On November 14, Rush’s Geddy Lee published his latest autobiography, “My Effin’ Life.” He disclosed the details of two traumas that inspired him to write the biography in an interview about his book with Rock ‘n’ Radio. The performer spoke about the passing of Neil Peart, his bandmate, saying: “I was quite dissatisfied with everything that had happened to Neil in his latter years, being shut down in the epidemic alone with the fallout from his death. I needed to find a method to go forward since I felt a little trapped. He also discussed the effects of his mother’s illness and passing on him: Thus, seeking therapy and taking a close look at my own life were both components of it. Not to mention that I was witnessing my mother’s memory deteriorate due to dementia. I wrote this book because of those things. Just before the COVID-19 outbreak, on January 7, 2020, Peart passed suddenly from brain cancer. Up to his passing, only few in his immediate vicinity were aware of the late drummer’s illness. Lee was also affected by having to conceal Peart’s illness, as he recently revealed to the Los Angeles Times: “I had to spend three and a half trying years lying to my friends and concealing Neil’s condition.
Alex [Lifeson] and I were unable to discuss it since it was a secret. Like a dam breaking, there was an outpouring after Neil went away. My spouse and I took a walking vacation in New Zealand. You can attempt to make sense of things while you walk. However, trying to make meaning of death is pointless. A few weeks short of turning ninety-six, Lee’s mother Mary Weinrib passed away in the months that followed the drummer’s passing. Before she passed away on July 2, 2021, the singer claimed she had begun to forget everything, including the identity of her son. According to what Lee told Toronto Life, he wrote his memoirs as a means of “processing his mother’s decline.” “I was always aware that my parents would be covered in some detail. They fled the Holocaust and arrived in Canada in 1946. Without learning about how people overcome their pain, I would not be the person I am now. Writing this book made me want to know exactly what happened over those years, so I had to conduct the necessary research.
By comparing my mother’s accounts with those of some of my relatives who had conducted interviews with the Shoah Foundation, I was able to learn more about Wierzbnik, Poland, where my mother was raised. Weinrib survived the Auschwitz concentration camps during World War II and was raised in a Jewish shtetl in Poland, according to her obituary. During that time, she got to know Lee’s father, and the two were married in 1946. Weinrib raised their three children by herself and ran the variety store he left behind after her husband passed away in 1965. That’s why, in an episode of “From Cradle To Stage,” Lee talked about how his mother has influenced him throughout his life. “I witnessed my mother’s tremendous efforts to maintain our family unit.” The interview with Geddy Lee about “My Effin’ Life” is available below.