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Happy 60th Birthday Geddy Lee
July 29, 2013
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Geddy Lee at his band's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, April 18, 2013 (Photo: AP)

One of rock's greatest bass players - and a giant of Canadian music - turns 60 today.

Happy birthday to Geddy Lee, who has helped define rock and roll in his over 40 years as the frontman of Rush.

Lee was born Gary Lee Weinrib on July 29, 1953. There's a great story behind his decision to change his first name from Gary to Geddy.

His mother Mary has a Polish accent, and whenever she called her son's name, it came out "Geddy."

When Lee was 12, one of his friends started calling him "Geddy" too - and it caught on. He's officially no longer named Gary: he legally changed his name years ago.

Time Stand Still from Hold Your Fire (1987)

Rush started in Willowdale, Ontario in August 1968, when Lee teamed up with guitarist Alex Lifeson and original drummer John Rutsey.

The band's current line-up came together in 1974 when Neil Peart replaced Rutsey just two weeks before the group's first U.S. tour.

'Closer To The Heart' from A Farewell to Kings (1977)

To date, Rush has released 20 studio albums, and developed a dedicated, loyal fan base.

Not everyone's into the band, though: Lifeson once said about Rush, people "either love us or hate us."

But those who love them are serious about their fandom. In a 2008 article, Rolling Stone compared Rush fans to Trekkers.

Lee has received a lot of recognition for his abilities and musical contributions over the years. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1996, along with Lifeson and Peart; he's been named the Best Rock Bassist by Guitar Player magazine six times; and Rush was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.

And the band is still going strong. Check out this tune from their latest album Clockwork Angels:

'The Wreckers' from Clockwork Angels (2012)

In 2010, a documentary called 'Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage' was released. Check out the trailer below:

And for a little insight into one of Rush's classic albums, check out Neil Peart in the red chair talking about 1981's 'Moving Pictures' track-by-track with George.

Related:

Canadian Rock Icons Rush Are Finally Going Into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

2112 Comes Early: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Welcomes Rush, Public Enemy, And More Tonight

Legendary Canadian Band Rush Nominated For The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame; N.W.A., Public Enemy, Deep Purple On The List Too

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