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Former Ten Years After Guitarist Alvin Lee Dead at 68

Former Ten Years After guitarist Alvin Lee died today at age 68.

A statement posted on his official website today reads: "With great sadness we have to announce that Alvin unexpectedly passed away early this morning after unforseen complications following a routine surgical procedure.

"We have lost a wonderful and much loved father and companion, the world has lost a truly great and gifted musician."

Lee, whose career started in the early '60s, became a star after Ten Years After's 1969 performance at the Woodstock festival, which showcased his lightning-fast, fret-burning runs and mastery of the blues-rock idiom.

"I'm Going Home," the Ten Years After song that appeared in the 1970 Woodstock film, is a full-on, blues-rocking experience. The adrenaline-fueled performance, a nod to vintage blues and '50s rock, put Lee's name among a short list of elite guitarists — at least for a while.

"The solo on the movie sounds pretty rough to me these days," Lee told Guitar World last summer. "But it had the energy, and that was what Ten Years After were all about at the time."

The performance led to more festivals, a label change and their biggest hit, 1971's "I'd Love to Change the World." Although a version of Ten Years After still tours today, they've been doing it without Lee for several years.

When Ten Years After originally split in 1973, Lee released several solo albums, including On The Road To Freedom, which included guest spots from George Harrison and Ron Wood. His last release was 2012's Still On The Road To Freedom. Lee and Harrison would record together several times over the decades; Lee appears on Harrison's Dark Horse album, and Harrison and Lee take turns soloing on "The Bluest Blues" from Lee's I Hear You Rockin' disc. Harrison also appears on Lee's Zoom LP.

Guitar World conducted one of the last interviews with Lee, and you can check it out here.

TEN YEARS AFTER AT WOODSTOCK, "I'M GOING HOME"

TEN YEARS AFTER, "I'D LOVE TO CHANGE THE WORLD"

ALVIN LEE WITH GEORGE HARRISON, "THE BLUEST BLUES"

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.