Rush

The Legendary Canadian Rock Band

Geddy Lee

Geddy Lee
Geddy Lee

Geddy Lee Weinrib, (born Gary Lee Weinrib; July 29, 1953), known professionally as Geddy Lee, is a Canadian musician, singer, and songwriter best known as the lead vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist for the Canadian rock group Rush. Lee joined what would become Rush in September 1968, at the request of his childhood friend Alex Lifeson, replacing original bassist and frontman Jeff Jones. Lee's first solo effort, My Favourite Headache, was released in 2000.

An award-winning musician, Lee's style, technique, and skill on the bass guitar have inspired many rock musicians such as Cliff Burton of Metallica, Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, John Myung of Dream Theater, and Les Claypool of Primus. Along with his Rush bandmates – guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart – Lee was made an Officer of the Order of Canada on May 9, 1996. The trio was the first rock band to be so honoured, as a group. Lee is ranked 13th by Hit Parader on their list of the 100 Greatest Heavy Metal vocalists of all time.

Like Cream, Rush followed the model of a "power trio," with Lee both playing bass and singing. Lee's vocals produced a distinctive, "countertenor" falsetto, and resonant sound. Lee possessed a three-octave vocal range, from baritone through tenor, alto, and mezzo-soprano pitch ranges, although it has significantly decreased with age. Lee's playing style is widely regarded for his use of high treble and very hard playing of the strings, and for utilizing the bass as a lead instrument, often contrapuntal to Lifeson's guitar. In the 1970s and early 1980s, Lee mostly used a Rickenbacker 4001 bass, with a very noticeable grit in his tone. During the band's "synth era" in the mid-1980s, Lee used Steinberger and later Wal basses, with the latter having more of a "jazzy" tone, according to Lee. From 1993's Counterparts onward, Lee began using the Fender Jazz Bass almost exclusively, returning to his trademark high treble sound. Lee had first used the Jazz Bass during the recording of Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures, on songs such as "Tom Sawyer."

Lee married Nancy Young in 1976. They have a son, Julian, and a daughter, Kyla. He is an avid wine collector, with a collection of 5,000 bottles. He takes annual trips to France, where he indulges in cheese and fine wine. In 2011, a charitable foundation he supports, Grapes for Humanity, created the Geddy Lee Scholarship for students of winemaking at Niagara College.