|Birth name||Gregory Jay Leon|
5 May 1958 |
Glendale, California, USA
|Genres||Heavy metal, glam metal, hard rock|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, music teacher, sound engineer, record producer|
|Years active||1977 - present|
|Associated acts||Suite 19, Greg Leon Invasion, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Vyper, Wishing Well|
Gregory Jay Leon (born May 1958) is a Los Angeles hard rock guitarist notable for his stints in Quiet Riot and Dokken. He was also in a band called Suite 19 with Gary Holland, who was later replaced by Tommy Lee.
Leon is considered an influential and important musical personality in the Hollywood Hard Rock/Heavy Metal scene of the late 70s and early 80s, playing an integral part in the successive fortunes of the acts he was associated with.
Greg Leon was born in 1958 and grew up in Glendale, California, a foothills community of Los Angeles, and immediately made an impact on the blossoming live hard rock scene of Hollywood's Sunset Strip in the late 70s. Primarily playing guitar and handling vocals, the acts that he fronted were Suite 19, with future Great White/Dokken drummer Gary Holland and then future Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, and the Greg Leon Invasion, with bassist Joey Vera (later of Armored Saint, Fate's Warning and Anthrax) and drummer Carl Elizondo (later of Jag Wire, and playing under the stage name Carl James). Elizondo and Vera's replacement, Chuck Stevenson, played with Leon on the Greg Leon Invasion picture disc released by Azra/R2R in 1983. He took the place of Randy Rhoads in Quiet Riot, and as the pre-George Lynch guitarist in Dokken (Don Dokken has since made the group's first EP, which graces Leon on the cover, available for download to the public). During this period Leon also had a considerable local reputation as a guitar teacher, working at Rhoads' mother's guitar studio in Burbank.
Leon had several incarnations of the Invasion and played with various LA acts after his exciting early days. Leon also had a brief time with Greenworld Records' Midwestern act Vyper, while at the same time gathering a name for himself as a guitar amp modifying specialist. In the late 90s, Leon fronted a band called Wishing Well which also featured Survivor drummer Marc Droubay and English-born bassist Stuart Brooks (ex-Black Cat Bones, Leaf Hound, The Pretty Things). The trio released their eponymous debut album in 1997. However, by 2003 Leon was once again playing the LA club scene under the name The Greg Leon Invasion, featuring Boston-born bassist George Roelke and Ohio-born drummer Greg Stevens, taking the group for a European festival tour in 2005 on the strength of new recordings, coupled with the myth related to his name. The line-up also performed July 13, 2007 at the annual 1980s-era hard rock music festival Rocklahoma. In 2008 former White Lion drummer Greg D'Angelo replaced Stevens in the band.
Leon is married with Canadian singer Suza Wood and in 2005 he produced her first album titled Sweet Freedom.
The Greg Leon Invasion
- Greg Leon Invasion (1983)
- Born to Die (1984)
- Unfinished Business (2005)
- Guitars, Cars and Women (2010)
- Wishing Well (1997)
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- Sharpe-Young, Garry. "Dokken". MusicMight. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- "The Greg Leon Invasion bio". MySpace. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- "GREG LEON Starts Work On New INVASION album; Re-Teams With SURVIVOR Drummer". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. 2 March 2006. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- "THE GREG LEON INVASION To Embark On Tour Of Hungary". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. 13 September 2005. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- Sharpe-Young, Garry. "Greg Leon Invasion". MusicMight. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- "Former WHITE LION Drummer GREG D'ANGELO Joins THE GREG LEON INVASION". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. 17 April 2008. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- Leon, Suza (2008). "Happines Is Singing!". MySpace. Retrieved 2011-04-10.