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Geddy Lee's Big Beautiful Book of Bass

4.80  ·  Rating details ·  186 ratings  ·  39 reviews
"It's not surprising that sooner or later I'd dive down the proverbial rabbit hole into the world of vintage bass guitars."—Geddy Lee

From Rush frontman Geddy Lee's personal collection of vintage electric bass guitars, dating from the 1950s to the 1980s, comes the definitive volume on the subject.

Geddy's love of the bass has been nurtured over a lifetime spent in the limeli
Hardcover, 408 pages
Published December 18th 2018 by Harper Design/HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C. (first published December 2018)
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Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Book of Bass by by Geddy Lee, Daniel Richler (Text & Editorial Collaborator), Richard Sibbald (Photographer), Terry Foster (Contributor), Alex Lifeson (Contributor) is a 2018 Harper Design/HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C. Publication.

Gorgeous Book!

In hundred percent honesty, I never gave the bass the credit it was due until I heard RUSH, and then had the pleasure of seeing them perform live. MTV videos also allowed people to watch Geddy play the instrument, and believe
Jack Chaucer
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The ultimate book for bass junkies by one of the best players ever. Fantastic photos, anecdotes, interviews with other bass gurus and more from rock legend Geddy Lee of Rush, who has a huge collection of basses -- all years, makes, models and cool colors. A bass player myself with a modest collection of two (new Fender Mustang and old Washburn Force 4), I asked for this book for Christmas and it took me most of 2020 to devour it, but well worth the time and a welcome refuge from the pandemic-pro ...more
Joe Richards
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Although bearing the appearance of a coffee table book, the Big Beautiful Book of Bass is so much more than a casual read. It's a documentation of an obsession, gorgeously laid out and packed full of wonderful factoids, fascinating tales and sumptuous photography.

Bursting with passion, these 400 pages bristle with childlike excitement as Rush's bassist extraordinaire takes the reader on a deeply personal journey through his fanatical collection, never shirking on the smaller details and somehow
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
From the layout to the choice of guest writers featured, this book is incredibly well done and a great read. I wish I could deduct a half star for the outside cover’s texture, but the pages within are so well presented, that I’m comfortable leaving at 5 stars.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
fan freaking tastic

One of the bass legends of our time expounding on all things bass. Beautiful full colour photos make this book a dream come true. There are also great interviews with other bass luminaries such as John Paul Jones. This book is the best.
Sarah Bynum
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Now, here's a man who has his basses covered. ...more
Jeffrey (Akiva) Savett
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is less review, more sorta journal entry.

I teared up when I finished reading this massive and beautiful tome.

For a lot of reasons.

Because I got it signed by Geddy whom I’ve listened to, watched, and admired for going on 35 years now. And have now met. It was a disaster. Though I’ve never experienced it before and stand in no real awe of fame, I was star struck. I had a speech prepared. I said nothing but “hi,” “I’m good,” and “thanks.” Luckily, I did get a fist bump.

Because Rush, the band a
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you're a music geek like me, and especially if you are a bass player, this luxe coffee table book has over 400 pages of beautifully photographed musical instruments, mostly basses, from the collection of Mr. Geddy Lee himself. There's a plethora of facts about the instruments, the history of the manufacturers represented, and valuable trivia on minor and major year to year changes of the many models shown. Add that to Geddy's often humorous writing style and interviews with some of the greats ...more
Jim Razinha
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is s stunningly gorgeous book. Geddy's passion shines throughout. Meticulous histories, beautiful photographic works of art, insightful interviews and candid revelations. I'll return to this often just to bask. ...more
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lovingly photographed. Encyclopedic in its breadth. Despite weighing a ton, I think the only fault is not having more interviews with the musicians.
Roger Akiti Dezem
For bass guitars lovers indeed...

Warning! Pure bass guitar porn ! The pictures are superb (not like the printed edition but...). The interviews are very elucidative, my favorite was Bill Wyman words. Must have book if you like rock’n roll history.
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A doorstop of a coffee-table book that is basically a love letter to the bass guitar. Back in my high school days during the mid-'80s I played guitar (badly) and then switched over to playing bass (slightly-less badly) with some friends in a garage band. And I've been a die-hard Rush fan basically since that time, so I pretty much knew going in I'd find it fascinating.

It was. Geddy's comments on his 250 or so basses, alongside the interviews with the likes of Primus' Les Claypool, Zeppelin's Joh
Jay Gabler
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author proves an amiable tour guide through the history of electric bass guitars, starting in 1952 with the first mass-production model. Fender's Precision bass was given its name because it included frets like a guitar, so players could hit notes precisely. "Leo Fender's concept for the instrument," writes Lee, "was that anyone who could play a guitar could now play the bass."

While Lee is an accessible writer, he doesn't often slow down to explain his jargon, so good luck if you don't alrea
Marie Richter
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Admittedly, I am a Rush superfan (a title earned when I named my first-born Alex); for a devotee like me, this book is like milk and honeydew from the gods. Geddy Lee is one of rock’s foremost bassists, and he channels all that skill and passion into a book that transcends Canada’s best band ever and welcomes readers from any walk of life to enjoy the rich history of the bass guitar.

