KERRANG Magazine - January 20, 1990


They're late, they're late, and on January 27 they've got a very important date.
(Because that's the day that the re-formed '70's boogie quartet TEN YEARS AFTER play London's Hammersmith Odeon). 

But naff White Rabbit jokes notwithstanding, it's been fifteen years since the last "official" album, so 'tis apt indeed that the new LP title proclaims prophetically: it's "About Time". PAUL HENDERSON  (the only man on the Kerrang! staff old enough to remember the first time) catches TYA in New York and finds ALVIN LEE and company still boogiein' on down with the best of them… 

TEN YEARS AFTER are in the middle of a U.S.A. tour, with all the attendant hustle and bustle schedules of T.V. press and radio interviews to clog up the "free" time. 

It's their twenty-ninth such jaunt, and round-the-table banter is regularly punctuated with intimate, time acquired knowledge of the various hotels they've stayed in and the venues they've played at on previous visits; the relative merits of domestic beers and the good places to eat… Understandably, after visiting the place so often, they feel quite at home in America.
For the four members of Ten Years After (guitarist Alvin Lee, bassist Leo Lyons, drummer Ric Lee and keyboardist Chick Churchill), sitting in the bar of yet another New York hotel must bring on a collective and vivid case of déjà vu. More strangely, although this is their 29th tour, it is something like 15 years since the 28th! 
Now, a decade-and-a-half after their last "official" new album (74's "Positive Vibrations") and two decades since the cameras recorded their epic, electrifying version of "I'm Going Home", played to an audience of almost half-a-million at 69's Woodstock Festival - Ten Years After are "doing it" again. 
Although they never officially split up, the original line-up are back, with a new album, "About Time", on Chrysalis. They've now completed this tour of the U.S. and dates in Britain are imminent as you read this, following a spell in Europe. 

By any standards, Ten Years After's "lay-off", "rest", "inactivity period", "sabbatical"- call it what you will-has been a lengthy one.
Touring America together again after so long, with a new album to promote, does, they will agree with a smile, "feel a bit weird". "But in another way", says
Ric Lee "it's like we haven't been away, really. It feels kind of like picking up where we left off." 

Leo Lyons, fingering his elegant "Wing Commander" style waxed moustache, explains further: "The purpose of this tour is specifically to let people know that we're back. We came over to do smaller places-what you'd call "showcases". We've got either twelve or thirteen albums out in the marketplace, and when another album comes out there's a danger of people thinking it's just another compilation. So we've come over here and we're talking to people and doing interviews to let them know what's happening. The gigs are actually the perks that's our reward for coming here." 

Ric Lee: "What's interesting about the gigs is that in Europe we found we were playing to eighteen to twenty-five year olds, but here, I think maybe because of the venues strict over twenty-one drinking laws, the majority are the older crowd-the crowd that was around at the time of Woodstock. I think when we move into the theatres next near we'll start to pull in more of the younger fans." 

How did you go about arranging the set-balancing the need to promote the new album, while including a substantial number of old songs to satisfy those sections of the audience demand them? 

Leo: "Well, the set is about 60/40 in favour of old stuff, from the twelve albums, every night there's always someone shouting for one particular song or another, so we've tried to do the ones that the majority of people would like to hear, plus the new material. "We always got to do "I'm Going Home", because people want us to do that…" "Good Morning Little School Girl", adds Ric, "and "Love Like A Man" (their only U.K. hit single), although that wasn't an enormous hit here in America, but it's known. "As some people haven't even heard the new album yet, the older stuff sometimes has a more immediate impact. I've noticed that the older crowd seem to prefer the older stuff where as the younger crowd seem to pick up on the new stuff." 

Alvin Lee: There are certain new songs, like "Saturday Night" and "Victim Of Circumstance" , where the choruses repeat, and they pick up on that very quickly, which is great. Generally, I think the new songs are going down about as well as the ones we first did around twenty years ago."

Twenty years ago (or there-a-bouts as they actually formed in 1967). Ten Years After came riding in on the crest of the blues boom wave, the band's appeal centering on the gritty vocals and high speed guitar playing of Alvin Lee. Back in the late 60's and early 70's, Lee was considered to be an astounding fast guitarist, who's skill at stringing together fluid, high speed clusters of notes came to some extent from a background in jazz. In terms of sheer speed (for which he was later heavily criticised) it's doubtful whether there was anyone else around at the time who could touch him. From 1969's "Stonedhenge", Ten Years After's albums were consistently strong sellers in Britain, with four of them- "Stonedhenge" itself, plus "Ssssh" "Cricklewood Green" and "Watt" all making the U.K. Top 10. They also sold well in the U.S. where their 1971 album "A Space In Time" went Gold. But it was largely as a live band that Ten Years After really made their mark, with what was once described as a "super-adrenalined gross out approach" to their shows. Not long after the release of their first album "Ten Years After" in 1967, the band quickly became a major concert attraction in the States, due largely to the enthusiasm of the legendary West Coast concert promoter Bill Graham, who booked them into the then prestigious Fillmore East and Fillmore West auditoriums. As mentioned earlier, most people's most vivid memory of Ten Years After is their appearance at Woodstock, but that concert was also something of a watershed in their career, because before Woodstock they had been playing eight to ten thousand seat venues; after that they found themselves playing to audiences in the twenty five to thirty thousand range. 

According to Alvin Lee, "that's when the fun went out of it." They didn't feel they were achieving anything, and it became what he calls "the travelling jukebox syndrome, where you get on stage, plug in, and away you go, you do the same as you did last night". In the end, after twenty eight U.S. tours (interestingly, supported by none other than ZZ TOP on several of them), they simply toured themselves out. Alvin Lee began a solo career (which he kept up until the recent Ten Years After reformation) and released several solo albums, Chick Churchill went into music publishing, Ric Lee (no relation to Alvin, by the way) formed a production company, and Leo Lyons went into producing bands, UFO being one of them. After the long lay-off, during which they did, however, do a clump of four tour dates in the Summer of 1983 which followed the 25th anniversary of London's Marquee Club. The next reappearance of Ten Years After was when the band reconvened in 1988 to play some European rock festivals at the request of an enthusiastic fan / promoter, and subsequently did a tour of Germany. With their hunger rekindled, they decided to return to the recording studio, enlisting, for the first time, the services of an outside producer, (Terry Manning who produced ZZ Top and George Thorogood and the Destroyers), and emerged from a studio in Memphis with "About Time". Far from being a cash-in on the 1970's-bands reformation bandwagons, "About Time" is a legitimate Ten Years After album, blending old Ten Years After values and trademarks with a modern, and at times ZZ Top-tinged production, and neither of which are disappointingly retro-nor too radical, uncharacteristically new direction, they are understandably pleased with the results. In fact pleased enough to decide that yes, after fifteen years, Ten Years After is back in business once again. For Ten Years After, the critical reaction to the new album must be heartwarming, having for the most part been the sort of response (with a 5 K's rating in Kerrang! for example) that was probably beyond what they could reasonably have expected. 

"It's been a good reaction, actually", enthused Alvin said, "we put out "let's Shake It Up" over here as the introductory single, and it got a particularly good reaction. "People were ringing up saying they'd heard the record and asking who it was. People have picked up on exactly what I'd hoped, which is that we've got a modern sounding album but which hasn't completely lost the roots of what we started off doing. "There was a danger that we could have gone in and made an "ultra modern" album which is really what we're fighting against. I think it's generally accepted that we've come up with a modern sounding album that's true to its roots." That's certainly true. There's also a certain irony that after years of touring interspersed with putting out albums that failed to effectively capture the live essence of Ten Years After, "About Time" although recorded after a lengthy spell of band inactivity, is probably the closest they've ever come to succeeding. As for the reason, Alvin reckons you need look no further than producer Terry Manning. "He had a picture in his head of the sound before we ever did. We had the songs, about fifty of them, and we had the general style. We gave him a whole bunch of demos and said, "Here, pick ten out of that, mate! And he was very good at that." 

"He was quite a tough producer," recalls Chick Churchill, "He knew what he wanted us not to play, which is very important. He guided us, made us play simpler than we would do onstage… "I learned a lot from it, and I know Alvin did, as did Ric and Leo. He made us make a record, and not try to emulate a live performance. "I think we'd got lost before, and having such a long sabbatical gave us a lot of time to think about what to do. I think we're much more into rock music now than we were in those days, when we were probably more blues and jazz influenced. That has been watered down a bit and we've become more rock musicians"

Ric Lee says: "If you listen to the other ten, Ten Years After albums…"
Alvin interrupts, "You'll go mad!"
continues: "…and then listen to this one, the difference on it is almost that we've come of age. Someone pointed out to us that it's usually the other way around, meaning you start simple and then find that you can develop your chops and play all sorts of things. "In a sense, it's taken us this long to "calm down" as it were, and make what I think is our best album, our most listenable album, put it that way. The reviews have been very good." 

Still there are bound to be those who will view Ten Years After's return as an attempt to cash-in on the 1970's revival movement. They are aware that such accusations are occasionally going to come their way and, understandably, they don't like it. Although for now they reject such claims in measured tones, my impression is that anyone making them to their face in the future had better be prepared for a more vitriolic response.
Alvin Lee:
"After we did those festivals in Germany, we got offered a "Woodstock Reunion" tour, and a lot of offers like that, and the money offered was pretty good, but what would we do after that? Count it? We decided it was best to make a new album and try to move into the 1990's rather than be a nostalgia band."

 Leo Lyons: for one, I would not have been interested in doing anything without recording a new album: "I fought against re-forming the band again. I didn't want to do it. "Every other year or so since 1975, some manager would call up and say, "How much will you take to do a Ten Years After tour? I'd just say I didn't want to do it. "In 1983 when we did four dates, I wanted to do them because I wanted to enjoy them…but I really didn't want it to become Ten Years After again. "The reason it's happened this time is that it hit me at a period in my life where I so desperately missed playing live. In actual fact, just before those 1983 dates, I put my own band together just to try and do that." 

Sitting here in New York, swilling beers and chatting about the previous night's show-with tour personal, journalists, and photographers milling around, I couldn't help but wonder how they were adapting to touring again. Apart from the fact that, now they have a vast wealth of experience on which to draw in order to avoid the pitfalls, might it also be fair to assume that there's less pressure this time? 

Alvin Lee, slowly shook his head: "I don't think there was ever any pressure really, it's good fun playing live, it's like the old days when we started-all stuck together in the van and you make your own entertainment, it keeps a sort of camaraderie going. "I love touring and I love going by tour-bus, because you can't rely on airlines anymore if you've got connections to make." 

Leo Lyons: "The gigs are great, playing is fantastic, for me personally though, I sometimes find the travelling a bit boring, and there are less parties! "I think when you talk to musicians now-I'm not talking about us in particular, more the younger guys-you find that they're out there doing the radio stations, the in-stores, the promotion, the interviews, the sound-checks…. When we were touring in the late 1960's and early 1970's we didn't do any of that. "You reached your audiences by going out and doing the gig-bugger the press! That really was the attitude. Radio stations then would play a whole side of your album-so we'd do the radio, do the gig, then we'd party. There isn't as much partying anymore. Leo continues: "What I personally get out of it now, as always, is going onstage and performing to the audience that's there. "I'm prepared to do the rest-the promotion. the videos, everything, just to be able to do that, and I'm very appreciative of a fan who goes out and buys an album. If someone walked into my hotel and said, "Will you sign my album?" I'd say, "Thanks for buying it." 

Ric Lee: "It's good to go to a gig and never be quite sure what's going to happen, because the band never knows quite what's going to take place. They're doing the numbers, but they're never quite the same every night. That's certainly what interest me with this band, and what I'm sure a lot of people can see. "I mean, I don't imagine someone like Bon Jovi does "jam things", everyone's organised, and if you catch their show in Ohio it's probably exactly the same as the one they did in Los Angeles." 

Alvin Lee: "For years and years, we tried to make a record that sounded like the live gigs, which is the opposite way around as most bands are trying to make their gigs sound like the record, but we're basically a live band, with adrenalin, energy, interplay, is what happens onstage naturally." 

Ric Lee: "I think the primary aim is for us to enjoy it. Certainly on this tour we're not making money. We're doing it because we're enjoying it and to build a solid foundation for the future." 

Leo Lyons: "I think there are three things that are going to make it work: you have to enjoy it, you have to be successful, and you have to earn a living out of it. Without any of those it won't work, not for us anyway." 

Alvin Lee: "I actually now realize that I enjoyed struggling towards making it more than I enjoyed making it. When we'd so-called "made it" and were an established band, I didn't like that much at all, because the kind of "challenge" had gone. "We're not struggling to make it now, we're just struggling to turn people on to the music." A bit, I suggest, like fancying a girl, going after her, and then when yu finally "get" her, you lose interest? "Yeah, Right now we're enjoying the chase. In some ways we just have to make sure we don't get what we're looking for!"







 From RAW Magazine
 Issue from January 24 to February 6, 1990
 An interview where Alvin discusses playing at
 Woodstock and Jamming with Jimi Hendrix.

 Some years after Ten Years After called it a day,
 They're back again and perhaps surprisingly, being
 greeted with positive applause for their most recent
 record album called "About Time".
 Veteran guitar slinger Alvin Lee looks back, forward
 and sideways with our Sylvie Simmons who catches
 his bluesy drift.


It's three in the morning, an ice-cold New York night, the bars are closed, the bottle's getting low, and there's a witch sitting on the hotel bed. Long black hair, wigged-out eyes and a nice line in cosmic witchie patter. We'd just been out on the street talking to Ten Years After in their tour bus, Carole the publicist, Paul the Rock writer and I, after their pile driver performance at The Ritz club. And the witch, figuring we knew the band, followed us upstairs and hid in the toilet. When she emerged, she made a speech: she was not only a witch but Ten Years After's biggest fan! She was baptised in the sweat flying from Alvin Lee's snake-fingered solos! Her boyfriend, who refused to come, actually is Alvin Lee, though temporarily living in a different, dark-haired American body so as not to confuse anybody. Ten Years After, she declared, had "changed her life".

Well it was a hell of a show, raw as a chill-blain in stilettos, equal parts virtuoso experience and unbridled energy .Funny business, all these ancient bands reforming at the end of the last decade, and such a large proportion of them playing worthy, seminal music. Ten Years After's' About Time', their first album since 1974's 'Positive Vibrations', is their best album since '69's 'Shhh'. Produced by Terry Manning of ZZ Top fame, RAW's Malcolm Dome reckoned it was the album the Top should have made after 'Eliminator', and I can't disagree.

15 years ago, after leading the British Blues Rock boom, after an amazing 28 tours of the States, Ten Years After dissolved. "We just stopped touring," explains Alvin Lee. "We never hated each other. Ever! When we packed it in we'd been eight years on the road and we just got disenchanted. In fact we started getting disenchanted after the "Wood stock" movie came out in "1970". A lot of people said that made Ten Years After, but in fact we were doing really good before then, playing 3,000 to 5,000 five thousand seat venues. When the movie came out, it was like the mega dome arenas and ice hockey stadiums. We did that for a few years, but we weren't enjoying it. We were originally an underground band, we started playing clubs like The Marquee, real good gigs. Those stadiums are totally wrong for music. You can't see the audience, you don't get the feel. The sound just echoes around those places, and we kind of lost heart. I don't even know who brought it up first, but someone said, I'm getting fed up with this' and everyone went, "Yeah, so am I". So the honest thing to do was call it a day."

Alvin, then embarked on a patchy solo career, the others gravitated towards more behind-the-scenes roles in the music industry; producing, publishing. They kept in touch saw each other four or five times a year for a drink and when someone suggested they give it another go after eight years, just for The Marquee's 25th anniversary celebrations, they said, "Okay". Weren't they worried that after eight years one of them might have completely lost it, that the band wouldn't work? "In retrospect," says Alvin, "maybe I should have thought that. But for some reason I thought it was going to be easy. We had two days rehearsal. We got together for five minutes, chatted a bit to feel things out, but when we actually started playing, the amazing thing was it sounded exactly like Ten Years After! By rights it should have sounded a bit different, but it was unmistakeably TYA." So why didn't they stick around and make an album back in 1983? "I thought somebody might pick up on us, but it was definitely the young boys' time then. It was all haircuts and baggy trousers, and we had long hair and tight trousers still! I don't know. No-one seemed to want us."

But when, in '88, it appeared that someone did, they jumped at the chance to reform, becoming one of the many veteran acts trotting the boards again. "I think part of that is the Stock, Aitken & Waterman formula-singles thing. It's getting so boring now. There's not the kind of music you can actually go and get excited about in a live situation. Some of the bands don't even play live, they use tapes on stage. That's dreadful. And other bands, the better bands, are just performing their albums on stage. "The thing, I think, with older bands is there's more jamming, more interplay. Ten Years After, Rolling Stones, you can see the concerts and hear the same numbers but they never sound quite the same, they're always changing, and it doesn't get boring. "We've always tried to make our albums sound like live gigs, whereas a lot of bands try to make their gigs sound like the albums. " Also, I think some of the younger kids today look back to that kind of 60's togetherness thing, the peace movement, the anti-establishment thing, and they're saying, 'I wish we could have something like that'. Something to pull them all together."

Something, I suppose, like Woodstock, the festival that made TY A US superstars. "Woodstock was an accident," says Alvin. "It was disorganised and that's what was great about it. It was never meant to be that big of a deal. It was declared a National Disaster Area wasn't it?" he laughs. "To me the star of Woodstock was the audience. "I've got a jumble of memories. The most vivid is the journey in, because we could only get within about ten miles of the site and no nearer, the roads were all jammed. So we bundled into an army helicopter with an open side and I had a safety harness on. I was dangling out of the helicopter over half-a-million people.
"Backstage, there was a lot of politics and bartering over who was going on before who. I didn't get involved in it. I went for a walk around the lake and joined in with the audience and saw it from the other side of the stage. It was great. No one knew who I was, but people were offering me food and drink being really friendly. There wasn't so much camaraderie backstage. There's been a "Maybe it was the age we all were, but there seemed a lot more ego problems in the "1960s" lot more of that kind of thing between different bands since Live Aid.
Like the "Guitar Speak" thing that I did" the Night Of The Guitars tour in 1988, starring Alvin Lee, Leslie West, Steve Howe and the rest, Alvin says, "that was a load of fun...and, guitarists are renowned for not getting along! "There were ten lead guitarists on the bill, and it was great. Maybe it was the age we all were, but there seemed a lot more ego problems in the 1960's."

So, what were the egos like when Alvin jammed on stage with Jimi Hendrix one legendary night in New York?! "He was so far out that I never even tried to compete with him! He was too far out for me to even comprehend. Like he was on his own channel and everyone else was on theirs. And he was a larger than-life guy as well with that kind of aura about him. I think he once said he was from Mars," he laughs, "and I thought maybe he was. "He's left-handed so he couldn't play my guitar, so he took Leo's bass and played it upside-down. But he wasn't playing bass. He started playing lead bass and taking over. It was so incredible, we actually just stopped and let him carry on, and he kind of went off into outer space. He took a guitar and went twenty steps further than I've ever heard it go."

And, so to the new album. Were you worried about the original TYA feel living on after so long? "No. But, there was a danger sticking with the roots that it would sound old-fashioned. I think Terry Manning helped a lot. He encouraged us to keep it simple. And, as for the ZZ Top comparisons: " A compliment indeed! I thought 'Eliminator' was a great album. In fact when I first heard "Gimme All Your Lovin" I was upset, because I thought, 'Why didn't I write that?" There's one track on our album called "Judgement Day" and the intro sounds just like ZZ, that Billy Gibbons guitar sound and the way he played it. I got to the end of the song and said to Terry , "That sounded like ZZ Top did it? You're going to get the blame for this as the producer!'."
Yeah. But, what the hell…

Sylvie Simmons




The "About Time" Tour


January 27, 1990  

Ten Years After –“Storm Back” !

Odeon Hammersmith Concert


After playing shows in Germany, and described by the fans as “Sensational”, and the best they’ve been ever ! Ten Years After come storming back to play at the Odeon Hammersmith, London on January 27. 

It will be the all-time classic boogie band’s first major UK appearance since 1974. The band features the original line up, of Alvin Lee (Guitar and Vocals) Leo Lyons (Bass Guitar) Chick Churchill (Keyboards) and Ric Lee (Drums).

They very recently released their critically acclaimed album “About Time” on Chrysalis, and have just completed a successful tour. The Hammersmith gig forms part of a full European Tour. Tickets are priced at 9.50 and 8.50   


January 1990



From January 27, 1990

Ten Years After – Live At The Odeon Hammersmith London

  Article by – Pippa Lang


Why oh why did Captain Speed Fingers never make it mega ?

Mention Alvin Lee’s name and most people still have to think a bit, before remembering the famous “Ban The Bomb” Fender Strat of Woodstock. (It was a Cherry Red Gibson ES-335).

The straight blonde hair, the long face, screwed up in exquisite concentration, squeezing out the sparks for that unrepeatable rendition of “Going Home”….that was a long time ago

(The Woodstock Movie) came out after the 1969 festival). But nothing changes, thank God!

We are witnessing a time warp situation; and putrid smell of Afghan mingling with the musky whiff of patchouli oil. Love and peace man!

I’m sitting in the balcony with a grand stand view of our Alvin Lee giving his inimitable treatment of “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”, Leo Lyons bass, throbbing through the floor beneath my feet and setting up a rhythm for the hordes to stomp along to. “Going Home” is still a classic, after all these years and twenty years later, the Fender is still capable of extraordinary acrobatics. (It’s a Gibson ES-335 – not a Fender). The Ban the Bomb sticker is still there, a symbol of everlasting values. This is simply the best time that I’ve had in ages. Surrounded by hippies and heads, without a self conscious bone in their bodies, they are going ape-shit. Some are weeping. We’re going to do “Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes” next.

Our hero smiles warmly and the hippettes are hysterical. Alvin’s guitar gently weeps.

“Choo-Choo-Mama” the legendary set-ender nearly demolishes  the Hammy – Odeon !!!

There is a mass boogy-ing on the seats, a mad flurry of activity and an undulating sea of hair.

  It’s been almost eighteen years since Alvin Lee, Leo Lyons, Chick Churchill and Ric Lee have played together in one unit. A few experimental outfits in between, never really made it. As it’s taken this long for the four of them to realise they can’t do without each other. And judging by the reaction tonight, there are a fair few thousand who can’t do without the band either. Let’s hope it doesn’t  take another eighteen years before we get to here “I’m Going Home” live again.  



From Metal Hammer Magazine

Ten Years After – “Live Legends” – Castle Music - 1990

“This is not heavy metal” said Peter Burtz our esteemed editor of the German Metal Hammer looking in shock and horror at the video cover. So fucking what! This is Rock music and about a million times better than most of the complete crap that calls itself thrash and metal! Here are real musicians, playing great riffs and blues like “Good Morning Little School Girl” the tearaway “I’m Going Home” and Chuck Berry’s Classic “Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Johnny B. Goode”.

Get back to the roots and enjoy some unpretentious blowing at the hands of Alvin Lee (Guitar) Ric Lee (Drums) who is featured on his famous drum solo called ”Hobbit” Ric blast away on top form and so does Alvin, backed up by his old mates Chick Churchill (Keyboards) and Leo Lyons (Om Bass Guitar). 

By Chris Welch 




Ten Years After – Short Band Biography

From The Hard Rock & Heavy Metal Encyclopaedia

Ten Years After were one of the most important blues bands of the 1960’s and early 1970’s. The band made itself immortal with the classic “I’m Going Home” especially with the version on the “Woodstock Festival” from 1969. Leo Lyons, Alvin Lee and Ric Lee had not the slightest idea of when they formed the “Jaybirds” in 1966 to set up a new project with keyboard player Chick Churchill. The quartet took up the blues and were successful from the second album. “Undead”( which contained the original version of “I’m Going Home”).

The most important characteristics of the Ten Years After albums from that period were Alvin Lee’s unstoppable guitar solos, which were super fast for that period.

On “A Space In Time” the band suddenly started to experiment, because it was tired of the “I’m Going Home” success. The material became quieter, the rhythms on the contrary became stranger every time. Solo aspirations got the upper hand. Alvin built his own studio and recorded an album with the American vocalist Mylon Lefevre and also Chick Churchill produced one album under his own name. Ten Years After reunited one more time after the album “Recorded Live” 1973 – for “Positive Vibrations” 1974; after that, the members of the band took up solo careers. Chick Churchill started to work for Chrysalis Records (back then it was Ten Years After’s record company). Ric Lee started a production company and Leo Lyons produced bands, such as “UFO”. While Alvin Lee was the only one who stayed active as a musician. First as a solo artists, and then with the band “Ten Years Later” 1978-1979. again on his own and finally another time under the name “Ten Years After”. A concert on the “Reading” Festival was still feasible for the original line-up. But on other concerts which he gave under the name “Ten Years After” he was assisted by musicians who were so young that they did not experience the heydays of Ten Years After. But in 1990 the original members got back together for a very successful U.K. and German dates and went down a storm.    






I saw Alvin Lee with Ten Years After in Deggendorf (Niederbayern) at 29th November 1990 and it was a great Concert. The townhall of Deggendorf is not very large, but Alvin was excellent and showed us his best performance. I hear Alvin Lee and TYA since I was 10 Years old. My older brother bought the album "Undead" I think in 1969 and since then I love Alvin and his music. I bought all the LP's and CD's and Alvin is my favourite guitar player for ever. I love the sound, his solis and his voice

Our thanks to Franz Harles for sharing his memories with us





November 30, 1990 –  Weser Kurier Zeitung

Heim nach Woodstock – „Ten Years After“ trotzten im Aladin allen Trends

Es scheint noch Spaß zu machen. „Ten Years After“ – Bassist Leo Lyons, wie seine drei Kollegen flott in den Vierzigern, grinste verdächtig oft, während er mit gelenkigen Fingern seine Bassfiguren zupfte. Der Engländer hat sich kaum verändert: seinen Schnauzer wie damals, die Haare lang genug, um sie schütteln zu können. Sänger / Gitarrist Alvin Lee sieht man trotz Lederhose und Weste schon eher die Jahre an. Auch die Stimme ist nicht mehr hundertprozentig auf der Höhe. Wenn er allerdings in die Saiten greift, verklärt das den Blick allemal soweit, dass man sich zwanzig Jahre zurückversetzt fühlen kann: in goldene Zeiten, als der Begriff „progressive“ gültiges Schlagwort für Heavy – Psychedelic – und Bluesrock zugleich war. „Ten Years After“, im Gegensatz zu vielen anderen so genannten Reunions, komplett in Originalbesetzung, wissen was das Publikum erwartet. Für gutes Geld gibt’s den Sound von einst, auf solidem Niveau mit allen gewünschten Schikanen. Zwei moderate Rocknummern zum Aufwärmen, dann legt Alvin Lee unter dem Wiedererkennungs-Jubel der Menge das Riff zu „Good Morning Little Schoolgirl“ vor. Die Gitarren–Licks kommen, wie’s der Alt-Fan in Erinnerung hat. Bei dem Wort Blues in der folgenden Ansage jauchzt der halbe Saal. Nicht fehlen darf ein Stück mit fünfminütigem  Schlagzeug-Solo. Noch etwas mittelmäßiger als Ric Lee schon anno 70 trommelte, aber herrlich unzeitgemäß.

Im Laufe des Abends zitiert sein Namensvetter auf der roten Gitarre - Canned Heat - Jimi Hendrix – Deep Purple – die alten Weggenossen. Selbst die zahme „Johnny B. Goode“ – Version erntet frenetischen Beifall (Schubert ein biederes Hard Rock–Unternehmen aus Tirol handelte sich zuvor für ein Rock `n´ Roll Medley nur müde Klatscher ein). „I Woke Up This Morning“ in schwerer, urbritischer Bluesrock–Manier , „Love Like A Man“, ein ellenlanger Titel mit Gitarre–am Mikroständer–Instrumentalteil, dann ist der Höhepunkt erreicht. „Now wie take you back to Woodstock“. Wen stört da noch, dass „I’m Going Home“ altersbedingt an Tempo eingebüsst hat. Die Stimmung stimmt  - Rock –Nostalgie pur.  










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