Filed under: Obituaries
We were extremely saddened over the weekend to hear of the untimely passing of Wicked Lester bassist and lead vocalist Mark Cleary. Pat Singleton sent us a few words about his lifetime friend and bandmate:
Mark Joseph Cleary was born in Cleveland Ohio on November 4, 1963. He was popular, good at sports, and mischievious. Mark began taking guitar lessons at age 10 and soon switched to bass. He formed Fyre with St Mel Grade School classmates Pat Singleton, John McLaughlin and Brian McIntyre. They made their debut at Dailey’s Bar on Cleveland’s west side in early 1977. Two years later, McLaughlin and Singleton formed Wicked Lester- soon adding Mark and drummer Bill Arth to the lineup. By then Mark was attending Holy Name High School from which he graduated in 1982. He found work as a security guard and continued to be employed in that industry off and on throughout his life. His true love however was songwriting and performing and over the next few years Mark became the visual focal point of Wicked Lester when he moved from bass guitarist to front man. The band enjoyed local popularity and airplay, even sharing the stage of the original Cleveland Agora with hard rock legends Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush. They recorded at Bodie Studio and later Soundstage 25. Mark penned several of their in-concert favorites. The final line-up of the band included Bob Strauss on bass with Brian McIntyre returning on drums for their final shows in 1986.
Mark relocated to Los Angeles where he took acting classes and then to Phoenix Arizona where he won several trophies as a body builder and became proficient on the flute. His last recorded performances were on Pat Singleton’s 2004 solo album “Red Skeleton In The Closet”. He was the flute player and featured vocalist on 3 songs.
On July 5, 2013 under mysterious circumstances, Mark died in his car in the desert of Apache Junction Arizona. He is survived by 4 children, including his son Christian Cleary who is a talented drummer and guitarist.
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