Alvin Lee News
A moment of reflection was held for Alvin
on April 7, 2013. The audience at Olympia
Hall in Paris were joined by friends and
fans around the world in honoring the beloved
guitarist.Thank you to everyone who particpated.
ALVIN LEE . December 19th 1944 - March 6th 2013
Alvin Lee, globally acclaimed
passed away in the early hours
morning, March 6th 2013. He had
to hospital in Spain, where he
a routine surgical procedure
for atrial arrhythmia
but died from unforeseen complications.
Born in Nottingham to Sam and
Doris on December
19th 1944, the youngest of three
Alvin Lee began playing guitar
aged 13 and
two years later had formed the
core of the
band Ten Years After. Originally
by his parent's collection of
jazz and blues
records, it was the advent of
rock and roll
that truly sparked his interest
and guitarists like Chuck Berry
Moore provided his inspiration.
The Jaybirds, as Lee's early
band was called,
were popular locally and had
success in Hamburg,
Germany, following the Beatles
there in 1962.
But it wasn't until the band
moved to London
in 1966 and changed its name
to Ten Years
After that international success
The band secured a residency
at the Marquee
Club and an invitation to the
Jazz & Blues Festival in
1967 led to
their first recording contract.
titled debut album surprisingly
play on San Francisco's underground
stations and was enthusiastically
by listeners, including concert
Bill Graham who invited the band
America for the first time in
Audiences were taken with Lee's
soulful, rapid fire guitar playing
band's innovative mix of blues,
and rock, and an American love
TYA would ultimately tour the
USA 28 times
in 7 years, more than any other
Appearing at the famed Woodstock
Lee's virtuoso performance was
one of the
highlights and remains today
a standard for
many other guitarists. Captured
on film in
the documentary of the festival,
catapulted him into superstardom,
the band was playing arenas and
around the globe.
Although Lee later lamented that
the intimacy of smaller venues,
made a huge impact in bringing
to a worldwide audience. TYA
had great success,
releasing ten albums together,
but by 1973
Lee was feeling limited by the
With American gospel singer Mylon
and a host of rock talents like
Steve Winwood, Ron Wood and Mick
, he recorded and released On
The Road To
Freedom, a highly acclaimed album
at the forefront of country rock.
A year later, in response to
a dare, Lee
formed Alvin Lee & Company
to play a
show at the Rainbow in London
it as a double live album, In
energetic mix of rhythm &
blues and rock,
with a tribute to Elvis Presley
for good measure, Lee once, in
fashion, called this band "a
outfit". They were far more
and various members of the band
on with Lee for his next two
Iron and Let it Rock.
Lee finished out the 70s with
trio he called Ten Years Later
who also released
two albums, Ride On and Rocket
toured extensively throughout
The 80s brought another change
in Lee's direction,
with two albums that were strong
with Rarebird's Steve Gould and
tour with the Rolling Stones'
joining his band.
Lee's overall musical output
than 20 albums, including 1985's
Diesel and the back to back 90s
of Zoom and 1994 (I Hear You
artists on both albums include
whose brilliant slide guitar
Lee's lead. Their duet on 1994's
Blues led one reviewer to call
most perfect blues song ever
Alvin Lee in Tennessee, released
was recorded with rock and roll
Moore and D.J. Fontana. The critically
album features an upbeat selection
that were timely and forward
borrowed from Lee's beloved 50s
roll. It was followed in 2007
a varied collection of songs
from blues to raucous rock to
interpretation of rap. His last
On The Road To Freedom, took
on an musical journey to the
past and present
and back again.
Alvin Lee is survived by his wife Evi, daughter
Jasmin and her mother Suzanne (Alvin's former
life partner), also by his two sisters Irma
Tributes are already coming in
from the music
Joe Brown, close friend and musician: Alvin was probably
the best Rock 'n Roll guitarist Iíve ever
met. It is going to be a great loss to us
all. I'll certainly miss him"
Chris Wright, Chairman (non Exec) BMG Chrysalis
UK: "My career, and the foundations of
the entire Chrysalis organisation started
when Alvin and his group, who soon changed
their name to Ten Years After, came up to
Manchester in 1966 to play in a small student
blues club I operated with a friend. I immediately
signed them to a management contract, and
later they joined both Chrysalis Records
and Chrysalis Music.
