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Howard Leese

Howard on stage with The Paul Rodgers Band in 2009
Background information
Birth name Howard M. Leese
Born 13 June 1951 (1951-06-13) (age 58)
Genres Rock, Classic rock
Occupations Guitarist, Producer, Singer-songwriter, performer
Instruments guitar, backing vocals, piano,

Howard M. Leese (13 June 1951, Hollywood, California - ) is an American guitarist, record producer and musical director who played with Heart for 22 years (1975-1997). He continues to record and tour as a solo artist, and as guitarist with The Paul Rodgers Band and Bad Company.



Howard received his inspiration to pick up the guitar during the 1960s after seeing Dick Dale, the guitarist in the surf band "the Del-Tones", and feeling the excitement from his playing. He studied violin and music theory at the City College, Los Angeles, and also played in a band called The Zoo.

Leese had his first recording contract with Ed Cobb’s Sunburst label[1] at the age of 15, as the band The Zoo with friend and drummer Mike Flicker. Later, when Flicker went to work for Jack Herschorn at Mushroom Studios in Vancouver, Leese went with him as a production manager. While there, he and Shelly Siegel started Mushroom Records.

It was at Mushroom Studios in 1974 that Leese helped produce a demo for Heart. The next year, Mushroom Records signed Heart and released the group's first album Dreamboat Annie which Flicker produced. Leese was assistant producer on the album, and was asked to join the band later that year. He stayed with the band until 1997. Leese was Heart's guitarist, backing vocalist, keyboard player and song arranger.

In 1998 he joined the The Paul Rodgers Band. He continues to tour with The Paul Rogers Band and Bad Company.

He maintains a Gig log and Blog in his own space on Vintage Rocker at Howie's Corner

Solo Career

2009 saw the release of Leese's first solo effort, Secret Weapon, through Frontiers Records. The disc includes special guest appearances by Joe Lynn Turner, Paul Rodgers, Jimi Jamison and Keith Emerson.

Artist Endorser

Howard is a longtime player and endorser of Paul Reed Smith Guitars. As an Artist Endorser, he appeared at the "Experience PRS 2008" on September 19 and 20, 2008.

In 2009, Paul Reed Smith announced and launched the "Howard Leese Limited Edition Golden Eagle"[2] in tribute to the #1 guitar that he played on stage for over 15 years.

Howard has used and endorsed Toadworks guitar effects since 2004. In January 2009, ToadWorks USA released the Howard Leese Signature Model analog flanger named Barracuda, (appropriately named after the intro in the Heart song of the same name).

HML Guitars

HML Guitars was founded in 1994 by Howard Leese. As a woodworker and luthier, he participated in all aspects of construction as well as quality control. HML guitars were totally hand-built in Seattle by luthier Jack Pimentel. Pimentel has continued to build hand-crafted custom guitars under his own brand JP Guitars.[3]


All Heart albums 1975-1997, and contributions to many others:[4]


  1. ^ Not Sunburst Records of Huntsville, Alabama, but a Los Angeles based company.
  2. ^ Howard Leese Limited Edition Golden Eagle,
  3. ^ JP Guitars,
  4. ^ Howard Leese discography,
  5. ^ The Zoo Presents Chocolate Moose (1968), Lost-In-Tyme, July 2007.
  6. ^ Bananafish: Energetic Sound, Hopeful Music, 6 January 1995, The Seatle times.


  • Fjestad S.P. (ed.) Zachary R. (2008) Blue Book of Electric Guitars 11th Edition, Illustrated, Publisher: Alfred Publishing, ISBN 1886768730, 9781886768734 pp. 599
  • York, William (ed.) (1982) "Leese, Howard" Who's Who in Rock Music Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, ISBN 0-684-17343-3

External links



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