Magazines Ltd. 1971
Just looking at Alvin Lee
is enough to stop you in your tracks, he's devastating
with his thick blond hair, hazel eyes and tough
physique which is one very good reason why he's
probably as well known by name as Ten Years After.
He's the "face"
of the group, the one whose photo all the fans want
and who gets singled out for publicity, which Alvin
seems to think is a bit of a drag. He'd much rather
people thought of him as the brilliant guitarist that
he is rather than "just a pretty face". On
the subject of the way he looks Alvin says: "I
was very paranoid about it at first, it started in
America where the very business-like publicist we had
over there found people were picking up on me and
decided to exploit the situation. That led to a weird
feeling about it in the band....but finally we sat
down together and discussed it and it was decided that
if it was going to help the band we would let it go,
but I've never really liked to think of the band as
anything other than a band".
Since then, the whole
thing has snowballed--with Alvin developing into
something of a cult, especially with the group's
younger fans, and the film Woodstock did plenty to
swell their ranks, because Mr. Lee somehow seemed to be
the "star" turn of all the footage shot at
that memorable venue. That certainly has a whole lot
to do with his face as well as his dexterous hands and
his sexy voice. So much so that recently he has been
subjected to a selection of film offers, mostly from
the states, to further his
career as an actor. But Alvin just doesn't want to
know. This is because he loves guitar playing and
among the connoisseurs of the music world he has been
called " the last of the great British guitarist"
and earned the nickname Flash.
His present popularity is
a long way from the beginnings of the band. A few
years back Alvin Lee, Leo Lyons and Ric Lee started
playing round Nottingham, they had lean times until
they moved to London, and did a lot of session work
that got the group together on musical experience.
Then Chick Churchill joined them on organ.
On stage they finally
talked their way into a date at the Speakeasy and that
was how Ten Years After started to
Afterwards they hit States
and became really red hot musical property. Now at
last they have the recognition they deserve in Britain
as well. As well as playing lead guitar like an
earthly angel and singing in the same sort of vein
Alvin is the member of the band who gets things moving,
the one with the ideas. He works very hard at writing
songs which he admits he finds hard work, luckily for
us the results are always worth the effort.
Nowadays when he's not on
the road he spends much of his time at his Berkshire
country home experimenting with good sounds and
editing his cine films.
When you're one of the
budding legends of the 70's it's nice to have
somewhere where you can get away from all that
The beautiful back-page
pic of the irresistible Alvin (in glorious color!)
almost does justice to his colorful character.
Well worth a spot on your
wall I'd say..... Georgina Mells
From The Rock
Journal 1971 – By Teacher, Author
and Journalist Jim
Edited by Dave
for use on our website:
one year ago this summer that the Woodstock movie made
a teen idol out of Ten Years After’s guitarist Alvin
Lee. You may recall that the blonde twenty six year
old Englishman flashed his ES335 Gibson guitar under
the camera light so fast, that it looked like a
re-take of the Wilkinson Sword Blade television
commercial. He improvised an eleven minute rendition
of their encore hit called, “I’m Going Home”. With
such blazing velocity in the mid – August heat that he
all but turned the Woodstock stage into a working
lights came back on after the movie version, you
expected the screen to look like burnt toast. It was a
super-nova act, to be sure, so astounding a display,
that the guitarist managed to accomplish more than
just hold his own in a film that also included among
Johnny Winter, Pete Townshend, Leslie West, Carlos
Santana and Paul Butterfield. But, what all that
speed-fingering and guitar lashing on a movie screen
did to Alvin’s reputation, was to recast him from an
exceptional guitarist and good overall musician, right
into superstardom – automatically. Instead of being
simply known by a considerable loyal underground
following, as a proficient free – form – cooking -
lead guitarist, he’s now perceived by millions as a
formidable guitar hero. Along with this notoriety,
overseeing and overbearing arrogance, that goes along
with the title. Images of course never have enough
regard for facts, and the fact of the matter is that,
Alvin Lee the person, bears no resemblance to Alvin
Lee the guitar god of stage and now screen.
I once handed
him an advertisement from a rock newspaper and told
him that maybe he should look into it. The advert
said: “Learn To Play Guitar the Chet Atkins way!
Complete for just $2.98 with postage included.
According to stereotype, he was supposed to respond to
me, like an affronted cobra. In reality, the soft
spoken Nottingham native, just laughed.
between what a performer is really like and what
people think, he or she is like, presents a major
problem for reporters and fans. If you write about the
individual that lurks behind the image, you will
usually produce a picture of a pleasant, polite and
decent person who just so happens to have one or more
outstanding talents. As is the case with all the
members of Ten Years After who are equally
multitalented, and have a multitude of tricks still in
between Alvin Lee and myself took place on Monday
August 9, 1971 in New York City. The Friday before
this interview, Ten Years After performed at Gaelic
Park in the Bronx, after just returning from a three
month lay-off. The bands brand new album is called, “A
Space In Time” and had just been released.
How did you feel about your show at Gaelic Park the
Alvin Lee: “We
had a lot of rough spots because it was the first live
gig we had done in about three months”.
How come you took three months off from touring and
Alvin Lee: “We
were turning into a performing jukebox really. We
didn’t have time to get into new stuff and we were
just repeating ourselves. A lot of the solos, instead
of being jams, they were getting to be the same every
Did you try to do anything special with this new
Alvin Lee: We
spent a lot more time on details, quality and such. We
took a lot more trouble. We’ve done seven albums. I
don’t think we’ve ever reached what we’re trying to
do, but I know we’re getting nearer”.
How did you feel about your part in the Woodstock
Alvin Lee: “
It’s the old celluloid thing – as soon as you get into
the movies, then something else happens, people
freak-out and think “Film Stars” and it’s not really
what we’re about at all”.
When years ago you first started doing your own kind
of music, as opposed to whatever was popular at the
time, did you have much trouble staying original?”
Alvin Lee: “We
didn’t have any conviction about it. We were
floundering. We were playing and often did think,
perhaps we’re barking up the wrong tree. We knew
enough to know that we were into something valid,
musically, but there just didn’t seem to be any way of
finding the market for it at the time”.
Do you practice much?
Alvin Lee “You
can always play a bit”.
What’s it like in the middle of a stage during a Ten
Years After concert?
“You’re not out there thinking how cool it is, or how
groovy or anything. You’re just out there working
really. That’s all I ever do”.
How about audience riots when you’re playing? How do
you feel onstage during something like that?
“It’s just a nasty position to be in and it makes me
sick that I can get into that position”.
Any plans for changing your show?
“What we’re hoping to do now, is to try and turn on
the young people that want to come to our concerts, to
what we believe in, you know, listening and picking
out the subtleties of free-form expression, et-cetera,
rather than just dropping downers, drinking wine and
freaking out to rock `n´ roll”.
Did you once say that you would like to get rid of
that part of your white heritage, that seems to
Alvin Lee: “It
definitely inhibits you by being white. I’m not so
inhibited now. I’ve worked it out a bit”.
Do you think rock `n´ roll will last forever?
“Rock `n´ Roll is just a beat to the music. That can’t
die because it’s always there. If you only tap your
foot to it, that’s the relevance”.
Did you join Elvis Presley’s fan club?
“Yeah, I did do that”.
What kind of mail does Ten Years After get?
“Oh, we get some incredible letters. There are the
Japanese letters, the humble type of letters they
write from Japan, like – “will you grace us with your
presence”? Then you get the American ones saying, “Hi,
I’m stoned on THC and I’m listening to your record.
Far Out”! Ramble, ramble. And then you get the English
(British) ones saying, “I’m very interested in modern
music and I’d like to know – a, b, c, d, - and they’ll
have a list of questions”.
One last question, you always save your highest
powered numbers for the end. How come?
Alvin Lee: “It’s the ideal climax. You can’t have
subtle sex without an orgasm at the end.!
7, 1971 -
DISC And MUSIC
6p – USA 30c
It is now
almost exactly ten years after the bass / lead guitar
partnership started between Alvin Lee and Leo Lyons; a
partnership that has weathered a lot of strains, and
knocks. The current line up of Ten Years After has
been together for about four years, and the
extraordinary part is that they’ve come a lot nearer
to splitting through fame and fortune than they ever
did in poverty with audiences booing them. In the old
days, Leo Lyons used to ring up for the bookings and
never let on he was the bass player, and they couldn’t
afford an agent.
than not, when they’d done a gig, the promoter would
shake his fist at them and scream, “it’s bands like
you that are ruining the ballroom scene.” Ten Years
After sailed through hardships like that. It wasn’t
until the beginning of this year when they were all
wealthy enough to retire, they came to the point of
splitting. It might have been partly due to the
element of struggle and fighting towards a goal being
removed that weakened them, but the main problem was
the audiences. “The thing was that we built up such a
reputation, that as soon as we walked onstage, people
were reacting to what they’d heard we did rather than
what we actually were about to do. People didn’t sit
there for what we did and then react; we weren’t
communicating anything. “It got to the stage when it
felt as if we were going on and doing an imitation of
ourselves. We couldn’t work out why we were going
along and playing a 20,000 seater. Was it for the
money, or was it because we were enjoying it?
Musically we were just repeating our popular stage
numbers. “So we took some time off and thought about
it and tried to get back some of the feelings we had
in the early days. We must have come nearest to
splitting then; lots of bands split there, Cream did.
Now instead of going on and playing what people wanted
to hear, we do what we want.”
Leo Lyons was
talking at his beautiful rural home in Bedfordshire,
sitting on a mound at the top of the paddock watching
his three horses graze. It’s hot and it’s peaceful and
their tenth tour of America starting this week, seems
an eternity away. You wonder why Leo doesn’t retire
for good to this haven, when financially, he doesn’t
need to play another note for the rest of his life.
“Because I’d get bored out of my mind, and because we
really do enjoy playing live,” he says emphatically.
“Firstly you do it for love, then you get addicted to
all over the world now, the group want to concentrate
a little more on their albums. In the past they’ve
been in the habit of rushing into the studio between
tours and doing a quick album. Their new one just
finished, called “A Space In Time” was much more
thought out and leisurely. “The trouble in the past
was that we’d put down a number in such a hurry that
three months later, after doing it onstage, the stage
version was much better than the album one. We’ve
never professed to be an album band, though, always a
The most time
we spent on the other albums was three weeks, and some
of the numbers we hadn’t played until we got into the
studio. This album, we had two numbers we’d played
onstage over the last couple of tours, and the rest
were untried stuff, but we spent quite a bit of time
rehearsing. We’ve never had a gold album and I think
that’s something that we’d like to work towards in the
future. “We’ve worked places in America to a sold out concert and the number of people in the hall was about
three times the number of albums we’d sold in that
area, despite the fact, that the cost of the tickets
was more than the cost of the album.”
In the past,
the group was adamant about singles, now they don’t
mind too much whether the record company puts one out
off the album because, says Leo, the tracks on this
new album are far more representative and would stand
up to being singled out. Alvin still does the majority
of the writing, although Leo writes at home for his
own pleasure, but he doesn’t think he’s done anything
worth presenting yet. Leo is also into recording at
home and has converted one of the attics into a
studio. “On the “Stonedhenge” album we all played
wrote and did something ourselves but that’s the only
thing I’ve ever written that’s been recorded.
We all do bits
to Alvin’s songs. He comes along with a rough tune and
we throw it around. We might even
change the rhythm and the concept of it.”
travelling with their equipment in a 15 cwt. truck –
Ten Years After now travel in a cavalcade of cars with
the equipment, handled by three permanent roadies,
travelling in a five ton truck. TYA are one of the
most highly paid bands in the country (England). After
ten tours of the United States they could still work
non-stop there for a couple of years and fill every
gig. “A lot of people reckon we’re overpaid.” Says Leo
thoughtfully, surveying his house, his land, his cars
and horses, “but when you work out the short span of
time in which we’ll be earning and spread that money
over a working man’s earning life, we work pretty
On The Scene
Page of this paper:
“Ten Years After’s Leo Lyons a great collector of
antique guns and Wild West paraphernalia. He’s even
erected his own stables.
August 7, 1971
After will play their first British dates in over 18
months in September, and an album is set for release
to co-inside with the tour. The 10 date tour covers
every major city, apart from Glasgow, and the London
venue will not be announced until next week.
After’s last London gig, at the Albert Hall, ended in
their being banned from the venue and it’s this ban
which has resulted in this difficulty, of fixing a
The full dates
are: September 14th Colston Hall,
Bristol,15th Philharmonic Liverpool 16th,
Cith Hall Newcastle 20th, Guild Hall,
Southampton 22nd, De Montfort Hall
Leicester 24th, City Hall Hull 25th,
Empire, Edinburgh 26th, Free Trade Hall
Manchester 28th, City Hall Sheffield
October 4th Town Hall Birmingham.
