Book Review: Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful book of bass

Posted by on February 1, 2019

Rush’s iconic bassist and lead vocalist has just released a beautiful and majestic coffee table style book entitled, Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Book of Bass: A Compendium of the Rare, Iconic, and Weird. The book, of course, is anything but weird but rather a thick and insightful tome that you’ll spend hours reading and enjoying over and over again.

The first thing you’ll notice is that this book is BIG – I mean really big.  This is a great feature because it allows readers to really appreciate the photography as it displays so many wonderful images of rare bass guitars. You get to see all the little details like the F plate on the 1965 Fender Jazz Bass and the original style screw-in mute assembly of the 1963. Geddy doesn’t skimp on the images. These are carefully curated and professionally put together by Richard Sibbald.

Of course, the book is not limited to Fender products. There’s a wonderful section on the 1953 Gibson EB, made famous by Mountain’s Felix Pappalardi as well a stunning array of photos for the psychedelic and trippy 1970 Rickenbacker 4005L used by master Who bassist John Entwistle.  If you love basses, you’ll find your favorite brand here.

There are even basses that we in the metal industry have never seen before in this book including the 1970 Ampeg Dan Amstrong SEE-THROUGH which is actually made of plexiglass. You can see all the inner workings detailed perfectly.

While there are literally well over 300 pages of photos and details about rare and beautiful bass guitars to enjoy, there are some insightful interviews with bass pros like Bill Wyman of the Rollings Stones, Adam Clayton of U2, Bob Daisley from Rainbow and Robert Trujillo of Metallica. As a metal fan, my favorite is the Trujillo interview. You gain insight into the details of Robert’s early years as you learn his exploration with R&B and fusion, which is so paramount in his sound today.

The back section features a neat little timeline of “bassy moments” that denotes some key milestones in bass production and marketing. There’s also a nice collage of photos that demonstrate what it’s like going on tour as a member of Rush with twenty-plus basses coming along for the ride.

Priced at $75, this book actually feels and reads like it should be much more expensive. This wasn’t done on the cheap. Clearly, this text was meant to last a long time and get lots of use as your friends come over and peruse what’s in your living room. You easily get your money’s worth here. It’s published by Harper Design and can be found here.


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