1973 / 1974

The Beginning of Alvin Lee's Solo Career

On The Road To Freedom

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As Ten Years After guitarist Alvin Lee went solo, it was also a dramatic change of direction for him. He teamed with the Atlanta, Georgia gospel crooner Mylon LeFevre for a recording session, that can only be, best decribed as:  "Hard Spiritual Rock" 

Enjoy their confession below as they both travel on this mutual road to freedom.
When it comes to religion, it's best to ride a road that you can walk!

 

 

 

 

 

Circus Magazine – March 1974

The “Midnight Special” TV videotaping was finished at last. Striding into his dressing room, his blonde hair plastered to his forehead, Alvin Lee looked like an angel drenched in a thunderstorm as he hung up his slim guitar and wiped the sweat from his face. Synchronizing his movements with Alvin’s swashbuckling character with flocks of curly black hair and gold hoop earrings laid down his twelve-stringed Gibson and leaped around the room, whooping with glee. “We was singin´ so tight tonight, it was amazin´,” he crooned in a southern Georiga drawl that flowed like syrup on hot cakes. “That felt sooo good, it satisfied mah soul.

Georgia music is the tie that binds the country picker, Mylon Le Fevre and the British superstar Alvin Lee together. But the ties that bind the musical duo are even stronger than the songs they play together. Because, if Mylon Le Fevre never does another thing (which is highly unlikely), he’ll have done enough in freeing Alvin Lee from the musical trap that was slowly clamping down on him. And if Alvin should abandon his group, Ten Years After, and disappear tomorrow, he would still have accomplished one great miracle in saving Mylon’s life, which the white gospel singer swears he has done. Two years ago both men had their backs against the proverbial wall. But then they met on the road, and through a growing friendship, travelling, gigging, and jamming together, they freed each other from the terrible troubles which were making prisons out of their lives. The first product of this exhilarating liberation is a soulful peach of an album, “On The Road To Freedom” (on Columbia Records). “This album has really got me off again,” said Alvin with an enormous twinkle in his blue eyes.

Star In Hiding: For quite some time, Alvin Lee, the mythical “Captain Speed Fingers,” lead guitarist of the British super-group, Ten Years After, had found it difficult to come up with any new material for his heavy metal choogling band. Alvin was determined not to impose his new guitar and blooze-oriented style on his band, for fear of ruining Ten Years After’s own unique style. The structure of the group would not allow them to play the kind of tunes Alvin had been collecting and writing in his three worn spiral notebooks. So after every frenzied Ten Years After concert, Alvin would retire to his country home while other superstars were out gaily jamming at clubs and raving at the discos. “With Ten Years After I played the music, and had nothing to do with the rest of it, the hype, the Captain Speed Fingers reputation and all. I guess I was, well, snobbish, and didn’t get involved. I spent a lot of time sitting in me house,” he reflected in his melodious Nottingham accent, “with ma dogs and watching the telly. I hadn’t any ambition or drive anymore, you know? And then I met Mylon, and it was like a re-shot of energy. Mylon gave Alvin a second chance to stretch out his gleaming guitar and play the kind of music that’d been rippling through his head for years.

“I used to feel frustrated, having all this in me and not being able to get it out. Now there’s more energy than ever coming up from under the ground”.

STRUNG OUT: During the year Alvin was adrift in the musical doldrums, Mylon was struggling in a more deadly vice. When the sonic-fingered Englishman first met LeFevre, the Georgia rocker was deeply hooked on drugs, the result of exhausting years of road touring and repeated musical disappointments. Mylon had been playing a long time. “I used to play bass with this gospel group”, he recalled, reaching back into his past. “I wore short hair and a suit and tie – I wore it all over the South. Then I did cutting sessions with people like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and even Little Richard, every weekend makin´ a livin´singin´gospel an´ being an all around country artists. My parents started doin´ the Grand Old Oprey in 1928 and then we started doin´ the church circuts. They’re still at it”.

Mylon can remember seeing his Georgia neighbours, the Allman Brothers, as recently as three years ago playing a high school prom for $200.00 a night. “Me `n Duane used to sit in a bar and dream about the day we’d have enough money for a motorcycle. He was makin´ $85.00 a week. And all this time I was having these dreams and I wanted mah songs to sound like the dreams and the only way to do that was to do èm mahself. But,” continued the lanky singer, “the gospel group wouldn’t let me put out all mah songs `cos it was getting a bit…y´know, I’d been high for about ten years on these sounds”.

LUCK FADES: For a while it looked like luck was going to smile on the boy from Atlanta, Georgia. Felix Pappalardi discovered Mylon singing backup and introduced him to the funky recording wiz, Allen Toussaint. Toussaint and Pappalardi helped Mylon form a band called “Holy Smoke”. The group was ignored by the critics, but it was his band that propelled Mylon to the fateful crossroad meeting with Alvin Lee. “I was on the road, two and a half years with only ninety one days off,” Mylon related, stretching in his elaborately patched dungarees. “I did four tours with Ten Years After. After the shows, in between gigs, Alvin and me was always jamming together”. “Yeah”, Alvin agreed smiling broadly, our managers tried to keep us apart. Mylon was supposed to be a bad influence, staying up all night, hitting the taverns. But we started hanging out anyway”. “During that time, Alvin saw me getting sick,” said Mylon with a serious expression in his green eyes. “I was really junked out, in bad shape. You see, I was just a country boy who went off to the big city and ran into drugs. I didn’t know anything about staying out of trouble, and after awhile, I just couldn’t get away from the drug people you know. I almost died from it. It’s the sneakiest thing in the world, drugs. You think you’ve got it under control and then you try to quit and it’s impossible.” Alvin fled to Jamaica with the sick singer, and when they returned to England, he invited him to stay in his 15th century manor house in the Chilton hills. “There was no place to score out there,” Mylon admitted, “and everyone was up and cooking and doing things. It was a great atmosphere. It was then we began to scheme up these high fliers.

“Alvin was nothing like the guy I’d pictured him to be,” Mylon revealed. “One night he picked up his acoustic guitar and started playing music nobody’d heard him play, really laid back, easy Hank Williams tunes, stuff like “Good Night Irene,” and "Get Drunk,” and things.

I said, “it’s not fair having to be “Captain Speed Fingers” just because people pin that label on you”. Because Alvin was playing some real mellow stuff taking a whole lot less and making it go a whole lot  further”.

 With Mylon around it seemed all right to play the blues, and Alvin began to enjoy the jamming sessions. Previously the shy superstar had steered clear of his rocker peers. “The trouble with so-called superstars,” Alvin explained thoughtfully, “was that they all have such concrete styles, either you have to play theirs or they have to play yours.

The secret lies in having sympathy with your musicians and trying to reach somewhere new among yourselves.”

CLOCKLESS ORANGE: And fed up with the clock-dominated rented studios, Alvin with the help of Mylon and neighbours Roger Daltrey, Stevie Winwood, George Harrison and Ron Wood, built a complete sixteen track recording console in a wooden-beamed barn behind the house. “It’s not a studio for hire, you can just work to your heart’s content, leave it, come back and carry on,” he said, while he polished the frets on his acoustic instrument. “And there’s no clock,” added Mylon. “You can just ignore the sun and the moon.” Every afternoon Alvin woke up Mylon by sounding a deafening blast on a hunting horn hanging by the fireplace. Then they would go for a sunset swim or ride through the woods on their roaring choppers, “to get some air inside us,” Mylon said. “Then we’d go into the studio and play until 4 PM the next afternoon, thinking it was still dark. We’ve been up two days in there sometimes, George Harrison who sleeps for days at a time would wake up, and come over ready to go and we’d get into it again.” Added Alvin, “We just recorded what we liked, about fifty songs. Everyday people would drop by. Originally, we started with two acoustic guitars and were going to overdub everything else ourselves. But all the neighbours got word and started coming over.” Mylon chimed in, “You know, guitar pickers, just love to pick.”

