Rush’s Geddy Lee Got Out of Pandemic Blues by Starting on His Memoir
Rush's Geddy Lee has been writing plenty of late, but not music. According to the Rush singer-bassist, he kicked his pandemic blues with the help of a friend who encouraged him to share some of his stories and that's led to the beginnings of his memoir.
In an Instagram post, Lee recounts what he's done with his pandemic downtime. Sure, there was plenty of home-based activity to be had, "teaching my grandson the finer points of baseball and birdwatching, tending to my pups (one of whom was quite ill) and spending the evenings with my lovely better half, glass of Armagnac in hand, as we watched every European mystery show ever produced," says Lee.
But, as the musician explains, "I began to write. Words, that is. My friend and collaborator on the Big Beautiful Book of Bass, Daniel Richler, saw how I was struggling in the aftermath of Neil [Peart]'s passing, and tried coaxing me out of my blues with some funny tales from his youth, daring me to share my own in return."
"I did — reluctantly at first, but then remembering, oh yeah, 'I like wrestling with words.' It's a less physical version of arguing with musical notes, without a Ricky doubleneck breaking my back," says Lee. "And soon my baby-step stories were becoming grownup chapters."
He adds, "Being the nuclear obsessive that I am, I'd write and re-write them, reassessing perspectives in the narrative not just by scouring my memory banks but my diaries and piles of photo albums too. I was piecing together a mystery of a different kind. I'd then send these improved and even illustrated stories to Daniel, who'd clean up some of the grammar and remove a lot of the swearing (I love to fucking swear), and presto! In a voice that sounded, well, just like me, a presentable, epic-length account of my life on and off the stage was taking shape: my childhood, my family, the story of my parents' survival, my travels and all sorts of nonsense I've spent too much time obsessing over."
Lee recalls, "Daniel said, 'I think you're writing a book. An actual memoir, in fact.' To which I replied, 'Hmm ... I guess I am.'"
The Rush musician says he's "rounding third" on the still untitled memoir, but there are plans to publish his book through HarperCollins in the fall of 2022.