1973

TEN YEARS AFTER - Newspaper Articles / Photos

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From BRAVO Magazine, March 15th, 1971

 

Circus Magazine January 1973
$ . 75 Cents

 

Alvin Lee:
Ever since the film “Woodstock,” showed Alvin’s blonde hair flying and his fingers sailing over the guitar strings, he’s been trying to shatter the notion that he’s a superhuman sex symbol.


It’s an unseasonably muggy Sunday night and Ten Years After are headlining at New York’s grimy old Academy of Music. The midnight set has just gone into it’s second encore and there are still cries from the crowd for “More” !  Lead guitarist Alvin Lee whispers to his sweat-soaked cohorts in the wings, “let’s give em´ a quick one”. They take the stage again to thunderous applause, and tear into “Johnny B. Goode” but drummer Ric Lee has taken Alvin a bit too literally and rushes the beat; so they suddenly stop short, count off and start the song again. This time it’s right, the music keeps getting louder and faster while shouts out verses of “Rip It Up” and “Tutti-Frutti” and finally rips off a frenzied guitar solo that leaves literally nothing else to play. Even the jaded backstage denizens are clapping as the band finally stumbles offstage and the house lights go up. This is a strange way indeed for a full-fledged rock star to behave. Less than two weeks earlier, in a theatre only a few scant miles away, David Bowie, the new glamour rock’s prettiest star, danced with unfaltering precision through a tightly choreographed set of songs despite a bass amplifier that resolutely refused to function properly, keeping his show moving even though the sound was going nowhere.

 

Kicking Solid Gold In The Teeth:

In this musical season of Bowie and Bolan, when even Mick Jagger has taken to wearing eye glitter and purple body stockings, Ten Years After has thrown a strange new twist into its six-year war against superstar flash. Ever since they got together in 1967 they’ve gone onstage in their rock `n´ roll jeans, playing to please no one but themselves, and bringing audiences more accustomed to slumping in their seats to their cheering, stomping feet.

But in the last few weeks, they’ve taken their rebellion against superstar glamour a step further with their new album, “Rock & Roll Music To The World” (On Columbia Records), an LP that deliberately tosses away the formula that only ten months back earned the group its first million-selling LP in over half a decade of patient music making. Less than a year ago the song “I’d Love To Change The World” with its lush, infectious acoustic guitar runs, astonished Ten Years After followers by climbing to the pop fifty on the charts. Then came something even more surprising. After five non-gold LP’s A Space In Time. The very

un – Ten Years After – ish LP which “Change The World” had come from, not only turned gold, but stayed on the charts for nearly half a year, rivalling even the longevity of that season’s latest posthumous Hendrix release, “Rainbow Bridge”. But did Alvin Lee stick to the musical formula that had suddenly launched him into the skies of solid gold? Not by a long shot. In a puzzling reversal, he has abruptly snapped away from the carefully structured flash and glitter that made “A Space In Time” his most commercially successful work to date, and taken “Rock & Roll Music To The World”, back to the sound of his previous six  albums.

The funky, rocking blues the group likes best. Alvin explains, “This album isn’t the songs I write for the group. I didn’t construct anything. All the songs just came off my head and we all played what came out is just the natural music of the band”.

 

Just Another T.V. Hater:

While “I’d Love To Change The World” the top 50 single from the last album, catalogued the horrors of war and pollution to a melancholy acoustic guitar backing, the new album sets its mood in the hard-charging title cut: “Ain’t no relation to the United Nations – I just shout and do the rest with my guitar – Give peace a chance, get up and dance – I’m singing rock & roll music to the world.

“Turned Off T.V. Blues” stabs a pin into the gilded dream of rock star glamour to show just another bored human being sitting in a hotel room with nothing to do but gaze blankly at a 21- inch screen: (Lyrics) – I’m sitting here in oblivion, what a great night to watch T.V.

It just fills my mind with garbage, that my eyes ain’t supposed to see. Watching T.V. is a real energy drain,” Alvin says, stretching his long legs in the back of the sleek black limousine taking him down to the Academy of Music. “I’d sit down to watch something and before I knew it, four or five hours would be gone and I’d have done absolutely nothing creative.

The songs just grew out of my reaction to that whole trip, in all its drab and universal humanity, is what Alvin Lee would like the world to know he’s all about.

 

Cool The Hot Pants:

From the very beginning Ten Years After have been a group who couldn’t care less about six-inch silver boots, strobe lights, hot pants, dyed hair and mascara. They emerged from the grimy British industrial town of Nottingham during the British Blues Explosion that also launched such groups as Cream and Fleetwood Mac, after an extended residency at London’s famed Marquee Club. They cut their first album, which was about equally divided between their own songs and well-known blues such as “Help Me Baby” and “I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes” (Still one of their most popular on-stage numbers today), that fall, and followed it up with an excellent live album, appropriately titled “Undead”, that featured an extended workout on Woody Herman’s big band hit of the 1940’s “Woodchoppers Ball”.

“We did “Undead” in this tiny club right next door to Decca recording studios,” Alvin recalls. “We just ran the wires over the roof and put the mikes through the club window, while Mike Vernon, our producer, sat in the studio mixing it right off the line, which was pretty handy.

It was rude and crude, all done in one night with no retakes or overdubs to cover the rough parts”.

 

Reluctant Sex – Symbol:

But once the first flush of success had established Ten Years After as a well known, working band, Alvin took over as the group’s undisputed leader and chief songwriter, and that’s when Ten Years After’s  problem with Alvin Lee’s image as a sex-symbol and superstar reared its unexpected head. Their third album, “Stonedhenge”, reflected Alvin’s growing interest in electronic music and attempted to break away from their image as a blues band.

With their fourth album, “SSSh”, Alvin took over as the group’s producer as well as songwriter. Unfortunately, the album’s best cut was the only non-Lee composition, “Good Morning Little School Girl”. The groups last album for Deram, “Watt”, went to far as to picture, on the inside cover, Alvin sitting at the studio engineer’s console mixing the album while the rest of the group looked on from behind a glass partition. Alvin had inadvertently taken the first step toward becoming Ten Years After’s mini Jagger.

 
Alvin Lee, guitar:
Upstairs in the New York's Academy of Music dressing room there were groupies, food and wine enough for everyone. But Alvin Lee just sat down on a couch and explained why, on his new LP “Rock and Roll Music To The World” he completely abandoned the sound that last year won him his first gold LP.

 

Blonde Hair and Flying Fingers:

Then came Woodstock and the movie that followed. The film featured Ten Years After’s  Rave – Up encore of “I’m Going Home,” but the camera ignored the rest of the group and focused on Alvin’s frantically waving blonde hair, flying fingers and screaming lips as if he were the only musician on the stage. The movie elevated the festival to a legend, and carried Alvin Lee along with it, but Ten Years After was apparently being left behind.

Alvin tried to stop his on-rushing superstar image in its tracks with “A Space In Time”. He explains that “It was the culmination of all our experiments. We’d gotten tagged as a heavy rock and roll band because of the whole Woodstock thing, so for that album I wrote some more structured numbers. I’d been listening to Van Morrison and James Taylor and some of that feeling got into my music”. But, Alvin’s Space In Time experiment backfired.

It was the group’s most successful album commercially, giving them their first single, that even Top Forty Stations would play, and their first gold LP; but just like their exposure in Woodstock, it presented them with a danger they loathed – the risk of attracting hordes of kids to their concerts who would be more interested in screaming than in listening to the music.

 

Back To Blue Jeans:

So, while most groups once they find a hit-producing formula, they stay with it. Ten Years After turned away from the softer, more complex sounds of “Space In Time”, to return to the straight – ahead – blues and jazz that originally inspired them. “In our early days, before we recorded, we used to get thrown out of clubs for playing blues, because people couldn’t dance to it, so we used to play what the people wanted to hear. But we’ve always liked blues and jazz best. We proved, with “Space In Time”, that there was another side to us than “I’m Going Home”, and that sort of music”. A year ago Alvin Lee sat in a darkened room grumbling to a writer from a British photographic magazine about how a series of moody, pin-up like album covers had made him the hard-rock David Cassidy. Then, as if to show he was a musician, not a beauty queen, he boasted with quiet pride, “We’ve never had a gold record, you know”. Now it almost seems as if Alvin wishes that were still the case.

 

 

 




Rolling Stone Magazine 2/ 1/ 73

Group Gropes: Ten Years After’s Bout With Image       

Los Angeles - It’s almost Twenty Years After, if you believe the story that Alvin Lee turned pro ten years after Elvis Presley’s English invasion of 1954, but Ten Years After are still struggling with their image. Ever since Woodstock has dragged around the “Going Home” albatross, a “boogie,  get – yer rocks- off number” that imprisoned them in the Grand Funk category, had them setting off riots in LA and finally drove them into a three month rest-retreat in an effort to escape.  

“Part of it was my fault” says Lee, “When I first came over to the states I was very headstrong and I thought interviews, radio and anything other than playing was just hype. So I didn’t do any interviews for a long, long while. Then all sorts of stories built up –about me and the band and everything else, so I figured it was just due to lack of communication on my part. LA always tends to be a little more freaked out than the other places. I remember the first Forum concert we played, the cops were hitting people with sticks on the front row; we ended up just walking out halfway through our number, and as far as I know, nobody particularly noticed, they all applauded at the end of the half number and thought that was it. I just felt really sick; I couldn’t get high with that going on.”  

Recently, in front of an L.A. Forum audience disposed towards chaos after an hour’s equipment delay, Ten Years After was marvellously  unaffected, making no effort to incite the crowd beyond the energy of the music itself. Instead of the classic glowering, menacing British blues band demeanour , TYA just laid back and played music.  To some degree, of course, the stage antics remain. “I think it’s called histrionics isn’t it?” said bassist Leo Lyons playfully. But, overall the actions remain natural, something they just feel like doing. “It’s not forced in any direction”, says Alvin. “and it’s not meant as phallicism, it’s meant as a bottleneck with the mike-stand.” Throngs of gasping young ladies might dispute the claim, but Alvin insists that he avoids the superstar role as much as possible. “I think it affects Alvin more than it does us” said Lyons, “because his face was on Woodstock more than anyone else’s. I think it’s the cause of all this knocking. We’ve probably had the worst press that anybody’s ever had. To a certain extent, Woodstock set him up as a figure larger than life, and people are gonna come along and want to knock him down, see if he really can walk on water.”  

Alvin, a filmmaker of sorts himself (“It’s a side trip”) complains that Woodstock took “Going Home” out of context and set them up cinematically as something they are not. “It represented part of us, but that part was put out of proportion to the other parts. It brought us to the attention of a wider audience; however, that wider audience wasn’t particularly the right thing for the concerts. The whole FM, underground feeling is one I’ve always been happy with. To play to the minority audience, to me is better than playing to a mass audience that just came for the event. But we started getting that kind of audience, little 13-year old screamers and gigglers and people pulling your shoes, which wasn’t helping us do what we wanted to do—to turn on people with our music.” A three-month, self-evaluating layoff  before the Space In Time album seems to have exorcised some of those elements.  

“We’re all equal members of the band” said Alvin “We all get paid the same; we all work the same. I personally don’t think a band’s structure should have a leader and the rest of the musicians just a backup band. When people started to say “Alvin Lee and Ten Years After’ that caused some alarm to me as well. At first I ignored it, but it didn’t go away, so we sat down and talked about it and we got it together.” To look at the band, it would be only logical to assume that Alvin is the leader; lead singer, lead guitarist, he writes all the material and stands  center stage as well. But, he explained, “It isn’t my music, it’s the music of the band. Four heads make up that music. I just write basic structures which the band develops by jamming.” 

