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The news is that Jake E. Lee’s on the comeback trail with a new band and a new record and everything is okay. For fans of ’80s hard rock, not a whole lot about that music has changed. Lee’s signature staccato pentatonic guitar runs have not been dulled (nor slowed) in the least by the fact that a couple of decades have come and gone since his last major recording. Absent only from the picture is the spandex-leather-chick makeup that certain man-rockers favored back then. But the music is the same. It’s as if Lee, who is now 56, and his latter-day glam contemporaries simply picked up where they left off.

Jakey Lou Williams was an infant when his family relocated from Virginia to Imperial Beach. This is where he formed his first band, Teaser, which became known clear across town at a head-banger club in La Mesa called Straita Head Sound. It’s been said that another child guitarist named Warren DeMartini engaged Lee for guitar lessons. When Lee left Mickey Ratt, he would suggest that DeMartini take his place; that band ultimately became Ratt. Lee quit MR because he’d hooked up with Rough Cutt in Los Angeles, which led to a short-lived job in a new band called Dio at the behest of Ronnie James, which led to a job with Ozzy Osbourne after Randy Rhoads suddenly died. Lee ushered in the Bark at the Moon era and he did something that rock critics said could never be done: he filled Rhoads’s guitar-hero shoes.

Past Event

Jake E Lee's Red Dragon Cartel

  • Sunday, December 15, 2013, 7 p.m.
  • Brick by Brick, 1130 Buenos Avenue, San Diego
  • 21+ / $20 - $25

There’s not a lot of Jake E. Lee music activity to report post-Oz. He may have taken a job wrenching for a mechanic in Las Vegas, which would make sense, given his muscle-car hobby. But now he’s back on the road, and the only question that remains is this: are we ready for big-hair rock to make a comeback?

Gregg Vaughan’s Phantom Cargo, Temporal Riff, and Sick String Outlaws also perform.

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