Note - with minor modifications this is Lee's last web site
Van Leer
R.I.P. 1943 - 2016
Lee Van Leer - Vocalist, organ and guitar

Lee Van Leer - Vocalist, organ and guitar

Proud purveyor of Grey-Eyed Soul.
Born October 6, 1943
Died Jan 11, 2016

Lee was organist and arranger for Jack London and the Sparrows (which evolved into Steppenwolf) and can be heard on their first two recordings. He also toured with the Platters, playing keyboards in their backup band, and with John Ellison, writer of the hit song "Some Kind of Wonderful."

His own group's first release "Candy Apple Black" was a regional hit that made top twenty in some areas, and he has appeared as an opening act for several international celebrities, the most notable of these being Rod Stewart.

Aside from his songwriting and energetic showmanship, Lee Van Leer's most distinctive talent is undoubtably his self-taught lead guitar technique, where he uses his left thumb alone to do what most lead guitarists do with three or four fingers. Once seen, never forgotten!

Lee plays "seriously modified" Fender or Squier Mustang and Jaguar. He favours Peavey Standard heads made between 1980 and end of production with custom cabinets using fifteen inch Peavey Black Widow speakers.

Lee prefers playing his Yamaha DX21, PC-1000 and Roland JX3P and is often seen playing them through a modded Leslie!

The current makeup of the band is as follows. Please click on each name for photo and bio.

Listen to a song by Lee Van Leer   ...and an instrumental by Lee Van Leer.

Check out Lee Van Leer's BLUES side by listening to "Goin' To The Dogs" and "Roll On Through The Night". "A Love to Last a Lifetime Long" is my popular soul ballad. All tunes posted here are © Lee Van Leer, from the CD "Thumbs Up!" You may purchase the CD at events where Lee Van Leer is performing.

The most unique song on Lee Van Leer's new CD, released late 2013.

Be sure to check out Lee's Blog for the latest news about Lee and the-band. DO please visit Lee's Blog often for updates.

Here's a pic of John F. "before he was Lee" - 1972!
Lee is primarily an Organist.


GTA Schedule

Sawing Through Bone

Lee Van Leer "Sawing Through Bone"

Hi Lee,

Congratulations to "Van Leer The Band" getting the biggest crowd reaction of the night at Melange during the July 6th Beaches Blues Fest. You rocked!

Gord Munzy

An excerpt from The Silver Pages fanzine, Aug-Sept 2011 by Paige Kukul.

Lee Van Leer receives unique award

Lee Van Leer, organist-vocalist of "Van Leer", "Soul Instigators" and "Murphy's Law" will receive a new and most unique award: The Paradise Garage Award for Obtaining The Most Hammond Organ-like Tone From A Small and/or Unlikely Keyboard Instrument.

The Award will be presented to Lee this Saturday, May 5 by Mark Todd of The Silver Pages fanzine at a private event. Instrument used: Yamaha PS-55. Amplification used: Peavey solid-state head through a Peavey Black Widow 1-15" cabinet.

Congratulations, Lee, and keep rocking their socks off at The White Swan, The Brigadoon and The Ice House. Long may you reign!

