RIC LEE - DRUMS
Ric began playing drums and percussion at school and joined two other school mates to form a three piece called The Falcons. After only a short time with The Falcons, Ric was asked to join a well-known local group, Ricky Storm and the Stormcats. During this period, Ric met and studied with Dave Quickmire, drummer with the hottest group in the area, The Jaybirds. The guitarist was Alvin Lee and the bassist, Leo Lyons. Dave left The Jaybirds to get married and insisted Ric audition for the post. Soon after, Ric took over the drum chair.
Chick Churchill joined as Road Manager but soon became keyboard player as The Jaybirds became the backing group for a chart vocal act, The Ivy League. In 1968, after an audition at London's Marquee Club under the name The Bluesyard (the only gig the group ever performed under this name) the quartet became the highly successful rock group, Ten Years After. When Ten Years After ceased touring in 1976, Ric turned his attention to running his own Music Publishing, Management and Record Production company. One of the first signings to the publishing company was a song called I Can Prove It, which reached No 21 in the UK National singles chart in 1977. The company also promoted a song into the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in the same year.
During these years, Ric studied tuned percussion as a part time student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Gilbert Webster, percussionist with the BBC Radio Orchestra. When Gilbert moved to Manchester, Ric continued his studies with Robert Howes, percussionist with the Wren Orchestra. For about 18 months, commencing in 1980, Ric joined Stan Webb in the thirteenth incarnation of Chicken Shack, a sixties blues group that had a UK number one record "I'd Rather Go Blind" which was sung by Christine Perfect who went on to world fame with Fleetwood Mac. Chicken Shack toured the UK and Europe many times in this short period and made an album for RCA Records "Roadies' Concerto".
Ten Years After toured the world extensively, including completion of 28 tours of the USA in eight years, performed at the 1969 WOODSTOCK FESTIVAL and appeared in the film of the event released the following year. In 1970 Ten Years After appeared at the ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL and in the film, which was only finally released in 1995! On several tours of the States, Ric found time to study at Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachussetts with Alan Dawson, then drummer with the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Ric also began teaching young enthusiasts privately when at home between touring commitments.
Ten Years After re-formed again in 1983 for the Marquee Club's 25th Anniversary During this short "rebirth", Ric managed the group; negotiating contracts, arranging publicity, organising travel and performance budgets and playing the kit! Between 1984 and 1986, Ric managed several up and coming young acts and increased his publishing catalogue. A cover version of "I Can Prove It" was secured, sung by Phil Fearon, which charted at No 8 in the UK Gallup Chart and went on to be a multi-million selling record throughout Europe.
Ten Years After re-formed yet again in 1988 and recorded a new album "About Time" in Memphis, Tennessee and spent the next four years touring Europe, the US and selected dates in the UK performing to sell-out crowds. In between tours Ric studied further drum techniques and gained experience of Latin percussion ensemble playing with Trevor Tompkins, Professor of Percussion at the Guildhall and the Royal College of Music.
In 1994, Ric formed The Breakers with an old friend, Ian Ellis and together they wrote and produced their first studio album "MILAN", which was released in July 1995. Along with tours of the UK and Europe, The Breakers were guests with Bryan Adams and Bonnie Raitt, on NBC Super Channel's "Talking Blues" programme that aired in Europe in March 1996.
Another of Ric's winning projects around the middle nineties was the production of a series of ambient albums, the most successful of which was "Spirit of Africa" This album has sold over 50,000 units in Europe and was re-launched recently. Ric worked again with Ten Years After, touring and performing at Festivals in America, Brazil and Europe between 1995 and 1999. More recently he was finding "gems" of "lost" recordings of the band, re-mastering them, writing sleeve notes and helping the companies involved re-issue and promote the products.
Ric recorded an album in Nashville, USA in October 2001 with Leo Lyons and Texan guitar slinger, Vince Converse, due for release in the near future. One track from those sessions is included on "From Clarksdale to Heaven", a tribute to veteran blues man John Lee Hooker, which also includes contributions by guitarists Jeff Beck and Gary Moore. Ric has a daughter at University and a son in his final year at secondary school and lives in the Derbyshire Dales, where he runs a highly successful holiday business, is writing his autobiography, a novel and still finds time to help youngsters learn to play percussion instruments!
Ric plays: Drums, Tympani, L A Percussion, Piano, Vibraphone & Associated Tuned Percussion
Date and place of birth: 20th October 1945 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire