Geddy Lee Says He Didn’t Want To Betray Neil Peart And His Family

Geddy Lee of Rush recently spoke with Classic Rock about his worries in his book, “My Effin’ Life,” about protecting the privacy of his late bandmate Neil Peart and his family.

The musician responded to a question about whether he was concerned about disclosing too much of Neil’s personal life in his memoirs about his final years by saying:

“Yes, of course. And also, Carrie [Peart’s wife] and Olivia [his daughter] are going to read it. So, I didn’t want to betray any confidence, but at the same time, I think it was appropriate to describe the difficulty of that three-and-a-half-year period. It was difficult for me, and I was just his friend; I wasn’t part of his family. And it was a nightmare for them, what they had to live with on a daily basis.”

Portraying Neil’s Struggle With Respect

He continued, saying that he wanted Neil’s battle with brain cancer to be shown with decency and respect:

“In the end, I also felt that there was a way to write about his last years that doesn’t embarrass him but instead shows the nobility he maintained throughout those horrible years of fighting with that disease. He remained himself.”

The Genesis Of ‘My Effin’ Life’

Lee reluctantly decided to write an autobiography for a while. The book, which came out on November 14, recounts many of the great points of his tenure with Rush, such as his friendship with guitarist Alex Lifeson and Peart that lasted four decades. On January 7, 2020, the drummer lost suddenly from brain cancer.

In a November interview with Rock ‘n’ Radio, the bassist said that the isolation of the pandemic lockdown and the combined tragedies of losing his companion were major inspirations for his novel. He mentioned:

“Being locked down in the pandemic alone with the aftermath of Neil’s passing, all that had transpired in the last few years of his life had left me quite unhappy. I was kind of stuck; needed to find a way to move forward.”

Only a select few people were aware of Peart’s death, which was a well-kept secret that had a serious negative impact on Lee. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times from November 2023, he talked about how difficult it was to keep Peart’s illness a secret and talked about the emotional relief that came after the drummer passed away. Lee had some introspection on a trip to New Zealand, but he realized it was pointless to attempt to understand death.

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