Not only were Americans glued to their TVs 50 years ago this Saturday, July 20th, 1969, the day Apollo 11 landed on the moon. But so was Geddy Lee in Canada, and Brian May and Peter Frampton in England.
"I remember it very clearly. It was a big thing [and] to my generation it was a huge thing. I remember exactly watching it at my girlfriend's house. And I remember everybody talking about it and being obsessed with it and being aware of it. So yeah, it was a huge day."
Years later, Geddy and the other members of Rush would meet and become friends with some of the folks at NASA.
"You know I've got nothing but respect for those people. You know, they work really hard and they are some of the finest minds in the world trying to push, you know, the cutting edge of technology. So I have a special spot in my heart for the job that these people. I'm really happy about that."
Peter Frampton, who was in London and a member of Humble Pie at the time, has had the privilege on a number of occasions, to meet and get to know Apollo 11 Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin.
"When they were in the LEM -- they were on the surface of the moon -- and they were preparing to fire up, turn the batteries on and get out of there. They look around and Buzz says, 'Oh my God.' Neil said, 'What?' He said, 'There's the ignition switch.' He said, 'We must have broken off the switch when we had the suits on' because it's such a small cramped area to get those big suits on. So one of them smacked the thing. So, the amazing thing was, you know Bic pens, the ones sort of hexagonal, clear ones, right, that the center comes out and you can replace [the ink]? Buzz had one of those and the hole in the head of what was left of the pen, without the ink part in it, fit right over the switch inside the hole. That's how they turned it on."
Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Dr. Brian May -- who is friends with Buzz Aldrin and had the honor to meet the late Neil Armstrong, talked about the moon landing.
"I was in Cornwall with my drummer Roger Taylor in his mom's house and I will never forget it -- watching, you know, this very grainy and hard to distinguish pictures. But there you could see the man go down to the moon and say, 'One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.' Something I will never forget I must say and it seemed miraculous. I so remember my dad, who was in space aeronautics, a couple of years earlier saying, 'We won't get to the moon in my lifetime. I know we won't.' But we did. It was an incredible achievement."
Tom Johnston of The Doobie Brothers and Michael Stipe of R.E.M. also shared their memories.
"I can't say that I was glued to the TV set or anything because I was running around doing all kinds of other stuff, but I do remember it happening and I remember it was a big deal. Everybody was pretty happy about it 'cause it always seemed like something that wasn't going to happen and it did."
Michael Stipe talked about the R.E.M. song "Man on the Moon" and those who think it's a conspiracy. OC:...where the song comes from. :24
"That song was questioning the really, really whacked out conspiracy theories and drawing a comparison between the very whacked conspiracy theory that the moon walk never occurred, that it was a sound stage somewhere in the Arizona desert and that the entire moon walk was completely staged by NASA. That's pretty out there. And it's about as out there as Elvis [Presley] is still alive or [comedian] Andy Kaufman staged his own death, which is where the song comes from."