In the time since his legendary band Rush called it quits in 2018 and the passing of his lifelong friend and drummer, Neil Peart, in 2020, Geddy Lee has experienced a lot of life away from his familiar routine of touring the globe and recording in studios. But that's not to say he hasn't been keeping busy in his time away from music. In 2018 he released his book, Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book Of Bass, which showcases both his personal collection of instruments and his immense love of the 4-string.
Today, Lee has revealed that he has been working on a different kind of book with the announcement of his personal memoir that he has been penning since the start of the pandemic. Slated for release sometime in 2022 by HarperCollins, Lee found inspiration for the book in the wake of Peart's death.
Geddy explains: So, how did I kill time during the pandemic? Little did I know that as of March 2020 I'd be locked down for over a year and a half—the longest time I'd spent in Toronto since I was nineteen and hit the Northern Ontario bar circuit with Rush.
Although Nancy and I had to cancel a bunch of adventures we'd been planning, there were some shiny silver linings to be found at home: teaching my grandson the finer points of baseball and birdwatching, tending to my pups (one of whom was quite ill) and spending the evenings with my lovely better half, glass of Armagnac in hand, as we watched every European mystery show ever produced. Oh, and another thing: I began to write. Words, that is.
My friend and collaborator on the Big Beautiful Book of Bass, Daniel Richler, saw how I was struggling in the aftermath of Neil's passing, and tried coaxing me out of my blues with some funny tales from his youth, daring me to share my own in return. So I did—reluctantly at first, but then remembering, oh yeah, I like wrestling with words. It's a less physical version of arguing with musical notes, without a Ricky doubleneck breaking my back! And soon my baby-step stories were becoming grownup chapters. Being the nuclear obsessive that I am, I'd write and re-write them, reassessing perspectives in the narrative not just by scouring my memory banks but my diaries and piles of photo albums too. I was piecing together a mystery of a different kind.
I'd then send these improved and even illustrated stories to Daniel, who'd clean up some of the grammar and remove a lot of the swearing (I love to fucking swear), and presto! In a voice that sounded, well, just like me, a presentable, epic-length account of my life on and off the stage was taking shape: my childhood, my family, the story of my parents' survival, my travels and all sorts of nonsense I've spent too much time obsessing over. And Daniel said, "I think you're writing a book. An actual memoir, in fact." To which I replied, “Hmm… I guess I am.”
I'm rounding third on this as-of-yet untitled memoir, which will be published by HarperCollins, edited by Noah Eaker, and is scheduled for release in Fall 2022.
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