The other band members, Lyons, organist Chick Churchill and drummer Ric Lee (no relation) agree that they are a cohesive unit, not a backup band, but concede that Alvin still gets the most attention. Among the band, Alvin and Leo Lyons are the closest, having been together since they were 15. Leo dresses like a cowboy, but says, “In a way I’d be ashamed of calling myself a cowboy after reading what a so-called civilized nation did to the Indians. So I’m an Indian.”  

That story about Ten Years After and Elvis Presley provided some nice tie-ins about the influence of rock & roll on the band, but, unfortunately, was quite fictional. They just needed a catchy name and Leo dug one up out of the  radio program listings: Ten Years After was almost Life Without Mother.  Alvin now says, “If it meant anything at all, it meant ten years after now, not necessarily futuristic , but it had that connotation. It was a kind of surrealistic feel, and it was nice. Blues was as much an influence as rock & roll and though Lyons will sportingly try to make a case that blues is a British form (since it was originally African and the British were instrumental in enslaving the Africans) both admit in serious moments  that musically they feel more American than British.

  “My father”, said Alvin “used to collect early American blues. My brother in-law used to listen to all the big swing bands.  When, in England there was a blues boom, I found myself, without having to think, really knowledgeable on blues because of my father’s collection and his interest in it and I read quite a few books on it as well and it kind of gave me a confident edge.” That edge was bolstered by his family’s illustrious career in country music. “About once a year they’d do a local gig—“Home on the Range” with cowboy hats on. They were interested and involved in music; they weren’t tremendously active. There was always a guitar around the house. They encouraged me to take up an instrument seriously. I was 12 when I first took up the clarinet, which didn’t lead me anywhere. It was like a chore. “Through playing the clarinet I listened to Benny Goodman a lot. With Benny Goodman was Charlie Christian one of the pioneers of the electric guitar. I got turned on to him, really…and when I started the guitar lessons, my guitar teacher was a Django Reinhardt fan and all he actually taught me to play was the kind of chording  Django plays, those really vamping chords. I got off on hearing somebody with the technical skill to play whatever they want. In fact, for a long while, if I heard somebody play a piece that was really hard to play, I got off more on that than the melody. The melody side of things came later, like the Beatles. His admiration for technical skill has brought Alvin cartloads of criticism for flashiness. “It kind of gets lodged In the back of the head somewhere, particularly the speed thing where everybody was saying “ The Fastest Guitarist in the West---so what?’ I just had a fast style. “When I got aware of this kind of buzz going on I subconsciously at first wanted to show that I could be more structured and I wasn’t all just speed,  which I wasn’t. I knew that, but I wanted to point it out to the people that didn’t, which I think is a mistake. You’re always gonna get knocked and you’re always gonna get praised and neither one is healthy to take seriously.” 

But anyone who criticizes Alvin Lee for being the stereotypical arrogant kid guitarist has obviously never met him, at least recently. “The only thing I think about myself,” he said, “is that I am doing something original. I am following my own path. I’m not a great innovator, but I try and do my best. I’m doing something which is coming from inside of me.”

By Paul Bernstein 

 

 

POP  Magazine - January  1973


 
 

POP Magazine January 1973 - Part One

Ten Years After – Alvin Lee Superstar

Es gibt zweierlei Arten von Rockgruppen. Auf der einen Seite stehen die Formationen, die im Kollektiv auf das Publikum wirken, bei denen sich jeder einzelne Musiker ein Stück vom Erfolgskuchen abschneidet, jeder seine Fans hat. Dazu gehören die Rolling Stones,

Led Zeppelin oder Slade. Und dann gibt es jene Gruppen, deren Ruhm sich auf einen aus ihrer Mitte stützt. Gruppen, in denen es einen großen Superstar gibt und in denen die restlichen Musiker, wenigstens in den Augen des Normalkonsumenten, als bloße Statisten fungieren. Typische Vertreter dieser Art von Gruppenbild sind Marc Bolan und seine T. Rex – oder eben die Ten Years After des Alvin Lee. Würde vor einem Ten-Years-After-Konzert unter den wartenden Zuschauern eine Unfrage starten und die Leute nach dem Grund ihres Kommens fragen, würde die Antwort in neun von zehn Fällen lauten : Um Alvin Lee zu sehen. Denn Alvin Lee ist – vor allem für die ganz junge Generation der ungekrönte Speed-King, der Gitarrenheld schlechthin. Viele seiner Gegner sagen zwar, dass er außer seinen schnellen Fingern nicht viel mehr zu bieten habe; feeling sei ein Fremdwort für ihn. Nun-egal, was man von Superstars im allgemeinen oder von den Qualitäten des Mr. Lee im speziellen hält. Unbestrittene Tatsache ist, dass

Ten Years After seit langen fünf Jahren zu den beständigsten und beliebtesten Rockformationen der Welt gehören. Und dies haben sie wohl nicht zuletzt ihrem Superstar Alvin Lee zu verdanken.

 

 

Interview with Alvin Lee: "I am not Ten Years After"

To read article click left and right areas to enlarge

 

POP Magazine January 1973 - Part Two

Interview Mit Alvin Lee – „Ich bin nicht Ten Years After“ 

POP: Was hat Woodstock für Euch bedeutet?

ALVIN LEE: Woodstock brachte uns in erster Linie Erfolg und Zufriedenheit. Und natürlich einen weltweiten guten Ruf. Erst später ist der Gruppe dieser sogenannte gute Ruf beinahe zum Verhängnis geworden. Die Leute wollten immer wieder unseren Woodstock Song  „I’m Going Home“ hören. Sie erwarteten von uns Rock `n´ Roll und immer wieder Rock `n ´ Roll. Natürlich spielen wir gerne Rock `n ´Roll, aber es gibt so und so viele Musikarten, für die wir uns ebenso interessieren.

POP: Trotzdem war Euer letztes Album eine reine Rock-Angelegenheit.

ALVIN LEE: Stimmt. Wir wollten eine LP rausbringen, die die Art von Musik enthält, die das Publikum immer wieder bei unseren Live-Auftritten verlangt. In vielen Ländern war „Rock `n ´Roll Music“ ein voller Erfolg. Seltsamerweise ist aber die LP weder in England noch in den U.S.A. sehr weit nach oben gekommen.

POP: Ihr arbeitet nicht mehr so hart wie früher. Warum?

ALVIN LEE: Wir können heute sicher sein, dass Ten Years After eine vollkommen etablierte Sache sind. Deshalb hat es keinen großen Sinn, sich unnötigerweise zu überarbeiten. Es kann sogar vorkommen, dass die Musik unter zu großem Arbeitsanfall Schaden nimmt.

POP: Möchtet ihr auch andere Stilrichtungen als Rock `n ´ Roll auf Platten bringen?

ALVIN LEE: Aber sicher. Es haben sich innerhalb der Gruppe verschiedene Ideen herangebildet, die wir unbedingt verwirklichen möchten. Es stimmt zwar, dass ich das meiste Material geschrieben habe, das dann auf die Platte kommt. Trotzdem möchte ich betonen, dass ich mich nicht auf einem Egotrip befinde und sehr daran interessiert bin, dass auch meine Mitmusiker etwas vom Scheinwerferlicht abbekommen. Ich war sehr verärgert, als unsere ehemalige Plattenfirma alte Nummern unter dem Titel „Alvin Lee & Co.“ auf den Markt brachte. Ich muss immer wieder betonen, dass nicht ich allein die Ten Years After ausmache!

POP: Du bist inzwischen sicher Millionär!

ALVIN LEE: Kann sein, dass ich in Dollarwährung die Millionengrenze erreicht habe. Sicher aber nicht in Pfund. Ich habe ehrlich gesagt keine Ahnung, wie wir finanziell stehen. Ich weiß nur, dass ich in unseren Anfängen immer Musik eines Tages unseren Lebensunterhalt bestreiten können würden und das haben wir immerhin erreicht.

POP: Seid Ihr nur noch des Geldes wegen im Geschäft? 

ALVIN LEE: Keineswegs. Wir sind glücklich als Musiker. Obwohl wir Abend für Abend die gleichen Songs spielen müssen, gelingt uns immer noch eine schöne Portion Improvisation. Es ist ganz ähnlich wie beim Jazz. Wenn man während vielen Jahren immer mit denselben Musikern zusammenspielt, lernt man die Gefühle und Talente des einzelnen sehr genau kennen mehr und kann mehr und besser improvisieren, als dies bei neuen Musikern der Fall wäre.

POP: Wen Zählst Du zu Deinen persönlichen Favoriten?

ALVIN LEE: Vor allem die alten Blues-Sänger – und einige Jazz-Namen. Und natürlich auch ein paar Pop-Gruppen. Mein Geschmackesspektrum ist ziemlich breit.

POP: Wie verbringen die einzelnen Mitglieder von Ten Years After ihre Freizeit?

ALVIN LEE: Wir entspannen, lassen uns neue Ideen einfallen und sammeln Material für neue Platten. Einige von uns sind selbst in die Plattenproduktion eingestiegen.

POP: Wie denkst Du über Open–Air Konzerte? Ihr habt oft anlässlich solcher Veranstaltungen gespielt und damit immer sehr viel Erfolg gehabt.

ALVIN LEE: Wenn ein Open–Air oder ein Festival gut organisiert ist, hab´ ich nichts dagegen. Es wurden jedoch in dieser Beziehung schon unzählige Fehler gemacht. Dann muss auch immer mit dem Faktor Witterung gerechnet werden. Im Regen zu sitzen und vor Kälte zu zittern ist für das Publikum sicher alles andere als ein Vergnügen. Ich glaube kaum, dass es jemals ein zweites Woodstock geben wird. Es wird kaum möglich sein noch einmal so viele Leute und so viele Top–Popgruppen an einem Ort zusammenzubringen.

POP: Wie denkst Du über die heutige Pop – Szene, über die neue Generation von Rockbands, die in den meisten Fällen sehr einfache Musik macht, dazu aber eine spektakuläre Theatershow vom Stapel lässt?

ALVIN LEE:  Ich habe mich schon immer mehr für Musik interessiert als für Theater. Ich glaube, dass viele Gruppen sich sosehr auf ihre Show konzentrieren, weil sie hoffen, dadurch populär zu werden, und meistens auch deshalb, weil sie auf musikalischer Ebene nicht sehr viel zu bieten haben. Um Schlagzeilen zu machen, lassen sie sich manchmal die seltsamsten Dinge einfallen. Ich bin nach wie vor davon überzeugt, dass gute Musik das einzige ist, was man dem Publikum bieten kann.

POP: Glaubst Du, dass die Popmusik an einem toten Punkt angelangt ist?

ALVIN LEE: Nein, ganz im Gegenteil ! Die Musikszene war noch nie zuvor so gut and so lebendig. Vor gar nicht allzu langer Zeit waren es nur die 12 bis 16-jährigen, die sich für Popmusik begeistern konnten. Heute interessieren sich sogar 30-jährige dafür. Die Szene ist breiter und großzügiger als je. Das Angebot reicht von den Osmonds, die vor allem die Favoriten der jungen Generation sind, bis hin zu progressiven Gruppen wie Jefferson Airplane und Greatful Dead.

