Joe Leeway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Joe Leeway
Leeway in Bristol, February 1984
Leeway in Bristol, February 1984
Background information
Birth nameJoseph Martin Leeway
Born (1955-11-15) 15 November 1955 (age 66)
OriginIslington, London
GenresPop, rock, dance, new wave, synthpop
Occupation(s)Instrumentalist, songwriter
Backing vocals
Years active1980–present
LabelsArista Records, Warner Bros. Records
Associated actsThompson Twins

Joseph Martin Leeway (born 15 November 1955, in Islington, London[1]) is the former multi-instrumentalist, and stylings guru, for the 1980s band Thompson Twins. He joined Thompson Twins in 1981 after being one of their roadies.

Leeway was born to an Irish mother and Nigerian father, and from the age of two, fostered by an English family in Dartford, Kent. At college he took English and Drama, then began teaching English, which is how he met Tom Bailey. He joined a theatre group in Cardiff after failing to establish his own company. He spent a year with the Young Vic theatre before joining Thompson Twins as a roadie at Tom Bailey's invitation.

Thompson Twins[edit]

Playing bongos and congas, he appeared on the Thompson Twins debut album A Product Of... (Participation). By the time the band recorded their second album Set in 1982, Leeway had begun contributing to the songwriting process; he wrote by himself two songs for the album, and sang lead on three tracks.

At that time in 1982, Thompson Twins underwent a radical change in membership. They had been at the time of Set an ever-changing group of musicians, featuring seven members; band leader Tom Bailey then reduced the band to a trio by firing everybody except Alannah Currie and Leeway. Leeway's main role in the new line-up was to assist in writing the songs, contribute background vocals and design the group's stage shows. Leeway's background in theatre made him an obvious and well-suited choice for the latter, and the band's live shows always met with success and critical acclaim.

Thompson Twins enjoyed at least three solid years of worldwide commercial success, beginning with the 1983 album Quick Step and Side Kick (released in the U.S. as simply Side Kicks) followed by Into the Gap, which garnered critical acclaim and lucrative international sales, and Here's To Future Days.

After these three albums, their contract with Arista Records was up for renewal and after the extensive world tour following the release of the album, Leeway chose to leave Thompson Twins for a number of personal reasons, mostly due to difficulties with the group's management. However, the split from the rest of the trio was amicable.

Solo work and career change[edit]

After leaving the band, Leeway dabbled in solo work. He recorded a demo tape of original material, but ultimately an album never materialised. He appeared in the 1989 James Ivory film Slaves of New York as musician Johnny Jalouse. Leeway's part in the film was originally a prominent supporting character, but this was changed when most of his scenes were cut. The actress with whom he had filmed most of his scenes was fired from the film, and their scenes together were cut. Leeway can still be seen in the film singing one of his original songs, "Mother Dearest", in the nightclub scene; the recording is not on the soundtrack album.

The experience with Slaves of New York seemed to stall Leeway's career as an actor permanently, but he continued to work in sound design for films as well as commercials for Nike and Pepsi.

As of 2006, Leeway resided in Los Angeles, and worked in the field of hypnotherapy. He was on the staff at the Hypnosis Motivation Institute (HMI) in Tarzana, California, and was also a certified trainer in neuro-linguistic programming.


External links[edit]