COUNTRY LICKS: On of the pickers contributing to the album was George Harrison who cut the song “So Sad (no love of his own),” especially for the occasion. The song has that particular Harrison-esque sadness produced by a lonely guitar playing blues in a minor key.

And Harrison (who’s listed on the credits as Hari-Georgeson) blends his pulsating pedal steel with Ron Wood’s twelve string and Mylon’s soulful half-tone vocal progression, to carve out a genuine country tear-jerker. The George Harrison track is followed on the album by a powerful Alvin Lee composition called, “Fallen Angel.” On this track Alvin’s driving resonant chords clench with Mylon’s soaring vocals:

             Fallen Angel, do you hear me? Do you know if you walk off we’re through?
             Fallen Angel, do not fear me, I’m the one who’s gonna to pull you through.

The questing singer tries to persuade his woman that no matter what she’s done in the past it doesn’t matter to him.

             Fallen Angel, if you love me, then I know that your wings will fly,
             Silver Lady with your baby, I don’t care what you have done,

             Everybody, needs somebody, and for me I know that you are the one. 
             You’re the one.

The song climaxes with Alvin’s guitar and Mylon’s voice crashing together like tidal-waves against a beach. But the final notes subside into the gentle silvery bars of Stevie Winwoods piano. “I was always into background vocals,” explained Mylon, the un-mistake-able flavour of the Bayou Country in his voice, “which Alvin had never done. But when me and him started dubbing them together, we would stack those voices up on the tapes, ten times higher than we had originally sung them. And when we would play it back, it sounded like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. But Alvin’s tour-de-force is the title track of the album: “On The Road To Freedom.” Alvin Lee is a multi-talented musician, as was way too modest to tell the song’s history himself, so Mylon leaped right into the tale. “That’s guitar-city, sitting right over there,” as he pointed a finger in Alvin’s direction. “He has played drums, bass, about ten different guitars, and sang all those parts. There was nothing left for me to do but play the tambourine.” The result of Alvin’s virtuosity, is a driving tune in which the bass lays down an insistent marching beat, augmented by Rebop’s (from Traffic) conga pounding and Steve Winwood’s hammering on the lower piano keys. The song is about, discovering freedom and by laughing in time’s face, the song sounds like a Cajun ritual dance, the bass line slowly circling around the leaping fire of guitar and vocals.

“On The Road To Freedom,” is an outlet for my emotions,” Alvin smiled. “I want to try everything. I want to explore all these musical directions. Just make music, that’s what I’m really doing on this album. Ten Years After is still very much together, more than ever in fact. But the music of  “Ten Years After is still Hard Rock” and my taste have mellowed out somewhat. After all, my father used to collect these really funky chain gang rhythms, work songs from the South and stuff like that. So my roots are in that kind of music even though I’m from England. And I’m not afraid of being vehement about loving it, because it’s all music, and I play music for music’s sake. “Love is a very stretched out word, boy,” Mylon said with heartfelt southern soul. “It’s some great reason for making music. And Alvin’s not doing it for the money. We did, “On The Road To Freedom,” because it’s a happy time.

You hear all those melodies in the air this year, and sunshine. Everybody’s gonna play outside, dance in the sun, and all the things that you originally decided to rock and roll for”.

 

 

 

 
 

On The Road To Freedom – An Introduction:

This was Alvin’s break away chance, to express what he had been suppressing for so long, within the limited confines of the Ten Years After frame work. Alvin kept insisting to his colleagues and the record company, that he wanted to do something else. As with every true artists, they thrive on creativity and want change at different intervals in their career.

This was Alvin’s big chance to try and follow what was in his shell-shocked  heart.

Combine this with another man, suffering from a sick soul, who was road weary and numb.  A musician heroin junkie, hooked and sinking quickly into the abyss of no return. 

His name, Mylon Le Fevre and he comes from a long line of famous gospel singers and preachers. You now have the essence of this true life drama. It’s where Alvin and Mylon help heal each other. It’s “Redemption, A Spiritual Awakening Through Music.” That you’ll feel !

The album they created was called “ On The Road To Freedom.” It’s their first and only recording. Their very first public gig together, was on November 30, 1973 on NBC television, on a hit music show called: “The Midnight Special” - with host, Wolfman Jack.

The show aired at 1:00 AM in the morning, on a Friday night. Alvin and Mylon performed with a band extraordinaire. They were introduced to a viewing audience of approximately 

33 million. They covered these three songs from their new album:

1.    “Carry My Load”

2.    “ The World Is Changing”

3.    “Rockin´ Till The Sun Goes Down” 

It was a one time event. Captured hear for all to see.

These video clips have been downloaded, synchronized, and compressed for best quality.

Enjoy – what I witnessed that night on T.V. back in 1973 - for yourselves now.

Dave

 


 

New Musical Express 1973

 

 

ALVIN LEE & MYLON LEFEVRE

Artist : Alvin Lee & Mylon Lefevre Album : On The Road To Freedom Best. Nr SPV : 083-947802 CD Best REP : 4780 EAN : 4009910478028 Label : Repertoire Records Streetdate : 17.03.03 tbc

Overview :

The legendary rock guitarist is successfully paired with American gospel singer Mylon LeFevre on this all-star 1973 set that produces some joyful music. It marked a change from Alvin's work with Ten Years After, but spectacular guitar playing still remains the focal point. Beatle George Harrison, wrote and performed on standout song 'So Sad (No Love Of His Own)' and Traffic stars Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi jam on several tracks, alongside Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood.

Tracklisting :

1. ON THE ROAD TO FREEDOM (Lee) 4:13 Alvin Lee: Vocal, Guitars, Bass, Background Vocals Mylon LeFevre: Background Vocals, Percussion Stevie Winwood: Piano Jim Capaldi: Drums Rebop: Congas
2. THE WORLD IS CHANGING (I GOT A WOMAN BACK IN GEORGIA) (Lee / LeFevre) 2:45
Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocal & Background Vocal, Acoustic Rhythm Alvin Lee: Guitars, Bass, Lead Vocal & Background Jim Capaldi: Drums Mike Patto: Background Vocals Tim Hinckley: Organ
3. SO SAD (NO LOVE OF HIS OWN) (Harrison) 4:34
Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocals & Harmonies Hari Georgeson: Guitar, Slide Guitar, Bass, Harmony Vocal Alvin Lee: Guitars, Background Vocals Ron Wood: 12 String Guitar Mick Fleetwood: Drums
4. FALLEN ANGEL (Lee) 3:20
Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocal, Percussion Alvin Lee: Guitars, Bass Ron Wood: Slide Guitar Stevie Winwood: Piano Jim Capaldi: Drums & Percussion
5. FUNNY (Lee) 2:48
Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocals & Harmony Alvin Lee: Guitars, Bass, Drums, Harmony Vocals Andy Stein: Fiddle
6. WE WILL SHINE (LeFevre) 2:37
Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocal, 12 String Guitar, Background Vocal Alvin Lee: Guitars, Background Vocals Stevie Winwood: Piano Ron Wood: Bass
7. CARRY MY LOAD (Lee) 2:58
Alvin Lee: Vocals & Background Mylon LeFevre: Vocals & Background, 12 String, Bass Ian Wallace: Drums Tim Hinckley: Piano
8. LAY ME BACK (LeFevre) 2:53
Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocal & Background, Acoustic Rhythm Alvin Lee: Guitars, Bass, Background, Vocals, Sitar and the bag Bob Black: Steel Guitar Ian Wallace: Drums Tim Hinckley: Piano
9. LET 'EM SAY WHAT THEY WILL (Wood) 2:52
Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocal, Percussion Ron Wood: Guitars, Bass, Drums Alvin Lee: Guitar Tim Hinckley: Piano
10. I CAN'T TAKE IT (LeFevre) 2:51
Mylon LeFevre: Acoustic Rhythm, Lead Vocal Alvin Lee: Guitars, Bass, Harmony Vocals Stevie Winwood: Piano Ian Wallace: Drums
11. RIFFIN (Lee / LeFevre) 3:31
Mylon LeFevre: Vocals Alvin Lee: Guitars Tim Hinckley: Organ Boz: Bass Ian Wallace: Drums
12. ROCKIN' TIL THE SUN GOES DOWN (Lee / LeFevre) 3:08
Alvin Lee: Guitars, High Vocals Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocals & Background Tim Hinckley: Piano & Background Vocals Boz: Bass & Background Vocals Ian Wallace: Drums Mike Patto: Background Vocals & Percussion

Tracks 1-12 originally released as UK-Chrysalis CHR 1054 in 1973.

