Geddy Lee Brought His
My Effin' Life
Book Tour To
Geddy Lee Donna Halper
November 20, 2023
Rock and Roll hall of Famer and former bassist/vocalist of Rush, Geddy Lee made a stop at Playhouse Square for an interview and to tell stories from his autobiography My Effin' Life.
Everyone in attendance got a copy of his book as well as a program that included three stories that were cut from his book.
The interviewer was rock journalist Rob Tannenbaum, even though it was promoted as saying a "special guest Rock and Roll Hall of Famer" was going to be the special interviewer.
Before Lee and Tannenbaum took the stage, the show started off with a slideshow showing Geddy as a young boy growing up in Canada with his parents. It also included many pictures of the early days of Rush, however this show did have a Cleveland-centric slant as there were many images of Belkin Productions ad-mats and concert posters from the area where the band had played as well as photos of band members wearing WMMS t-shirts and sweatshirts.
Rob Tannenbaum came out and introduced Geddy to the audience. The two sat down and had an interview that felt much more like a casual conversation. The stage was a set up like a living room with comfy chairs and tables that were adorned with his book.
The first topic was about how Geddy's parents met at a work camp and then later were sent to Auschwitz. Lee said he felt compelled to have a chapter in his book about the Holocaust because it was a big part of his life listening to his mother's stories. He noted that his mother talked about her experience often, but his father never talked about his, having lost four brothers and a sister there. At the end of the segment Lee said, "Many of the eye witnesses are disappearing, so we have to tell their stories."
Geddy then talked about the early years of Rush and how they signed a record deal that they agreed to produce two records a year for five years. Later in the Q & A portion of the show, he noted that he should have never signed that contract.
A couple of times in the evening, Lee got choked up and had to pause when he was talking about his friend and former bandmate, Neil Peart who passed away in 2020. Fans could tell that is still a raw emotion for Geddy and he is still grieving. When asked shy he helped keep Peart's illness a secret, Lee agreed that it was tough to lie or try to change the subject whenever Peart was brought up, but he said, "that's what you do for a friend."
He also told the crowd that Peart listened to every Rush record towards the end of this life and Geddy said that Neil wanted he and Alex Lifeson to know that "he was very proud of the music we made" as Lee's voice trailed off recalling that touching moment.
Lee then read a chapter from the book about a wild adventure the he and Alex Lifeson had in a Manchester, England hotel in the mid 1970s.
There was an intermission that included a video of his new TV series where he interviews four other iconic bassists. There were some bits of two solo songs that were played to the crowed that Geddy later mentioned that will be released soon.
Lee returned to read another chapter from his book and then he brought out former WMMS DJ Donna Halper, who was one of the first people to play Rush in the US and helped break the band.
She was responsible for reading the Q&A questions that the audience members had previously submitted. We found out: Geddy's least favorite Rush album is Caress the Steel, he modeled his singing after Steve Marriott from Humble Pie, he would have liked to join Yes from the 1975 era, he would like to see Jethro Tull and King Crimson inducted into the Rock Hall, his favorite signed baseball is from Randy Johnson's 300th win, and yes, he does believe he and "my Serbian friend" (Lifeson) will be making mussic again.
Overall, it was a very entertaining and enlightening evening from a very humble bass player from the Great White North.
Review and cellphone pictures by Greg Drugan