They went on to be an integral
part of the
British rock and blues invasion
of the States,
and starred at both the Woodstock
and in the subsequent film. For
a while in
the late 60s and early 70s they
were on a
par with any group in the World
He was known as the fastest guitarist
the West, but that belied the
fact that he
was also one of the most talented,
the most proficient. He was also
on stage performer.
It is really sad we will never see him again.
His passing leaves a tremendous void in an
era of great British music."
Brian May, musician: Writing on his website "(Lee was) a
legendary and influential guitarist and very
nice bloke. His speed and dexterity, in the
days when I would go as a student to the
Marquee Club to see Ten Years After, was
scary and exciting. He was daring enough
to play and sing close to his limit every
time. As a man off-stage, his persona was modest
and gentle. On stage - a giant who will be
Roger Chapman, musician: "Alvin Lee. What a great natural guitar
player. Frightened of nothing,
a guitar & rocked like f***.
Met him in 1961 thereabouts,
shared a stage
in Nottingham with him &
he was on it
then. Playing songs, me being
a bit snobbish,
I never thought any other British
except myself so I was instantly
& have been ever since. Always
pals even though we were separated
roles & countries.
He did a lot of really good stuff
on my albums
over the years. "Do you
wanna run through
Alv" I'd say & he'd
just sling it down & take
a natural! What a guy!
Lotsa love Alvin it was a pleasure knowing
Mylon Le Fevre, musician: Everybody knows he was a great musician
and guitarist but he was a lot
that to me. He was my brother
from the first time I met him
in 1970. His
was a good man with a good heart.
an honest man. As far as I know
he did everything
he ever told me he would do.
He never lied
to me one time. He was generous,
loyal to our friendship. He was
a Rock Star
and I was just a country boy
in an opening band. But from
he treated me like an equal.
We met when
my band opened for TYA on one
of their first
American Tours after the Woodstock.
we just hung out after the gigs,
and jammed. Eventually we started
some songs together. After one
of the five
tours we did together we decided
vacation in Jamaica to lay down
and see where it led us. That
was the beginning
of "On the Road to Freedom".
the 43 years that I knew him,
I learned to
truly love him like a brother
and I will
miss him. It was an honour to
be his friend.
Slash, on Twitter: "I just heard about Alvin
Lee's passing. He was the 1st badass, super
fast lead guitarist I remember hearing as
a kid. legend. RIP. iii]; )'
Geezer Butler, Black Sabbath: "Shocked and saddened
to hear of Alvin Lee passing, one of the
true greats and a major influence on Sabbath,"writes
Butler. "The fastest guitar in the west.
He was one of the few people that believed
in Sabbath when we started out, and he got
us our first major London gig, at the Marquee.
A true gentleman and lovely bloke. RIP Alvin."
Bill Ward, Black Sabbath: "Thank you, Alvin for
all that you were. For all that you gave.
You were one of a kind. Your music rocked
with passion, force, excitement; brave in
risk, bringing this listener to the point
of "wowism". In short, thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Our condolences go
to Alvin's family. Heartfelt sympathy at
this time of loss.
Joe Satriani, musician: "Alvin Lee was a big influence
on my playing. He was a great musician and
a gentleman, too. I still have the pick he
gave me a few years back...R.I.P Alvin Lee...Joe"
Glenn Hughes,Deep Purple: RIP Alvin Lee.....so very sad
to hear of another friend passing.
Rest in Peace Alvin Lee... Another hero gone
this week.... This is becoming too regular
....... A very sad night... Enjoy the song...ladies
Kenny Wayne Shepard: Rest in Peace Alvin Lee one of the greatest
guitar players ever. We lost
you too soon.
Thanks for the music.
