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Geddy Lee Values Rush’s Friendships, Calls the Band a ‘Living Thing’

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Rush have spent more than 40 years charging restlessly ahead, but going out on the road for an anniversary tour is bound to put a fellow in a reflective mood — and Geddy Lee had plenty to look back on during his recent conversation with Fender.

The subject of the talk was “What Makes Rush So Unique?,” and while that’s a pretty big question, Lee and his interviewer zeroed in on a few key ingredients that have helped the band remain creatively vital for four decades and counting. For Lee, the most important one might be the friendships between the members of the trio.

“You spend 40 years with the same people and all of our heart and our sweat and our personalities goes into the music that we make. It’s also a friendship — a collaborative kind of club that we are doing this and this is our thing, together,” he explained. “It’s connected to the personalities, it’s connected to the human beings. It’s not something anyone can step into and it will be a thing.”

And although Rush endured a key lineup change early on, when drummer John Rutsey departed, Lee makes it clear that the band’s come too far to bring a new member into the club. “It is the thing that is dependent on the three people who are in the band,” he continued. “Were one to leave or not want to play anymore, you couldn’t just replace that person with some other person; it’s going to change the chemistry. It’s going to change the dynamics, and as such, it would be a different band.”

Whatever happens with the band after they wrap up what’s being billed as their last big-scale tour, Lee sees that chemistry staying potent: “Rush, as I see it, is as an identifiable living thing dependent and interdependent and connected to the three goofs that are in that band, and that’s how it will remain.”

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