Alvin Lee – Rockspective (VHSrip) (1993)

FrontCover1.jpgRockspective … is a very rare Video, featuring unreleased TYA/Alvin Lee Clips and an in-depth interview with Alvin Lee by John Platt (JP):

JP: Alvin, anybody who has listened to any of your music for the last twenty five years or so would know that your roots are firmly in the blues, but how did a young boy growing up in late 1950’s England get to hear the blues?

AL: My father used to collect blues, he was an avid fan of chain/prison work songs, chain-gang songs, that kind of thing and I grew up with that, it was always playing around the house. He was a fanatic, he used to listen to Big Bill Broonzy and Lonnie Johnson, more the delta blues and the Mississippi blues rather than the city blues and he had a very ethnic collection of stuff which is as I say, it just must of, sort of got into my brain at a very early age, and one day I remember very vividly I was twelve years old and he went to see Big Bill Broonzy playing in Nottingham in a club where I lived and he brought him back to the house and they went and woke me up so I could see this guy and I remember sitting on the floor looking up at this giant man stomping away playing the blues and I think that was probably what started it all off, like the next day I decided to become a blues player.

JP: Were your first influences the country blues players that your father liked?

AL: Yeah, they were I suppose, it was a mixed thing, I had previously to that I had played the clarinet for a year and I didn’t like it, it was one of those things where they said we want you to play an instrument what do you want to play and I don’t know why I said the clarinet but I played the clarinet and then through listening to Benny Goodman I heard Charlie Christian and I decided I liked what Charlie was doing much more than what Benny Goodman was doing, so I definately had a feeling for the guitar. It’s difficult to say, all those years ago but the guitar to me, I think it’s the Big Bill Broonzy thing that really clinched it, I just went and swapped my clarinet for a guitar in fact … (I include the complete interview in the written version)

A rare and very intersting interview with one of the finest guitar Player from the British Blues Boom !












Various Artists – Night Of The Guitar – Live ! (1989)

FrontCover1.JPGAt the end of the 80s, the music scene was dominated as much in Europe as in the rest of the world, by mass phenomena that fought for first place in record sales. The lovelies Rick Astley, Pet Shop Boys, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Wet Wet Wet, Kylie Minogue jostled for the supersale throne with some groups – with guitar in hand- that defended rock licks, distortion and delays: Guns ‘n’ Roses, Def Leppard, U2, or Metallica were writing their own legends.

In those years, an event that went almost unnoticed brought together nine guitarists for seven gigs in Great Britain (from 20-26 of Nov., 1988) and peaked with a brief tour of Europe. You can hardly find any news about it on the Web and it was finally left to posterity on a double live record and a handful of videos. Guitars Exchange was there.

Before a wall of Marshall screens, getting on and off stage, alternating turns for 3 hours, were Steve Howe (Yes, Asia), Leslie West (Mountain), Robby Krieger (The Doors), Randy California (Spirit), Steve Hunter (Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Peter Gabriel), Pete Haycock (Climax Blues Band), Andy Powell and Ted Turner (Wishbone Ash), and Alvin Lee (Ten Years After). The ‘nine axes’ enjoyed a rhythm section that clearly met expectations: Clive Mayuyu (drums), Derek Holt (bass and voice), Livingstone Browne (bass and keyboards) and Chris Bucknall (keyboards).


The initiative all came from the record label I.R.S. No Speak, founded at the beginning of 1988 by Miles Copeland III, master of ceremonies of the night of the guitar and brother of Stewart Copeland (The Police drummer, who also took part as invited guest on the final number that closes the record). Copeland’s aim was none other than to shine light on instrumental rock in the hands of excellent musicians, giving them shelter on a record label devoted exclusively to his production. Somehow you had to protect yourself in a storm of disco, punk, New age. It was an ambitious purpose, musically valid, although financially risky: the label closed after 3 years with just 19 records produced.

