Lee was born Michael Gary Pearson, and, similar to Led Zeppelin's John Bonham, used large drum sizes, something he attributed to his height. His bass drum was 26" in diameter, and his snare drum was a brass 14" x 14" shell.
He started his professional career as drummer with Little Angels, a band from Scarborough who became one of the primary British rock acts of the early 90s, however, Lee was sacked from Little Angels during their Young Gods tour, after it was discovered he had auditioned for The Cult behind their backs. He went on to play the full Ceremony world tour with The Cult (and was replaced in Little Angels by Mark Richardson.)
Ultimately, it would be his work with Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant that garnered him the highest profile. As a result of his work on Plant's solo material, he was invited to continue this collaboration when Plant re-joined forces with Jimmy Page for their Page & Plant project. Lee became the drummer for their touring and recording band, also earning writing credits.