In 1962 with his band 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 still found time to guest at the Top Ten Club with guitarist Albert Lee.
Like The Beatles, The Jaybirds returned home to England, made 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, toured as a sideman with pop acts of the day, appeared in a play in London's West End and 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 up a huge following in Europe. Fillmore West and Fillmore East founder Bill Graham heard a copy of 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 TYA performed with Nina Simone, Roland Kirk, Miles Davis and other jazz legends barnstorming across the US.
In August of the same year their now legendary encore I'm Goin' Home was captured on film at The Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, exposing their jazz blues rock amalgam to an even larger audience of movie goers who were blown away by the intensity of the band's performance when the academy award winning documentary was released. Their ten-minute appearance in the film is an acknowledged highlight and established Ten Years After a place in rock history. Constant touring, playing important musical events like The Newport Jazz Festival, The Miami Pop Festival, The 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, The Toronto Peace Festival and venues like Madison Square Gardens NY, The Albert Hall London, The Forum LA and The Budokan, Tokyo, exposed the band's music to a Global Audience. Leo estimates that the band performed to in excess of 75,000 new fans a week. Almost four million people a year not counting those who saw the band in the film 'Woodstock'. Between 1967 and 1974, Ten Years After recorded and released ten multi-million selling albums. Sadly, Alvin Lee quit the band to go solo in 1975 and the group disappeared from the scene. However over the years, there's always been a demand for Ten Years After and there were three short-lived attempts at reformation and one new studio record, 'About Time'. But each time, Alvin quit to return to his solo career.
Leo's passion for the recording process led him 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, Magnum, Waysted, Procol Harem, Frankie Miller, Richard and Linda Thompson, Brigette St John, John Martin, Kevin Coyne, Sassafras, MotorHead, Hatfield and The North, The Bogie Boys, The Winkies, Chris Farlowe, Chevy and many more. Other projects include stage musicals, cartoon soundtracks, film and music videos. He also released two CDs with his own band Kick and his songs have been used in television and film.
After years of being of a workaholic Leo turned down all work offers, retired, bought a farm in the Cotswolds and settled down to enjoy a quiet life. 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. His songs came to the attention of Nashville publishers Hayes Street Music who signed him as a staff writer and in 1998 after several years of commuting from the United Kingdom he moved to Nashville where he is active as a songwriter, musician and record producer/engineer.
In 1997 Ten Years After reformed after an invitation to play in Brazil. The reception from the Brazilian audiences was incredible and the band carried on performing for enthusiastic crowds on major festivals across Europe. 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 '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. Alvin Lee left the band again for the third and final time in 2000.
Leo continued writing and producing. He has been guest bassist on CDs by Savoy Brown and Leslie West and toured extensively in the United States with former Buddy Guy guitarist Scott Holt.
In 2001, to take advantage in the growing interest in legendary bands like Ten Years After, EMI and Decca Records digitally re-mastered and re-released the whole Ten Years After catalogue, most with bonus tracks, including a previously unreleased performance - the 1970 recording of the band live at the Fillmore East in New York. Ric and Chick approached Alvin with a view to touring to support the releases, but Alvin declined. It was a frustrating situation and once again it seemed that fans would be denied hearing the music played live.
A chance opportunity early in 2002 for the three founder members of Ten Years After - Leo Lyons (bass), Chick Churchill (keyboards) and Ric Lee (Drums) to work together gave them an insight into the intense, re-awakened interest in the band. With the addition of new member, sensational twenty-six year old guitarist/vocalist Joe Gooch the band reformed and are recreating the music, energy and excitement they've been known for over the past four decades. A live CD One Night Jammed was released to introduce the new line-up.
In May 2003 Ten Years After played an eighteen-date UK tour, the first in 25 years and this summer have barnstormed across Europe playing concerts and festivals in Germany, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Portugal, Austria and the Czech Republic. In 2004 a new studio cd NOW was released, followed by a live cd from the 2004 tour - Roadworks - and extensive touring has continued during 2005 and 2006, including many sold-out shows such as the one at the legendary BB King's in New York amongst others.
Leo's interests outside music include the paranormal, alternative medicine, martial arts and all new technology. He is a vegetarian, married with two grown up sons.
