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 John Platt Interview with Alvin Lee - Rockspective 1993  

JP: Alvin, anybody who has listened to any of your music for the last twenty five years or so would know that your roots are firmly in the blues, but how did a young boy growing up in late 1950ís England get to hear the blues?

 AL: My father used to collect blues, he was an avid fan of chain/prison work songs, chain-gang songs, that kind of thing and I grew up with that, it was always playing around the house. He was a fanatic, he used to listen to Big Bill Broonzy and Lonnie Johnson, more the delta blues and the Mississippi blues rather than the city blues and he had a very ethnic collection of stuff which is as I say, it just must of, sort of got into my brain at a very early age, and one day I remember very vividly I was twelve years old and he went to see Big Bill Broonzy playing in Nottingham in a club where I lived and he brought him back to the house and they went and woke me up so I could see this guy and I remember sitting on the floor looking up at this giant man stomping away playing the blues and I think that was probably what started it all off, like the next day I decided to become a blues player.

JP: Were your first influences the country blues players that your father liked?

 AL: Yeah, they were I suppose, it was a mixed thing, I had previously to that I had played the clarinet for a year and I didnít like it, it was one of those things where they said  we want you to play an instrument what do you want to play and I donít know why I said the clarinet but I played the clarinet and then through listening to Benny Goodman I heard Charlie Christian and I decided I liked what Charlie was doing much more than what Benny Goodman was doing, so I definately had a feeling for the guitar. Itís difficult to say, all those years ago but the guitar to me, I think itís the Big Bill Broonzy thing that really clinched it, I just went and swapped my clarinet for a guitar in fact. 

JP: Perhaps you could give us an idea of the sort of thing that Bill was playing that influenced you?

 AL: Well Big Bill, he used to play his blues, he would keep the rhythm going and play with his fingers to give it a great effect (Alvin plays a song that sounds just like  Donít Want You Woman on guitar which shows the Big Bill Broonzy style and the big influence he had on Alvin)

 JP: Well presumably in time you got to hear and appreciate the city blues players like I assume like BB King, Buddy Guy ect.

 AL: Yeah, well the next step for me to be honest was Chuck Berry when I heard Chuck Berry suddenly I was probably fourteen or fifteen years old and to me it sounded like the blues with more energy and the first I heard of Chuck Berry I think Sweet Little Rockín Roller probably the first track or something like that, and it just got to me and I just loved the energy cause Chuck would play that kind ofÖJohnny B. Goode.  The truth is I was interested in the guitar in all its forms. I listen to classical Andreīs Segovia, I listen to flamingo stuff and Mel Travis the country guys it was all good guitar players I mean I was keen to dabble in all those things.

 JP: Well when you started playing in bands presumably the R & B and the Blues scene started to take over.

 AL: Yeah,Yeah well I used to, I mean the first bands I played with it was pretty much kind of, most of the gigs were pretty much top forty type you know and you had to play what was in the charts and in those days it was pretty grim it was like Frankie Lane and Pat Boone and stuff like that. We used to play clubs and maybe do three sets and the last set weíd go on at one Oíclock in the morning and thereís a half a dozen people there and weíd play blues and like a couple of people would come up and say I really liked that ya know, and that was fun to me, that was more rewarding than the whole audience all jumping up and down to me playing some current pop song. 

 JP: Presumably by the time you came down to London in 1966 you were pretty much established as a blues player this was the impression we had of you at the time.

 AL: Yeah Yeah, thatís right but I did still like Rock and Roll and I used to play blues with more energy, in fact there was a lot of purist, it was quite funny these plot purist blues fanatics and they would come and they all would wear leather coats for some reason and all stand around almost taking notes as you were playing and watching very intently and they used to come back and say hey, youíve played that Elmore James solo wrong and that really used to annoy me because I said I play what I feel Iím not copying somebody else and theyíd  say I know but you played it wrong it doesnít go like that and so I kicked against all that, so I use to purposly kind of make it a bit more crazy and add some energy and try to rock it up a bit, which is the basis of English Blues to me I mean itís American music and I learned it from Americans and American blues artists added a bit of energy and kind of took it back, recycled it and took it back to America and they called it British Blues which I always thought was very strange.

 JP: Did you see yourself as part of the big blues explosion of the late 1960ís I mean there certainly was a movement but did you see your band as being part of that?

 AL: Not really, I think when your on the inside of a band thatís happening your kind of the last to know, you know, to me it was gigís and the whole thing was trying to fill the date sheet and try to make enough money to eat really, we got more gigs and it seemed good but I didnít feel that it was part of any explosion at the time I donít know.

 JP: and what about America because you became phenomenonally successful in America quite quickly what do you think would account for that?

 AL: Well one of the reasons the second album Undead was released in America and Bill Graham heard it and he wrote us a telegram and he said he had this gig called the Fillmore West and he was shortly to be opening one called the Fillmore East and heíd like to book the band at both those gigs, so we suddenly thought ah we can go to America and I mean I was American mad you know any thing, I had American cars, American guitars and anything American I thought was cool and I just wanted to get there no matter what.

 JP: Alvin I think your first proper band was probably the Jaybirds, do you want to tell us something about them?   

 AL: The Jaybirds was a bit later, the first band was the Jailbreakers. I was thirteen years old and I did a gig, the first gig that Iíd ever done, it was a cinema in Sandiacre and we played between the B movie and the main feature like a ten minute spot, and that was my first introduction to show business and the Jailbreakers did kind of R & B stuff and a couple of other little units but then the original, the start of the Jaybirds was the Jay Men which then became the Jaycats which then became the Jaybirds, so a lot of confusion over what to call ourselves at that time and the Jaybirds was going pretty strong for about four or five years and we were quite big in Nottingham and that made things difficult because we kept moving up to London and then working in Nottingham cause we were well known in Nottingham you know, so we thought we got to go break in London, so we ought to go down and get a flat and live in London and then have to travel to Nottingham every Friday to do the gigs because we got better money there and we did that three times, moved to London three times, third time stayed there.

 JP: What sort of stuff were you playing then with the Jaybirds?

 AL: It was rockín roll basically R & B, a bit of blues, we did some Chuck Berry tunes that kind of thing with the R & B leanings that was the forerunner of Ten Years After.

 JP: So how did you effect your first big break then you said youíd come down to London three times and the last time you stayed? 

 AL: Yeah, OK, well it all started around 1966 we started to get good work in the clubs in London, we got a residency at the Marquee Friday nights now that was a big deal in those days because that was the hot night Friday night and we were there every week and there were places called Bluesville, Madhouse, pubs cricketers arms but they were all pretty good blues clubs ya know, and so we had a circuit we were working four or five nights a week in London on the club circuit  and started to get a name for ourselves as a live bandÖ.and Deram records is a part of Decca, actually itís a funny story because weíd done an audition for Decca records and there was a producer there, he gave us this song to play and we went off and worked it out and came back and played it, and then sombody came down  to the Marquee and said we want to give you an album deal you know to record an LP which was very unusual in those days cause you had to record a single and if that was a hit theyíd let you record an album, and we were I think one of the first bands to actually start with an album which I thought was pretty cool, so we actually went into the studio and started to record this album and then we got a letter from Decca who signed us up saying we failed the audition so I donít know it was a good clue as to how the music industry is, the one arm didnít know what the other was doing, we were signed on and turned down shortly after by the same company.

 AL: We did the Ten Years After album first which is pretty easy to do because itís your live set youíve got your repertoire of your live set and the numbers you know which work  and you just basically go in and play them and thatís pretty good, I think itís by the time you get to your third album itís a bit of a struggle cause then you run out of the songs you used live and you have to start thinking of new ones thatís always the crunch.  Itís funny I remember, I donít know why it was we used to play clubs and I remember one particular time this is the manager of the club came up and we played the first hour and then we  had two more sets to do and he came up and said Iím afraid weíve had lots of complaints, the audience canít dance to you and we donít want you to play anymore, and for some strange reason I had so much teenage confidence that I thought well theyíre all wrong and Iím right  and itís funny cause it seemed that way ya know and later on when the blues boom happened and suddenly that music was accepted I thought oh, itís about time now itís going my way. 

 JP:  I seem to remember that you also used to play on what was known at the time as the underground circuit you did Middle Earth and places like that, I mean did you, the reason I ask I wondered whether in fact you liked the fact they were having bills of bands who played in totally different styles?

