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A Tribute to Jon Lee

On the 7th of January 2002, Jon Henry Lee, 33, the drummer for the band 'Feeder', committed suicide in his home in Florida, leaving his family, his friends, his fellow band mates, his fans, and those that knew him, shocked and deeply saddened.

This tribute page is here to remember Jon Lee for all the good things he accomplished in his life; it isn't here to go into the reasons why Jon felt he had to go, nor is it to pry into his personal life. Those do not concern this fan for I'd sooner remember what was important to me about Jon Lee - his contribution to music.

Jon Henry Lee, the son of Patricia and Norman Lee, brother of Andrew, was born in Newport Wales, where he also grew up. He took to athletics young, representing his county as a sprinter, but was forced out of the sport by a leg injury that was to change his direction in life. Already inspired to play the drums, having picked up a drum kit in his teens, he teamed up in the early 90's with Grant Nicholas to form a band called 'Temper Temper'. Without much in the way of success, the two guys took to London to set up a new band called 'Real', but the real turning point came when a Japanese bassist called Taka Hirose answered an ad in 'Loot' magazine to form a new band.... 'Feeder' and a record contract with the Echo Label followed in 1995.

Jon worked hard with the band throughout the remainder of his life, touring heavily throughout his career, which included an exhausting 115 venue tour of the States. There he met his wife to be, Tatiana Englehart, who also became the mother to his child, Cameron. Jon and Tatiana tied the knot in Miami in 2000, where the couple lived together.

It appeared to the casual observer that things couldn't get any better for Jon. A wife, kids, an increasingly successful music career to add to everything he already had going for him.... life must have been great. However, and this is where the confusion and bewilderment sets in, it obviously wasn't. Somewhere along the way, his blossoming career and family life were to become a problematic combination, and a burden that for whatever reason, was too great for Jon Lee to bear.

Whilst Tatiana and her sons Nick and Cameron had held their own memorial to Jon back in Miami, Jon's funeral took place at St. Mary's Church, Newport, in Wales on the 18th of January. As well as his family, his friends, Feeder and former bandmates, hundreds of distraught Feeder fans showed up to pay their own last respects. In clearly a moving ceremony, Matt Page, Feeder's manager, read a poem as requested by Jon Lee's father, Norman.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not here, I do not sleep
I am the thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sun on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain
I am the shining stars at night
When you awake to the morning light
I am the soft uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight
My time has come, I am at rest
I am the sunset in the west
I am the clouds that race above
Where I watch over those I love
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not here, I do not die
So hear the words that here I say
I am the love that guides your way.

(By Mary Fyre)

High was also played during the ceremony which also saw Grant Nicholas say this about his much missed friend,

"Jon had such a taste for life, which makes this whole thing such a mystery to us all. He could be the life and soul of any party. Yet, quiet, sensitive and understanding to anyone that needed a friendly ear. I always felt there was a raging fire in his soul which he channelled into his drumming; showing no fear to anything he put his hand to....

Hope you are at peace now, Jon boy. Forever young. Your friend always."

Jon was finally buried at St Woolas Cemetery.

Jon Lee's death was a tragic one, and a waste of a huge talent, but he gave more in his shortened life than many do in a long one. Jon was a talented drummer and played with a passion many would envy, and was an inspiration to many people, some of whom took up playing the drums just because of him. Although he is no longer with us here, his contribution to music will not be forgotten. My sincerest condolences and sympathies go to his family, friends, Grant, Taka, Matt, and everyone else who knew him.

Jon Lee, thanks for your music, rest in peace.