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Anniversary For Former Page/Plant Drummer


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Musicians and friends gather for anniversary

9:32am Monday 29th November 2010

MUSICIANS and music fans from across the region came together to pay tribute to a drummer who played with some of the world's greatest rockers.

Darlington-born drummer Michael Gary Pearson, known to fans as Michael Lee, had a career spanning 25 years, playing with Page and Plant, The Cult, Thin Lizzy and many others.

Mr Lee died two years ago at his home in Darlington after an epileptic seizure. His funeral was attended by more than 150 mourners, including Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.

Mr Lee moved back to Darlington 18 months before his death and would play regularly at the Quakerhouse Pub, which was owned at the time by his cousin, Steve Metcalfe.

Friends, family and local musicians came together at the pub on the second anniversary of his death to celebrate his memory.

The event featured performances from tribute band Thyn Lizzy, Darlington band Sundance and an acoustic performance by Paul Dannett and Spence Gilroy, who closed the night with a performance of Led Zeppelin track Rock 'n' Roll.

Simon Cassidy, who helped to organise the event, said: "It was a brilliant night, packed out with great musicians and people who knew Michael."

The event had been a surprise to Mr Metcalfe, who believed he was meeting a friend for a quiet drink.

Mr Cassidy said: "It came as a bit of a shock to Steve, who had no idea the event had been organised.

"He made an emotional speech towards the end of the night thanking the musicians and the audience for coming along making this night so special and saying how much he still missed his cousin and good friend Michael Lee.

"It was a true celebration of the life a local drumming legend, and everyone left feeling closer to Michael's memory."

Mr Lee began playing drums aged 13 and played in his first band, Holosade, before moving on to Scarborough band Little Angels, in 1988.

He drummed with The Cult in the early Nineties, before joining Robert Plant's solo band in 1993. He continued to play with Plant when he reunited with former Led Zeppelin bandmate Jimmy Page.

Most recently, Mr Lee toured with Jeff Martin and played drums on Martin's solo album Exile and the Kingdom, before returning to live in Darlington.

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  • 8 months later...

I really enjoyed Michael's Drumming. I saw him with Page and Plant in Boston on the WIC tour... How Many More Times was unbelievable..

He really had the Bonham feel down pat and made it his own. Loved watching him play Domino on TV when Page played at NetAid..

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