Rush is a Band

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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Tue, Jul 23, 2024

Slapshot Diaries - Steve Shutt: Me and Geddy

Wed, May 6, 2015@4:06PM | comments

UPDATE - 5/7@12:07PM: Eric at the Power Windows reminded me that Alex Lifeson was also present at this concert, and met Mandala's guitarist Domenic Troiano. In a press release announcing the annual Domenic Troiano Guitar Awards a couple years ago Alex was quoted as saying:

On June 30, 1967, I saw the Mandala at the North York Centennial Arena. At the side of the stage Donny gave me his autograph and his Mandala button. He told me how important it was to keep practicing and if I worked hard, I might get the chance to stand on stage and play for people some day. I was beaming. He was my first real inspiration and to this day I have a deep love and admiration for a man who truly knew the meaning of soul. I am proud to be a humble part of his enduring influence.

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The Slapshot Diaries is a new website project from filmmaker Mike Downie and musician/author Dave Bidini in partnership with Toronto-based FUSE Marketing. The project was launched last month with the goal being to publish and preserve hockey stories as told by some of the game's greatest players. One of the stories featured on the site comes from former Canadian hockey player Steve Shutt, who was an integral part of the Montreal Canadiens team that won five Stanley Cups in the 1970s. Shutt also happened to go to Fisherville Junior High in Willowdale with Geddy Lee, and tells a story about when he and Geddy went to their first really big rock show at North York Centennial Arena featuring the Toronto bands The Mandala and The Paupers when they were 14:

... ["The Paupers" had] a sound: the fuzz bass played by Denny Gerrard. Me and Geddy looked at each other and decided right then that we were going to play bass, too. ... That week, we begged, borrowed and maybe stole money to buy our own bass guitars and two small amps. ... After a couple of weeks, I thought I was getting the hang of playing and sounding pretty good, so I went over to Geddy's house to show him. ... I got out my bass out and said "Okay, let's do some scales." Geddy looked at me and said, "Um, I can't do scales." My confidence started to rise. "I'll show you," I told him. "Just follow me." Maybe I did have some talent. Geddy said, "Wait, before we do that, let's listen to this record." I told him that would be fine. The record started on the cheap portable player and he said, "Listen, can you hear the bass?" Then he said, "Look at this," and started playing. His bass came alive. It pounded the speakers of the 12″ amp and sounded great. I didn't know if he was copying the record or not because I couldn't even hear the bass on the record. He did the same thing on the next song and the next one after that. I went home and put my bass away and I don't think that I ever picked it up again. I guess, looking back, it would have been tough for anyone to compare with the best bass guitar player in the world. I think that both of us made the right decision. ...

You can read the entire story online here (thanks Skip D).