Alvin Lee, the nimble-fingered guitarist and bluesy vocalist for Ten Years After in its early years has died unexpectedly at the age of 68. He had not been ill, but died of "unforseen complications following a routine surgical procedure" according to a statement on Lee's website
The original TYA formed in 1966, and released eight albums before breaking up in 1974. When his latest solo album, Still On The Road To Freedom
was released in August of last year, Lee said the breakup couldn't happen too soon for him. "I decided to take the road to freedom rather than the road to fame and fortune. I was in danger of joining the dead before 30 club." He said he wanted to be a solo artist so he could "make music of my own choice without worrying about what other people thought or expected."
Lee's former TYA band mate, Leo Lyons tells Classic Rock magazine
, "He was the closest thing I had to a brother. We had our differences, but we shared so many great experiences together that nothing can take away. I will miss him very much. He was an inspiration for a generation of guitar players. Keep on rockin', Alvin!"
Watch Ten Years After's Woodstock performance of "I'm Going Home"
Photo © Alvin Lee