Geddy Lee is finally ready to start recording new music.
The former Rush bassist says he has a renewed songwriting spark that he credits to rediscovering two unfinished demo songs made in the late 1990s.
“Gone” and “I Am… You Are” were originally written for his 2000 solo effort “My Favourite Headache,” but they didn’t end up on the album.
Lee came across them while sifting through the archives for his upcoming memoir “My Effin’ Life.”
He shined them up, added new elements to finish them off and said he plans to release both on Tuesday as part of the audiobook version of his memoir, out the same day. His representatives say a digital and streaming release will follow.
“It’s really whet my appetite to get back to doing something musically,” he explained in a recent phone interview.
“So now I’ve got the charge in me again.”
What that means is still a little uncertain, he admits.
He’s been talking to his former Rush bandmate Alex Lifeson about potentially collaborating and he’s already planning to begin work on a solo project next year.
As for the older tracks, each one plays a role in his memoir.
“Gone” is a downtempo song he wrote after the death of Selena Taylor. The 19-year-old daughter of late Rush drummer Neil Peart died in a car crash in 1997. Peart’s wife died less than a year later of cancer.
In his memoir, Lee describes the song as too emotionally raw to release at the time, though he now says it feels like an appropriate reflection on loss.
“It’s kind of connected to the theme of my book, so I feel very good about that coming to light,” he said in an interview.
“You’ll see that it’s not just about that specific loss. It’s about loss in general and that horrible feeling you have when somebody is suddenly out of your life and your brain is scrambling to make sense of it.”
“I Am… You Are” is closer to what fans will expect, Lee supposes. It digs into the heart of a conflict between two longtime romantic partners. In his memoir, Lee credits his wife Nancy Young for standing by him during his decades on the road.
Lee said he doesn’t mind the persistent questions from Rush fans who want to know when he’ll start putting out new material.
“I’m a really lucky guy,” he added.
“I have a fan base that still wants me to do music and that’s a rare, beautiful thing.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 11, 2023.