Top 10 Countdown “The Singing Bassist” – # 3 (Geddy Lee)

Geddy Lee (Rush)

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Sometimes talent needs a little time in the bottle.  Exhibit A is Geddy Lee. Early in his career,  Geddy Lee troubled the world with his shrieking, ‘trannie witch of the north’ shtick.  However as time wore on, his voice calmed down and his bass playing developed by leaps and bounds. Lee added keyboards to his studio and onstage to-do list as well. A typical Rush concert will find Lee playing ridiculously complicated bass parts against Neal Peart’s ridiculously complicated drum parts while playing keyboards and bass pedals against his own lead vocal.  Lee carries the workload of three musicians and has led Rush to become one of the elite Progressive Rock units in history. They will be inducted into the R&R Hall of fame this year. An honor long overdue…

For some musicians, Rush falls into the category of guilty pleasure. I routinely find myself on the defensive in my circle of musician friends who still remember the band’s  more excessive and prosaic moments early in their career. However, Rush has compiled a body of quality work that is truly impressive and self evident. For that reason, I have chosen one of their more restrained and nuanced pieces, “Dreamline”. It’s a deep cut from their fine album “Roll The Bones”.  Bass purists will be happy to see that Lee is a “finger” player.  Lee also uses harmonizers to add an orchestral aspect to the Rush ‘power trio’ format.  If  your  wondering what the washing machines are all about, it’s interesting to note that Lee eschews onstage amplification in favor of direct input into the house P.A. The washing machines are just props to add some humor to Rush’s stage presentation.

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