Rush

There is no more democratic band in rock than Rush . They have always divided up various responsibilities equally among the three members , including doing interviews . Therefore , album after album and tour after tour it would be one bandmember’s turn to “meet the press” . While Rush has always been graciously accessible , I must confess that never was more than one member ever made available .

By the time this session occurred I had already interviewed Rush bass guitarist/singer Geddy Lee twice , so I was reasonably confident on what to expect . Regarding his earliest recollections of music while growing up  , imagine my shock when Lee (family name Weinrib) matter-of-factly answered  my first question   by replying ,” I came from a family of immigrants , basically . My parents survived the Holocaust in Poland , and then married after the war and moved to Canada . I was basically brought up in a household that had survived turbulent times , to say the least , so there was a total rebuilding in a new country , in a new culture , & trying to adapt . Music wasn’t a prevalent and over-riding thing in our family . Both of my parents have a number tattooed on their wrists from the concentration camp . ”

I was stunned . There was nothing in any rock reference book or band biography to prepare me for this revelation . The enormity of what Geddy was saying , in a measured but sober tone , left me speechless for several minutes , although it felt like an eternity before I regained my composure . Everything I had prepared to ask Lee about Rush’s breakthrough 1981 album Moving Pictures suddenly seemed so trivial , so shallow and inconsequential . Since then I have tried to keep some perspective on the relative importance of this rock’n’roll game in the search for real truth , not just the bone but the marrow of this  life .

-Redbeard