What kind of guitar does an ORGANIST play?
Lee's Mustang Junior

What we play

  • (Do The) Mashed Potatoes
  • 634-5789
  • A Mess Of Blues
  • Act Naturally
  • Ain't That A Lotta Love
  • Ain't That Lovin' You, Baby
  • All Along the Watchtower
  • All Right Now
  • Automobile
  • Baby What You Want Me to Do?
  • Baby, What's Wrong
  • Barefootin'
  • Big Boss Man
  • Bloody Well Right
  • Blue Moon Of Kentucky
  • Blueberry Hill
  • Born to be Wild
  • Brick House
  • C.O.D.
  • Can't Get Enough of Your Love
  • Checkin' Up On My Baby
  • Cissy Strut
  • Crossroads
  • Don't Fight It
  • Drown in My Own Tears
  • Empty Arms
  • Every Beat Of My Heart
  • Evil Ways
  • Face to the Wall
  • Fire (Hendrix)
  • Fire Eater
  • Flat Foot Sam
  • Flip, Flop and Fly
  • Folsom Prison Blues
  • For Your Love (Ed Townsend)
  • Foxy Lady
  • Freeway Jam
  • Funk and Roll
  • Georgia on My Mind
  • Gimme Some Lovin'
  • Goin' Down
  • Goin' to New York
  • Got My Mojo Workin'
  • Gotta Serve Somebody
  • Hideaway
  • High Heel Sneakers
  • Hip-Hug-Her
  • Honky Tonk Woman
  • Human
  • I Can't Stop Loving You
  • I Don't Know (Ozzie)
  • I Had My Fun
  • I Know You Got Soul
  • I Love You, Yes I Do
  • I Saw Her Standing There
  • I Thank You
  • I Used To Could
  • I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water
  • I'm Cool Like That
  • I'm Ready
  • I'm Tore Down
  • I'm a Fool to Care
  • I'se the B'y
  • Ice Cream Man
  • If You Love Me Like You Say
  • In the Midnight Hour
  • It's All Over Now
  • Just Walk On By
  • Just a Little Bit
  • Key to the Highway
  • Knock on Wood
  • La Bamba
  • La Grange
  • Lawdy, Miss Clawdy
  • Let The Good Times Roll
  • Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go
  • Louisiana Blues
  • Love Hurts
  • Low Rider
  • Lucille
  • Mary Ann (Ray Charles)
  • Mercury Blues
  • Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
  • Milk Cow Blues
  • Milk Cow Blues Boogie
  • Move It On Over
  • Mr. Pitiful
  • Mustang Sally
  • My Girl
  • Nadine
  • Odessa
  • Oh Well, Oh Well
  • Old Man River
  • One Nation Under A Groove
  • One Way Out
  • Pain In My Heart
  • Papa Oom Mow Mow
  • People Get Ready
  • Politician
  • Pride and Joy
  • Proud Mary
  • Purple Haze
  • Red House
  • Riding On A Pony
  • Roadhouse Blues
  • Rock Steady
  • Rock Steady
  • Rock and Roll (Led Zep)
  • Rock and Roll (Lou Reed)
  • Rockin' Pneumonia
  • Rocky Mountain Way
  • Rollin' and Tumblin
  • Shake and Fingerpop (Jr. Walker)
  • She Caught the Katy
  • Shooting Star
  • Sitting On Top Of The World
  • Sleepy Time Time
  • Slow Down
  • Something You Got
  • Standing At The Crossroads Again
  • Statesboro Blues
  • Sticks and Stones
  • Stormbringer
  • Swanee (A. Jolson)
  • Swanee River Rock
  • Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  • Tend My Garden
  • That Hypnotizin' Boogie
  • That's What I Want To Know
  • The Breeze
  • The Celebrated Walkin' Blues
  • The Hoochie Kootchie Man
  • The Stealer
  • The Sun is Shining
  • The Time
  • The Walk
  • Thirty Days
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Together Again
  • Tonight I'll be Staying Here with You
  • Under My Thumb
  • Wabash Blues
  • Waiting for the Bus
  • Watermelon Man
  • We Gotta Get Out of This Place
  • What'd I Say
  • When Something is Wrong With My Baby
  • Whiskey Train
  • Will It Go 'Round in Circles
  • Wooly Bully
  • You Got Me Hummin'
  • You Win Again
Plus Originals from our CDs "Thumbs Up!" and "Sawing Through Bone".

The above List is songs performed by Van Leer.

We are listed on the Big Smoke Music web site.

Created and Maintained by D'Arcy Cain <darcy@Vex.Net>

Last Update: 31 December 2015
If you have any comments, Send mail to me.