RUSH's GEDDY LEE Shares Previously Unreleased Solo Material On 'The Lost Demos'
December 5, 2023
Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee and RUSH lead vocalist, bassist and keyboardist Geddy Lee has shared "The Lost Demos", two previously unreleased solo songs available today on all streaming platforms.
Geddy originally recorded this pair of demos — "Gone" and "I Am…You Are" — during the writing sessions for his 2000 solo debut, "My Favorite Headache". Today, with the help of producer/engineer David Bottrill, he has unearthed them for the first time properly mixed and mastered.
Commenting on the project, Geddy shared: "I'm excited to see these two 'lost demos' released. I loved the songs when they were written and in some ways they feel as fresh and perhaps more relevant all these years later."
Both songs conjure the spirit of the classic "My Favorite Headache", which originally arrived on November 14, 2000. Taking the reins as co-producer, Geddy cut the album in Toronto, Vancouver, and Seattle joined by multi-instrumentalist and co-producer Ben Mink and drummer Matt Cameron (SOUNDGARDEN, PEARL JAM). It has since emerged as a fan favorite.
In a recent interview with Q104.3's "Out Of The Box With Jonathan Clarke", Lee talked about how he rediscovered two unfinished demo songs made in the late 1990s.
"During the course of writing the book, my co-writer on 'My Favourite Headache' came across these demos that we had sort of forgotten about," Geddy said. "And there are two songs. I talk about them in the book a little bit. One of them is a song called 'Gone' that I had written just after Neil's [Peart, RUSH drummer] daughter, Selena [Taylor], had passed away tragically in that car accident [in 1997 at the age of 19]. [Editor's note: Peart's wife died less than a year later of cancer.] And when you lose somebody, you relive a lot of your other losses. And I was thinking about how does one deal with a sudden disappearance of someone from your life, especially a daughter. So I wrote this song with Ben [Mink]. It was the first song we wrote for 'My Favourite Headache', and we demoed it, but it just felt — it was beautiful, but I felt it was too raw. It was too close to the bone. I didn't think it was appropriate to release it, out of respect for Neil and the way he was. I didn't feel it was right. So we shelved it. And the other one was a song that we had left sort of incomplete, but most of it had been recorded. It was called 'I Am... You Are', and it was about relationships. And it's about me in the midst of a difficult conversation with my wife, which happened more than once in my life."
He continued: "I think the personal nature of that made it also maybe something I wasn't prepared to follow through with, but hearing them last year when I discovered them again, it was, like, 'Wow.' I was amazed how they stood up. So I asked my friend and part-time RUSH producer David Bottrill to come in and have a listen to him. And he came over and sat down and, well, he loved them and he loved how raw they were and he loved how honest he thought the vocals were — very different from the other things that are on the album. And he just said, 'Leave it with me. Let me play with them and see if I can clean them up,' without changing too much, because he didn't want to lose all the guitars original. My vocals were original. They were done almost 24 years ago. We put new drums on it, and we got a friend of mine to play drums on one song. And then we called Benny up, Ben Mink, 'cause David thought the song really needed a violin solo and Ben is so amazing; he's like the Jeff Beck of the violin. And he just pulled off a corker of a solo. Anyway, he mixed them and sent them to me, and I was really shocked. And it really lifted me up and made me remember how much fun it is to make records. And so they're on the ['My Effin' Life'] audiobook, and they will be released to radio, and I hope people get a kick out of them. I call them the lost demos — 'cause that's what they were, really. I'd forgotten completely about them."
To date, Lee has only released one solo album, the aforementioned "My Favourite Headache". The disc was recorded during a time when RUSH's future was uncertain. The band was in the midst of what would be a five-year break from the road following the tragic deaths of Peart's daughter and wife.
In a 2015 interview with the A.V. Club, Lee stated about what it was like writing an album without his longtime RUSH bandmates Peart and Alex Lifeson: "That was a real interesting period for me. It was tough, because I had planned to do some jamming with my dear friend Ben Mink, who is an amazing musician, producer, and songwriter in his own right, and a violinist and guitarist. Because we had been friends for so long, and we had never actually made a record together aside from him playing on the song 'Losing It' from our 'Signals' album, we had always planned that some time when the band was on a break, we would just get together and start writing together and see what happened. We were planning to do that, and suddenly tragedy struck Neil's life. His daughter was taken from him in a car accident, and everything got really weird and it was just a horrible period. So I decided after a few months this idea of working with Ben might be a real tonic for me, because I didn't know really whether there would ever be another RUSH album. I had no idea; it was not something we were focused on, and people get through tragedies in different ways. I was kind of going crazy and needed something to focus on, so this project that was sort of in the back of my mind with Ben suddenly became critical so we started getting together in my home studio in Toronto and I would go to his place in Vancouver and over a series of months we gathered a whole bunch of material together and then we decided to go for it and make the record."
"The Lost Demos" arrives in tandem with the premiere of Geddy's brand new docuseries, "Geddy Lee Asks: Are Bass Players Human Too?", streaming exclusively on Paramount+ today in the U.S. and Canada. It expands to further territories tomorrow, going live in the UK, Australia, Latin America, Brazil, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The docuseries finds Geddy immersed in fascinating conversations with iconic bass players, including Les Claypool, Krist Novoselic, Robert Trujillo and Melissa Auf Der Maur.
Earlier this year, Geddy released his acclaimed autobiography, "My Effin' Life". It debuted at No. 3 on the New York Times Bestseller List upon arrival. He notably launched a popular "In Conversation" and fan question-and-answer series across North America joined by surprise moderators and avowed RUSH fans such as Paul Rudd, Jack Black, Eric McCormack, Jay Baruchel, Matt Cameron, Krist Novoselic and more. The accompanying audiobook notably features "Gone" and "I Am…You Are".
In 2024, RUSH celebrates the 50th anniversary of its gold-certified self-titled full-length debut, "Rush". The band will reveal news of various celebrations in honor of R50 very soon.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).