Ten Years After’s Alvin Lee Dies at 68: Slash, Black Sabbath Members + More Pay Tribute
Tragic news for fans of veteran blues-rock band Ten Years After. The band’s founding guitarist and singer Alvin Lee has died at the age of 68 after complications during “routine surgery.” The career of Alvin Lee is incredibly distinguished, and as a result, rock and metal legends Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, Slash, Joe Satriani, Glenn Hughes and others have paid tribute to Lee in a series of memorial statements.
Alvin Lee was a man who played the original Woodstock Festival in 1969. His band Ten Years After launched eight albums into the U.K. Top 40 charts, crafting their biggest hit, ‘I’d Love to Change the World,’ within their 1971 album, ‘A Space in Time.’
Following the passing of Alvin Lee, a wave of iconic musicians celebrated the artist’s life along with the influence he delivered to some of the world’s greatest players.
Black Sabbath legends Geezer Butler and Bill Ward both memorialized Lee through written tributes.
“Shocked and saddened to hear of Alvin Lee passing, one of the true greats and a major influence on Sabbath,” writes Butler. “The fastest guitar in the west. He was one of the few people that believed in Sabbath when we started out, and he got us our first major London gig, at the Marquee. A true gentleman and lovely bloke. RIP Alvin.”
Ward posted on his personal website, “Thank you, Alvin for all that you were. For all that you gave. You were one of a kind. Your music rocked with passion, force, excitement; brave in risk, bringing this listener to the point of “wowism”. In short, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Our condolences go to Alvin’s family. Heartfelt sympathy at this time of loss.”
Guitar legend Joe Satriani writes, “Alvin Lee was a big influence on my playing. He was a great musician and a gentleman, too. I still have the pick he gave me a few years back… R.I.P. Alvin Lee … Joe”
Both Slash and Deep Purple‘s Glenn Hughes took to their Twitter accounts to offer their condolences:
I just heard about Alvin Lee’s passing. He was the 1st badass, super fast lead guitarist I remember hearing as a kid. legend. RIP. iii]; )’
— Slash (@Slash) March 6, 2013
RIP Alvin Lee…so very sad to hear of another friend passing…
— Glenn Hughes (@glenn_hughes) March 6, 2013
Rest in peace, Alvin Lee. In remembrance of the musician, check out the video below of Ten Years After performing ‘I’d Love to Change the World,’ and see a Top 10 list of the band’s songs over at Ultimate Classic Rock.
Ten Years After, ‘I’d Love to Change the World’