Paul McCartney tried to convince Geddy Lee and Rush bandmate Alex Lifeson to tour together again.
The conversation took place in September 2022, when all three classic rockers were performing as part of the Taylor Hawkins tribute concert in London. It was head Foo Fighter Dave Grohl who made the initial introduction.
“Dave was so sweet,” Lee recalled during a conversation with Rolling Stone. “He comes up to us at rehearsal and he goes, ‘Paul McCartney’s up next to rehearse, and he’s outside, and he said to me, ‘Dave, I’ve never met anyone from Rush before.’”
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McCartney soon entered and began chatting with the other musicians. “He’s just a very lovely man. A very positive person,” Lee noted, before adding that he didn’t think the Beatle was very familiar with Rush’s music.
“I got the sense he knew who we were and had heard about us. He had never listened to us,” the bassist explained. “So at the show, he was there. He watched the set. I think he was really curious because people probably had mentioned us to him.”
McCartney Told Lee and Lifeson to ‘Get Back Out There’
After the concert, McCartney, Lee and Lifeson spent more time together, at which point the Beatle made his pitch to get the Rush rockers back on the road.
“After the show, he was incredible. He was so warm and embracing and positive. He came and sat and drank with us. We all got plastered together,” Lee recalled. “And he was very emphatic, talking about, ‘You know what Ringo always says: ‘It’s what we do.’”
Lee’s response was to turn the attention on his bandmate.
“I said, ‘Talk to Al, because he’s the stubborn one.’ And so he was lecturing Al about how great it is to tour. ‘You have to do it, man. You have to get back out there, man.’ And Alex said something like, ‘I’ll do it, if you’ll be our manager.’ [To which McCartney responded] ‘I’ll manage you, mate!’”
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Rush called it quits in 2020 following the death of Neil Peart. Lee and Lifeson declared they would not continue without their drummer, but McCartney — who has certainly dealt with losses of his own over the years — tried to get them to reconsider. Lee confessed that Macca’s words stuck with him.
“It was really fun, really funny, but he had a point,” the Rush rocker explained. “That’s the way he looks at life. He’s ageless because he really, truly believes he was born to do this. That’s what you do. And you just do it. You don’t question it. And I think we all sometimes forget that.”
Lee has since revealed that he’d be open to performing as Rush alongside Lifeson once more, though he cautioned “it’s all hypothetical” at the moment.
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Gallery Credit: Ryan Reed