Steve Hunter.jpg

Night of the Guitar – Live! was perhaps the shining moment of the adventure. Pete Haycock’s semi-acoustic Höfner and Steve Hunter’s electric Neal Moser open the record with three numbers, Dr. Brown I Presume (Brown’s notable bass solo), The Idler and Lucienne. Three pieces on records both guitarists released the same year: Guitar and Son and The Deacon respectively. It’s a mixture of rock fusion that culminates in the delicate ballad (3rd track), passing through rock that hides a feeling of urban jazz in Hunter’s piece. He authored unforgettable bits of the soundtracks of our lives: such as the introduction to Lou Reed’s Sweet Jane or the acoustic on Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel, to name a couple.

To electrify the air after the ballad, we turn to Randy California and his Charvel, a brand of guitar made popular that decade thanks to high-end guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads and Richie Sambora, among others. After Groove Thing, a brilliant intro replete with harmonies hammered out on the neck, Randy takes charge on a version of Hey Joe in a powerful tribute to his friend and colleague Jimi Hendrix, with whom he shared venues in New York nightclubs in 1966. This was during the militant times of Jimmy James & The Blue Flames, and before the worldwide success of the lefty, before he became known as Jimi.


The fortunate fans were already set to welcome who was probably the most anticipated name on the ticket: Robby Krieger and his Gibson ES-355 from 1964- his favourite at that point in his life, the 80s, when he searched for more of a jazz sound- definitely brought the house down with a version of Love Me Two Times (The Doors, 1967) with a much ‘fuller’ guitar than the original.

And who better than Ted Turner and Andy Powell to re-establish order in the house? The bi-cylindrical engine of the Wishbone Ash, in perfect synchrony, unsheathed in a version of his classic from 1972 The King Will Come, where Turner’s fabulous Paul Reed Smith (the American brand had been making their gems for hardly 3 years) and the ‘classic’ Gibson Flyin’ V of his mate bring this guitar dialogue to life with an unbeatable connection.


It was now Leslie ‘the mountain’ West´s turn and his Steinberger, which in his hands looks like a toy. He was in top form, for sure. The two pieces that appear on the record are classics from the Mountain album Climbing! in 1970: a very personalised version of Theme From An Imaginary Western by Jack Bruce and Never In My Life.

Then, once again, after the storm came the calm, from the hands of Steve Howe and his Martin 00-18. A master class of guitar technique on Clap Medley, the only acoustic number of the night without accompaniment. Then time to switch the Martin for a Gibson ES-175 (his main guitar during the militant years of Yes) and in the company of Pete Haycock, start up Würm, a 1971 classic from the English progressive rock band.

Alvin Lee and his Tokai Signature take over in the final stretch with a powerful instrumental No Limit, in probably one of the best moments of the album. With a hard version of Ain’t Nothin’ Shakin’ together with all his mates on stage, nine ‘axes’ for an unforgettable cover of the Dylan classic All Along The Watchtower, and a final medley of the great hits, Whole Lotta Shakin’, Dizzy Miss Lizzie, Johnny B. Goode, Rock & Roll Music and Bye Bye Johnny Bye Bye. A display of skill and real passion for our favourite instrument, genuine fireworks fit to mess up any Rick Astley who gets in the way…


It was an unforgettable night. A night in which nine guardians of the guitar, nine rock gods, got together to reclaim -at the end of the 80s- a gender that they themselves made so very big and continues to be. (by Massimo D’Angelo)

And I was a very lucky guy … ´cause I saw all these guys during their shot Europena tour in Munich (feat. Jan Akkerman on guitar) … It was one of the best concerts I´ve ever saw !

