Rush is a Band

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Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Wed, May 31, 2023

Geddy Lee on how Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant helped save Rush in the late '90s in new Classic Rock interview

Sat, May 22, 2021@10:23AM | comments

UPDATE - 5/26@9:22AM: Classic Rock has also posted most of the article online here (thanks RushFanForever).

UPDATE - 5/25@12:43PM: John at has transcribed the entire Geddy Lee interview and made it available online here. Geddy talks about the first time he saw Led Zeppelin live, shares his thought on each of Led Zeppelin IV's 8 tracks, and describes Zep's influence on Rush:

... They were a huge, huge influence on us. We wanted to be them instantly. But their stuff was hard to play. We tried a number of Zeppelin songs when we played in the bars, but we felt we couldn't pull them off. We did have Livin' Lovin' Maid in our set for a while though. ...

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The latest edition of Classic Rock magazine (issue #289) is a special issue celebrating the 50th anniversary of the classic Led Zeppelin IV album. The issue includes an interview with Geddy Lee where he talks about the influence Zeppelin had on Rush, and one incident in particular where Robert Plant helped pull Rush from the abyss following Neil Peart's personal tragedies in the late '90s:

... Following the death of drummer Neil Peart's 19-year-old daughter Selena in a road accident in August 1997, Rush took an extended hiatus from the music business, with none of the trio - vocalist/bassist Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and Peart - sure whether they'd ever share a stage again. ... Lee says that a phone call from one of the trio's long-time heroes, former Led Zeppelin frontman Plant, helped drag the musicians out of the darkness.

"Page & Plant were touring [1998 album] Walking Into Clarksdale and they came to Toronto," recalls Lee, referencing the Zeppelin duo's July 4, 1998 appearance at the city's Molson Amphitheatre. "Someone kept calling our office saying they were Robert Plant and they needed to speak to me. No one believed it, but turns out it was him."

"We were on hiatus after Selena [Neil's Peart's daughter] had passed away and we were not in a good place. I called Robert back, and he wanted us to come to the show, and I was pretty down in the dumps at that point. And he said, 'No, come to the show, we'll talk.' He understood what was going on with the band. I remember him saying: 'You've got to re-join life, and sooner is better than later. So get your ass down here.' So I called Alex up and said we're going to see Page & Plant."

"And they were totally awesome. They were so nice. There's nothing better than meeting someone you admire for so many years and so many reasons and finding out they're true gents." ...

You can read more of Classic Rock's interview with Geddy in the new issue of Classic Rock magazine which is available to pre-order online here, and view a 12-page sampler of the magazine at this location. Thanks to RushFanForever for the heads up.