Ian Pike noon, Dec. 8
Jake E. Lee
RIYL: Badlands, Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Dio
Breaking NewsThe former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist's new band Red Dragon Cartel will debut at Brick By Brick on December 15, previewing the group's self-titled album (Lee's first in two decades), due for release January 28 via Frontiers Records.
Upcoming Local Shows
- Brick by Brick — Sunday, December 15, 7pm
Influences: Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Wes Montgomery, Les Paul, Eric Clapton, Rainbow
Jake E. Lee (real name Jake Lou Williams) was twelve when his family moved to Imperial Beach. His mom had him taking piano lessons but, while attending Mar Vista High School, he discovered his sister’s Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin records, deciding to take up the guitar instead.
His teen band Teaser played one school dance, but Lee was expelled for changing his report card. In 1980, he joined a local band fronted by Stephen Pearcy called Mickey Ratt (which, after his departure, became known simply as Ratt). He later joined Ronnie James Dio’s band, though he got fired and ended up with Ozzy Osbourne, providing his big break in the rock music biz.
Lee stayed with Ozzy from 1982 until 1987, appearing on 1983’s Bark at the Moon and 1986’s The Ultimate Sin, both featuring him as co-writer as well as guitarist.
“On the first album, I felt [pressure] because there were a lot of guitar players who wanted this gig,” he told Guitar World magazine in 1986. “I knew there were going to be a lot of people listening to see if I did any good or not. But I’m not the kind of person who really cares what other people think. There are guitar players who still come up to Ozzy and go ‘I’m the guitar player you should have got.’”
He plays on Enuff Z’Nuff’s 12th studio album Dissonance, originally only available in Europe and Japan until its U.S. release in spring 2012.
Later in 2012, he began work on a new album with planned guest singers to include Paul Di’Anno (Iron Maiden), Robin Zander (Cheap Trick), and Maria Brink. He announced that was seeking a permanent vocalist who “Must be capable of singing a couple of Ozzy and Badlands songs, while having a strong-enough identity to carry the band into the future.”
His new band, Jake E. Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel, including singer DJ Smith, bassist Ronnie Mancuso (Beggars & Thieves) and drummer Jonas Fairley (Black Betty), began recording a new album with Ozzy producer Kevin Churko in 2013, at Hideout Studios in Las Vegas. They got together after Mancuso asked Lee to appear in a Beggars & Thieves video.
He did a rare TV interview on June 22, 2013 for That Metal Show, talking publicly for the first time about his years playing with Ozzy Osbourne. The episode included him saying “I feel like I should get credit for the songs I wrote for Bark at the Moon.”
Red Dragon Cartel released a lyric video for “Feeder” in November 2013, featuring Cheap Trick's Robin Zander on vocals and taken from the group's self-titled album (Lee's first in two decades), due for release January 28, 2014, via Frontiers Records. Guest players on the album include Paul Di'Anno (ex-Iron Maiden), Rex Brown (Kill Devil Hill, ex-Pantera), Todd Kearns and Brent Fitz (Slash), Scott Reeder (ex-Kyuss), Maria Brink (In This Moment), Jeremy Spencer (Five Finger Death Punch), Tom Petersson (Cheap Trick), and Sass Jordan (SUN).