 AL: Yeah I loved that, yeah it thought it was great, I used to love those things you used to get, to play a four piece string quartet and then a rock and roll band and then a poet and I used to think it was great, it was all very arty and I loved the underground, I loved being  part of it, cause it was a very exciting period, it was the period when the whole music thing changed now up until then the bands had to wear suits and ties and smile while they sang and ya, know it was all pretty much a bull-shitty kind of thing, and the underground was the first time ya know, you go on in your street clothes you could play with your eyes closed, just play what you wanted, incredibly long guitar solos it was all accepted and to me it was freedom, freedom from the showbiz kind of thing which I never really wanted to be part of, but to me it was natural you know what I mean, it was like you didnít have to wear a larmay suit or anything just go on with a tee-shirt and jeans and play and that was great, it was truthful and it was free.

JP: What about Woodstock?    

 AL: I was there ya know, a lot of people come up and say, ya know I was at Woodstock and Iíd say so was I, yeah Woodstock was great, it was an amazing event but then again nobody knew history was being made at the time, I knew it was going to be a bit different when they told us that we couldnít drive to the gig and we had get a helicopter that was amazingÖand it was an open sided helicopter so I put on the old harness and I leaning, hanging out of the helicopter over a half a million people and there was a strong smell of marijuana coming up and it was an amazing start to the day, and actual memories ya know, itís all very blurred purple haze.

 JP:  I was thinking also in terms not just of the gig itself but the film which must have taken your music to an enormous number of people.

 AL: Yeah, it was the film that in fact made the difference. We did the festival and then we were playing like two to three thousand seater Kenettic Playground type of gigs, Fillmore type of gigs those things, we did Woodstock, it was an amazing event, I personally had a good time there but thought nothing of it and then we carried on for a year playing two and three thousand seaters then the movie came out and thatís when it all got silly and soon we were playing ice hocky arenas and that kind of thing which actually I didnít find all that good, I didnít like playing those places, we were playing to security guards with cotton wool in their ear and a big orchestra pit with barriers and ya know it seemed to me that no one was listening. I perfer the underground phase ya know, like the Fillmore type gigs they were more clubby and I prefer a clubby vibe you can, sweat dripping down the walls and the sound pounding on the walls and thatís some of the best gigs that Iíve ever done. 

 JP: Alvin you said that the whole move to stadium rock was one of the reasons that you decided ultimately to break the band up.

 AL: Yeah it was the whole band got disenchanted, it was that feeling of what are we doing here, no one is listening, ya know a lot of people say Woodstock made Ten Years After but in fact it was the beginning of the end when the movie came out there was a lot of disenchantment, I didnít like being a rock and roll star in inverted corners, I thought of myself as a musician. I was very naive in those days ya know, I thought Iíve already made much more money than I should do anyway and that wasnít kind of part of the plan and I tried to hold it all back in fact I did what I called deescalated the whole thing and stopped doing all the interviews and all that and didnít really want to play that game at all which seemed to even  make it  worse, then they thought I was Greta Garbo. No, itís funny the success that everybody thought it really must be great when you made it but that wasnít that good at all, I prefer the earlier parts.

 

 JP: But you still kept on going to the states I believe you did something like twenty eight tours in five years or something which is a phenomenal  amount of work to get through.

  AL: Yeah well the band was over toured, I remember complaining about that because we would do like a thirteen week tour of America, come back to London, have two days off and then start on a ten week tour of Europe, and then some bright spot would call me up on the telephone and say your in the studio next week we hope youíve got the songs ready, and I was writing songs in the taxi on the way to the session and things like that and I was just getting too much pressure and I needed time off, and there was an album called A Space in Time which was a dedication to that time off that I managed to dig my heals into the ground and say thatís it, Iím not working, I want to write songs, I want to be a musician, but they kept saying but Alvin you can make millions of dollars, there was a demand for the music but I didnít feel that I was living up to it. I didnít feel I was getting enough creative time to supply good music, cause you had to rush it all and I was over toured. Itís funny because when you start a band off you just want to fill your date sheet up thatís your ambition to work six nights a week, when that happens you go four five or six years maybe just doing that and being glad of it but suddenly or sooner or later you think where are we going from here, I used to say weíre turning into a travelling juke-box, it sometimes used to feel that way ya know, youíd arrive at a gig, then plug in and play and take it out and off to the next town same thing, and you do that like fifty or sixty times in a row and you start to loose the spontaneity.

 

JP: So was your first solo album which I think was the one with Mylon Le FŤvre a deliberate attempt to get away from the old band sound?