The album, the
group’s long awaited follow-up to their “Watt” album,
“A Space In Time” and will be released in September,
although no exact date has been finalised. This is due
to the label destination of the album being uncertain.
Ten Years After are currently in the States and “A
Space In Time” will be issued there in advance of the
British release. It’s the bands first album for the
Columbia Record Label.
Express August 7, 1971
New Musical Express August 14, 1971
After – Banned from the Royal Albert Hall two years
ago, has fixed alternative London dates for its
British concert tour, which opens at Bristol Colston
Hall on September 14th. The group will play
a special midnight concert at the London Coliseum, the
first outfit ever to do so. On Saturday September 18th.
And to ensure that it caters for as many people as
possible, Ten Years After will play an additional date
at the Coliseum the following evening at 7:00 pm. The
Remaining dates for the group’s tour have already been
reported in the New Musical Express. Ten Years After
is currently touring America, where their next album,
and the first to be released on Columbia Records in
the States, is due out immediately. The L.P.
Is titled, “A Space In Time,” and will be issued in
Britain next month.
Picture contributed by Gary Holdinghausen
of “Ten Years After” during my St. Louis concert
that ended in a riot. Cops arrested me when I tried to
stop a cop from beating a fan with a flashlight.
Karr – Concert Promoter
D.J. John Williams recalling the riot that broke out
during an August 28, 1971 Ten Years After concert, at
the Kiel Auditorium, in St. Louis, Missouri.
It was after
all, a great way to make a quick hundred dollars. Walk
out on stage and announce, “Ladies and Gentleman,
would you please welcome the British band “Ten Years
Then, walk off
and collect the money. But on the night of August 26,
1971 - an apparently simple job, was anything but
simple this time. For Disc-Jockey John Williams, this
would be a night that he would not easily forget. This
was the night that a new, unknown band called J.
Geils, would be opening for the already established
and famous Ten Years After. From early on in the set,
Craig Petty was right up front, taking photos of Ten
Years After. But as Ten Years After’s set was coming
to an end, something went seriously wrong.
wanted and expected the band to play their usual
encores, but someone behind the scenes, unexpectedly
and abruptly ended the show. “I was five feet away
from everything” said Craig “I was in perfect position
to see what was going on”. People put a table upon the
stage, people were getting pushed and crushed against
the table that was about waist high and it got thrown
on top of the crowd, by the concert promoter. The
audience didn’t do anything wrong, they just picked
it up and pushed it off to the side and then the
security guys came rushing out and grabbed the table
and threw it back on top of the crowd, it hurt people
and the rest who witnessed this went off. We climbed
out from under the thing and headed to the back of the
auditorium. We sat in the seats and watched it all go
down, we saw people busting chairs up and throwing
shit, and I think they broke some windows around the
exit ramps”. “Shoes and bottles rained down on me”,
recalled Nancy Webb, who was sitting in the first row
on the main floor. While John Williams had a unique
vantage point, of the mêlées. “I was the hired emcee,
I was paid one hundred bucks to introduce the guys.
remember introducing them, because I remember the
exact words that I said, “Ladies and Gentleman, Hi,
I’m John Williams from radio station KSHE – FM –
Radio, and won’t you please welcome to the Kiel
Auditorium, Alvin Lee and Ten Years After. Usually,
you would walk off, collect your money, and do what
you were going to do after that. But, there was
confusion going on, and there was a microphone and
Alvin Lee and Ten Years After, had either stopped
playing, or they were off stage, I just don’t seem to
remember exactly, I was doing my best. Then, someone
shoved me and said, “get this thing under control, or
we’re going to shut the thing down”. So I went out
there, on stage, with the ridiculously stupid idea of
trying to calm down 10,000 people. So I’m out there
saying something on that microphone, and the next
thing I know, I’m down on the floor, on the stage,
knocked out cold. I got clobbered right on the
forehead by a wine bottle, it came out of nowhere.
Somebody came and dragged me off the stage and I ended
up on a cot backstage and off to the side. The next
thing I remember, I woke up in my apartment and there
was a gigantic party going on around me, I guess I
recovered and joined the party”.
morning, Jim Singer, recalled John Williams getting on
the air at KSHE and chewing out St. Louis, he was
pissed. He played a Ten Years After song, and piped it
down and asked why? He did it over and over,
remembered Jim. “It was a beer barrel type of crowd”,
said Williams, I loved that group, they had long cuts
on their record albums, and they were British and they
were great. John Williams left St. Louis not long
after this riot, and moved to California – he worked
for KZAR – Radio.
accounting of the event: Ten Years After had just
finished playing their usual set and the crowd wanted
an encore. The hall management refused to allow it and
the audience became unruly. The police moved in. This
made matters worse and the whole thing turned into a
riot. I didn’t see the result because we left once the
thing flared up, but I understand that somehow the
promoter became involved and threw a table into the
audience. The police arrested him and he spent the
night in jail. The whole thing could have been avoided
had the band been allowed to play one more song.
It was this
event and one other similar incident in Queens, New
York that gave Ten Years
After the reputation of attracting unruly audiences
and after that the band had problems with municipal
auditorium management, police and fire departments,
who insisted the audience must sit for the whole show
under threat of being arrested. Promoter Bill Graham
overcame the problem by having his own security people
at his promotions.
In the photo,
you’ll notice the large speaker cabinet that had
fallen in front of the stage, just prior to the start
of the riot. Just further proof of Craig Petty’s
version of how it all started.
From Alvin Lee
& Ten Years After – Visual History – By Herb Staehr
Towards the end of the show, Alvin Lee tells the crowd
to move closer. The fans storm the stage, the riot
police are called in and Ten Years After are unable to
complete the last song.
The following photos by Gary
28 August 1971 - TYA at Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis,
Many Thanks to Gary Holdinghausen
these rare, beautiful photos with us
"I have a few pictures of TYA in St Louis that
I took in 1971, at my 1st TYA concert.
taken with a cheap instamatic 110 camera – with no
At this concert there was a riot that
started when Alvin ask the audience to come closer"
SOUNDS MAGAZINE - AUGUST 28,
exclusive review of the new Ten Years After album
“A SPACE IN
TIME” and their opening U.S. concert.
The young lad
had carried the watermelon from home and finally
tucked it between his legs and waited for the end of
Ten Years After’s hour and a half long set. Finally,
after the encore, the long-haired youth gave the
watermelon to the equally long-haired security guard
in front of the high stage. He reached up and rolled
it behind the amps, where it came to rest at the feet
of Ten Years After. That was the way one out of a
crowd of 12,000 showed his thanks, the other 11,999
simply stood their ground and roared for ten minutes;
finally after a few last “yeahs,” they started on
home, leaving much excitement hanging in the warm air.
This then was
the way Ten Years After kicked off their latest
American tour, and it’s not bad having 12,000 people
come to see your concert. The scene of all the
excitement was Gaelic Park, which is in the upper
reaches of New York City, just north of the point
where Manhattan turns in the burro of the Bronx.
Gaelic Park is a soccer-rugby field, owned by
Manhattan College, and has been the scene of some
really fine concerts this summer.
had a festive if not festival feel to it. Many of the
audience carried heavy picnic hampers (baskets) full
of food and liquid goodies. For a brief few seconds
the scene resembled the Woodstock Festival two years
ago, except this concert lacked the other 400,000
people present at Woodstock. The audience had come to
see Ten Years After without question. Many simply
arrived minutes before Ten Years After took the stage,
missing the balance of Edgar Winter’s fine set. Over
8,000 tickets were sold up to the day of the concert,
while another 3,000 to 4,000 lined up the afternoon of
the show for tickets. Despite a rash of violence that
has plagued many outdoor concerts this summer, the
audience was well behaved and respectful of Alvin,
Chick, Ric and Leo. Without question the concert was
exciting. Many bands lose whatever magic they contain
after working together for some period of time.
However, that is not the case with Ten Years After.
Even though they had not played for a few months, they
were as tight and as creative as ever. Leo Lyons bass
runs were visual to the eye and splendid to the ear as
Ric Lee still
has that great drum style, that puts him high above
the other drummers that are working in rock music
today. I can’t recall Chick Churchill’s organ playing
sounding better. And finally, Alvin Lee…Most of the
yells between sets were aimed at Alvin, who has the
image that most audiences want of rock guitarist.
is one of the hardest-working, creative guitarist in
music today, and a fine musician. His style and drive
are beyond compare, and he thrilled the audience by
using his harmonica and microphone stand on the neck
of his guitar, much in the same way guitarist use a
slide technique. Alvin’s style and skill have grown
over the last few years, and he still sings quite
well. Many of the selections played, were from the
band’s new album “A Space In Time”. “Hard Monkeys” –
“Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock `N´ Roll You” – were the
songs that went down well, followed by an encore of
The 12,000 plus fans that came out to
see Ten Years After, reaffirmed the popularity and
fine music the band is able to effortlessly create.
It’s good to see them work, and remain untouched from
the changes other bands go through. For those that
question the popularity of the band, I can safely say
it was not owing to a mass advertising effort, rather
the simple fact that they are a fine band and
discriminating audiences as in the past have the good
taste to see them work.
After : “A Space In Time” (Chryalis) September
Reviewed the WHO’S latest album (WHO’S NEXT) on the
same weekend as
“A Space In
Time,” I’m afraid the latter must suffer by
comparison, in fact, anything the same week, (or even
longer) would suffer the same fate, and when making
assessments of any album, especially when they are
both British rock bands, this is unavoidable. This,
and the WHO and Ten Years After’s great following
throughout the world, are the only real parallels, as
Ten Years After are far more a rock and roll band,
than a “rock” band, it comes across strong enough on
record, but nowhere nearly as strong as their live
Alvin Lee has suffered a lot of abuse about his speed
and therefore lack of apparent taste, but here
there’s a marked slowing down and on the very rare
occasions that he does really let go, he handles the
lyrical and melodic angles well. The opener “One Of
These Days”, has a stabbing start, somewhat like
“Tobacco Road” and just when you think Lee’s bluesy
voice could do with a bit more volume, Chick
Churchill’s organ and Alvin on mouth harp pep things
up. Leo Lyons (bass) and Ric Lee (drums) add even more
pace and while there’s a lack of excitement, Alvin’s
controlled rolling guitar break does save face.
“I’d Love To
Change The World” is far better, much more the Ten
Years After we’ve come to expect. Acoustic guitar,
echoing vocals and electric guitar build up the tempo
with very good cool electric passages by Alvin and
while there’s nothing new developing, it’s a very nice
Hill” is a strangely non Ten Years After cut, with
very pleasant string arrangement with simple acoustic
guitar added. An unexpected but pleasing dimension to
the overall feel of the album with “Baby Won’t You Let
Me Rock `N´ Roll You” blasting out what you’d expect –
tough rock and roll. There’s an element of send-up in
the “period” voice, rolling piano and thrashing drums,
but the old Ten Years After excitement is very evident
in this one and you can almost see Leo Lyons hair
flapping around as he pounds out the bass lines at the
opener – “Once There Was A Time” suffers a little from
the same thing as lots of the other tracks, lack of
strength or projection of Alvin’s voice, but it’s
followed by “Let The Sky Fall” where the sultry close
to the mike, sort of vocal approach pays off. The
backing is kept on a tight reign and while Leo Lyons
bass gives the track a very firm direction, it’s the
lightly wailing guitar and nice cool break by Alvin
that rounds it nicely. No tricks or high speed just a
straight show of skills.
shows a very positive jazz influence, with more than a
touch of Szabo Garbo electric guitar with the rest of
the band jamming like mad for the track’s quite short
doesn’t need repeating that Ten Years After are a far
better live band than their albums suggest, they get
over much more of their charisma and excitement that
has a job surfacing on their recorded work.
HIT PARADER Sept 1971
Ten Years After had a voluntary
lay off for a quarter of a year, following a date
in December in the States. From there they went
back home to England to “own – thing” it for three
months. The official statement was that the group
wanted to re-think its policy and get a new act
together. I was to find, following them through
the first three concerts after the lay off, in
Munich and Dusseldorf, Germany, that this just
wasn’t true. In fact Alvin Lee’s first words when
I arrived in Munich were “I hope you haven’t come
to hear our new bag. We were misquoted, we didn’t
have the three months off to do a new thing, I
spent it getting everything that went before out
of my head. I don’t know what difference you’ll
notice. We can hear each other more now. Before
we’d play our hits and think, “Right he’s going to
play such and such now”. “It got very automatic,
there was no spontaneity anymore”.
