Geddy Lee Celebrates His 70th Birthday Today!
Congratulations to Rush's frontman Geddy Lee who is celebrating his milestone 70th birthday today!
Geddy (born Gary Lee (Gershon Eliezer) Weinrib) was born in the North York neighbourhood of Willowdale, Toronto. As many fans know, his given first name "Gary" transformed into "Geddy" during his high school days thanks to his mother's heavily-accented pronunciation of his name.
Geddy began playing music in school when he was 10 or 11 and got his first acoustic guitar at 14. In school, he first played drums, trumpet and clarinet. However, learning to play instruments in school wasn't satisfying to Lee, and he took basic piano lessons independently. His interest increased dramatically after listening to some of the popular rock groups at the time. His early influences included Jack Bruce of Cream, John Entwistle of The Who, Jeff Beck, and Procol Harum.
"I was mainly interested in early British progressive rock", said Lee. "That's how I learned to play bass, emulating Jack Bruce and people like that."
Bruce's style of music was also noticed by Lee, who liked that "his sound was distinctive – it wasn't boring." Geddy has also been influenced by Paul McCartney, Chris Squire, and James Jamerson.
He turned his basement into practice space for a band he formed with high-school friends. After the band began earning income from small performances at high-school shows or other events, he decided to drop out of high school and play rock and roll professionally. In time, that decision would lead to the early formation of Rush with his partner-in-crime Alex Lifeson and their friend John Rutsey. The rest, as they say, is history.
In addition to his musical aspirations, some of Geddy's other interests include collecting fine wines, baseball, travel, ornithology and, more recently, becoming an author. His wine collection is rumored to include some 5,000 bottles and his love of baseball is well documented. In fact, it was ten years ago when Geddy threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the home opener for the Toronto Blue Jays - something he admittedly dreamed of doing for years.
Following the success of his book, Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass, which was released in 2019, Geddy turned his attention to writing an autobiography, announcing the effort back in 2021. Though it was originally delayed, the autobiography which he titled My Effin' Life is now scheduled to be released this November.
In addition to today being Geddy's birthday, this date also marks the 49th anniversary of the late Neil Peart officially joining the band, an event that would cement the rock trio that would go on to inspire the world for decades to come.
Please join me in congratulating Geddy on reaching his 70th birthday -- and wish him many, many more!
Pre-Order My Effin' Life Today!