Rush Watched ‘High Life’ Pass Them By on First U.S. Tour
Geddy Lee recalled Rush being “very green” during their first U.S. tour in 1974, and that they watched from the sidelines as other musicians cavorted backstage.
The Canadian trio’s first Stateside date was in East Lansing, Mich., in the spring of that year, when they opened for ZZ Top, with later shows under headliners Kiss, Blue Oyster Cult and Hawkwind. They were promoting their self-titled debut album.
But as Lee told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show, he and bandmates Alex Lifeson and recent addition Neil Peart stayed away from the action.
“We were completely overwhelmed ... we were very green,” Lee said. “We didn’t even have cases for our equipment, so our road crew of two guys and us kinda embarked on this fantasy lifestyle, which was not very glamorous, I must say, traveling around in a station wagon, sleeping on your bags, checking into Holiday Inns in the the middle of the night and that kinda thing.”
Nevertheless, they enjoyed the experience, he added. “It was exciting to be playing small venues, big venues – it didn’t really matter," he noted. "Playing with actual well-known bands. It was great watching them cavort backstage and live the high life. And we just kinda sat there, like timid little Canadians, watching, taking notes!”
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