Alvin Lee, Rock Guitarist Who Played Woodstock, Dies At 68
Alvin Lee, guitarist and founder of Ten Years After who rocked the crowds at the 1969 Woodstock, died on Wednesday. He was 68.
Lee was most remembered for his thrilling performance in 1969 on the Woodstock stage where he masterfully fingerpicked during Ten Years After’s 11-minute version of “I’m Going Home.” After amazing the crowds with his skills, he was launched into the elite ranks of Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck – all verified British guitar heroes.
Lee’s wife Evi, daughter Jasmin and former companion Suzanne wrote a message on Lee’s website, announcing their loss.
"With great sadness, we have to announce that Alvin unexpectedly passed away early this morning after unforeseen complications following a routine surgical procedure," read the message on alvinlee.com. "We have lost a wonderful, much loved father and companion. The world has lost a great and truly gifted musician."
Though Lee was recognized as a great musician during his life, his success and notoriety paled in comparison to that of Page, Townshend, Clapton and Beck. He was most likely outshone due to the general success of their bands (Led Zeppelin, The Who, Cream, The Yardbirds). Ten Years After’s greatest success was their Top 40 song, “I’d Love to Change the World.”
Lee left Ten Years After in 1975 and went on to pursue a solo career that enabled him to collaborate with Mick Fleetwood, George Harrison and others – applying his guitar skills to a number of different genres. However, when the band regrouped in 1983, Lee would occasionally join them on stage. His last work, a solo album entitled “Still on the Road to Freedom,” was released in August.
He is survived by his wife, Evi, and his daughter, Jasmin.