The Rush vocalist, bassist and keyboardist Geddy Lee was born in 1953 and had the chance to see the evolution of Rock and Roll music when he was a teenager in the 60s. His love for the bass guitar grew and he started to pay more attention to the bassists from the bands of that time.
After more than five decades working as professional musician, Lee is considered one of the best bass players of all time. He influenced countless generations of artists and continues to be an inspiration for younger bands. Over the decades he talked a lot about his peers and even revealed which is the bassist he thinks is underrated.
The bassist that Rush’s Geddy Lee said is underrated
During the late 60s Rock and Roll music evolved when many bands stopped writing only love songs and experimented more. The change wasn’t only in the lyrics, but also on the sound. The artists were also pushing the boundaries of their instruments, including the bass.
As Geddy Lee told Music Radar in an interview in 2022, there was one bassist from that era that he thinks it’s underrated. “I always found Jack Casady from Jefferson Airplane to be very underrated. He played odd basses. like this Guild that was really modified. He was really into that mod stuff.”
“Listen to his playing from the early days or the live album ‘Bless Its Pointed Little Head’. You’ll hear something really twangy and aggressive for what essentially was a trippy Californian band. He had this heavy tone that pushed the band along. Jefferson Airplane went through a million configurations in their history. but Jack made those early versions of this band stand out for me.”
Geddy Lee continued:
“I really gravitated towards his sound on the song called ‘The Other Side Of This Life’. There’s a live version of it that we used to cover way, way back in Rush when we were starting out. During the intro, he plays this angry circular pattern. If you listen to that, you’ll hear how there’s a nod to Jeff in my sound,” Geddy Lee said.
Formed in San Francisco, California in 1965, Jefferson Airplane was one of the most important American bands of all time. They were one of the first groups that made music that started to be considered Psychedelic Rock. Some of their most famous songs are “White Rabbit” and “Somebody To Love”.
Jack Casady was part of all the studio albums the band released but he made more albums with Hot Tuna, the band he made after Airplane broke-up. He formed that group in 1969 with the gutiarist and singer Jorma Kaukonen. He also recorded two albums in the 90s with Jefferson Starship, band that was formed by other ex-Jefferson Airplane members in the 70s.
Geddy Lee said Jack Casady was his hero and would love to have played with Jefferson Airplane
Geddy Lee loves Jefferson Airplane and even said in an interview with UDiscover Music (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) that he would love to have played with the American band. He said that after he was asked which bands he would like to have been a member if he had the opportunity.
“When you talk about which bands I would like to have played with. Any band I love growing up I dreamed of being able to play with. I dreamed of, you know, filling Jack Bruce’s shoes in Cream, John Paul Jones‘ shoes in Led Zeppelin. Even Jack Casady’s shoes in the early Jefferson Airplane.”
“These guys were my heroes and their bands were awesome to me. I would have loved to play with any of them. Chris Squire in Yes, did I think I could play with them? Fuck no (laughs). But I would have loved to have given it a shot,” Geddy Lee said.
“3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds” is one of his favorite Jefferson Airplane songs
Talking with Guitar World back in 2020, Geddy Lee listed some songs that in his opinion shaped Rush’s sound. One of them were “3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds” that was released by Jefferson Airplane on their cllassic 1967 album “Surrealistic Pillow”. That was their second and most famous album, which had famous tracks like “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit”.
The Canadian musician said that is a great live record where the band took many risks and changed the arrangements. He also praised Casady, saying he was an underrated bassist. Especially because he has a very different bass tone from other American bass players from that era.