Tuesday 23 May 2017

Music producer is a regular visitor here

Ken Sweeney

Ken Sweeney

Music producer Gigi Lee is a frequent visitor to this country.

Jetting in from her home in Texas, the blonde's friends in Ireland include Marina Guinness of the Guinness dynasty who has a house in Celbridge, Co Kildare.

However, there was no clue to Lee's future life rubbing shoulders with Ireland's aristocracy when she was growing up in a blue-collar suburb in Dallas.

A huge music fan, the shy teenager spent her formative years listening to the Beatles.

But friends say her world changed completely when she attended a Rolling Stones concert in Dallas and entered the world of rock 'n' roll.

On the guest list was Rosy Hall, sister of singer Mick Jagger's former wife Jerry Hall, with whom she struck up a friendship.

Soon after, Lee was making trips with Rosy to Europe to socialise with the Stones and their extended family and friends.

Somewhere along the way Lee made the transition from music fan to something of a music industry heavyweight.

In a piece about Van Morrison in 'LA Weekly' in May 2009, journalist Scott Foundas describes how Van Morrison was backstage on Jay Leno's 'Tonight' show in the company of "his tour executive producer, Gigi Lee".

While in September 2009 the 'Sunday Times' quoted Gigi Lee, who was now Morrison's business partner, talking about the singer's forthcoming documentary of his Astral Weeks tour on which she was credited as being "executive producer".

Her connection to Van Morrison extends to the UK Companies Office which show Lee, recorded as a 42-year-old resident of Texas, as a co-director with Morrison of a number of his music publishing and production companies, including Van Morrison Recordings (NI) Ltd.

Yet back home in Dallas she remains relatively unknown.

Alan Peppard of the 'Dallas Morning News' claimed never to have heard of "Gigi Lee." Neither had the newspaper's music critic Mario Tarradell.

Marina Guinness was said to be "out of the country" when attempts were made to contact her last night.

Irish Independent

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