And the wind beginns to howl … 



On guitar:
Alvin Lee – Andy Powell – Leslie West – Pete Haycock – Randy California – Robby Krieger –  Steve Howe – Steve Hunter – Ted Turner
Livingstone Brown (bass, keyboards)
Chris Bucknell (keyboards)
Derek Holt (bass, vocals on 08.)
Clive Mayuyu (drums)



Pete Haycock:
01. Dr. Brown I Presume (Haycock) 5.03

Steve Hunter & Pete Haycock:
02. The Idler (Hunter) 5.35
03. Lucienne (Haycock) 5.55

Randy California & Steve Hunter:
04. Groove Thing (California) 4.43

Randy California:
05. Hey Joe (Roberts) 5.01

Robby Krieger & Steve Hunter:
06. Love Me Two Times (Krieger/Morrison/Densmore/Manzarek) 4.58

Ted Turner &Andy Powell:
07. The King Will Come (M.Turner/Upton/T.Turner/Powell) 7.01

Leslie West:
08. Theme From An Imaginary Western (Bruce/Brown) 5.11
09. Never In My Life (Collins/Lang/Pappalardi/West) 5.07

Steve Howe:
10. Clap Medley (Howe) 5.55

Steve Howe & Pete Haycock;
11. Wurm (Howe) 4.08

Alvin Lee;
12. No Limit (Lee/Hubbard) 4.37
13. Ain’t Nothin’ Shakin’ (Colacrai/Fontane/Gluck/Lambert) 5.37

Steve Howe, Andy Powell, Randy California, Pete Haycock & Robby Krieger:
14. All Along The Watchtower (Dylan) 7.17

Alvin Lee, Leslie West, Ted Turner & Steve Hunter:
15. Rock N Roll Medley 8.39
15.1. Whole Lotta Shakin’ (Williams)
15.2. Dizzy Miss Lizzie (Williams)
15.3. Johnny B. Goode (Berry)
15.4. Rock & Roll Music (Berry)
15.5. Bye Bye Johnny Bye Bye (Berry)




Alvin Lee – One More Chance (1975)

FrontCover1This recording came from a show in London, culled from one of Alvin Lee’s tours after initially leaving Ten Years After. In the same year, he crossed the pond to embark on a number of gigs for his first U.S. solo tour. Lee had done an astounding 28 U.S. tours in only seven years with TYA, and he had exploded on movie screens everywhere as part of the Woodstock documentary, so audiences everywhere were very familiar with Lee and his music.

Although TYA had seen enormous success as a live act and, to a lesser degree, as a studio band, Lee had stayed with the group longer than he felt he should have. Having been pigeon-holed into the bass-guitar-drums-organ instrumentation, and playing mostly 12-bar blues progressions, he became musically bored.

Lee departed the group in early 1974, and after releasing a country-rock album, On the Road to Freedom, with gospel singer Mylon LeFevre and a bevy of top-notch guest musicians, he put together Alvin Lee and Company. They did their first show at London’s Rainbow Theater in 1974 on a dare, but the gig turned out so well that Lee released it as the double-LP In Flight. The band, which included former Humble Pie keyboardist Tim Hinkley and ex-members of Joe Cocker’s Grease Band, would remain Lee’s touring and recording band for several years after these tracks were cut.



So, this is another rare Albin Lee bootleg (thanks to Oh Boy records !) and this is the other side of Alvin Lee … an real beautiful side !


Tim Hinkley (keyboards)
Neil Hubbard (guitar)
Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals)
Alan Spenner (nass)
Ian Wallace (drums)
Background vocals:
Dyan Birch – Frank Collins – Paddie McHugh


The wrong picture(booklet: Ten Years Later from 1978

01. Let The Sun Burn Down (Lee)  6.25
02. You Told Me (Lee) 3.58
03. How Many Times (Lee) 2.59
04. Going Through The Door (Lee) 5.40
05. I’ve Got Eyes For You, Baby     2:35
06. Ride My Train (Lee) 7.56
07. Julian Rice (Lee) 5.29
08. One More Chance (Lee) 4.15
09. Rock ‘N Roll (Lee) 5.56
10, Johnny B. Goode (Berry) 3.50



Alvin Lee – Zoom (1992)

FrontCover1This was Alvin Lee´s first digitally recorded solo album and Zoom is one of the best solo albums by guitar wizzard Alvin Lee. Some comments of his fans:

“What an excellent CD. I have always enjoyed Alvin Lee. This collection is absolutely wonderful. The songs are great. The music is the highest quality, and of course his singing- only the best. Most pleasing to the ears. Takes me back to my younger years when I first heard him. Thank you Alvin Lee. You are the best. ”

” Simple, direct, great… From start to end is music at its best, to be joyful, to dance, no matter if the lyrics are sad or happy, it fullfills the quest of making musical sounds! ”

“With the release of the fantastic album ZOOM in 1992, Alvin Lee came back again with his excellent guitar work.”

