Michael Lee RIP
Along with former band-mates vocalist Toby Jepson, bassist Mark Plunkett and keyboard player Jim Dickinson, the guitarist was among more than 150 mourners at Lee’s funeral at Darlington Crematorium.
“It was a strange day being up in Darlington, the four of us together for the first time since about 1992 and the fifth member – Mike – being in a coffin,” says Bruce, who these days is Education Director at Brighton & Bristol Institutes Of Modern Music.
“It took your breath away when the hearse arrived. Then they played Don’t Prey For Me, from the Angels’ first album, which none of us were expecting. We were all in bits.”
Jimmy Page was also present at the ceremony to honour the self-taught, Darlington-born drummer (born Michael Gary Pearson) who besides Little Angels also played with Page & Plant, The Cult, The Quireboys, Echo & The Bunnymen and Thin Lizzy.
The service, which included prayers and a reading of Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, concluded with Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.
Robert Plant and John Sykes of Thin Lizzy also sent floral tributes, the former’s note reading: ‘What a waste. Too soon. I’m so sorry, I always enjoyed your enthusiasm and ideas. Robert P.’
A devastated Spike, singer of The Quireboys, also called Classic Rock to say: “I’m gutted. Since it started this band has had 20-odd drummers, Michael was the best. He and I were partners in crime; we always had such a laugh.
“He had some of the hardest jobs in the world, replacing John Bonham and Brian Downey, but that’s the mark of the musician he was.”