Photo Gallery -
Band Lineups -
- Audio samples -
Where Are They Now?
After the horrific tragedy, in which Miami
Showband members Fran O'Toole,
Tony Geraghty, and Brian McCoy were
murdered in a terrorist bombing attempt, the surviving members of
the band, Des Lee (McAlea),
Stephen Travers, and Ray Millar agreed to pick up the pieces and reformed
the band. They returned to the road in late 1975 and enjoyed great success in
the aftermath of one of the the worst tragedies in Irish Showband history.
But in June 1978, after
less than three years, Des and the lads decided it was time for
a change and they made the bold move of leaving the
Miami and going
in a new direction. They drafted Adrian Mullen, long time keyboard
player with Chips and Aongus McNally, a young guitarist who had
enjoyed some early success in 1973 with his Celtic rock band,
Mushroom. The boys
wanted to add a female vocalist to the lineup and eventually signed Dee
McMahon who had moved to Waterford in 1972 and had been with a local
group, Waves. Dee took the stage name,
Julie, and the band was managed
by future entertainment mogul, Louis Walsh. They released a
single in early 1979, Kiss Me, Kiss Your Baby on the Release
label, but the single would be re-released a year later on the WEA
In July, Des Lee, Julie and Starband hit the ballroom
circuit with a vengeance. Des wanted to make sure the band had no
single "star" with everyone making a major contribution to their
live act every night on stage. Because of their connection to the
Miami, they garnered a lot of press at the time, and did very well
across the country.
After only six months on the road, Dee McMahon, became pregnant and left the band
around Christmas, 1979 to have her son. Liz Allen
joined the band as the lead female vocalist and stayed with them for
two years before Dee returned. The band continued on with Liz also
taking the stage name Julie and continued to tour and release
In the meantime, after having her son, Dee
McMahon returned to her local group, Waves, but was soon approached
by Shaun O'Dowd and Dingaling to join their ranks for a short while,
but it didn't last very long. By mid 1980, Dee was approached by
Adrian and Ray to join a revamped Starband lineup.
Stephen and Aonghus
had left the band to form Crackers, with Pat Waller on drums. But
that band was short lived though as Pat soon left and they changed the
name to The Crack. Des Lee had also left and gone abroad
around this time, we think. The new lineup of the band included Dee,
Adrian and Ray, along with new members Jim Hopper on guitar and Tony
Unknown on bass. Danny Duskey, a cousin of Sandy Duskey's of the
Fairways was brought in as the male lead vocalist.
Dee continued to record and did a record with
producer Robery Danova, as well as singing in the finals of the
Castlebar Song Contest. Sean Magee and Hugh O'Neill approached Dee
to join a new pop/rock band being formed called Vienna (they had
originally been known as Las Vegas). She left and Vienna hit the
road in, we think, early 1981.
Back in Dublin, when Dee left, the band split up,
but it appears Des Lee reformed the band
with Liz Allen back in the lineup and they headed to South Africa
where Des had lived until recently. We will try to get more info
about this move as soon as possible. After several years of success Liz
went on to join a band called Shiraz, but then emigrated to
Australia where she still lives today.
click on thumbnails for full image
||Des Lee (McAlea): Des
survived the attack on the Miami showband and in late 1975
he reformed the band along with Ray Millar and Stephen
Travers. In 1982,
Des put together a new version of Starband which may have
been also know as the Des Lee Band. The band emigrated to
South Africa where Des lived until recently. In 2008, Des
returned to Ireland and currently fronts the reformed Miami
which has been touring ever since. In early 2011 he toured
with Ronan Collins' showband show across the country. The
photo right is from the 2005 Miami 30 Year reunion Concert
held in Dublin.
Angus left the band scene after a short stint with the band
Crackers. He left after a short stint to take on a career in
television with RTE with the show, "Anything Goes." He has
been with RTE ever since but also now has a solo recording
career as well.
Although wounded in the Miami massacre, Stephen survived and
in 1978 together with Des Lee and Ray Millar formed Starband with Adrian Mullin of Chips and Aoughus McNally. His time with the new band was short lived
though as in 1980, he
left to form Crackers which soon became The Crack, a four piece rock/pop outfit. In
1996, Steven met up (again) with Johnny Fean of Horslips in
London and they had been playing together until the
reformation of the Miami featuring Steven, Des and Ray along
with several new members. They are still touring regularly.
Keyboard player Adrian left Chips in 1978 to join the newly formed
Starband with Des Lee. He still plays in and around Dublin with a two man show and performs in the Middle East from time to time.
||Ray Millar: After
leaving Starband, we are not sure what Ray did. However, we have read online that he now runs a major
recycling company in Northern Ireland. When the Miami was
reformed in 2009, Ray joined the band back behind the drums
and they are still touring regularly.
||Dee McMahon: After
leaving Starband, Dee went on to join Sean Magee in the band
Vienna as well as a short stint with Shaun O'Dowd and
Dingaling. In 1983, she left Ireland and retired from the
showband scene. Dee
wrote to us recently to tell us she is living in the South
of England and still very active on the entertainment scene
where she sings with a variety of outfits, including an ABBA
tribute act, as well as several duos with other
||Pat Kilty: More to
||Danny Duskey: More to
||Liz Allen: Liz left
the band when Dee McMahon returned after a two year hiatus.
However, she eventually rejoined Des Lee in a new version of
the band which emigrated to South Africa around 1982. After
several years with Des, she joined the South African band,
Shiraz. She eventually emigrated to Sydney Australia where
she lives today.
After leaving Chips, Shaun went on to play with
Gibney and Donovan,
The Joe Cuddy Band and finally
Vienna (with Dee McMahon, formerly
Julie of Starband) before emigrating to Canada in 1985. Today, Shaun lives and works in Toronto where
he manages a construction company. He is also a good friend to the website and
contributes regularly to our content.