 

BONUS TRACK

13. SO SAD (NO LOVE OF HIS OWN) (Harrison) (Single Version) 3:00 Single A-Side F-Chrysalis CHA 118, P 1974

So many people have asked me about this one particular song from on the: “On The Road To Freedom” album. “So Sad” written by George Harrison, as it just seemed to come from out of nowhere and for no reason. Well, here’s the history behind it.

 So Sad – By George Harrison – Lyrics: An awesome song written about an awesome lady Pattie Boyd. About their divorce. When she left George to be with Eric Clapton.

So Sad (No Love of His Own)

Now the winter has come, to eclipse out the sun, that has lighted my love for some time, and a cold wind now blows, not much tenderness flows, from the heart of someone feeling so tired.

And he feels so alone, with no love of his own – so sad, so bad.

While his memory raced, with much speed and great haste, through the problems of being there. In his heart at arms length, to ward off such a great despair. But he feels so alone, with no love of his own – so sad, so bad. Take the dawn of the day, and then give it away, to someone who can fill the past, of the dream we once held, now it’s got to be shelved, it’s too late to make a new start. And he feels so alone, with no love of his own…so sad, so bad.

The song was written about his wife Pattie Boyd, their impending divorce, and just how lonely George really felt about losing the love they had shared together. What follows is the story as best I can piece it together for you.

 The Musicians Muse:

Pattie Boyd’s relationship’s with Beatle George Harrison and guitar legend Eric Clapton have been immortalised through the following classic songs: For George:  Something,

Think For Yourself, While My Guitar Gently Weeps (I don’t know how someone controlled you) So Sad, For You Blue, I Need You and Isn’t It A Pity.

From Eric: You Look “Wonderful Tonight”, Layla, Bell Bottom Blues, Have You Ever Loved A Woman, Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad, and Old Love.   

 

George Harrison –Pattie Boyd – Ronnie Wood - Eric Clapton – Maureen Starky – Yoko: 

George and Pattie met during the making of the Beatles movie “Hard Days Night” in 1964. They married January 21, 1966 at the Epsom Register Office in Surrey, he was 22, she was 21.  They divorced June 9, 1977. “George was the worst run around of all the Beatles, he had lots of girl-friends – lots!” George even had an affair with Ringo’s wife Maureen.

In 1974, George told Ringo that he was in love with his wife. But the last straw for Pattie was when George backed out of a planned holiday with her, clamming that he was ill. Then he invited Krissie Wood, the wife of Ronnie Wood, on a holiday to Spain to see Salvador Dali. As this was occurring, Pattie and Ron Wood would meet up in the Bahamas along with Pattie’s sister Paula. Back to George, his increasing religious explorations (which were started and  encouraged by Pattie)  and his continued infidelities, irrevocably alienated her.

George divided his time between studying Hinduism and keeping company with many different women other than Pattie. Pattie herself had a brief affair with Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood in 1973. Enter Eric Clapton. Pattie Boyd and Eric Clapton were married in Tucson, Arizona March 27, 1979 and they were divorced in 1986.

She then became: Pattie Boyd Harrison Clapton (sounds like a law firm to me). 

Pattie’s younger sister Helen Mary whose nick name was “Jenny” after one of Pattie’s dolls.  Jenny was born November 8, 1947 in Guildford, England. She once dated Donovan who wrote the song “Jennifer Juniper” for her.  Helen Mary, (Jenny) first met Mick Fleetwood in 1965, They got married five years later at Kiln House, on June 12, 1970. They divorced, then remarried, and re-divorced again. She then moved back to England with her daughters in 1978 and later married drummer Ian Wallace, of King Crimson Fame. They too divorced, in 1984. She has written several books, one was called, “Musicians In Tune”. Jenny stated that she divided her time between Malibu, California and Surrey, England. In her past, she worked at Apple (Records) Boutique in London, and in the 1960’s was a fashion model.

(As side notes) Jenny said of Peter Green, “Peter had an intensity that seemed to radiate from his body when he played”. Secondly, Pattie and Yoko Ono sang backup on the Beatles song “Birthday” – I didn’t know that…..!

 

 

 

 
 

  Mylon Le Fèvre Ministries

From Rock'n'Roller to Holy Roller - Mylon's own Story

Elvis Presley recorded the first song I wrote when I was only seventeen.I was stationed at Fort Jackson,South Carolina,at the time,and had just f inished basic training in the Army.My sergeant was an alcoholic,and it was well known that for a pint of "Jack Black "whiskey you could get a weekend pass.That weekend I hitchhiked to Memphis to meet my parents at the National Quartet Convention where my mother asked me to sing my new song "Without Him ".Elvis was there in a side room recording songs to consider for his next album. 

When I joined the army, I was 17 years old,5'4"tall and didn ’t even shave.I was making $84 a month as a private when I got my f irst check from Elvis ’s publishing company.Those checks kept coming every three months. There came a day when I sat down to f igure things out. My choice was simple:I could write another song,or I could stay in the army for 800 years to earn the same amount of money.It was a career crossroads,and I decided to go for the music.

 In one year,126 artists around the world recorded my songs.So I took the money from writing and started a band that later became the Atlanta Rhythm Section.My family were gospel singers and I loved to sing gospel music,but the music I was writing was too contemporary for them. Shortly thereafter I got my f irst car.All of a sudden the girls in high school,who would never even talk to me before,were available to me.They still didn ’t say much to me,but they were riding in my new car,if you know what I mean.I thought that in life you had to f ight for what you wanted,and that you only got what you fought for.I thought it was up to me to get to the top."Was I ever wrong!" 

Mylon's first band

I wanted to be a star more than anything. In the 70 ’s I recorded an album with Alvin Lee from ‘Ten Years After ’.Some of the artists on that album were George Harrison from the Beatles,Boz Burrell from Bad Company,Ron Wood from the Rolling Stones,Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac,Steve Winwood from Traff ic,and Ian Wallace from King Crimson. We had what they called in the early 70 ’s, a "super group ".Between the members of the group we had sold more than 400 million records.Some of the others that I eventually recorded or toured with were Eric Clapton,Billy Joel,Little Richard and the Who,Mountain,ZZ Top,and Grand Funk Railroad,etc. 

Ron Wood

Mylon LeFevre

Alvin Lee

1972

I was living and recording in England, rehearsing for the biggest tour of my life when one night I took too much heroin.When they found me,the cigarette I was smoking had burned down between my fingers and into the flesh.They could smell the burning skin and had come in to check on me.I wasn ’t breathing.I had been out so long that by the time they brought me around, my brain cells were damaged. It so spaced me out that I could not even remember the words of songs I had written, much less lead a world tour. Suddenly it was all over. I had wrecked my hopes and drugged away my dreams.

   

Mylon the rock star 1972

Mylon’s Road To Personal Freedom

Mylon started getting high for three main reasons. It was easy to find, to relieve stress and to fit in with others around him. Trouble was, his drug use, quickly turned into drug abuse, and his  drug abuse escalated to the point of a near fatal overdose of heroin in 1973.

He committed himself to a drug treatment that year. Seven months later he came out clean.

