Q&A with Geddy Lee

Best known as the formidable frontman of Canadian rock band Rush, Geddy 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.

Following the Geddy Lee Bass Exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Studio Bell hosted the first Canadian exhibit of the artist’s bass guitars, with 26 instruments curated by Lee himself. To open the exhibition, Lee discussed his long history with the bass guitar with Gemini Award-winning broadcaster and co-author of the Big Beautiful Book of Bass, Daniel Richler.

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.

While Geddy’s basses have returned to his personal collection, you can still see a piece of Rush history on display at Studio Bell. Check it out in NMC Collections Online.