The concert in Munich, Germany
went on hours late because of difficulties
concerning erecting a stage. Ten Years After faced
a massive uptight crowd that had been kept waiting
for three hours. By the end they were on their
feet cheering. Reflected Leo Lyons afterwards on
the way back to the hotel. “We had to go down
there to the concert hall, even if it was only to
go on and talk to them, to let them know we were
there. You have certain responsibilities to be
aware of, and if we hadn’t gone on, people would
have been hurt in a riot. It’s always better to go
on, no matter how late. Most of them seemed to
think it was our fault they had to wait three
hours, there was no one to explain to them”.
Dusseldorf was better, from the point of view of
hotels and the concert hall. The dressing room was
as grand as the Munich one had been miniscule. We
were all silent for the standard procedure of
Alvin tuning up. He does so by listening
acoustically to Leo’s bass through the end of the
neck. Drummer Ric Lee was playing with a
protective finger stall. Having had a wart removed
from his fingers. After the concert I complimented
him on his drum solo. He replied, “I don’t like
making solos too long. They get boring unless
you’re Buddy Rich, and I’m not. “That’s why I
don’t like Ginger Baker. His solos are always too
long, they go on and on.
Chick Churchill had hand
trouble as well, blisters from not playing for so
long, and taped up his thumb. Leo Lyons told me,
“During the lay off, I had plenty to do, I live in
the country and I’ve got horses. I spent a lot of
time thinking about what the group would like to
do, whether to go out doing a lot of concerts and
taking the money, or record more, or what”.
“It’s like putting the cart
before the horse. Now it’s getting back to the way
it used to be.
We’ve gone way beyond what we
ever hoped for, we never thought we’d be this big.
We thought we’d get gigs and enough bread to pay
the bills. After a time you find yourself
consciously trying to live up to your
reputation”. Leo said, that on stage, the group
now jams a lot and it was obvious from all the
solos. That each member has a chance to show his
paces individually, and that the music is a lot
less restricted and stereotyped now. But Leo would
like to spend more time on records in the future.
“We spend three weeks on an album and that’s it.
It’s over and done with. Some groups, even new
ones, take months over it and I think we ought to
take more time out for recording. We’ve done six
albums and about 60,000 gigs.
The trouble is, we’re lazy”.
Article By Richard Green
Record Mirror September
New Musical Express September 4, 1971
After have added a further date to their British
concert tour which opens at Bristol Colston Hall on
September 14th, it is at Bradford Street.
George’s Hall on September 27th.
group’s visit to Scotland, Edinburgh Empire had
previously been announced for September 25th,
has been put back to October and revised dates are now
being set for Edinburgh and Glasgow. Other on the
tour, which also features Supertramp and Keith
Christmas, are at the following: Liverpool
Philharmonic Hall September 15th, Newcastle
City Hall 16th, The London Coliseum 18th
and 19th, Southampton Guildhall 20th,
Leicester De Montfort Hall 22nd, Manchester
Free Trade Hall 26th, Sheffield City Hall
28th, and Birmingham Town Hall October 4th.
The brand new Ten Years After album, “A Space In Time”
is currently climbing the American Album Charts.
New Musical Express - September 18, 1971
Years After Tour A Sell Out – Extra Dates Added –
New Album Set
Years After who opened their first British tour for
eighteen months to a standing room only audience at
Bristol on Tuesday, have virtually sold out all of the
eleven dates so far fixed and plans are now in hand to
extend the tour, adding at least two dates in Scotland.
This weekend the group became the first ever to play a
midnight concert at London’s famous Coliseum
Theatre. They do a midnight show on Saturday followed
by an evening performance on Sunday. The group’s new
album “A Space In Time” has now been set for
release here on October 16th on the
Chrysalis label, but there are no plans to issue their
current American hit single, “I’d Love To Change
The World” a track from the album.
Ten Years After and their manager Chris Wright are
known to be reluctant to release conventional singles.
Their last British release “Love Like A Man” which
reached number 6 in the New Music Express Chart,
featured on the flip side, an eight minute version of
the number playing at 33 rpm, recorded at the Fillmore
NME - 18 September 1971
September 18, 1971
- NEW MUSICIAL EXPRESS - AROUND LONDON
TYA: The Spiritual Worth Of Touring
did a lot of people a lot of good, but the impact of
“I’m Going Home” kind of boomeranged on Ten
Years After. Some Ten Years After American freaks
wanted and expected little else.
just completed US tour and the release there of
“A Space In Time” have gone far in
changing the balance, and it’s tracks from this
new album which form the basis of the band’s new
act for its upcoming series of British concerts.
They open this weekend with two dates at the
that “I’m Going Home” is being dropped
altogether. Bassist Leo Lyons is philosophical:
“Alvin and I have been doing that number doe ten
or eleven years. It’s a work-out, and we just have
to accept that audiences want it. We’re not
complaining. It’s not a case of fuck ‘em here we
go one more time. In fact, any time we’re O.K. for
energy then that number is where it goes.”
asked him (Leo) about the rarity of Ten Years
After’s British appearances. We’re they
financially worthwhile, in terms of the size of the
venues and the number available? “No. British
tours aren’t financially worthwhile……but
they’re spiritually worthwhile, it’s great to
work in England. And though I say they’re not
financially worth it, I suppose we must make a
we’re doing really is to attempt to make a concert
tour as good as we possibly can, hence the new PA (public
address system). It’ll be really totally
satisfying to us on this tour if we can get it all
working well and present something of a good
Ten Years After play at the Coliseum this weekend
and not the Royal Albert Hall is as a result of a
ban placed on them by the Royal Albert Hall
management, itself as a result of crowd behaviour
the last time they played there. What reaction does
a musician have when something like this happens?
“The Albert Hall ban was as a result of over
enthusiasm, broken seats, that type of thing. We
knew nothing about it until we were told, you
can’t tell from the stage. We could have turned
round and said it was the fault of a minority of the
audience, it was a good concert. It felt good, the
audience was good and we played good. So my reaction
is fuck the Albert Hall.” “It’s disappointing, because it’s a nice place to play
and it’s nicely situated for people to get to.
You’re not left with much alternative , other than
in places that look and feel like railway stations.
I feel that in the Albert Hall, wherever you sit you
get a reasonable sound and a view of the stage.”
the tour now about to move on to the road and the
time lag since the last album I asked when “A
Space In Time” would be out there. “I think
it’ll be released any day now but I don’t even
know which label because we’ve just changed record
companies. Yes, they’re all Alvin’s numbers,
aside from the jam we did. He’s excelled on this
album, he’s written some stuff which is far better
than anything he’s done before.
put more time and effort into this one. Some of our
albums, we’ve done in three weeks. A lot of the
material we rehearsed and played in the studio, and
after we’d done it on stage a few numbers sounded
better than the recording – so this time round we
knocked a number into shape before we finally
lot of the A Space In Time tracks were integrated
into rehearsals. Alvin got sixteen numbers together
in a month, we got down to a short list, and the
basis of the album is the basis of the new material.
“I do feel it’s important for musicians to go on
stage and have that will to create something, and
have the audience pick it up if you’re playing
well. It’s just not so good if they’re up there
already. “There was a situation after Woodstock
where the greatest reaction you could get was when
you walked on stage. Consequently the communication
Alvin Lee at London Coliseum, 19th September 1971 - Photo by Michael Putland
Coliseum Concert Program from 1971
the past few years, Keith Christmas has been caught
up in the dilemma of a personal dichotomy, involving
music and university studies. And as a result, his
musical career has tended to be vicariously
enveloped by his academic studies in Bath.
Keith has now passed through the educational system
and has emerged with a Bachelor
Of Science Degree in Engineering and a grim
determination to take his music to the masses.
importance of his long apprenticeship on the folk
scene is evident, as Keith has now completely
transcended the folk circuit and found his true
niche on the rock scene. For while Keith Christmas
may be an acoustic soloist, a folk singer he most
certainly isn’t as his albums clearly illustrate.
in recent months he has taken full advantage of all
the opportunities thrown at him, by playing some
outstanding support gigs with “The Who” and
“King Crimson”. And in the near future, he faces
the exciting prospect of a dozen or so with “Ten
third album “Pigmy” is released this month on B
& C Records (CAS 1041) and has every chance of
gaining him the recognition he deserves. Among the
back up musicians are: Ray Warleigh, Fuzzy Samuels, Comrade
Isadore, Rod Argent,
Roger Powell and Ian Whiteman. It now seems
that Keith’s days in folk clubs are over for his
bookings up until February contain no folk gigs. As
Keith says, “It just seems pointless doing folk
clubs to an audience of about 70 people when in two
nights you can play to 4,000 people, not only that,
but it’s a better gig all round”.
|| Guitar and Vocals
have been two major British Invasions of the
American Rock Scene. The first was Beatle led and
Liverpool based, and the second was that of the
British Underground, groups who grew out of the
Blues Boom, of the late Sixties. Both produced a
handful of groups whose musical individually
captured the attention and imagination of a vast
previously untapped audience. Ten Years After were
one of the first of those groups who took part in
that second invasion, and they earned an incredible
reputation, not through a string of chart singles,
but through supercharged performances of Seventies´
rock and roll, an amalgam of their musical roots.
Alvin Lee grew up listening to jazz and blues.
“Ever since I can remember,” he says, “my
folks have played jazz and blues records around the
house. When I was ten, I was already familiar with
Ralph Willis, Lonnie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson,
Leadbelly and, my favourite Big Bill Broonzy”.
Christan, a pioneer of the electric guitar who
worked with Benny Goodman, was another early
influence on Lee, who began playing with the groups
around his home town of Nottingham, which is where
he met bass player Leo Lyons, a rock and roller who
was also impressed with the work of jazzmen like
Scott La Faro, Bill Black and Ray Brown. Lee and
Lyons began playing together in 1961 and they went
to Hamburg that year as part of one of the myriad
groups working out of that German seaport, at a time
when it was the music coming out of that city’s
cellars that dictated what the rest of the music
world would ultimately follow.
to England, that first group broke up (The Jaybirds)
and Lee and Lyons went back to Nottingham where they
found Ric Lee, who’d taken lessons from their old
drummer, and knew what they were trying to achieve
musically. Chick Churchill came in on organ and Ten
Years After came to London.
Marquee Club, which has played a major part in the
formative years of most of the big British groups,
offered Ten Years After a residency and from there
they built up a following on the London Club Circuit.
Decca heard of the group’s success and offered Ten
Years After the rare chance of making an album
without the usual formality of a hit single first.
1967, the group played the annual National Jazz and
Blues Festival, which is organised by the Marquee.
Each year has seen a new group emerge at that
festival and that year, at Windsor, Ten Years After
really came to the attention of the British public.
their first album, they also came to the attention
of rock promoter Bill Graham who, having heard the
album, cabled manager Chris Wright with an offer for
Ten Years After to play the Fillmore West. Ten Years
After went to America and found an audience as
devoted as that of the Marquee, but many times
“Underground” had become reality in America, and
Ten Years After’s reputation spread through their
appearances and their albums, which, with the new
album “A Space In Time”, now number seven in the
on stage though that Ten Years After really come
across. Reporting in New York for Melody Maker,
Vicki Wickham wrote: “Ten Years After’s ultimate
break through was Woodstock 1969, and they are not
only incredibly popular, they are playing to
standing room only audiences throughout the country.
In April they shook New York’s Fillmore East. Last
week they devastated it.
Lee, is 1971’s Mick Jagger, the audience was
turned on by him, they were mesmerised, and despite
the set going on to 4:30 a.m. in the morning, they
would have stayed forever. The fuss and commotion
they are causing is comparable to the Beatles or
Stones, partly because they are the most exciting
blues / rock band assembled, and four faultless
musicians, and partly because of the exuberance and
style of Alvin Lee.
fingers move like lightning, you see and hear seven
guitars, and his voice, whether shouting pure rock
and roll, moaning a white soul-blues, or just
singing, matches his playing. Drummer Ric Lee had
everyone holding their breath during a twenty five
minute solo, while he went simultaneously through
rhythms and counter rhythms, hitting and getting the
best out of everything he touches, including the
Lyons, has a stamina which never lets up, whether
jamming with Alvin or driving his bass consistently
throughout the set, and organist Chick Churchill
only gets mentioned after the others because it’s
been said, and he is up tempo all the way, and
totally holds his own with three other star
of that calibre have been reported everywhere where
Ten Years After have played through fifteen
different countries. America’s Woodstock Festival
and the subsequent film of the festival brought Ten
Years After world-wide acclaim and, perhaps more
importantly, their music continues to gain respect .
ten years on.
one of the most exciting live bands playing on the
scene at the moment, have their second album on
release now…It captures all the atmosphere and
magic of the band live… Now hear for yourself what
real rock is all about.
spent one hundred hours in Olympic Recording Studios
over Easter, and the result is
Stamped” their second album, issued by A & M
Records on June 25, 1971. It’s exactly a year
since their debut album “Supertramp” was
released amidst high critical acclaim, and many
people wondered why the band didn’t quickly
consolidate their strong reputation. Quite simply,
there were internal differences of opinion within
the band, which took several months to iron out.
Fran Farrell replaced Richard Palmer, who was the
group’s former bassist, Roger Hodgson became lead
player. Kevin Currie replaced Bob Miller on drums.
The other group members are Richard Davies (keyboards)
and Dave Winthrop (saxes).
common with their first album, “Indelibly Stamped”
was produced by the group themselves. Although they
had written the songs prior to recording, the
treatment and arrangements were all worked out in
tracks, with the exception of “Rosie Had
Everything Planned” (Hodgson – Farrell) were
penned by Davis – Hodgson. The titles are: “Your
Poppa Don’t Mind” – “Travelled” –
“I’m Coming Home” – “Potter” – “Forever”-
“Remember” – “Rosie Had Everything Planned”
– “Friend In Need” – “Times Have Changed”
– and “Aries”.
Currie comments: “I joined Supertramp two months
before we started work on the album. I had to do
three auditions (short list and things) and the band
saw 87 drummers and 93 guitarists.
can I say about the album…it’s right where we
all are at the moment. We’re not out to impress
all and sundry with our musical prowess and
virtuosity. We like to think people who buy the
album will listen with their heads, and not their
ears, but we don’t mind. If they get something out
of it, that we didn’t consciously put on it, then
good for them. We think and feel, both on the album
and on stage. Most of our live gigs are colleges
which means we’re only exposed to people who want
to know anyway. We hope the album will find its way
into the possession of people who wouldn’t
normally associate themselves with “groovy”
Davies – was born on July 22, 1944 in Swindon,
Wiltshire. He plays organ, piano, harmonica and
sings. He has had eight years experience and was
formerly an art student.
Hodgson – was born on March 21, 1950 in Portsmouth.
He is the group’s lead guitarist and also plays
the flageolet, guitar and piano, as well as singing.
He has had five years experience and was formerly a
solo recording artists.
Winthrop – was born on November 27, 1948, in New
Jersey, U.S.A. He plays tenor and alto saxophones,
flute, baritone and soprano saxophones, clarinet,
trumpet, trombone, piano, as well as singing. He
has had five years experience and was formerly an
Currie – comes from Liverpool. He played in
semi-professional groups there before coming to
London to turn professional. Kevin has also backed
artists like Billie Davies and John Walker. He plays
Farrell – comes from Birmingham where he played in
several local groups before coming to London to join
Supertramp. He plays bass guitar.
September 21, 1971 – Southampton, England.
1,000 Rock Fans Go Wild In
Lose your inhabitions with
Ten Years After, more than 1,000 rock fans went wild
in Southampton Guildhall last night at the climax of
the the groups performance.
As the group roared into
their famous Woodstock Festival Number I’m Going Home,
the fans leapt out of their seats, and started dancing
in the aisles. Others jumped on top of their seats
clapping and stamping their feet. At the end of this
steamroller of a number, nearley everyone present
stood at attention, giving the group the peace sign
and then called them back for an encore. Warmed by the
audience response, Ten Years After - obliged with a
rousing version of "Sweet Little Sixteen," a number
they have adopted from Chuck Berry.
So popular are this british
group, that all the seats were full well before the
concert started, and many ticket holders including
myself, had to sit in the asile.
Ten Years After play some
excellent blues – rock. One criticism – they do tend
to be a bit riffy at times, but I suppose, you do get
blasé sometimes after you have seen as many rock
concerts as I have.
Article Written By - B.D.
Express September 25, 1971
Years worth the wait:
a long absence, Ten Years After returned to
London in styles last weekend when they
appeared for two nights at the London Coliseum.
It was a good venue for them since they were
determined to make a London appearance during
their British tour and had to hold it off for
a while (since their Royal Albert Hall ban)
until they found the right hall.
surroundings, central location, fine acoustics
all contributed to making the Coliseum such a
place, and it’s a wonder more Rock acts
don’t use it.
Christmas received a deservedly warm reception
and despite his apprehension and nervousness
about appearing before a predominantly Ten
Years After audience. He was called back for
an encore which due to the pressure of time,
he couldn’t do. Little quips like, “This
is a 16th century folk song written
by me,” thrown out by a little guy with an
acoustic guitar in the centre of a vast stage
obviously appealed to the sense of humour of
Queen,” his tongue-in-cheek folk number drew
laughter and added to the charisma of the
next and Ric Davies, Kevin Currie, Roger
Hodgson, Frank Farrell and Dave Winthrop had
complete command of the audience. Excellent
musicians with a good line in spiel, a strong
melodic content to their compositions and a
driving rock beat, they proved that they’re
soon to emerge as a top line outfit.
Years After of course, created a riot and the
capacity crowd of 2,500 were on their feet at
the end of “I’m Going Home” and they
brought Alvin Lee, Chick Churchill, Ric Lee
and Leo Lyons back for three encores of the
`n´ roll that has earned them a
reputation of being one of the finest rock
bands in the world. Their music ranges through
the whole spectrum of contemporary rock:
it’s a fusion of jazz, blues, rock and even
the classics. Alvin demonstrated it all. His
“Slow Blues In C” proves he is a great
blues guitarist and Chick Churchill added fine
touches on electric piano. Churchill is coming
more into his own now, both on electric piano
and organ, and his keyboard work fills out
what is one of the best rhythm sections in
Lyons on bass and Ric Lee on drums lay down an
incredible foundation for Alvin to work from.
Ten Years After combined both the old and the
new. Old favourites like “No Title” and
Ric’s drum solo “Hobbit,””
which earned a standing ovation, but
nothing like the response for “I’m Going
Their encores were “Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock
and Roll You” from their new album and a
couple of high tension rockers.
By Sean Sowry
October 2, 1971 –
Disc and Music Echo Magazine
After seem to come in for criticism whatever they
do. They spend too much time in America…and then
when they do play over here, the cool critics say
they aren’t much good.
to make a band split up, but Ten Years After take it
in their stride, although Alvin Lee does get a bit
mystified by the attitude of the Pop-Press. “We’ve
really enjoyed this current British Tour. The
audiences here now listen much more attentively, the
same as they do in the States. We’ve been putting
more stress on the first part of our act, but we
still get the odd freak judging us only on the rock
`n´ roll we do at the end, and saying we’re a load
of rubbish. “I can take criticism, but it always
seems to be, “the audience liked them, but I the
reporter, was the only one who really knew how bad
they were.” “The thing is, that we like to play rock
`n` roll at the end of a show, if we have any energy
left, we like to put it all into the last number,
then we feel we’ve done a good night’s graft.” Alvin
says, that many of their problems have stemmed from
“Woodstock” and “I’m Going Home.” On their new
album, “A Space In Time,” they try to show, “some
musical maturity.” After nearly five years together,
they ought to be a better band. It’s been over a
year since Ten Years After appeared in Britain, and
Alvin is genuinely surprised at the change in
audiences, of audiences in the States, he says; “the
latest thing is that people who buy the cheapest
tickets at the back, rush to the front when we go
on, so that the people who buy the most expensive
tickets can’t see.
seriously thinking of making tickets all one price
over there. “But in Britain, audiences are so cool.
“they listen to the intense things and enjoy
themselves at the end with the rock `n´ roll.” The
record album is released on October 15th,
and he says, it’s the first one they’ve tried to
produce systematically. “We’ve always played on
albums the same as we do on stage, but this time we
cleaned things up and spent more time on it.”
They’ve been playing three numbers from the album on
the British tour: “One Of These Days”, “Hard
Monkeys” and the first track on side two, “Once
There Was A Time.” “I’m never really pleased with
albums, because every time you play them you hear
different faults, but this is the nearest thing to
doing one properly. We spent a lot of time tidying
up, although really the more you strive to make
something perfect, the more you are contriving.
Really, an album is just a documentary of what you
happen to be doing at the time.” Alvin says, the
material he wrote for it is more milder than on
previous albums, because he’s moved out of London,
and into a much milder environment. “Your
environment definitely plays a big part in what you
do. We had three months off earlier this year, and I
didn’t even see an electric guitar all that time. I
wrote lots of things on acoustic. “That was the
first holiday we have had in four years, and we
stayed “off” until we were so bored, we really
wanted to get back to playing.” That was the time
when all the “split” rumours started flying around.
“And there never was any question of a split.
dominates in our band, although most people think I
do. I’m the lead singer and lead guitarist and I try
to bring out what’s in the others, but Ric, Leo and
Chick bring out things in me. None of us are selfish
musicians. “Five years ago we went through the
hassles of who was going on stage first -
just interested in making music. “We’ve been
described as virtuoso musicians and all sorts of
things like that. I’d be very pleased to think we
were, but even if we were, I wouldn’t say it. “A lot
of people misunderstand Chick, because he doesn’t do
super solos. He’s there to blend it all together,
even though he’s the more advanced technically than
the rest of us. If he wanted to do twenty minute
erotic solos, jumping up and down the keyboards, he
could. Ten Years After return to the States on
November 5th but
they hope to play Britain again very soon, hopefully
early next year. “Perhaps we have spent too much
time over there, but you can tour Britain in a week
and a half, It’s so vast in America, that you need
to do six tours to get round everywhere.” November
will be their 12th, so that’s only like
playing everywhere twice. Alvin won’t accept that
Ten Years After have become too successful for
Britain. “We’ve never had a gold album and we’ve
never appeared on Top Of The Pops, but we get a lot
more criticism than the groups who do!
October 2, 1971
outside of London, in the rural tranquillity of
pastoral Berkshire lives Alvin Lee, one of Britain’s
most recognisable faces in the urban rock business.
Mr. Lee, guitarist and self-effacing figurehead of Ten
Years After, is perfectly aware of his star status,
despite efforts to minimise the aura that accompanies
it, and is acutely conscious of the responsibility
that a man in his position and of his particular
calling has today.
rambling country home, an acquisition once the
exclusive domain of novelist, artists and playwrights
but now very firmly in the hands of the rock elite.
Alvin sits relaxed in a cowboy shirt, faded Levis and
bright red clogs, talking about his new found
enthusiasm and sense of well-being, that his escape to
the country has brought him and his reactions to
criticism that have been levelled against Ten Years
After on their current British tour.
band’s undoubted public acceptance, Alvin has not yet
found he is able to ride criticism, in fact at times
he feels more vulnerable: “What really gets to you, is
when something isn’t represented, as I feel it really
was. I do ride over some of them, but I don’t get
involved like John Lennon or Paul McCartney who write
to papers with answer back letters, I’d never do that.
“Sometimes, you find it’s a bit depressing: You do a
concert which you thought was good, and you’re quite
pleased with it because everything went well, but then
somebody will write that it was “all right”. But I
don’t believe all I read in the papers, and I’m sure
nobody else does. “I read in one of the musical papers
last week, two reviews of the same concert, one was
good and one was bad, and that’s about it”. But he did
think that there could be a little more to bad reviews
than lack of understanding: “I know some of the
politics behind reporting. A friend of mine in the
States, John Mossman said that any reporter who wants
to make a name for himself, will knock established
names. Therefore, people will write letters to the
paper and the editor will notice that he is getting
that it was a bit unfortunate and that music should
really be a bit above all that, saying that in the
London Coliseum reviews and papers had, “belittled
everything” and didn’t really mention “what was
important”. Another thought was that perhaps
“Woodstock” had not helped in this respect. “After
`Going Home´ in the film of “Woodstock” everybody
associated Ten Years After with “Going Home” which is
all very well but what we wanted to do was bring out
what else we do as well. We always end up with a rock
and roll rave up, because it’s a nice way to end a
gig, but we also play a lot of serious music as well,
but the papers just mentioned the rock and roll
because everybody stood up for the last three
whether of films, plays or musical concerts, see an
awful lot of the same diet, and Alvin was prepared to
make this concession: “They’ve got a set idea of what
we’re going to do and it’s difficult to blow
somebody’s mind if they’ve seen you a few times. We’re
not a sensational group, we don’t blow people’s minds
on purpose, we just play the music as it is.
has seen it and gets bored with it, there’s nothing we
can do. We won’t change it because that’s the case, we
just keep on playing to the people who want to hear
it. “That brought up the subject of Ten Years After’s
progression, a thing that Alvin had said he didn’t
like pushing. “It’s very easy to force it, to think
what you should be doing. A lot of bands progress,
because they think the audience wants them to do it,
but often you get out of touch with everything that
you are actually doing. We try and bring out what’s
On stage Ten
Years After are fairly straight, despite Alvin looking
pretty sharp in an all red outfit, and with red
electric guitar, etc – there aren’t the stage antics
that many bands employ.
