Tag Archives: Alvin Lee

Remembering Alvin Lee

Remembering Alvin Lee

December 19, 1944 — March 6, 2013

Happy Birthday Alvin Lee


And if you say Alvin Lee or Ten Years After, most music fans will say, “I’m Goin’ Home” and think of his Woodstock Music and Art Fair performance.

Happy birthday Alvin Lee


It likely surprised Lee that he garnered so much fame from that song’s particular performance.  An albatross laying a golden egg. He was already a great guitarist when he began his trek along 1969’s festival trail. How many times did he play “I’m Going Home” before Woodstock that summer?  Likely dozens of times.


Busy Band

Here’s there North American tour list just for June and July:


  • July 4, Newport Jazz Festival
  • July 5, Action House, Island Park, NY
  • July 12, Laurel Pop Festival, Maryland
  • July 13, Singer Bowl, NYC
  • July 16, Schaefer Music Festival, Wollman Skating Rink  NYC
  • July 22 – 24, Fillmore West, San Francisco
  • July 25,   Seattle Pop Festival
  • July, 17, Balboa Stadium, San Diego
  • August 2, Tea Party, Boston
  • August 16, St Louis

The Pinnacle 

Their Woodstock performance was Sunday evening on August 17. Following that they went to:


  • Aug 20, The Catacombs, Houston
  • Aug 24, The Rose Palace, Pasadena, CA
  • Aug 26 > 28, Fillmore West, San Francisco
  • Sept 1,  Texas International Pop Festival
  • Sept 12 – 13, Fillmore East, NYC

The music never stopped


After the Fillmore East dates, they flew back to do a European tour and did 20 more concerts! By the way, they’d already had done 40 European and American before returning for the summer of 1969. (complete list)


And while they may not have played “I’m Goin’ Home” at every gig, surely many heard it again and long before the album cut or the movie scene appeared in 1970.


But its filming at Woodstock preserved it and sent it worldwide. His name was and will forever be associated with that song and that performance.



Remembering Alvin Lee

Some  facts about Lee:

  • he was originally influenced by his parent’s collection of jazz and blues records
  • began playing guitar age 13
  • by aged 15 his Jaybirds band formed the core of Ten Years After
  • moved to London and changed the band’s name to Ten Years After in 1966
  • the band’s performance at the Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival in 1967 led to their first recording contract.
  • October 1967. Release of Ten Years After, the band’s first album.
  • 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.
  • Ten Years After had great success, releasing ten albums together between 1967 and 1973.
  • after the breakup of Ten Years After, Lee continue to form bands and record music.
  • Lee’s overall musical output includes more than 20 albums.
  • neither Alvin Lee nor Ten Years After are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Alvin Lee website


Lee died on March 6, 2013. (NYT Obit)

Remembering Alvin Lee

Remembering Alvin Lee
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Ten Years After

Ten Years After

October 27, 1967

Happy premier album anniversary

Ten Years After

“I Wanna Know” first cut, first album
Ten Years After released its first album, Ten Years After, on October 27, 1967.  The band consisted of Alvin Lee (guitar), Chick Churchill (organ), Ric Lee (drums), and Leo Lyons (bass).


Here was another example of a British band bringing American blues back to us. The band did write most of the album's material, but their sound and the song's they covered clearly showed those roots.

Side one

Ten Years After

Here's side one:
Side one
  1. “I Want to Know” (Sheila McLeod as pseudonym Paul Jones) – 2:11
  2. “I Can’t Keep from Crying Sometimes” (Al Kooper) – 5:24
  3. “Adventures of a Young Organ” (Alvin Lee, Chick Churchill) – 2:34
  4. “Spoonful” (Willie Dixon) – 6:05
  5. “Losing the Dogs” (Alvin Lee, Gus Dudgeon) – 3:03

Side two

And side two:
Side two
  1. “Feel It for Me” (Alvin Lee) – 2:40
  2. “Love Until I Die” (Alvin Lee) – 2:06
  3. “Don’t Want You Woman” (Alvin Lee) – 2:37
  4. “Help Me” (Ralph Bass, Willie Dixon, Sonny Boy Williamson) – 9:51
Note how short the majority of the songs were, the single-size under-three-minute good-for-radio-play type. Of course, there are those few where the band gets to stretch it out.

 

Ten Years After

Ten Years After

Alvin Lee

Alvin Lee was the heart of the band and for better or worse the inclusion of the band's "Goin' Home"  into the film and onto the record of Woodstock brought fame. 

Fame from a single song’s performance that likely sounded like dozens of others performed that summer likely surprised Alvin Lee. An albatross that laid a golden egg. He was already a great guitarist when he began his trek along the summer of 1969’s festivals. June 28, 1969: Bath Festival of Blues. July 3 – 6, Newport Jazz Festival. July 11 – 12, Laurel Pop Festival. July 25 – 27, Seattle Pop Festival, Aug 15 - 18 – Woodstock Music and Art Festival. 30 – Sept 1: Texas International Pop Festival.

How many times did Alvin Lee play “I’m Going Home” that summer? It’s filming in August at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair preserved it and sent it worldwide. His name was and will forever be associated with that song and that performance.

Here are some factoids about Lee:
  • originally influenced by his parent’s collection of jazz and blues records
  • began playing guitar age 13
  • by aged 15 his Jaybirds band formed the core of Ten Years After
  • moved to London and changed the band’s name to Ten Years After in 1966
  • the band’s performance at the Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival in 1967 led to their first recording contract.
  • 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. 
  • After the breakup of Ten Years After, Lee continue to form bands and record music.
  • Lee’s overall musical output included more than 20 albums.
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