The Rush Song Geddy Lee Never Wanted To Play Live

This may sound strange to hear, but artists don’t like some of the songs they’ve created, even if they have drawn huge applause from the fans. This is probably hard to believe because the musicians put a tremendous effort into producing those timeless tracks. Of course, they hope that the songs they’ve written will become massive hits, yet sometimes, they might regret this wish.

Some artists have openly admitted that they completely hate the songs that made them famous. They either don’t think those pieces sit well with them or don’t represent their music properly. However, on some occasions, fans think otherwise and adore those songs, which carries them to the top of the charts.

Of course, the musicians meticulously work on each track during the creation process, yet they can’t guess the reaction it will receive from the listeners. Most artists don’t usually think about whether some tracks might become a fan’s favorite, which was also the case for Rush’s ‘The Camera Eye’ from 1981’s ‘Moving Pictures.’

While discussing their 2015 US tour with Classic Rock, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson also reflected on the tour setlist and how it felt to play old songs from their earlier albums. Lee admitted that he had felt close to those tracks once they started playing them, but he actually never wanted to play ‘The Camera Eye’ live in the first place because he didn’t think it was a particularly valuable song.

The bassist shared, “It’s really all about your sense of perspective. A few years ago, we brought back ‘The Camera Eye.’ I never wanted to play that song. I never thought it was particularly worthy. And yet it was one of the most requested Rush songs. I couldn’t understand it. How could people be so wrong?”

So, when fans demanded the song so much at the concerts, Rush didn’t disappoint the audience and started playing the song. Geddy Lee soon realized after performing it that he had indeed undervalued its real potential. The musician said, “I realized I underestimated the moment in time – the context of that moment. When we started playing ‘The Camera Eye,’ I thought, okay, there are a lot of pretentious moments in this song. It hasn’t aged well.”

Lee continued, “But then I started re-learning the keyboard parts and putting together a slightly different version – instead of eleven minutes, it clocks in at nine-and-a-half. And in the playing of it, yes, I fell in love with it again. And that’s where it becomes very subjective and not objective. I stopped being able to tell if it was a pretentious song, and I just enjoyed playing those chords, and I remembered why the song got recorded in the first place – I liked the chord progression and the vocal melodies.”

Thus, the bassist enjoyed playing the song again after creating a different version and appreciated its real value. Geddy Lee lastly noted, “You can go back to that time and appreciate what you were trying to do. This song – it was a point in your life, and fans want to relive that point in your life, and you can have fun playing it. I dig the hell out of that song now.”

Although Geddy Lee initially didn’t want to play ‘The Camera Eye’ live, his perception of the song incredibly changed when he reworked it. He understood why they created it in the first place and appreciated that period of their career. He eventually found a practical way to get the most fun out of it while also giving an ear to the fans’ requests.

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