Geddy Lee toured all over the world with Rush from 1968 all the way to 2018 when the Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band called it quits.
Now, five years later, he’s on his first-ever book tour.
Lee, 70, is taking his memoir “My Effin’ Life” on the road to venues all over North America up until Dec. 7.
Here are Coley’s takeaways from the show with one of the Great White North’s all-time greats.
Before the show
This was Coley’s first time at the Beacon and she immediately felt at home in the showroom.
“The three-level auditorium has red curtains on the side, large golden Greek Goddess statues and elaborate murals,” she continued. “The word opulent comes to mind — but in a non-pretentious type of way. “The venue definitely set the tone for the evening.”
As for the makeup of the audience, they were a bit older.
“It was mostly folks in their 40s to 70s who were hardcore fans of Lee,” she shared. “There were a few 20-30 somethings but mainly a more seasoned crowd that were clearly old school rock fans.”
Onstage, was an immaculate presentation waiting for Lee.
“It was hard to miss the pair of white, oversized chairs with nailhead trim and a table between them complete with a stack of Lee’s memoir,” Coley described.
“Behind the chairs, a screen flashed photos of Lee as a kid, playbills and handwritten notes.”
That wasn’t what captured the audience’s attention, though.
“The screen also announced there would be a special guest, which was pretty exciting, since no one knew who it was going to be.”
Who was it?
The start of ‘My Effin’ Life’
“My Effin Life” kicked off with a montage of photos of Lee, his bandmates and 70s/80s graphics thrown-in.
“A mashup of Rush tunes played in the background,” Coley said. “For an older crowd the energy was rowdy and enthusiastic. Lots of cheering, especially when special guest, Paul Rudd, entered the stage.”
Yes, the Paul Rudd.
Lest you forget, Lee appeared in Rudd’s 2009 classic “I Love You, Man.”
“Rudd explained that he had planned to come to the show as a guest with Jonathan Dinklage, but received an email from Lee, requesting he serve as a sort of interviewer/moderator.”
And just like that, the show began.
Lee entered to a standing ovation and then the two pals went back and forth riffing for a few minutes.
By Coley’s estimation “Lee (came) off as a really sweet, humble and thoughtful individual — sensitive. He held back some tears speaking about the death of Neil Peart, which was really touching.”
Over the course of the interview, the two legends touched on a number of topics “going deeper into specific events about his life than most book tours do,” Coley smiled.
“Lee does read from his book, but he mostly spoke off the cuff about touring, opening for Kiss (who he says is the nicest band), and coming to terms with certain aspects of himself and the life he’s lived.”
And yes, it gets heavy.
“He goes into what inspired him to finally write the book — the death of Neil and his mother having dementia – all during the pandemic.”
As the child of Holocaust survivors, the rocker has been witness to many tragedies over the course of his life.
“After Neil’s death and the situation with his mother he realized ‘that “ ‘memories have a shelf life’ and he should write some things down ‘before they disappear.’”
Still, there was quite a bit of levity as evidenced by stories about drinking SoCo for the first time and many more legendary debauched tales from life during rock n’ roll’s heyday.
“Hilarious and very rock star,” Coley laughed.
“Lee/Rush fans can expect a good time,” Coley said. “I recommend getting there at least 30-40 minutes early, since there was a line.”
“The crowd was generally riveted, though there was the occasional, “I effing love you, Geddy,” yelled from the crowd,” she added.
She did have one caveat for the fair weather fans in attendance.
“Everyone spoken about in these stories are always by first name, so if you like Geddy or Rush but aren’t a super fan, I highly recommend watching the doc ‘Rush: Behind the Lighted Stage’ beforehand or you’re going to feel out of the loop at times,” she explained.
“However, for hardcore fans, it’s going to feel like catching up with an old friend.”
“Plus, everyone gets a free copy of ‘My Effin’ Life.’ I had a great time.”
Geddy Lee 2023 tour schedule
Want to see Lee live this year?
Here’s where he’s headed next including dates, venues and links to buy tickets for all ‘My Effin’ Life’ shows.
Classic rockers on tour in 2023
Love Lee but prefer seeing rockers perform in concert?
That’s totally fair.
Here are just five of our favorite acts you won’t want to miss live these next few months.
Who else is on the road? Check out our list of the 22 biggest classic rockers on tour in 2023 here to find out.