in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, on November 30th, 1943, Leo became a professional
musician at 16 and as the founding member of the band Ten Years After has been
an on-stage eyewitness to some of the most pivotal moments in the history of
Rock and Roll. In 1962 with his band called The Jaybirds along with guitarist
Alvin Lee he performed at The Star Club, Hamburg, Germany where, only a week
earlier, The Beatles had polished up their act. Leo was hired to play in the
club’s house band with Tony Sheridan and yet he still found the time to guest
at the Top Ten Club with guitarist Albert Lee.
Like the Beatles, The Jaybirds returned home to
the move from their hometown to London and secured their first recording
contract with legendary record producer Joe Meek.
From 1963 to 1966, as well as playing and managing The
Jaybirds, Leo worked as a session musician, and toured as a sideman with pop
acts of the day, he appeared in a play in London’s West End and also played a
residency with poll winning British Jazz Guitarist Denny Wright.
In 1967 with a name change to Ten Years
After, a residency at London’s famous Marquee Club and a debut album out on
Deram Records, the band were soon to build a huge following around the
Fillmore’s East and West
founder Bill Graham heard the band’s first album and immediately sent a letter
offering to book Ten Years After into his historic venues in San Francisco and
New York. They were also one of the first rock groups to be part of the Newport
Jazz Festival. At Newport and on tour Ten Years After performed with Nina
Simone, Roland Kirk, Miles Davis and other jazz legends barnstorming across the
Leo always had a passion for the recording process and it was a logical
step to go into record production. In 1975 Chrysalis Records hired him as
studio manager to re-equip and run Wessex Studios in London. He was later to go on and build two
commercial studios of his own. He has
produced records for UFO (No Heavy Petting-Force It-Phenomenon) Magnum, Waysted,
Procol Harum, Frankie Miller, Richard and Linda Thompson, Brigette
St. John, John Martyn, Kevin Coyne, Sassafras, MotörHead, Hatfield and the
Bogie Boys, The Winkies, Chris Farlowe, Chevy and many more. Other projects
include stage musicals, cartoon soundtracks, film and music videos. He also has
released two CD’S with his own band called Kick and his songs have been
recorded by other artists and used in television and film.
After years of being a workaholic Leo
turned down all offers, retired with his wife Sally, bought a farm in the Cotswolds and settled down to enjoy family life with their two young sons. Music
was too much in his blood for him to be completely inactive and he continued
song writing and recording in his home studio on the farm. Time moved on and
his two sons Tom and Harry grew up and went to collage.
Leo’s songs came to the attention of
Nashville publishers Hayes Street Music who signed him as a staff writer and
after several years of commuting from the United Kingdom he made the move to
In 1997 Ten Years After got
back together after an invitation to play in Brazil. The reception
from the Brazilian audiences was incredible and the band carried on performing
for enthusiastic crowds at major festivals across Europe and America.
On August 14th 1998 Ten Years
After made a triumphant return to play the Woodstock Festival at Bethel, New
York, on the original sight of the first Woodstock Festival some 29 years
earlier. The concert called “A Day In The Garden” was broadcast live to the
World on the Internet. Info seek reported that 57 million people logged on
during the festival.
Leo still loves to get out and play and aside from writing and
toured the United States with The Scott Holt Band and he has been guest bassist
on many recording sessions including CD’S by Savoy Brown and Leslie West ( As
Phat As It Gets). He never stops working. His interests outside music include the
paranormal, alternative medicine, martial arts and has an
interest in all new technology. He is a vegetarian, married with two grown up
sons and he currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee where he is active as a songwriter,
musician, record producer / engineer.