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

Geddy Lee
Images from AXS TV and @richsibbald


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

Born in North York, Ontario, Canada in 1953, Geddy Lee discovered his love for music at young age and was lucky enough to have seen many incredible bands in concert when he was still a teenager.


Those experiences were crucial to give him the motivation to learn how to play and eventually sing. He joined Rush in 1968, right after the band was formed by guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer John Rutsey, replacing the original bassist and vocalist Jeff Jones.

Over the years Geddy Lee often appears on lists from the best bassists of all time but he is also known for his powerful vocals that gave Rush a unique sound and range. Before finding his own style, the musician was influenced by countless artists and he even revealed who is his favorite singer of all time.

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

Since the so called “British Invasion” happened in the 60s, when bands from the United Kingdom started to be successful around the world, one of the biggest markets for them was the United States. But most part of the groups also included some dates in Canada, what made possible for Geddy Lee to see some of his favorite British bands when he was still a teenager. One of those groups was the legendary Progressive Rock band Yes, which had Jon Anderson on vocals, that as Geddy Lee revealed in an interview with Classic Rock in 2020, is his favorite singer.

“Jon Anderson had such a clear, beautiful voice that could be rock when it needed to be. (Als0) soulful when it needed to be. As a young aspiring musician, I wanted to sing like that,” Geddy Lee said.

Jon Anderson is 11 years older than Geddy and started his musical career in 1963. He helped to form Yes in London back in 1968 and remained a member of the band until 1980. Returning from 1983 to 1988, 1990 to 2004 and in 2008. He left the band in 2008 and since then the group have recorded and toured with Benoit David (2008 to 2012) and Jon Davidson, who is the band’s vocalist since 2012.

It was the only band that Geddy Lee said he waited in line all night to buy a ticket

Every music fan has done crazy things to see their favorite bands and as Geddy Lee revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone in 2020, Yes was the only band that made him wait in line all night to buy a concert ticket. He managed to see them two times in the same week.

“The first time Yes came to Toronto, my friend Oscar and Alex and myself, we lined up at Maple Leaf Gardens all night to get tickets. We ended up with second-row seats. I’ll never forget that. We drove out. I think it was that same week, they were also playing in Kitchener, Ontario. (We) saw them out there as well. They still are the only band I’ve lined up all night to see!” Geddy Lee said.

That show happened on October 31, 1972 and Geddy was only 19. The setlist of that concert was:

  1. Siberian Khatru
  2. I’ve Seen All Good People
  3. Mood for a Day
  4. Clap
  5. And You and I
  6. Heart of the Sunrise
  7. Close to the Edge
  8. Keyboard Solo
  9. Roundabout
  10. Yours Is No Disgrace

He inducted Yes into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

In 2017, Geddy Lee was fortunate enough to have inducted, algonside his childhood friend and bandmate Alex Lifeson, Yes into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

At that night, the Rush frontman performed with the group a few songs. He replaced the legendary bassist Chris Squire, who had passed away in 2015 at the age of 67. They performed the classics “Roundabout” and “Owner Of a Lonely Heart”.

In his speech, the musician recalled once again how difficult it was to wait in line to buy the tickets to see Yes. “It was a crisp night in 1972 when Oscar and myself and this guy, Alex, wind up over night, around the block in what was Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens to finally see this Yes live for ourselves.”

Geddy Lee continued:

“The sky was a high dome of stars, and as I recall. Alex kept us going by skipping to the store and bringing back honeydew drinks. I could close my eyes now and I’m back there. Intellectually, visually, viscerally sitting in row 10. It was like nothing I’d ever seen or experienced before. It was actually profound.”

“It’s not overstating things to say it changed the way I played and listened to music forever. So here we are, decades later. The music of Yes is still showing me that music truly is a continuum. On behalf of Oscar, my good friend and Alex’s Leo, who is not here tonight, Alex and myself, I say thank you,” 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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