Did he think
that they lack anything in the theatrics on stage? “I
don’t think we lack anything anymore than I think the
concerts lack anything. In England it’s been great.
I’ve really been happy because the people, apart from
the last three numbers, where we invite them to get up
and dance, have been really listening. You can hear a
pin drop during some of the more progressive things
we’re into, it makes you play better when everyone is
Alvin’s guitar style, particularly has speed at times,
has come in for a lot of argument, for and against,
but he refuses to be drawn into such arguments,
preferring not to stoke the fires that he feels that
he feels are quite irrelevant and which he dismisses
as “schoolboy talk”. He says that these sort arguments
tend to lay false emphasis on what the people think
the musicians are like-creatures an image that isn’t
at all like-like. “We’re very seriously involved in
what we do and try and concentrate on improving it and
not having “groovy” images. We are what we are, and
the only way I think we have suffered by that, is that
people really don’t know us as people. It’s kind of
worked the other way. “I’ve always thought that if I
don’t hype and bullshit, and don’t go flashing my face
around, doing the old Cadillac bit, it would be cool,
and it is cool obviously, but people don’t pick up on
that. They think you’re doing an out-of-the-way Greta
Garbo, or something, and that’s come back on us a
little”. In very much the same way as people from
their individual ideas of what they want their artists
to be like, they can be pretty undiscerning when it
comes to live performances, willing to put up with
less than one hundred percent effort or mediocre
concerts: “We’ve had what we considered bad gigs, and
we’ve been a little disgusted with ourselves where
we’ve gone down really well, but our sole purpose
isn’t just going down well at all. “If the band don’t
think they’ve done well themselves, it makes you feel
hollow and that there’s no reality in what you’re
doing. No one’s into it as much as the musicians
themselves, we’ve never played the same thing twice on
stage, there has always been something a little
different, but I don’t suppose anyone’s noticed”.
understanding that Ten Years After have on stage isn’t
something that has come overnight. The band has been
together five years, and Alvin and bassist Leo Lyons
have been playing as a teem for eleven years. This
shows in their sort of “sixth sense” during the
protracted jams they work on, but the obvious equality
of the individual members, despite the spotlight
inevitably falling on vocalist / guitarist Alvin Lee,
was dented a bit recently, when a reviewer thought
some of the band members might not be up to a certain
sad,” said Alvin. “I don’t really see what is the
point of taking one person out and comparing him to
the others, it’s a British fad, it doesn’t happen so
much in other places. Chick Churchill for instance, is
probably the least spoken about, or written about
musically, but he is probably the best musician in the
band. It doesn’t come over because he’s not the most
forward, he doesn’t play long solos, or go shrieking
up and down. “He’s been playing classical piano since
he was five years old, and he can bring off a quick
Tchaikovsky and blow my mind. He can read and write
music perfectly, which I can’t, all I’ve done is
develop my own personal style, like a way of musical
thinking. I don’t judge myself technically or question
what I do. I just do it”. The physical strain and
mental pressures on musicians, particularly those at
Ten Years After’s level, where the need to be as
near-perfect as possible is of prime importance, is
often played down. Gruelling eleven week tours of the
States and all that goes with them, creates the need
for something else away from music, an escapism if you
Off the road
it’s hard to imagine their respective forms of
relaxation. People tend just to think of Alvin for
instance, as a handsome dude, up on stage playing
lightning licks on his Gibson, and sending the ladies
into fainting fits, but his particular crouch and fits
of flying hair, is another very relaxed guy, who is
very much into horses.
“alter-ego,” admits Alvin, “is photography. I got more
of a thrill about getting a couple of pages in
“Armature Photographer” than our albums getting into
the charts”. It’s all down to relaxation in one form
or another, and it’s helped Ten Years After iron out a
few wrinkles and smooth off a few ragged edges when
they returned from their recent lay off, to face the
new album with a fresh outlook. Alvin says, that
moving to the house in the country helped the album
called: “A Space In Time” considerably, it helped him
think and also gave his song writing a freer rein.
“It’s the first time I’ve had more songs than we
needed, we got about seventeen tracks down. “We spent
much more time producing the album, our impression
before had always been, “we’ll play it in the studio,
and how it sounds is how we are and that’s the truth,”
which is all very well, but the ragged edges were
getting more ragged, and it got to the stage where we
thought, we could go and blast an album off, this time
we spent more time rounding the edges off”. One of the
best tracks on the album is called:
Monkeys,” which makes a very positive stand against
hard drugs and it was intended to do just that. “ In
the States particularly,” stated Alvin, on the subject
of drug taking, “there are twelve year old kids taking
heroin because of the romanticised part of it. Some of
the kids, and I don’t refer to audiences as kids, but
there are some in America doing it because they think
Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin’s deaths were romantic
and a good way to go.
associate all bands with hard drugs, and they
naturally think everybody is on it, so I thought I
just wanted to state that I wasn’t”. But Alvin was
prepared to take it further by not wearing T-shirts
proclaiming the use of drugs: “I don’t think of myself
as a rock star, but there are a few who went to see
the movie “Woodstock” who think we’re a “real groove”
as it were, and you’ve got to be aware that there are
a few you could be a very strong influence on them”.
Even rock and rollers like Alvin Lee have to face the
fact, that advancing years might see their hair
greying, fitted shirts and tight trousers bulging, and
the on-stage exertion bringing gasps for breath, so
what happens at thirty-five or forty years of age for
“I used to think when I was eighteen, when I blew all
my lessons out to play the guitar, what I’d be doing
when I was twenty-one. I’d be a fully grown man then,
not a young lad with a guitar, but the whole thing has
matured now anyway, and it will phase in one direction
or another. I can’t say which way it will go, but the
opportunity will arise for me to do different things.
“I don’t think that at any point in my life, I’m going
to have to say “I’m too old to play guitar, so I’ll
have to do something else!” That will certainly please
Ten Years After / Alvin Lee devotees and until then we
can expect more urban rock to germinate in rural
Berkshire, and if that isn’t a contradiction in terms,
I don’t know what is.
Ten Years After - Live On Stage -
Concert and Date Unknown
But Love This Beautiful
Black and White Photo
Space In Time-was recorded at Olympic Studios - London, England
and released in August 1971
Rolling Stone Magazine Review, from October 14, 1971
original material and arrangements are terribly lame…As the
Romans used to say…let the buyer beware…”
another article a little more positive review:
Space In Time was Ten Years After’s biggest commercial
success. The reasons are pretty obvious; Alvin Lee’s song
writing had improved markedly and there was far more stylistic
variety than on their previous albums.
big hit here was “I’d Love To Change The World,” with
its catchy acoustic guitar hook and immortal opening line,
“Everywhere is Freaks and Harries.” Other high points
Won’t You Let Me Rock ‘n’ Roll You,” the bands first
stab at a Stones-style raunch (complete with a riff from Led
Zeppelin); the country-ish romp “Once There Was A Time”;
and the gently folky and surprisingly self-deprecating “Over
The Hill,” which features strings, a move that would have
been unthinkable for this band a year or two earlier.
The original size of the photo above, is
really just half the size of a match-book cover.
With the help of photo-shop, we
were able to save this, and not let it go to waste in the
Player Magazine – October 1971
Magazine For Professional and Amateur Guitarist
into the mystical music machine were fed the
following: white-covered rock and roll, black blues,
Rhythm and Blues, early jazz and old licks. The
reply: cannot assure success / slight loss of
musical integrity / musical form and character must
be raw, dense and tortured / cannot compute monetary
value of Woodstock movie exposure / throbbing beat
and super speed required / cross fingers and wait.
is easy foe fellow musicians to categorize Alvin Lee
as a “Hot Licks Copy Kid,” or accuse him of
sacrificing musicianship for showmanship, but seldom
is his perspective sought for the rebuttal. We spoke
with Alvin during a Ten Years After tour of the
States, to learn his side of the story.
is not unusual as far as the wide and varied realm
of guitarist backgrounds goes. He grew up in a
musical family, in the small English town of
Nottingham. His parents collected 78-rpm Jazz Discs
from the 1930’s and 1940’s and his mother played
tenor guitar. His brother took up the clarinet which
induced Alvin to make a similar attempt. After
playing woodwind for a year, Alvin found that the
lessons were not all in vain since the instrument
introduced him to the genius Charlie Christian.
Alvin soon traded his clarinet for a guitar and
began four months of chord lessons.
this time, in another part of the world, a mad dog
musical revolutionary entered the scene, Bill Haley
and his rock-around the clock Comets. “Bill Haley
was the first guitarist I had ever really listened
to,” Lee recalls. Then other guitarist followed in
a seemingly endless stream: Fran Beechy, Elvis
Presley, Scotty Moore, Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel,
Tod Dockstader, Joe Pass and of course, the European
Gypsy himself Django
Reinhardt. About Django, Alvin says, “I was amazed
at his playing, but I really couldn’t relate to
him. I really just got into his chording which tore
Alvin spent many hours learning the fingerboard. He
used to take just a fingerboard to school each day,
and while the teacher expounded facts of disinterest
to the aspiring guitarist, Alvin would be working
his fingers on it concealed under his desk.
Alvin’s guitar started as a childhood hobby, with
no premonition of an occupational aftermath, but at
the age of sixteen the hobby became an obsession
when he left school and needed a way to earn a
living. His listening progressed naturally from the
disk of Merle Travis, which led him into Chet Atkins,
and when Chet started his classical trip, it steered
Alvin into Juan Serrano. Today, (1971) he still
enjoys playing Chet’s material, “but I’ve
allowed my own style to interpret what I feel Chet
1964 Lee teamed up with Leo Lyons, a fellow
home-towner, on bass and produced an electric trio
with the addition of a drummer. The group did
small-time for a few years and then went on to
Hamburg, Germany, gaining pockets of fans wherever
they went. While the group was going, Alvin and Leo
both worked studios for existence, and then in 1967
the duo met with Ric Lee (No relation to Alvin) on
drums and Chick Churchill on organ – and became
“Ten Years After”.
realized the English environment was not all that
receptive to new bands, so they began endless treks
across the sea to tour the United States. Today, the
group performs very tightly on stage with occasional
improvisatory interims, a far cry from the raunchy
rock group in Hamburg.
is apparently disappointed with much of today’s
audiences. Ten Years After, previously a solid
underground group, has fallen from that plateau onto
the fields of commercialism. Alvin feels this is not
the group’s fault, but that of the masses who
swarm to see the man from the “Teenage American
Dream,” Woodstock, and his own ambition to please
were underground, but now the whole scene has
changed and we’re pop stars. Sometimes, I feel I
can get away with playing just feedback,” Alvin
sadly admits. Along the way, he did listen quite
heavily to the sounds of other groups, and in a
sense did copy some of their licks, but says, “I
tried to keep them separate from my own music”. He
often had misgivings about rudimental music and
consciously sought to avoid playing others solos.
Alvin sees his playing much like one poet reading
another’s material. The poet’s style still
remains legitimate if he integrates his feelings
with the original author’s intentions.
musicians, one of the main criticisms levelled at
Alvin’s playing ability is his “uncontrolled”
speed, especially in the phrasing of his licks. He
explains, “I’m not conscious of the speed.
It’s a feeling, an emotion that my fingers lodge
upon the neck and I can get fast, but it’s not my
motive. My motive is displaying a voice through the
achieve his speed, Alvin used the mind-boggling
method of repetition until each lick became more of
a reflex than a thought. There is one point though,
where his speed is a conscious thought, and that is
when Alvin is producing a musical crescendo. “Then,”
he says, “my style is more neurotic and is
basically a fingerboard pattern from rote memory,
which found its way into an explanation of how I
feel the music should be”.
maintained a good balance of income and integrity as
he grew in popularity. He always made it a point to
keep his music valid. “If things got to commercial
for me,” he says, “I just wouldn’t show up. I
found that I had reached a point where, where if I
tried to reach too hard, I would just become a
caricature of myself, so now I am playing to myself”.
stage Alvin Lee’s equipment is not radical for the
sound he is attempting to achieve. He uses a very
old Gibson 335 with a few minor changes. He has
taken off the pickup covers, which he feels
“brings out the trebles and the basses,” and he
has inserted a Fender Stratocaster pickup wired to
the back pickup closest to the bridge. He prefers
reasonably high action on his instrument, which is
strung with Fender thins on the top three strings
and Gibson Sonomatics on the bottom. This type of
string set-up affords him a heavy rhythm when he
wants it and yet he is still able to hit the high
licks with room for bending the notes.
his right hand, he uses a very heavy flat pick, the
three-cornered type, for that special shuffling
effect. This pick also allows him to change corners
when one tip breaks or wears down.
uses a 100 watt Marshall amp, with 16 – 12”
speakers in four cabinets, the reason being that he
likes amplifier distortion, not speaker distortion.
