This Day In Rock. TEN YEARS AFTER
Born in Nottingham, England on December 19, 1944 ALVIN LEE began playing guitar age 13 and formed the core of the band Ten Years After by aged 15.
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 beckoned. The band secured a residency at the legendary Marquee Club, and an invitation to the famous Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival in 1967 led to their first recording contract.
The self titled debut album surprisingly received play on San Francisco's underground radio stations and was enthusiastically embraced by listeners, including concert promoter Bill Graham who invited the band to tour America for the first time in the summer of 1968. Ten Years After would ultimately tour the USA 28 times in 7 years, more than any other U.K. band.
Appearing at the famed Woodstock Festival, Lee's virtuoso performance was one of the highlights and remains today a standard for many other guitarists.
TYA had great success, releasing ten albums together, but by 1973 Lee was feeling limited by the band's style. With American gospel singer Mylon LeFevre and a host of rock talents like George Harrison, Steve Winwood, Ron Wood and Mick Fleetwood , he recorded and released On The Road To Freedom, a highly acclaimed album that was at the forefront of country rock. He finished out the 70s with a powerhouse trio he called Ten Years Later.
Lee's overall musical output includes more than 20 albums.
On March 6, 2013, Alvin Lee passed away from unforseen complications following a routine surgical procedure for atrial arrhythmia.
Still waiting for his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.