Rush bassist and singer Geddy Lee talked in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine and revealed how he was influenced by The Beatles’ bass guitar icon Paul McCartney.

Here’s the statement:

We’re so accustomed to them now, but when you think back to that moment — I do remember seeing Paul McCartney on television and going, “What is that?” That was my first experience with the cresting wave of the Rickenbacker bass.

You think about the Gibson Thunderbirds that came out in late ’63 — a very unusual bass, and now they’re the among the most sought-after relics you can find. They’re sought-after because they’re great and unusual-looking, but also because they weren’t popular — they looked too weird for people at the time.

I found that really interesting, the point you’re bringing up: How must they have looked at the time? How must it have looked for an upright bass player to see an ad for an electric bass in 1951? There’s Leo Fender’s plank and canoe paddle, as they jokingly referred to the P Bass, and some guy who’s been hauling his bass on the roof of his car because that’s how bass players got from show to show … They wouldn’t fit in the car — they’d either have to go in the bus or a van or tie it to the roof of the car.

Now you’re in 1951, and this guy’s holding this weird thing that goes on the shoulder like a guitar. I’m sure a lot of people laughed at it, but there were also probably a lot of bass players going, “That would make my life a lot easier.” I like to think about those moments of when these things were invented.”

He continued:

“Every time you put a bass in your hands, you go to a different place as a player. The bass makes you play a particular way. You can impose your will on it, but you tend to feed into the attributes of each individual instrument.

I’m really curious to see where that takes me as a writer of bass parts, so hopefully one day I’ll gather enough of these things together and actually do some music. 

Click here to entire interview via Rolling Stone.