“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 19 and hit the Northern Ontario bar circuit with Rush,” Lee wrote. Noting his other recent activities, like teaching his grandson “the finer points of baseball and birdwatching” and watching “every European mystery show ever produced,” he added: “I began to write. Words, that is.”
Lee credits Daniel Richler, his collaborator on the 2018 tome Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Book of Bass, with sparking the initial backward glancing. Richler, he wrote, “saw how I was struggling in the aftermath of [former bandmate Neil Peart’s 2020] passing, and tried coaxing me out of my blues with some funny tales from his youth, daring me to share my own in return.”
That process led to “obsessive” writing and rewriting, with Lee scouring his memory, along with diaries and “piles” of photo albums. Using Richler’s guidance on grammar and swearing (“I love to fucking swear”), he created a narrative that chronicled “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,’” Lee added. “To which I replied, “Hmm … I guess I am.”
While Lee has yet to announce any new music following Rush’s final tour in 2015, he reportedly collaborated with Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson on what the latter recently called a “super-secret project.”
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