March 3 2013 – One of the many benefits of living in Las Vegas is that it’s fairly easy to stay in touch with friends and family. Not a month goes by that I don’t get to visit with an old crony or family member visiting Sin City. February was no exception to this rule. A good friend, and guitar player from my first band came to town with his wife. We used to call him “Fake E. Lee” in high school, as he was known to “fake” the guitar lead on Bark at the Moon on occasion. Fake E. and I had just agreed to hang out Wednesday night when an idea popped into my head. How cool would it be to have Jake E. Lee join Fake E. Lee and myself for a cocktail? I reached out to Jake, and he agreed to hang with us.
Wednesday evening went off without a hitch (excluding Fake’s taxi ride taking him 15 miles out of his way), with Jake providing some exciting information about his new venture. For starters: Jake’s new project is officially named, “Jake E. Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel,” obviously referencing his Japanese roots. The new CD is still being worked on, and the release date is TBD. If I were a betting man, my money would be on a June drop date. It’s public knowledge that the new release will feature an array of vocalists including Sass Jordan, Robin Zander, and potentially Paul Dianno.
The Red Dragon Cartel is nearly in place with Ronnie Mancuso playing bass, and Jonas Fairley from Black Betty playing drums. The lead vocalist position is almost solidified, but details are still being worked out. The only information that I can provide is that he hails from Canada, and certain logistics need to be ironed out prior to a formal announcement.
It’s certainly an exciting time for the fans of Jake, as we all look forward to him rejoining the game. The two new tracks that I have heard are very impressive, and are incredibly fresh sounding – but not really in the same family as his work with Badlands or Ozzy. It’s still hard rock, but perhaps a bit more melodic. As I receive more information I will pass it along.
True to form, another friend of mine is visiting Las Vegas this week. Eddie Trunk is in town and I am hoping we get to grab a beer or two during his trip. He always has a million and one things going on, and will report back soon with any info that he gives me the green light to print. Stay tuned!
Fake E. Lee, Jake E. Lee, and Michael Toney