His first challenge upon release, was to get out of his music contract which, according to the terms, could only be broken, “by an act of god”. Which as it turned out, was the exact defence that Mylon’s attorney used. His lawyer argued that being born again is an act of god and won the case. In return for his release, Mylon agreed to wave all future royalties on his songs, including publishing and recordings. Between the years 1982 to 1991 Mylon is quoted as saying, “I was a Christian musician who preached a little, worshiped a little, and rocked a lot”. In 1989 his past drug abuse caught up with him again, and he suffered a massive heart attack on a tour bus that summer while touring with the band “White Heat”. He was forced to give up touring and as a replacement, Mylon turned to teaching others through his experience and took up preaching as his new vocation. Along with his wife Christi their base church is located in Texas.

 

 

 

 

  At that point I knew I needed God ’s help.Opening a Gideon Bible I had picked up some- where,I lit up the hash I had been told would help me with- draw from heroin and began to read.It took seven long years for me to learn what total com- mitment to Jesus really means. At that point I still didn ’t understand that being "born again "is quite different than being "caught again ".True repentance is when you say to Jesus,"I have been doing things my way;I want to start doing things Your way." It was 1980 when I f inally made Jesus my Lord at a Christian concert by a band called the 2nd Chapter of Acts. When Buck Herring (who I had worked with in the past),led the people in a prayer at the end of the concert,I made that prayer mine and have never been the same since. That was on a Saturday night,and he told me I ought to go to church the next day. Well,I had three feet of hair and no tie.They told me that Christians were a family,but to be honest,most of them didn ’t seem to be too happy about God letting me in.That building was packed,except around where I was sitting. When I f irst committed my life to Jesus.I went to my pastor and said,"Hey,I don ’t know anybody who doesn ’t get stoned.All my friends stay up all night.I ’m in Rock-n-Roll and I have contracts to fulf ill." He was wise and let God change my friends and me.It was actually a little comical as I helped out around the church.What a change! How many janitors do you know who drive $100,000 cars?The church paid me $175 a week when I was used to making between eight and ten thousand dollars a day.On my way to work one day a windshield wiper broke off my 930 Turbo Porsche.It cost me $185 to replace it. As you can imagine,I had a bit of a culture shock,but I ’m so glad that God was ready to take me just like I was.At that point,Jesus was the only one who wanted my life. The f irst time I ministered to anyone was on an FGBMFI outreach with Jimmy Rogers to the Jackson State Prison in Georgia,where I shared my testimony.Christianity is simple. 

 

First,you give Jesus your life and He gives you His.And secondly,we change and grow up in Him by the renewing of our minds.In other words,we study His Word and think about what He said until we learn to think,talk,and live like Him. Late one night in August 1989,my band, "Broken Heart ",and I were on our way to a Christian concert in Nebraska when my heart suddenly hurt so badly that I couldn ’t breathe; I couldn ’t move.The doctors later told me that all my years of cocaine and heroin abuse had caused the heart attack.Approximately one third of my heart had quit working and they told me I had to stop travelling and take it easy. I didn ’t have any answers. It was obvious to me that if God didn ’t do something fast, I would be going to heaven soon.I needed a miracle! In January 1990,my band and I took our previously sched- uled concert tour of the Philip- pines.The doctors told me not to go.I arrived very tired,in a lot of pain,and scared.Wandering around the hotel gift shop in Olongapo, Northern Luzon,I came across a book that changed my life.It was entitled,"God ’s Medicine " by Kenneth Hagen.When I tried to buy it the lady said, "I don ’t know where it came from;we don ’t sell those here. You can have it." I read it from cover to cover and then started looking up the Bible verses it quoted.Dur- ing that week we saw 10,200 kids make a commitment to Jesus,but I was in pain the whole time.Back at home I continued to study the Bible verses from that little book. In March 1990,I went down to my brother ’s condo in Pan- ama City,Florida,to fast and pray.On the third day I was walking up the beach,praying in the Spirit.Just that morn- ing I had said,"Father God, I know the Word says that the truth will set me free.

 
Mylon and his wife,Christi

 

 

Evidently there is something in the Bible I don ’t understand yet because I am not free. Please send someone to help me understand." Walking along the beach,I passed a woman,who was later introduced to me as Gloria Copeland.As I passed by, the Lord told her that He had called me to do something and that He wanted to heal me. When a mutual friend later introduced us,she remembered me.She and her husband, Kenneth,got right down to business.He told me "my wife doesn ’t play church.If God told her He is going to heal you,then it is a done deal." "Before we pray,we need to be in agreement. If I am praying in faith and you are just hoping, we are not going to be in agreement."He began showing me Bible verses about healing. After the Copelands laid hands on me and prayed,I didn ’t feel any different physically,but I knew something had changed in my spirit, and I believed God had healed me. Back home in Atlanta,I started telling everyone that I was healed.Some people told me I was putting God to a foolish test by continuing to tour,but I just replied,"God said, ‘My words are life to those who f ind them and health to all their f lesh,and by His stripes I am healed ’!" Night and day I immersed myself in the Bible.Just one year after meeting the Cope- lands in Florida,I returned to the beach and was able to do a lot more than just walk on the beach.I had a great time body surfing and riding jet skis. While driving in the car along the beach, a song came to me which eventually would become number one on the Christian charts: "Invincible love …was all that could save me …" It is much more than a song to me.It is my continual testimony of God ’s love,mercy,and healing power. Today,I am stronger than before the heart attack.I play racquetball,tennis,scuba dive, ride my Harley,and even ski down mountains with my wife,Christi.God has also renewed my mind.The Bible says that if any man is in Christ Jesus,all things become new.Best of all I am on way to heaven and I am enjoying the trip!

 

 


NME - 15 September 1973

 

 

Cottage Views Interviews

Alvin Lee of Ten Years After

Cottage Views: Every Year I do a poll as to what readers would like to see reissued on CD and every year On the Road to Freedom is requested. I recently read it was finally going to come out. What's happening with that?

Alvin Lee: I'm trying to get it out. I was about to put out On the Road to Freedom and then I found out that I'm not allowed to give permission to do it, and there's a six month jail sentence, so I've got to start dealing with these corporate people. The trouble is it's owned by Sony in America and it's difficult. It was originally on Chrysalis in England and CBS in America and then Sony took over CBS and they don't even know they've got it. I rang them up and said, 'You've got this On the Road to Freedom. I'd like to put it out,' and they said, 'What's that?' It's a bit disheartening, but I'm going to keep trying. We'll get there one day.

 Interview by Michael Cimino (Cottage Views Website)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sounds Magazine – November 3, 1973

Alvin and Mylon – Rolling The Dice

 

On Monday evening of last week, a band of such stature as rarely can have been assembled in London Town played at a rather unlikely venue – the candy coloured Rainbow Room on the top floor of Biba’s extravagant new department store in Kensington High Street.

A small audience seemed hardly to appreciate the supreme rarity value value of a gig which brought together Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Mike Patto, Boz Burrell, Ian Wallace, Tim Hinkley to back up “new discoveries” Alvin Lee and Mylon Lefevre.

In the audience: George Harrison, Rick Grech, Legs Larry Smith, Peter Sinfield and more. The show was put on at about two days notice and will be seen by no less than thirty three million people, which is what NBC-TV claims is its audience figures for the “Midnight Special” programme. What was more, everyone seemed to be having an amazingly good time.

Capaldi and Patto, singing backup at one mike, were grinning broadly and clapping and spinning round in synch just like an old Four Tops routine, Bozz gave vent to the occasional holler of joy, and Alvin and Mylon sang and played together at the front like a couple of soul brothers shouting “I’ve got a woman back in Georgia”. Which is where Mylon comes from of course.

It’s a fascinating story, how these two men came to meet each other, dream together and finally transmute those dreams into reality. Their partnership seems to have revivified the musical careers of both men, which until their encounter with each other had been flagging.

The constant criticism of Ten Years After is too well worn to need repetition here; suffice to say, that the group were never going to get higher than their justly-acclaimed at Woodstock, and Mylon, with his group “Holy-Smoke” had played to perhaps millions of people without reaping any reward other than that of being washed-up, exhausted and strung out.

