Watch Geddy Lee Join Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe and Jon Anderson Performing “Roundabout”



Looks like there were some great moments and performances at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies Friday night, there are all kinds of crowd-shot videos of the event floating around the interwebs that give you a taste of it. One of the higher-quality videos depicts maybe the biggest highlight of the night, Geddy Lee playing bass with Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe and Jon Anderson in a performance of the Yes anthem “Roundabout”.

I never really considered the musical debt that Rush owes to Yes, but it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Lee and Rush bandmate Alex Lifeson made the induction speech for Yes on Friday, and in it Lee said that listening to Yes as a budding musician tuned him into “a wider world of possibilities, one where music seemed to have no limitations… It’s not overstating things to say it changed the way I played and listened to music forever.”

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There’s no question that Lee borrowed the late Chris Squire’s distinctive ka-chugga-jug tone on the bass, and he definitely shared Squire’s propensity for virtuosic high- and low-end runs. Rush also adopted Yes’ suite style of songwriting, especially their abrupt, stop/start section changes. And there’s a certain kind of grandiosity in the music of both bands.

Apparently Chris Squire’s widow invited Geddy Lee to play with the other Yes members on the song “Roundabout”, which Lee called “one of the best bass songs ever written in the history of recorded music”. Watching the video, you can see what a thrill it is for Lee to be playing it with these guys.

The sound is a little muddy on the video, but it’s clearly a great group of musicians really knocking one of the great Rock numbers in history out of the park. It’s a really great Rock moment, a piece of Rock history coming full circle. I still think Chris Squire was a better bass player than Geddy Lee, but that’s a discussion you can have among yourselves.

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