There will be a memorial on July 2 for Mark Lee, legendary concert promoter and prominent figure on the Dallas rock scene. Lee, a native and resident of Dallas, died on June 20; he was 74 years old.
Lee was co-owner of The hot club, the famous 1980s punk rock club that hosted local and international punk, new wave and reggae groups and helped galvanize the local music scene.
Later, with his concert promotion company 462, Inc., he and his partner Danny Eaton were responsible for bringing hundreds of major acts to Dallas venues such as Bronco Bowl and Trees.
Jeffrey Liles, artistic director of The Kessler, worked with Lee and Eaton in the 80s and 90s at the Trees and Theater Gallery.
“I can’t tell you how many amazing shows Mark and Danny have brought us in the first three years of opening Trees,” Liles said. “Nirvana, Radiohead, Soundgarden, Bob Mold, Swervedriver. What a blessing he thought to work with us.”
“Theater gallery, same deal,” he says. “Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, 10,000 Maniacs. And her Bronco Bowl shows were legendary: The Smiths, The Cure, The Clash, U2, REM, Echo & the Bunnymen, and more.”
“If you’ve ever been to a big show at the Hot Klub, Arcadia Theater, Bronco Bowl, Trees, Theater Gallery, or Lakewood Theater, there’s a good chance Mark has booked it,” Liles says. .
Mike Snider, owner of AllGood Cafe, called him “the original concert promoter”.
A prodigy, Lee was born on December 13, 1946 and attended Hillcrest High School, but has begun developing and managing groups such as Kenny and the Kasuals as he was barely coming out of his teens. He also worked abroad as a rock photographer, as he describes on this WFAA clip.
His involvement in music followed the journey of rock ‘n’ roll, starting in the 60s, through the era of punk rock and beyond.
In the 2000s, he and his wife and partner Linda Lee took charge of booking the Lakewood Theater until 2011. This ended up being his final in the industry.
“He had already gone back to school to get his masters degree, and he continued to teach and inspire students for years,” says Linda. He became an assistant professor in the Dallas College system, teaching humanities at El Centro and Eastfield College; he also taught at Lakeview Centennial High School in Garland.
This generosity of spirit made him unique in a sometimes fierce field.
Russell Hobbs, owner of The Door, recalls that “the great thing about Mark [was that] he let us put all the cool local bands out of Deep Ellum with tours to the Bronco Bowl, Arcadia, etc.
Randy Murphy, owner of Main Frame Art Service, said, “Mark was also very generous. He has helped countless times with free tickets and passes to the local KNON and KNTU stations.
Reid Robinson, owner of Brizo and the Forum Club in Richardson, said “Mark was such a nice guy, which is pretty rare in this area,” and Phillip Marshall, who worked with Lee on lighting, said that “besides being an absolute legend in the music business here in Dallas, he was an overall nice guy. It’s rare. He was one of a kind. “
Tami Thomsen, who works in band management, recalls working with Mark and said “his impact on Dallas music may have been behind the scenes, but it was important nonetheless.”
KNON DJ Nancy “Shaggy” Moore said, “If you’ve ever been to the Bronco Bowl to see your favorite punk rock bands in the ’80s, you’ve got this man to thank. The Dallas music scene owes to Mark Lee a huge thank you and credit for giving all of us punk kids a chance. “
Danny Eaton, his longtime business partner, who now works for Outback Presents, recalls that “Mark and I did literally thousands of shows together starting with Flower Fair in 1968 where tickets were a dollar. We have traveled many kilometers together and got to know each other. the other as well as two humans could. “
“Mark was really quite a spiritually aware person and I know wherever his journey takes him now, he’s free as a bird,” he says. As evidenced by all the comments people have made, he freely shared his extensive knowledge. Everyone who knew him will be sadly missed. My heart and sympathy go out to all who loved him, especially his wife Linda, daughter Jamie and brother Gary Rest in sublime peace, my friend.
The Memorial takes place on July 2 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Kessler, and is open and free to all. “Mark meant a lot to the North Texas alternative music community, and this will be a great opportunity to honor him,” the event page said.