DAVID ELLEFSON: GEDDY LEE's Memoir Is 'One Of The Greatest Books Ever Written'

February 13, 2024

Former MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson has praised RUSH bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee's memoir, "My Effin' Life", calling it "one of the greatest books ever written".

Released last November via HarperCollins, "My Effin' Life" explores not only Geddy's decades with RUSH, but growing up as the son of two Holocaust survivors. In the book, Lee charts his story from his humble beginnings outside Toronto in the 1950s and 1960s to achieving worldwide success with one of the biggest rock bands of all time.

Earlier today (Tuesday, February 13),Ellefson shared a couple of photos of him holding a copy of "My Effin' Life", and he wrote in an accompanying message: "What a great effing book !!!!!

"Not only is this a fantastic memoir from one of my all-time favorite Bass influences, Mr. Geddy Lee, but also a harrowing detail of World War II and his family's archival facts & history within it. And of course, the inside scoop of one of the greatest rock bands of all time... RUSH!

"Geddy so accurately describes that moment, when during our most awkward formative years growing up, many of us discover that a-ha moment when our instrument of choice (the bass!) comes into our lives and changes everything we do, and how we view the world from that point onward....finding purpose and meaning to it all through our love of music.

"I don't know if it's a Bass player thing or what, but Geddy you have penned one of the greatest books ever written! Thank you for sharing your life's story, and your life's work with us!"

In 1948, Geddy's parents, Morris Weinrib and Malka "Mary" Rubinstein, both Jewish Holocaust survivors from Poland, arrived in Halifax from Germany. According to Policy Magazine, "they had met in the Starachowice ghetto, were both imprisoned in Auschwitz, then separated — he was sent to Dachau, she to Bergen Belsen. When the war ended, Morris set out to find Malka, tracking her to the Bergen Belsen displaced persons camp. They married and came to Canada."

The 512-page "My Effin' Life" gave Lee — born Gershon "Gary" Eliezer Weinrib — the chance to dig deep into his heritage and his family's history.

"I understand the publisher wants, really, my effin' life with RUSH, not my effin' life," Lee told The Detroit Jewish News. "But I asked myself, 'What is a memoir?' What is the point of it? Is it just to sell books for somebody or am I supposed to actually help the reader understand who I am? And if I want them to understand who I am, I have to explain my context. So, I felt very comfortable talking about those [early] memories, and some of those memories are painful but others are quite joyous, and the food and the household and the sense of humor are rich memories for me and probably good memories for me. So, I was more than happy to talk about them."

Upon its release, "My Effin' Life" was No. 1 in the Canadian bestselling books list and had spent five weeks on the New York Times non-fiction best sellers.

Photo credit: Maciej Pieloch

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