Sara Lee is an English bassist and singer-songwriter, who came to prominence replacing Dave Allen on bass guitar in post-punk band Gang of Four. She is also notable for work with Robert Fripp, B-52s, Ani DiFranco and Indigo Girls.
Lee confirmed in an interview on Rundgrenradio.com that Sara Lee is her birth name. Born in the West Midlands of England, Lee’s entire family was musical. Both parents were music teachers (her father was latterly a bass song man in the choir of York Minster), her sister a cellist, and her brother a trombone player. Music formed an important part of her childhood. She played tympani and double bass in school and local orchestras as a teenager, until the day she discovered the electric bass guitar.
After playing with a couple of local bands, she moved to London and worked as a secretary at Polydor Records. Here she was discovered by King Crimson leader Robert Fripp, who was encouraged to stay at a show to see “a girl who works in the office. ” Fripp invited her to join his band, The League of Gentlemen.
Le and recorded two albums with famed political punk r in England, later moved to the United States. Lee became a sought-after session, concert and recording artist, playing with the Thompson Twins before she crossed paths with The B-52’s during the recording of their Cosmic Thing album, and can be seen in the “Love Shack” and the “Roam” videos. Following a stint on the Cosmic tour, Sara formed The Raging Hormones with B-52 session drummer, Charley Drayton. She then started a seven-year run with the Indigo Girls, contributing “sterling performances In 1996 and 1997 she accompanied singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco on tours of Europe and North America, as documented on the double-live album Living in Clip.
Lee has played with many other artists, including Joan Osborne, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Fiona Apple, and is a close friend of Da Dorsey.
Lee re-joined the B-52’s as a touring member in 1999.
On 12 September 2000 she released her debut solo album Make It Beautiful on Difranco’s Righteous Babe records. Lee recorded instrumental tracks, which were sent to musicians with whom she had previously worked to provide lyrics, including Ani DiFranco, Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls, Pal Shazar, Barbara Gogan of The Passions and Kri
She n’s 2009 Arena tour.
Lee was also a judge for the 5th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists’ careers.