UPDATE - 7/29@9:46PM: Ultimate Classic Rock put together a nice article detailing the events surrounding Neil Peart's joining of Rush, including some relevant past interview snippets with the band. And Rush.com sent out a newsletter commemorating both events (Geddy's birthday and Neil Peart's 40th anniversary), complete with details on some new swag from the Rush Backstage Club to celebrate.
On this day back in 1953, our favorite singer/bassist - Gary Lee Weinrib (aka Geddy Lee) - was born in Willowdale, Toronto. That makes Geddy 61 years young today! Not only is today Geddy's birthday, but it also marks the 40th anniversary of one of the most important events in Rush history; 40 years ago on July 29th, 1974, Neil Peart joined Rush, replacing original drummer John Rutsey. He's been the new guy in the band ever since. The day after Neil joined the band Rush bought equipment for their first tour at Long and McQuade Music in Toronto, including Geddy's black Rickenbacker, Alex's Gibson Les Paul Deluxe and Neil's Slingerland kit (aka Chromey)... and the rest - as they say - is history. Happy birthday Geddy! And happy 40th anniversary to the new guy!