 

 

The loose translation of the article on the left is as follows: It refers to the wrist guard that Alvin wears on his right arm to protect that area from cuts and abrasions from the guitar strings. It was made for him by his mother, of leather for a comfortable fit and creative decorations for a styleish look.

      

 

  

MUZIEKKRANT - 17 January 1973

       

Amsterdam Vrijdag 26 Jan.
Rotterdam Zaterdag 27 Jan.

 

 

 

1973 Tour Dates in Germany - Many Thanks to John Tsagas!

 

 

 

TEN YEARS AFTER at "Olympia", Paris - 29 January 1973
Rare Contribution from John Tsagas - Thank You John!

 

 

 

The Berlin Observer, January, 1973            (Thanks to Alessandro)

 

 


Our Thanks to Wolfgang Stender

 

          

 

 
 
 

ROCKFEST OHNE ROCKER - Feb 19, 1973

Über 8.000 Fans hatten Grund zum Jubeln

Bei Ten Years After bestand Publimum die Bewährungsprobe

 

Aus Artikel “Stuttgarter Nachrichten vom 19.02. 1973 A.S.”

 

Many Thanks to

Jürgen Weber
(promoter for concerts from 1973 to 1974)

for the link

please also visit:

Der von vielen befürchtete Krawall auf dem Killesberg blieb aus. Über 8.000 junge Pop-Fans zeigten am Samstag, daß man auch in Zukunft keine musikalischen Großveranstaltungen in Stuttgart zu scheuen braucht. Beim Konzert von “Ten Years After” in der Halle 6 des Ausstellungsgeländes, veranstaltet von dem Kulturellen Verein und dem “Bird-Laden” in SIndelfingen, wetzten die Pop-Anhänger eine Scharte wieder aus, die beim Besuch der “Rolling Stones” und “Deep Purple” vor einigen Jahren enstanden war.

Immerhin wurden etwa zwei Drittel der EInnahmen für das Management aufgewendet, um sicher gehen zu können, daß die Bewährungsprobe wunschgemäß klappt. Und die Fans haben in der Zwischenzeit eingesehen, daß sie ein tieferer Griff in die Tasche vor der Konfrontation mit Schlägertypen als Ordner und vor heruasfordernd schampiger Organisation bewahren kann.

Obwohl die Sallöffnung offiziell mit 18 Uhr 30 angegeben war, konnten die ersten Besucher bereits vor 18 Uhr die Kontrollen passieren. So gabe es auch vor den Einlässen keine nennenswerte Gedränge und beim pünktlichen Beginn des Concerts um 20 Uhr waren die Siebentausend bei bester Stimmung in der Halle untergebracht. Als Vorruppe ging der einstige Leadgitarrist von Procul Harum, Robin Trower mit Reg Isidore am Schlagzeug und James Dewar (Baß und Gesang) von Stone The Crows) ans Gerät. Obzwar noch nicht ganz  profiliert im Zusammenspiel wurde die junge Formation mit der schwierigen Aufgabe des Stimmungsmachers für die Stars des Abends mit Abstand fertig. Sie verzichtete auf bloß stures Einheizen und lierferte achtbaren Space-Rock-Blues, dr vom Auditorium mit freundlichem Beifall aufgenommen wurde.

Als dann nach einer kurzen Pause die Mannen von Ten Years After mit dem Publikumsliebling Alvin Lee auf der Bühne erschienen, um ihre “Rockn Roll Music für die Welt (nach dem Motto des Abends) loszulassen, brach wie in den guten alten Tagen orkanartiger Begrüßungsjubel aus. Das Quartett, das sich seit elf Jahrem mit seinem kaum je entscheidend veränderten Rock-Stil in gleicher Besetzung am Pop-Himmel halten kann, bestätigte auch in Stuttgart seinen Ruf als eine der besten Live-Bands der Welt. Perfekt aufeinander eingespielt und mit professionellem Gespür für die motorischen Bedrüfnisse ihrer Anhänger steigerten sie die Stimmung im Saal, bis schließlich eine hingerissene Menge wogte und rockte und sich die Kehlen heißer schrie, um noch zwei Zugaben zu hören.

Daß ausgerechnet die guten Oldies und weniger die musikalisch etwas anspruchsvolleren Titel aus der neueren Produktion den größten Jubel entfachten, bestätigt die Prophezeiungen vom Comeback des Rock´n Roll, der den Jungen jeder Generation allemal in die Glieder fährt.

Als sich dann umd 23 Uhr die Halle geleert hatte, machten die Verantworltichen Bilanz: der Einsatzleiter der Polizei sprach von einem  beispielhaften ruhigen Abend, das Rote Kreuz hatte – abgesehen von einigen kleineren, angesichts der riesigen Menschenmenge minimalen Hilfeleistungen – keinerlei Sorgenfälle. Und am erfreulichsten war wohl die Mitteilung eines Arztes der Releasegruppen, die vorsorglich für erste Hilfe bei Drogenvergiftungen Bereitschaftsdienst hileten: Währen der gesamten Veransaltung wurde kein einziges Medikament benötigt, um “Ausgeflippte” wieder auf die Beine zu bringen.

 

Kommentar Rock´n Rolling:

Das Konzert mit Ten Years After war das erste Popkonzert auf dem Suttgarter Killesberg nach einer Sperrzeit von über zwei Jahren. Es war ein Risiko, ohne jeden Zweifel. Wer wollte das finanzielle Risiko tragen? Doch auch für Polizei und Verwaltuang war dieses Konzert ein Test, die Probe aufs Exempel, die Antwort auf die Frage, ob sich weiterhin noch Szenen wie beim letzten Konzert im Jahre 1971 abspielen würde, als die EIngänge im Sturm erobert wurde, wo die Polizei sehr gut in Handgreiflichkeiten mitmischte, wo das Geschäft der Droegen-Dealer fröhlich blühte.  Doch dank unserer hervorragenden Planung kam es ganz anders als man es erwarten konnte: Die Polizei und die Stadtverwaltung äußerten sich nach Konzertende sehr zufrieden.

Straff durchorganisiert

“Das lag zu einem großen Teil an den weitsichtigen Veranstaltern, dem Kulturellen Verein Sindelfingen e.V und dem Bird-Laden, beide in Sindelfingen, (nein nicht Schwindelfingen) beheimatet. Denn mit ihren verschiedenfarbigen Ausweisen, mit denen Türhüter, Sallordern etc. ausgestattet waren, erweckten sie Reminiszensen an die Olypmischen SPiele von München und lösten die Organisationsfragen hervorragen.” Zitat aus Sindelfinger Zeitung 22.Februar 1973 von Uli Ackermann.

 

 

Berlin, Germany 1973

 

The above photo - from a french article -
and the below magazine cover are contributions by John Tsagas. Very much appreciated!


French magazine EXTRA, No. 28, March 1973

 

 
 

New  Musical  Express – March  31,  1973

Ten Years After are to play a string of selected British concerts in April, before setting out on the second half of their 1973 world tour. Five venues that have confirmed this week are:

Dunstable Civic Hall (April 5th), Sheffield City Hall (6th), Croydon Fairfield Hall (8th), Reading University (14th), and Guildford Civic Hall (15th), along with other dates still waiting to be finalised. The band have just completed the European half of their world tour, during which they recorded a live double album, for release by Chrysalis Records on May 4th. It was recorded on the Rolling Stones mobile unit at concerts in Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.

The album is virtually a Ten Years After “Greatest Hits Bootleg” collection. It comprises of twelve tracks among which are the following: “I’m Going Home” - “Help Me Baby” – “I Can’t Keep From Cryin´ Sometimes” and “You Give Me Loving”. It will retail at the special price of three pounds. Ten Years After return to America on April 25th and tour there until May 13th. Then they fly to Japan for a week of concerts, followed by other appearances in the Far East. A spokesman told the New Musical Express, that the group are at present being negotiated for a major London date later in the year.

 

 

 
 

New Musical Express – April 14, 1973

Out of all the bands which made up the Blues Boom, Ten Years After are the sole survivors.

While the other bands of that era (witness Fleetwood Mac and Chicken Shack) changed personnel, Ten Years After kept their original line-up and, right to this very day, are still, with a few minor modifications, playing just what they were playing back then. It’s only, if Sunday’s gig at Croydon’s Fairfield Hall was anything to go by, how they play it that’s changed. Then the band had what is rock’s essential ingredient…excitement. And Alvin Lee and Company had so much of it they were able to transform in onto a twelve inch piece of plastic called “Undead”. But back to Croydon.

The evening began with a new Warner Brothers signing called “Beckett”.  In truth, the only good thing about Beckett was their obvious enthusiasm. But the crowd responded warmly.

“Impatient lot”, the fella sitting next to me murmured as the audience slow-clapped the non-arriving Ten Years After. Shouts of “Alvin Lee” came from the hall, more suited to White Hart Lane than Fairfield Hall, Croydon, and on they tumbled, Alvin Lee bringing up the rear.

Then, there he was dressed in a flamboyant T-shirt behind that big cherry Gibson guitar.

To his right was bass man Leo Lyons who, once he had put his fingers to the strings, became cemented to the spot. Some fine fluid lines came from Leo’s fingers during their set, and in “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” Leo and Alvin guitar work became as one. Their improvisation was one of the few times when the band radiated any kind excitement.

Alvin seemed disinterested, making inane remarks in between numbers. “What should we do next?” he asked the band. “A jam in E”, he decided and that was what followed. When an audience shells out cash to hear a professional rock band, it doesn’t usually expect to hear a jam. The flame began to burn again on “Standing At The Station” but the classic Ten Years After boogie, “I’m Going Home” failed to get the audience off. It was only when the band left the stage that bodies ran to the front of the hall and really looked like they were getting something out of the concert. Two short encores followed and that was that.

Maybe, Fairfield Hall is too good for a rock concert, too cold, too plush. There’s no sweat on the walls or stains on the seats. Ten Years After have survived where others have fallen, but for how much longer? Me, I’ll go home and get my copy of “Undead” and turn the volume full up just to remind me that Ten Years After used to be a very exciting rock band, even if they did call it blues in those days.

Article by Steve Clarke

 

 



 

CREEM MAGAZINE – From April Of 1973

News Stand Price - Seventy Five Cents

Volume 4 – Number 11 – Spiderman Cover

 
Photos by Judy Linn and Richard Creamer  

Alvin Lee has the biggest teeth in the world. They’re as big as a horse’s. They’re BIGGER than Carly Simon’s. When sitting on the couch in his hotel suite, he’s a pretty reasonable guy, brighter than you’d expect a boogie man to be. But you still get distracted by those teeth, which flash like big pearly piano keys – except when he shuts up to take a toke.  

Onstage it’s even worse, because all the lights are shining on him, and with the adulatory eyes of the masses on him he can’t help but smile; his choppers pierce the gloom like two dozen headlights.

 When he really gets into his music, breaking out with an especially involved solo in “Goin´ Home” or leaping proudly back onstage for the “Sweet Little Sixteen” encore, he forgets himself completely and starts to grind his teeth with such ferocity that he looks like Dr. Sardonicus; it’s a wonder he’s got more than molar stumps at this point.

 

When Lee really gets down to it, though, you can forget his teeth long enough to dig his whole act. As it stands now it’s one of the best-honed unqualified boogie venues on the boards. Lee has been doing basically the same thing for so long that he’s got it pat. It’s not boring or cold but Alvin Lee is a true professional. He knows exactly what his audiences want, and always gives it to them. If you’re on the other end of the noise, there’s a kind of comfort in the absolute predictability that Ten Years After represent. Half a decade now they’ve been at it, and if they’re not quite the monstro superdraw they once were, they still have a good time. You get the feeling from watching them play and from talking to Alvin that even years from now, when the whole pop-star riff is up for them and they’re back playing bars in England, their music and their attitude will both remain the same.  

