And The Bands Played On

By Will Fifield, Costco Connection, September 2011

When you hear a song you grew up with, it can magically whisk you back to the period you associate with the song. Based on their sales figures and decades of heavy rotation on radio stations all over the world, Rush, The Who and The Moody Blues-bands that have been writing songs since the 1960s-are collectively responsible for loads of this sort of time travel. The Connection recently spoke with members of these three iconic bands [webmaster note: interviews with Rodger Daltry of The Who and John Lodge and Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues were also included].


Members: Geddy Lee, lead vocals and bass; Alex Lifeson, guitar; Neil Peart, drums and band?s lyricist
Place of origin: Toronto, Ontario, 1968
Career sales: 25 million in certified sales; 3 multi-platinum, 11 platinum and 10 gold records
Member interviewed: Geddy Lee

You're Rush's main vocalist and bass player, but you also play keyboards, control sequencers and work bass pedals with your feet. Given the technical mastery all those duties require and the sheer difficulty of it all, have you ever thought about bringing in other musicians to share some of your workload?

Oh yeah [laughs], I used to bring it up at the beginning of every tour because there were times when it felt quite daunting to have to deal with all the electronic apparatus when I really just wanted to sing and play bass. So, yeah, I've had to wrestle with that question quite often. But, in the end, we're quite a tight unit, the three of us. And we just kind of figure that our fans would rather see us up there with our technology rather than see us fill up the stage with sidemen. We opted to go the difficult route. But I did get them [guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart] to share some of the sequencing responsibilities. So that helps a bit.

Even just singing and playing bass is very difficult for most musicians. Was that a trick for you in the beginning?

Yeah, especially on some of our songs. Sometimes you write a song that has a really cool riff, and then you write the melody later, and record it separately. Then when you go to rehearse it, you go, "How do I do this?" because one part has very little in common with the other part. It's hard to get your brain kind of split your brain in two, and, if you practice it enough, it starts to come naturally. Sometimes you have to compromise a bass part a tiny bit to let it fit more comfortably into your brain pattern, but generally I've found it's like Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000-hour rule [Author Malcom Gladwell says that the best way to achieve success in any field is to spend 10,000 hours honing your craft]. Just keep playing it, [and you will] eventually get it.

Guitar And Litho Giveaway

Costco has one Fender Geddy Lee BassŪ guitar to give away. For a chance to win, email your name, address and daytime phone number to, with "Fender Geddy Lee Bass" in the subject line. Or, mail a Geddy Lee Bass, The Costco Connection, P.O. Box 34088, Seattle, WA 98124-1088. Value is $1,399.99.

Costco also has one framed, numbered 2011 limited edition Moving Pictures Litho signed by each member of Rush to give away. For a chance to win, email your name, address and daytime phone number to, with "Moving Pictures Litho" in the subject line. Or, mail a postcard or letter to: Moving Pictures Litho, The Costco Connection, P.O. Box 34088, Seattle, WA 98124-1088. Value is $160.00.

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. One winner will be chosen for each item. Purchase will not improve odds of winning. Sweepstakes is sponsored by Universal Music Enterprises, 2220 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404. Open to legal residents of the U.S. (except Puerto Rico) who are age 18 or older at the time of entry. One entry per household per prize. Entries must be received by October 1, 2011. Winners will be randomly selected and noti ed by mail on or before November 1, 2011. Void where pro hibited. Winners are responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Employees of Costco or Universal Music Enterprises and their families are not eligible.