And If you would like another “killer song” … listen to “A Little Bit Of Love”: this song was made to be played loud !!!

And “Real Life Blues” was written in 1992, but is still necessary …

Steve Grant (bass, keyboards, background vocals)
Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals, drums on 08.)
Alan Young (drums)
Clarence Clemons (saxophone on 02., 09. – 11.)
Billie Dixon (bass on 09.)
Steve Gould (background vocals + bass, keyboards on 08.)
George Harrison (slide-guitar on 06.)
Tim Hinkley (piano on 10. + 11.)
Jon Lord (organ on 06. + 09.)
Richard Newman (drums on 02., 04. + 11.)
Deena Payne (background vocals)
The Zoomettes (background vocals on 11.)

01. A Little Bit Of Love (Lee) 3.45
02. Jenny Jenny (Lee/Gould)) 4.22
03. Remember Me (Lee) 4.35
04. Anything For You (Lee) 4.53
05. The Price Of This Love (Lee) 4.04
06. Real Life Blues (Lee) 4.33
07. It Don’t Come Easy (Lee) 5.05
08. Lost In Love (Lee/Gould) 4.05
09. Wake Up Moma (Lee) 3.55
10. Moving The Blues (Lee) 4.02
11. Use That Power (Lee) 4.19


RealLifeBluesNo comment necessary

Alvin Lee – Detroit Diesel (1987)

FrontCover1By the time of 1986’s Detroit Diesel, Alvin Lee had settled down somewhat. No longer were his songs simply showcases for his astonishingly fast technique, and he was able to open his blues jams into funky grooves. That doesn’t mean that Detroit Diesel is a particuarly remarkable album, but it does have more enjoyable moments, such as the Stonesy “Too Late to Run for Cover,” than the average latter-day Lee album. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Detroit Diesel portrays Alvin Lee in more mature and relaxed mood. This collection of 10 tracks includes cuts that range from Blues romps to funky jams. His astonishing technique is still well displayed, but the material gives him a chance to stretch out and groove in a style closer to the Rolling Stones than Ten Years After. An all-star collection of old mates – such as Jon Lord, Joe Brown and George Harrison – make guest appearances, but the heavy duty backing work is carried out by Tim Hinkley (keyboards), Steve Gould (guitar), the late Boz Burrell (bass) and Bryson Graham (drums), who cook up a smokin’ rhythm section (by Repertoire Records).

Booklet 6APersonnel:
Mick Fe’at (bass, background vocals)
Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals, harmonica, drums + bass on 04.)
Alan Young (drums)
Boz Burrell (bass on 08.)
Joe Brown (fiddle on 06.)
Vicky Brown (background vocals)
Steve Gould (background vocals, synthesizer on 04. + 09., guitar on 06. + 10.)
Bryson Graham (drums on 05., 07. + 09.)
George Harrison (slide-guitar on 04.)Lee
Tim Hinckley (keyboards on 01, 03, 04. + 08., piano on 06., background vocals)
David Hubbard (keyboards, bass on 02., synthesizer on 09.)
Jon Lord (organ on 05. + 10.)
Leo Lyons (bass on 01.)

