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Geddy Lee Talks About Getting Fired From Rush In The Early Days

Rush
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Given that Rush has been around since 1968, with the current lineup having been in place since 1974, it would seem to the outsider that they’ve always been best mates. But that hasn’t always been the case. In a recent interview, bassist/singer Geddy Lee talks about how he was once fired from the band.

The dismissal happened before their recording career started, when they were a four-piece with original drummer John Rutsey and Lindy Young on piano. Shortly after Ray Danniels was hired to be their manager, he began asserting himself in all kinds of ways.

“Ray came along. He had no real reputation yet as a manager or anything,” Lee told Classic Rock. “He was just kind of an agent working in Toronto. “So he started directing the band and he just thought I wasn’t suitable, for whatever reasons he had. I don’t know whether it was the way I looked, or my religious background – who the f— knew? Anyway, he influenced them and they went along with it, Alex Lifeson and John Rutsey, and I was out.”

Obviously it all worked out in the end, but it’s also possible that Lee’s next move created a bit of jealousy that led to his re-hiring. “I started a blues band and I was, frankly speaking, doing better than they were,” he continued “Then I got a call from John and he said, ‘Can we get together?’ Basically, ‘Can you come back? We’re sorry.’”

Still, considering that Danniels is still their manager, maybe enough time and bad feelings have passed for Lee to ask him why he originally fired him all those years ago.

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