 AL:  Yeah,Yeah it was it more of a country kind of feel more of a melodic kind of thing, more tunes and less and it wasnít rock and roll, I mean I was getting away from that rock and roll kind of tag of course, I was probably a bit too aware at the time of criticism and press people who use to call me Captian Speed Fingers and All Haste and No Taste and things like that, yeah I was turning against the whole rock and roll thing for awhile, in fact there was a period where I didnít play any rock and roll just to get away from that image---it was a personal problem, I had it all wrong to be honest, ya know I say I was very naive, but I was trying to keep my credibility and that has always been the important thing to me, I think if you loose that then your in trouble and if I started to feel that I was a rip off and I wasnít being truthful to myself then I couldnít really play thinking that you have to have your own credibility to continue itís very important.  In fact there was a band, I did an album called In Flight and it was called Alvin Lee and Company. It was an eight piece band, a percussion player, two girl singers, Mel Collins on sax, and it was quite a funky little outfit actually and I enjoyed playing that and I got totally away from rock and roll and I didnít do all the classic songs, I didnít do any Ten Years After songs and that was the rebel again ya see, itís a funny thing how you turn against what makes you famous, I know Jimi Hendrix he hated to play Hey Joe which I thought is a great number I still play Hey Joe he hated it because it was so popular and I for awhile I felt like that about Iím Going Home, itís like itís the only thing we played everyone would shout Iím Going Home all the way through the set it gets kind of annoying, so I did this whole set played for about a year never played any of those tunes but one day I went to see Jerry Lee Lewis, he was playing in Birmmingham England. Iíve always been a big fan of Jerry Lee and he was playing Country and Western, he was going through a funny phase and he didnít  play Whole Lotta Shakeín and Great Balls of Fire and I came out of that gig greatly disappointed and realized that if people came to see me and I didnít play Iím Going Home or Love Like A Man theyíd feel the exact way that I felt and I didnít want my audience to feeling like that when they left the gig, so the very next day I went back to the band and said Iím doing Iím Going Home tonight and played it and it felt great, it was like finding an old friend after a few years ya know. 

JP: Alvin now youíve got a great new album out,

AL: Thank You Very Much,

JP: and to me despite the fact that it still has the blues feeling you know, the rock and roll feeling, it sounds pretty modern to me particulary on a track like ďReal Life BluesĒ tell me something about the track and how it came about.

 AL: Real Life Blues ok, well itís a real life feeling I was working in the studio until about two in the morning and I decided I needed a little break just to lighten my head a bit so I went in the house and switched on the TV and just caught the war breaking out in Yugoslavia, a highjacking and several murders and I thought and it really effected, I was trying to be creative and it I thought so much trouble in the world itís time we had some better news maybe a song in there so I wrote the song basically on that feeling came back into the studio. It was a bring down to me and I was angry and the song is kind of a mellow chord, I didnít play any lead at first I had the song, and then I did a lead guitar it was really angry, I was angry at the world ya know and so much trouble in the world, I was doing all this really manic guitar.

 I then called up George Harrison, heís always been a mate of mine and heís played on a lot of my albums and Iíve played on his and I said  any chance that you come play a bit of slide on this tune, it needs a bit of slide and he said Iíll be right over and he came over and he played. 

I took my guitar out of the mix ok so he just had the basic chord feel of it and he played this beauitful sympathetic slide guitar that was so wonderful and it turned the whole song around for me cause instead of so much trouble in the world it was like so much trouble in the world and he did the guitar fills and the first solo and I was going to play the second solo so I checked out what I was playing by the end of the track it was crazyness ya know, it didnít fit at all so I had to rethink the whole end of the solo and make it more kind of mellow and sympathetic and thatís what he did to it, he took the angry bit out of it and he turned it around and made it much more interesting for me, itís nice when that happens. 

 

JP: Thereís a real variety of songs on the album everything from R & B Rock and Roll and a certain amount of  blues, something like Jenny Jenny which is superficially sounds like a Chuck Berry riff  but thereís all kinds of 1950ís things going on in there as well.

 AL: Yeah thatís right, I was very happy with that, that was one of the songs it took me about ten minutes to write that one, in fact I was working with my song writing collegue Steve Gould and weíd been working all day on this song and getting nowhere and I said to hell with this, letís play some rock and roll and we wrote Jenny Jenny in ten minutes and I was very happy with it because to me it sounds like it was a song  that should have been written in 1958 and escaped thatís basically it  and to me I thought it was Jerry Lee Lewis cause the guitar is Chuck Berry (the guitar fills are Chuck Berry) but the rhythm is Jerry Lee Lewis.

