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The Rock songwriter that Geddy Lee said is his favorite of all time


The Rock songwriter that Geddy Lee said is his favorite of all time

Born in Toronto, Canada in 1953, the legendary Rush vocalist, keyboardist and bassist Geddy Lee was a teenager when Rock and Roll music evolved with the so called British Invasion. He was heavily influenced by the sound of the British bands that were an important part of what he helped to create in Rush a few years later.


Over the years he had talked about many of his peers and even revealed who is his favorite Rock songwriter of all time. Rock and Roll Garage selected what the Geddy said about the artists over the decades.

The Rock songwriter that Geddy Lee said is his favorite of all time

Even though the Big British bands used to focus more in the United States when they were touring abroad in the late 60s and early 70s, many groups also used to play a few dates in Canada. So Geddy Lee had the chance to see live in concert when he was still a teenager many legendary bands like The Who.

The group that is one of his favorites, started in 1964 and continued to evolve their sound and lyrics, creating praised and successful albums especially in the 70s.

Even though Keith Moon, John Entwistle and Roger Daltrey were extremely important elements of the band, the main songwriter always was the guitarist Pete Townshend.

In an interview with Sirius XM Classic Vinyl Influences show (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) back in 2013, Geddy revealed that Townshend is his favorite Rock songwriter of all time. In that radio show, he chose the classic Who track “Magic Bus” to be played. He talked about the track and explained why he admires Townshend so much.

“I think most Rock bands today wouldn’t sound the way they sound without The Who. I think they are one of the most important bands to ever come out of England. Certainly in my career the most influential in terms of songwriting.”

Geddy Lee continued:

Pete Townshend still is my absolute favorite Rock songwriter . (Also the) most influential in terms of what a great Rock song should be. I’ve got the chance to see them a couple of times when I was younger. Roger Daltrey aside, that’s a three-piece band really, bass, drums, guitar and vocals. Love that band,” Geddy Lee said.

The story of when Geddy Lee met Pete Townshend face-to-face

Even though Rush achieved fame in the 70s and 80s, playing big concerts all over the world, Geddy Lee only had the chance to meet Pete Townshend in 2012. He told that story in an interview with Classic Rock just one week after they saw each other (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage).

“I was in Ottawa, Canada, the capital of Canada. We were receiving what’s called the Governor General’s Performing Arts award. It was a wonderful event. One of the surprise guests that night was Pete Townshend, who had come in to perform with Des McAnuff, who also won an Arts Award that evening.”

Geddy Lee continued:

“After the gig we were invited to go down Pete’s dressing room and meet him and I’ve never met him. Pete Townshend is one of my real, real heroes. I can honestly say I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you if he had not written those great songs for The Who.”

“They just inspired me to want to be the best writer I could be. So meeting him, I was a bit awestruck and he was great. Easy to talk to but in the back of my mind I was going ‘Holy crap, I’m meeting Pete Townshend’,” Geddy Lee said.

Rush used to play The Who during rehearsals in the early days

Geddy Lee wasn’t the only member of Rush who was a big The Who fan. He recalled in an interview with Guitar World in 2014 that he and Alex Lifeson used to play songs from the album “My Generation” when they were rehearsing in the early days.

“What an amazing guitar sound on this album! And Townshend even plays a few solos, which he usually never does. Was there anybody better at expressing themselves through power chords? I just loved that record. I (also) know Alex did, too. Every time we jammed as a young band we would wind up jamming parts of that record,” Geddy Lee said

Rush even ended up covering The Who song “The Seeker” on their 2004 covers album “Feedback”. They performed the track live in concert during their R30 tour, that celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2004.

Before performing the track live, he said (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage): “We’d like to do something a little different now. Before we started this tour we decided to record some songs that we loved when we were young musicians about a hundred years ago. So we would like to share with you some of that music tonight. This is a song by The Who called ‘The Seeker’,” 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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