The Fans Demand Jake E. Lee Get A Feature Cover Story
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Jake E.Lee headed a band called Teaser,San Diego, CA, in his teens purportedly named after the debut solo album of Tommy Bolin, of whom Lee was an avowed fan. Teaser was the official House Band at San Diego’s first “Teen Night Club”, StraitaHead Sound. In 1980, Lee joined a San Diego hard rock band called Mickey Ratt, which after later relocating to Los Angeles became the popular glam metal band Ratt. Lee left to join Rough Cutt, who were at that time produced by Ronnie James Dio and managed by his wife, Wendy. After hearing Lee in Rough Cutt in 1982, Dio invited Lee to join his new solo band Dio, which he was forming after departing Black Sabbath. Lee accepted, though his time in Dio’s band was short-lived.
When Ozzy Osbourne sought a permanent replacement for the deceased Randy Rhoads, he came to Los Angeles to audition lead guitarists. Bassist Dana Strum (Slaughter), who had recommended Rhoads to Osbourne in 1979, this time recommended Lee for the job. Osbourne was torn between Lee and Dokken guitarist George Lynch. Though Osbourne is said to have initially chosen Lynch, he soon changed his mind and Lee became his full-time guitarist for the next five years. Lee joined Osbourne’s band in late 1982 following the tour supporting the Speak of the Devil live album which featured Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) on guitar.
With Lee and bassist Bob Daisley, they began writing lyrics and recording the Bark at the Moon album. The songs “So Tired” and “Bark at the Moon” were released as singles, with accompanying videos, and they received regular airplay on MTV and radio. To date, the album has sold three million copies in the U.S.
After Osbourne left the Betty Ford Center where he had been treated for substance abuse, Lee presented him with the music he had written while Osbourne was away. Osbourne was purportedly very satisfied with the quantity and quality of Lee’s new music, much of which would be used for the 1986 album, The Ultimate Sin. The album was awarded Double Platinum status in October 1994. Lee and Osbourne once again extensively for the album. In 1987, Lee was suddenly fired in a telegram from Sharon Osbourne.
In 1988, Lee formed the blues-based hard rock band Badlands with vocalist Ray Gillen (Black Sabbath), drummer Eric Singer (who would eventually replace Eric Carr in Kiss), and bassist Greg Chaisson. The band released their self-titled debut album in 1989. After completing touring for their follow-up album, Voodoo Highway, Gillen died of AIDS-related complications in 1993. In 1998, Dusk, the final Badlands album consisting of unreleased live in-studio 24-track demos was released.
Following the demise of Badlands, Lee opted for a radical musical departure and teamed with World War III vocalist Mandy Lion in a new band called Wicked Alliance. Some tracks would appear on the posthumous Badlands’ Dusk. In 1996, Lee released an instrumental solo album titled A Fine Pink Mist on the Pony Canyon label in Japan.
Throughout most of the 1990s and into the new millennium, Lee kept a relatively low profile but. In 2005, He released his first album in eight years entitled Retraced, which consisted of blues covers from the 1960s and 1970s.
In 2011, Jake appeared in the Beggars & Thieves video for the song “We Come Undone.” The following captions appear on the screen during Jake’s appearance: “Jake E. Lee is alive and well, living in Las Vegas” and “He would just rather play with Beggars & Thieves than deal with shady promoters and play Bark at the Moon 750 more times.”
In 2013, Jake returned with a new band, RED DRAGON CARTEL. The band came about when old friend Ronnie Mancuso helped to coax Jake out of retirement. Ronnie, noted session guitarist/bassist, composer and producer for Beggars & Thieves, was sharing a studio space, The Hideout in Las Vegas with super hot producer, engineer and mixer Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne, Five Finger Death Punch, Rob Zombie, Hinder, In This Moment). Ronnie and Kevin started talking with Jake, then slowly, Ronnie and Jake along with Kevin’s son Kane (co-writer of Five Finger Death Punch’s “Remember Everything”, In This Moments “Blood” and many others) started writing songs under Kevin’s supervision based on literally hundreds of great riffs Jake had stored up from his years in seclusion. The new self-titled Red Dragon Cartel debut album was cut at The Hideout and produced by R. Bernard Mann (AKA Ronnie Mancuso and Jake E. Lee) and executive produced, mixed and mastered by Kevin Churko.
The band was rounded out by a lucky few culled from over a thousand submissions to a “Jake E. Lee needs a lead singer and drummer Facebook page.” The lucky few are UK born vocalist D.J Smith, and Vancouver based drummer/vocalist, Jonas Fairley. The album also features stellar guest appearances from legendary vocalist Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno, Canadian rock Sass Jordan, former Pantera and Down bassist Rex Brown, Slash’s Conspirator’s, Todd Kearns and Brent Fitz, Scott Reeder of Kyuss and The Obsessed and new metal icons like vocalist Maria Brink from In This Moment and Five Finger Death Punch’s Jeremy Spencer.
Red Dragon Cartel’s touring band is in constant change as Jake hires different musicians in order to bring a new feel to the music on every tour.
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