A wide-eyed kid sat mesmerized during a live performance by the legendary classic rock trio Cream, admiring the skill of bass player Jack Bruce. Although he sat alone in the crowd, unable to convince his friends to join him at the show, it was a defining moment in his life.
The venue was Massey Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada – a place destined to live on in the memory of the young musician throughout the career that he may not have even dared dream about.
We classic rock fans, and particularly those of us who are fans of Rush, know the young man in question as Geddy Lee. At the time, young the Lee thought it was virtually unthinkable to be standing on that stage playing before a live audience. Although he may have had no idea at the time, he was destined to play out virtually the same role that his idol, Jack Bruce, was playing out at that very moment – fronting a rock trio as bassist and lead vocalist for a group that would become legendary.
Lee describes Massey Hall as their (Rush’s) version of The Royal Albert Hall “or something like that,” as he puts it.
It’s abundantly clear that Massey Hall might be considered sacred ground in the mind of Geddy Lee. The group’s performances there are clearly some of the most significant and memorable in their career.
“Massey Hall was the pinnacle prestige gig to us,” Lee says. A place that represented musical success to the trio who were beginning to gain traction on their home soil, but had not yet broken through the invisible barrier that would allow them to bring their music to just about anyone in the world who cared to listen.
Thanks to Sonic City TV for sharing this clip and giving fans a little background on the important role a building that most of us have probably never heard of played in the evolution of Rush.