Together, they have pooled their energies and experience and have made a new start, which offers scope for continuing fulfilment of their ambitions – first and foremost, their personal ambitions, which have little to do with fame and fortune and stardom, and a whole lot to do with making the best music they can. As they put it, it’s a case of “rolling the dice”; if you don’t roll the dice, you’ll never come up with a six.

 

As we reported earlier this year, Alvin has just built a studio of his own in his sizeable country home near Reading. It’s a beautiful place, and perhaps an ideal environment for making music, and as chance would have it, Mylon turned up at the right time to help Alvin make something of it. For much as the good life might appeal, eventually it must become frustrating and lonely if you’re out there on a limb with only yourself for company. What is remarkable is that, given the challenge of working on something completely new, Alvin Lee has not only evolved completely new styles of playing, but mastered the studio too.

The result is the new album, “ON THE ROAD TO FREEDOM”, featuring strongly the gospel voice of Mylon Lefevre, and Alvin Lee on guitars of all sorts and making a surprisingly strong showing on vocals. Together, their new-found enthusiasm has attracted the interest of various of our own most highly-respected musicians, and at various points on the album you may hear the talents of Steve Winwood, Ron Wood, and one Hari-Georgeson, all of whom live in that neck of the woods, and were only too pleased to make a contribution, even if they had only just called in to see what was happening. Yet, for an album recorded in the depths of the English countryside, this record has a curiously American feel. Mylon is a great singer and steeped in the music of the Southern States, so for his part I guess that is to be expected. But what I was not prepared for was the way the harmonies worked together, for example, or Alvin Lee’s radically pared-down guitar sorties – a million miles away from the baroque English-Chicago blues for which he has been either hailed or hauled over the coals.

During a play-through in the commodious control room (sprawled out on a ten foot American flag cushion) I noted moments which reminded of  Bob Dylan’s “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” or bits of Roger McQuinn’s writing, even a tweaky guitar lick reminiscent of the Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek”. Mylon and Alvin really are extremely good mates, just like brothers, if you can imagine fair stolid Alvin and dark mercurial Mylon being brothers.            

             

But it’s in their differences, rather than their similarities that the partnership thrives.

Alvin freely admits to being a bit of a recluse. He would sit and play his guitar all day and nobody would ever hear him; Mylon provides the spark of recklessness to undertake anything and to hell with the consequences. “It’s funny, we’re completely different really”, Alvin said in his parlour. When the thing about the TV show came up, I talked about it on the telephone with Mylon (who was back in Atlanta, Georgia, at the time) and I thought it was a great idea but why bother? When something like that happens, I just feel like staying in bed for three days, and then we decided to do it, our approach was completely different. I thought we’ll get Ian and Boz and Tim down and just do it like that, with the five of us, but Mylon said, “Hey, let’s call up everybody we know and get them along to do it”. It was Mylon’s plan that was adopted, despite several difficulties in organizing the whole thing at that sort of short notice, and there’s no doubt that, particularly for American TV, it strengthened immeasurably the presentation. And the problems were severe. Alvin himself had been gigging with Ten Years After, right up till the Saturday night before the program was due to be filmed. Mylon had to come in from Georgia. Everybody had to be called and asked to take part. Equipment and transport had to be set up. The final deadline for mixing the album was at the same time, so that had to be slotted in over the weekend. Two mixes had to be done for the TV program, one in mono for TV – the other in stereo for FM radio. Yet it all came together. “It’s amazing, so many dreams coming true, it’s like a miracle”, reflects Mylon in that characteristic silky drawl. “Maybe they’re not dreams after all”, counters the down to earth Alvin.

All the scheming started two or three years ago when Mylon supported Ten Years After on one of their innumerable tours of the States. At that time Mylon and Holy Smoke, which featured present “Sharks” drummer Marty Simon, were playing support to just about every English act that played big tours in the States. They would work the beginning of the show and get the crowd vibed-up for the main act; and by the end of the evening, everyone would have forgotten who the openers were. Holy Smoke would then join another tour as soon as that one was finished. Mylon recounts, with a certain pride, that in two and a half years on the road, Holy Smoke had but ninety-one nights off. Mylon then quit because his records were not selling and he was getting strung out on dope (on his own admission). He went back to Georgia and was just sitting on his ass doing nothing, trying to cool out. Alvin saw all this happening to him and was appalled to see such a talented musician going down the drain, and invited him to spend some time in Jamaica with him, and that’s where their friendship started.

 

As Mylon tells it, part of the problem was that he changed record labels in the middle of this most intense period of gigging. His first, straight down the line gospel album on Cotillion records, was the only album out; and Atlantic records then took him down to Criteria Studios Florida with a whole bunch of session-men to cut an album. Little Richard and

Mac Rebennack were two of the people there helping out, but Tom Dowd and Jerry Wexler had too much on their hands to worry much about a country-boy from Georgia with a bunch of philosophic songs about life and stuff, and who wanted to record, not with session men but with his own friends from Holy Smoke, whom he had grown up with. So with the switch to Columbia, a year and a half of public-appearances in twenty-thousand-seater hall could not be capitalized on. “We were just killing the people” says Mylon, but nothing could be done about publicising Holy-Smoke without record albums and the band would insist on staying together as a unit. “I really loved my band, and we all stuck together. We were all country-boys and not cut out for riding around in limousines. We were with Atlantic for two years and nobody came to see us in all that time. Despite the long lay-off, some people did take some notice of what he was writing, and several artists in the country field recorded his tunes: Elvis, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and, in another field, the great Mahalia Jackson, which he is particularly proud of. By the time Columbia Records started to put out Holy Smoke records, it was too late. Mylon had retired, decided to leave the rock business. His tales of the tribulation of the rock groups life on the road would not surprise the groups who have toured there; but it would make everyone else’s hair stand on end.

Mylon’s last album for Columbia was, “Over The Influence” a celebration of his kicking dope and starting a-new. It was then that I first met him, last year. He was over the moon with joy about it, told everybody. He started to do some solo things with the assistance of Alvin at Roger Daltrey’s  Sussex home, already with the already with the assistance of some big names, but it wasn’t until Alvin put together his studio that things really started to happen seriously.

 

“People say we’ve got an ideal situation here, but when it really comes down to it, you’ve got to get your shoulder behind it and work”. Said Alvin, and he should know. Though Ten Years After have been engineered by some notable people, Alvin acknowledges that he picked up very little of the technique of using the sound-board, so it was down to sussing (figuring it out) from first principles. Did he foresee this as a start to realising the old musician’s dream to control all his own business and release him from the need for financial interlopers to dictate how they should play? “As soon as you start tying a musician down and telling him what to do, you’ve got an unhappy musician”.  A couple of years ago, I had everything done for me and I thought that was an ideal situation, but I spent two years doing nothing but watching the TV and that was OK – but so unrewarding. But after doing it, knowing that we hadn’t even run through the whole thing perfectly once, the sense of satisfaction was incredible.

Although it’s more of a hassle to have your own control, it’s better that way”.

 

Article By – Martin Hayman

 

 

 

 

New Musical Express – November 10, 1973

The Title of this album is significant for Alvin Lee. Lately his credibility has sagged badly as Ten Years After have floundered on in a constricting and unexciting formula. Worse still, Lee fell into a kind of vicious circle whereby the more Ten Years After became a drag, the more disinterested he became in music in general. He needed someone like Mylon to pull him out of his lethargy. So enter Mylon LeFevre, who used to front an underrated and unnoticed gospel band called “Holy Smoke” which used to open Ten Years After’s shows in the States.

Alvin and Mylon became friends. Alvin helped Mylon off his drug habit and the result is this fine album recorded at Alvin’s home studio in Berkshire, called Space Studios. Mylon gave Alvin the motivation to shift himself and the initial energy both put into the project attracted the likes of George Harrison, Ron Wood, Steve Winwood, and Jim Capaldi who all turn up at various points on the album, along with Ian Wallace and other one time members of King Crimson plus a couple of guys from Commander Cody’s band. Despite the heavyweight line up however, it’s still essentially Alvin and Mylon’s album and avoids any of the excess that the all-star gathering might lead one to expect. If anything, there’s more of Mylon’s influence on it than Alvin’s since it’s very American in feel, acoustically based and featuring more country guitar picking than speeding solos that Alvin Lee is more famous (infamous?) for.

