Former Ten Years After guitarist dies suddenly after complications from routine surgery
By Alex Baker
Legendary British rock guitarist Alvin Lee, formerly of Ten Years After, passed away at the age of 68 on Wednesday. According to a statement on Lee’s official website, he “passed away early this morning after unforeseen complications following a routine surgical procedure.”
Lee and Ten Years After came to prominence with a show-stopping performance at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. The band’s performance of “I’m Going Home” was immortalized in the Woodstock film, showcasing Lee’s lightning fast blues runs and keyed up style.
After the Woodstock appearance Lee was for a while regarded as being in the same class as heavyweights like Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and even Jimi Hendrix. Woodstock stardom led to more festival appearances. After leaving Decca records the band scored hits in “Love Like a Man,” and “I’d Love to Change the World.”
Ten Years After disbanded in 1974. They reunited several times over the years, although Lee declined to take part in the band’s most recent reincarnation which took place around 2001, and still tours today.
Lee, who like the Beatles, cut his musical teeth playing in Hamburg in the early Sixties, released several solo albums over the years; including 1974′s In Flight, 1986′s Detroit Diesel, and 1996′s Live in Vienna.
Lee also recorded with George Harrison several times in the early Seventies, even appearing on the former Beatles’s Dark Horse album.
“We have lost a wonderful, much loved father and companion,” said a statement released by his daughter Jasmin, wife Evi and former companion Suzanne. “The world has lost a truly great and gifted musician.”
According to his manager, the guitarist died in Spain.