Alvin Lee


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.


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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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Photographed show in Bangor . back stage shots . A true gentleman Rocker . Manager and staff were polite to us photographers . A hero in the rock world . Thank you Alvin and tya

One of the most amazing rock bands he founded that I ever enjoyed so much in my life and still listen to his music today. A very sad loss and my condolences to his family.

He was the most exciting act at Woodstock. Simply put, the best act. Same age as I.

I learned to play guitar listening to "A Space In Time." Thanks for the guitar lessons, all the great music you created and for the life lessons. I've been there too.

My Air Force buddies and I spent countless hours listening to his Ten Years after live Album Choo Choo Ma Ma will live with us all forever!! Rock on in Heaven Alvin!!!

Saw Alvin and Ten Years After many times in Atlanta. He always put on a high energy show and always gave the fans their moneys worth. His great personality always shone through the lights and everyone felt like he was their best friend. His love of performing was infectious and the fans knew it ! After each show we were worn out ! Truly loved him and his shows. Never missed him. Will miss Alvin but hope to get front row at the Heavenly shows. RIP Alvin.

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.