The key word here is HISTORY. Each page made me feel as if I were walking through an extraordinary museum — so ca
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received this book a while ago, but I'm just now getting around to rating it and giving it a review. Geddy Lee's "Big Beautiful Book of Bass" is a journey through the past and present of the bass guitar complied by one of the most celebrated musicians in rock-n-roll history. What is most impressive about this book is that it is both a visual journey and a collection of personal testimonials. The pages are filled with gorgeous photographs of basses, grouped by the brand (Fender, Rickenbacker, e ...more
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Geddy Lee's bass book hits the spot for anyone looking to get insight into the history of bass, and in a way, the life of one of the most respected rock bassists in all of rock history.

This book gets 5 stars for a multitude of reasons:

The photography is top notch! It provides drool-worthy photos of instruments you never knew existed and then some.

You get an education on vintage bass gear, the luthiers that made them, and a brief history of the companies that manufactured them.

You get stories fr
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, music
Geddy Lee is an icon of arena rock who played bass in one band, Rush, for five decades. His distinctive, driving playing style is well regarded and widely admired. Late in life his interest in the bass grew from being strictly a player to being a collector, as well. He came up with this vanity project to document, photographically, the history of the electric bass guitar.

While there is text throughout the book, the center of attention is the photographs of the 350 or so instruments, most of the
Rob Hermanowski
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a bass player and admirer of Rush's music, I was thrilled to be able to grab tickets to Geddy Lee's appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last January, where Geddy spoke and signed copies of his incredible new book. I've done a slow, gradual read of this mammoth book since then, finally completing it today. This is nothing less than an exploration of the history of the electric bass guitar, complete with incredibly beautiful pictures of vintage instruments, and punctuated by Geddy's ow ...more
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely enjoyed it!
I am a guitar player and this book was very informative and educational throughout. I learned much about bass guitar and was wowed by the enormity and passion of Geddy’s collecting.
Also there are numerous references to other books that I am now going to look up and pursue in my ongoing quest for guitar/fretted instrument knowledge.
Thank you Geddy for sharing your wonderful collection and thanks to my friend Mike for trusting me enough to lend this incredible book to me!
Eric Mccann
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bassists, Rush fans, music lovers
OK. For starters, I'm biased. Fan of Geddy and Rush. They're a big part of the reason I play bass.

Even without that, though, this is a thoroughly interesting book, both for the information in it and the photography of an array of very interesting basses. I have it digitally, but you *really* need this as a coffeetable type book - it's one of those books that's just far better presented that way. (I... don't have a coffee table or a lot of room, so digital it is for me! For now.)

If you've any i
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anybody who knows me is certain I intended to read this. This is a lovely microhistory of the bass guitar, coupled with a pictorial survey of Geddy's own collection and interviews with well-known bassists. It's best appreciated in print format for all the quality photos, and you don't have to be a Rush fan. It's not a Rush book, though Geddy injects his personal experiences with some of the guitars. ...more
Tom Huguelet
This books delivers as advertised. It's big, it's beautiful, and it's Geddy Lee's. I liked the anecdotes, and the level of detail and background stories provided. I was surprised that Geddy's bass collection is so idiosyncratic. He's got a thing for only a certain type of basses (Fender Jazzes obviously, but also Ampeg's. Höfner's, and a bunch of Italian art-deco things). There are a few errors in the book, but anything this broad is likely to have a few. Essential reading for bass nerds. ...more
Leah Coleman
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Required reading for anyone remotely interested in the history of the bass guitar! Or a Rush fan. 20 word minimums stink. Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

Required reading for anyone remotely interested in the history of the bass guitar! Or a Rush fan. 20 word minimums stink. Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The following is an excerpt from my website where I posted a review:

The production of this book is so immaculate I didn’t even want to open it. No, I did not open the signed copy. Remember, the regular version came too. It’s indeed big and heavy and wonderfully put together. No doubt,...
David Rickert
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Quite an impressive accomplishment - I can’t imagine this book being any better than it is. A great concept, definitely more for gearheads than Rush fans. I don’t play bass or know much about instruments, but was still drawn into the story behind this huge collection. It weighs about the same as a bass and it took quite a while to get through, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you're at all interested in the history of the bass guitar, this is a book to savour. It is sumptuously presented, and written with the enthusiasm that only an experienced protagonist could offer. I was a little sad to get to the end, but there's nothing to stop me starting again, there's plenty of detail to pore over! ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love Rush or history of instruments this is a great read.

400 pages goes by quickly in this great picture book. But the history is what makes it great. I now know a lot more about basses and the beauty they possess.
Joseph B.
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing,

If you're into bass -or music - this book covers a lot of the best examples of the instrument in existence, filled with Geddy's anecdotes and history with the bass guitar. Fantastic read.
Timothy Rooney
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic experience! The pictures are so beautiful! The information is a great compliment to the pictures. The interviews are also fun and informative. It is also a quick read, and the pictures can be enjoyed and savored for however long (or short) you would like!
Jim Losby
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fasntastic boo. Great photos, great writing. . I only wish the interviews were longer and there were three times as many of them .
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