plant’s grand, Tolkien-esque lyrics might not resonate with everyone, but to me, they were magical.”

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