When he’s in full flight Alvin sidles 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, shacking 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 eat it up. That man ain’t no fool.

  The other members of Ten Years After have been resigned to being out of the spotlight for so long that they seem almost sheepish about it. I can’t even remember what they look like right now. When you go for the interview it’s apparently a tacit, unspoken assumption that you want to talk to Alvin and if they come in at all it’s to tell their manager something or cop a joint. All of which is too bad, in a way – I still remember Ric Lee in the movie of Woodstock, thrashing back there behind the cymbals, licking his drawn lips like a chameleon, face so literally black and whole visage such a classic frame of beyond-the pale methedrine beatitude (like the cool channel at the eye of the jet stream) as to summarize the nervous immolation of a whole generation in one frozen piece of celluloid.

But that was then and this is now, when Ten Years After are in some ways the grand-daddies 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 have existed had Ten Years After not blazed the trail, Alvin hacking away the jungle with a machete that arced up the frets of his guitar light years beyond  “Lightnin´ Hopkins” pocket-knife.

They’ve been around, they’ve prospered and endured, and now they can afford to kick back just an ampere or a decibel, cruising on the highway they themselves laid. The audience doesn’t care, because the fire is there often enough, on stage or record. Just like their stage show, their new album “Rock & Roll Music To the World” is just more of the Same Old Shit.

“Choo, Choo Mama,” or “You give me lovin´ that I can’t return / Bomp Blam / You give me money that you know I’ll burn…” – but it’s good same old shit, and all the Ten Years After fans, including yours truly, are perfectly satisfied with it.

I recall seeing Ten Years After at a West Coast concert back in the summer of 1969, and being highly amused; for a week afterward I went around my job entertaining anybody who would stand still long enough with free vocal imitations of the Ten Years After instrumental sound: “Ah-drnt drnt drnt drnt DUUUUHH, ah-drnt drnt drnt drnt  DUUUUUUHH,” and then
of course the solo break: “SKREEEEEEEE-harowlarggblunzzzzawonk!”  

What I was too snotty to realize at the time was that music like that may have been obvious and one-dimensional, but was still valid as a concept. Fuck aesthetics – it was still a whole crock of fun. Nobody will ever be able to accuse Ten Years After of taking themselves too seriously. 

 

Up in his hotel suite, Alvin Lee sat back, slouched low on the couch with his feet sprawled on the carpet in front of him and the back of his head hitting the couch at Kilroy level. He looked like a lazy sap but he was a cheerful fellow, gave us some grass (marijuana) which made him even more benevolent and made no bones about where both he and Ten Years After, were at now and were headed. “We’ve gone the whole route, from little clubs to ballrooms to festivals to arenas. When we were in the clubs we’d get fired for being too loud, or earlier for having long hair, or for too many long guitar solos. I always got off on solos, even before it became a sort of fad, and now I guess some people come for that and nothing else.”

We asked him how the concert scene looked now in comparison with what he’d seen of it all down the line. “I really wonder,” he said, “why a lot of people come to concerts these days. The places have gotten so big that you lose all contact, and the audiences know what they’re supposed to do. They wait for a trigger. Like tonight, they were waiting for “I’m Going Home,” and the instant it started they were rushing down to the front of the stage.

“I would prefer it if the process were more organic, somehow, with everybody getting off on the music to the fullest possible extent, all through the evening, building up to a peak. That’s an ideal situation. When you play one of these big arenas, you never know what the audience is thinking. There’s one out there  that’s listening to the guitar, the next one’s listening to the drums, the next one’s not paying the slightest attention … the next one’s really listening.

So like we play for our audience, not to it or at it. There’s a sea of faces, but I see a lot of individuals, and I play for them. I play for the guy who’s sitting there and he’s listening to it just as if he was listening to it through headphones.” 

  We’re interrupted by the entrance of the group’s manager, who hands Alvin a silver mezuzah coke spoon on a chain, and tells him that it was a gift from a girl outside. “Where is she?” asks Alvin. “She’s gone now.” “Uh-huh. Stop trying to cut me off from Fate.” He’s joking, but in another way he really means it. He looks at the coke spoon. “It’s nice but I wouldn’t wear it anyway. But you should have brought her up.” 

 

Well Alvin, we press on, ever alert for some scum, (dirt) what about drugs?

“I don’t know … certainly have nothing to tell anyone else on them, as far as advice goes. I just smoke grass (marijuana) myself, though I might take acid again.”

Yeah, we pry, but you guys are supposed to be the big speed-freaks! 

“Naww, says Alvin, and launches into a rap that from anyone else, phrased or intoned a whit more intensely, would start to seem pretentious on the usual dreary cosmic levels. He’s such an easy-going, unaffected cat, though, that it comes out as a simple statement of operative policy, philosophy if you like, in his life and his music. “When I go onstage each night I have to have a certain concentration. We’ve done tour after tour and if you don’t know how to handle yourself it can wreck you. I try to keep things building through the set, but sometimes that can get me wound up so tight that my jaws are clenched and I just grind my teeth away. And it’s really hard to unwind from something like that. “But I try to get a certain type of concentration that, if you have it, you can play music or work or do anything you have to do without spending yourself. You can block out the distractions and perform at the peak of your abilities. That’s what I try to do onstage. I’m usually oblivious to what’s going on out front; I have to be. If I’m getting off on it, they will be too. It’s like Baba Ram Dass said: “I perceive nothing but what is essential for me to perceive in the present moment.” He had to go to the Himalayas to find it, and he was a Harvard professor!” 

  Yeah, we said, but what else would you expect from one of them? Tumbling headlong into a rare non-boring discussion of whether cosmo dudes in the line of Baba R.D. and Leary are or are not worth their weight in shit. Alvin Lee maintained that they were, to at least a limited degree, and said that he had gotten some good advice and hot tips out of Ram Dass´ last book, "Be Here Now”. We said that the reason that Dass the Ass’s Himalayan guru didn’t come on to all that acid he gave him was probably because the old fart was too stupid! Alvin said he wouldn’t know about that, so we changed the subject to football, or more precisely the wide world of sports in general:

Are you a frustrated athlete? We asked shyly.

He pursed his lips, relaxedly swinging the coke spoon in an arc around his head, and considered the question:

“Well, no, but I have wondered what it would be like to play professional football. It must be like being an invulnerable bullock.”

 

Before he’d even consent to let us talk to his charge, Ten Years After’s manager had fixed us with a probingly icy stare and said: You’re not going to ask all those stupid questions like “what kind of guitar strings do you use,” are you?” Sheet no, we said. We’re pros! And since we had comported ourselves in such pro like manner as to keep the interview at a properly lofty  level of intellectual dialogue up till now, we decided it would be even more pro-like and super-cool to say fuck it and make idiots out of ourselves, so we shot from the hip:

What kind of guitar strings do you use, Alvino? The next question was going to be, did your parents name you after Alvino Rey?, but he didn’t answer the first one, so we never got around to it. Instead he laughed and said: “It’s really funny, ya know. I could never be the kid who’s screaming out in front of the stage. Not anymore; there’s no way I could ever put myself in his shoes at all. People that wait in line to see you, or shake your hand. But I was just like them once. I remember the first time I met Eric Clapton. I was going to be real cool, not act like I was just some kid. When I wanted more than anything else just to shake his hand. So when I finally met him I blew it, blew my cool entirely. I shook his hand and he looked at me and I started asking him every one of the usual stupid questions. The first thing, the very first thing I asked Eric Clapton was, what kind of guitar strings he used. And now I can’t even remember what he said.”    

Note About Lester Bangs: 

Born December 14, 1948  in California - Died April 30, 1982 in New York City. Leslie Conway Bangs, was the great gonzo journalist, gutter poet and romantic visionary of rock criticism. No writer on rock and roll ever lived harder or wrote better. Guzzling booze and romilar like water. Dead at age 34.


 

 

   

MUSIK EXPRESS 1973

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Musical Express – April 21, 1973

 

ALVIN GOES SOLO

Alvin Lee will record a solo album when Ten Years After return home from their tour of America and the Far East, which starts next week. A Chrysalis spokesman told New Musical Express: “There are definitely no plans for Alvin to leave the group.

Ten Years After will play together  soon after they return from abroad, a major London concert is planned.”

 



Ten Years After

From  Melody  Maker  4/ 21/ 73

Past:

Alvin and Leo were originally part of a Nottingham power trio called the Jaybirds, but TYA with Chick and Ric came to prominence in London as the Psychedelic Era melted into the Blues Boom, around 1967. Alvin was flash and fast, and the lack of character in the rest of the band never mattered. Their appearance at Woodstock, featuring Alvin’s guitar marathon was a turning point on the road to worldwide Sell-out status.

Present:

These days they seem not to believe in over-working themselves, concentrating on infrequent well planned concert tours and the occasional album. Live appearances rely heavily on old material , and judging by the charts their recent albums don’t appear to have sold fantastically well.

Future:

It seems doubtful that they can continue much longer with this format—their musical horizons were never considerable, and their abilities limited. Alvin Lee will almost certainly form a new band, which might rejuvenate him, ‘cos he’s always had the makings.


 

 

May 1, 1973 – Ten Years After – Robertson Memorial Field House

The Bradley University Campus Peoria, Illinois

 

 

 

Ten Years After - Alvin Lee

Melody Maker 5/ 5/ 73 

 

Ten Years After, who became one of the super groups of the sixties, culminating their career with a triumphant appearance at the Woodstock Festival, started their career as an 18 a night band at the Marquee. Alvin Lee in New York this week shared the views of many fellow musicians, that without the break the Marquee gave them, it might have been a different TYA story. Says Alvin: “of all the clubs in London in those days, the Marquee was the most important. I remember That Leo (Lyons) got us an audition there, and we were all very scared of John Gee. He was very strict you know. He’d tell all the bands they had to be in the dressing room a quarter of an hour before they were due on. “And He used to time the road managers at work. Many a band never really a stepping stone.

The last time I played there I got to play there again if the  roadies were slack. But we knew John Gee was a jazz fan so we did a quickly improvised version of  “Woodchoppers Ball” and we got a gig. A lot of bands used to say they were big fans of Frank Sinatra to get in. “Our first gig there was an interval spot for half an hour, and we had to follow the Bonzo Dog Band. The stage was literally smothered in blue smoke from their explosions , and we had to go and play. But we managed to build a small following among the blues freaks and got a residency in 1966.

We did a Christmas show when we went down the queue outside playing banjos. We got a quid in the hat, and some people even crossed the road to give us money. They thought we were genuine buskers.”“They were a very attentive audience at the Marquee and they didn’t clap a lot. Some musicians didn’t like that, and it wasn’t until later the audiences started going wild. I was quite in awe of that place. I remember going to see groups there before we started. People like Peter Green with John Mayall, and a gig there was passed out on stage, through lack of oxygen. It was during the last number and I completely blacked out. They had to rush me to hospital. It was about three years ago, and the size of the audience was beginning to get uncomfortable.

