Reviews for My Effin' Life

by Geddy Lee with Daniel Richler

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

The thunderous bassist and vocalist for the prog rock band Rush tells all. “It’s a common mistake to assume that when a kid (or an adult for that matter) is quiet, he must be some sort of deep thinker. In my case I’m afraid it was simply that I didn’t have much to say.” So writes Lee, born Gershon Eliezer Weinrib in 1953 to Holocaust-survivor immigrants to Canada. It turns out that he has plenty to say. Part of this mostly good-natured memoir is an account of growing up as a “nerdy Jewish kid” in the Toronto suburbs. Like other budding musicians, Lee found a turning point when Ed Sullivan aired the Beatles, though he was less impressed by the Fab Four than his sister was. Forming a band with schoolmates, he picked up the bass after drawing a literal short straw, which “was fine by me—it had fewer strings.” Eventually falling in with drummer Neil Peart and guitarist Alex Lifeson, he formed Rush, opening for the likes of Kiss before becoming a headliner act. Lee is full of good humor as he recounts his experiences on the road: “Rock Star Lesson #1: Do NOT drop psychedelics before an interview.” “Rock Star Lesson #2: Famous people can be dicks.” The author is testier when he writes about his personal politics, and he has high praise for Canada’s social safety net. “Sure, we pay more taxes than many others do,” he writes, “but I prefer to live in a world that gives a shit, even for people I don’t know.” Lee also has choice words for those who criticize his histrionic, high-pitched vocal delivery: “Don’t like the way I sing? Well then, I invite you to fuck the fuck off and move along to something more suitable to your sensitive tastes.” A grand entertainment for fans of Rush and classic rock. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.