When Alvin does turn to electric guitar, he uses it with more calculation and style than he normally does with Ten Years After.

The fact that Harrison, Wood and Winwood are on the album is of little importance since Harrison’s track “So Sad” is disappointingly Harrisonesque, Woody’s “Let em´Say What They Will” is not very memorable, one way or the other, and Winwood on keyboards is almost overshadowed by the tracks which feature the sparing and neat organ and piano work of Tim Hinckley. The album mostly veers between soft gospel and a kind of crisp country sound as on a track like “The World Is Changing” which starts off reminding one of Dylan’s “Country Pie” before moving into more Memphis influenced chorus.

Only on the last couple of tracks does Alvin Lee come close to Ten Years After material with “Riffin´”) and Rockin´”  Till The Sun Goes Down” a couple of straight ahead rock tunes that give the album a lift at the end. Altogether though, it’s like Alvin Lee with the help of Mylon has decided to take a breath of fresh air and found it tastes sweet and clean.

Article written by James Johnson – for New Musical Express

 

 

 

 

Melody Maker – November 10, 1973

Mylon Lives Thanks To Alvin Lee

By Geoff Brown 

If Mylon LeFevre never does another thing (which is unlikely) then he’ll have done sufficient in liberating the musician that’s been hiding inside Alvin Lee. If Alvin Lee never does another thing (also unlikely) then he’ll have done sufficient in saving Mylon LeFevre’s life, which the white gospel singer clearly believes has happened. Mylon was a drug addict. A heavy habit, the result of two years solid work on the road. Alvin took him off the road and kept him away from the pushers. Here in the dark control room of Lee’s Woodcote recording studio the bond is easy to see – you can almost touch it. Two men who, with a little help from their friends, have produced an album, “On The Road To Freedom”, that’s really something of a milestone for both of them. The studio is a converted barn, is an odd mixture of old beam and modern console. Lee in denims and white clogs, paces around the control booth. There’ve been two people besides Lee that have believed in Mylon LeFevre, one was his record producer Allen Toussaint; the other was his manager Felix Pappalardi. Both were going to produce the album. Both were prevented by prior contractual commitments. Mylon’s been playing a long time; playing around the south, his homeland. He can remember seeing the Allman Brothers Band as recently as three years ago, playing a high school prom for $200.00 on a Saturday night. Me and Duane Allman used to sit in a bar and dream about the day that we would have enough money for a motorcycle. He was making $85.00 a week. Georgia music is the thing that binds Lee and Mylon together. LeFevre lived it; Alvin was first inspired by his father’s 78’s of it. Pappalardi discovered Mylon in a gospel group. LeFevre had short hair, wore a suit and tie and was also playing bass in Nashville on country sessions. “This gospel group wouldn’t let me put out all my songs, because it was getting a bit, you know, a bit - bin high for about ten or eleven years”. Elvis, Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard were doing his songs, but he wasn’t able to do any of his own material himself. “I was having these dreams and I wanted the songs to sound like the dreams, and the only way to do that was, to do them myself. The southern drawl is deep; it cracks occasionally, but it’s as smooth as julep syrup.

“So I went to this pop festival in Macon Georgia. Mountain was playing there. I went on my motorcycle, and I took some acid. I was just tripping my brains out. I climbed over the fence backstage and I was just gawking around all the rock and roll stars, you know? I was thinking boy, I would really like to do that gig instead of having to do all this session stuff. “I met ole Felix, I didn’t know who he was, I just knew he was pickin´ because of the way he looked”.

They talked, and after the gig Mylon went into the Mountain trailer where Terry Reid and Corky Laing were sitting playing and he played them some of his gospel tunes. Felix thought he’d like to back the boy. “So about ten days from that day he bought a church and about $40,000 worth of amps and sent all the money to hire the people. I got this band together. We didn’t even know each other’s names, and we were on the road together”. The first gig was in Burlington, Vermont opening the tour for Traffic. “We had made this album on 8-track tape in the middle of the night by splicing a huge tape and piecing it together. It was really chicken-wired together, my first album, anybody that would play free”. So they hit the road: Twenty One Thousand people that first night, scared me to death”. Mylon was, he says the first white guy Toussaint ever produced. “He didn’t know I was white. Allen heard me and thought I was black, I guess so he produced me”. That was about four and a half years ago. Mylon had one Atlantic and two Columbia albums released and did gigs and sessions with loads more. Mylon was on the road for two and a half years during which time they had 90 days off. “I’d come off the road with Ten Years After and go with Jethro Tull and the Who and Traffic. In all, he did four tours with Ten Years After: And during that time, Alvin Lee saw me getting sick and he said, “Let’s just take two weeks off and go to Jamaica”. So we just quite then and got this house and schemed up all these high fliers. Everything we decided, we were going to do man, we’ve done. “I junked out, I just quite in March two years ago. I was in bad shape. I was just a country boy and I went off to the big city man, and I ran into drugs. I didn’t know anything about getting into trouble. I just quit for my mental health, I just couldn’t handle it anymore.

I couldn’t get away from the people, you know, the pushers and dealers. “When you’re a drug addict the only people you can trust are drug addicts. People can put you in jail for a long time. I mean heroin’s something that people are really down on and they ought to be. I almost died from it. It’s the sneakiest thing in the world, and you think you’ve got it under control and you try to quit and it’s impossible.“ I came over here and Alvin hid me out here in his house in the country and there was just no place to score and everybody was up and cooking and doing things. It was really just a good atmosphere”. He stayed for three months. When Alvin, Leo and some others went down to do some tapes at Roger Daltrey’s studios, Mylon went with them. They took a bunch of their songs that were written in Jamaica. “That let us know we could do it”. Says Mylon, and besides, Pete Townshend and Steve Winwood had both offered their studios. Everyone Mylon had supported in the States was eager for him to get straight and get playing. The Daltrey tapes lit the spark. Alvin Lee’s recording studios were being built. “Mylon came over to record the album and ended up labouring to build the studios”. The whole album was recorded while they were still being built, so although they think the music on the album’s great, the production could be bettered now that the studios are completed. Recording the album was a stone joy they say. “We tried to get up before sundown”, says Mylon, “have a swim or a ride on the motorcycles through the woods, just something to get some air inside of us. We’d come in here about dark. We’d go on until about 4:00 pm the next afternoon, thinking that it was still dark outside. We’ve been up two days doing things in here and George Harrison would be asleep for two days and he’d come over. He’d be ready and raring to go, and we’d get into it again. We’d do50 hours in here”. Now that they’ve done the album Mylon and Alvin are both looking forward to doing another one.

There’s plenty of material left but says Mylon, they’ll be going to Jamaica again to write fresh songs, and they’re working out ways to get the album on the road. After his drug problems, he’s feeling reborn: “Addiction is a sickness man, but because you can’t be honest with yourself when you’re that stoned, you believe the things that you’re thinking. You go on lying to yourself and to other people, but Alvin stuck beside me and just cared”. Mylon got a second chance. The album in another way has given Alvin Lee a second chance too. A musical one. As one who’s been completely unimpressed with Ten Years After, it’s a revelation and a delight to hear that Alvin knows the importance of taste and space in soloing.

Alvin knows it’s done him proud too. That’s why he’s pacing the control room like a caged tiger. He’s got the creative juices flowing again. Mylon says, it’s done Alvin good to get out and jam – the structures of Ten Years After were too choking.