Source: http://www.leolyons.org/biography.htm accessed 7th January 2013
DISCOGRAPHY FROM 1967 TO THE PRESENT DAY
Ten Years After Ten Years After (1967) Bass
Ten Years After Ten Years After [Bonus Tracks] (1967) Bass
Ten Years After Undead (1968) Bass
Ten Years After Ssssh (1969) Bass, co-Producer
Ten Years After Stonedhenge (1969) Bass
Ten Years After Cricklewood Green (1970) Bass, co-Producer
Ten Years After Watt (1970) Bass, co-Producer
Ten Years After Space in Time (1971) Bass, co-Producer
Ten Years After Rock & Roll Music to the World (1972) Bass, co-Producer
Ten Years After Alvin Lee & Company (1972) Bass
Ten Years After Recorded Live (1973) Bass, co-Producer
Mike Vernon Moments of Madness (1973) Bass
Ten Years After Positive Vibrations (1974) Bass
UFO Phenomenon [Japan] (1974) Producer
UFO Phenomenon (1974) Producer
Bridget Saint John Jumble Queen (1974) Producer
Ten Years After Ten Years After/Stonedhenge (1975) Bass
UFO Force It (1975) Producer
UFO Force It [Japan] (1975) Producer
Brian Protheroe, Musical Leave Him To Heaven (1975) Producer
Various Artistes Over The Rainbow (1975) Producer
UFO No Heavy Petting (1976) Producer
UFO No Heavy Petting [Japan] (1976) Producer
Ten Years After Anthology [Chrysalis] (1976) Bass, co-Producer
Ten Years After Classic Performances of Ten Years After (1977) Bass, co-Producer
Magnum Magnum II (1979) Producer
Ten Years After London Collection (1979) Bass
Waysted Waysted (1979) Producer
Magnum Marauder (1980) Producer
Ten Years After Profile (1980) Bass
Ten Years After Hear Me Calling (1981) Bass
Ten Years After Goin' Home (1985) Bass
Alvin Lee Detroit Diesel (1986) Bass
Kick Heartland (1988) Bass, Writer, Producer, Engineer
Chris Farlowe Waiting in the Wings (1988) Bass, Writer, Producer, Engineer
Ten Years After About Time (1989) Bass
Ten Years After Essential (1991) Bass, co-Producer
UFO Essential UFO (1992) Producer
Ten Years After Live (1993) Bass, co-Producer
Michael Schenker Anthology [Conoisseur] (1993) Producer
Michael Schenker Group Anthology (1994) Producer
Alvin Lee & Ten Years After Pure Blues (1995) Bass
UFO Phenomenon/Force It (1995) Producer
Breakers Milan (1995) Bass
Leo Lyons Kick Tough Trip Through Paradise (1996) Bass,Writer, Producer, Engineer
Ten Years After Ssssh/Cricklewood Green (1997) Bass, co-Producer
Michael Schenker Michael Schenker Story Live (1997) Producer
Magnum Spirit: A History (1998) Producer
Leslie West As Phat as It Gets (1999) Bass
Savoy Brown Blues Keep Me Holding On (1999) Bass
Alvin Lee & Ten Years After Solid Rock (2000) Bass
Michael Schenker Into the Arena 1972-1995 (2000) Producer
Ten Years After Live at the Fillmore East 1970 (2001) Bass
Danny Johnson Over Cloud 9 (2001) Bass
Ten Years After Very Best Ten Years After Album Ever (2001) Bass
Ten Years After Anthology 1967-1971 [Hip-O] (2002) Bass
Ten Years After Stonedhenge [Bonus Tracks] (2002) Bass
Ten Years After One Night Jammed (2003) Bass/Mastering
Ten Years After Now (2004) Bass, Producer
Ten Years After Roadworks (2005) Bass, Producer
Ten Years After Evolution (2008) Bass, Producer
Phil Keaggy/Randy Stonehill Mystery Highway (2008) Bass, co-Writer on Dream Speak
Hundred Seventy Split Special Edition (2010) Bass, Producer
The World Won't Stop - CD (2011) Bass, Producer
The World Won't Stop - Vinyl edition (2012) Bass, Producer
Live From The Rockhal, Luxembourg - DVD (2012) Bass
Source: http://www.leolyons.org/discography.htm accessed 7th January 2013