With the powerful Marshall and many speakers he can
even get harmonic distortion. Amplifier volume
settings on stage usually run from three-quarters to
full to avoid distortion “dry-up” or decay.
Alvin doesn’t use pedals of any sort, because he
feels they only clutter up the stage.
young Nottinghamite has become synonymous with the
high speed attack. Sometimes it’s regulated and
sometimes it’s not. “It all comes in different
categories. It can get to the point where I don’t
have control over what I am playing. I sometimes
relate to other guitarist, using my own thing. I try
to let it go on a natural progression, but basically
it depends on the audience. Sometimes I just press
notes to test or feel them out. Sometimes I can
point a guitar just right towards my amp and get
full harmonics. I like to contrast the high with the
low as far as playing up and down the fingerboard.
The basic style develops from me trying to please
myself. When I get bored with what I am playing, I
walking library of well-executed licks, Alvin has
instant recall for seemingly any music he has heard
or done. While he is restless enough to push on to
different types of music, admittedly, he will never
leave “good old rock and roll”. On stage the
fanatical electricity is thought of as a “work-out,”
he says, “and I never end the gig until I can sing
many rock guitarist, Alvin is getting into
acoustical music for his own enjoyment, recently
purchasing a Martin D-35, and is working through
open tuning of the Mississippi derivative. He plays
a stylistically unique version of Steve Stills
“Black Queen” done in open D (D,A,D,D,A,D) and
is getting into open G (G,B,D,G,B,D) and a
dissonant-sounding open A (A,A,E,A,Db,E) – “When
I’m playing for myself, I like bass string ringing
in the key I am playing in,” comments Alvin.
uncommon in the realm of so-called stardom, Lee
occasionally questions his basic musical existence.
“Sometimes I get very little self-encouragement
,” he muses. “At one time I could relate to what
I was doing. Now, I can’t judge if I’m doing
anything very valid, I can’t judge myself. It got
to a ridiculous point, that when we were rehearsing,
we would do regular numbers instead of working out
new tunes. We work jams and remember certain phrases,
but it gets to a point where you are constantly
doing old tricks on stage, with old licks and riffs.
got to get bored with that before you’ll ever end
up doing something a little different. Like a show
we did in Vancouver: the press later said it was
constipated musicians and Alvin Lee is one of them”.
I don’t know, maybe he’s right”.
Lee is not entirely a picture on an album cover, nor
is he merely a sound in a groove; he is a man who is
sensitive to the criticisms levelled at him and is
not totally sure that some of the critiques are not
valid. One thing for sure though, is his rejection
of himself as a pop star, even though its remedy
means a breach of contract. His thoughts are open,
“I think it’s a kind of masochistic thing in a
way, playing with the things in vogue. It’s grown
on me, but I like to think of myself as a guitarist,
and not as a pop star”.
appears perplexed over the obvious similarity
between “Grand Funk Railroad” and “Ten Years
After”. “Grand Funk formed a cloud in my mind,”
he claims, “and the guitarist plays similar things
to what I play, but he doesn’t have much control”.
And yet these same comments often shadow him.
Alvin’s objective is learning and living, and in
that he finds consolation and creation. He realizes
that “learning becomes slower as one progresses,
but each new thing becomes more and more beautiful”.
Even though the public sees Alvin Lee as firmly
established in his style, he is continually evolving
towards a greater maturity and perhaps someday full
and just commendation will be given this artist
within his own perspective.
- Rolling Stone Magazine
Ten Years After – A Space In Time –
Like a hamster
running on a treadmill, Ten Years After is expending
energy without moving.
“A Space In
Time,” is the group’s first album for Columbia
Records, but it re-hashes most of the material on the
last four Ten Year After releases. There are a couple
of Alvin Lee guitar specials, several low key attempts
at relevant social commentary, and a lot of
underdeveloped and unsuccessful music. The record in
an improvement over the disastrous “Watt” album, but
hardly a sufficient one. The original material and
arrangements are terribly lame. Vocal melodies and
guitar lines are virtually indistinguishable from one
song to the next, and few arrangements highlight
anything besides Alvin Lee, and his two, three or four
Churchill’s potential as an additional soloist, for
example, is stupidly wasted, by having him play only
rhythm accompaniment on piano and organ, behind
Alvin’s numerous leads.
bassist Leo Lyons and drummer Ric Lee provide the band
with a foundation that is both workable and firm. Ten
Years After does not use this rhythmic support to the
best possible advantage. There are some worth-while
“One Of These
Days” is a compelling track with good all-round
instrumentation, even if it does drag on a bit. “Hard
Monkeys” and “I’d Love To Change The World” contain
intriguing guitar riffs, but nothing much else of any
distinction. The best piece on this album is a Chuck
Berry white-wash called: “Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock
and Roll You”. Ten Years After is quite adept at
playing this quasi Berry stuff, but I wish they hadn’t
tacked on many banal sound effects to spruce the song
lyrics have always served as merely adequate vocal
companions to his instrumental pyrotechnics, but the
words on this album border on the senseless and inane.
When Alvin sings, “got no streetcar named desire / and
I’ll never light her fire” in “Hard Monkeys,” you know
he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and a poet
he’s not; just listen to his attempt at a tactful
metaphor in the horrendous “Over The Hill,” – “like a
cripple and his crutch / I have learned a bit too much
/ seems that doubt (?) should never touch again”.
incidentally, features a grating string quartet
arrangement behind Alvin’s singing and easily rates as
the group’s worst studio track.
Fans of Ten
Years After will undoubtedly receive “A Space In Time”
with wide open arms, but others may find the weak
material and electronic Léger de main too much to
Review by –
VERONICA - October
23, 1971 - Melody Maker
Years After - “A Space In Time” (Chrysalis)
folks, Mr Alvin Lee and his rock and roll band pushing out
the most relevant thing they’ve done to date. This
album’s got the guitar and vocals of a bitchy old lady:
out for trouble, and finding it. Lee
is at his meanest, with guitar and vocals that don’t
rely on frills nor finery, just quick fingers and a
Venemous tongue. It opens with “One Of These Days,” a
cosmic noise that lashes into a furious half-bop,
taking in about every facet of Lee’s hard shifting
guitar. That all melts down into “Here They Come” soft
and acoustic, but with an underlying riff of menace.
“I’d Love To Change The World,” is another in the
TYA book, with Lee adopting an almost angelic look on
life, but a quick “oh yeh!” rattles it onwards.
The Hill” the most beautiful track on the album,
tumbling with melody and TYA is the
band you’d expect that from. Yeh, strings, lots of them,
and it’s as commercial as you’d ever get.
the effect of somebody finding the rock and roll channel
on the radio, we get the real 50’s influenced
“Baby Let Me Rock and Roll You,” barrel–rolling
piano and Alvin on long metallic runs with echoed,
gutsy vocals. Short, sweet, and just dandy.
home blues, is here too with things like “Once There Was
A Time,” which progresses from a
jog to another high-flying racer. This track is Alvin’s
“Johnny B. Goode,” and it’s a glad one.
the Sky Falls,” brings an up-tempo “Love Like a Man”
to mind, and like every track the presence
Lyons, Churchill and Ric Lee is more prominent, and
commendable than ever before. Yeh, they can
a few things here going to surprise a lot of TYA freaks,
but they’re going to like it, as are a lot
the bands critics. This is TYA experimenting, progressing,
meanest rock and rollers with a good, proud album.
"A Space In Time" – 1971
Alvin Lee has said - “A Space In
Time, is his favourite album" and some would call it
a masterpiece of rock.
Ten Years After – “A Space In Time” – 1971
Records, has added to its prestige and profits by
luring one of the best English rock and blues bands to
its labels. Ten Years After has kept its part of the
bargain with one of its most consistently excellent
LP’s. No throw-away cuts here, but superb instrumental
and vocal performances, especially: “Here They Come,”
– “I’d Love To Change The World,” – and “One Of These
Days,” – all written by lead guitarist, singer,
song-writer Alvin Lee.
From Billboard Magazine 1971
Ten Years After 1971
A Space In
Time; Rock and Roll Music To The World (Beat Goes On)
Not too highly
regarded among incoming’s tame. Ten Years After
experts, these were the band’s first albums for
Chrysalis after leaving Deram. A Space In Time was
their third album of 1970 and it shows. It was,
however their biggest U.S. hit and sold a million
there. Includes the single “Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock
and Roll You”. The follow up included minor hit,
“Choo-Choo-Mama” (ah, these titles!).
Space In Time” 1971 -
(Chrysalis 6307 500)
Neue Ten Years After –LP mit zehn Titeln, wovon
neun Alvin Lee und einer Lee zusammen mit Leo Lyons,
Ric Lee, und Chick Churchill geschrieben hat.
Wer stampfenden Rhythmus, lichtschnelle
Gitarrensolos und kernige Bassstrukturen
erwartet-also Rock ‚n’ Roll in wohlbekannter Ten
Years After- Machart-wird vielleicht etwas enttäuscht
sein. Natürlich sind das immer noch die alten Ten
Years After: das dichte Schlagzeugspiel, Leos
eigenwilliger Bass, Alvin’s unverkennbarer Gesang
und seine einmaligen Kurz-Solis.
Aber, A Space In Time, ist dynamischer und
differenzierter geraten. Streicher, akustische
Gitarren, ungewohnt leichte, ruhigere Parts zeigen
Ten Years After sehr verspielt. Das ist für Alvin,
Leo, Ric und Chick eine wertvolle musikalische
Weiterentwicklung. Ten Years After klingt so nicht
Album Review – “A
Space In Time”
In which the rock
heavy (Alvin Lee) comes of age with his toughest, fullest,
and most coherent album. I like it, in a way, but it does
lack a certain winning abandon, and I’m not crazy about the
heavy’s economic theories – fellow (Alvin Lee) seems to
believe that if you “tax the rich to feed the poor” – you
soon run out of the rich, with dire consequences.
By Robert Christgau’s Record Guide
October 23, 1971 - New
After – “A Space In Time” Album Review
When I first
heard this, it didn’t really grab me, but after awhile
I discovered quite a lot of interest in the music.
It’s well put together, but retaining a looseness here
and there for improvisation. Still Ten Years After are
a more important performing rock band than a recording
outfit, and so compared to live appearances, this LP
is just a little flat. But it does have variety,
something like a worn carpet, when you can say, oh
yes, I knew that bit was there, or I was expecting
that – predictable !
track, “One Of These Days,” has a rough rhythm and
blues feel, building up rock excitement, towards the
end. Then, “Here They Come” is more relaxed with
gentle vocals, and so the moods go – sometimes high
and pulsating, and sometimes down low (not musically
speaking) when the songs just groove along. But the
acoustic guitar openings did get a bit monotonous by
the end of the cuts, and on “I’d Love To Change The
World,” the intro brought back distant memories of the
As Tears Go By pattern. It was the Ten Years After I
like to hear on “Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock and Roll
You,” with a gimmicky radio tuning intro. Real sweaty
pigs music which no doubt gets a lot of teeth rattling
in a lot of shaking heads at concerts. Except for
“Uncle Jam” a revelation of Ten Years After abilities.
I was not over impressed by the second side. But the
jam number, seemingly thrown in to fill up the record,
is in the jazz vain, with some inventive piano playing
by Chick Churchill, a solid entente between bass and
drums and some fine jazz blues guitar patterns setting
the mood. Perhaps the whole set would be better
appreciated by a Ten Years After devotee though. – T.S.
October 23, 1971 - Record Mirror
Guitar in the West,”- “The Elvis Presley of the
Woodstock Generation,” – “King Guitar” (Bert Weedon
would dispute that – rock on Bert), these are just a
few of the back-handed compliments which have been
slung at the photogenic head of a man more sinned
against than sinning – Alvin Lee, guitarist with Ten
Years After. “I’ve never sought the super-star bit,”
said Alvin, reflectively sucking on a piece liquorice
wood (my misspent youth before sweets came off the
ration flashed before my eyes) as he sat in the
office considering that which has been done
on him from a great height by some critics.
from anything else it is simple logic to avoid the
face cult, I spent some early days working in backing
groups, and I saw what happened to pop stars like Eden
Kane who were up there one minute and forgotten the
next. “Because I am the lead guitarist and because I
stand up front, I have come in for some special
attention, but I honestly believe that Chick Churchill
(organist) is the best musician in our band, I just
believe that so people can laugh at it if they like.