 

 

CD Cover - On The Road To Freedom

        
These three Photos are Courtesy of Herb Staehr

 

 

  
 

Disc Magazine  11/24/73    

Alvin Lee and Mylon LeFevre -   On The Road To Freedom   (Chrysalis CHR 1054)    

Alvin has talked about working with Mylon for years now. They met up in America a long time ago, and have had a mutual admiration society ever since. Now, besides doing this album they have recorded an NBC “Midnight Special” at Biba’s with much the same line up. The album overall, have a lot of the feel of George Harrison’s solo things - that sadness that comes from a minor key Guitar, blues and lonely country feel - indeed Harrison’s is on there. Nice work from Alvin; admirable session work from Jim Capaldi, Stevie Winwood, Rebop, Tim Hinckley, Ron Wood, Mick Fleetwood ect.    

 

Average Album –Rating Three Stars  

Review  by CB

 

 

 

 

 

  
MIDNIGHT SPECIAL 

 

Procol Harum (Hosts) Humble Pie (Guests) Mylon LeFèvre (Guest) Alvin Lee (Guest) Steeleye Span (Guests)

 

Show taped in London, England:
--Procol Harum (hosts) - "Conquistador," "Whiter Shade of Pale," "Grand Hotel," "Fires Which Burn Brightly," "Drunk Again," "T.V. Caesar" & "Rule Brittania"


--Humble Pie - "Oh La De Da," "I Don't Need No Doctor" & "30 Days in the Hole"


--Alvin Lee and Mylon LeFèvre - "Rockin' Till the Sun Goes Down," "Carry My Load" & "The World Is Changing"
--Steeleye Span - "Cam Ye O-er Frae France"

 

30-Nov-1973

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mylon LeFèvre / THE WHO

 

Live At Saratoga Springs, New York

Monday August 2, 1971

Opening Act –Mylon Le Fèvre

Venue – (SPAC) Saratoga Performing Arts Center

 

The Concert was rated at 3.3 out of a possible 5

With a record breaking attendance of 27,800 breaking the previous record set by the band Chicago of 22,800 the previous year.

 

Newspaper Review – from “The Post Star”

 “Record Breaking Mob Spends Wild Evening With The Who At  SPAC”

The record set by Chicago last year at 22,800 was broken last night at Saratoga Performing Arts Center by “The Who” with an amazing 27,800.

The crowd was everywhere, in the seats, on the lawn, on the stage, in the aisles and even on the steel girders on the side of the theatre. The latter, fortunately, was only temporary until the police ordered the dozen young people down.

 

Lapped It Up:

They were a noisy, restless audience to say the least, but seemed to lap up every thing the four-man group offered. The Who gave them their money’s worth for an hour and a half, and do they work.

As to the quality of their music, it was loud, I’ll leave further critique to those who favour this type of rock music. But the fact that they brought nearly 28,000 paying customers to SPAC is not to be denied.

They seemed to sing all the songs the crowd came for, as well as a number of new ones, and had a difficult time convincing the crowd to go home.

The Set List:

  1. Love Ain’t For Keeping
  2. Pure and Easy
  3. My Wife
  4. I Can’t Explain
  5. Substitute
  6. Bargain
  7. Behind Blue Eyes
  8. Won’t Get Fooled Again
  9. I Don’t Know Myself
  10. Baby Don’t You Do It
  11. Pinball Wizard
  12. See Me / Feel Me
  13. Water

Opening the show for the first half, was “Mylon” a long haired grating singer / guitarist backed by five musicians and three girl singers. They did everything from rock to country – western, spirituals, and even a standard, “Sixteen Ton”.

Floors Shook:

The sound throughout the program was loud for those in the theatre, and everywhere backstage theatre walls and floor were actually vibrating. Out on the lawn, the sound was more moderated. Thanks to the closed circuit TV system used again last night, those on the lawn had a perfect viewing spot. Watching the TV cameramen in the aisles and one on stage on a ladder, trying to cover the show in itself.

       

There were the usual, several minor cuts and abrasions, as well as several fainting incidents requiring backstage first-aide, with some also going to the hospital. Reportedly, several on the lawn camped there from late Sunday night in order to be sure of a good place, so that should give some indication of the popularity of The Who. For anyone so inclined, a close examination of the group’s tons of sound equipment would be a short course in the electronic world of amplification at it’s fullest.

The intermission was especially long, as management pleaded for the young people to clear the aisles to comply with state fire laws. They never did get the aisles clear, but finally did get most of the kids to sit down, so those in seats could see the stage.

Today, in sharp contrast, the Philadelphia Orchestra opens it’s season with a 2:30 PM concert, with William Smith, assistant conductor, in charge. Included will be works by Wagner, Liszt and Brahms.

 


 Mylon and The Who Making History – August 2, 1971- In Saratoga, New York

My recollection of the event.

Thirty years after the fact, most people’s memory fade or becomes distorted, but in this case, mine is completely vivid and pristine. At least of being there, the concert and going home again. What is foggy is that, it wasn’t my idea to go, and the two people I went with I only remember Ed being with me. Maybe it was just him and I. Either way, I went home alone and I don’t remember why that was.

What I Do Know, is that of all my music loving friends, I was the only one who had enough money to purchase the brand new “Who’s Next” album – which was side by side with the brand new - “A Space In Time Album” by  Ten Years After, and I only had enough money for one album. I bought the Ten Years After album and then bummed enough money from my non-musical  friends (who had money to lend) and returned within an hour, to pick up “Who’s Next”. Now, which one to spin on the turntable first? I don’t remember, but I do know for a fact, that both played non-stop, for the next two months, and nothing else.

 

The Trip North – Foolish Youth:

I had no money, never been to a live concert before, had no transportation and my mother was a nervous wreck about the whole affair. And what loving mother wouldn’t be?

It must have been my friend “Crazy Ed” who talked her into it, because she gave me money for the ticket and also gave us a ride right to the front gate entrance.

I was fourteen years old, and basically on my own for the night. I had no fear or worry – until after the concert, when I had to hitch-hike back home by myself.

But I digress a little, the foolish part was this: Crazy Eddie talked me into going there at two in the afternoon for an eight O’clock show. It was so damn stupid at the time, but looking back it was so god damn smart to beat the mad rush of humanity that was to follow us later on. We were just about the first ones there.

 

Bummed Out – Burned Out Eddie:

The only ones there before us were the hustlers and the drug dealers. Now, I know I was with two people, there were three of us. Two of them scrounged up enough money to buy two tabs of speed each, as for me, I’m just into the music and have no need for a chemical fix. So, my friends couldn’t get to a water fountain fast enough to swallow these tablets down.

After twenty minutes, the two of them started ranting and raving about what a rush they were having, far out, wow man – this shit is so good!!! I wasn’t proud to be straight at that moment, and in fact very jealous that I had no money to join them.

Then all of the sudden, their heavenly bliss turned very ugly. They got cramps, began dry-heaving – trying to puke but couldn’t, and then rolling in agony. As my memory informs me, they were both hauled away in a Saratoga Ambulance – missing the concert completely. This I found out from them the next morning. Eddie told me that the police were called in, to describe the drug dealers that night, he returned to the concert, but couldn’t remember any of the songs or what the band looked like – lying piece of shit, he never returned at all.

 

Say No To Drugs:

Well Eddie, that little slogan came about years too late for you. I do remember this:

The capsules Ed and his friend took, were contact capsules, filled with drain-o, or comet powder, and that’s what made them sick. $5.00 each $10.00 deal, all for nothing.

 

“Mylon's Band Holy Smoke" – Opening For The Who:

Never heard of them, completely unknown. After hearing them, never forgot them, and wanted to buy all of their records:

MYLON BLEW “THE WHO” RIGHT OFF OF THE STAGE”…. They also blew 50 amp fuses left and right, and during one of these power outages, their time expired, and they were forced to leave the stage – and the audience was totally disappointed. If people thought the “WHO” were loud, Mylon was louder, more interesting, high energy, shooting from the hip and giving it all they had. When the WHO came on stage and started playing, I thought, “they should have  been the warm-up band and Mylon the headliners”. The reverse of Jimi Hendrix opening for the “Monkeys” Mylon was fast as lightning, loud as thunder, as passionate as a preacher in heat and made his presence known. The “WHO's set, was like The Grateful Dead  at Woodstock – when they came on in between two historic acts, and the DEAD just went plink-plink-cur-plunk-plink-plink their worst set ever played. Thus were the WHO, following MYLON. It wasn’t until “Won’t Get Fooled Again” that the WHO came to life, and we could really get into them. Our ears had to adjust and this took many WHO songs to do so. It may have been a great concert, and it was a good WHO concert – but Mylon was the master on this night. The WHO threw everything they had to give at the audience, but the audience were still rocking and a- reeling to Mylon and his powerhouse band. Mylon left you enthralled – the WHO left you wondering why they followed Mylon in the first place!  

