Geddy Lee to Steve Lillywhite: "Fuck You, Too"

The producer pulled out of a Rush session just two weeks notice

Photo courtesy of Paramount+

BY Alex HudsonPublished Feb 29, 2024

Producer Steve Lillywhite is one of the most esteemed producers of his generation, having been behind the boards for U2's The Joshua Tree and becoming the first person to have sex to "Crash into Me." Rush's Geddy Lee isn't impressed, however, as he had some choice words for the producer: "All the best, mate, and fuck you, too."

Lee's disdain for Lillywhite can be traced back to 1983, as Rush prepared to record their 1984 album Grace Under Pressure. They had parted ways with their longtime producer Terry Brown and were looking for a replacement. They were interested in collaborating with Lillywhite because of his production for Big Country.

"Lillywhite seemed genuinely interested in working with us," Lee wrote in his recent memoir My Effin' Life, adding that Lillywhite even came to one of the band's shows. The band stopped looking for a producer because they thought it was a done deal — but then things went sideways.

"Less than two weeks before the start of writing sessions, word came in ... that Mr. Lillywhite was pulling out," Lee recalled. "We heard excuses about the project 'not being right' for him or some such bullshit, when in reality it seems he'd been offered a chance to record with Simple Minds and was simply blowing us off. Now, there's an expression, I believe, about a man's word being his bond; this man's word, apparently, was meaningless. Okay, good to know. No big deal, Steve. It shouldn't be hard to find a producer in just two weeks. Thanks for letting us know. All the best, mate, and fuck you, too."

Geddy Lee clearly doesn't pull punches. Elsewhere in My Effin' Life, he called out KISS's Gene Simmons for his "uncool" behaviour around women.

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