Neil on Geddy: ‘Most Important Collaboration of My Life’

Banger Films working on documentary about Geddy, Neil says

LeStudio3Neil took a trip down memory lane earlier this month when he gave a tour of Le Studio to producers from Banger Films, the production company that made Beyond the Lighted Stage in 2010. The filmmakers are making a documentary about Geddy and they asked Neil to share some thoughts about the recording studio, a favorite of the band’s in the late 1970s and much of the 1980s, and also dish some dirt about Geddy. But it sounds like Neil didn’t take the bait. “A complex relationship that has endured for over forty years is not going to be defined in a sound bite,” Neil says in “Science Island,” his latest blog post. “It’s like asking a spouse of that duration to define the other—tread carefully!”

Studio door

Studio door

Neil tells the producers that his relationship with Geddy represents “the most important collaboration in my life” and that his communication with him takes place on three levels:

“1) auditory, when we listen to what each other is playing and respond to the ideas, accents, and patterns; 2) verbal, when we discuss different approaches we could take together and try them; and 3) something that verges on the telepathic, when suddenly we’re both playing an interlocking pattern, onstage or in the studio, and laugh out loud.”

That part of their relationship is all about their bond as drummer and bass player. But they also have their relationship as lyricist and singer. “The bond of trust necessary between lyricist and singer is even more intimate,” he says. “I explained [to the producers] how the lyrics were completely subservient to their purpose—to be sung—and that if Geddy found something awkward to sing, I changed it. If he found something pleasurable to sing, I tried to write more like that!”

LeStudio2Today, Le Studio is shuttered, but rather than evoke feelings of sadness, Neil says his return to the place where he spent so much of his creative life evokes feelings of gratitude. “We had been fortunate enough to live and work in a place like that, all those times, in every season,” he says. “For better and worse—such facilities are all part of a vanished world. Certainly it will be a long time before a rock band will ever again enjoy and be nourished by such artistic and playful retreats. That, to me, is the really sad part.”

For Rush, all or part of seven albums were recorded or mixed there: Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Exit . . . Stage Left, Signals, Grace Under Pressure, Presto, and Counterparts. The nearby lake is where they recorded the sounds of tide pools for the opening of “Natural Science” and the grassy pitch is where they recorded the restive vigilante mob in the opening of “Witch Hunt.” A lot of good stuff produced there.

Read Neil’s post in its entirety.

 More This and That.

From the publisher of Rush Vault:

Rush: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Excellence


Great book, read slowly to fully enjoy it
“A very in-depth conversation from Rush’s start to the present. It is not a lot to read. You probably won’t rifle through this in a single sitting, and the author will likely challenge a lot of your interpretations of many of the songs. But more than worth considering the impact on Rush lyrics far beyond Rand and Aristotle. Pick it up.”—Alan L. Emery

~ by rvkeeper on October 14, 2014.

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