“Someone has to front for the band and I have found
myself edged into that situation, but I have not
sought it. Rod Stewart used to make jokes about the
band going to be called:
“Alvin Lee and
Company” but I noticed that he has been put in the
same situation with:
so maybe now he understands how it can happen. The
“Woodstock” film was partially responsible for some of
the misconceptions about the group. We seem to have
spent our playing careers trying to straighten out and
de-escalate these false impressions. The film had a
lot of people convinced that we were “I’m Going Home”
and that old rock syndrome that went with it, but it
was just one facet of the band. “I really don’t want
to have to justify my position as a guitarist, but all
this “Best” – “Fastest” – “Better” nonsense is
ludicrous to a musician. It just cannot be said that
Eric Clapton is better than Jimmy Page or someone
question of style and the type of music they play.
“This country has always been too anxious to compare A
with B and it’s really just so much schoolboy talk.
Now they are currently playing the game of who is the
best Beatle, it’s all so childish. Pop Polls are
almost as silly and insignificant and I’m told merely
reflective of what is happening in the charts at the
time. “I would never have the effrontery to rank
myself anywhere in a guitar poll, anyone who plays
guitar and gets paid for it must be good. All I really
want as a musician is recognition for the band and our
music. What I don’t want, is to encourage adulation.
“The kind of
thing which really brings us up, is when someone
interviews us and shows that they know about our
records and material. We have now got the kind of
audiences who are prepared to listen and not leap
around up out of their seats. We don’t want glowing
reviews and glory, all we ask for is a fair hearing
and some real attention. Our last tour was encouraging
because it indicated that at last, that is what we are
1971 - RECORD MIRROR
“A Space In
Time”- Not to put to fine a point on it, Ten Years
After have done it again.
recipe of blues-cum-rock will strike home as rapidly
and effectively as have previous albums. “A Space In
Time” is, once again, all Alvin Lee originals except
“Uncle Jam,” the closing track composed by the whole
band – and they do the necessary, allowing Alvin
sufficient breaks to get in his licks and his three
compatriots their rock – steady backing support. Ten
Years After are most emphatically NOT a hard rock
band, exercising their musical prowess rather in a
more restrained way, and that, perhaps, is the one
drawback to this album. It lacks the fire and
excitement of Ten Years After “live,” for no matter
whether you like or dislike their music, you can’t
argue with the fact that they are an engrossing band
on stage. Lyrically and vocally, Alvin makes several
salient points. One imagines that if he set his mind
to it he could write some fine ballads, but the blues
is where his heart is. -----Article by B.M.
RELUCTANT HERO – ALVIN LEE
„THEY THOUGHT I WAS DOING A GARBO“
From Melody Maker – November 6, 1971
Super-Star sat in a darkened room and looked up with
hopeful eyes. Was it a day to be on the defensive, or
could he afford to relax? It was a man from the
photographic magazine. So Alvin Lee could slump a
little further into his chair and discuss the speed of
film instead of the rate of his guitar playing. Ever
since “Woodstock,” Alvin has attained the
oft-mentioned special status that applies in rock as
it once applied in Hollywood. He has been lauded out
of proportion to his talent and slammed without
fairness to his personality.
is a good, entertaining rock guitarist with an
enthusiastic band who happen to be one of the longest
surviving from the group-boom of the mid-sixties. Long
before the United States rock press called him “Mr.
Album Cover,” Alvin was down at the Marquee, in
London, bringing excitement to the masses as they are
today. But Alvin, Ric Lee, Leo Lyons and Chick
Churchill were grooving quite happily.
attempt to make Alvin a star embarrassed him and
brought confusion to the group. It almost brought them
to the verge of breaking up. Moody album
featuring Alvin were the vogue.
“People began to
think I was some kind of Greta Garbo,” grumbles
Alvin in his soft Midland accent. And he refers
to the “super star bit” with patient resignation.
great hobby is photography and he was extremely
pleased and flattered that a specialist photography
magazine was to (a) interview him, and (b) use his
work for a photo-spread. In fact, the interviewer went
on at such length, most of the staff at Chrysalis
headquarters were busy listening at the keyhole in
amazement. “He’s been in there for hours”!
the photographers friend filtered out and Alvin began
to focus his attention on the subject of rock.
“I’ve just got into printing,” he revealed,
stretching, then burrowing further into his chair.
“I’ve been taking photographs for quite awhile. I
took about a thousand slides on the last tour. I think
about a half a dozen came out. I’m into movies as
well, and I’m hoping to get sound sync together.
It’s more to entertain friends. I don’t think a
public viewing is imminent ! I like to project
different moods on to film and use sound effects and
music to create atmosphere. Our new album is leaning
that way”. What was that powerful hum at the start
of the album? ! It’s backward strings over a heavy
chord. The idea is to draw people into the album.
People often give me the impression they review our
albums from halfway through. Some of the comments have
been: “There is a great rock and roll track,”
which is the climax of side one. But our rock and roll
stage act has been well publicised and we are trying
to branch out. Rock comes easy to us, like second
nature,” How did Alvin feel about his past albums?
Did he ever listen to any of them? “I don’t play
them usually. After I’ve finished an album I go off
it. I hear all the mistakes. But after six months, if
I put them on, I surprise myself! Our “Live” album
is still the most satisfying. A lot of people who have
come to listen to us since “Woodstock” were not
familiar with what we did in our formative years, like
the “Undead” album, and the jazz jams”.
was Alvin’s image in America?
freaked us out, in that it gave us an audience of
youngsters who were not really into our music. And
I’ve always been a bit embarrassed about the old
super-star tag y’
know”. A look of yearning passed over
Alvin’s not unprepossessing features, as if he would
rather be pottering about in the garden, photographing
small winged insects.
try to encourage people to listen to our music and not
be too pretentious about it. The main function of Ten
Years After, I like to think, is to entertain, through
our musical ideas. I don’t really associate with any
image of Ten Years After. I’ve long ago given up
trying to suss how we come over”.
there still friction within the band?
like married life. We’ve been through a lot of
hassles and most of it was through, misunderstanding
over the old super-star tag. I thought it was cool,
but a lot of people got the impression I was doing a
Greta Garbo and trying to be a star. But you have no
control over what people think. Someone somewhere will
think bad of you. I don’t think an artists will be
concerned with his image if he believes in what he is
doing. “I was very pleased with our last English
tour. The last one we had done, the idiot dancers were
all the rage and the concerts were like a big circus.
On this tour I was pleased to note it was a very
attentive audience. They were interested in the
musical structures we were building. And it was great
to have control over our equipment. You can’t just
have a good P.A. these days, you have to know what you
are doing. We’ve been building ours for two years.
It must be very difficult to start a band these days,
when the audiences hear the sophisticated equipment
used by top bands.
we started out, the Beatles had one hundred watts. Not
it’s out of all proportions. We take so long over
the quality control of an LP we have to get as good a
sound live. “It was a very short tour, but we were
not sure how it would go down here. The reason we’ve
been away so long is that we wanted to have really
good equipment, like the stuff we use in the stadiums
in America. There they book a PA for a concert in the
same way they book a group. In England we wanted
similar equipment. It was easy in the old days at the Marquee where you could get a big sound right at the
back. You were practically inside the band anyway.”
reminded Alvin of his first big concert at London’s
Sayville Theatre in the days of Brian Epstein
promotions. “Yeah, we did “Help Me Baby,” just
one number. And it got a mixed reception. At the time,
that long number seemed like the biggest mistake we
have ever made!
Jimmy James and the Vagabonds were topping.”
Alvin think the age of the rock guitar hero was
drawing to a close? Peter Green has given up the
business. Eric Clapton is hiding in obscurity. Jeff
Beck has been out of action. Apart from Rory Gallagher,
Alvin is still out there socking it to us, and where
were the new heroes?
true that era is over. There is so much more good
music now, though. We all came from the same
environment and had the same influences, Scotty Moore
with Elvis Presley
etc. Nowadays the new guitarist have so much music to
draw from it’s unfathomable. It’s incredible to me
when people say rock and roll is on the way down.
It’s not. The music has spread in all directions.
do the guitarist become so popular?
really don’t know. It was a kind of wave. Jimi
Hendrix was the great innovator and he showed
everybody the way, and how much there was to the
guitar. His control of feedback was incredible”.
Alvin took his share of fame, he took his share of
criticism. How did he face up to the mixed blessings
is a by-product of the rock scene. Rolling Stone gave
such a slamming of our last album, it was such a put
down that I had to burst out laughing. It was as if
they had picked on every bad thing. But I don’t have
to protect myself in that way. Some people hate us,
some like us, and some couldn’t care less. I’m
concerned with the people who like us, and I get my
feedback from them. “I used to wonder how I had
crossed people that they should form such bad opinions
of me. I suppose the music business has the tendency
to create superstars, but I really don’t believe in
such a thing. I used to when I was a kid and I was an
Elvis Presley fan. Whenever I’ve met a star,
they’ve turned out to be quite Norman people. And
the magic doesn’t exist.
went to see Elvis in Las Vegas and it freaked me out
badly. He was throwing teddy bears to the audience and
had a supply of neck scarves he took off and threw to
them, it was fifteen quid a seat and it was really
disgusting. Superficially silly! The music had no
balls at all, but the potential is still there. He was
just coasting through his act and it seemed like it
was just another gig. It can happen to any artists. We
started coasting after “Woodstock,” and whatever
we played went down well ! But you’ve got to hang on
by your teeth and try.
bands should be given a chance to mature and change.
And you have to follow what you feel. We are still
experimenting. If I took seriously all I read about me,
I’d really be in a bad state.
for the money, that’s a reward for perseverance. If
you want to be a millionaire, don’t be a rock and
roller. I remember when we overtook the Rolling
Stones. It was on the M1 – and we were both in 15
CIRCUS MAGAZINE - November 1971
YEARS AFTER MISUNDERSTANDING”
movie “Woodstock” blinded people to what Ten Years
After was all about, says Alvin Lee. Now a new album
may set things straight.
written by Walli Elmlark
thousand kids watched a full summer moon ascend over
Gaelic Park in the Bronx N.Y. Blankets, beer, booze
and smoke filled the “up” and expectant atmosphere,
punctuated here and there by the cry of the vendor.
No, not hot dogs and soda. mom. Those days are long
gone. “Incense! All kinds of incense here.”
occasion: Alvin Lee and Ten Years After. Alvin Lee,
known as the fastest guitarist of today. But Alvin
doesn’t think that’s the reason people should be
coming to see him.
am fast “said Alvin in an office at Columbia
Records. His eyes slipped to his clogs and he
continues. “but I don’t aim at being fast. Fast
for fast sake means nothing! I mean I could sit home
all day and just practice being fast and I could play
faster than I do now. But that’s not the idea, I use
that fastness as a contrast, like lights and shadow.”
feels that people began to lose sight of the “lights
and shadows” after the movie of Woodstock showed Ten
Years After sizzling the stage with the hard lightning
of “I’m Going Home.” Since then says Alvin,
they’ve been met at every concert by audiences
who’ve already worked themselves up to a fever pitch
before anyone’s set foot on stage. But contrary to
the reaction most groups would have to this instant
popularity, Alvin and the boys have gotten quite
unhappy about it. Alvin asked me to make it very clear,
that at the time
“Woodstock” came out, the group already had
five albums on the market. He doesn’t think that the
frantic drive of “I’m Going Home” is
representative of the group’s music. He wishes now
that they had hit the movie screen with something
quieter, like “I Can’t Keep From Crying.”
And he’d rather trade in the overheated
post-Woodstock audiences for a cool, slightly reticent
crowd that’s going to listen to the music before it
begins to cheer.
this one group, to whom the amount of money and the
amount of screaming means absolutely nothing, unless
they feel they’ve won it musically at each gig.
“We could be making any amount of money at a gig,
and the kids could be tearing the roof down, but if we
leave the stage, feeling we were not as close to
perfect as we can get, we’re depressed and upset.,
until the next time when we do it right!
comes close to fetishism in this need
for musical perfection. “A car could run
up and down his guitar, like lightening “ he
said, speaking of his legendary speed . “but be
missing notes very often. Fastness would mean nothing
to me without accuracy.”
far as sets go, we know the kids are happiest hearing
the songs they know best like – “Good Morning
Little School Girl” and “Love Like A Man”, but
that’s the easy way out. We could get up there and
lead off with those songs and have the place roaring,
but that’s not where we’re at. We’re constantly
changing and moving ahead, and that’s the important
thing. So we’ll go up there and play cuts from our
new album and work for their approval”.
group’s new album, “A Space In Time” (on their
new company Columbia), will be their seventh. When
asked how it differed from the others, Alvin said,
“Well first of all it took literally ten times
longer to record. All the others took about two weeks.
