The Best Show of Geddy Lee’s Life Might Not Have Been With Rush
In his recently published memoir My Effin’ Life, Lee said the pair of concerts offered him and bandmate Alex Lifeson the chance “move on from grief to remembrance” as they continued to deal with the death of Rush drummer Neil Peart in 2020.
“Those two shows were really unusual for very different reasons,” Lee told Classic Rock in a recent interview. “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.
He noted that “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.”
Lee described Foos leader Dave Grohl as “one of the most remarkable human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet and work with,” but revealed he experienced doubts over performing Rush songs for the first time since their final show in 2015.
“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.”
Why Rush Abandoned Plan for Neil Peart Tribute Show
But he had a reason for feeling worse about the second show, which took place at the Forum in Inglewood, California, on Sept. 27. “Things were a little different because of what that venue symbolizes to me,” he said.
“Being back at the Forum, where my band had played for the last time, it felt like I was returning to the scene of the crime. So I tried to be as joyous as I was in London, but I couldn’t find that same headspace. I was much more withdrawn backstage at that show, thinking about things. But I walked away from it feeling that at least we had done justice to Taylor, and, in a small way, justice to Neil.”
Asked about the possibility of staging a similar kind of show to commemorate Peart, Lee said, “We were planning to do a memorial in Toronto, but then the pandemic hit, and by the time we’d come out of it, a couple of years had passed.
“We feel like we were robbed of the moment. But you never know. We still talk about it. If we can get our shit together, we might be able to pull something off.”
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