“But I still like the feel of playing in a sweaty club. The sound is so much better and you get more interaction with the audience, instead of just being a performer upon the stage. “I don’t see why we couldn’t play there again, but it might be a disappointment, as we are more in tune with big concerts now. I’d like to have a jam there. you know, I always used to get nervous playing the Marquee. I only lived three miles away from the club but but it seemed a very important gig. I can play to 20,000 people in New York and it doesn’t worry me at all.”

Did Ten Years After ever contribute to the famed graffiti wall in the dressing room? “I’m sure we wrote something, I can’t remember. But my girl friend told me they had my name written on the wall in the ladies. So that was some kind of status symbol!”  

 

 



BRAVO MAGAZINE
From May 22, 1973

TEN YEARS AFTER
“Rock & Roll Music to the World”, nennen Ten Years After ihre jüngste L.P. Sie ist ihre siebte und erfolgreichste. Auf ihr rocken die vier Engländer hart und heiss und ohne Schnörkel. Seit drei Jahren spielen Ten Years After Rock ´n´Roll. Damit füllen sie die grössten Hallen dieser Welt, damit sind sie auf der Bühne die strahlenden Stars. In Frankfurt erzählte Ten Years After – Boss Alvin Lee BRAVO die Geschichte der britischen Gruppe, die eigentlich im Sommer 1966 im Hamburger „Star Club“ begann...

TEN YEARS AFTER:
Anfangs pfiffen uns die Rock – Fans aus

Vor sieben Jahren sah Deutschland für uns noch ganz anders aus, “erzählt Ten Years After – Sänger und Sologitarrist Alvin Lee.“ Da feierten uns keine 6,000 Fans –so, wie heute abend.“
Jetzt, sieben Jahre später, strahlt Alvin Lee über das ganze Gesicht. Gemütlich sitzt er bei „Karrenberg“, einem exklusiven Speiserestaurant in der Frankfurter Innenstadt. Genugtuung über endlich Erreichtes strahlt aus seinen Augen. „Damals, 1966, nannten wir uns noch „Jaybirds“ und spielten in Hamburg – im Star-Club. Der sollte für uns das Tor zum Ruhm werden. So wie er es für die Beatles war. Dachten wir. Stundenlang schufteten wir wie die Wahnsinnigen, spielten Blues und viel reinen Jazz. Doch der Erfolg blieb aus. Zumindest waren wir davon überzeugt, wenn wir nach der Vorstellung die kahlen und feuchten Wände unseres Zimmers sahen. Die Rocker hatten uns im „Star Club“ zuvor regelmässig ausgepfiffen. Glücklicherweise waren im Star-Club auch immer ein paar Studenten, bei denen unsere Musik ankam und die uns Mut machten. Aber davon wurden wir nicht satt.

Leo spielte Filmstatist

Darum nahm unser Bassist Leo Lyons noch Statistenrollen in Filmen an, die gerade in Hamburg order in der Lüneburger Heide gedreht wurden“.
Fast ein halbes Jahr blieben Ten Years After in Hamburg. Einen Sommer lang traten sie dort auf. Doch als sie in ihre englische Heimatstadt Nottingham zurückkehren wollten, trennte sich Sologitarrist John Kelly von seinen Freunden. Er wollte einfach lieber in Hamburg bleiben.
„Wir aber brauchten unbedingt einen neuen, vierten Mann. Allerdings hatten wir in Hamburg so viel gelernt, dass wir nur einen Organisten suchten. Damit hätten wir musikalisch mehr Möglichkeiten. Anfang 1967 fanden wir ihn – Chick Churchill. Kollegen priesen ihn als Wunderkind. Aber Chick besass keine Orgel und wir kein Geld, um ihm eine zu kaufen.

Damit keine andere Gruppe uns Chick vor der Nase wegschnappte, verpflichteten wir ihn erst mal als Roadie.“ Chick nahm an, schleppte die paar Verstärker der Gruppe, während Alvin Lee den Bandbus fuhr und Leo Lyons sich als Manager um neue Jobs kümmerte. Alvin „Das ging plötzlich besser als erwartet. Wir bekamen Auftritte im Londoner Marquee und im Roundhouse. Außerdem behaupteten die Clubbesitzer auch nicht mehr, wir würden mit unserer Musik alle Gäste vergraulen, obwohl wir immer noch Blues und reinen Jazz spielten. Hamburg hatte uns doch etwas Glück gebracht.
“Der entscheidende Durchbruch aber gelang Ten Years After beim“ 7. National Jazz-und Bluesfestival“ in Windsor. „20.000 Leute feierten uns, und die Zeitungen schrieben Lobeshymnen wie über keine andere Gruppe. Das brachte uns einen Plattenvertrag ein, den wir dann im Juli 1967 unterschrieben.“

Neuer Name und alte Musik

Schon einen Monat später erschien die erste LP: „Ten Years After“. „Den Namen fand Leo Lyons beim Blättern im Rundfunkprogramm.  „Ten Years After“ (Zehn Jahre danach) war eine damals sehr beliebte Sendung. Uns gefiel der Name sofort. Allerdings hatte er für uns keine besondere Bedeutung“.
Mit dem Namen wechselten die vier aber nicht ihre Musikrichtung. Bis 1969 blieben sie dem Blues treu. Ihre nächsten LPs „Undead“ (August 1968), „Stonedhenge“ (März 1969) und „Ssssh“ (August 1969) wurden langsam immer rockiger. „Trotzdem hatten wir damit nur bei Jazzern und Undergroundfans Erfolg. Geld verdienten wir immer noch wenig“.

 

Woodstock – das war die Wende

Das kam erst nach dem schon legendären Auftritt am 16. August 1969 beim Woodstock-Festival. “Neun Minuten und 20 Sekunden genügten – und wir waren weltberühmt. So lange nämlich spielten wir unseren Rocktitel „I’m going Home“. Plötzlich hatten wir Fans in der ganzen Welt und füllten bei Konzerten die grössten Hallen. Aber die wenigsten Leute wissen heute noch, dass wir einmal begeisterte Jazzer waren. Wenn wir unsere alten Songs spielen, wundern sich viele, dass eine Rockgruppe auch jazzen kann“.
Seit Woodstock wurden Ten Years After immer härter. Ihre LPs „Cricklewood Green“ (1970), „A Space in Time“ (1971) und die letzte LP „Rock & Roll Music to the World“ begeisterten immer mehr Rockfans. „Jetzt spielen wir fast nur noch reinen, harten Rock. Nur wer genau hinhört, kann noch leichte Jazz- und Bluesanklänge entdecken.

K. E. Siegfried
   

 

 

 

Goldmine Magazine 1/ 12/ 83

Ten Years After – Recorded Live 1973

Recorded in 1973 in various European locations, this album was originally on two LP’s and now makes it onto one 72 minute CD. That’s a great bargain, especially when you consider that the sound quality is pretty damn good (not as radiant as you’d hope for, but pretty damn good). Unfortunately, it’s a rather dull album – was then, still is. By 1973 Ten Years After had surpassed their performing peak, and the group had long ago become little more than a showcase for guitarist Alvin Lee’s excesses, borne out here by two 11-minute-plus tracks and one 16-minute take on Al Kooper’s  “I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes.”

That Lee was a dynamic flash guitarist isn’t in question, but that his flashes don’t quite work anymore is also true. Ten Years After initially released this as a response to bootlegs proliferating at the time, and one supposes it served its purpose then. Today, you’d have to be a true loyalist to sit through all 72 minutes – without a break or three.

 



 

Presenting New Ten Years After At Their Best.

Ten Years After “Recorded Live”. It’s a powerful combination.

When it comes to a live boogie, nobody get’s it on like Ten Years After.

Their in-concert appearances and show – stopping sets, make them one of the most popular bands in the United States. And if you thought they were big here, just wait till you hear them “Recorded Live”,

Frenzied fans in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Frankfurt and Paris queued up days in advance, to snap up the tickets. Recorded by the Rolling Stones Mobile Unit, this specially priced two record set captures all the excitement and energy that Alvin Lee and Company can generate, and features some of their biggest hits, like “I’m Going Home” – “Choo-Choo-Mama” -

“I Can’t Keep From Cryin´ Sometimes” – “Help Me” and “Good Morning Little School Girl”.

 

 

 

 

Ten Years After  Recorded  Live 1973 –  Album  Review

I’ve just read Ray Telford’s review of the new live album by Ten Years After and I can’t believe it. He says Alvin Lee’s guitar style hasn’t changed. Well no guitarist changes his style much. The dreadful Hendrix never changed and neither have people like Page and Clapton.

Mr. Telford also says that Ric Lee is kept to the background. Yet the first track on side two is an incredible seven minute drum solo from Ric. If anyone was put off buying the LP. By the review, take my advice and buy the album.

By Trevor Hogg

Gateshead, Co. Durham 

 

 

 

 
New Musical Express  June  2, 1973

 

 

 

 

Melody  Maker -   June  23,  1973  

TEN YEARS AFTER: TEN YEAR ITCH

By Chris Welch

When does a band become a jukebox? And when does it cease to be a creative musical force? These are the questions that have been worrying Alvin Lee. But it does not necessarily signify an end to Ten Years After,  the band born of the British blues boom that became one of our most popular rock exports to America. Ten Years After are still alive and well and touring the world, despite growing press criticism and an apparent  inability to progress. There are progressive bands in this world, and those destined to rock on. TYA are one of the latter.  But they intend to fight off stagnation , and a serious reappraisal of their entire structure is underway.  

  LOYAL: While some claim that Ten Years After are ten years out of date, they can still command a happy and loyal following in the countries they visited in the early part of this year, which for the record included Europe, England, America, and Japan. They could probably afford to carry on regardless, playing the same tunes and completing their twentieth (it’s a fact), tour of the States. But as Alvin explained to me this week besides his sun drenched swimming pool, on the borders of a manor house, parts of which date back to the 15th century:  “There’s a million things I want to do.” Alvin has just completed three lengths under water, without coming up for air, when I arrived, and was catching his breath.

  PALLOR: Health-giving fruit juice arrived and the pallor of a thousand night clubs and dressing rooms was dispersed amidst this earthly paradise. “ The last tour was a good one,” said Alvin, idly spotting newts in the nearby rock pool. “It was like going to the States a couple of years ago. We played a lot of smaller towns and the audiences were just that bit keener which was nice. “ We did a few gigs with the Strawbs and they were doing very well, and getting good reactions. I was really surprised when they split up. “ English bands still have a good name in the States and I suppose the reason is they have to get good in England before they can go across. “it’s funny, but there are a lot of American bands being influenced by us, and you hear guys singing with English  accents. We took our influences from America, and now they are taking them from us. “But I don’t see anything apart from that happening. There’s nothing happening in New York except a trend towards country music. “And the radio stations seem to be changing their policy. It used to be the FM stations played underground music and AM played pop. Now the underground has turned into contemporary pop which AM  plays, while FM seems to be going for easy listening and classical.” Alvin recalled that one of the highlights of their last US tour was a concert for 10,000 fans at a resort called Big Surf in Arizona. As the State is many miles from the coast, they have built their own sea—a man made lock, with a hydraulic machine to create six foot waves. “The lake is about a mile long and has its own beach and surfing. At the end of the gig, the audience jumped into the lake!”  

