Geddy Lee Reveals His Best Show Played and It’s Not With Rush
Rush performs Tom Sawyer Live – Ye Olde Rock/ YouTube
In a recent revelation, Geddy Lee of Rush fame shared insights into what he considers one of the most remarkable shows of his career, and surprisingly, it’s not a Rush performance. The spotlight is on the first Taylor Hawkins tribute show that unfolded in England in September 2022, according to Lee’s reflections in his newly published memoir, “My Effin’ Life.”
Acknowledging the emotional journey of dealing with the loss of Rush drummer Neil Peart in 2020
Lee expressed how the pair of concerts, the first in England and the subsequent U.S. memorial concert for Hawkins, provided a platform for him and bandmate Alex Lifeson to transition “from grief to remembrance.”
In an interview with Classic Rock, Lee offered a glimpse into the unique nature of these two shows. The London event, in particular, left a lasting impression on him as possibly the most joyous celebration of loss. Lee recounted the extraordinary camaraderie among musicians backstage, highlighting the absence of negativity during the days leading up to the performance.
“Those two shows were really unusual for very different reasons,” Lee shared. “The show in London was perhaps the most joyous celebration of loss that I could ever imagine. I’ve never seen so many musicians in one place, and the atmosphere backstage was profoundly positive.”
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Reflecting on the days spent at a hotel with fellow musicians and their friends and families before the London show
Lee emphasized the absence of discord, cynicism, or rivalry. The spirit of Taylor Hawkins and the palpable love from the Foo Fighters family deeply touched him.
“For five or six days before the show, we were all holed up at a hotel with every other musician and all their friends and families. Every night you’d be in the bar with these folks, and there was no backbiting, no cynicism, no one-upmanship. You could feel the spirit of Taylor and the love coming from the Foo Fighters family. That was really touching.”
Dave Grohl, the frontman of Foo Fighters, earned high praise from Lee
He described him as “one of the most remarkable human beings” he has had the pleasure to meet and work with. Despite initial doubts about performing Rush songs for the first time since their final show in 2015, Lee and Lifeson overcame their nerves and, in Lee’s words, experienced “maybe the greatest gig” of their lives.
“Here we were, Alex and I, having not played together in years, feeling pretty nervous about who’s going to play the drum parts,” Lee explained. “But it all came together, and in some ways, it was maybe the greatest gig of my life. The whole atmosphere was like nothing I’d ever experienced.”
In these two tribute shows, Geddy Lee found a unique and uplifting way to honor the memories of Taylor Hawkins and Neil Peart while navigating the complex emotions of grief and remembrance.