TEN YEARS AFTER - January to July









Musik Express Magazine 1969










January 1969 – Disc Time – What Makes A Group Pop - With Kennedy Brown.

Life can be short for the chart seekers … but here are four who won’t disappear overnight.

New groups pop up at about six a week, and most of them disappear in about four weeks after the release of their first disc. But, I’ve just heard records by four groups, three British and one American, of whom I think we’re going to hear a lot more.
The first British group with the unusual name of Ten Years After (how can you fail with that?) – emerged as the stars of the 1967 Jazz and Blues Festival at Windsor, Berks, but had to go to America before receiving recognition.
They came up with a new album called Stonedhenge, which was originally recorded for the American market. It should have equal success here.




3, January 1969 - at the Van Dike Club in Plymouth, England


New  Musical  Express  January  11, 1969


New  Musical  Express  January  11, 1969




Melody  Maker  January  25, 1969

July 4 and 5 1969 - Newport Jazz Festival, Rhode Island 


"Ten Years After this week became the first British blues or pop group to be invited to the world's top festival, the Newport Jazz Festival".

They are also to play two American concerts with the Woody Herman Orchestra during their fourth Stateside trip in July. The concerts arranged by Fillmore promoter Bill Graham will be in New York and San Francisco and the New York  show will probably be at the famed Carnegie Hall.  Ten Years After's next American tour starts at the end of February. Their third album, "Stonehenge"  will be released by Deram on February 7th. 

Ten Years After perform - "I May Be Wrong But I Won't Be Wrong Always" - "Good Morning Little School Girl" and "Help Me". They appear on the same night as Jeff Beck, Jethro Tull, Roland Kirk, Steve Marcus and Blood Sweat and Tears. It is the only time that rock bands are invited to play at this event. 

Alvin Lee: "We started the tour at Newport, which didn't really work out - to say the least. Shall we say sometimes you get those days when you shouldn't have got up, and that was one of them. We could not find the dressing room, the amps broke down and the P.A. system was crummy. We did three numbers and the guy who was worried about the fences came on after the third number and he said there would now be a fifteen minute intermission, and we had only just warmed up.....can't win them all !!"

23rd Jan - January 24th  (MM, 25 January 1969)


Melody Maker – February 1, 1969

Getting Into A Jam With Woody 

There will no doubt be cries of “Sacrilege!” up thrown hands and heads shaken in despair from some sections of the jazz fraternity at the news of Ten Years After invitation to play at the renowned Newport Jazz Festival in America this year. And they probably reacted in the same way when Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters were invited in previous years. But it proves that the Newport Jazz Festival organizers are aware and open-minded enough to accept that a certain area of the group scene is reflecting a jazz influence more strongly than it has ever done and that Ten Years After, who have made a huge impression in the States, are a good example.

What could be an awe-inspiring occasion for some groups, doesn’t appear so judging by the confidence of drummer Ric Lee and bass guitarist Leo Lyons. “We’re not really worried,” said Leo, when I met him and Ric last week. “It’s a challenge if nothing else. When I heard about it , I said “Oh really, how much are we getting?”  he added with mock nonchalance. “We weren’t surprised when we heard aboit it. We knew there were whispers that it might happen and the next thing we knew, we were reading about it on the front page of Melody Maker,” said Ric. “It’ll give us a chance to see all those jazz blokes”. Would the group be preparing anything special for their Newport appearance in July? “No, we’ll be doing the same sort of thing we’re doing already,” replied Leo. “But we are rehearsing a new act before we go to the States,” said Ric. ”It’ll be more interesting to see what they say after we’ve done it,” reckoned Leo.

 “I think one of the main reasons we’re going is because of the gigs we’ve done in New York and the help we’ve had from Billboard magazine.” Another significant  factor concerning Ten Years After’s moving into the jazz field is that Woody Herman has agreed to play two dates in concert with the group. They will be in New York and San Francisco. The Herman band and Ten Years After will each play a set and then both will get together for a jam session. “Woody’s a progressive musician, even though he’s been around a long time,” said Leo, “but he always has good musicians. We’ll probably play “Woodchoppers Ball” and a few standards.” Said Ric, “I just hope his blokes can play as fast as we do. I’m only joking, I don’t think that will be any problem. We’ll just play our own versions and  jam away.” Ten Years After aren’t the first group to play a jazz festival. Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll and the Trinity appeared at the Berlin Jazz Festival last year, but Ten Years After have made the big breakthrough with the Newport invite and the Herman band dates. “Pop and jazz are getting much closer together now,” opined Ric. “The jamming scene is like the earlier jazz days”. “It’s becoming respectable,” said Leo. “People like Leonard Bernstein talk about the Cream and when people like him talk about it, it does mean it’s being taken more seriously. “Newport will open up the way for other groups. I quite enjoy it if you get yourself a more ambitious task. It makes playing more interesting”.

Article by Tony Wilson



New  Musical  Express February 1, 1969


Record  Mirror  February 1, 1969  -  click picture for the PDF file

Tricks of the Recording Studio on New Ten Years After L.P.

Chick Churchill, organist with Ten Years After, devoured a chicken sandwich and explained: “We’ve been working very hard lately and now that we’re back in England I’ve been eating and eating, but I can’t put on any weight ! Ten Years After have been busy recording their L.P. “Stoned Henge, which is released on February 7th.: “The release date had to be put back,” said Chick, “We’ve had difficulty getting the L.P. sleeve as we want it. We saw a fantastic picture in an AA book. It was taken at Stonehenge on mid-summer-day, the only day when a beam of light shines straight on the sacrificial alter ! Unfortunately, we had to pay five pounds per L.P. cover if we used it, so we scrapped that idea ! The L.P. is now going out in the States with a different picture of Stonehenge, with our faces super-imposed. We’re still working on the British cover though.

“On this L.P.” continued Chick, “there were some strange little things. Six of the tracks last approximately five minutes each. On four other tracks, Alvin, Leo, Ric and I play solo, but the numbers are only about a minute long. We use the tricks of the recording studio on them, but that’s the only time we do.

I asked Chick, if he felt that the long L.P. tracks might become rather repetitive, without the visual medium of a club. “Will, if that’s so, there must be 80,000 bored people in America !”

Laughed Chick. “I think that when the numbers are longer you can become more involved in them. That’s really why we’re more involved in them. That’s really why we’re not over worried about singles, the charts are in such a state anyway, that I don’t think it would be representative of anything to have a chart entry”. Ten Years After have become noted in clubs for their long instrumental numbers, and more recently – Love Sculpture have also been praised for their instrumental ability. I asked Chick if he felt the two groups had a common influence: “I’ve not yet seen the group live on stage, but I don’t really like “Sabre Dance”.

It reminds me of a present day Shadows, and I’d expect to see them doing those little dance steps! The only music I really like is jazz-people, like Thelonius Monk and Jimmy McGriff.

Family are really great, they’re my “fave-rave” group! I like some West Coast groups, including – Big Brother and Moby Grape, West Coast is exciting music, though it’s not technically good”.

Chick Churchill’s main hobbies in life circulate around music and girlfriends. He can often be found at the Speakeasy when Ten Years After are in town:  “I go to the Speakeasy most nights” says Chick. “One evening there, I joined in a terrific jam session with Aynsley Dunbar, his bass player, Long John Baldry, Tony Ashton and Roger Chapman. We played till quarter to five in the morning – and most of the audience stayed. We all really enjoyed it!

During moments of relaxation, Chick also likes to write lyrics, and he hopes to buy a stereo tape recorder, so that he can record the music as well.

Ten Years After, however, will soon be leaving Britain again on a nine day tour of Scandinavia. “I’m looking forward to that,” said Chick, “It will be our fourth visit and it’s going to be a concert tour. That’s much better than playing ballrooms. In ballrooms, you get the crowd saying, “Can’t you play Knock on Wood?” Then we reply, “Surely you know, sir, there’s a blues boom on” ! 

After their Scandinavian Tour, Ten Years After return to America on February 26th.

Before you go, just one last question Chick. How did the name Ten Years After originate?

“Well, there was no real significance in mind, when we got the name. It could mean, Ten Years After the present day, which would be 1970, or Ten Years After 1959, which would be today! Let them work that one out”.  Chick laughed before disappearing!

 By Valerie Mabbs

Gladsaxe Teen Club, Denmark

Ten Years After - Led Zeppelin - Deep Purple and Earth - all played here

Earth - changed their name to "Black Sabbath" - a few weeks after their gig




Record  Mirror  February  8, 1969


The Album Charts At Number 6 in the UK

“Stonedhenge was the first experimental album, and also the influence of the West Coast, San Francisco thing – strange sound effects and oddities going on”.

Alvin Lee


Ten Years After – Stonedhenge – Review

Another “ADRM” London release, this is far removed from the speedy boogie with which Ten Years After and guitarist Alvin Lee are normally associated. That facet of the band’s talents does surface on “Hear Me Calling” and “Going To Try” but the rest of the album is much more eclectic. Each musician is allowed a minute or so of solo weirdness, with Ric Lee’s transformation of  “Three Blind Mice” into a drum solo, the strangest. And there are a couple of cool blues songs which are remarkably restrained when compared to the rest of the band’s output. The sound isn’t as sharp as some London offerings, but certainly isn’t anything to complain about either.


Stonedhenge, is a really superb record album. The group has moved on from blues and into an area that’s impossible to stick labels on. It’s just magnificent music. They get better and better. This is their third album for Decca and to my mind, is the best yet. There’s so much diversity of musical feeling, yet it’s all part of what Ten Years After is about. They are more than just a blues group, as they represent the current situation in contemporary music. All the tracks are good. It’s all good stuff and you can hear why they have been invited to appear at the Newport Jazz Festival this year – February 1969.

