North East Post
A Voice of the Free Press
Graham Clark
Music Features Writer
1:00 AM 19th February 2024

Backstage Pass – Harvey Lee

Harvey Lee left school in Manchester armed with a poor school report and few qualifications, with a bleak future and little else but a passion for music. His new book Backstage Pass tells the story of his time in the music industry, before he later became a business leader for such illustrious companies as Virgin and Microsoft.

Written in an engaging style with the lessons Lee has learned listed at the end of each chapter, the book begins with his time as a roadie for Sixties veterans Herman Hermits with whom he became the bassist, albeit for a very short period.

Surprisingly, even after working in the music industry for a few years, Lee is starstruck when he meets his heroes from the heavy rock band AC/DC, though even at this point there is a tale to tell of how he worked on promoting one of their later albums. His experience seems to be a valuable source of information for anyone deciding on a career in the music industry.

Managing Smalltown Heroes, a band from Sunderland seemed a labour of love, proving the point that 99% of new bands do not become successful – though the silver-lining here is that the lead singer of the band went on to become the current lead member of The Stranglers.

Just when Lee thought it was literally game over, the offer arrived for a job in the marketing team at Virgin Interactive, launching the XBox in Europe.

You begin to wonder if Lee had stayed in the music business rather than the tech industry, what he might have achieved.

There is plenty of humour here but underpinned throughout by stories of determination, graced with true northern grit.

The book was written over the course of four years; though it maybe a lifetime in the making the feeling here is that there will be a sequel to follow.

Backstage Pass is published by Definition Books