Geddy Lee, the prolific bass player of the iconic rock band Rush, has been reflecting on his career to date and the music that helped shape his creative vision.
The musician, who carved out a career by being one of the most advantageous players in rock and roll, has often waxed lyrically about the importance of bass guitar. As part of Rush, one of the most gifted prog-rock bands ever, Lee challenged himself and his audience to accept the bass guitar as a primary instrument in any band.
Despite his triumph of the instrument, Lee has also been open in discussing some of his contemporaries that have helped feed his feverish appetite for music. Remembering one specific moment from his youth, Lee recalled how he and Alex Lifeson queued all night in an attempt to secure tickets to see famed rock band Yes.
“A friend of mine and I, we used to skip school all the time when we were in junior high school, and we would go to his house,” Lee said in a new interview with Rolling Stone. “We were both just nuts about music, and he would turn me on to a lot of different things that I’d never heard – a lot of progressive-rock bands that I didn’t know of.
“So one day, we skipped class and went to his house, and he put on this record. It was Yes’ Time And A Word and I was just blown away by the sound of Chris Squire’s bass.”
He added” “It reminded me of John Entwistle in that aggressive way, but the music was much more adventurous and much more layered. The song I first heard was No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed. For a young kid bass player, it was amazing. I mean, it blew me away. And for the next umpteen years, I became a die-hard Yes fan, and a die-hard Chris Squire fan.”
The situation arrives as Yes were planning their first ever live show in Toronto and their all-night commitment was rewarded when Lee and his friend secured seats two rows from the front.
“The first time Yes came to Toronto, my friend Oscar and Alex and myself, we lined up at Maple Leaf Gardens all night to get tickets, and we ended up with second-row seats,” Lee added. “I’ll never forget that.
“We drove out. I think it was that same week, they were also playing in Kitchener, Ontario, and saw them out there as well. They still are the only band I’ve lined up all night to see!”