The multi-instrumentalist and singer Geddy Lee started his musical career at an early age in 1968 and six years later got a record deal to release Rush’s self-titled debut album, which was recorded alongside the guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer John Rutsey.
Throughout the decades, the Canadian band evolved and found a unique sound, especially when drummer Neil Peart joined the band and became their main lyricist. So the group sold millions of records worldwide and found a devoted fanbase that kept the band going for more than five decades.
Lee was inspired by many different bands when he was young but it was especially the British ones that caught his attention. He even said that a song from a group from England might have the best power chords of all time.
The song that Geddy Lee said it might have the best power chords of all time
One of the band that inspired the Rush frontman the most was The Who. Formed in London, England back in 1962 they are one of the most influential groups of all time. When the Canadian band released their debut album, The Who already was one of the biggest bands in the world. They had six albums released and just a few years before, “Who’s Next” (1971), which is one of their most famous records was released.
The North American market has always been really important for the bands that came from the United Kingdom. So they toured a lot in the United States and Canada. Geddy was lucky enough to have seen many incredible bands live when he was still a teenager and he saw The Who several times.
In an interview with Classic Rock in 2020 he talked about how much the group inspired him and even said that “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, from “Who’s Next” (1971), might have the best riff of all time.
“Maybe the greatest power chords ever recorded. Who invented the power chord? Probably Pete.” During the same conversation he chose that groundbreaking Who album as the best of all time in his opinion.
But he loved everything about The Who, including, of course, the band’s bassist John Entwistle. He even chose him many times as one of his favorite bassists of all time. Geddy said that The Ox was one of his first Rock Gods. He got hooked when he heard “My Generation” for the first time.
He was starstruck when he first met Pete Townshend
Although Geddy is already a famous Rock Star for decades he only had the chance to meet the guitarist in 2012. It happened during an award ceremony in Canada. He recalled that in an interview with Classic Rock that The Who’s main songwriter would play with Des McAnuff that day.
“(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. (He) had come in to perform with Des McAnuff, who also won an Arts Award that evening.”
“After the gig we were invited to go down Pete’s dressing room and meet him. 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. (He is) 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 had the chance to pay tribute to The Who on their 2004 covers EP. Called “Feedback”, the record had many classic tracks, including The Who’s “The Seeker”.