Rush Frontman Geddy Lee Thrilled By Rock Hall Induction

By Jane Stevenson, Toronto Sun, April 16, 2013

The only ones not outraged it's taken this long for Rush to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

The band members themselves.

"It's not anything I gave very much weight (to) in my life because it's one of those things that you have no control over," Geddy Lee says ahead of the veteran Canadian prog-rock group's induction Thursday.

"So I really put it out of my mind."

That said, when Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart learned they'd been voted into the class of 2013 after four decades as a group, they were "of course, pleased.

"It's a really nice feeling," Lee says. "It's an honour. There's some terrific musicians in the Hall of Fame and, I suppose, as time goes on more great musicians will be inducted. And so it's kind of a nice pat on the back and we're quite happy to received it."

Other 2013 inductees include Heart, Randy Newman, Public Enemy, the late disco queen Donna Summer and the late blues guitarist Albert King, as well as producers Lou Adler and Quincy Jones, the latter two recipients of the Ahmet Ertegun Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The ceremony, set to take place at L.A.'s Nokia Theatre, will be broadcast on HBO Canada May 18.

Aside from Heart -- Lee had lunch with guitarist Nancy Wilson recently in L.A. -- they don't know the other inductees who are all expected to jam at the end of the show.

"I wouldn't say I know them well but I feel like I know them well," says Lee of Heart.

"We did some gigs many years ago together in the northwestern U.S.A. of the midwest, I could be mistaken, and we always got along. And because they did so many gigs in Canada in their early days, we kind of felt like we were of the same vintage."

Rush will only perform a couple of songs Thursday. The tunes are being kept a secret although Lee admits "it's probably pretty obvious what songs we'll play."

Inducting them will be Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins. Rush chose them from a range of potential candidates.

"Dave and Taylor are people we respect a lot and we know them and it makes it more comfortable for us, so I feel fortunate that we have them to induct us. What you see is what you get with those guys and they love music and Taylor is a huge Rush fan and so for him he's just totally psyched to do this and it'll make it a much nicer evening because of that."

In the meantime, after a four-month break in their Clockwork Angels tour -- which will resume April 23 in the U.S. before returning to Canada in July -- Lee says they have been rehearsing, "to get your stamina back up for a three hour show."

"Your fingers get a little soft. When (drummer) Neil (Peart) takes months off, it's like starting from scratch to get his body back into shape for that kind of outing."

Rush is also up for two Juno nominations Sunday night -- best group and best rock album for Clockwork Angels -- but they won't be attending because of the tour.

"Usually, we go to the Junos when they're home (in Toronto)," Lee says. "It just really depends on the schedule. We haven't gone to one of the Junos in another city, but usually that's because we're touring or recording."