Mike Capewess 



Cash Box - 1969 – Stonedhenge – Ten Years After – Deram – DES-18021

English blues group Ten Years After follows its chart-riding “Undead” album with another strong collection of musical pyrotechnics. The group’s third U.S. tour is kicking off in late February, and should also help stir up sales. All the tunes on this set, (except for one traditional blues tune) are originals, most from the pen of lead guitarist Alvin Lee, and many find the group dabbling in be-bop improvisations. Should be in for heavy FM radio play





New  Musical  Express  February 15, 1969

New  Musical  Express  February 15, 1969




Was  Stonedhenge “Filler” or was that “Experimental” ?

The reasoning behind „Stonedhenge“ was to show what Ten Years After, as a hard working stage band could do in a controlled studio setting. According to Alvin Lee, this album wasn’t particularly what we wanted to do, but the way we did what we happened to do…I still don’t know if this really worked, all I do know is, it kept the wolf from the door and made us some bread. This enabled us to pay the cost of hiring our own studio, and being more free than ever before while recording.



Fillmore East, New York City - January 31 - March 1, 1969


February 28 - March 1, 1969


February 28 - March 1, 1969  -  Fillmore East, NY     Concert Review


Fillmore West, San Francisco, March 6 - 9, 1969   -   Artist: Lee Conklin



Colour Me Pop

Ten Years After – Caravan – Family all made appearances on “Colour Me Pop", March 1, 1969

but none of the performances survive today. The BBC got a lot of viewer complaints, so the powers that be enforced an “Underground Embargo”  which may have been the reason why the show was cancelled soon there-after.
Ten Years After performed: A Sad Song – No Title - I’m Going Home – bootleg audio exist.
It was broadcast on Saturday March 1, 1969 – from
11:05 – 11:25





Ten Years After at the "Toronto Electric Circus"
Sunday, March 2, 1969




FILLMORE EAST - Wednesday and Thursday, 9 + 10 April



Fillmore West

All  four members  on  stage  at  the  Fillmore East  1969

A great photo of Leo Lyons

Backstage at the Fillmore East 1969 Chick Churchill



New  Musical  Express  March  8, 1969
click picture for the PDF file


New  Musical  Express  March  8, 1969

Hit Album Different From Live Shows – Say Ten Years After

By Richard Green – For New Musical Express – March  8, 1969

 Ten minutes after – Ten Years After had gone off stage, a thousand – strong crowd of Swedish fans were still on their feet stamping, clapping and yelling for more. This was my first impression to the group that looks like developing into a major force this year and already has its first album in the L.P. chart.

 Braving the bitter cold of a Gothenburg night, I left the warmth of Ten Years After’s hotel to see them in action before a full concert hall. What I was to see dispersed for all time my slight feeling of cynicism about all the eulogies I had heard directed towards them. They over-ran by about twenty minutes, or so, on each forty five minute set, and came off stage wringing wet and exhausted – especially drummer Ric Lee, who had delivered a fantastic twenty minute solo of “Summertime”.


I was pleasantly surprised to learn that is more to the group than seeing how fast Alvin Lee can play his lead guitar. Back in London, I invited Ric to come along for a drink and talk about the group’s new album “Stonedhenge”, which entered the chart last week.

“It’s a complete trip on its own”. He began. “It’s an album of numbers that we put on a record as opposed to numbers we do on stage. Each track is individual  and people have said they like it, because each track is so different”. Thus, “Stonedhenge” in not typical of what

Ten Years After do on stage and people like myself, who had previously only witnessed a “Live” performance are surprised when hearing the album. “Keeping the two things separate helps you to show your paces and widen your audience”. Ric explained. “The first album was a display to get over to people, the second was done in a rush and “Live”.  This one, was taken more slowly.


“It’s Alvin’s inner self and we’ve come into it. We all worked on the arrangements and contributed bits. We started recording it before we went to the States in July and finished it sometime in August”. Ric pointed out: That Ten Years After are trying to lose their blues tag, and to this end have rehearsed a new act for their American Tour, which began last Friday.

“There’s a lot of stuff on the album we can’t do on stage,” he went on. “I hope we haven’t gone over people’s heads. A lot of our numbers start, then develop into a jam-session and people throw in ideas”. For example, “Sometimes I Can’t Keep From Crying” once started off as a five minute thing, and ended up as a twenty minute set. We always end up playing longer than we’re due to do”.

In the two years of its formation, the group has, according to Ric, become less mild in its musical attitudes. “There’s a lot more freedom now, but a lot more affinity with one another. Alvin’s only got to drop the hint of a riff and we’re off”!

As one of the fast rising groups, Ten Years After have noticed a change in the way bands are playing. “The majority of up and coming groups, are more concerned with something to say”. Ric commented. “People didn’t use to think like that, they used to put this bit and that with the formula. “It’s sad that some groups used to do that, get a hit and disappear from the face of the earth”.


How about a hit single for Ten Years After, who are essentially an album group!

“A hit would be nice,” Ric agreed. “It wouldn’t make much difference to us-money-wise, but it would establish us as a national name rather than an underground group”. Then, he left to rehearse the new act, in preparation for two long American Tours within the space of a few months. Ric is quite pleased about the visits, but Pete Townshend, who was sitting with us, just shook his head and muttered, OH MY GOD”!



Ten Years After – Seattle, Washington – Live At Eagles Auditorium

March 22, 1969 – Audience Recording

For those of you who feel that the blues ended with Eric Clapton, you’ll be very surprised at how good Alvin Lee is. He was simply blistering at this 1969 Seattle Concert. Great Show!

The ferocity of Alvin Lee’s guitar is incredible, he just pounds and shreds his way through these cuts like a meat grinder making sausage. This is when they were young and hungry and it shows. Loud, fast and fun. The mix is pretty good, the guitar is placed out front, the vocals are in the middle, drums and cymbals are slightly behind the vocals and bass, somewhat in the back and not all that muddy, considering. The sound quality is at least as good, if not slightly better than the bands commercially released “Undead” album of about the same time period, but the performance is much more intense here.

Review By – Peter Demarco Jr.


New  Musical  Express  March  29, 1969


New  Musical  Express  March  29, 1969



New Musical Express -  April  5, 1969

Ten Years Alvin reveals group’s new outlook

Alvin Lee of Ten Years After phoned me this week, and having talked about Elvis (we’re both super fans) for a good quarter of an hour, he told me some of the things the group has been doing while they’ve been visiting our fair city. I say “fair” because we’ve had 45 degree in the sun all this week! Ten Years After have been touring the States, and Alvin said the reaction has been tremendous and their albums have done very well in the best-seller charts.

While in Hollywood, the group has been horseback riding and go-karting, and when they are not frolicking in our warm sun, they’ve been working in the recording studio doing their next L.P. Alvin told me: “On this album, we’re getting back to the way we were at first. For awhile, we tended to sway and go into a more musical bag. But lately, we’ve been getting back to more of an excitement thing on stage, and this is the feeling we want on the album. “We want to keep our show exciting too. We realized it’s better to create an atmosphere rather than just be musicians, and we found out we had more fun when the shows were more exciting”!

The group is hoping to pull a single from the album. “We don’t want to go into the studio just to cut a single hit, because we don’t want to sell out all the way. I suppose it would be easy to record a commercial hit, but we’d rather compromise and get a single from the album,” says Alvin. Ten Years After are set to do a concert tour of Britain soon, a complete blues package, featuring an American group, as yet unnamed, plus Jethro Tull. Then they’ll play some dates in Switzerland and return to America for the Newport Jazz Festival.



April 3, 1969 - "The Village Voice", New York City


April 15 - 16 - 17  - The Boston Tea Party Programme



New Musical Express  April 19, 1969


New  Musical  Express  April  19, 1969



April 20, 1969 - The Rockpile, Toronto, Canada





Ten Years After – April 26, 1969 – Thee Image and The Miami Rock Scene:

Thee Image was Miami’s biggest and best known psychedelic rock club venue, although it was only in operation for thirteen months. It was located in a former thirty two lane bowling alley at 18330 Collins Avenue, just north of Miami in sunny Isles Beach. The venue was principally owned and operated by two brothers, who also owned a pharmacy store and made sun tan lotion. Also involved with a band from Tampa Florida that was originally called The Motions, who changed their name to The Blues Image, in homage to The Blues Project.

Blues Image were reputedly hip Florida’s best live band, that had twin drummers and a funky, swinging sound. Besides helping operate the club, they were also the house band and apparently they played there just about every weekend, whether they appeared on the concert bill or not. Thee Image opened on March 15, 1968 featuring The Mother’s Of Invention.

The last band to play there was Ten Years After, and then the venue closed soon after that and was demolished. It’s my understanding that the owners were under great pressure to shut down. This after the Jim Morrison incident at the Dinner Key Club, that was also in Dade County Florida.


Ten Years After – At Thee Image:

There’s nothing cerebral about this group, just high energy British Blues Rock. Alvin Lee was one of the fastest players that I heard on the scene at the time. His singing style reflected an Elvis influence. The bass player (Leo Lyons) had a hard-driving-slapping style that helped propel the band.

 Thee Image Club consisted of a big open ballroom floor, with  three stages, a meditation room, multiple seperate rooms, day-glow paint everywhere, black-lights and along the wall were  Ampeg Speakers, so it wasn’t just a converted building. The club seems to be remembered fondly by performers and fans alike. There’s very little in the way of photographs, live recordings or tapes, all that remains is the occasional poster that comes around from time to time. Visiting bands were very impressed with The Blues Image.

Frank Zappa himself suggested that if they wanted to make it big, they would have to break into New York City or Los Angels, and in the spring of 1969 they closed Thee Image and moved to Los Angels California. The briefly worked backing Eric Burdon and from there the band scored a big success with their big hit single “Ride Captain Ride” in 1970, which reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart…..and “Pay My Dues”.

