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July 29: His Mother Pronounced the Name “Geddy”

July 29, 2013

Geddy-LeeGeddy Lee (Gary Lee Weinrib), lead singer, bassist and keyboard player for Rush, was born near Toronto to Polish Jewish Holocaust survivors on this date in 1953. His stage name “Geddy” was based on his mother’s accented pronunciation of “Gary.” Rush is a three-man band, formed in 1968, that plays progressive rock, blues, heavy-metal, and synthesizer music rich with science fiction and philosophical themes. The band has sold forty million albums worldwide and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Lee sings in a voice described as an “astoundingly high” tenor. In 2008, he donated his entire collection of nearly 200 autographed Negro League baseballs to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. His Jewishness, he says, is reflected in “my nose and my sense of humor. I’m kind of a Jewish atheist: I bathe in the racial beauty of Judaism, but I don’t really see what that has to do with a belief in God. The only time I pray is on the tennis court.”

“Music is all about wanting to be better at it.” —Geddy Lee