Geddy Lee recently told Classic Rock in a featured article that describing Led Zeppelin as a heavy metal band is not appropriate and claimed that Robert Plant had the courage to do something nobody could before.
Rush’s Geddy Lee reveals his love for Led Zeppelin any time he gets a chance and stresses the band’s influence over Rush’s formation. That being said, he and Alex Lifeson included Led Zeppelin’s ‘How Many More Times’ into the list of the 22 songs that shaped Rush’s sound in an article on Guitar World. The pair also mentioned Led Zeppelin’s heavy impact during the band’s early years and revealed that they are big fans of the band.
In the recent Classic Rock interview, Geddy Lee recalled the time he saw Led Zeppelin on the stage during their Zeppelin IV tour. He said that he was blown out when he heard them playing ‘Black Dog’ which was the opening track of the performance. Lee then said that the song was a great riff song, and Robert Plant stepping up and singing the lyrics following the riff is something nobody could do, which for him shows Plant’s courage.
Geddy Lee then went on to say ‘heavy metal’ didn’t suit Led Zeppelin as they are much more than that. He continued by stating that Zeppelin used influences and made changes inconceivable for other heavy metal bands and that this might be the result of Robert Plant’s lyrics.
Describing Plant’s lyrics as having a ‘Tolkienesque majesty,’ Lee said that he likes the rock icon’s songwriting and the imagery he uses. He then argued that the lyrics combined with Page’s acoustic guitar give their music more depth than an average heavy metal band.
Geddy Lee told Classic Rock that:
“I had the pleasure of seeing them on the Zeppelin IV tour at Maple Leaf Gardens. If I’m not mistaken, they opened with ‘Black Dog,’ and I remember being completely blown away by its heavyocity. It’s a great riff song, but to have the confidence to play that fucking riff and just let it draw out, and then Robert Plant steps up and does his lyric thing back and forth. I mean, nobody did that. Nobody had the courage to do that.
The phrase ‘heavy metal’ didn’t suit Zeppelin. It didn’t suit them because they were so much more than a heavy metal band. Yeah, they had a sound that constantly surprised you. They used influences and they took chances that other heavy metal bands just would not conceive of, maybe sparked by Robert Plant’s lyrics.
He had that Tolkienesque majesty about his lyrics, and people don’t like that about his writing, but I do. I love the imagery that he uses, and it is the combination of the way Jimmy’s acoustic guitar is used and the presence of that blues background. It gives their music much more depth than your average heavy metal band.”
As Geddy Lee stated, the band Rush was a huge fan of Led Zeppelin. They are known to be heavily influenced by the band, and they formed Rush after listening to them. Unfortunately, Rush left the music scene in 2018 and closed its doors for future projects.