 Who Performed At Thee Image:

Ten Years After – Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention – Led Zeppelin – The Grateful Dead – The Loving Spoonful - John Sebastian  – The Velvet Underground with Nico  Country Joe and the Fish – Big Brother and the Holding Company – Cream – The Yardbirds – The Troggs – Procol Harum – The Electric Flag – Paul Butterfield Blues Band – The James Cotton Blues Band (James jammed with The Blues Image until the sun came up) – Cactus  Elvin Bishop Blues Band – Savoy Brown Blues Band – and the U.S. Premier of Magical Mystery Tour…Fantasy – Canned Heat – Tiny Tim – The Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart – Steppenwolf – Blues Image – The Doors – Nicky Hopkins – Blue Cheer – Spirit - (Randy California) Deep Purple – Jethro Tull – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Mick Taylor – Jimi Hendrix. Jefferson Airplane - Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes - Blood Sweat and Tears.

 The Jimi Hendrix Story – Playing Thee Image For Free:

Jimi Hendrix was scheduled to play at Gulf Stream Race Track, but the concert was rained out. The promoters couldn’t refund the money at this point, so we invited Hendrix to Thee Image, where we would throw open the doors to anybody who wanted to walk in. Jimi went on the Gulfstream stage and invited everybody to come to the club. It was 8:00 on a stormy tropical night, we called all our concession people, the ice cream vendors, the chocolate cake sellers, the hot dog guys, the body painters and ask them to come right down. The body painters gave away Day-Glow-Paint that lit up under the black-lights, which was a big deal in concert lighting at the time, and Thee Image boasted one hundred black-light bulbs. Jimi, his roadies and his band showed up as promised, for free and started to set up on the stage. The club already had a wall of Ampeg speakers with enough amps to blow the windows out. There were also the two giant strobe lights with a slow to fast dialler that made people look like they were moving very fast, or in very slow motion, like a haywire silent film.  Word was getting around, kids were calling kids and by 9:00 the parking lot was packed full, and so was Collins Avenue, and there was a traffic jam right down to Haulover Beach.

Jimi started playing at about 9:00. He began by using all of the Thee Image’s speakers and his own to produce wild feedback wailing, and that got people’s attention. Then he jammed with the house band, The Blues Image, in a set that never stopped until after midnight. The audience, full of painted bodies, mostly sat on the floor and listened. They were all in various states of high, higher and highest, while Jimi played rock guitar that was more dramatic than anything, most of the audience had ever heard. His guitar solos melted down and re-formed, turned into vivid images and then into smoke. It was a wild night of cheering. Then the ice cream battle began. Somebody brought Jimi an ice cream cone with a ball of chocolate on it. Jimi threw the ice cream ball to somebody in the crowd. That somebody threw it back at Jimi. “get me ten cones” Hendrix called out. He passed them to everyone in the band, and they began to throw ice cream balls at each other. Pretty soon, hundreds of members of the audience raced to the concession stand to buy scoops of ice cream, forget the cone. In fifteen minutes the air in the club, under the day-glow lights, was filled with flying ice cream balls. They hit the walls, the speakers, people’s heads, hair and clothes. Then, when the ice cream ran out, they all began throwing chocolate cake. Meanwhile, Jimi and the band kept right on jamming away. Then Jimi says, “let’s go swimming”. He left the stage without his guitar, walked right out the front door, like a Pied-Piper, as he walked past the IHOP (International House of Pancakes) then up to Collins Avenue, with three to four thousand kids dancing insanely behind him. This was a few months before Jimi played his Star-Spangled-Banner at the Woodstock Festival – in August of 1969.

 About the Blues Image. They were a well respected band among their peers. It was reported in Melody Maker, that Jimi Hendrix said, “The Blues Image was one of the best up and coming bands around”. Shortly before Jimi’s death, he was seen jamming on stage with Manny Bertematt at the popular underground club, “The Experience” on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. The Blues Image debut album was released in February 1969. Their second album was released April 1970 and featured their hit song “Ride Capitan Ride” with Kent Henry (Lord Sutch) on guitar and Pinera on lead guitar at the end of the song. The song was co-composed by Pinera and Konte. It sold over one million and earned the band a gold record.

Bertematti went on to work with The New Cactus Band (Senseless Rebel and Hook, Line and Sinker). Pinera went on to become part of Iron Butterfly (Butterfly Bleu and Easy Rider), Ramatam with Mitch Mitchell and guitarist extraordinaire April Lawton. 

Alice Cooper (I’m Eighteen and Schools Out). Konte joined Three Dog Night.

Lala played with Stephen Stills / Chris Hillman and their group Manassas.

Kent Henry also played lead guitar with Steppenwolf just prior to their break-up.






Cash Box Caption  April  26, 1969

Ten Years After, really began the British „Underground“ scene, when they appeared at the „Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival in 1967. All were the undoubted hit of the three day festival, and soon became one of the major crowd – pulling groups in Britain, despite the fact that they virtually ignored the conventional method’s of achieving fame in Britain, via the singles charts. Their Deram album “Stonedhenge” (released February 22, 1969) is a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Ten Years After also appear at the “Newport Jazz Festival” on July 4, 1969 and during the same month will make their fourth tour of the U.S.A.  




Record  Mirror  May  3, 1969

click picture for PDF file

click picture for PDF file





15th May 1969



New  Musical  Express  May 17, 1969


Photo by Thom Lukas



New Musical Express, May 24, 1969

Three Months Before Woodstock 1969


John Lennon and Yoko Ono didn’t know what they were starting when they appeared nude on their “Two Virgins” album. That scene led to bigger things, culminating in Ten Years After Group Playing Naked, during their American tour, which ended the other day.
Fresh back, but tired, from a lengthy trek, lead guitarist and mastermind Alvin Lee told me, ”We played in the nude at a free concert in Chicago. It was a free expression concert, one of those hippy places. Nudity is really very popular over there – it’s a minor revolution against society.

“When you first get over the hang-up of playing without clothes it’s quite fun. Freedom of expression is a nice thing, I don’t think it’s something we could try here, though. At least it’s a better way of revolting than beating up little old ladies or smashing windows”.

Ten Years After found the Americans are still very pro the English musical scene. “The scene is going very much towards the English thing at the moment,” he pointed out. “They take a lot of interest in our charts and what’s going on here. “That nudity bit…it might be an emphasis of what John Lennon and Yoko Ono are doing. People there think they go everywhere without their clothes on.

Reaction to Ten Years After in America was enthusiastic and Alvin gave me one example of the type of response they were getting. “We came off the other night, had a shower and a wash and they were still clapping”. He recalled. “So we had to go on again”.  Alvin feels that the group worked possibly a bit too hard. They certainly had no time to record any numbers for their next album and that job will take priority over all else now. “Some of the English bands are happening in America,” he revealed. “Jeff Beck is big, only nobody knows if he wants to play or not, he keeps going over and coming back. The “Nice” “The Family” and “Led Zeppelin”  are very big”.

Alvin is moving into a new Baker Street home, having been unkindly asked to leave his last residence. He told me the circumstances surrounding the move. “I got kicked out of the last one because the landlord said I looked like the kind of person who could smoke drugs! It was a private estate and all the neighbours were snobbish. They looked at this fellow with long hair and didn’t like the look of him, so I had to go”.  



New  Musical  Express  June  7, 1969



The Boston Tea Party:

Was a venue, small music hall, housed in a building that was formally a Jewish Synagogue, number 53 Berkeley Street, and opened on January 20, 1967  It was located in Boston, Massachusetts, and every week groups like Ten Years After, The Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Jeff Beck Group (with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood), Joe Cocker, The MC5 (with Fred “Sonic” Smith), The Velvet Underground (with Nico), Little Richard Black Diamond, The James Cotton Blues Band, Johnny Winter, Sons of Champlin, Ten Wheel Drive, Fleetwood Mac, The Byrds, The Raven, and the home of Aerosmith from 1970 to 1972 would perform there. It was a great magic time for music in Boston and that time in the late 1960’s and into the early 1970’s. The Boston Tea Party was Boston’s premiere rock `n´ roll and psychedelic club, and it helped break uncounted British and American bands stateside, before its unfortunate closing in the early 1970’s. John Cale played his last show with the Velvet Underground in the late 1960’s. He was later replaced by a native Boston guitarist, Doug Yule. In 1969 the venue moved its location next to Fenway Park where today it remains as The Avalon.

 Part Two Boston Tea Party:

Muddy Waters, Howlin` Wolf, John Lee Hooker. Van Morrison played there when he first moved to Cambridge from Belfast and was in the process of developing material for his classic album “Astral Weeks”. Big Boy Crudup played there in 1969, it was also the first place that Brian Auger played in America. The Mothers of Invention (Frank Zappa) and Cream played there. Many musicians and bands played here as a warm up place in order to perfect their performances before heading into New York City for the big time. Jonathan Richman started here long before he became Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers. Peter Wolf was with the band The Hallucinations before joining The J. Geils Band and B.B.King played there. Don Law and Steve Nelson managed the Boston Tea Party.

Don Law - Boston

From Circus Magazine - Jimmy Page is quoted as saying: “ I can tell you when I knew we’d broken through, which was at San Francisco. There were other gigs, like The Boston Tea Party and the Kinetic Circus in Chicago which have unfortunately disappeared as venues, where the response was so incredible, we knew we’d made our impression….but after the San Francisco gig it was just….bang!”

 John Paul Jones recalls the show:

As far as I’m concerned, the key Led Zeppelin gig, the one that put everything into focus was the one that we played on our first American Tour at The Boston Tea Party. We had played our usual one hour set, using all the material from our first album and Page’s “White Summer” guitar piece, and by the end, the audience just wouldn’t let us off the stage.

