Monday August 14, 2017

'I have so many memories there': how Geddy Lee and Rush created their own world at Le Studio

Rush lead singer Geddy Lee at Le Studio in an undated photo. Rush recorded several albums and a few music videos at the Morin Heights studio.

Rush lead singer Geddy Lee at Le Studio in an undated photo. Rush recorded several albums and a few music videos at the Morin Heights studio. (André Perry Studios)

Listen 14:47

Only a few days ago, fire destroyed a piece of music history. 

The famous Le Studio in Morin Heights had been abandoned for about a decade and it had fallen into a state of disrepair, with smashed windows, graffiti on the walls and trash strewn around. But, on Friday morning, the historic studio was eradicated by a fire. Reports say investigators said there were signs that pointed to arson.

It appears to be a sad ending for a place that was once full of music and creativity. If you were a major artist in the '70s and '80s, Le Studio was the place to be. The list included Canadians like April Wine, Bryan Adams, the McGarrigles, Barenaked Ladies, David Bowie, The Bee Gees and Keith Richards — they all recorded there. But one Canadian group really called Le Studio home: Rush. 

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Rush recording their album Permanent Waves at Le Studio in October 1979. The building, which hasn't been occupied in some time, is now in a state of significant disrepair. (Fin Costello/Redferns)

Today, singer Geddy Lee opens up about his many years spent recording at Le Studio with his band and the memories he has of playing music, enjoying games of volleyball and the time bandmate Alex Lifeson lost a remote controlled airplane in the beautiful Laurentians. 

"I have so many memories there," Lee remembers. "The first time my wife found out she was pregnant with our first child, I was doing a record there in the small studio [...] Not only musical events transpired there, but profound moments of my life happened while I was there." 

— Produced by Ben Jamieson