Alvin Lee, guitarist for acclaimed blues-rock band Ten Years After, died eariler today. He was 68 years old. A statement on Lee’s website said that the singer/guitarist passed away due to complications from surgery.
Lee began playing professionally in 1962 with a band called The Jaybirds, which-after a few lineup shifts and name changes-became Ten Years After. Their first record, released in 1968, became a word-of-mouth success in America, and Ten Years After were soon touring relentlessly across the States. However, their appearance at Woodstock and their prominence in the documentary about the festival catapulted them to superstardom overnight. The band began playing stadiums and had a big hit with “I’d Love To Change The World,” but Lee, who felt uncomfortable with the poppier direction that the band was going at the behest of his label, left Ten Years After in 1973.
Following his departure from the band, Lee made several records under his own name and collaborated with the likes of George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ronnie Wood, and Scotty Moore. The last album Lee released, Still On The Road To Freedom, came out in September of 2012.