It was in such a state that we had to start throwing ideas around….just thinking of songs that we all might know or some of us knew a part of and work it from there. So we’d go back and play things like “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Please Please Me”… the old Beatles favourites. I mean, just anything that would come into our heads and the response was quite amazing. There were kids actually banging their heads against the stage….I’ve never seen that at a gig before or since, and when we finally left the stage we’d played for four and a half hours. Our manager Peter Grant was absolutely ecstatic. He was crying and hugging us all. You know….with this huge grizzly bear hug. I suppose it was then that we realized just what Led Zeppelin was going to become.




1969, June 19 - Albisriederhaus, Zürich, Switzerland






1969 June 19, Albisriederhaus, Zürich, Switzerland

Photographer: Fizzè






John Hembrow - far left



























Alvin Lee with Gibson Les Paul Gold Top -  pointing to Leo Lyons


























Andy Jaworski - fourth from left
















Alvin Lee, Christ Wright


TYA  signatures in Fizzé's photo book

Photographer: Fizzè      https://mensch3000.ch



Photographer:  Urs Blumer       www.ursblumer.ch





Backstage Photos  - above and below - by Eric Bachmann





Photographer: Eric Bachmann   https://ericbachmann.ch/






1969 June 18 - 22 - MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL, Switzerland /Suisse



The above contributions by Tonny Steenhagen


Montreux Jazz Festival,   20 June 1969     -     Photo by Francois Jacquenod


Ten Years After footage backstage at Montreux Jazz Festival 1969






video excerpt (18 minutes, low quality) - Summertime / Drum Solo / I'm Going Home









Ten Years After  -  Spring 1969







The 1969 bash only attracted 12,000 punters, and has in general been overshadowed by its far bigger and younger sibling festival of 1970.

Less than two months (about 48 days) before the famous “Woodstock Music and Arts Fair” August 15, 16, and 17 – there was the “Bath Festival”.

Ten Years After, featuring the pyrotechnical guitar skills of Alvin Lee. Ten Years After came into world wide prominence in 1969, after their blistering performance at Woodstock. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind, that Alvin is an excellent guitarist, but their lack of ability to write strong tunes was a distinct problem because, one cannot forge a long term career on blindingly fact solos alone. The really great musicians (guitarist in this case) move on to develop their own style and sound, which is something that Ten Years After failed to do.

It’s more than likely that this one factor alone caused the bands final decent into a long term, Semi-obscurity and Semi retirement of sorts. While many other bands from the 1960’s who are now defunct, have had a much larger following.

  At the Bath Festival, it is reported that Ten Years After were the last band to perform there.

They also played their showstopper “I’m Going Home” to close out their set and performance at Bath. Their set lit contains the following songs:

  1. I Woke Up This Morning – 8:10
  2. Good Morning Little School Girl – 7:00
  3. I’m Going Home – (It should be duly noted that the entire bootleg is of very poor quality. Also, I’m Going Home is not on this recording.

Their performance according to one fan says: The usual Alvin Lee pyrotechnics, playing rather too much, and rather too fast for my personal taste.

Newspaper Article:

The four entrances were crammed with the fans from all over the country. Most had patiently queued for their tickets, but some attempted to climb the fences and were stopped by police and stewards. Radio One’s D.J. John Peel called on the crowd to impress the authorities, that they were in the city for a great event, and to show they were well behaved. Mr. Fredrick Bannister, the concert promoter, was looking very happy, and was counting on an attendance of at least 15,000. One group who hitch-hiked from Coventry said, they saw at least a thousand fans making their way to Bath. Some others from Coventry, who travelled by train were forced to go via, London to reach Bath, because of a “Lightning (Labour) Strike by Birmingham rail men yesterday. One said, “We got a lift in a dry cleaners delivery van, to reach Bath, we went two hundred miles out of our way, helping the driver at his various delivery points. But he was a Bath man, and he brought us early right to the ground.   Many of the overnight visitors took busses and cars into the country to find fields in which to sleep. The tow path alongside the REC ( Recreation Grounds) was cluttered with tents. There were no real hitches (problems) John Peel in introducing the first group, “Just Before Dawn” (is the name of the band) says, “All the groups are here, and there do not seem to be any hang-ups.

The People Speak Out:

The Reverend Norman Veysey from  Somerset, England said, “It’s good clean fun, They look like a crowd of very good young people”.

 “This event is something that we have to cater for in this generation. Provided it’ s organised on the proper lines, and every precaution  has bee taken, and these people don’t get mixed up with leather jacketed beatniks, these hippies should be quite peaceful. They add colour to an otherwise drab scene. It’s the outside element that’s the danger”.




June 28, 1969   -   Record Mirror Report

The Bath-Festival of Blues was no picnic for the poor kid stranded in the middle of the football field and badly in need of a public convenience. As one peered out on a veritable sea of heads (pun?), it appeared as if there were two or three more hippies than blades of grass on the field. 40,000 or more raving music buffs migrated to the site on Saturday the 28th via train, plane, car, foot or meditation to see the vast line-up of acts, which included among others, Fleetwood Mac, Lep Zeppelin John Mayall, Keef Hartley Band, the Nice, Roy Harper (?), Chicken Shack, Liverpool Scene and a never~ending list of others. The stages (two) were barely visible from the opposite end of the field, but the sound was audible throughout the grounds. Hot dogs were being consumed with gusto and there was a run on the ice cream van which put poor old Luigi under great stress. People shuffled through mile-long queues, forget-ting half way, what it was they were queueing for. A space forty feet from the stages was worth its weight in Watney's.

The great teeming hordes behaved exceptionally well with the frequent Persuasion Of Johm Peel and Mike Quinn. It was a great day for armpits and whiskers and not an idle one musically. Led Zeppelin and the Nice appeared to have stolen the show, but all the other acts were received with voluminous applause. The only incident occured during John Mayall's set when one monumental idiot who had been annoying the crowds and bands for hours. chucked a bottle and was promptly chucked in return. Things otherwise were handled well by the genuine people who came down to hear some good sounds. Chicken Shacks man with the 200ft. Iead, Stan Webb, had this to say: " It was an exceptionally good festival, but I think they should have erected a scaffold or bleachers in the back so all of them could see. Also the bar went dry!"
"We're not supposed to drink, so the bar doesn't affect us (cheesy grin,)” said Zeppelin's lead singer Robert Plant, "The only drawback to the show was the short sets. We have trouble with short bits because you can't connect as people unless everybody has a chance to do their solo. But still. there were a lot of acts to go on! "

A lot of people got well tanned in the sun with the music going through their ears. It was a big day for the exciting town of Bath and as the great migration north started late in the evening, apprehensive Pensioners could be seen standing in doorways casting the heavy eye on the passing crowds and thinking, 'Whats it all about? Arrrrrr'








July 3 - 6, 1969  -  Newport Jazz Festival



Newport Jazz Festival - Photo: David Redfern


Newport Jazz Festival - Photo: Peter Simon





July 4, 1969 - Newport Jazz Festival 1969

From Barry Lazell:

The History of Rock – Volume 6, Issue 63 - Published In 1985

The caption beneath Alvin Lee’s photo reads as follows: “Alvin Lee of Ten Years After keeps his clothes on at Newport 1969, but this wasn’t always the case”. The Newport Festival took place on July 4, 1969 – Rhode Island, New York. The set list for Ten Years After included:

1.   I May Be Wrong, But I Won’t Be Wrong Always
2.  Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
3.  Help Me

Music For The People:

Once the success of Monterey had set the ball rolling, there seemed no stopping it. The many similar festivals promoted in the wake of Monterey were no longer regarded as “POP” festivals, but as “Rock Events”. Monterey and the progressive music were instrumental in driving a wedge between the basic un-demanding pop music which fed “Top Forty” radio, and the more committed forms of rock of which commerciality was not the obvious hallmark. Some thirty rock festivals of varying sizes and kinds were held over the next three years. Some were pure idealistic celebrations of “Hippie Dom” where artists performed for free, for non paying audiences, in virtually non-organized environments, where people were vulnerable not only to heat, rain and mud, but also a near – total absence of sanitary facilities and even food. By way of compensation, some of the on stage events had their unique features; Ten Years After reported having performed totally nude at a California hippie festival, where most of the acts and almost the entire audience had opted for a similar form of communion with nature.

In the U.S.A. large scale events were staged throughout the summer of 1969. The Newport Jazz Festival went “ROCK” with a vengeance, including acts like Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention – Ten Years After and Jethro Tull, as well as blues and soul outfits like John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. B.B.King, O.C.Smith and James Brown. The same thing happened at the Baltimore and Philadelphia Jazz Festivals shortly afterwards, with British rockers Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck and Ten Years After among the jazzers. These events all took place during July, as did the huge Atlanta rock gathering with a lengthy bill which included: Creedence Clearwater Revival, Chuck Berry Johnny Winter, Joe Cocker, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It was August 1969 however, which was to see the year’s biggest event, probably the all time archetype of the outdoor music festival Woodstock. 

Festivals continued apace after Woodstock, many of them openly trying to be equally successful carbon copies. However, Woodstock’s free, spontaneous spirit never arose again in the same way, although it was constantly being evoked. The only event to come close was the 1973 Watkins Glen Festival in New York State, where the attendance figures of 600,000 broke the previous Woodstock attendance record of  500,000 respectively. Three bands appeared at Watkins Glen: The Grateful Dead – The Band and The Allman Brothers Band. It was the Rolling Stones appearance at The Altamont Speedway in California that sealed the fate of the giant rock festival and the end of the 1960’s along with it.