  But what is the future of TYA, I asked, attempting to spot the newt that Alvin was spotting. “We had planned to take three months rest, but there are no future tours planned as yet. It’s the first time we have ever sat back. The rest of the group is scattered on holiday all around the world. “For some time I’ve had the feeling that we had started to turn into the old travelling juke box again. We do have a new live album due out, which was recorded in Frankfurt, Paris, Rotterdam and Amsterdam on the Rolling Stones mobile, featuring most of the best numbers we do live. “It’s an answer to the bootleg albums that have been issued. We’ll also be doing one of the Alexandra Palace concerts.’’ ‘I’m busy building my own studio, and there will be a lot of recording projects there including Ten Years After. “But we’ve got to wait and see what happens. We’ve become directionless musically. The music we play, we play naturally, and we play what we like. It’s been relatively successful. “But we’ve got to find something to get our teeth into. We want to do more rehearsals and arrange more music to carry us forward. “There are things I want to do on my own as well. Next month Felix Pappalardi is coming   to stay with me and Mylon and Alan Toussaint.  We’ll be recording an album in my own studio, and it’s going to be very heavy. “Allan has been doing production, but he’s a piano player and wants to get back into playing. Felix will come a bit later to play bass, and Ian Wallace will be on drums. “We’ll also be doing a thing with Ian and his sidekick Boz. They have a funky rhythm section going and the idea is to do an English Muscle Shoals.

  “We’ll make an LP with myself, Boz, Ian and Mel Collins, who is an excellent musician and a good arranger.  “I’m learning a lot by working with guys like Mel. In Ten Years After we all listen to similar people. “These blokes are laying records on me by people I’ve never heard before. My style is broadening a lot and it’s been very beneficial. “The advantages of working with the same people for years is that you can feel what each other is doing. But after a while you can get into a rut.”  

  Are the rest of TYA happy at Alvin’s involvement with other musicians? “Oh yeah. The thing is, I want to remain active, and to learn more. TYA will pull through and anyway, the others have different projects too. At this stage, we just need to rehearse.” What was the alternative? “The alternative was nothing. We could carry on touring, but the music would suffer and we need fresh ideas. “I’ve been listening to bands like Focus and the Mahavishnu Orchestra,  and I don’t want to be a dated musician. I want to stay with what’s happening. “I’m forming my own production company to release the albums we’ll   be doing here, and we’ve got all the facilities and freedom to do so many different things. “I could go on touring, but that’s time consuming and my real ambition is to find a new music altogether, something that  nobody has touched upon. “I have all the facilities, so there is no excuse for me not to do something amazing. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. I’ve got to shame myself into doing things!”  

  BARN: Alvin’s studio is situated in a converted barn and is so huge that it dwarfs many top London studios. Equipped with a 16 track machine, it has the further sophistication of a remote control unit, which will enable Alvin to record himself from the studio floor, without having to climb the stairs to the control room. Ancient beams support the roof, hundreds of years old, now being sealed off with soundproofing material which Alvin  and friends put up themselves. But the bulk of the work is being done by contractors and the courtyard of the manor currently resembles a building site. The manor, with its indoor tennis court (once a milking shed), swimming pool, sauna, cattle pens, duck ponds, greenhouses, and acres of surrounding countryside, was once the home of millionaire Charles Clore. It’s expensive to keep up, even for a successful rock idol. And collecting the water rates from local cottages won’t be any subsidy. It depends on whether Alvin can make his ambitious studio project earn some returns, before he can be assured a permanent home.  

  DESK: “We started work on the studio about six months ago, and the desk was built by Dick Swettenham  who built Olympic Studios’ which is reckoned to be the best. He’s a genius, and the new one is really space age. “We’ll start sessions with Mylon in July, but up to 3:30 last night, we were still putting up soundproofing.  “Ten Years After have made eight LP’s and the money we spent in studio time we could have bought our own one. “This will eventually be the best studio in the world. We’ll run it on a private basis, but it will be nice to get some good selling LP’s out. “Essential in fact, or I’ll be moving sooner than I want.”  

 

 

 

 

Taking Care Of Business  –  Music Trade News

By Chris Hayes - 1973 

Alvin Lee: Converted Barn

 

ALVIN’S STUDIO:

Alvin Lee – Lead guitarist with Ten Years After, has created a modern luxury recording studio out of an old barn in the grounds of his five hundred year old house in Oxfordshire.
Designed and built by musicians, rather than technicians, it took six months to complete and will be used exclusively by Alvin and his friends, starting with a big session for an LP now in progress, featuring Alvin Lee, Ian Wallace, Mel Collins, Boz Burrell and American musicians, Mylon LeFevre, Alan Toussaint and Felix Pappalardi.

Alvin’s assistant and studio engineer is Harold Burgon, an electronics freak, who also plays guitar and piano, has formed a production company called “Space Productions” to handle recordings made in the studio.

Equipment comprises Studer 16 and 2 track machines, M16 Dolbys, Helios eighteen channel desk, Tannoy and JBL monitors, Radford power amplifier, Neumann, AKG and Sure mikes, EMT echo plate, two Revox tape loops and a desk fitted with a special remote box, which can be operated by one person and has constant impedance direct injection input. 

 

 

 

 

WHEN a musician refers to his band as a travelling jukebox, as Alvin is liable to describe Ten Years After these days, it’s a sure sign that the band is no longer the creative force it once was.


  In the case of Ten Years After that’s exactly how Alvin Lee feels. It’s a problem that’s worried him for sometime now, and indirectly is one reason why he’s looking forward to opening his new studio that’s built into a barn standing on one of the forty acres of his enormous 15th century manor house that’s  located near Reading.

  This is to be the setting for some activities Lee has planned outside the auspices of Ten Years After and which he hopes will eventually benefit the band as a whole.

  The house once owned by developer Charles Clore, is impressive even by the highest standards of the rock aristocracy. There’s wood panelling, a maze of rooms and that odd kind of eerie stillness

 

that lends to hang in the air at some stately homes.

  It’s especially apparent around the main hall and staircase, where you feel you ought to tread lightly and speak only in whispers.

  Things are different in the kitchen though, the gathering point for the twelve man crew that have been working on Lee’s new studio outside.

 

However, combining now with other musicians has already helped him considerably. “My own guitar playing has come along incredibly since I started playing with new people, also they’ve been turning me on to new musicians I’ve never even heard of before. “It seems like a lot of doors have suddenly opened, I feel now I’ve given myself the opportunities and facilities to do anything possible.
The beamed ceiling looks down on a plethora of  activity while Lee himself moves  around taking it all in somehow with the style of a pleasant but slightly pre-occupied lord of the manor. In one sense he worries about Ten Years After being groundless, since their popularity appears to be as strong as ever. They’ve just completed their 19th tour of the States, followed by a series of dates around Japan. There’s little to suggest that the band couldn’t carry on in a similar vein for several more years to come.
  In fact it all seems so easy to keep Ten Years After rock and roll machine on the road, and the money pouring in, that they’ve already been accused of simply working out until their retirement.

  It’s that kind of impression that Alvin Lee is trying to avoid.

  At present he lives a luxurious life style, but by the time he’s finished the studio he confesses that he’ll be set well back financially.  Also he rightly points out that Ten Years After have always been a hard working band, out on the road somewhere in the world for most of the last seven years. That perhaps, is part of the trouble now. That kind of continuous work can make a band stale, directionless – just a travelling juke box perhaps. Alvin Lee at least has seen the danger signs.   As the rain poured down outside he explained with admirable honesty:

 “Every band has their limitations and as we’ve been together so long we’ve tended to fall into old grooves and styles of playing rather than attempt anything new.

“Every band has their limitations and as we’ve been together so long we’ve tended to fall into old grooves and styles of playing rather than attempt anything new.

  For example I found my guitar playing was, if not exactly standing still, maybe going round in circles, along with my writing.

  “I think we’re still progressing, but the process has been getting slower and slower.

  I think it can happen to any band who stay together for so long. We were very experimental and now it’s just fallen into a format. “ It was bound to happen in a way, you can’t expect to blow your own mind every night….but if you don’t it gets to the point where playing is just really work. I mean, I don’t think any of us listen now to the type of music we play – which is really rather amazing. I can’t listen to a heavy record now without getting super critical about it.

  "Up till about a year ago I was intent on taking Ten Years After and my own style within the band as far as it would go. Then I reached a point where I seemed to come up against a brick wall and I decided that I needed a lot of other influences to help me through it.”

  Since the whole band felt much the same way, the solution was to take five months off, experiment with new ideas on their own and then come back and work on the band’s music from there. Alvin Lee also emphasises that there’s no question of them splitting permanently.

  “We all started to get a bit fed up with touring and working the whole while. It became a drudge and everybody sort of said they weren’t really happy doing it.

After all, most musicians are the kind of people who want to be free, and touring the whole time is a long way from freedom.

 

 

 

  “If we’d just carried on grinding ourselves into the ground, sooner or later one of the band would have said they’d found something else that they would rather be doing, so before somebody did say it, we decided to experiment instead.”

  For Alvin Lee this now means an intense spell of activity centred around his studio which is due to be completed this week, and starting with an album he’s recording with Allen Toussaint, Felix Pappalardi and Mylon, who’s a throaty gospel singer from Macon, Georgia. “Then I’ll concentrate on my solo album and also I’ll be making an album with Boz, Ian Wallace, Mel Collins and Tim Hinkley. After that I want to bring the band into the studio and work on some new ideas from there.”

  Alvin in fact already recorded some tracks last year with Mylon in Roger Daltrey’s studio and has been playing with Collins and Wallace. He admits it’s only recently that he’s wanted to work with other musicians, in the past always having avoided any of the sessions that were readily open to him.

  “I always cut myself off a bit, I’m not a great socialite.” He smiled, perhaps just a shade sceptically, “I don’t drink either, which seemed to put me out of most of the big London scenes.

 

 

 

  Once we open the studio all there will be left to do, is just do it. I’ll be a great booster for me, a good kick in the pants ya “know.” Lee’s first solo album will probably be completely recorded on his own in the studio. “I want to use the guitar as a basic and then use multi-tracks and tricks and harmonies on top of that. Possibly I might use somebody else, but mostly I plan to just sit in the studio and record it myself. Still it would be much looser than recording a normal album. “Hopefully it’s going to be very different to anything I’ve done before, that’s what I’m aiming at…to break out of the conventional things I’ve been into – “It’s much easier to do that on your own because you only have yourself to argue with.

  Despite this spate of work, Alvin Lee insist the future of Ten Years After is still healthy. Summing up, he said,

  “ I just want to see the band moving into another direction from travelling around the world, playing the same thing all the while. “To be honest, we could easily have just carried on doing that. The concerts we play are all great and we got fantastic receptions everywhere, but what’s more important is what we feel inside ourselves and right now we feel we should be going somewhere else.”

  But does he know exactly where?

  “I was pretty mind blown when I heard the Mahavishnu Orchestra recently, and perhaps that’s how I’d like to see Ten Years After in a few years time…..but I don’t know really, we’ve got to find our own natural direction.”

 

 

 

 

From  A German  Album  Cover

 

 

Recorded Live  - Ten Years After

Chrysalis (VK 41049 / DIDX 4148)

Recorded in 1973 in various European locations, this album was originally on two LP's and now makes it onto one midline 72 minute CD. That's a great bargain, especially when you consider that the sound quality is pretty damn good (not as radiant as you'd hope for, but pretty damn good). Unfortunately, it's a rather dull album - was then, still is. By 1973 Ten Years After had surpassed their performing peak, and the group had long ago become little more than a showcase for guitarist Alvin Lee's excesses, borne out here by two eleven minute - plus tracks and one sixteen minute take on Al Kooper's "I Can't Keep From Crying." That Lee was a dynamic flash guitarist isn't in question, but that his flashes don't quite work anymore is also true. Ten Years After initially released this as a response to bootlegs proliferating at the time, and one supposes it served its purpose then. Today, you'd have to be a true loyalist to sit through all seventy two minutes without a break or three. Note: This article was written on 1/12/83 upon the release of Recorded Live onto CD format for the very first time. The American CD version says that due to time limitations of the CD the song "Hobbit" had to be left off of the finished product…while on the European release the entire recording is intact - including "Hobbit".

