Geddy Lee of Rush is a musician who has been influenced by many different artists throughout his career, but there are two in particular that stand out: Pete Townshend of The Who and John Entwistle, also of The Who. Lee has spoken about the impact that these two musicians have had on his songwriting and bass playing, and how they helped to shape the sound of Rush.
When it comes to Townshend, Lee has nothing but praise for the legendary guitarist and songwriter. He has called Townshend his “absolute favourite rock songwriter” and cited him as the most influential in terms of what makes a great rock song. Townshend’s work with The Who, particularly on albums like Tommy and Quadrophenia, has left an indelible mark on Lee’s songwriting. Lee has also noted that The Who’s three-piece setup, with bass, drums, guitar, and vocals, has been a model for Rush’s own instrumentation.
As for Entwistle, Lee has been influenced by the bassist’s unique style of playing, which treated the bass like an electric lead guitar. Instead of simply holding down the low end, Entwistle would use his bass to provide rhythmic hooks that drove the song forward. This approach has clearly rubbed off on Lee, as his playing with Rush is similarly propulsive and energetic.
Both Townshend and Entwistle have helped to shape Rush’s sound and approach to music. They have inspired the band to push beyond the confines of pure rock and roll and explore new sonic territory. Rush’s three-piece setup, with Lee on bass, Neil Peart on drums, and Alex Lifeson on guitar, has been able to hold up each other instrumentally, creating a sound that is greater than the sum of its parts. Thanks to the influence of musicians like Townshend and Entwistle, Rush has been able to carve out its own unique place in the world of rock and roll.