Lee

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Lee2_resize   I started taking lessons on bass guitar from bassist Bruce Turgon, of the very popular rock band FOREIGNER, and had my first professional (paying) gig when I was 16.  “My big influences” were Geddy Lee of RUSH, along with Mark King of LEVEL 42.  I decide to put them together with a rock/funk kinda feel, which was challenging trying to mix the two styles. 

    My first professional band was called ASYLUM, which was started in 1980 and played for almost 2 years. We played most area rock bars and this is where I did my very first recording.  After disbanding in 1982, I started a progressive rock band called NO CAMOUFLAGE, which is still together today in Upstate NY.  I left after only 15 months to play in several small live bands which were trios that only worked once a month and with very little success.  I then decided to turn a total 180 and try my hand at the top 40 circuit. 

    In 1983, I worked with a Rochester NY top 40 band called PERFECT STRANGER.  We had great musicians and a great following in our home town, so we took it out on the road which was an experience by itself but lasted only 2 short years after differences of opinion. 

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“Gary Puckett and Lee”

    In 1985, I was offered a high paying job playing some of the most difficult of music. I tried my hand in Jazz and learned very fast how  to overplay. The band was called THE TREND, headed by seasoned professional Mariano Longo.  (THE PLATTERS/GARY PUCKETT and LESLIE GORE). Mariano taught me many of the values of playing and how the entertainment business worked.  After playing music to be ignored, we added more members and THE TREND became a full blown show band and went on the road, which was a lot different than I remembered with the previous bands.  We played in various 4 star motels and casinos and had great response, and then on to Atlantic City for 5 months out of the year.  When THE TREND was off I was fortunate to play with the RESORTS INTERNATIONAL CASINO house band in the Super Star Theater and worked with top acts as well as other special events where a house bassist was needed. 

    After 6 years of road work, I decide to take time off and come home.  After being home for only 2 weeks, I was called by a popular Rochester, NY band, CENTRE STAGE, which worked the local spots around town in a very low key setting.  I played with some of the closest friends that I have ever worked with until I left the band in December of 1994. 

    In January 1995, I was asked to play with a new band called THE EAST COAST CONNECTION, also based in Rochester.  With their outstanding sound and energy, it was like new blood for me after working low key for the last 5 years.  Our success would lead us to Asia and Japan and other parts of the United States such as New Orleans.  With a full 8 piece band and a ton of energy this band will work for a long time.  I left them on November 1, 1998 and relocated to southern Ohio. 

     In 1999 I played with THE VETTZ BAND, the nations leading Vietnam Veterans act, headed by Vietnam veteran Wayne Barker Jr.  We played shows at the Mall in Washington DC for over 40,000 veterans and worked with Paul Revere & The Raiders and other national acts.  I still do occasional shows with them from time to time.   

    In spring of 2002 while on vacation in San Diego, I was fortunate to receive a call from long time friend and band mate, Mariano.   He was now Musical Director for GARY PUCKETT and the UNION GAP, and asked me to join.  Needless to say, it was an outstanding opportunity for me to work with such an accomplished singer with over 20 million records sold.  From 2002 to 2004, I played over 150 shows with Gary such as Oldies Night in Stuttgart, Germany, Dick Clark’s Oldies Shows at the Casino Rama and even shows in Australia.  Gary is very wonderful man with a great family and still a very good friend. I will miss him. 

     After heavy touring, it was time to come home and auditioned for BLUESTONE IVORY in late 2004.  It was very easy to mix right in with the band.  With all the talent and combined national experience between us, I felt this would make a great and wonderful notch in my belt, not to mention that they are all God loving and fantastic people.  I enjoy the professionalism of the band but yet the easy flow that they possess and I am proud to be in BLUESTONE IVORY.. Hope to see ya at our shows… (and yes I can sing “Young Girl”  LOL.)

 Thanks for reading,

 Lee