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The Led Zeppelin song that convinced Geddy Lee to become a bassist

Led Zeppelin have been a constant inspiration since they burst on the scene in the late 1960s. Featuring the earthshaking drums of John Bonham the powerhouse vocals of Robert Plant the inventive bass playing John Paul Jones and the virtuosic fretwork of Jimmy Page the groups sound was unlike anything else at the time foreshadowing the many heavy metal groups who formed in the groups wake. Rush vocalist and bassist Geddy Lee was just one of the ambitious musicians the stadium rock quartet impaired to pick up an instrument of their own and start a group. Lee has always been a huge fan of Led Zeppelin confessing that he decided to start learning the bass after listening to What Is and What Should Never Be from the 1969 album Led Zeppelin II. It is a surprisingly sparse and jazzy number intersected by soaring riffs and dense harmonies.

Speaking to Classic Rock Lee opened up about how Zeppelin inspired his work with Rush I remember when the first album dropped and we waited at our local Sam The Record Man store in Willowdale grabbed the record ran to my house put it on and sat on my bed freaking out over Communication Breakdown he recalled. They were a huge huge influence on us. We wanted to be them instantly. But their stuff was hard to play. We tried a number of Zeppelin songs when we played in the bars but we felt we could not pull them off. We did have Livin Lovin Maid in our set for a while though.

Rushs self titled debut is full of the same blues fused licks and wailing vocals that defined Zeppelins best works. Finding My Way even features an impersonation of Plants classic ooh yeah vocal from Black Dog. Lee actually came to know Plant very well over the years. Indeed it was the Led Zeppelin front man who is supposed to have brought Rush back together after the band went on hiatus following the death of Neil Pearts wife and his daughter Selena.

Plant who had lost his own son Karac back in 1977 called Lee and invited the Rush members to join them at a show. Initially Lee and the others were hesitant to accept the invitation. Lee told Classic Rock We were on hiatus after Selena Neils Pearts daughter had passed away and we were not in a good place. I called Robert back and he wanted us to come to the show and I was pretty down in the dumps at that point. And he said No come to the show well talk. He understood what was going on with the band. I remember him saying You have got to rejoin life and sooner is better than later. So get your ass down here. So I called Alex up and said were going to see Page & Plant. It seems that Plant and company not only helped form Rush but actively contributed to their longevity pushing them back into the ring at a time when they could easily have packed it in for good. Thank God for Led Zeppelin thats all I can say.

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