Text Was Slightly Edited by Dave – Facts Remain Unchanged.


Newport 1969 – The Year Rock Was Invited To Invade The Jazz Festival:

George Wein was tired of the avant-garde jazz movement and envisioned rock music as a translation of the blues and thus an extension to the roots of jazz. For the festival, he labelled this music as “Jazz – Rock”. He placed Led Zeppelin right along-side of Herbie Hancock and B.B.King with Jeff Beck and Jethro Tull with Rashaan Roland Kirk – Anita O´ Day – Sun Ra and James Brown. “It was the Friday night show which was the most extraordinary of concert experiences. Jethro Tull, Ten Years After, Jeff Beck with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood on Bass – Blood Sweat and Tears – Rahsaam Roland Kirk, who was the best of them all.

Over 85,000 ticketed guest, the audience broke the record from all previous jazz festivals throughout the sixteen year span. Wein, right from the start wanted to control the divergence of jazz into avant-garde dysfunction. He created an avenue into a scene that vibrated with enthusiasm, innovation and musical structure – revolution over capitulation. The problem became – that the jackhammer of rock (which plays second fiddle to no one and nothing besides) had cracked the very foundation of the music he (George Wein) had loved so much and for so long. In fact, in later years George admitted with heartfelt sorrow, that allowing rock into the festival was his mistake. “I still consider it the nadir of my career. I agreed whole-heartedly with Dan Morgenstern (writer for Down Beat Magazine) – when he wrote the following: “The rock experiment was a resounding failure”. It has been pointed out that, the rock audience is mostly about superficial posturing, while the jazz audience is more concerned about intellectually and emotionally absorbing the vibe on a much deeper level as intended.  

The 1970’s Newport Festival would salute Louis Armstrong and the other veterans of jazz music. Although rhythm and blues and soul would work their way into the festival line up, the doors were closed where rock and roll was concerned.

George Wein always knew how to pick the very best in music and the musicians who made it.





July - August, 1969 - The Revolution, Monticello, NY



July 11, 1969 -  Spectrum Summer Music Festival, Philadelphia





New  Musical  Express July 12, 1969 

Concert Tour By Ten Years After: July 12, 1969 – From New Musical Express:

Ten Years After is to undertake a two-week British Concert Tour from November 28 with two other blues acts, one of them American. No venues have yet been set for the tour, which is being promoted by Chrysalis. During its current American Tour, the group spends three days recording a singleand LP tracks in Los Angeles. Ten Years After plays the Prague Jazz Festival on October 12, and a similar event in Berlin on November 9, before embarking on a German Concert Tour. Its next album, titled "SSssshhh" included seven originals by Alvin Lee, and was produced by the group, which has now left its former disc producer Mike Vernon. It is due for release here in the late summer.








Alvin Lee: I was born in 1944 in Nottingham, England which is also where Robin Hood came from - the Sheriff of Nottingham and all that. I left home for London at the age of fourteen. London seemed the only place to make something of myself. I joined a rock and roll band when I got there and started to take care of myself.

My favourite kind of music was country blues and jazz and I went to all the nightclubs in London to hear my favourite musicians. One day I met Big Bill Broonzy in a club and that's what started me off really. I went to see him every night. I was playing clarinet at the time in a little club band - just regular standard tunes. That's where I learned the rudiments of music. The proper way to play things.

There was always a guitar around the house and I learned chords from different books. Back then, I loved the country rock style of Scotty Moore, with Elvis, and that led me to Chet Atkins and I found it very clumsy for quite awhile. I learned all the conventional ways to play, the tuning and everything. Occasionally I use a straight A tuning.

When I first used an electric guitar it wasn't good to obviate the distortion or feedback. It was just for a good clean sound. A few changes have gone down since then. After playing in bands for so long, I got more and more interested in amplification and the various sounds. About four or five years ago I experimented with this and had some special things built for me, but now I've got Marshall equipment, straight tops and bottoms. I have a Gibson guitar that I had re-wired. I put another pickup in it and it has more range from bass to treble.

Ten Years After was established as a blues band. I had known Leo our bass player foe nine years. We played on and off in various bands. We got together in London finally as recording session men. We did a lot of rubbish together. Then we went on the road doing backup work and we met Chick. The three of us decided to get together as a group to do sessions and we were quite successful. We played every type of music imaginable. We did lots of super clubs with songs like "How High The Moon", "Lover" and stuff like that. We had a lot of work but we grew rather bored and wanted to do something more adventurous.

I listened to all types of guitar players from Spanish classical to Chuck Berry to Django Rheinhardt and took a little from each one. I might sound like certain players, but now I'm to the point where I sound like many different players in one song.

So we decided to get into blues heavily. At the time, we were the heaviest thing going in England. We were very happy with it because we really dug it. I don't know why it caught on, but we developed a following right away. Maybe it was because we were playing music we believed in. It might seem that there's a big blues thing happening in England. It's no better than the States actually. Most British bands are doing better outside of England. Like, we have a good thing going in Sweden and Denmark. In England the blues audience is too strict. There are people who only want Elmore James songs and won't touch modern blues or country blues and then there are strict country blues fans. You can't find an audience in England that digs all kinds of blues. American audiences seem to dig a good feeling from any kind of music. In England it's an intellectual thing.

We're not going to jump into an other kind of music. We've been quite successful playing jazz-blues so our progress will be very slow. It would be hard to change our stage music, but on albums we can do different things. On an album we can use the studio. That's just a side trip. Personally, I feel my own style, my own music moving into a new place. I'd say it's getting more spiritual in that it's coming from my subconscious. I can leave the conscious mind and fingers and play flashes of ideas, whatever I think of. I can play whatever I think of - the right phrases - but I want to think of the right things. You can fall into patterns, like B.B. King is a stylist and I can feel exactly what he's going to play next. He's got thousands of riffs, but I can hear them coming. I don't knock that but I want to do something different. I hate hearing myself play the same thing every night. The thing is to play from my mind and not my fingers.

Sometimes I'll know my instrumental break is coming and I'll already hear the licks and riffs. I don't like that. I want to play things from nowhere. Just let it come without thinking. But this is my personal trip. I try to modulate between fast playing and slow playing. The speed in my playing grew out of exercises. I found I could think of more things to play much faster if I played fast.

The guitar will always be popular because it's the best instrument for very vibrant music. It will go through phases though. The Motown sound sort of phased guitars out in England for a while. As a sessions man I just played chords behind the band. Then organ came in all of a sudden and everybody had Hammonds. Horns are around a lot more now too, but they can be very limiting. It holds down the spontaneity of a band. If the horns are spontaneous, they'll be doing boring riffs so they have to be arranged to fit well.

I can play a great many types of music but I wouldn't want to inflict my taste on the public. I'd just be showing how virtuoso I am. I'm just happy that other people dig what we dig to play. I like all kinds of music for different reasons. There's technical music, pleasant music, emotional music. I prefer the emotional. I love classical guitar, but to me classical guitar isn't a good way of putting over classical music. Electric guitar is the best way to put over anything. I'd like to try it on electric guitar but I don't know if I could pull it off. I don't think anyone would be interested. Beefing up the classics would be a very difficult thing to do and still keep the beauty of the music itself. It has to be done very well.

A musician is much more aware of sounds than the average person. I like to get into detailed things, things with lots of subtlety. I might hear a Pneumatic hammer and think it has a good rhythm or a chord hitting a wall and echoing back. Our new album has a song called "Stonehenge." It's a good example of how I transpose a visual subject into music. When I saw Stonehenge it gave me a definite inspiration. It's very difficult to explain. Imagine looking up at a giant redwood, touching it and seeing it and amplify that feeling 500 times. Stonehenge dates back to 1840 before Christ. It was erected then and no one knows what for. Different tribes found it and used it for various purposes. I've always been aware of Stonehenge.  I saw it as a child and many times since and I've read books about it. There's another ancient place in England called Gladstone that has these same weird vibrations. Flying saucers have been spotted there. The mystery of these things gives me a feeling which I transcribe into sounds.

Alvin Lee and Jim Delehant    




From ALPHABEAT Magazine - 1969

(pop, psych and prog rock 1967-1970)

Ten Years After Ten Years After are one of the most successful of Britain's musically progressive groups in America. The demand for them to appear there is so overwhelming that they now work six months of every year there. Formed in 1967, this four-man outfit first came to prominence when they emerged as the stars of the 1967 Jazz and Blues Festival at Windsor. Guitarist Alvin Lee, bass guitarist Leo Lyons, drummer Ric Lee and organist Chick Churchill then began to build up a formidable army of fans. Like the Who and many groups before them they drew packed houses of discerning audiences at London's Marquee Club and various other prominent venues. The major breakthrough in their career occurred early in 1968 when they first toured America. Demand was so strong that they remained for twice as long as they had planned. Following a short return to Britain, during which they completed a "live" album at Klooks Kleek called "Undead", they returned to America until the end of the year. As far as the American critics and Underground radio in the States are concerned, Ten Years After have filled the gap left by The Cream. Alvin Lee in particular is venerated as one of the most brilliant guitarist anywhere in the world. Drummer Ric Lee produces some unique sounds by various techniques and ingenuity, including his actually playing a drum solo with a microphone. Chick Churchill, another fine musician and versatile soloist, is the "raver" in the group - he likes living it up and has become particularly fond of an American drink called Southern Comfort. Bassist Leo Lyons is steeped in the history of the old West, collects firearms ( he has over three dozen) and intends to buy a ranch in Arizona.

Line Up: Alvin Lee - Lead Guitar Born in Nottingham, England December 19,1944 Five foot ten and a half inches tall. Fair hair and green eyes.

Leo Lyons - Bass Guitar Born in Standbridge, England on November 30, 1944 Five foot eleven and a half inches tall. Brown hair and blue eyes.