 

Home Again:

I was happy to be home again. I got a ride with people going right past my house. We talked music, about the WHO and MYLON during the ride down the Northway to exit five. At age 14 I was more piss and vinegar during the daylight hours back then, but held my own in the dark of night on a lonely road just the same. I survived my first big adventure, managed to stay out of trouble, said no to dope – didn’t suffer from any peer-pressure and was proud of myself. Now I was back in my bed-room with Ten Years After and The WHO once again, in the safety of my trusted stereo and headphones.

LONG – LIVE – ROCK – the WHO should’ve played that and Summertime Blues – Young Man Blues – Magic Bus – My Generation…….. Oh Well!!!

 

Side Note:

It was somewhere during this time period that Mylon was the opening act for Ten Years After, or on the same concert bill. Alvin and Mylon became friends and in 1973 released an album together called, “On The Road To Freedom”. The significance of this title was two fold. Mylon’s break away from his deadly drug habit, coming clean from heroin abuse, and the beginning of Alvin’s solo career and  breaking away from Ten Years After at the same time.

Freedom for both of them…..Alvin did go solo, and Mylon went back to his religion where it all started for him. Both men came around full circle, and for the betterment of their lives.  

 

By Dave

 

 

 

  

1973 SCENE Magazine (Alvin Lee-Front Cover)

 

Here is the November 29-December 5, 1973 (Volume 4, Number 46) issue of SCENE magazine featuring Alvin Lee of Ten Years After on the front cover.  This super-rare, northeast Ohio tabloid-style magazine contains a 1-page article/interview with Alvin Lee and Mylon Le Fevre, A Meeting Through Music: Alvin Lee & Mylon Discuss Their Recent Work Together, along with a great offstage picture of both as well.

  

 

 
 

POP – Magazine – Dezember 1973 – Pop Aktuell

Um Ten Years After ist es in letzter Zeit bedenklich still geworden. Dafür macht der Star der Gruppe, Gitarrist Alvin Lee, immer mehr von sich und seinen Solotaten reden. Vor allem seine Gemein Schafts - LP mit dem weißen amerikanischen Gospelsänger Mylon LeFevre, „On The Road To Freedom“ gab Anlass zu wildesten Split-Gerüchen. Als dann auch noch Organist Chick Churchill, das „stille“ Mitglied der Gruppe, sein erstes Solo-Album, „You And Me“, auf den Markt brachte, gab man den Ten Years After keine zehn Tage mehr.

Ist Ten Years After tatsächlich am Ende? In einem Exklusive – Interview mit POP vernichtet Alvin alle heimlichen Wetten und Prophezeiungen bezüglich eines Endspurts der Gruppe:

Die Fans bestimmen über Ten Years After

„Die Leute erzählen sich schon lange, dass wir uns in Kürze trennen würden“, Lächelt Alvin. „Doch ich persönlich schrecke vor dem Ende von Ten Years After zurück. Obwohl ich meine Aktivitäten nicht mehr einzig und allein auf die Band beschränke. Ich stehe nach wie vor auf  Ten Years After – Musik. Obwohl ich momentan auch Musik mache, die völlig  anders klingt. Ich glaube aber nicht, dass ich die Entscheidung treffen sollte, ob sich Ten Years After auflöst oder nicht. Ich bin gerne bereit, weiterzumachen, solange uns die Leute hören wollen. Ich fühle, dass die Existenz der Band von den Leuten abhängt, die uns zum Erfolg verholfen haben. Wir sind ihnen verholfen haben. Wir sind ihnen verpflichtet. Solange die Fans uns hören wollen, so lange werden wir eben weitermachen.“

Unzertrennlich:

Alvins Gemeinschafts-Album mit Mylon entstand nicht aus einer bloßen Laune heraus. Die beiden trafen sich vor Ten Years After, bei der Mylon mit seiner Gruppe „Holy Smoke“ das Vorprogramm bestritt. Sie verbrachten viel Zeit miteinander, jammten in Hotelzimmern und komponierten gemeinsam. Seither sind sie unzertrennliche Freunde. Sie verbrachten später einen gemeinsamen Urlaub in Jamaika. Dort entstand auch das Konzept für „On The Road To Freedom.” “Mylon kam im vergangenen Sommer nach England, und Roger Daltrey stellte uns kostenlos sein Studio zur Verfügung. Wir übten eine Weile zusammen und entschlossen uns dann, das Album definitiv aufzunehmen.“

A Little Help From His Friends:

 

Mittlerweile war auch Alvins eigenes Heimstudio fertig gestellt. Die beiden fingen vorerst zu zweit mit den Aufnahmen an. „Wir spielten Gitarre und benützten eine Drum - Maschine. Eines Tages dann kam Jim Capaldi vorbei und half uns mit den Schlagzeugpassagen. Am nächsten Tag brachte er Steve Winwood mit, der für Pianosounds sorte. Die Nummern wurden immer mehr ausgebaut. Immer mehr ausgebaut Leute kamen vorbei . Mein alter Freund George Harrison (auf der Hülle Hari Georgeson), der auch einen Song beisteuerte, Mick Fleetwood, Ron Wood, Boz Burrell, Ian Wallace, Tim Hinkley….Alle halfen aus, bis dann schlussendlich alle Tracks standen.“ Alvin und Mylon kümmerten sich nicht um den kommerziellen Aspekt der Produktion. Sie versuchten einfach, ihre musikalischen ldeen  auszudrücken. „Das Ganze war eine völlig idealistische Sache. Wir spielten einfach die Art von Musik, die uns gefällt. Wir unterstanden keinerlei Druck. Sogar die Albumhülle haben wir selbst entworfen.“

„Ich möchte als Song-writer akzeptiert werden....“

Trotz dem Enthusiasmus, mit dem Alvin von seinem Projekt mit Mylon berichtet, will er Ten Years After doch nicht vernachlässigen. „Ich befinde mich momentan an einem Kreuzweg. Ich möglichst vielen Leuten im Studio arbeiten, einfach der Erfahrungen wegen, die ich dabei sammeln kann. Ich möchte gerne als Songwriter akzeptiert werden...“ Hier unterbricht Mylon: „Alvin hat bereits Songs für acht Ten Years After Alben geschrieben. Trotzdem spricht nie jemand von seinen Fähigkeiten als Komponist. Einfach lächerlich!“ Alvin fährt fort: „Natürlich werde ich meine Gitarre nicht vernachlässigen. Ich möchte einfach beides kombinieren können.“

Neue LP in Sicht?

Mit Ten Years After hat Alvin bereits ein paar  Nummern für ein neues Album aufgenommen. Die Gruppe hat sich jedoch vorgenommen, sich mit dieser LP mehr Zeit zu lassen als bisher. „In den nächsten Monaten wollen wir uns wirklich voll darauf konzentrieren. Das nächste Album soll und muss großartig sein. Eventuelle Tourneen erwägen wir erst an zweiter Stelle.“

 

 

 

 

15  December  1973     -   From Bill Board Magazine

Alvin Lee & Mylon LeFevre – On The Road To Freedom

Combination of Ten Years After leader Lee and pop gospel singer Mylon is a winning one, with the two producing a fine rock set which seems less harsh than Lee’s group but tighter than Mylon’s previous efforts.

All-Star guest list including: Steve Winwood, Ron Wood and Jim Capaldi also add depth, especially on cuts such as “So Sad (no love of his own)”.

 

 

 


 
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