Mick Mars, Motley Crue: Rest in peace Alvin Lee. I
loved you very much. You taught me well
Peter Frampton: I still can't believe we've lost Alvin Lee.
My day went into slow motion after I heard
this. Been talking to friends about times
we all spent together. It's very sad. He
was a wonderful person and an amazing guitar
Leslie West: God Speed Dear Friend. I hope you bring
the pedals I gave you to heaven. They need
it a little louder up there.
Keith Emerson: Dear Alvin, you checked out way too early
my friend. I'll miss the fun we had on mini-
motorcycles, you as "Awful- Knawful"
and our failed attempt to swim back to England
from the Bahamas. That was some time ago,
but we made it through. Above all, everyone
will remember the fun and the music you made
Tommy Iommi, Black Sabbath: I was extremely saddened
to hear of Alvin's death. It was a great
shock. I had not known that he was ill. Alvin
was a really great guitar player but, more
importantly, has been a good friend of Black
Sabbath over the years.
In the early days, when we were
by the name of Earth, it was
Alvin who helped
us get some gigs. He'd been out
there a bit
before us, and knew the ropes.
We'd sit and
talk the night away at a flat
I remember telling him that we
of changing our name to Black
was horrified! He told me we'd
never do any
good with a name like that.
Ric Lee: We are all stunned. All of us. I don''t
think it's even sunk in yet as to the reality
of his passing. We are all thinking of his
family and friends today, and offer our own
Leo Lyons: "It came as a complete shock to me.
I still haven't taken it in. I feel very
sad. He was the closest thing I had to a
brother. We had our differences, but we shared
so many great experiences together that nothing
can take away. I will miss him very much.
He was an inspiration for a generation of
guitar players. Keep on rockin', Alvin!"
Chick Churchill: It has taken me a few days to accept that
my inspiration has gone. Though I accept
it, it does not make it any easier. In the
early days he gave me such encouragement
with my keyboard playing that he made me
a much better player. When I lived in Spain
we spent many hours together and Evi cooked
some wonderful meals for us. Evi and I have
emailed and she is a very brave lady. I send
all my hearfelt prayers to Evi, Jasmine and
Suzanne. I shall miss a great man.
Bryan Adams : Alvin Lee RIP. We jammed together many
years ago in Sweden. Such an incredible guitarist.
The Zombies: So sad to hear of Alvin Lee's passing. I
vividly remember Ten Years After supporting
us back in '67, when they were an up and
coming young band. I was totally knocked
out with his playing. ~
Fish, former lead singer of Marillon: A great guitarist
and fine and lovely bloke. Will never forget
the laughs we had together in Tel Aviv at
an extremely dodgy festival and the eternal
drinking in the bar waiting on the gig that
Foghat: "Truly one of the great guitarists
of our time. Our hearts and thoughts are
with his family and friends. You will be
Steve Hackett, Genesis: "I'm sad to hear of the passing
of Alvin Lee. He was a great guitarist and
ten Years After was an extraordinary band."
Vernon Reid (Living Colour) : Alvin Lee, like Gary Moore
and Rory Gallagher, was a Burning down The
House With Everythin In It. MOFO of a player.
RIP to 1 of the GREATS".
Alex Skolnick (Alex Skolnick Trio; Testament) :RIP Alvin
Lee. After Jimi, his guitar performance
Woodstock was my favourite
Pete Pritchard: would like to thank the many people who have
sent me messages of sympathy
at the sudden
and tragic passing of Alvin Lee
on 6th March.
It was my honour to play bass
for him these
last ten years. Alvin was a wonderful
unique man. He was totally unaffected
his rock star status and hated
all the "star"
hype, preferring to be one of
the lads in
To say he was an amazing guitarist
understatement. Often his solos
lift me off the stage.
I never saw him play a bad show.
walked off to a standing ovation
He loved his Rock n roll, rockabilly,
and jazz and I will miss our
chats on all
things music so much.
