George Douglas Lee - Renaissance Man
"The Renaissance Man at war with the 21st century"
George Douglas Lee is a native Galvestonian, but has achieved some degree of success despite being a BOI (Born on the Island or Below Ordinary Intelligence, there is still some debate as to the actual meaning of the acronym).
Many refer to Lee as a "Renaissance Man" because of his many and diverse talents, particularly in the field of the creative arts. Lee is creator, writer and host of Electric Theatre Radio Hour; a painter of fine art (BFA Sam Houston State University 1974) and owner of the G. lee Gallery (www.gleegallery.net) in downtown Galveston, at 2215 Postoffice Street; inductee into the Texas Playwright Hall of Fame and produced and published playwright (lazybeescripts.co.uk; produced screenwriter ("Laughing Boy" 2003); author and illustrator of four children's books; newspaper columnist (Galvatraz Daily Noise in the Galveston Parrot; performing songwriter and musician (3 Single records; "Made To Be Played" Vinyl record album; 5 music cd albums; 1 comedy cd album; and 1 children's audiobook cd; actor; comedian; Galveston History Tour Guide)www.galvestonhistorytourguide.com; restoration specialist (distressed/damaged paintings); teacher; public speaker; master of ceremonies; and landscaper, among many other pursuits.
As a Musician: George Douglas Lee began his musical career in 1972 that has taken him throughout Texas and the Southwest U.S. as front man for electric rock band Uncle Jak.
His first three singles received regional airplay, including "Sweet & Brutal", "The Price Is Paid" and "Maybe I'm Fallin'. His second single, "Elayne", was one of the top requested five tunes on several Texas stations. This was followed up with the RDS records release of Made to Be Played.
Lee formed a new band, White Heat, with bass player and musical soul-mate Joe Alford. That collaboration led to an intensely productive period. In the new band Lee took on the role of lead guitarist, further refining his musical skill.
White Heat evolved into the group Geo and recorded the Made to Be Played album, touring and garnering airplay on Houston K-101 and other stations. Songs from this era are captured on Lee’s "Rock n' Roll Singer" CD, an exciting retrospective of his work as a young singer/songwriter.
Lee moved back to his home town Galveston Island and began to perform as a solo act. He put down his '68 Telecaster, and armed with a Takamine EG-334BC, played at local Island clubs.
On a cold, misty night in November 2003, he walked into the newly opened Courtyard Cafe, a quaint European bistro in historic downtown Galveston to play at an open mic night. The Cafe was frequented by folkies, invoking the atmosphere of a mid-sixties coffee house. Lee quickly changed that with his high energy originals.
This led to a series of weekly performances, with a growing following, inspiring him to record the live performances, resulting in the "Courtyard Cafe" CD. Lee has since released his "Monster Musicals" CD, featuring three of his children's musical plays with songs and character voices from "Frankenstein – The Monster Musical"; "The Wolf Who Cried Boy" and "Wolfbane". The musicals incorporate rock, blues, pop with classical and Broadway styles.
Lee went on with the electric sound, forming the "Electric Theatre Band"; and onto "Noise Poets". Just a few months ago, Lee completely rearranged personnel, and having written a number of new originals with a more "ABBA" and Ace of Base" sound, added Sharis DeJaynes on vocals, Johnny Ray Bember on drums and Dan Mowery on bass, to create a new sound and direction for the group. This evolution has yet to appear in public.
Produced and Published playwright: George retired his guitar for a while and began writing plays. Heartened by success with his “Frankenstein – the Monster Musical”, a musical comedy of the immortal classic “Bride Of Frankenstein”, Lee created and operated The Electric Theatre in Sugar Land, Texas. He produced his original plays and musicals, selling out to enthusiastic audiences and garnering a large following.
Produced Screenwriter: One of the plays Lee wrote, Laughing Boy, was optioned by Houston film director Joe Grisaffi. At Grisaffi's request, Lee fashioned a screenplay, Grisaffi produced and directed Laughing Boy, winning numerous independent film awards.
Columnist: Lee began writing a humor column called "One Day In A Row" for the Twisted Parrot magazine in 2004. He also wrote briefly for the Galveston Wizard, and had several guest columns published in the Galveston County Daily News. The Parrot evolved into the Galveston Parrot under publisher Trey Click, and George introduced the Galvatraz Daily Noise as a four page section. The Daily Noise grew into its own magazine, but entered hiatus in July 2011.
Trying to remain afloat against the tide of a poor economy, Lee went to work for the local Target. The job has proved to be a ripe source of comedic material which George is endeavoring to relate in a book about his retail big box adventures.
Prior to Hurricane Ike, Lee sold out the Strand Theater, entertaining an audience of over 200, performing his "Guilty - With an Explanation" stand-up comedy and music act. He was about to take the show across the bridge, when regrettably the hurricane struck and all the local music venues were damaged by the storm.
Music is his first love, and Lee is a prolific writer. Influenced by The Beatles, Hank Williams, Ian Hunter and others, Lee’s style is varied and intense, focusing on lyrical content, he strives to write with substance and melody in mind. He continues to build his catalogue recording new songs, placing the material with established artists and/or publishers. He continues to write and produce his original plays, educate children in the creative arts and perform music.
George Douglas Lee is married to Brenda Lee, and has one son, Colin Douglas Lee who lives in Missouri City, TX.