Skydogs 25 Biography
George E. Lee was conceived in Greenwich Village, New York City and born in Jamestown, N.Y. That bohemian gene created in Greenwich Village, would influence George at an early age. While growing up in The West Village of NYC, he knew he loved music. Back in 1963, he was hooked when he learned a Beatles tune on the piano. Moving to Connecticut, the music seed began to germinate. At 17, he bought his first guitar and at 18 started his own band. Original music was always his musical path. After recording an album of original music and jamming in, what it seemed like every garage in Ridgefield, Connecticut, in 1976 he left for Los Angeles, California. The years in Los Angeles were informative, creative and provided exposure to other musicians also seeking to fulfill their musical goals. Guitar, bass and piano skill sets were set in stone. George showcased his music with several bands, playing the LA/Hollywood music scene of that period. He would record original music with other musician/friends at Golden Sound Recording Studios, while one night he was privileged to be in the company of Ray Manserek of THE DOORS. Baby O Studios would be another favorite recording facility of his, recording original tunes. George signed up to be the guitarist in a musical off Broadway production of “DARKNESS BEFORE THE DAWN” where he contributed an original composition for a poignant part of the play. With Motown’s backing, the musical would receive notoriety until the untimely death of the musical’s creator. The 80’s would find George playing clubs in showcase bands throughout Los Angeles area. Growing weary of THE LA MUSIC SCENE, he sold his music gear, pursued and discovered his second love, aviation, learning how to fly in Burbank, California. George returned to NYC/ Connecticut, purchased a Rickenbacker bass and Fender Stratocaster. Purveying musically through the late 80’s, playing in local clubs and composing original tunes, George wanted a change of scenery and turned to The West again. After a brief habitation in Hilo, Hawaii, in 1990 George moved to St Petersburg, Florida.
Aviation took center stage and George would earn his Commercial Pilots License/ single and multi engine aircraft. He would go on to receive a Flight Instructor’s License/ single and multi engine. Music was placed on the back burner. Then on the prodding of an acquaintance Rick Miller, George showed up at a jam session in St. Petersburg where he would meet Dave Van Sise.
David G. Van Sise was Born in White Plains, NY, and after his first taste of being ONSTAGE in the first grade, Dave was bitten by the performing bug. His talents for music slowly had to be sorted through early instruments such as an accordion, Violin and finally Guitar which was his true passion. At the age of 17 Dave was out performing in clubs be they small or large, Dave wanted to perform. Original songs came soon after and then the list started accumulating with numerous songs of originality. At 19, Dave met up with the Gamblers Band in Derby CT, from 1979-1984. There were moments that the original music might have had a serious and professional outlet from which to make its mark, such as the 45 rpm record recorded in Nashville in 1980 at Rich “R” Tone records, but Life stepped in and Dave became a Dad in 1985. At that time, this was his priority, FAMILY.
In 1987, Dave moved to ST. Petersburg Florida for work as a tradesman.
Then, Both Dave and George would join up to form THE MAVERICK BAND in May of 1990. Dave Van Sise would be the front man, lead vocalist and guitarist, George E. Lee as bassist and vocalist. During a practice session, George pensively introduced an original song to the band. The fact that it was an original was met with great enthusiasm from Dave.
Dave also introduced several of his originals, taking them from a cache of his own original compositions. Subsequent conversations, some late into the night after practices, would yield a treasure trove of musical experiences shared by the both of them throughout their formative years. Both would bring their own styles of composition to the band. Throughout this period in the early 90’s, both men would compose, and perform their music together, galvanizing the friendship and musical camaraderie. . Dave realized the true talent in George’s music, and realized that they were made to join forces and create music like never before!
In 1993 The Maverick Band disbanded, but Dave and George would continue on to write and compose. With an aviation turned music theme in mind, George introduced the name SKYDOGS to David. The SKYDOGS took off! Songs were written, and many would be entertained. In 1994, George relocated to Virginia. Both continued on to compose and perform with other musicians. Dave’s music kept him planted in Florida, while George’s music took him to play in Virginia, Connecticut and Vermont. In 1996, Dave and George turned on the pilot light and re ignited THE SKYDOGS yet once again. In their favorite haunts along the Gulf of Mexico, to include John’s Pass, Florida, they would collaborate yet once again. Later that year, circumstances found George in Connecticut and David in Pleasantville, N.Y. More songs were added to the SKYDOG treasure trove, fueling a period of tremendous creativity and musical growth. Showcasing their music throughout the NYC tri-state area, from 1996 through 2000, The SKYDOGS were musically prolific. Dave would return to Florida and George entered his “Troubadour Period.” George continued to compose original songs and perform with his acoustic guitar living in Los Angeles, Vermont, Virginia, Connecticut, and Florida. Both composers would temporarily reconnect musically in 2007 and 2008, yielding classic live recordings and more original songs. Often songs were written together over the phone. With mutual respect for each other’s separate endeavors, THE SKYDOGS team would seek their own musical paths. The musical thread between them would be original music. Though not together, each person continued on to perform and compose. George would perform and record a collection of his newer compositions with several talented female Latin vocalists. David Van Sise would form his own band “D.V.S THE BAND” entertaining the Tampa/St. Petersburg area with his newer compositions and captivating sound. Music, sweat and tears would pass for half a decade, and then missing the creative team of (Lee-Van Sise), both reunited for this CD “Taking Flight.” SKYDOGS25 would rise as a phoenix. The number twenty five would commemorate the years that passed since that night in 1990 when the team became acquainted. SKYDOGS25 “Taking Flight” is now provided to the public. George Lee and David Van Sise have now come to a completeness that hadn’t been quite like before,….a “Quantum Singularity” as it were. A true Musical Force to be reckoned with.
And now, as we say in the vernacular of the band, enjoy and “FLY AND BE FREE!”