Lee MacDougall Has Opened For Van Morrison, Bob Dylan and Bon Jovi. He's Met None of 'Em.

Categories: Interviews
Lee MacDougall
Singer-songwriter Lee MacDougall hails from England, but the guy just can't seem to get enough of America. Earlier this year, MacDougall made his maiden tour of our fair country. Just a few months later, he's back for more. And, seeing that MacDougall's music is heavily influenced by Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, America seems a pretty good place to ply his craft. 

Speaking from a tour stop in Atlanta and in anticipation of his upcoming, Saturday night performance at Poor David's Pub, MacDougall was kind enough to talk to DC9 about making his way from a lowly fish processing plant in England to sharing stages with Bob Dylan and Van Morrison.

Read our complete Q&A with him after the jump.

This is your second tour of America. Did the first one go well?
Yes. The fact is, I couldn't wait to get back.

A few years ago, you played in China -- and in front of a huge crowd. Were you nervous?
It's far scarier to play in front of 10 people. When the crowd is that big, you don't have to focus on individual faces. You just see this sea of people and you almost go beyond being scared. I remember being nervous, but at the same time your adrenalin just kicks in. You're just filled with this rush of energy.

You opened for Bob Dylan and Van Morrison. Did you get to meet either of them?
No. I didn't, actually. It's weird because I also opened for Bon Jovi and I never got to speak to him, either! He's really isolated from everyone else. It would be tricky to get a minute with him. I mean, Bon Jovi was driven from the stage to his dressing room in a blacked out, people-carrier. I suppose they all have security issues.

I'd much rather meet Dylan or Morrison than Bon Jovi.
That's true, but it was cool to share the same stage with all of them.

How did the song you wrote for Rob Pattinson come about?
I am just friends with him in London. We hang around in the same crowd and one day he told me about a film he was going to do called How to Be and I thought the idea was very interesting. I told him that I would write the theme tune to it. He thought the idea was cool. I wrote the tune and he really liked it. He took the song to the director and we didn't realize that the director had already picked out someone else to do the music. But I remember going out and playing the song at a gig that same night, and it got a really big reaction. It's kind of a funny story now. At the time, we were both kind of broke. I'm still broke, but at least I got a good song out of it.

Do you get emails from fans of the Twilight movies?
No, not really. I get a few fans of the movies that come to my shows. They are actually really supportive. Some of them are friends of Rob's.

How have the crowds in the United States reacted towards your music?
Everything has been really positive. It just seems that people over here have always appreciated British acts. I think Americans just like good music. It's a good vibe at the shows. I've heard and seen some good things from people here.

Your song "Smile" is reminiscent of Springsteen, while "All the Wrong Places" sounds like Elvis Costello. Are those two of your primary influences?
I'm glad you liked those. I'm quite pleased with the way they came out. Elvis Costello is a really good songwriter. I am a big fan of his.

Are you working on a full-length?
Yes, I am. I am actually trying to record a single at the moment in the U.K., and I think that will be a precursor to a full-length. I think I've pretty much got the entire thing written. It will be some tracks from the EPs and some new stuff. I will be really happy to finish it and release it at the end of this year.

Didn't you once work in a fish processing factory?
Yes, for a short while. One day, I finished working and found that somebody had stolen my shoes. I had to walk home without shoes. I knew then that I couldn't work there any longer.

Someone actually stole your shoes? There has to be a song in that story.
I have that written down in a notebook somewhere. Perhaps I will use it soon.

Somebody Stole My Shoes would be a great album title.
[Laughs.] That might work! You're right!

Lee MacDougall plays with Albert Aguilar on Saturday, August 26, at Poor David's Pub

Location Info


Poor David's Pub

1313 S. Lamar Blvd., Dallas, TX

Category: Music

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Erin Wright
Erin Wright

Ok I saw this guy durring SxSW and he's ok but..you can't "claim" to have opened for the likes of these acts when you've simply played at a festival where they are the headliner and you are a independant playing a 2nd or 3rd stage. The 4 or 5 acts playing before the headliner on the same stage should be reserved that right.

Peggy Harrington
Peggy Harrington

Loved this article. Lee is an amazingly talented musician/song writer. I have had the honor to see him perform twice here in the states but have been a big fan of his music since hearing his first demo...Go see him live, he puts so much energy into his shows. You will not be disappointed.  <3

Nicole Fuentes
Nicole Fuentes

Great article!! Oh, and Lee MacDougall didn't tell you this but he was born with a microphone lodged in his throat! ;) Along with his awesome creative knowledge of instrumentation, Lee has a great fine set of sworling pipes!!!

Maria Pergely
Maria Pergely

Thanks for the great interview with Lee!  Can't wait to see him again.  I urge everyone to see him and experience his wonderful songs.

Sheila Marrs
Sheila Marrs

Thank you for the article, Lee's music has a great way of capturing people in due to his storytelling. Can't wait to see his show. 


Really great article. Lee's music speaks to peoples hearts. He's gonna be a very well known musician all over the world soon. He has a big heart and amazing talent.


Thank you for posting this interview! I appreciate learning more about an artist's musical influences and what drives them to carry on in the business, as well as hearing their future aspirations.


Great interview!  Thank you.  It's always nice to find out a bit of the background of an artist and get insight into their music.


Funny, I've never heard of or read about any "right" to claim opening band status. I can see the argument now. "Hey, I was the forth band on the bill. I get the right to say I opened." Stupid. And unless you go back and research every single event, you would not have any way to know if these shows were festivals, etc. Seems you are just being a prick.

Erin Wright
Erin Wright

No I would not be being a prick i'd be being a Bitch. And yes I do believe in fair billing. I am a fan but I don't believe in claiming something so far fetched. And as for knowing about festivals, have you been to UK shows in the last few years? The likes of this guy playing with the likes of Van Morrison and Bon Jovi would have to be a festival, I do however get updates cause I liked the guy on facebook and can read the post. Now if you feel differently more power to ya you live in America and have that right as well do I to say he opened for these acts directly in billing is BULLSHIT.

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