Rush is a Band

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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Mon, Dec 9, 2019

Geddy Lee credited on Heart's Death Valley from Red Velvet Car

Sat, Sep 11, 2010@10:33AM | comments

UPDATE - 9/16@9:35PM: Thanks to RushFanForever the mystery has been solved. He emailed sound engineer David Leonard and received the following response:

I am not sure what "whistle" Geddy is credited for. I don't recall any whistle on "Death Valley", however there was a sample on "WTF" that I dubbed the steam whistle because that is what it sounded like to me. I will forward your email with this question to Ben. Thanks for your enthusiasm.

Mr. Leonard then emailed Ben Mink and relayed this back to RushFanForever:

I just heard back from Mr. Mink. Kudos to you for picking up on an inside joke between Ben and Nancy Wilson. Ben says "Nancy (Wilson) heard some hi pitched thing in "Death Valley" and he (Ben) said "it's probably Geddy whistling". They gave Geddy credit. That's the story.

So there you have it. Geddy isn't actually on the track at all - it's just an inside joke. :)

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UPDATE - 9/13@2:02PM: Reader RushFanForever contacted the official Heart website and was informed that Geddy does indeed play an actual whistle on the track. Geddy's part was recorded with Ben Mink in Canada apart from the sessions with the Wilson sisters.

I mentioned this in yesterday's Friday updates post but thought it garnered a post of its own. Heart recently released a new album called Red Velvet Car which was produced and engineered by Ben Mink and David Leonard respectively, both of whom had the same credits on Geddy Lee's 2000 solo album My Favorite Headache. One of the tracks on the album is called Death Valley and the following appears in the credits: Geddy Lee - Whistle on 'Death Valley,' Mazel. The Mazel part simply means good luck or congratulations in Yiddish. Other musicians on the album also have their names listed with the instrument they performed on along with a phrase that represents who they are by heritage, character, and/or personality. After listening to the track there doesn't appear to be any kind of whistle on it, but there are a couple of parts of the song where it sounds like Geddy's voice can be heard in the backing vocals. This has led to some speculation that the whistle may refer to the whistle register, and that Geddy is actually contributing to the backing vocal track. Thanks to squeakywheel for the initial heads up, and to RushFanForever and hermy for the extra details.