45. Hosts: Procol Harum

gs: 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"


b: 30-Nov-1973




Seltenes von Alvin Lee               by Torsten Strube

1972 begann Alvin Lee an seinem damaligen Wohnsitz in Checkendon (in der Nähe von Henley-on-Thames und Reading) sein eigenes Studio einzurichten.
Ab dann war es ihm natürlich möglich jederzeit Musik aufzunehmen. In den Space Studios sind zunächst einmal das Album «On The Road To Freedom», dann «Positive Vibrations» entstanden, aber auch die Platte der Soul-Funk Band FBI, natürlich Proben und Jams - in einem Interview mit dem englischen Magazin «Guitarist» vom April 1987 erwähnte Alvin Lee, dass er bis dato wohl über 500 Stunden Musik auf Tape habe.



FBI (Funky Bands Inc) were a critically acclaimed 9 piece band led by Root Jackson, which were together from 1974 to 1978. They had a distinctive 'good time' sound with sharp horns and both male (Root Jackson and female (Bonnie Wilkinson) vocalists. Root had previously had a few minor hits in late 60s under the name Root and Jenny Jackson. They started on the college, club and pub circuit and graduated to supporting major US acts like Kool and the Gang and The Temptations, touring with rock bands like Alvin Lee Band, whilst being semi-resident at Ronnie Scotts club. This their only album was recorded in 1976 at Alvin Lee's Hook End Manor studio near Reading and was engineered by Chris Kimsey, who went to produce reggae legends Jimmy Cliff and Peter Tosh and several Rolling Stones albums. Due to a delay in releasing it and lack of promotion the album did not fulfil its full potential when released on the Good Earth label through RCA in the UK in 1977. The album is mixture of hard driving funk 'FBI' and 'Bad Deal', Soul 'Let me love you' and a cover of JR Bailey's 'Love Love Love' with a Caribbean influence 'The time is right'. But the stand out track is the wonderful 'Talking About Love', surely one of the best soulful records ever made outside of USA. It is this track which has made the album an underground in-demand £80 rated album for the past fifteen years. The album was re-issued in 1991 with a different sleeve on Root Jackson's Kongo Dance, the label responsible for discovering Omar and Vanessa Simon. FBI have become in demand again thanks to footage of one of their appearances on the TV show 'Magpie' being featured in an episode of the BBC2 series 'I Love the 70's'. The band have partly reformed under the name UFBI (Unfinished Business Inc) and plan a new album for later in 2001. In the meantime we are proud to re-present the original FBI album remastered from the original tapes and reunited with its original sleeve design, enjoy the good vibes !

Laurence Prangell Soul Brother Records February 2001


1. FBI.





Sarm Hook End:  This fabulous studio has undergone an extensive technical and cosmetic refit. The upgrade has seen the installation of a new 96 frame SSL 9000j - series console with 80 channels fitted, Total Recall and Ultimation. The 12 Focusrite ISA85110 (mic amp/EQ) modules that were housed in the old SSL 4000E console have been rescued, and are now located in rack form along with the rest of the outboard. The studio 'Two Track' equipment has also been upgraded and improved with the addition of the new HHB CDR850 and two Sony R700 Dat recorders.

Ten Years After:

Not my cup of tea, I'm sorry to say. Had great problems watching Alvin Lee in the "Woodstock" movie. It goes on and on and on... But I admit he has good technique and can reel off impressive jazz phrasings. And Leo Lyons' moustaches - and bass chops - impressed me too.

Ric Lee on drums played with Stan Webb for a while - like everybody else, I almost added (on album "Roadies Concerto" 1981).
To be fair, I never caught T.Y.A. truly live - perhaps that could have changed my mind.

Lester Bangs of "Creem" magazine did. He waxed it poetically about Alvin in the April '73 issue:

"When he's in full flight Alvin slides up to the microphone and grins like a moose. He's built like a football player, and his guitar english is in accordance with the image - none of this fey barely-touching stuff for Mr. Lee (unless he wuz touching one of the Bobbettes) - he grits and grinds and bumps and juts, making it clear without overstating his virility that he don't fuck around.
He has a great sense of humour, too - whilst playing 78 RPM ultimo methedrine guitar with one hand, shaking the mike with the other, bouncing stage front in a kind of electric slouch (like a vibrating spring) and singing in the corniest and most blatant ripoff of something resembling an old New Orleans Smiley Lewis vocal style ever heard, he'll swivel his skull and literally leer at the audience with glee at once sly and mindless. Naturally they ate it up. That man ain't no fool."

Mind you: Lester was a T.Y.A. fan! About the group:
"...TYA are in some ways the granddaddies of the whole blooming boogie-bloozup-getdown school of band which has proliferated since they first hit the sets. Savoy Brown copped their riffs in all comradeship, Cactus would be lost without their model, and Foghat would never had existed had TYA not blazed the trail, Alvin hacking away the jungle with a machete..."





In an effort to expand his musical horizons, Alvin Lee has suspended his activties with Ten Years After and undertaken a tour with a new band to perform material from his second solo album, "In Flight". The grind of touring and the limitations put upon Lee by "the violent thrashing and gritting of teeth" in the Woodstock festival film had reached the point of exhaustion. Ten Years' attempts to break into more lyrical areas had failed, and Lee was spending his time between their gigs recording songs totally atypical of the band's previous output.

 Alvin ultimately retired to his country retreat to consider his next move. One night he was visiting at George Harrison's home, and discussed his dilemma with Harrison advisor Terry Donan. Donan insisted that most musicians don't possess enough independence to follow a direction of their own choosing.

"Well" said Lee "I can choose to do whatever I want, whenever I want to do it." Donan called his bluff: "If you're as independent as you say you are," he taunted, "then why don't you put on your own solo concert at the Rainbow Theater in London?" 


The rest as we know is history and thanks to Donan's idea Alvin pulled off one of the greatest concerts of all time.

1975 CBS Inc. Circus Magazine


 Photo from 1973

"In Flight" 1974

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