 

JP: To some listeners who maybe havenít heard your music in some time there is a superficial difference between Iím Going Home and the stuff on the new album, but do you really see it as that different? 

 AL: I donít, I see Jenny Jenny and Going Home to me are very very  similar, itís just cooking rock and roll twelve bars they have different flavors but to me itís all the same roots thatís rock and roll itís Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and what you can do with that whole feeling.

 

JP: How do you thinkóI mean people still regard you as a guitar player as well as everything else and very much a solo guitar player, I mean do you think your solo playing has changed much over the years?

 AL: Some ya some, Iíd like to think its got better Iíve got more control I think now,  Iím probably appreciating spaces more I think sometimes if youóa gap between the notes is sometimes more important then putting notes in, ya know itís like light and shade and everything else. 

 

JP: In thirty, forty, fifty, sixty or whatever how many years time it is and that great bluesman in the sky calls you to play that last lick how would you like to be remembered? 

 AL: Iíd like to be remembered as a musician rather thanóIíve always tried to be a musician rather than a pop star, I hate anything to do with pop music and I donít really like show business as Iíve said my heros are people like John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker is over eighty now and still playing and I think thatís great, if I ever make it to eighty I hope Iím still playing too, in fact Iím sure I will be because I donít want to stop now, and itís too late for me to get a proper job.     


 

 

Alvin talks about his new release called ZOOM:   

 

Q:  Alvin how did you come up with Zoom for the album title?

AL: Well Zoom seemed to get the best reaction from people.

 

Q:  Can you tell us about the songs on this record?

AL: The songs have been written over the past two years or so, I write songs all the time, itís my hobby and my trade as well. Itís a pretty good collection of songs and Iím really happy with ďReal Life BluesĒ ďJenny JennyĒ and ďRemember MeĒ (when Iím dead and gone) which is actually about my own epitaph. Iím looking forward to people hearing ďJenny JennyĒ itís like a fifties rock and roll song that sounds like it sould have been written over twenty years ago, and Clarence Clemons (from Bruce Springsteenís E Street Band) is on it too.  I was thinking yesterday that my favorite song was ďUse That PowerĒ which to me has a double meaning. Itís all about ecology, protecting the environment and about being pissed off about dumping all that shit into our environment, so Use That Power is a warning cry to stop it now. It also means Use That Power as in use your power and change things back to the way it ought to be, and use all your power. 

Q: Alvin, are all the compositions on Zoom your originals?

AL: Yes, although I co-wrote some of them with a man named Robbie Sideman who is an American living in LA, he came over to England and we wrote ďAnything For YouĒ as a middle of the road song on this collection, but itís still in the good old rock and roll style. Itís a good jamming blues song and Jon Lord (from Deep Purple) plays the Hammond organ and Clarence is on sax.

   

Q:  Describe if you would the style of music that you consider Zoom to be under.

AL: Itís a blues-based-rock and roll thing I suppose, if you needed to pigeon hole the thing, itís basically blues, with the roots of rock and roll with some progressive leanings. Iíve always thought of myself as a progressive musician, I did my gig when I was around thirteen or so in Hamburg,Germany and it was the first time I was ever out of England.

 

Q:  Who have been your most important influences in music?

AL:   Well to begin with I was brought up listening to all kinds of blues, as my father had a huge collection of blues records and I moved towards the most ethnic kind of blues, people such as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Lonnie Johnson were the original artists that I picked up on. 

   

As I was growing up, Big Bill came to visit my house, my parents went to one of his shows in Nottingham and brought him home with them. I think I was twelve at the time and the whole thing had a big impact on me. Bill sat in our living room and played his guitar, after that I discovered Chuck Berry, rock and roll, Jerry Lee Lewis and all the rest of them. I still listen to Jazz guitar, Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel  and George Benson, itís thanks to my parents that I was exposed to quite a lot of different music and I feel the thirties swing stuff had a big influence on the history of rock and roll as we know it today. 

 

Q:  When did you decide to take these influences and venture out on your own? 

AL:  I think in 1962, was the start, as there was a blues boom headed by John Mayall and suddenly the blues became the ďIN thingĒ.  I always loved to play the blues before it became popular but before it was accepted. We used to get tossed out of clubs because people complained that they couldnít dance to our music, so I went back to basic rock and roll. When the blues boom came I already knew all of the great songs because Iíd been exposed to them all my life, so suddenly I found myself back in the blues. It all goes in cycles, I went through years where Iím very blues based, then I move to rock and roll then into a psychedelic period and then onto progressive, and then back into the blues, and around it goes. My first time in America back in 1967 I was amazed to discover that most Americans didnít know who Big Bill Broonzy or Lonnie Johnson were. After all this is your music your heritage all we did was copy it, so in fact I was playing American music with some English energy added to it and then recycling it and sending it back to America, Iíve always been a fan of American music.