01. Detroit Diesel (Lee/Gould) 4.45
02. Shot In The Dark (Lee/Hubbard) 4.02
03. Too Late To Run For Cover (Lee/Hinkley)
04. Talk Don’t Bother Me (Lee) 3.38
05. Ordinary Man (Lee) 4.00
06. Heart Of Stone (Lee/Gould) 4.07
07. She’s So Cute (Lee) 3.18
08. Back In My Arms Again (Lee)
09. Don’t Want To Fight (Lee/Gould) 4.25
10. Let’s Go (Lee/Gould) 3.30



Alvin Lee – Live At The Rockclub, Munich (1993)

FrontCover1In 1993 Alvin Lee did a tour through Germany to promote his “Nineteen Ninety-Four” album, which was released in the same year.

And this is an audience tape from this tour (recorded by me).

So you can hear a typically Alvin Lee concert from this period of his career  (with an exhausted audience !)… many songs from his “Nineteen Ninety-Four” album and a few songs from his Ten Years After period … I guess this´was a defiant Alvin Lee concert .. he tried to escape from his “Ten Years After” image …

And so it´s a very import recording, because Alvin Lee was more than “Mr. Ten Years After” … and I guess, this is a very, very good audience tape … And if you like this sort of audience tapes … tell me … and I will publish more of this rare material from my personnel collection.

Recorded live at the Rockclub, Munich/Germany, November 18, 1993

SteveGouldAlvinLeeSteve Gould + Alvin Lee

Steve Grant (keyboards, vocals)
Steve Gould (bass, vocals)
Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals, hermonica)
Alan Young (drums)

01. Keep On Rocking (Lee) 4.19
02. Long Legs (Lee) 6.18
03. I Hear You Knocking ( Bartholomew/King) 3.44
04. Ain´t Nobodys Business (Lee/Grant) 5.07
05. Love Like A Man (Lee) 5.45
06. The Bluest Blues (Lee) 6.31
07. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (Lee) 7.25
08. Take It Easy/Drum Solo (Part 1) (Lee/Young) 11.46
09. Take It Easy + Drum Solo (Part 2) (Lee/Young) 2.55
10. I Don´t Give A Damn (Lee) 4.11
11. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Lennon/McCartney) 8.36
12. Johnny Be Goode (Berry) 1.52
13. I´m Going Home (Lee) 11.40
14. Choo Choo Mama (Lee) 3.55
15. Rip It Up (Blackwell/Marascalco)


Alvin Lee – The Last Show (2013)

FrontCover1I briefly met Alvin Lee back in 1970 after his group, Ten Years After, played a rather problematic gig in Harrisburg, PA. The band had suffered from an intermittent house sound system, and Lee was proposing to his road manager that the group no longer rely on what was available in each city. He thought that TYA should bring its own equipment from then on. I never found out the result of that discussion, but was happy to pose for photos with Mr. Lee.

Back in those days, those of us described as “heads” had at least one Ten Years After album in our collections, even before the band’s 1969 breakout performance at Woodstock. These included the popular LPs we brought backstage for autographs, especially Ssssh (1969), Cricklewood Green (1970), and Watt. After the Harrisburg gig, what I always considered TYA’s zenith appeared, A Space in Time (1971) with the band’s only U.S. radio hit, “I’d Love to Change the World.” That was one album I’d love to have had Lee sign.

After the band’s breakup, I admit losing interest in Lee’s mid-’70s solo albums. I do not remember why. But I did feel deep sadness when I heard that Lee died unexpectedly in Spain on March 6, 2013, at the age of 68. Then, I learned the last show Lee ever performed, a gig at Raalte, Holland, on May 28, 2012, was coming out on CD. Turns out, The Last Show (out now on Rainman Records) is as fine a full circle remembrance of Lee as anyone could’ve asked for.

While The Last Show wasn’t recorded with any plans for a commercial release, Lee himself was so pleased with the results that he was the one to authorize the package, never realizing, of course, this would be his last album. His wife, Evi, knew the disc’s importance, so she contributed notes about her husband and the happiness he felt after the Raalte concert in a booklet that also includes photos of the show and memories from the band and fans who were there.

