Why Pete Townshend Is So Important For Geddy Lee
Geddy Lee for Fender guitars - Fender / Youtube
There’s no denying The Who’s impact on music. Some of the most recognizable songs in rock history were written and performed by the original lineup of the group, consisting of lead vocalist Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. In addition to that, Townshend also became a songwriting force – making concepts and songs to prove his immense talents.
Several artists in the industry often cited Townshend as a major influence in their work – one of them being Geddy Lee, Rush’s singer/bassist. Lee isn’t shy in telling his admiration for the Who guitarist, and even named him “the ultimate rock musician.”
In an interview with Classic Rock Magazine, Geddy Lee reflected on the exciting time he met his hero while receiving the Governor-General of Arts Award. After the ceremony, Townshend asked Lee into his dressing room, where the two finally met.
“I was in Ottawa, Canada, the capital of Canada, and we were receiving what’s called the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts,” Townshend said. “It was a wonderful event, and it was this gala, and one of the surprise guests that night was Pete Townshend, who had come to perform with Des McAnuff, who also won an art award that evening. After the gig, we were invited to go down to Pete’s dressing room to meet him.”
As Geddy Lee reflected on those unforgettable times, he paid tribute to Townshend’s songwriting abilities by remarking that without Townshend’s compositions, he wouldn’t have been there. He looked up to the rock star as a source of motivation whenever he worked on his compositions.
“I’d never met him, and Pete Townshend is one of my real heroes. I can honestly say I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you if he hadn’t written those great songs for the Who. They just inspired me to be the best writer I could be,” he added.