Ric Lee - Drums Born in Cannock, England on October 20. 1945 Five foot nine inches tall. Black hair and brown eyes.

Chick (Michael) Churchill - Organ / Keyboards Born in Flintshire, England on January 2, 1949 Five foot eight inches tall, brown hair and blue eyes.





The Laurel Pop Festival 1969 – Ten Years After

Location – The Laurel Race Course Laurel, Maryland

Friday July 11 and Saturday July 12

Produced By George Wein and The Newport Jazz Festival  - Saturday July 12, 1969


Ten Years After began making music together in England in early 1968, just in time to be caught up in the resurgence of the blues sweeping that country and became one of the prime movers in exporting and making the sound popular here in the States.

Behind the music, are four English lads who look like naughty school boys. Their names are Alvin Lee, Ric Lee (no relation) Leo Lyons and Chick Churchill. They don’t get together and make mischief though, just music. In fact they met for the first time in a place as innocuous as a North Whales bus shelter, and shortly afterwards found themselves playing the first of many dates at London’s famous Marquee Club. Club manager John C. Gee recalls how he sat in his office and heard the strains of Woody Herman’s “Woodchoppers Ball”.  John writes: “Seized by curiosity, I entered the club and there on the stage were these four guys, obviously having a ball. To this day I’ve never discovered how they got there, and I’ve never bothered to ask. I was excited by their playing and gave them a date at the Marquee”.

 After gaining attention in England they toured the U.S. in July and August of 1968, meeting with excellent audience and press response. As a result, their second album “Undead” took off on the American charts. They were immediately booked for a second tour which kicked off in New York at the Fillmore East.


The Concert Bill:

Friday Night - July 11, 1969

Led Zeppelin
Country Joe and The Fish
Jethero Tull
Al Kooper
Johnny Winter
The Edwin Hawkins Singers
Buddy Guy’s Blues Band   

      Saturday Night – July 12, 1969

      Sly and The Family Stone
      Ten Years After and Jeff Beck
      The Mothers Of Invention
      The Savoy Brown Blues Band
      The Guess Who




Ten Years After at the Singer Bowl - July 13, 1969 – New York City
On The Old Worlds Fair Grounds in Flushing, Queens. 

Led Zeppelin joined Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart and Alvin Lee of Ten Years After on stage for an encore of “Jailhouse Rock”, John Bonham played drums for Rice Pudding. They performed at The Pavilion during the Singer Bowl Music Festival. This was further substantiated from a press review that was published shortly thereafter the event.


Press Accounting:

The Nine Man Jam – Sunday July 13, 1969

Jeff Beck, Vanilla Fudge, Ten Years After, The Edwin Hawkins Singers concert at the Singer Bowl resulted in an unexpected “Jam Session” amongst members of The Jeff Beck Group, Led Zeppelin, Ten Years After and Jethro Tull. The music excited Zeppelin drummer John Bonham to the point where he started tearing his clothes off. He was carried off stage by friends before he could get past his underwear. The concert roused the audience and pulled an okay gross of $31,500 with a $5.50 top. The Pavilion and Singer Bowl are being presented this year by Lee Guber and Shelly Gross. 


Press Accounting – From The Bridgeport Post

The Doors at the Singer Bowl August 1968

Rotating Stages Suck – The Doors perform on a revolving stage which breaks down part way through their performance, and right in front of eye witness Steven Peart. Steven was twelve years old at the time and reports that a riot broke out with about two hundred teenagers and students breaking up their wooden chairs just as the band was completing its last two numbers. The audience ran for the stage forcing the musicians to retreat backstage and having to leave their equipment on stage. The students began smashing the equipment using the wood sticks from their broken chairs, before the guards could stop them.

There were approximately one thousand people in the audience and they were already aggravated because of all the time consuming delays due to the revolving stage not working.

Photo by Thomas Monaster

The Who were on stage right before the Doors, and the revolving stage got stuck during their performance so that a quarter of the restless crowd  couldn’t see the band and infuriating the audience. 

 Vanilla Fudge in Solid Territory: From Billboard Magazine

New York – Vanilla Fudge, in fine form, capped the season’s first Singer Bowl concert at the old Worlds Fair grounds (1964 – 1965) on Sunday July 13, 1969. The Atco quartet, however, faced a Herculean task as they had to follow an exciting nine – man – jam – session. The jam just followed the fine “Jailhouse Rock” encore of Epic’s Jeff Beck Group. Before the quartet could leave the stage, they were joined by other British musicians.

By the time the jam was finished, members of three other groups had joined, including three from Atlantic’s Led Zeppelin. The Beck unit also had its work cut out for it, as the preceding band was Ten Years After, one of the most popular British groups to ever play New York, gave their usual powerful performance. “Good Morning Little School Girl” was among the strong numbers for the Deram quartet, as guitarist Alvin Lee, one of the leading pop guitarist, and Leo Lyons, an outstanding bass guitarist, played to each other in exciting fashion. Drummer Ric Lee and organist Chick Churchill joined Lyons to afford Alvin Lee a guitar virtuoso stunning rhythmic support. Alvin Lee also was in excellent blues voice.

Probably the most difficult assignment of the evening belonged to Pavilion’s Edwin Hawkins Singers, who had to open. The inclement weather, which held the crowd to 7,000 made the audience, waiting for their rock favourites, restless. Some rain during the set aided neither audience nor performers. But, the large gospel choir was at their fervent spirited best, giving an exceptional performance, especially in their big hit “Oh Happy Day”.

The Beck Group had given one of their best sets, especially by vocalist Rod Stewart and Beck, another of today’s great guitarist. No sooner had Beck explained that there would be no more encores, than the fun began. Stewart was joined by Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, one of the most exciting vocalists on the scene. Glenn Cornick, bass guitarist of Reprise’s Jethro Tull, joined in succeeding Ron Wood of the Beck Group, as did drummer John Bonham another Led Zeppelin’s group of star performers, who succeeded the groups Tony Newman.

The excitement heightened as Jimmy Page, another of the evening’s string of great guitarist, joined the jam. Newman and Ric Lee joined in, making three drummers performing simultaneously. Musicians not only played and sang, they also danced, affected by the jam’s high spirits. In fact, Bonham practically had to be dragged off stage to end the jam.

Then came the Fudge with their languid, deliberate style, strong vocals and the sinewy organ playing of Mark Stein, who also possesses a good, distinctive voice. It took a few numbers for group and audience to warm to each other, but by the time the Fudge reached their “You Keep Me Hanging On” hit, all was in order and Stein was at his best. In the following, “Take Me For A Little While”, other musicians had their opportunities and they came through splendidly, especially bass guitarist Tim Bogart, one of the best in the business, whose solo again demonstrated the variety that can be produced by that instrument. Lead guitarist Vince Martell also came through well in his solo, the longest of the evening. And, drummer Carmine Appice was strong as usual. The show lasted well past midnight.

By Fred Kirby


The Singer Bowl Music Festival took place on July 13, 1969 and will undisputedly go down in the music history books as the heaviest show in the stadium’s history. It included the following bands: The Edwin Hawkins Singers (Oh Happy Day) Raven, Jethro Tull, The Vanilla Fudge, Ten Years After, The Jeff Beck Group and a brand new band from England called Led Zeppelin. As with all late 1960’s rock concerts, there was the obligatory jam session at the end of the show that included the members of Ten Years After, Led Zeppelin and The Jeff Beck Group.



Bonham was invited backstage to a Ten Years After concert, he throws orange juice on Alvin Lee the most respected guitarist of his generation.


Jimmy Page was awe-struck by Alvin’s super-sonic playing, much to the annoyance of an inebriated John Bonham who suddenly lurched forward and threw a glass of orange juice all over Alvin’s guitar, in order to slow up his (Alvin’s) finger work as the strings and fret board got stickier. When asked about this incident Alvin has no recollection of anything being thrown, although Ric Lee confirms the story. Ric also remembers, that at the end of the show, when he and Bonzo joined Jeff Beck for the encore: “There was Robert Plant, Rod Stewart, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and three bassists. I think Bonzo was beating off a riff (The Stripper) on the drum kit, so I grabbed a floor tom and started thumping hell out of it. The crowd were going ape-shit as we banged out a blues standard and Bonham who was already stripped to the waist, took off his trousers and under pants. He was sitting there naked, playing away, when the police saw him, I then saw Peter Grant and Richard Cole spotting the police as the number fizzled out, all I saw was Peter and Richard running on stage, each grabbing one of Bonzo’s arms and his bare-arse disappearing as they carried him off”.

Ric Lee (Drummer Ten Years After) 


This article starts off with The Jeff Beck Group performing at Schenectady Hall in upstate New York. Led Zeppelin having just been signed to the same stable as The Jeff Beck Group, and under the management of Peter Grant. Both bands were to cross paths over the next few days as Led Zeppelin were also in the American East Coast at the time, on their inaugural United States tour, and arrangements were quickly made for the two bands to hook up for some serious partying. Imagine, The Jeff Beck Group and Led Zeppelin – talk about an explosive combination! The problem is, great talents are notoriously “too hard to handle”.

Jeff Beck, one of the worlds greatest guitarist and a proven record seller, temperamental often stroppy but always ready to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Led Zeppelin was coming along on the Jeff Beck Group’s tour bus to the Schenectady Hall gig. But it was at the Singer Bowl concert where the trouble was already brewing. The Singer Bowl is a massive sports complex doubling as a concert venue just outside of New York’s Flushing Meadows, and things were coming to a head.