AlvinLeeLive2012Ironically, the 14 songs on The Last Show aren’t going to make anyone think 2012. Rather, the show is a trip back in time to the glory years of Ten Years After, even if few of the selections were from that band’s catalog. The Holland show is pure late ’60s guitar god blues rock, complete with extended, melodic guitar solos typical of the era. Lee makes this connection overt in “I Can’t Keep from Crying Sometimes.” After accurately announcing Al Kooper stole that blues standard, Lee quotes passages from Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and even the theme from Peter Gunn in the middle of his jam.

Remembering that Lee named his band Ten Years After in honor of The King of Rock and Roll (with TYA jelling together 10 years after Elvis Presley’s banner year of 1956), not surprisingly, there are scattered quotes from Elvis hits here. While most tracks are Lee compositions, one cover is Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup’s “My Baby Left Me.” We all remember who put that song on the map.

Lee’s own tunes jump back and forth between old school blues (“Slow Blues in ‘C’”) and old school rock and roll (“Hear Me Calling” and “I Don’t Give a Damn”). TYA fans will recognize “Love Like A Man” from Cricklewood Green and, of course, the obligatory “Going Home.” Admittedly, Lee shows his age during his signature song, as he’s no longer the speed demon of old. The guitar master is obviously far more mellow on this release than he was in 1969. In fact, the closest he comes to the energy we remember from Woodstock is during the encore, and Robert Blackwell’s “Rip It Up” in particular. But that song is only three minutes and five seconds long.

Supporting Lee on guitar, vocals, and occasional harmonica are the excellent Pete Pritchard on bass and Richard Newman, who’s quite capable of some tricky drum parts and contributes an old-fashioned drum solo. Remember those? Taking absolutely nothing away from the original TYA line-up, Pritchard and Newman are everything Lee needs to keep a solid groove going, helping make it clear this group could put its own stamp on classic material.

The Last Show should appeal to not only Alvin Lee and Ten Years After fans, but to those who appreciate rock shows in the Avalon Ballroom and Fillmore traditions. It’s also for those who like solid and fluid guitar work that doesn’t rely on pyrotechnics or speeding train virtuosity. Yes, there are numerous previous live releases from Alvin Lee, and fans will have to measure The Last Show against their older favorites. In any case, most listeners will be glad this evening was captured for posterity and only regret there will be no more. Alvin has finally gone home. (by Wesley Britton)

AlvinLeeLive2012_3On March 6, 2013, the world lost one of its premier musical talents with the passing of Alvin Lee. As fate would have it, Lee’s final show—a performance in Raalte, Holland—was recorded for posterity and is now available.

Beyond the obvious historical significance of The Last Show, the music is spectacular, with Lee displaying the same mastery of his instrument that made people first take notice so many years ago. Lee covers multiple genres: rockabilly on “My Baby Left Me,” blues on “I Don’t Give a Damn,” and funk-rock with “Love Like a Man.”

Perhaps the most poignant—and adept—cuts are the two songs Lee performed with Ten Years After on that fabled Woodstock stage in 1969: “Going Home” and “I Can’t Keep from Crying Sometimes.” It’s a fantastic performance nearly devoid of post-production touchups—fitting for an artist who created and played so honestly. (by Corin Reiff)

Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals, harmonica)
Richard Newman (drums)
Pete Pritchard (bass)

01. Hear Me Calling (Lee) 5.23
02. I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes (Kooper) -11.03
03. How Do You Do It (Lee) 4.32
04. My Baby Left Me (Crudup) 2.14
05. Country Thing (Lee) 0.49
06. I Don’t Give A Damn (Lee) 5.03
07. I’m Writing You A Letter (Lee) 7.50
08. Slow Blues In ‘C’ (Lee) 8.20
09. I’m Gonna Make It (Lee) 5.12
10. Scat Encounter (Lee) 0.49
11. I Woke Up This Morning (Lee) 5.04
12. Love Like A Man (Lee) 8.09
13. Going Home (Lee) 11.34
14. Rip It Up (Blackwell) 3.06