CBC Digital Archives

Geddy Lee on Rush's 'bonus years'

Gordon Lightfoot, Celine Dion, Oscar Peterson, Sam Roberts, Anne Murray, The Barenaked Ladies. What do these artists all have in common? They've all won Juno Awards. Since 1970, the Junos have been held each year to celebrate excellence in Canadian music. In honour of the annual ceremony, the CBC Digital Archives has pulled together a diverse collection of radio and TV clips that shine the spotlight on some notable past Juno winners.

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In 1997, Rush is one of Canada's most successful bands, selling some 35 million albums worldwide over a career spanning nearly three decades. In February that year, the trio - drummer Neil Peart, guitarist Alex Lifeson and vocalist/bassist Geddy Lee - receives one of the country's highest honours when they are invested as officers of the Order of Canada. In this CBC-TV interview, Lee says that given how long the band's been around, he considers Rush to be in its "bonus years." Performing, he adds, is still his favourite part of the job.
• Rush was founded in Willowdale, Ont., a suburb of Toronto, in 1968. Drummer Neil Peart joined in 1974, replacing John Rutsey shortly before Rush's first U.S. tour.

• Geddy Lee was born Gary Lee Weinrib. However, his mother - a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to Canada - pronounced her son's name as Geddy, and it stuck.

• Rush's music is most often described as "progressive rock." In 2005 Entertainment Weekly magazine (noting that Lee "sings like a duck from planet Zerfnog") voted the band's 1981 album Moving Pictures second in a list of five essential prog-rock albums.  

• In 1975 Rush won a Juno Award as best new band. They have won six Junos in total, and in 1994 were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

• Lee is a devoted fan of the Toronto Blue Jays and can often be seen in his seat behind home plate during televised games.  

Medium: Television
Program: Midday
Broadcast Date: Feb. 26, 1997
Guest(s): Geddy Lee
Reporter: Brent Bambury
Duration: 6:20

Last updated: May 6, 2014

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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