Alvin Lee passed away last week. I’m remiss in not posting this sooner.
Alvin Lee was the front man for the band Ten Years After, best known for this song that still gets regular airplay:
I’m glad to say they were a little before my time. Even so, my brother had a reel-to-reel tape of one of their albums that I used to play, and I seem to remember him going to see them in the early to mid 70’s.
By the time I came along, the teenage argument was who was the fastest guitar player. Younger names would be tossed out, and then some oldster in their 20’s would say: Alvin Lee. It may have helped that he was known as the “fastest guitar in the west” or the “fastest guitar alive”.
Most of the obituaries and retrospectives have emphasized the Ten Years After performance on the Woodstock album and video. Personally, I thought it had good bits once it got going after 2-3 minutes. But on the whole I found it self-indulgent.
That’s not a description I throw around much. But, on the whole, I think my tolerance for Ten Years After is on the low side because they were one of the most self-indulgent performers of that era.
I recommend something more like this: