ALVIN LEE (1944 - 2013)

Tribute to ALVIN LEE


Tribute to Alvin Lee Media Tributes Concert at L'Olympia, Paris Review





6 March 2013

Very sad news and hard to believe, ALVIN LEE has passed away
this morning at the age of 68.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who knew Alvin.
Most of all to his family, to his friends around the world,
and personally to Leo, Ric and Chick
for the loss of your respected band mate and friend.


We are in deep shock to hear about the loss of our guitar hero
Alvin Lee.

Dave and Brigitte


6th March 2013
I heard only a few hours ago about Alvin passing away.
It came as a complete shock to me and I have still not taken it in.
I feel very sad. He was the closest thing I had to a brother. We had our differences
but we shared so many great experiences together that nothing can take away.
I will miss him very much. He was an inspiration for a generation of guitar players.
Keep on Rocking Alvin.





From Classic Rock Magazine:

Alvin Lee ex bandmates stunned by death

TYA: Ric Lee, Leo Lyons, Chick Churchill, Alvin Lee


Lee passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning, March 6. He had been admitted to hospital in Spain, where he lived, for a routine surgical procedure for atrial arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) but died from unforeseen complications. He was 68.


Alvin Lee’s former bandmates have expressed their shock at his death:

Ric Lee: “We are all stunned. All of us. I don’t think it’s even sunk in yet as to the reality of his passing. We are all thinking of his family and friends today, and offer our own condolences.”

Leo Lyons: “It came as a complete shock to me. I still haven’t taken it in. I feel very sad. He was the closest thing I had to a brother. We had our differences, but we shared so many great experiences together that nothing can take away. I will miss him very much. He was an inspiration for a generation of guitar players. Keep on rockin’, Alvin!”

Chick Churchill: "It has taken me a few days to accept that my inspiration has gone. Though I accept it, it does not make it any easier. In the early days he gave me such encouragement with my keyboard playing that he made me a much better player. When I lived in Spain we spent many hours together and Evi cooked some wonderful meals for us. Evi and I have emailed and she is a very brave lady. I send all my hearfelt prayers to Evi, Jasmine and Suzanne. I shall miss a great man."


Other musicians' comments:

Pete Pritchard (on his website): I would like to thank the many people who have sent me messages of sympathy at the sudden and tragic passing of Alvin Lee on 6th March.
It was my honour to play bass for him these last ten years. Alvin was a wonderful and unique man. He was totally unaffected by his rock star status and hated all the "star" hype, preferring to be one of the lads in the band.
To say he was an amazing guitarist is an understatement. Often his solos would nearly lift me off the stage.
I never saw him play a bad show. He always walked off to a standing ovation and encores.
He loved his Rock n roll, rockabilly, blues and jazz and I will miss our chats on all things music so much.
We were due to play the Olympia in Paris April 7th. This will now be a very difficult day for me indeed. I can't believe that I will never again be together with Alvin, Evi (Alvin’s wife), Richard Newman (drums) and Steve Rispin (sound), laughing backstage, enjoying each other’s company and making music. My condolences to Alvin’s family at this dreadfully sad time.
With love and respect, PETE

Richard Newman (on his website): "I just wanted to say as a lot of you know Alvin lee died on mon, I have played drums for him for the last 10 years and was due to do a gig with him in April. wasn't sure if it was cool to write this on here but it.. It's amazing how you take it for granted that you will c people again treat everybody like its the last time your gonna c them because it could be . Alvin to me was great to work with, kind and respectful and had no big ego what so ever he new what the music business was and was haveing none of it . I'll miss him, love to all his family, rip Alvin c ya when I get there . That's that of my chest, love to all. He Was The Real Deal".

Mama Paula: "I first met Alvin in a restaurant called Kapinski’s on the golden mile in Marbella Spain. Chick Churchill had recently joined my band on Key’s. We had finished our first set and retired to the bar where Alvin was sitting with his wife Evi. I had been a big fan of Alvin’s since seeing the film from Woodstock; I decided there and then that I wanted to be a guitarist just like Alvin Lee. To then see the man himself right there in front of me was almost too much to take in. Several meetings after that I was invited to Alvin and Evi’s for sandwiches and tea (not very rock n roll I know) but we went up to Alvin’s studio and sat and jammed for an hour or two. Chick was on the piano, Alvin was on his Big Red and I was playing a rather nice white Stratocaster. I played a little finger tap lick that Alvin quite liked and Chick said "be careful or he might steel it". I said "if Alvin Lee uses one of my licks then my life is complete" I do miss him so! RIP".

Joe Brown:Alvin was probably the best rock‘n’roll guitarist I’ve ever met. It is going to be a great loss to us all. I’ll certainly miss him.”

Chris Wright, chairman (non exec) BMG Chrysalis UK:My career, and the foundations of the entire Chrysalis organisation, started when Alvin and his group, who soon changed their name to Ten Years After, came up to Manchester in 1966 to play in a small student blues club I operated with a friend. I immediately signed them to a management contract, and later they joined both Chrysalis Records and Chrysalis Music. They went on to be an integral part of the British rock and blues invasion of the States, and starred at both the Woodstock festival, and in the subsequent film. For a while in the late 60s and early 70s they were on a par with any group in the world in terms of popularity. He was known as the fastest guitarist in the West, but that belied the fact that he was also one of the most talented, and certainly the most proficient. He was also a great on stage performer. It is really sad we will never see him again. His passing leaves a tremendous void in an era of great British music.”

Geezer Butler: Shocked and saddened. One of the true greats and a major influence on Sabbath. The fastest guitar in the west. He was one of the few people that believed in Sabbath when we started out, and he got us our first major London gig, at the Marquee. A true gentleman and lovely bloke.”

Bill Ward: “Thank you, Alvin, for all that you were. For all that you gave. You were one of a kind. Your music rocked with passion, force, excitement; brave in risk, bringing this listener to the point of ‘wowism’. In short, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Our condolences go to Alvin’s family.”

Glenn Cornick (Jethro Tull): Terribly sad to hear of Alvin's death. Please pass along my regards to his family if you can. We worked together so much in the old days.  With sadness. Glenn Cornick

Slash: “He was the first badass, super fast lead guitarist I remember hearing as a kid. legend.”

Glenn Hughes: “So very sad to hear of another friend passing.”

Joe Bonamassa: “Rest in peace, Alvin Lee. Another hero gone this week… This is becoming too regular. A very sad night.”

Joe Satriani: “A big influence on my playing. He was a great musician and a gentleman too. I still have the pick he gave me a few years back…”

Keith Emerson: “Dear Alvin, you checked out way too early my friend. I’ll miss the fun we had on mini-motorcycles, you as ‘Awful Knawful’ and our failed attempt to swim back to England from the Bahamas. That was some time ago but we made it through. Above all everyone will remember the fun and the music you made.”

Fish: “A great guitarist and fine and lovely bloke. Will never forget the laughs we had together in Tel Aviv at an extremely dodgy festival and the eternal drinking in the bar waiting on the gig that never happened.”

Foghat: “Truly one of the great guitarists of our time. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family and friends. You will be missed.”

Danny Vaughn: “So sad to lose Alvin Lee, one of the first great guitar heroes.”

Brian May (writing on his website): “(Lee was) a legendary and influential guitarist and very nice bloke. His speed and dexterity, in the days when I would go as a student to the Marquee Club to see Ten Years After, was scary and exciting. He was daring enough to play and sing close to his limit every time.”

Roger Chapman: “Alvin Lee. What a great natural guitar player. Frightened of nothing, just grabbed a guitar and rocked like fuck. Met him in 1961 thereabouts, shared a stage in Nottingham with him and he was on it then. Playing songs, me being a bit snobbish, I never thought any other British muso knew except myself so I was instantly impressed and have been ever since. Always stayed pals even though we were separated by different roles and countries. He did a lot of really good stuff on my albums over the years. ‘Do you wanna run through, Alv?’ I’d say and he’d reply ‘Nah, just sling it down and take it’. What a natural! What a guy! Lotsa love Alvin, it was a pleasure knowing you.”

Mylon LeFevre: “Everybody knows he was a great musician and guitarist, but he was a lot more than that to me. He was my brother and friend from the first time I met him in 1970. He was a good man with a good heart. He was an honest man. As far as I knew, he did everything he ever told me he would do. He never lied to me, not one time. He was generous, kind and loyal to our friendship. He was a “Rock Star” and I was just a country boy from Georgia in an opening band. But from the beginning he treated me like an equal. We met when my band opened for Ten Years After on one of their first American tours, after the Woodstock gig. At first, we just hung out after the gigs, got loaded and jammed. Eventually we started to write some songs together. After one of the five tours we did together, we decided while on vacation in Jamaica to lay down some tracks and see where it led us. That was the beginning of, “On The Road To Freedom”. During the 43 years that I knew him, I learned to truly love him like a brother and I will miss him. It was an honour to be his friend”.  

Kenny Wayne Shepard: Rest In Peace Alvin Lee, one of the greatest guitar players ever. We lost you too soon. Thanks for the music.  

Mick Mars (Motley Crew): Rest In Peace Alvin Lee. I loved you very much. You taught me well.  

Peter Frampton (Humble Pie): “I still can’t believe we’ve lost Alvin Lee. My day went into slow motion after I heard this. Been talking to friends about times we all spent together. It’s very sad. He was a wonderful person and an amazing guitar player”.  

Ray Davies (The Kinks): “My rock and roll hero. I was at a show in the Fillmore East, I yelled out several times for “Spoonful”. Alvin said, “We have a request”. I saw them sixteen times in three states, they got me through so many difficult years. Rock bands will come and rock bands will go, but rock and roll will live on forever”.


From Fans:

Gary Herrington: I’ve always been an Alvin Lee fan.  I was fortunate enough to see him in concert once, and have always thought I would have another chance one of these days.  With Alvin’s passing that opportunity is gone.  The one time I saw Alvin Lee in concert was in Morgantown, West Virginia.  Well, actually it was a tiny community located on the other side of the river from Morgantown called Westover.  Westover had an open air pavilion, set into a hillside, that was curved, not very large, and the bottom rows were about stage elevation.  the seats were bench seats and the rows rose up at a very steep angle so you could easily see over the people in front of you and you were very close to the stage, even in the last row, even if off to the side. I have nothing from that concert except the memory.  But it remains, to this day, my favorite concert of all time.  It was a 3 act performance with Roger McGuin opening, then Alvin, and Steppenwolf closing.  Poor Steppenwolf.  No one should have to play after Alvin Lee.  He blew everyone away and, literally, stole the show. Alvin Lee was great that night.  A truly intimate setting.  I remember Roger McGuin coming out from behind the stage curtain (or perhaps it was just stage equipment, on the far left hand side of the stage (if looking into the crowd from the stage), in a spot where the center stage performers could not see him.  And he was obviously enjoying just watching the crowd get overwhelmed by Alvin Lee.  A great memory. 

Kevin Rey: I was lucky enough to attend a Ten Years After concert in Buffalo, NY in September of 1969 while I was home on leave from military service. Woodstock had taken place just a month before that time and I had missed out on that. But there was a great concert scheduled for a time that I was at home and it was Johnny Winter opening for TYA in a great music venue in Buffalo, NY. That venue was Kleinhans Music Hall (home of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra). So this past week it was very sad news to learn that a guitar hero of many millions of music fans had died, and we all shall miss Alvin Lee. But many of us were lucky to have seen and heard him play live, and I'm glad to be one of them.


From A Fan: “I saw them at the Fillmore. Alvin Lee was one of the best guitarist in the world and he should be respected just like Hendrix and Page”. 

From A Fan: RIP Alvin. Thanks for the song “I’d Love To Change The World”. You did.

 From A Fan: Ten Years After was the real star of Woodstock. Alvin, thanks for showing us all how blues / boogie / rock was really done”.   

 From A Fan: Alvin Lee has been my favourite musician and favourite person since the first time I heard him in 1970 on the Woodstock album. The second song I heard by Alvin was Boogie On. That was when I became a huge fan of his. I have been listening to his music everyday since then. That’s over three decades of Alvin Lee. I will miss him a lot. I am so sad that he died!

 From A Fan: “Fillmore East, I’m still recovering WOW! I’d say RIP, but Alvin is not going to be peacefully plucking a harp – he’s going to rock the joint up there!







Henrik  06.03.2013 - 07:48h

Sadly, Alvin has passed away today. RIP.


Jan Jones  06.03.2013 - 16:15h


Alvin's Sudden Passing
Oh, my God! I am stunned at the news. R.I.P. Alvin. God's peace and comfort to your family, friends and fans. Leo, Ric, Chick......I'm so sorry. Jan Jones



Tough Pill to Swallow
I can't keep from cryin'...


Theo L.Laagland  06.03.2013 - 17:22h

Hello Dave and Brigitte 

Did you already here the sad news, that Alvin Lee has passed away today, on the age of 68 yars. 

LG Theo

Daniel Dai   06.03.2013 - 17:49h

Word is circulating that Mr. Lee has passed away. Is this true. It has shown up on two sites.

Thanks in Advance for any info you may have.
I hope this is not some kind of sick joke.



Claudia Staehr  06.03.2013 - 18:45h


Hi Dave,
Such sad news. . .I tried posting a message on the Message Board, but I don't think it went through.  The site is probably being inundated by similar messages. 
I feel like it's truly the "end of an era" don't you?  I wonder what Herb's comments would be. . .
Best to you and Brigitte at this sad time,


Hello Claudia - yes very sad news indeed - we're in shock, as are many other people. 68 is too young to die.
Herb is there to welcome him in person and in the spirit of music.
Love from Brigitte and Dave
Hi Dave,
Just think, they're together now. . .that's really kind of cool!


06.03.2013 - אדר אבישר  22:28h   (from Israel)

I don't know if it's an subjective feeling' but too many Classic Rock legends leave us and go to this great gig in the sky… in my youth I was a rock reporter In a major Israeli daily newspaper and being a member of one of Israel's pioneering Prog bands in the 70s got to meet and interview many Rock musicians some of them becoming personal friends.

In the 80's I established in Tel Aviv a Jam session club that hosted many of the Bands that came to Tour Israel and even recorded an album with members of Van there Graaf, Guy Evans and Nick potter.

I met Alvin Lee the first time in London, Jon Lord of Deep Purple introduced me to him after a gig in the Hammersmith Odeon. when arriving in Israel with his band Alvin agreed to participate in A jam Session I've put up in a local Rock venue in Tel Aviv with all the Leading rock musician in Israel.,.. Alvin had the time of his life and asked me to join him on Keyboards with his band - Alan Young and Fuzzy Samuels (member of Crosby, Stills & Nash band).

The next day Alvin had a special request: he wanted to visit the dead sea... I agreed in one condition – that we will take along his red Les Paul guitar so I can take a photo of it in the lowest place in the world.

We drove down the next day and Alvin brought with him a guitar and played a wonderful Blues and named it "The Dead Sea Blues". Although he had fully booked gigs Alvin said that he can't resist playing the guitar any moment of the day… he didn’t miss any opportunity to jam with Israel's Local musicians that were taken by his charm and artistic generosity. In our last conversation he described the late Jon Lord as a "True English gentleman". Well, today' I can say the same thing about Alvin. Not only was a virtuoso - Alvin a great musician and great human being. On behalf of the older generation of rock musicians in Israel and Israeli rock lovers I can say one thing – we will all miss him – Alvin is going home for the last time


mike and liz miller  06.03.2013 - 22:33h


Dear Dave,  

I only today heard the news.  I'm extremely sad....he was a huge part of my life.  Your thoughts?   Hope you are doing well.
I have a heavy heart my friend.  God how much his talent gave me a sense of utter pride in 1979, when no one my age knew who the hell he was, and everyone was listening to reo speedwagon and styxx, while my friend Steve and I were rocking to TYA....I'm still crying.



Wayne Gregory Catalano  07.03.2013 - 01:41h

Hi Dave and Brigitte,

Long time no talk. I am sure by now you have heard of the shocking news of Alvin passing. As one of his biggest fans I know how hard this must be for you guys, as it is for me. Really hard to believe.




Larry Gareau  07.03.2013 - 01:52h

Brigitte, I heard the sad news today of Alvin's passing and want to send my sincere condolences out to you and all close to Alvin. We were in contact over the years and I came across your e-mail address. I hope you do not mind that I sent this note. I have some fond memories of his amazing musicianship, he will live on forever.

Take care, Larry Gareau


Dave and Brigitte, you must be in shock with Alvin's so sudden passing. It is hard to process it all. Thank you for responding. I was sitting around for hours last night watching videos on youtube of Alvin and Ten Years After over the years. I am glad that I was able to see him play a bunch of times in my area. What an amazing talent. It is a great tribute to him looking at the comments and condolences from the musicians over the world posting on media about his passing.  
Take care and I will be in touch, yours in music, Larry Gareau


John Tsagas  07.03.2013 - 12:45h


Just heard the news....  It's a sad day.... :o( :o( :o(
We'll always love him....


Jean Baptiste Ritter  07.03.2013 - 12:47h

So traurig, undendlich traurig (TYA Fan aus der Schweiz)

Hallo Brigitte,
Wir haben uns einige eMails in den letzten Jahren geschrieben, erinnerst Du Dich ?

Ich kann es jetzt einfach nicht glauben.
Wie fühlst du Dich ?

Alvin's liner notes für seine neuste CD sind so schön geschrieben (habe die CD noch nicht gehört). Dieser Text zeigt uns, noch einmal, nochmals, wie toll er war, nicht nur als Musiker, sondern auch und vor allen einfach als Mensch.

Die Welt ist leerer und grauer geworden.

Halt durch !

Besten Grüsse aus der Schweiz


Patrick   07.03.2013 - 19:44h

My poor and dear friend.
I ve heard tonight that Alvin passed....
His recent  music was not mine, but he was my hero for a very very long time.
I am sad so sad.
We won’t meet in Paris in April....
So sad
So sad.....

Kay Wheeler  07.03.2013 - 20:12h

Alvin Lee in my view did the best rock and roll performance of all time with his "I'm Going Home" at Woodstock. He was unbridled, wild, intense, skilled--almost incredible to watch. I've lived a while and seen a lot; and Alvin, you rocked it out better than them all (that says a lot). He was all about true rock. You win, Alvin. I hope you have a good place in that great "Milky White Way." Condolences to his family

from Kay Wheeler, Queen of the Rock & Bop!


jacky moutaillier (photographe)

you should know that I am very sad about the death of my friend!
it is a part of my life
that starts with alvin







Photo by Peter B. Mand



Tribute to Alvin Lee Media Tributes Concert at L'Olympia, Paris Review

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