 

Q:  Alvin, how did you get George Harrison, Jon Lord and Clarence Clemons to help you on Zoom? 

AL:  Well, Iíve known George since 1973 when Mylon LeFevre and I were working on the On the Road to Freedom recording which for me was a positive step away from rock and roll. George wrote a song on that album called ďSo Sad (no love of his own) and ever since that time he likes to come over with a guitar in hand and a bottleneck, he plays a very good slide guitar by the way. Jon Lord Iíve known since the 1960ís, heís played on some of my albums and Iíve played on his. George, Jon and I all live very close to each other in the part of England called The Thames Valley.   Clarence I met on the Peter Maffay tour recently in Germany and Clarence and I get along just great, we shared a dressing room, sat around and just jammed, Clarence said Iíll be on your album if youíll do the same for me. Clarence is great I love him and heís certainly a ďlarger than life human beingĒ.

 

Q:  Alvin,who else do you have in your band right now?

AL:  Alan Young is with us as drummer and has been for the last three years and as his name implies heís the young-blood in the band. Our bass player on live gigs is Steve Gould and he and I wrote Jenny Jenny together. On this album though I used Steve Grant. We all have a good relationship and weíre going to keep working on it. 

 

Q:  Alvin, what do you think of the new generation of blues guitar artist coming along now, like Gary Moore for instance?

AL:  Yeah well, I think itís great and I know Gary pretty well, he was very surprised that his album did so well, because the record company made it very clear that they didnít want blues they wanted heavy metal. Gary had gotten away from his heavy metal image and now all the record labels want the blues. Gary plays city blues and not the country blues, which is in the more acoustic style, like the Mississippi Delta Blues. There are so many forms and variations of the blues that hopefully this craze will embrace all of them.

 

Q:  Do you think Gary may be using some of the work that you yourself pioneered as a member of Ten Years After?

AL:  Yes, well I might have pioneered something with Ten Years After, just as BB King did it before me. Itís just influences and Gary told me that I was his biggest influence after seeing a Ten Years After gig. He never forgot it because he fell off his motorbike on his way home from the concert. Itís good to be an influence like that, Iíve met a lot of guitarists on the road who want to play my guitar, they show me their version of the intro to ďIím Going HomeĒ and they play it exactly the same way that I did, note for note, even I donít do that, I change it a little bit, so I say to them thatís very good now go off and learn your own licks.

                                                                                            Bruce                                                                                                              Alvin Lee, Gary Moore, Jack Bruce

Q:  Would I be close in saying that Zoom highlights each part of your music career? 

AL: All the styles that I play, blues, rock and roll progressive or even psychedelic are all in evidence on this record, it sounds like me but it also pays tribute to the roots too. 

 

Q:  Then are you happy with the overall results on Zoom?

AL:  Yes Iím happy as a sandman, I just heard it last night for the first time and it sounded great, itís the first time because for the last three months Iíve been working on it everyday and I think itís my favorite album so far. 

   

Jimmy Page said of Alvin Lee, ďheís just greatĒ said the most unimpressionable Jimmy, as his eyes were spellbound from watching Leeís fingers!

When someone asked Alvin about being the fastest guitarist in the world his firm reply was:  "I don't think so, no way. There are plenty of guitarists faster than me. 

Django Reinhardt was faster than me and he only had two working fingers. It's a silly title anyway. I never was, I never will be and who's counting anyway?"Alvin Lee in 1984

 

             

Guests at Joe Brown's & Manon's wedding  August 2000
Bert Weedon, Chas, Roger Glover, Alvin Lee, George Harrison and Leslie Glover 

Hi Dave & Brigitte !  Thanks for your email.  Really enjoyed the websites.  I've long been a fan of Ten Years After.  Until fairly recently before he moved abroad, I used to meet Alvin in the company of Joe Brown, they lived near each other and are great friends, as you probably know.  Have you checked out my website www.chasmcdevitt.com there ia a photo in the first page of pictures, taken at Joe's wedding, that includes Alvin and George Harrison; Joe's Best Man at the wedding. All the best, Chas McDevitt.

 

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