This time we wanted to take our time and be really
happy with the final product.”
you feel the extra time you took has made a
substantial difference? “Very definitely. We’re
quite pleased with the outcome of the album. Much more
than with any other. It’s very hard to discuss it
now. It seems once we’ve cut and finished an album
it’s in the past and over.
you believe I’ve only listened to it twice since we
one cut on the album that’s a total departure for us
is: “Over The Hill”. For the first time we used
musicians other than just the four of us. We used
eight violins and four cellos. Before you think
we’ve gone balmy, I better explain, that it’s a
song about over saturation and the strings are brought
in at the end to demonstrate our point…..definitely
many producers feel the need to fill in every gap or
hole in a song. We’re all for holes (smile). But
we’re fortunate in that we produce ourselves and
have the say over every aspect of our album, from
jacket on down”. As a matter of fact Alvin has
stopped shipping on the new album just because the
jacket had several flaws. The blonde guitarist looked
back at the carpet, then detoured from the subject of
the album. “Our main concern when writing is the
musical content, and the lyrics are secondary. We like
to stay loose and keep the musical creativity alive.
Which is why we have no set arrangements on our songs.
When we’re touring
we start with the basic patterns, go into a jam,
then come back for the finish. That’s why we don’t
get stale. But with the same song to do so often, even
the jams get to sound alike after awhile. That’s why
we quit touring for three months last year. Then all
these rumours started going around that we’d split
up. Nothing could be more wrong. We quit because we
were beginning to fall into the same jam, and when
that happened two nights in a
row, we knew it was time to go home and work on
do you feel about jamming with other groups”?. “I
jammed once in England with Jimi Hendrix and a couple
other musicians, I can’t remember just who right now,
but I found it very frustrating. The problem was that
each one of us had our own very definite style and it
was difficult for us to mesh them all together. I’m
used to jamming since that’s how we do all our songs,
but we’re so together musically that everything just
flows, no one cuts you off in the middle of a riff or
leaves you hanging with nowhere to go. It would feel a
little childish to walk up to Hendrix and say, “hey,
I’m not done – wait a minute”. Also I find if I
listen to another guitarist, like Eric Clapton for
awhile, I’ll find myself, without consciously
realizing it, playing some of his riffs. That’s not
subject of today’s guitarist brought up the question
of which ones Alvin feels are the best.
really hard to answer. Guitar playing today just
isn’t near what it used to be back in the blues days.
Those guys were really great. They could play a twelve
bar progression without repeating themselves.
about you Alvin?.
I try. If I had to name a couple, I guess it would be
George Benson and Steve Stills. Steve does some nice
the members of Ten Years After jam, they work together
like the two halves of a heart. Partly because Alvin
Lee and Leo Lyons have been playing together for ten
you go to school together?” - “No”
you from the same neighbourhood ?” – “No”
answered an ad in a paper one day, that said lead
guitar player wanted”, Alvin finally answered, his
eyes retreating again to the comfort of his clogs.
“Leo was in that group, which stayed together for
two weeks. When they split, Leo and I stayed together.
We played a few gigs as “Raving Dave and the Rocking
Daddios”, Nifty, huh?” The group as it is today,
has been together close to five years. Since Alvin was
wearing a “Fillmore”
T-Shirt and the place had been one of his
favorite gigs, it seemed only appropriate to ask him
how he felt about the Fillmore closing. “Actually,
it didn’t come as any surprise to me. Ever since I
met Bill Graham, several years ago, he’d been saying
he was going to make his money, and get out. Actually,
that’s not why he closed. The hassles were just
getting too heavy. I respect Bill a great deal, he set
up a model for giving rock concerts that was copied
all over the country.
they came off as copies, because not one was as
professionally run, not one had the same atmosphere,
and not one had the fantastic sound system that the
Fillmore Audience had changed by the time Bill closed
it. Even we noticed it. To us it appeared to be a
shift in age. The 18 and 19 year olds weren’t
showing up anymore. It didn’t really bother us,
because when you’re 18 – 19 and into rock concerts
that’s great. But hopefully as you get older, your
interest progress to other things.
majority of people in the audience seemed to be
thirteen or fourteen, but that was alright with us too.
Since we care so much about the musical content of our
act, and very little about being pretty, or just
jumping around the stage a lot, the 13 year olds are
great because we can teach and guide them musically”.
Grand Funk Railroad will get their interest
instantaneously. They’re like avant-garde art :all
bold, brash, loud and one dimensional without the
undertones and nuances of fine art. For us to get
those thirteen and fourteen year olds to listen and
understand gives us our feeling of accomplishment in
music. “We can’t stand hype or sensationalism.
That’s why we give so few interviews. Also, we
absolutely refuse to do any television, even though it
guarantees record sales. (We’ve never had a gold
record you know) That’s just not our way of doing
brought up the problem of a movie called
“Groupies”. There the filmmakers not only put Ten
Years After on the screen, but they gave the
impression that the group spends half of its time
luring little girls away from home, then dropping them
off in the middle of nowhere.
“Yes, well that was a mistake” said Alvin.
“Actually we were misled by the producer. We were
told it was to be a documentary called “Rock 70”.
“Let me just say this”, interjected Leo Lyons,
breaking his long silence. “It’s unfortunate that
our music had to be associated with such crap”.
“Since that word has arisen of its own accord, I’d
like to set the record straight”. Alvin said. “On
a rumour I’ve been hearing about, I am not now, nor
have I ever been married. I also do not have the child
or children, I am reported to be hiding. “It’s
incredible what one learns about oneself that one
never knew”. One thing few people know about Alvin
Lee, is that he is quiet, soft spoken and verges on
outright shy. When he talks, his eyes look aside to
the carpet, the desk where his coffee sits, or the
wall across from him. Then, suddenly, he looks
directly at you, and through his eyes are small, a
blast of blue sunshine smiles from them and you find
you’re smiling back. When the questions are over, he
slips into an almost bashful silence, and it’s hard
to realize he’s the same Alvin Lee who, when he left
the stage at Gaelic Park, had to be protected by ten
body guards to keep the screaming mobs away.
November 10th – Sports
Arena – San Diego, California
- Los Angels Forum – Los Angels, California
November 12th -
Winterland, San Francisco, California
November 13th -
HIC Arena, Honolulu, Hawaii
November 16th - Coliseum, Denver Colorado
November 18th – Madison
Square Garden, New York, New York
November 19th - William
and Mary College
November 19th - William
and Mary Hall – Wellsburg, Virginia
- Duke University, Durham North Carolina
Hall, Detroit, Michigan
November 22nd – Dune
County Memorial College – Madison, Wisconsin
November 24th – Homer
Hesterly Armory, Tampa, Florida
November 25th –
“I saw them on November 11, 1971
at the Los Angeles Forum.
The band “Yes” opened
the show, J. Geils Band was next and Ten Years After
were the Headliners” closing the show”.
The L.A. Forum
in Inglewood, California. Ten Years After, who have
been playing together for about five years, are
beginning to look a little bit frayed around the
edges. Make no mistake, the standing room only
audience at the Forum loved them, but it appears to be
a form of pre-programmed-monotony. The group members,
led by singer / guitarist Alvin Lee are all excellent
musicians but they are given to excess by stretching
their numbers out, to the point of becoming
meaningless repetition. They performed mostly older
material, not really something upon much of anything
from “A Space In Time,” which was a pity, as that is
their most diverse album to date. They are superstars
now, but for how long? If they don’t expand their
Geils Band, certainly do know how to Rock & Roll. They
are a hard pulsating group and had the audience
dancing in the aisles. Lead singer Peter Wolf, a
subscriber to the Jaggeresque school of movement, has
a robust electrifying voice. Their set was highlighted
by a knockout version of, “First I Look At The Purse”
and their new single, “Looking For A Love”.
Yes, is that
odd little gem of a group whose music evokes images of
long ago and visions of what is yet to come. Their
music is explosively powerful yet wistfully gentle;
progressive rock that is classically influenced. All
are highly skilled musicians and they are a joy to
treat is lead singer Jon Anderson who has a tenderly
exciting, emotion-filled voice and a jaunty stage
presence. They performed a stunning set comprised
chiefly of material from “The Yes Album” including
their hit single “Your Move”
Review by Shelly Heber
One of my favorite on stage photos of Ten Years After - 1971 -
With conga drums for
Chick Churchill to bang on!
Ten Years After hit their peak. "It
really was a heads down let's go for it attitude.
Leo used to shake his head off",
says "Captain Speedfingers" Lee.
Deutschlandhalle, Berlin 1971
New Musical Express December
NME - London Special
NME - Standard Issue
New Musical Express – Around London -
December 25, 1971 – Stroll On:
way through the Christmas shopping crush at Oxford
Circus tube last week, who should I meet pushing in
the opposite direction but carol Grimes of Uncle
Dog. The now Uncle Dog album, she told me, is almost
completed. “We’ve got some very good session
musicians playing with us…Paul Kossoff, David Linley,
and Nicky Barclay, Fanny’s organist… and Bob Porter,
and the guy who did so much for Bell and Arc, is
When I got
back to my office, I rang Lionel Conway, whose
company publishes Uncle Dog’s music and who
generally looks after the affairs of the group. So
far, he hasn’t signed them to a label, but already
he has had plenty of offers. “Just a question of
sorting the wheat from the chaff,” he told me. The
group is doing very well at the moment, drawing
fantastic crowds to every performance”. New Years
gigs for Uncle Dog include the Greyhound in Croydon
on January 2nd , High Wycombe Town Hall
on the 7th Implosion on the 9th,
and on the 13th they are at the Marquee.
Uncle Dog are an exceptional band. If you are free
on one or all of those dates, a journey to visit
them would be well worth taking.
A few years
ago B.P. Fallon, T. Rex’s publicist gave me a very
beautiful album, which I still have in my
collection. It’s called, “The Playboy Of The Western
World”. Sean O´ Riada who died a few months ago,
wrote it as the score to a film of the same name.
The music is from Ireland and is very traditional,
lots of pipes, hand-drums and double-row button
accordions, and of course, two “very fine” fiddles.
Some of the numbers have vocals, and one in
particular, the last on the first side, is an Irish
jig that makes East Of Eden’s “Jig-A-Jig sound very
watery. Though the album is very easy to purchase in
Ireland, it is much more difficult to obtain in this
country (England). However, there is a record shop
at 161Arlington Road, Camden Town, called The Irish
Record Centre. The lady who runs it is called Kay
and she told me she has hundreds of excellent Irish
records, besides Sean O´Riada and invites you to
come and have a look. If you want to make sure a
particular record is in stock, please call ahead
Tuesday, I rang Alvin Lee, who had just returned
from another American trip, to find out how he was
and what was happening with him and his lovely lady
Lorraine. “Everything’s fine,” said our Alvin. “Ten
Years After are going to France in January 1972, for
some recordings, and we’re planning a production
company of our own, producing groups and singers
that we like, but so far it’s only in the talking
stage”. It was Alvin’s 27th birthday last
week. December 19, 1971.
By Count Simon Christian
Dominic Huchet De La Bedoyere
Years After Equipment
5 - 100 watt Marshall amplifiers
12 - 100 watt Marshall cabinets
1 Fender twin Reverb
2 Acoustic 360E bass amplifiers
2 Lashramme speaker cabinets
each containing 36 - 4/12 in. speakers, handling
capacity per cabinet 560 watts rms.
4 A7 Bass Reflex cabinets 1 -
15in speaker per cabinet, handling 35 watts per
10 SRO speaker cabinets 2 - 12in
speakers per cabinet, handling capacity 60 watts per
2 SRO speaker cabinets 2 - 15in
speakers per cabinet, handling capacity 65 watts per
1 Teletronix leveling amplifier
3 Crown DC 300 amplifiers, each
Crown has a stereo amplifier of 300 watts per channel
1 Fender Stratocaster guitar.
2 Gibson 335 stereo (1 cherry
1 sand color) guitars.
1 Eko 12-string Ranger guitar.
1 Fender Telecaster bass guitar.
1 Rickenbacker bass guitar.
fender/Gibson Sonomatic mixed strings.
Labella heavy guage bass strings.
1 RMI 300B electric piano
1 Steinway grande piano
6 ShureUnisphere 565
5 Shure Unidyne III
1 Beyer 260
1 Electro Voice
12 AKG microphone stands
2 Gretsch drum kits:
1 Gretsch Black Pearl drum kit
1 - 24" x 14" bass
1 - 61/2" x 14" snare
1 - 13" x 9" top Tom
2 - 16" x 16" side Tom
1 Gretsch Maple Wood drum kit
1 - 20" x 14" bass
1 - 5" x 14" snare
1 - 12" x 8" top Tom
1 - 14" x 14" side Tom
2 Avedis Zildjian cymbals
2 - 15" Avedis Zildjian
4 - 16" Avedis Zildjian
2 - 19" Avedis Zildjian
1 Hi-Hat Ching-ring
A Very Funny Find - Guaranteed to make
you smile - or even laugh out loud!
Original Press Photo
from the "Chicago Sun-Times"