Album Note: This album is a truthful recording of Ten Years After with no overdubs or additives. What you hear is what happened on the night. Recorded over four nights in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Frankfurt and Paris with the Rolling Stones mobile recording truck and later mixed from sixteen track to stereo at Olympic Studios in London. In answer to the inferior live recordings sold illegally, this is the official Ten Years After bootleg.

Produced by Ten Years After CD Preparation: Rhonda Shoen, Sterling Sound, New York


Ten Years After: Live 2 LP Set Nadat ik de besprekingen over de lp's "Ten Years After Recorded Live" had gelezen heb ik de pen ter hand genomen. Ik ben niet zo weg van Ten Years After, omdat ik niet zo van die Ellenlange gitaarsolo's hou, maar ik heb toch de moeite genomen om deze platen te beluisteren. Met als resultaat dat ik hem meteen kocht.Wat re op deze lp's staat is het summum. Er staan prachtige nummers op zoals het nummer: "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" en de prachtige drumsolo "Hobbit" van Ric Lee. Bij het nummer "Help Me" zit een geweldig ritme. En dan het nummer "I Can't Keep From Cryin´Sometimes" wat heel mooi is met die bass-solo. En "I'm Going Home" hoef ik niet eens te bespreken, want iedere popliefhebber weet dat dit een geweldig numer is. En ze hadden geen mooier afsluitingnummer kunnen geven als "Choo-Choo Mama". Deze dubbel elpee had makkelijk 5 sterren kunnen halen. Ik heb maar van 1 ding spijt en dat is dat ik hun optreden in Amsterdam of Rotterdam gemist heb. En ik zal die andere lp's van "Ten Years After" eens goed gaan beluisteren.

Afz. J. Tijsse Troelstrastraat 7 Breda P.S. Een recensie schrijven is toch moeilijker dan ik dacht.


Ten Years After - Recorded Live July 17, 1973 - The Boston Phoenix Newspaper This Album is long overdue. Most of the stars of Woodstock followed through right away with live albums. But Ten Years After held back - till now. Here are dazzling live performances of songs from the first Ten Years After album to the most recent. Recorded in front of rock and rollers in Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam in Lee-o-phonic sound. $4.99 LP - $6.99 Tape

 


New  Musical  Express  July  7, 1973

 

          

Ten Years After – “Recorded Live” 1973

A Two Record Set – Now On One CD Disk

Produced By Ten Years After

Liner Photo By: Brian Cooke

 

It may not be one of the best live albums of all time, but it’s in my personal top list. Along with: The  Rolling Stones “Get Your Ya Ya’s Out – The Who “Live At Leeds” – Johnny Winter And!!!…Rush “All The Worlds A Stage” – “Grand Funk Live” – Deep Purple “Live In Japan” – Cactus “Live” – Rainbow “Live”…. Judas Priest – Black Sabbath – Cream Live and Humble Pie “Live At The Fillmore” - The Allman Brothers "Live at the Fillmore East".

Ten Years After Live is an exceptionally good recording of the band at their height.

In the bands own words: “ In answer to the inferior live recordings sold illegally, this is the official Ten Years After bootleg”.

At this point in time, the band was almost empty creatively, and on the cusp of a major break up of the band. The recordings on this cd are from a happy band riding high, but coming down fast.

 

The set list is their greatest hits performed live:

  1. One Of These Days - 6:26
  2. You Give Me Loving – 6:02
  3. Good Morning Little School Girl – 7:35
  4. Help Me – 11:06
  5. Choo-Choo-Mama – 3:11
  6. I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes – 15:57
  7. Slow Blues In C – 7:52
  8. I’m Going Home – 11:39

  With the others being:

      9. Scat Thing - :54 seconds
     10. The Hobbit (Drum Solo) – 7:15
     11. Classical Thing - :55  

 

My Memory of 1973:

When this album was released, it was the greatest thing back then. A two record set, from my favourite band, it was live, and the front cover photo suggested that the band was very serious about the music they were making and the lofty position of fame that they were in possession of. This album got a lot of mileage – for me the listener and for the band too.

The band rode this album on yet another tour, and I wore out one album after another in no time.

While Ten Years After always did well in the recording studio, it’s on stage where their magic comes alive a majority of the time. Of course they had their off nights as well, but this collection shows none of those cracks. What you get is Ten Years After – nothing more and nothing less. An actual accounting of what they were all about and why they had such a loyal following, then and now. 

While living in the States, I bought my copy of this recording there when it was first released on CD format. To my surprise I noticed that “The Hobbit” Ric Lee’s drum solo was missing, reading on further it stated the following: That due to time limitations, “Hobbit” was excluded from this release. Now, I moved to Germany in 2002 and found the same cd released here in Europe is available with all the tracks, including the “Hobbit”. 

  Ten Years After’s liner notes:

This album is a faithful recording of Ten Years After with no over dubs or additives. What you hear is what happened on the night. Recorded over four nights in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Frankfurt and Paris with the Rolling Stones recording truck and later mixed from sixteen track to stereo at Olympic Studios in London.

  In Retrospect:

This was an excellent recording for its day. It still holds up very well even now. But has since been given a back seat to make room for Ten Years After - “Live At The Fillmore East 1970”.

 

 

 

 

TEN YEARS AFTER performed August 3, 1973

 

 

 
NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS  -  July  21,  1973

Ten Years After: “Recorded Live”

(Chrysalis) 1973

Considering the number of bans that have split recently, it’s a wonder that Ten Years After are still around. Because listening to this, their first live album since their 1968 “Undead” album, it becomes clear that Ten Years After have progressed very little since the early days when the blues could be heard in just about every club in Britain. Back then, Ten Years After were one of the finest and even though a bit of flash, blues bands around. If you don’t believe me, get a copy of “Undead” and you’ll doubt no more. There was fire and conviction in their playing, and they were a lot tighter, never allowing the self-indulgence which becomes evident on the sixteen minute plus version of, “I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes” included here.

Alvin Lee’s guitar does all its tricks, and say what you like, Lee is a good guitarist, but it does get a little long. Unlike Cream, Ten years After aren’t that much of an improvising band.

Alvin and bassist Leo Lyons are really the only improvisers. In the past much has been written about Lyon’s bass-playing, which just about keeps pace with Alvin. It’s been said before, but Lyon’s is one hell – of – a – dextrous bass player. Naturally enough, “I’m Going Home”, (ain’t it about time he got there?) finds its way onto this album and it’s not one of Lee’s best versions. This album was recorded in Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, and Chrysalis are pushing it as “The Official Ten Years After Bootleg” and at a cost of just three pounds, it’s a good value if you want a record of what was one of our finest blues bands.

Right now, Ten Years After are in extreme danger of becoming stagnant.

Even Alvin Lee has said he’s felt that way.

Article by Steve Clarke

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Musical Express – August 11, 1973

(The Concert Was August 3, 1973 and took place at Alexandra Palace – North London Venue – called “ALLY – PALLY” for short)

Friday – TYA / Wild Turkey / Barclay James Harvest

I tell ya, the kids still dig Alvin. They started arriving in the late afternoon, and while Wild Turkey and Barclay James Harvest were good, the evening belonged to Alvin Lee and Ten Years After. What better way to spend a Friday night than with a few drinks and bit of boogie. Getting into the festival spirit, kids came prepared with blankets, wine and dope.

“Woodstock Nation” lingers on. The fact that as many people turned out for Ten Years After rock as for Black Sabbath’s satanical music, says something for the youth of today. It warms the heart. Support bands are having an easier time of it as the festival draws to an end. The bigger the act, the larger the crowd and by the time Wild Turkey played, the hall was almost full. I was prepared to quite dislike the band, having seen them in America last year where they impressed me as a very poor fifth rate Jethro Tull imitation. Well, things have changed.

Wild Turkey are by no means just another rock band, and Glen Cornick is simply one of the band; no big ego trips here. While their music leans heavily towards early Tull, Wild Turkey are their own men. The same frantic instrumental burst predominate yet are surrounded by melodic passages. It’s music to listen to, nothing to bash heads against the wall with. All hard driving stuff, occasionally interspersed with a rhythmic acoustic number. The slide guitar songs sound a bit like Wishbone Ash in places, sweet, melodic rock. Tull similarities come to a head on “Traffic Island Jam”, similar to “Cat’s Squirrel” in parts. Everyone takes a solo in this one. Bernie Marsden especially shines on a guitar solo and we all know the merits of Mr. Cornick’s bass playing. The audience gave the band a rousing reception as half the crowd stood screaming for more by the set’s end. They encored with “Butterfly” from their first album. Make no mistake about it, “Wild Turkey” are going to be BIG!Des Henley keeps encouraging all to have a good bop and people seem more than willing to rock out. Fumble are something no festival should be without.

Next up were Barclay James Harvest who offered amazing contrast to the evening’s bill.How their orchestral sounding music got on such a raunchy program is beyond me, yet the crowd willingly listened. A strange lot, those Barclay’s. When they’re good, the music is exciting as it is momentous. Yet on occasion the songs tend to come off as muzak. However, Barclay aren’t as staid as their mellotron cousins, The Moody Blues. Wholly Wolstenholme joked about the bands recent failings in finishing London sets. “We’re a bit nervous about getting through the show”, wolly told the crowd. Barclay James Harvest were the band rained on (or rained off) at White City. A tight unit, the Barclays feed off each other musically. Every so often, someone surprises with an amazing little chunk of sound. John Lee’s moody guitar wanderings highly compliment those sullen mellotron chords. The crowd were quite familiar with the numbers instantly, recognising such Barclay standards as “Mockingbird” and “She Said”. It’s a mystery why the band haven’t yet happened in a bigger way. Their songs are original and often lovely. Maybe the Moodie’s deluge of mellotron based insights ruined the music buying public on bands of the same calibre. Yet the Barclay’s carry on and on, always a welcome addition to any concert bill.

A sense of anticipation growing in the great hall, it was all down to Ten Years After. Filled with thousands of rockers. Alvin had the whole crowd in the palm of his hand. All he had to do was deliver the same goods he’s been displaying for years, and the evening was his.

So as soon as the man announced Ten Years After, the whole of Ally Pally jumped to their feet, letting out incredible shrieks of delight. Surging forward, they madly applauded as the kid walked out on stage. As steady as the rock of Gibraltar, Alvin played his axe.

Ten Years After are a band to enjoy. Who really cares if they do the same things  they did years ago. Chuck Berry still plays the same material, and it’s all good fun.

They’ve just got to be the funniest, most enjoyable rock n´ roll band in the world. Alvin all grimaces and lightning fast licks, Leo Lyons plucking that bass and moving his body faster than the notes he shoots out, Ric Lee the only percussionist with an ever present grin on his face, and Chick Churchill over in the keyboard corner occasionally stepping out and urging all to clap along. And those kids down in front, staring at every move Alvin makes, watching and waiting for every note he plays. They did the old standards. There was Al Kooper’s “I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes”, where in the middle of a solo Alvin snuk in a few bars of “Sunshine Of Your Love”. The man’s got a sense of humour. “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”, announced as a golden oldie´, featured the kid on punky vocals. The lad sings a mean tune. Even in the back of the hall where no one could see the stage, the fans loved it.

