Alvin-Lee-Obituary

Alvin Lee

Obituary

LONDON (AP) — British rock guitarist Alvin Lee, founder of the band Ten Years After who burst to stardom with a memorable Woodstock performance, has died. He was 68.

A statement posted on Lee's official website said he died Wednesday unexpectedly from complications following a routine surgical procedure. Lee's manager, Ron Rainey, said the guitarist died in Spain.

"We have lost a wonderful, much loved father and companion," said the statement signed by his daughter Jasmin, wife Evi and former companion Suzanne. "The world has lost a truly great and gifted musician."

The Nottingham, England-born Lee founded the band Ten Years After in 1967. The group first toured the U.S. in 1967, but its popularity exploded following Lee's rousing performance of the song "I'm Going Home" at Woodstock in 1969. Lee's epic and electrifying solos on his Gibson guitar for the 11-minute performance were immortalized in the documentary film about the legendary festival.

Ten Years After released ten albums together featuring the group's mix of blues, swing jazz and rock and toured the U.S. 28 times in seven years.

Lee left the band in 1975 to embark on a successful solo career that saw him recording with the likes of George Harrison, Steve Winwood and Mick Fleetwood and experimenting with different styles of country rock, rhythm and blues.

In total, Lee released more than 20 albums over a 45-year career. His most recent, "Still On the Road to Freedom," was released in August 2012 and incorporated a range of styles from rock to blues to jazz to funk.

Rainey said he had developed a great friendship over the past 25 years with his client, who he recalled would "always end our conversations and his emails with 'Keep Rockin' Ron.'

"He was a great musician, writer, producer, performer, and a gentleman, truly one of a kind," Rainey said in an email.

Former Ten Years After bandmate Leo Lyons called Lee "the closet thing" he had to a brother, recalling "so many great experiences" shared together.

"He was an inspiration for a generation of guitar players," Lyons said in an email expressing shock and sadness over Lee's death.


CASSANDRA VINOGRAD,Associated Press

AP writers Mesfin Fekadu in New York and Gregory Katz in London contributed to this report.


Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Guest Book

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my guitar hero all thru my teens RIP Alvin

Guy [Florida]

The best guitarist ever no comparison. I was lucky enough to see you at Joans Beach on Long Island.
Thank you and RIP

Alvin Lee set me on a course for the rest of my life after seeing TYA at Sheffield City Hall UK in the mid 1970's. I was a young impressionable 16 year old, I never looked back. What a band and what a guitarist!
RIP Alvin.

Godspeed Alvin, and thank you for sharing a part of your life with us.

Fastest guitarist I ever saw. I hated to read that Alvin Lee had died. I saw TYA just twice, in San Diego and in El Paso, Texas in the early 1970s. Lee and tya were my favorites. He was just so fast. RIP

ALVIN LEE'S PERFORMANCE AT WOODSTOCK ALONE SHOULD PUT HE OR THE BAND IN THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME. HE SHOULD ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED WITH ALL THE REST OF THE GREAT GUITARISTS. I SAW HIM PERFORM & CANNOT PUT THE FEELING TO WORDS.
GOD BLESS YOU, ALVIN. I MISS YOU THOUGH YOU DIDN'T KNOW ME.

It was at Long Beach Arena in 1974 when I had the amazing opportunity to finally see Alvin "fast fingers" Lee, and Ten Years After, in their prime, and before the band had broken up.
He was far more amazing than anyone who had told me about him could ever describe. He had great precision, tone, and was the first one with that quick technique, and blues greatness. I saw him again in 1979 with Ten Years Later, and the last time in the early 1980's. All 3 times that I saw...

Mr. Lee no longer needs to speak in present tense about "going home". My heart's greatest desire is that all who, like myself, grew up in total awe of such a supremely gifted musician as him will please realize the absolute brevity of this life, and make the best choice possible, coming to the God who created this wonderful thing we call music that they might have life.

Jim Martin, Trinity,Tx./Matt.11:28-30, Rom.10:9-13