On Sunday, August 17, 1969, ALVIN LEE and his band mates from TEN YEARS AFTER hit the stage at the legendary Woodstock Festival for what would be one of the most electrifying performances of the three day event... a moment that catapulted the band into superstardom.
On March 6, 2013, Alvin prematurely left "the stage" when he unexpectedly passed away at the age of 68.
What he left behind was some of the greatest rock and blues licks known to mankind... gone, but definitely not forgotten.
As fate would have it, the last show Alvin Lee would ever play, Raalte, Holland on May 28, 2012, would be recorded. It was never intended to be released but, after Alvin heard it, he decided it was so truly special that he should make it available to his fans.
That recording, The Last Show, is now here.
Coming out on Tuesday, October 1 for all fans to enjoy and further remember him by, The Last Show (on Rainman Records) features fourteen live cuts including such Ten Years After classics as 'I'm Going Home' and 'I Can't Keep from Crying Sometimes' (both performed at Woodstock) along with 'Hear Me Calling', 'Love Like A Man' and a host of others.
The CD is a beautifully packaged audio scrapbook documenting the culmination of a legend's career. The music is brilliant and there are plenty of photos of the show along with personal notes from his wife, band and fans, all of whom were at the show.
"Possibly my favourite memory of Alvin in recent years: to see him walking off stage in Raalte with his red Gibson slung to the side and a big grin on his face," states his wife, Evi. "Not usually one to be easily satisfied with his live performances, he was exhilarated and proud of having given the crowd his best on that evening. He would have been very happy with this unadulterated authentic release of the show."
As the story goes, in 1967, four young musicians from Nottinghamshire, England -- Alvin Lee, Leo Lyons, Ric Lee and Chick Churchill -- formed Ten Years After and became one of the biggest names in music and one of the most explosive quartets on the world stage.
After promoter Bill Graham took notice of the band after hearing their self-titled debut album on San Francisco's "underground" radio stations, he invited them to tour the States for the first time in 1968. So well received, the band would ultimately tour the U.S. twenty-eight times from '68 to '74, more than any other UK band.
In a short five year span, Ten Years After would enjoy considerable chart success with eight albums entering the Top 40 on the UK Albums Chart.
Over the course of their career, twelve of their albums reached the Top 200 on the Billboard charts in the United States.
Their now legendary encore, 'I'm Going Home', performed at Woodstock in August 1969, was captured on film and exposed their jazz, blues, rock amalgam to a large audience, who were blown away by the intensity of the band's performance when the Academy Award winning documentary was released. Their ten-minute appearance in the film is an acknowledged highlight and established Ten Years After a place in rock history.
From that third day of Woodstock in '69 to his last day on that sixth day of March earlier this year, Alvin Lee undeniably left an imprint.
In 1974, he departed the band and went on to collaborate with such music notables as George Harrison, Ronnie Wood, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Winwood, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, Mick Taylor and others.
He would reunite with his band mates from Ten Years After for various events and occasions in the years to come.
The band scored their biggest hit in 1971 with a song written and sung by Alvin called, 'I'd Love To Change The World'.
When it comes to the world of music, he certainly did just that...
The Last Show: May 28th, 2012 - Raalte, Holland tracklisting:
'Hear Me Calling'
'I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes'
'How Do You Do It'
'My Baby Left Me'
'I Don't Give A Damn'
'I'm Writing You A Letter'
'Slow Blues in 'C''
'I'm Gonna Make It'
'I Woke Up This Morning'
'Love Like A Man'
'Rip It Up'