Joe Gooch grew up in a musical environment due to his parents being keen jazz, blues and classical music fans. The sound track to his early years was made up of artists and composers such as Stephan Grappeli, Django Rhineheart, Robert Johnson, Debussi, Steely Dan and John Mayal...
By thirteen, taking his music seriously, he enrolled on a course of classical guitar lessons. The disciplines he learnt were a good grounding for him, but he soon realized his interest lay outside of the classical sphere and moved towards other styles including rock and blues. At first, influenced by his childhood heroes, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Buddy Guy and later Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Joe satriani, John Petrucci and Larry Carlton amongst others, Joe experimented with various musical styles; constantly looking for new ideas and inspiration to expand and improve his techniques.
In 1968, the band was auditioned at the Marquee Club in London under the name The Blues Yard, but quickly became the successful outfit, Ten Years After. With this group, Lee played at rock festivals including Woodstock in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival on 29 August 1970.