born on 13/6/1951 in Hollywood, CA, United States
Howard M. Leese (born June 13, 1951 in Hollywood, California) is an American guitarist, record producer, and musical director who played with Heart for 22 years (1975 through 1997). He continues to record and tour as a solo artist, and as guitarist with The Paul Rodgers Band and Bad Company.
Howard received his inspiration to pick up the guitar during the 1960s after seeing Dick Dale, the guitarist in the surf band "the Del-Tones", and feeling the excitement from his playing. He studied violin and music theory at the City College, Los Angeles, and also played in a band called The Zoo.
Leese had his first recording contract with Ed Cobb's Sunburst label at the age of 15, as the band The Zoo with friend and drummer Mike Flicker. Later, when Flicker went to work for Jack Herschorn at Mushroom Studios in Vancouver, Leese went with him as a production manager. While there, he and Shelly Siegel started Mushroom Records.
It was at Mushroom Studios in 1974 that Leese helped produce a demo for Heart. The next year, Mushroom Records signed Heart and released the group's first album Dreamboat Annie which Flicker produced. Leese was assistant producer on the album, and was asked to join the band later that year. He stayed with the band until 1997. Leese was Heart's guitarist, backing vocalist, keyboard player and song arranger.
As of May, 2013, When not touring, Howard is performing in "Raiding the Rock Vault" at the LVH Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada
2009 saw the release of Leese's first solo effort, Secret Weapon, through Frontiers Records. The disc includes special guest appearances by Joe Lynn Turner, Paul Rodgers, Jimi Jamison and Keith Emerson.
Howard is a longtime player and endorser of Paul Reed Smith Guitars. In 2009, Paul Reed Smith announced and launched the "Howard Leese Limited Edition Golden Eagle" in tribute to the #1 guitar that he played on stage for over 15 years. In the late 1970s, he performed live with the rare Sardonyx guitar.
Howard has used and endorsed Toadworks guitar effects since 2004. In January 2009, ToadWorks USA released the Howard Leese Signature Model analog flanger named Barracuda, after the intro in the Heart song of the same name).
HML Guitars was founded in 1994 by Howard Leese. As a woodworker and luthier, he participated in all aspects of construction as well as quality control. HML guitars were totally hand-built in Seattle by luthier Jack Pimentel. Pimentel has continued to build hand-crafted custom guitars under his own brand JP Guitars.
All Heart albums 1975-1997, and contributions to many others:
- The Zoo Presents Chocolate Moose (1968) -- by The Zoo
- Dawn of the Seventh Sun (1969) -- by Mad Dog
- Dreamboat Annie (1976) -- by Heart
- Little Queen (1977) -- by Heart
- Magazine (1978) -- by Heart
- Dog and Butterfly (1978) -- by Heart
- Fighting Alone (1979) -- by Dixon House Band
- Bebe Le Strange (1980) -- by Heart
- Masked Madness (1981) -- by Dixon House
- Private Audition (1982) -- by Heart
- Randy Meisner (1982) -- by Randy Meisner
- Passionworks (1983) -- by Heart
- The Thirteenth Dream (aka Spirit of '84) (1984) -- by Spirit
- Heart (1985) -- by Heart
- Bad Animals (1987) -- by Heart
- Brigade (1990) -- by Heart
- Dangerous Curves (1991) -- by Lita Ford
- There Must Be A Place (1993) -- by Bananafish
- Desire Walks On (1993) -- by Heart
- The Road Home (1995) -- by Heart
- Paul Rodgers: Live in Glasgow (2007) -- by Paul Rodgers
- Secret Weapon (2009) -- by Howard Leese
- Not Sunburst Records of Huntsville, Alabama, but a Los Angeles based company.
- "Howard Leese".
- Kehew, Brian, Flight of the Sardonyx, Vintage Guitar, May 2012, pp. 4647. URL accessed on 15 November 2013.
- JP Guitars, www.jpguitars.com
- Howard Leese discography, www.howardleese.com
- The Zoo Presents Chocolate Moose (1968), Lost-In-Tyme, July 2007.
- Bananafish: Energetic Sound, Hopeful Music, 6 January 1995, The Seattle Times.
- Fjestad S.P. (ed.) Zachary R. (2008) Blue Book of Electric Guitars 11th Edition, Illustrated, Publisher: Alfred Publishing, ISBN 1-886768-73-0, ISBN 978-1-886768-73-4 pp. 599
- York, William (ed.) (1982) "Leese, Howard" Who's Who in Rock Music Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, ISBN 0-684-17343-3
- "Howard Leese biography" Official Website of Howard Leese
- "Howie's Page", BebeLeStrange's Ann and Nancy Wilson Site by Todd Kinzey
- "Interview with Howard Leese", Classic Rock Revisited from WebArchive
|Ann Wilson | Nancy Wilson|
Studio albums: Dreamboat Annie | Little Queen | Magazine | Dog and Butterfly | Bebe Le Strange | Private Audition | Passionworks | Heart | Bad Animals | Brigade | Desire Walks On | Jupiter's Darling
Compilations: Greatest Hits Live | The Road Home | These Dreams: Greatest Hits | The Essential Heart | Alive in Seattle
Singles: Crazy on You | Magic Man | Dreamboat Annie | Barracuda | Little Queen | Kick it Out | Heartless | Straight On | Dog and Butterfly | Even it Up | Bebe Le Strange | Tell It Like It Is | Unchained Melody | This Man Is Mine | How Can I Refuse? | Allies | What About Love | Never | These Dreams | Nothin' at All | If Looks Could Kill | Alone | Who Will You Run To | There's the Girl | I Want You So Bad | All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You | I Didn't Want to Need You | Stranded | Secret | Will You Be There (In the Morning)
Paul Rodgers · Mick Ralphs · Boz Burrell · Simon Kirke|
Brian Howe · Robert Hart · Steve Price · Felix Krish · Rick Wills · Dave "Bucket" Colwell · Jaz Lochrie · Mark Wolfe
|Studio albums||Bad Company · Straight Shooter · Run with the Pack · Burnin' Sky · Desolation Angels · Rough Diamonds · Fame and Fortune · Dangerous Age · Holy Water · Here Comes Trouble · Company of Strangers · Stories Told & Untold|
|Live albums||What You Hear Is What You Get · Merchants of Cool · Live in Albuquerque 1976 · Merchants of Cool|
|Films and videos||Merchants of Cool · Inside Bad Company 1974-1982|
|Compilation albums||10 from 6 · The Original Bad Company Anthology|
|See also||Bad Company discography|