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The guitarist that Geddy Lee said is his favorite of all time

Geddy Lee
Images from House of Strombo and Andrew “Stu” Stuart


The guitarist that Geddy Lee said is his favorite of all time

The Rush vocalist, bassist and keyboardist Geddy Lee grew up in Canada and was lucky enough to have seen many legendary groups performing live there during the 60s and early 70s. Those shows were crucial to inspire him to become a professional musician, that would later form one of the biggest Rock and Roll bands of all time.


Alongside Alex Lifeson and John Rutsey, he made their self-titled debut album in 1974, which gave them a good career start. But it was after the drummer Neil Peart, who would become their main lyricist, joined the group that they would really reach superstardom.

Over the decades, Geddy Lee had the chance to watch many other incredible artists playing and meet many of his heroes. He even revealed once, which guitarist he thinks it’s the best of all time.

The guitarist that Geddy Lee said is his favorite of all time

When Rock and Roll music evolved fast in the 60s, Geddy Lee was still a teenager dreaming about one day being on the stage playing for thousands of fans. Although he became a singer, bassist and keyboardist, the musician also admires the guitarists. He revealed in an interview with Guitar World in 2009, which one he thinks is the best of all time.

He was asked to list the songs that shaped Rush’s sound and one of them was Jeff Beck‘s “Superstitious”. “If I had to pick a favorite guitarist of all time, it would probably be Jeff Beck. I mean, was there a better guitar sound ever?”

“I think this was the first great Jeff Beck ‘moment.’ The first time when you’d hear something and know that it couldn’t be anybody but him. He was such an amazing pioneer. Just an incredible stylist. The notes he squeezes out of that thing with a whammy bar, a volume control knob and his fingers are simply incredible,” Geddy Lee said.

He is a big The Yardbirds fan and saw Jeff Beck playing live not long before his death

The British groups from the 60s were a huge influence for Geddy Lee and his bandmates when they were still finding Rush’s sound. One of those bands were The Yardbirds, which had Jeff Beck as one their guitarist from 1965 to 1966.

In the same conversation with Guitar World, Lee pointd that the Yardbirds track “Over Under Sideways Down” was also another that helped Rush to find their sound. “Jeff Beck again, playing one of the most unique guitar lines ever. It’s really hard to play that thing. It manages to grab something essential from the Eastern quarter-tone style without just being imitative of Indian music,” Geddy Lee said.

Rush ended up paying their tribute to The Yarbirds in 2004 on their covers album “Feedback”. They covered the famous tracks “Heart Full of Soul” and “Shapes of Things”. Both of them originally featured Jeff Beck on guitar.

The Rush frontman also was lucky to have seen Jeff Beck performing live just a few years before his passing. He recalled that moment in an interview with Premier Guitar back in 2019, when he praised Beck’s bassist Rhonda Smith.

“I saw Jeff Beck this summer and Rhonda Smith is such a monster player. I love seeing that shift in the culture to more women being represented,” Geddy Lee said.

Lee said that Jeff Beck blew his mind

Jeff Beck was really important for Geddy Lee’s career as one of his biggest inspirations. That can be seen in the special message that the Rush frontman posted on his social networks after Beck’s passing. The British guitarist died at the age of 78, on January, 2023, victim of bacterial meningitis.

“Absolutely stunned by the heartbreaking news of Jeff Beck’s sudden passing. This pinnacle album was a game changer for us all. He was my personal favourite guitarist, someone who truly blew my mind from then ‘til now. RIP Jeff,” Geddy Lee said.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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