Geddy Lee recently had a conversation on The Strombo Show, shedding light on Rush’s trajectory after he was ousted during their early years.
When Ray Danniels took over as Rush’s manager in the early ’70s, Lee was removed from the lineup. Explaining why he didn’t hold Alex Lifeson accountable for the matter, the bassist shared:
“Well, I love Alex. I loved him then, and I loved his playing, and we were really good together as players. And I didn’t really blame him. I never really thought he had much to do with it, even though I put him on the spot and asked him point blank when I was writing the book.”
In ‘My Effin’ Life,’ Geddy Lee disclosed that Lifeson didn’t resist Danniels’ decision. Recalling a light-hearted confrontation with his friend about it, Lee mentioned:
“He was quite embarrassed. He wouldn’t look me in the eye for a few minutes. But I just never blamed him, and I know it was others that were conspiring to get me out of that band. So, it is what it is.”
Rush’s Performance Took a Downturn After His Exit
After Lee’s departure, Joe Perna stepped in as his replacement, and the band was briefly renamed Hadrian. Despite playing several shows, the new lineup struggled, as the new bassist couldn’t keep up with the others. This prompted Geddy Lee’s return to the lineup:
“Then, I went on, and I had confidence because within a few days, I had hooked up with new musicians, and we were working more than the new Rush was. And the new Rush were terrible. So, I had great comfort in that fact. Then, John [Rutsey] called me and asked me back; I said, ‘Yeah, sure. I’ll do that.’”
Lee Felt Hurt by the Decision to Let Him Go
Although Geddy Lee eventually rejoined Rush, he remembered those times with distaste. In a conversation with the ‘Rolling Music Now’ podcast, the bassist criticized those responsible for his firing:
“Whoever’s idea it was, the way they all went about it was deceitful and frankly chickenshit, and I was shocked and hurt. Still, I didn’t want to sit around and feel sorry for myself, so I said to myself, ‘F**k them,’ and resolved to start a band of my own. I’ve always pictured myself as a mousy kid, blowing with the wind and following the crowd, but the mysteries revealed when going back in time to write this book are, well, revelatory!”
Following Lee’s return, Rush continued making music for decades until their breakup in 2015. After Neil Peart’s passing, they announced the definitive end of the band, but the bassist expressed interest in reuniting with Lifeson for new projects.