Jeff and the boys were supporting America’s newest flavour of the month, The Vanilla Fudge a band out of Long Island, New York. More significantly, as it turned out, Alvin Lee’s new band called Ten Years After, were opening the star-studded bill. The Led Zeppelin boys and their entire entourage said they’d be there to lend Jeff a bit of moral support. I thought, that was quite touching to begin with, such a selfless solidarity between two of the UK’s best bands while they were touring on foreign turf. But of course it wasn’t as simple or as innocent as that. Nothing ever was! As hindsight being 20:20 maybe I should have guessed that there was more to their eagerness to attend this particular gig, than just helping their mates along.

In fact, that had nothing what-so-ever to do with it. The Led Zeppelin boys were there to settle a score with Alvin Lee for some pretty nasty remarks he’d once made about Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck’s roadies seemed happy to help them wreak their revenge, egged on inevitably by John “Bonzo” Bonham and Richard Cole.

Chick Churchill, one of Ten Years After’s associates (keyboard player) was unlucky enough to be caught without back up in a locker room by a vengeful rabble of roadies who scared the crap out of him before ruthlessly stripping him of his clothes. Then they stripped him of his dignity by dumping him naked and tossed like a lamb to the slaughter in the starkly lit corridor outside. Next it was Ten Years After’s turn for the revenge of Led Zeppelin.

Hidden in the anonymity of the shadows, in a corner right in front of the stage, the Led Zeppelin crew pelted Alvin Lee mercilessly from the moment he took the stage, with anything that came to hand, including hot dogs, burgers, orange juice and probably much messier and more painful missiles. It was glorious! Alvin Lee and his band had no idea who the mysterious assailants in the shadows could be. The shower of debris stole their thunder, undermining the storming performance that they’d had their hearts set on, and understandably enough, mediocrity was all they could muster. In retrospect, Peter Grant and Jimmy Page, the two partners in crime had to be behind this. It was their way of saying, “don’t ever mess with the Zeppelin!” If that had been the sum total of their retribution for Alvin Lee’s off colour comment, I guess it would have been “fair dos”. But they’d already planned a masterstroke that would add insult to injury. Of course, as far as the audience was concerned, Led Zeppelin joining the Jeff Beck Group on stage as an impromptu jamming session. I knew different! Having ruined Alvin Lee’s entire set, a band that hadn’t even been booked to play, was about to steal the show…. and steal the show they did. But even the Led Zeppelin boys hadn’t planned the finale that was to be the highlight of the night!


The Real Story of “Bonzo” at the Singer Bowl:

Bonzo had been at the backstage booze, nothing strange or unusual about that, or about the fact that, drunk as a lord, his drumming on the fast blues the galaxy of rock stars was playing was as blisteringly bang on the nail as ever. What was a bit unusual was the fact that he’d suddenly decided to do a “full – monty” while he was at it, still hitting that kick drum with mechanical, maniacal precision and venom despite the strides and underpants that were now tangled around his ankles. For most of the audience, the sight of his private pubic hair being made public, was just a bit of a “Bonzo – Bonus” to the already exciting event. But among the ogling crowd, some punters were less than impressed at the sight of Bonzo’s  manhood flapping about on the drum stool. I clocked one humourless woman talking animatedly to one of the fairly heavy local police presence like a chill wind, the prudish outrage swept through the crowd and it was clear to see that the cops were not amused. Now, I’m not saying I’d normally think Bonzo getting his kit off was going too far. On the contrary, high spirits and outrageous behaviour like that are all part of the sheer joy of rock `n´ roll, and long may it stay that way. A few people will always be upset by it, but when the police are among the ones with the hump, that’s when the fun stops and the trouble begins. Of course it was my job to make sure it didn’t. I could see the cops rallying together, conferring and calling for back-up. I had to get Bonzo off the stage before they could arrest him.

Suddenly, I had a plan. I took Henry the Horse aside and told him to kill all the lights the moment the performers finished their song. He did so, plunging the stage into total darkness for about ten seconds, just long enough for Richard Cole and I to grab Bonzo under the arms, pull his pants up and drag him full pelt backstage. Obviously, we couldn’t try and hide him here, right in the bands dressing area, that is the first place the cops would look for him. So we lugged him into another locker room that was equipped with shower facilities and the like and the walls plastered with sporting paraphernalia, I assumed it was an American Football players changing room. Somewhere out there, the police were stumbling about in the darkness and their mood was turning as black as the blackout that we plunged them into. I kicked the door shut and locked it. Hearts banging as loud as Bonzo’s drumming, and holding our breath in case we were heard. Richard and I sat about tidying up the legless stickman. We waited, and Bonzo by now was unconscious and his body draped lifelessly over a chair, marooned helplessly in the empty tiled expanse of the backstage changing room. With the distant rumble of very angry men echoing along the corridors outside, then suddenly it loomed uncomfortably close and then there was an explosion of outraged voices. At first it was an incomprehensible babble, then it was way too close and clear. “Where is the dirty motherfucker?”  One loud American voice kept roaring with an authority that cut through the general furore. At least I thought, we were safely locked in this room, and no one was able to hear us. Bonzo was temporarily out of commission. Keep calm and we’d be in the clear.

But then there was a thunderous banging at the door, the kind of persistent banging that won’t take no for an answer. The door burst open to reveal five or six huge cops with waists as wide as their minds were narrow. Some traitor must have given them the master (Skelton) key.

Needless to say, we were out numbered, out muscled, out weighed and most importantly, out-lawed. Richard and I stood in front of Bonzo in a forlorn attempt at solidarity, as if we could hide and protect him. Two of the police posse strode forward and too close for comfort, intimidating, demanding to know if this was the drummer who’s just given his public a pubic naked performance? The cops language and attitude was far from delicate about it.

“Look, he’s just drunk, he’s harmless” I spluttered. (showing no signs of a clear and present danger to anyone). Look at him, he didn’t mean any harm…..” The cops looked with utter distaste over my shoulder at the inert figure sprawled over a chair in the middle of this bleakly lit and Spartan room. Neither was impressed. Their collective sense of humour bypass was obviously complete. I suppose it wasn’t much of an excuse. It can’t have been, because then they whipped out their batons threateningly, making it utterly clear that they meant business. To be honest, at that point, Richard and I had given up the ghost. We were all going to get nicked and that was that. But neither we nor the cops had reckoned on a far more superior authority. I’d thought the police had made a fairly impressive entrance just minutes ago, but the door through which they’d marched with such self-righteous import, suddenly exploded open once again to admit the furious, fuming and fighting mad figure of Peter Grant.

He was always almost ludicrously huge, but when fluffed up, furious and bristling with rage like a giant mother hen, hell-bent on protecting her chicks, he almost too the door right off its hinges. The door wasn’t the only thing almost unhinged by this entrance: the cops clucked in panic, overshadowed and over-awed and chickening out completely. “I’m the manager of the band”, Grant Boomed Imperiously. “Who’s in charge here?” The gob smacked police officers silently pointed out their Captain, whose eyes met Peter’s and were fixed in his glare. Peter said, “you and me need to talk – alone” he said quietly. “get your men out of here”. With a wave of his arm the Captain dismissed his troops and Richard and I followed suit, we didn’t need telling, closing the door carefully behind us, we left Bonzo, Peter and the Captain in the room and waited – waited – and waited. Finally, after about ten minutes, that seemed so much longer, the Captain emerged, all that anger drained from his face and beckoned his men to follow. Bemused, we gingerly stepped back into the locker room where Peter greeted us with a smile. “Well done!” he beamed, “Now, lets get Bonzo on the bus”. I don’t need to be told twice. I grabbed the still prone Bonzo and hauled him bus-wards and within minutes Peter and the Led Zeppelin boys, complete with their semi-conscious drummer, were speeding out of town. No charges were pressed, no arrest were made, in fact, it was as if the incident never happened at all. Peter’s unique brand of diplomacy had somehow convinced the outraged cop captain to let the entire matter drop. It was amazing the authority that Peter Grant commanded. Maybe it was his sheer size and physical presence of his wallet, as I found out when I asked him later on the tour bus. His reply was, “That was a cheap get-out Don!” He laughed heartily, “it only cost me $300.00!”



For a great many years, this orange juice story has been circulating around in bits and pieces, mostly concerned with who threw the orange juice at Alvin Lee and his precious guitar.

What I did learn in my little unprofessional investigation, was that all the rumours held a basic seed of truth in them. It was a long and complicated story, but in the end a fun mystery to unravel. So the ultimate answer as to who threw the orange juice is: Jeff Beck, John “Bonzo” Bonham and the Led Zeppelin Roadies as pay back for off colour comments made by one Alvin Lee towards Jimmy Page!  The unfortunate innocent bystander in all of this was Chick Churchill.


From Epilogue to Introduction:

While this has nothing to do with Alvin Lee or Ten Years After, the time frame is so ironic and thus included here as well. Just fifteen days after the Singer Bowl event, came the most talked about incident in rock music history. The incident is destined to take its place in your mythology, says Frank Zappa, and he even wrote a song about it, appropriately called: “Mud Shark” in June 1971 at the Fillmore East. I’ll make the event as short as possible, and clean it up as best I can, it’s actually pretty funny, and now engraved in stone in rock `n ´ roll legend !

 The Led Zeppelin boys and The Vanilla Fudge guys and Leppelin’s road manager Richard Cole, were heading to Seattle Washington to play the Seattle Pop Festival on July 27, 1969  at the Gold Creek Park.


The bands were staying at The Edgewater Inn which is located right on the Puget Sound. What makes this place so unique, is that you can go fishing right out of your hotel window and in the comfort of your room.

 The shark episode is alleged to have involved some type of sexual contact with a fish, (yes you heard right a fish) with many variations of the story, all involving some of the band members, as well as the type of fish involved – often claimed to be a mud-shark. It was Jimmy Page who caught a spiny "dog-fish" also called a "mud shark". The groupie involved was Carmine Appice's groupie.