We were due to play the Olympia in Paris
April 7th. This will now be a very difficult
day for me indeed. I can't believe that I
will never again be together with Alvin,
Evi (Alvin's wife), Richard Newman (drums)
and Steve Rispin (sound), laughing backstage,
enjoying each other's company and making
music. My condolences to Alvin's family at
this dreadfully sad time. With love and respect,
Canned Heat: R.I.P. ALVIN LEE of Ten Years After who
was one of the Few English bands to play
at Woodstock in 1969.You will be missed by
many who loved you and your Guitar Skills
and Vocals.Canned Heat send their Condolences
to his Family and Friends.
Tim Hinkley: People often say, "what a wonderful
person he/she was", about those that
have passed to another world. In some cases
this is not so.
In Alvin Lee's case it is so....he
wonderful person...a very generous,
and down to earth person. His
love of Blues
and Rock'n Roll carried him through
and it shows in his phenomenal
When his daughter, Jasmin was
born in London,
Alvin came to my apartment in
I sat in awe while Alvin played
hours. We made some great music
over many a year in his various
The first, Space Studios was
at Hook End
Manor with a Helios board, Studer
Tannoy Reds and Neumann microphones....no
digital gimmickery in those days!
Boz Burrell, Mel Collins, Alvin
were, "The Gits"....Alvin's
Gosh, I'm still shellshocked
that he's gone.
Justin Hayward,: I knew Alvin well in the 60's and 70's
since Ten Years After and The Moodies were
both on Decca and were often booked together.
There was a friendly rivalry between us because
of the label thing although their music and
ours were completely different. Both bands
were booked by Bill Graham and landed, with
great success, in the USA at the same time
... I recall that Alvin kindly lent me his
amps when mine blew up at a psychedelic club
in Chicago in 1968.
Alvin played with great courage
risks on the guitar that few
of the other
British blues boys dared to take.
He was, and always will be, acknowledged
as one of the greatest British
Alvin Lee will never be forgotten
Omar Kent Dykes, Omar and the Howlers: My thoughts and prayers
are with the friends and family of Alvin.
We have lost a tremendously talented artist,
and he will be greatly missed.
Dennis Greaves, Nine Below Zero: Just about to go on stage
last night in Hamburg Wednesday,
heard the news
about the passing of Alvin Lee.
As you may
or may not know we toured the
UK and the
USA with Alvin and had a great
him and he was always very supportive
Nine Below Zero, he even gave
me a couple
of his old Marshall 4x12 cabinets.
Alvin is one of the reasons I
play a Gibson
335 and was a big influence on
me as a kid.
Last time we saw him was in Norway
fit and healthy hard to believe
guitarist has gone
Kim Simmonds, Savoy Brown: In shock over the death of
Alvin Lee. I remember his first
He shook the guitar world up
28 August, 2012. Alvin's newest CD, Still On the Road to
Freedom has been released on
in the USA and in Europe on Repertoire
The album takes listeners on
a trip through
time, embracing Alviin's love
of roots music
with everything from rock n'
roll to blues
to jazz to funk , led by his
guitar work and a delicious groove
a cohesiveness to the varied
On the Road to Freedom is available
retailers and in stores, or download
1. Still On The Road To
2. Listen To Your Radio
3. Midnight Creeper,
4. Save My Stuff,
5. I'm A Lucky Man,
6. Walk On, Walk Tall,
7. Blues Got Me So Bad,
8. Song Of The Red Rock
9. Nice & Easy,
10. Back In 69,
11. Down Line Rock,
12. Rock You,
13. Love Like A Man 2.
Read Reviews of Still On
the Road to Freedom
The two guitar legends
are on the same venue
for the first time since
Olympia Hall, Paris France
Sunday 07 April 2013 19h00
This concert will now be
played in tribute
to Alvin with Johnny Winter,
Tommy Emmanuel, Robben
Ford & Johnny
Gallagher. A moment of reflection for Alvin Lee will
coincide with the start
of the show.
8 May 2012. Best of Alvin Lee, a new compilation CD
containing classic Alvin Lee tracks has been
released by Repertoire Records