What is the story behind the "Geddy Lee" Wals?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tekhna, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004
    I was having a look over at Basscentral, and as I usually do, I stop by the Wal page to drool. But there my eyes beheld a strange sight-A Geddy Lee Wal. Never heard of Geddy playing a Wal (Not that I know much about Geddy, really).
    So what's the story?
  2. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Geddy played Wals in the 80's and they made a signature model based on one of the basses he used.
  3. tekhna


    Nov 7, 2004

    Thank you.
    So then he switched to (or back to?) Fender?
    Did he use Fender live at that point, or Wals?
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

  5. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I think the order was:

    Jazz bass
    Jazz bass

    I suspect the change back to the jazz bass was made on the Counterparts album (91?) or possibly the Roll the Bones album. But he definately used the Wals live because IIRC the "Show of Hands" video has him playing a Wal the whole way through the concert.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    He switched back to Fenders for Counterparts.
  7. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    He used the Jazz in some videos from Presto. He might have used the Jazz on that album as well. He definitely used the Wal on that tour, and only began using the Jazz on tour on Counterparts.
  8. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    IIRC "Show don`t tell" was played with his Jazz bass. For the rest of the album (Presto) he used his black Wal. His red Wal appeared in Roll the bones in 1991.
    He got the Red Wal to obtain more bottom end.
  9. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Because, as we all know, red basses have more bottom end :D
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

  11. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    The Presto album is all Wal. The "Show Don't Tell" video kinda always amused me because Alex Lifeson has one of his old Gibson hollowbodies out for the video, but this ultra-clean, wirey, active singlecoil sound (courtesy of his Signature guitars) is what you're hearing. ;)

    I think my favorite era of Geddy's was the Wal years (the Rickenbacker period coming in second). His playing on those basses sounded the most articulate out of all the other instruments he's played on.
  12. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    my only kuam with the website that was posted is that its not a '74 or '73, its a '72 jazz.

    during the wal era though, wasnt geddy using some seriously thin guage strings?
  13. Mark, your list is correct except that you forgot the Conora he started with - some bizarre teardrop shaped thing.

    When he started using Wal's (Power Windows), Geddy asked them to make one in a solid colour. Wal basses almost exclusively came in natural finishes. He got a black one because he wanted the brighter tone you get from a solid colour.

    IMO, Geddy never sounded better than when he had the Rick, or sometimes the Jazz, back around Permanent Waves / Moving Pictures. That sound is awesome!
  14. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I always thought that teardrop bass was a PBass that he "home modified" himself.

    IIRC Moving Pictures was recorded using only a Jazz, but he was still using the Rick on tour for the ESL tour - I think MP / ESL is the peak of Geddy's tone! :D
  15. Not sure about the home mod on the teardrop thing. hadn't heard that.

    but i agree with you totally - MP/ESL had amazing tone.

    i think he played both the jazz and the rick on MP. I know he used the jazz on Tom Sawyer and YYZ, but i'd swear that Red Barchetta is the rick.

    not gonna put money on it though! :D
  16. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    I heard about that teardrop mod as well but I heard it was a jazz not a P bass. What was he thinking? :confused:
  17. The teardrop mod was applied to the P he played on Rush's first album. He said it doesn't sound the same nowadays. He does have at least one other P bass, though, that isn't mutilated.

    Geddy used Wals in the 80s. At certain times it's too thin-sounding for my liking, but I guess I can't imagine 80s Rush with any other tone. I personally love the Exit Stage Left tone.
  18. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Moving pictures....he used both Rick and jazz, according to the last BP magazine article.
  19. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    You guys must be talking about this beauty that is sitting behind me right now:

  20. pdusen


    Aug 18, 2004
    The P-bass he played on the first Rush album was a precision bass. He later had it remolded into a teardrop shape, gave it a Jazz pickup in the bridge position, and had it re-wired in stereo so it could be used in a manner similar to his Rickenbacker basses.

    Moving Pictures was recorded entirely with the Fender Jazz, but he stuck to the Rick live.