Life has whisked Donovan Leitch from Beatles-era London to Hollywood sunshine. Despite lots of detours, he's kept his passion for music and has an interesting new show on Sundays. Here's the story I sent to papers:
By Mike Hughes
PASADENA -- The
world is full of talented music people, Donovan Leitch says.
Some do it
full-time; some double as waiters and actors and accountants. Many
deserve to be noticed.
Now he produces and
hosts a show that does that. “Breaking Band” finds an emerging
act and links it with a rock star as a temporary mentor and duet
This is turf Leitch
knows well; he's spent most of his 48 years somewhere near the music
world. “I'm told there are photos of me as a baby, in George
Harrison's arms,” he said.
Yes, George Harrison
of the Beatles. Leitch's dad was also named Donovan Leitch, but was
simply known as Donovan. A Scottish singer-songwriter, he soared
briefly; in 1966, “Sunshine Superman” and “Mellow Yellow”
reached No. 1 and 2 on Billboard's U.S. chart. He faded for a while,
but was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
Leitch could have
grown up around this. (“I was essentially born on the stage,” he
said.) But when he was 3, his parents split and his mother moved with
the kids to the Hollywood Hills.
Like his mother
(Enid Karl), Leitch has been a model. Like his younger sister (Ione
Skye, star of the teen classic “Say Anything”), he's an actor.
Still, music is a passion. “I wish that was all that I did.”
He's been in bands –
Camp Freddy, Nancy Boys and now Royal Machines – and been a
producer; he's also met lots of music people, some of whom hit it
big. “Every mentor on the show is a friend of mine.”
For the opener, he
linked Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers) with
Andie Case, a gifted Seattle singer-songwriter who has emerged on the
Internet. For the third episode, he wasn't sure who to pair with
Sebastian Case. “There really are no heavy-metal bands in the U.S.
right now.” Eventually, he found the Finnish band called Santa
Yes, a band from
Finland ... named after a California city it had never seen ...
worked with a rock star from Canada and the U.S. ... in a show
produced and hosted by an English-born guy from Hollywood. The rock
world gets kind of mobile sometimes.
Band,” 9:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. PT) Sundays on AXS, the cable
channel (formerly HDNet), created by Mark Cuban
-- Starts Jan. 24,
paired with the 9 p.m./6 p.m. “Rock & Roll Road Trip With Sammy
-- Opener links Dave
Navarro and Andie Case. Others are: Moby and Runaground, Jan. 31;
Sebastian Bach and Santa Cruz, Feb. 7; Robin Zander and Set The
Charge. Feb. 14; Belinda Carlisle and Sick of Sarah, Feb. 21; and
Marck McGrath and Stick Figure, Feb. 28.