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Ten Years After’s Alvin Lee Dead at 68

Alvin Lee
Photo Courtesy of Jim Summaria

Alvin Lee, the former singer and guitarist in Ten Years After, died earlier today (Wednesday) after complications from a routine surgical procedure. He was 68.

His family has posted a statement on his website saying, “We have lost a wonderful and much loved father and companion. The world has lost a truly great and gifted musician.”

Lee started his professional career in 1962 in The Jaybirds, hitting their stride in the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany, shortly after The Beatles achieved success there. The band relocated to London in 1966 and eventually morphed into Ten Years After. Their early albums were mainstays on U.S. progressive rock radio, and that support enabled them to tour the States 28 times in seven years stating in 1968, which was more than any other U.K. band. This success was further fueled by their appearance at Woodstock and its subsequent film.

Lee left the band in the mid-’70s and launched a solo career with the album On the Road to Freedom, which featured appearances by his good friend George Harrison, along with Steve Winwood, Ronnie Wood and Mick Fleetwood. He rejoined Ten Years After in the late ’70s for two more albums, followed by a reunion tour and album in 1988 and ’89 and a few shows in 1994. He released his last album, Still on the Road to Freedom, last September.

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