Rock writer Stephen Davis in his Led Zeppelin book, “Hammer of the Gods” reports: “One girl, a young pretty girl with red hair, was disrobed and tied to the bed. According to the legend, Led Zeppelin then proceeded to place pieces of the mud-shark on her private parts”. The band stayed in room 342 and the incident became known as  "the sleaziest  moment in rock history". Zeppelin road manager Richard Cole disputes this version and tells it this way: “It wasn’t Bonzo, it was me. It wasn’t a shark at all, and it was only the nose of the fish that was put in. We caught a lot of big sharks, at least two dozen, we stuck coat hangers through the gills and left them in the closet…. It wasn’t a shark it was a red snapper and the girl happened to be a red-head, and that’s the truth. Bonzo was in the room, but I did it and Mark Stein of Vanilla Fudge filmed the entire thing, and the girl loved it. There was nothing malicious or harmful, no way! No one was ever hurt – end of story.

 A later visit by Led Zeppelin in 1973, the band and their entourage caught some thirty mud-sharks and left them under beds, in elevators, in bath tubs, in hallways, in closets and all over their rooms….while beds, TV sets, china, glassware, mattresses, lamps, and drapes all ended up in Elliott Bay. The damage they made, cost the band $2,500 and they were banned from the hotel forever.

The Edgewater Inn 1964:

When first constructed, it was called “The Camelot” then it was changed to “The Edgewater Inn” and finally to just “The Edgewater”. It’s a four story building with 223 rooms hotel, located in Seattle, Washington, right on the central waterfront, on a pier over Elliott Bay on Puget Sound. In the early years, the hotel advertised on its north elevation that you could fish right from your room. Some famous people have stayed here over the years including:

The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, The Beastie Boys and even U.S. President Bill Clinton. Over time Robert Plant was welcomed back.



The Beatles played in Seattle, Washington, at the Seattle Coliseum. This was during their very first American tour, and this was their third show. This was on August 21, 1964. They played to 14,300 screaming fans, and this was at the height of “Beatle-mania”. At the concert, the stage had to be raised twelve feet for the bands protection. For their concert, they were paid $34,569 dollars. The following day they left for Vancouver, British Colombia. At the Edgewater Hotel the band stayed in suite 272.  



Even if there were other factors at work in keeping the hotel open, many acknowledge that, “The Beatles” stay there helped cement the Edgewater’s place in Seattle’s history Says the hotel manager Ric Nicholson: “Now the Beatles and Rock and Roll History is what we hang our hat on”.




July 11 - 12, 1969 - Laurel Pop Festival, Maryland






July 16, 1969
(Schaefer Music Festival, Wollman Skating Rink)

Photography by Thomas Monaster












Ten Years After – July 16, 1969

The Schaefer Music Festival – Central Park, New York City

On the bill are: Ten Years After – Chicago Transit Authority – and Fleetwood Mac
(Fleetwood Mac was originally scheduled to play this date – but were apparently cancelled)

The Schaefer Music Festival began its life as the Rheingold (Beer) Central Park Music Festival in 1966. It was held during the summer between 1968 and 1976 at the Wollman Skating Rink which is now known as Trump Wollman Skating Rink and located in New York City’s Central Park. This music series was sponsored by the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company, brewer of Schaefer Beer. This continued until 1976 at which point the sponsor became the owners of Dr. Pepper, and then became known as, The Dr. Pepper Central Park Music Festival.

Then, because of residential complaints due to noise violations, the concert series was then moved to Pier 84 on the west side of town in 1981 and 1982. Where by, it then changed hands once again. In 1983 The Miller Brewing Company, the owners of Miller Beer, took over sponsorship and it became Miller Time Concert On The Pier, through 1988. The last thing I read was, renowned club owner and musician Hilly Kristal who founded CBGB’s in 1973, co-founded the festival with producer and concert promoter Ron Delsener took it over. 




Fillmore West, San Francisco, July 22 - 24, 1969   -   Artist: David Singer



The Seattle Pop Festival – July 25 –28 – 1969 – Prelude To Woodstock

It was held Gold Creek about twenty miles outside of Seattle, and organized by Boyd Grafmyre Promotions. The tension there was high, there was only one thin chicken wire fence separating the stage – and us – from 50,000 rock fans. Twenty six musicians / groups performed there, including: Ten Years After, Chuck Berry, Chicago Transit Authority, Black Snake, Do Diddley, Albert Collins, The Doors, The Byrds, Crome Syrcus, Tim Buckley, Floating Bridge, The Flock, The Guess Who, The Flying Burrito Brothers, It’s A Beautiful Day, Led Zeppelin, Charles Lloyd, Lonnie Mack, Lee Michaels, Rockin´  FU, Murray Roman, Santana, Spirit, The Ike and Tina Turner Review, Vanilla Fudge, Alice Cooper, Frosty and The Youngbloods.

 The recorded total attendance for the three day event was 50, 000 rock fans attended, many more than was expected, so extra food and water had to be brought in. Reports say, that the people were orderly, with a few minor exceptions. It was a non-stop music festival and the first annual Seattle Pop Festival, that was a marvel of crowd control and smooth organization. It was also the first time ever that Led Zeppelin appeared on the same concert bill with The Doors. The Zeppelin boys blew the doors right off the stage, as they immediately  followed the Doors set

The big mistake of all, was hiring the Black Panthers to provide the Security. They cut a hole in the fence and let anyone in who had money to pay them. Besides that, half of the tickets presented at the main gate were counterfeit.

This festival was held, just a few weeks before the big Woodstock event took place, and the bands who performed at Seattle also performed at Woodstock. Seattle was to rival Woodstock in many people’s minds, but it was not Woodstock, of that, there’s only one. As for Seattle, just ask The Guess Who about this monster of a music festival. It was Seattle’s version of Woodstock, and it’s now forty two years later, but still some things never change:

“Near by neighbours complained of traffic and the hippie atmosphere”. But the message remains the same: “I disagree with their movement one hundred percent”, said Dawsey,

“But some of us adults better get the hell closer to them. They respond very much to kindness, we older people better learn this – if they need a drink of water, we the establishment, should go out and offer it”. 

 Another fan says, “I was so excited about going to The Seattle Festival, that I had already made my plans to go to Woodstock. The reality was that I probably enjoyed the Seattle Pop Festival more than I did the Woodstock Festival. Seeing Albert Collins and Lonnie Mack was kind of an education in a hardcore electric blues idiom, and Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry were nothing if not great, and I mean great showmen.  

Ten Years After started playing at 9:00 AM in the morning, fans said, it was a nice way to wake up though. Ten years After and Santana were both amazing, and they proved the same a few weeks later at Woodstock. Also of note, The Ike and Tina Turner Review, was hands down the best set, they kicked everybody’s  ass – even better than Led Zeppelin and The Doors said one fan.




1969, July 25 - Seattle Pop Festival


Photos by Vladimir Keremidschieff




Many Thanks to Christoph Müller for his contributions









News Stand Price - .50 – Fifty Cents 

Photos By Alan Grossman



Last fall a relatively unknown English Blues group came to New York to start the first leg of a national tour, that all but changed the status of pop music in America. They played the Fillmore East, The Scene, and did a memorable freebee in Central Park with Traffic and Country Joe, establishing themselves as a household word among rock fans in New York.

Ten Years After is one of the best groups to come out of the contemporary progressive blues movement. Their musicianship both as a unit and in solos, far exceeds that of almost any other group you can name.

Formed in May 1967 in London, they worked at getting themselves together for several months before making their debut appearance at the Marquee Club there. From that point on, Ten Years After had little hassle getting people to listen to them. It’s their desire to turn people on with their music, that is, they dig audiences and get turned on themselves when they see people appreciating music. To see them perform on stage, one can easily sense the great amount of communication that goes on between group and audience. Their live performance leaves very little to be desired. They are exciting, extremely versatile, very visual and seldom, if ever, dull. Their repertoire ranges from heavy blues to pure rock and roll and enables the listener to gain a better understanding of the blues idiom in rock and other current musical trends.


Alvin Lee, lead guitarist and vocalist has to be one of the best guitarist in the field. He has been praised by his peers and audiences alike. He is and excellent blues singer and his facial expressions alone are worth the price of admission.

Their live version of The “Stones” “Goin´ Home” is a hard driving rock spectacular which makes you remember what rock and roll really is. During the break in this number they go into several rock riffs including bits and pieces of “Route 66” and “Blue Suede Shoes.” It really knocks you out. Alvin Lee plays his guitar with the microphone stand (don’t ask me to explain) and switches to playing it with a drumstick. The amazing part is that he never misses a note, and he’s playing damn fast!

Leo Lyons, the bass player, is a dynamic musician who credits Bill Black, Elvis Presley’s early bass player, as one of his influences. Chick Churchill is an accomplished classical pianist who worked as the groups´ road manager before actually joining as their organist.

Ric Lee (no relation to Alvin) is the drummer who credits Buddy Rich and Joe Morello among his influences. He does a long solo in their live sets, which ranges from mediocre to excellent, depending on how well he feels when he’s doing it. However, he is a rather creative and solid drummer who complements the rest of the group well. They are without a doubt a “must see.”


Ten Years After has three LP’s on the Deram label; Ten Years After, Undead, and Stonedhenge, their latest work, which takes the music of Ten Years After a few steps further, incorporating more jazz and progressive rock than before. They are currently on their second tour of America, which includes a gig at the Newport Jazz Festival. (That in itself tells you plenty.)

You may ask one more question. What does Ten Years After mean?

According to Chick Churchill, “It could mean ten years after the present day which would be 1979, or ten years after 1959 which would be today.” You figure it out for yourself ....

  Special Features by, John Leitzes 





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