National Music Centre launches Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Bass Exhibit at Studio Bell on May 26

April 29, 2019


Canadian bass icon Geddy. Lee. Photo credit: Richard Sibbald.

The National Music Centre (NMC) is pleased to announce Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Bass Exhibit at Studio Bell, highlighting a selection of rare and iconic bass guitars from one of rock’s most revered players.

Best known as the formidable frontman of Canadian rock band Rush, Lee has spent years collecting hundreds of vintage bass guitars—a passion which became the inspiration for Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Book of Bass. To celebrate the release of his new book, NMC is launching a feature exhibition at Studio Bell that will coincide with Lee’s cross-Canada book tour. For a full list of book tour dates, visit rush.com/geddylee. NMC will host an exclusive event with Geddy Lee that includes a special Q&A followed by a book signing on May 25 with exhibit opening to the public on May 26. Stay tuned for details on how to purchase May 25 event tickets.

Following the Geddy Lee Bass Exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Studio Bell is hosting the first Canadian exhibit of the artist’s bass guitars, with 26 instruments curated by Lee himself.

“The instruments featured at Studio Bell are a combination of rare vintage basses from the Golden Age of guitar production, as well as significant ones that I’ve used throughout my career. Basses that I’ve scoured the world to get my hands on,” said Geddy Lee. “This exhibition gives people a look into the origins and the earliest years of the instrument that helped shape popular music, and the ones that I’ve lovingly held in my hands for over 40 years as I developed a sound that I could call my own. It’s the largest display of basses from my personal collection ever and I’m excited to share this with my fans in Canada.”

Visitors will get an up-close look at some of Lee’s guitars from his four decades with Rush, as well as a selection of his historically significant and beautifully crafted collectors’ items. Exhibition highlights include Lee’s iconic Rickenbacker 4001, which appeared on numerous Rush recordings from the ‘70s and ‘80s; his signature 1972 Fender Jazz bass, heard on “Tom Sawyer” and many of Rush’s more recent recordings; a 1952 Fender Precision bass, an early example of the world’s first mass-produced electric bass; a 1961 Höfner “Cavern” bass, identical to Paul McCartney’s signature instrument used during the Beatles’ early days in Liverpool; and so many more rare and eccentric instruments from around the world.

“The National Music Centre is really excited to host this exclusive exhibition in celebration of Canada’s own bass icon, Geddy Lee,” said Andrew Mosker, NMC’s President and CEO. “This exhibition is a lesson on the beauty of the bass through the eyes of one of its greatest players, and this collaboration reinforces NMC as Canada’s emerging home for music.”

Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Bass Exhibit is accessible with paid admission to Studio Bell, and will run from May 26, 2019 to January 2, 2020. Studio Bell will be open seven days a week from May 20 until September 2 and is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Regular admission to Studio Bell is $18 for adults, $14 for students/seniors, $11 for children (3-12 years of age), and free for children under 3 years of age.

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