They loved it cause Ten Years After know how to boogie, and they know how to entertain. That’s why they’re so damn enjoyable, and funny, that Alvin is a gas!

On the serious side, Mr. Lee really is the guitar star we all want him to be. Unfortunately that Woodstock aura still permeates the bands image. Since Woodstock, the world has come to expect only one thing from Ten Years After, and wherever they go, no one will let them off the stage without playing that immortal song.

And, so it was at Ally Pally, that “Going Home” was finally delivered with a firm injection of “Maybelline”, “Blue Suede Shoes”, and “Whole Lotta Shakin´”. Quite lovely.

When it was over they screamed out for more and yelled hooray as the band bounced back on stage, to encore with “Sweet Little Sixteen”, and “Choo-Choo-Mama” kept the pace alive right to the end.

Thanks for a swell evening boys. Keep on choogling.

Article written by Barbara Charone

 

 

 

CIRCUS – MAGAZINE – AUGUST 1973

Why Alvin Lee Has To Get Beyond Ten Years After

By Barbara Graustark

 

Alvin Lee’s Move To Save His Band – The Music Ten Years After Couldn’t Make.

Even while Alvin churned out the classic rockers the fans loved for his new live LP, he was planning his first step away from the six-year-old band. Alvin Lee: Ten Years After still turn him on, but so do the rich, mellow chords and easy country feel of gospel singer Mylon and the jazz-based tunes of ex-King Crimson members, Ian Wallace, Mel Collins, and Boz Burrell. Ten Years After: They claim Ten Years After Recorded Live captures the essence of their choogling music. But after eight LP’s, it’s hard to come up with new material.

  Blonde hair flying, bright lips turned downward into the famous strained scowl, Alvin Lee bent further over his slim guitar, hands picking furiously a song he had played at least one thousand times before, “I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes”. In the multitude of fans at the Frankfurt, Germany, rock emporium the soulful blues-based rhythms and heartfelt chanting struck a responsive chord. Playing material from every Ten Years After album, from their first, “Ten Years After”, to their last, “Rock and Roll Music To The World”, Alvin, Chick, Ric and Leo kept the crowds open mouthed with fascination as slick fingered Alvin rolled out “I’m Going Home,” then broke into “Scat Thing” with sharply toned vocals that jumped the notes like a frightened deer.

 

 Alvin Steps Out:

But even as a recording mobile unit was capturing what Alvin would later describe as  “the essence of Ten Years After’s music,” for a new Columbia record album, to be known as “Ten Years After Recorded Live” released in 1973. While rumours were spreading through the British press that the classic oldies which pleased and amazed the crowd were leaving the band less than totally satisfied. And even while the new album was jumping up the charts, Alvin was taking his first major steps away from Ten Years After. His goal? Not to destroy Ten Years After, but to save the floundering band by “broadening my horizons musically,” recording some very different music with some very different musicians.

 

 

Making The Social Scene:

The decision to start jamming, Alvin says, crystallized about a year ago, soon after he moved into his five-hundred year old home in Oxfordshire, England. The manor house stood on the edge of the Chilton hills surrounded by forest, and gave Alvin both the privacy and the room to expand his interests. For on the property, he noticed several outbuildings and a big barn which he felt would be the perfect place to build himself a recording studio.

The decision was not a sudden one. For quite some time, Alvin and Ten Years After had found it difficult to come up with new material working under the strained confines and financial pressures of a recording studio, “We need time to experiment,” he revealed.

“At present we’ve always been hampered because you pay $80.00 for every hour you spend in the studio, and that doesn’t give you the relaxed feeling you need for making music.

“There’s a hope for the band that we’ll be able to get into some new licks,” he explained.

And Alvin himself was more than anxious to “get into a studio and play for twelve hours a day.” But the new music he was envisioning doesn’t stop with Ten Years After. The sixteen track studio will also allow Alvin to record the material he’s been writing and collecting in his three worn spiral notebooks for over a year, the music Ten Years After couldn’t make.

 

Guitar – Oriented – Tunes:

When Alvin slipped into the studio in June to begin recording his solo album, he carried with him lyrics few of his group’s members had ever heard. “Over the last few years I’ve been writing a lot,” he admitted in his deep midland’s drawl. “A lot that I’ve written hasn’t been suitable for Ten Years After. It’s more influenced by the guitar. Actually, it’s more of an outlet for me personally, rather than the band. I’d like to get into my guitar thing.”

Alvin was determined not to impose his own guitar-oriented style on his band for fear of ruining Ten Years After’s own unique style. “Ten Years After developed quite a strong musical approach, an approach that’s great because it’s free form. But in itself, this is a limitation. It’s loose rock basically. On albums of the past, we have kind of deviated from that style to try other things; but I don’t know, it doesn’t seem right. And I figure Ten Years After should do, what they do best.”

 

Mellowing Out:

The solo album, on the other hand, will contain overdubbed material, with Alvin playing six different guitars, “which on a Ten Years After album, would be overindulgence. I mean, Ten Years After is a band, and I don’t want to lead it up my own private path.” Carrying his acoustic Gretch guitar and his tape recorder on the road through tours of America, Europe and Japan, Alvin soon collected several volumes of material that presented the lanky guitarist in a far different light from his work with Ten Years After. The sixty-odd tunes fell into varying styles, from “country guitar licks, picking and all,” to sweet lyrical ballads. Much of the material was “too mellow for Ten Years After. I think it’s more mature from my point of view. I’m probably digging around a lot more now. Ten Years After’s stuff is pretty kind of “today I go away,” material. Lyrics that are just words and don’t actually say a lot, they’re sounds. When you rock and roll, you sing sounds, you don’t sing lyrics.”

 

Words That Mean Something:

Alvin flipped open his notebook to read a few of the poems he wants to convert into songs for the new album. One verse, tentatively titled “There’s No Such Thing As The Top Of The Hill,” barely hides its strong personal meaning:

There’s no such thing as the top of the hill - I’ve never been there again

There’s no such thing as the top of the hill  - Unless it’s in your brain

I’ve done what I’m trying to do  - I’ve seen what I hope to see

There’s no such thing as the top of the hill  - At least there’s not for me.

  “I think realization influenced that verse,” he confided. “Everybody has ambitions and when, in reality, you achieve your ambitions and in retrospect you should be on top of the world, you’re not, because there’s so much more to keep doing.”

 

Struggle For Fulfilment:

Some tunes show Alvin’s persistent struggle for self-fulfilment, the struggle that convinced him to try his hand at the solo venture. Other tunes deal with concrete events, like the feeling of “having your back up against the wall,” at the start of an American tour. At times, lyrics dip into mellow pools of despair and alienation. Alvin explained that, “It’s not an idealistic world we live in. When you start thinking in worthy terms, you often get depressed.”

Perhaps his favourite tune, one he’s carried around for years, but never been able to use, sounds his loneliest cry. Entitled “Someday I Hope,” it begins:   Informed, transformed from what I was born – but yet I search for truth – While the years chip away at my youth, And I think, when I’m dead! Who will care what I said – So I put down my pen and I go to bed…

 

Rolling With Mylon:

To insure that his words are remembered and his music continues to echo in the ears of his fans, Alvin will pull another ace from his sleeve. After the completion of his studio album, he will return to the studio to begin another album, with country-gospel rocker Mylon, who blew Alvin’s mind last year when the Georgian singer first visited the Englishman at his home.

Mylon, Alvin, and Mylon’s guitarist, Steve Sanders journeyed down to the home studio of “The Who’s” Roger Daltrey to lay down several tracks which Alvin later claimed “blew my mind,” and together with producer Allen Toussaint and ex- Mountain bassist and producer Felix Pappalardi hope to continue the work in late summer.

Once Alvin shunned “superstar” jams that forced him to play someone else’s style, or to convince them to play his. Today he has found a group of musicians with whom he can develop a “sympathy” that enables him to blend styles with a newly-fired imagination.

But what of Ten Years After? Alvin seemed determined that the band will continue, even if tours and LP releases are stretched out to allow them all room to grow. “I say we’ll never finish  as long as we go on playing good music,” he confirms. “That’s the essence of what we do. There’s no reason to stop making music.”

 

 

 


Record  Mirror  -  August 25, 1973

 

 

New Musical Express  -  September  8,  1973

TYA TOUR – LEE – CRIMSON LINK DENIED

Ten Years After are to make their first British tour in almost a year. The news of the 14 – day tour was announced by Chrysalis this week and effectively puts paid to recent rumours that the group were about to split up. The tour, which opens at Plymouth Guildhall on September 15th, is the first from the group this year, and is their first British appearance since they headlined at the Alexandra Palace Music Festival a month ago. Rumours concerning the break up of the group began circulating at the time of release of “Recorded Live”, the group’s current album. Ten Years After stopped touring at that time as both Alvin Lee and organist Chick Churchill had begun work on solo projects. It was rumoured that Alvin Lee was to leave the group and form a new band with various musicians, namely ex- King Crimson members Mel Collins and Boz Burrell who he had been playing with at the recently-completed studio at Alvin’s home – Space-Studios.

During the past two months, Lee has been working constantly on an album, recorded at his studio with American Gospel singer Mylon LeFevre. The album consist entirely of new songs written by Alvin and Mylon, with additional material from star musicians who also made guest appearances on the album. “I’m looking forward to going on the road with Ten Years After again”, Alvin told New Musical Express. “It’s going to be a tour on which we can experiment, especially during the later part of the tour, when we’ve got back into playing England again. “Since we’ve been off the road during the last few months, I’ve been working with Mylon who’s a gospel singer from Georgia, and we’ve just about finished an album together. It’s not my solo album, it’s the two of us with some good people who came down to help. A solo album is another project I have in mind for the future”. Also at the mixing stage is a solo album from Ten Years After’s organist Chick Churchill. Both the Alvin Lee / Mylon LeFevre album and the Chick Churchill album will be released later this year.

Dates finalized so far for the Ten Years After tour are:

Plymouth Guildhall September 15th, Torquay Town Hall 16th, Swansea Top Rank 17th, Bristol Colston Hall 20th, Hastings Pier Pavilion 22nd, Oxford New Theatre 30th, Manchester Free Trade Hall October 3rd, Leeds University 4th, Newcastle Mayfair 5th, Edinburgh Heriot Watt University 6th, Lancaster University 12th, York University 13th, Wolverhampton Civic Hall 15th, and Glasgow Apollo 19th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXKLUSIV BRAVO INTERVIEW
September 20, 1973 - NR. 39
 

 

Blass ausgepumpt, mit den Nerven am Ende erklärte Alvin Lee Anfang 1973 bei der letzten Europa - Tournee: "Wir hben die Nasse voll. Fünf Jahre sind genug. Ten Years After wird es in Zukunft nicht mehr geben". Mit diesen drei knappen Sätzen hatte der wortkarge Alvin Lee völlig überraschend das Ende der explosivsten Blues Rock Band der Welt verkündet.
Der Schock war perfekt. Bereits geplante Konzerte wurden kurzfristig abgesagt. Die Band zerstreute sich in alle Winde. Alvin Lee verkroch sich in sein eigenes Studio in Reading bei London, Organist Chick Churchill bastelte an einer Solo-Platte, Bassist Leo Lyons und Schlagzeuger Ric Lee tauchten völlig unter. Man hatte sich Goodbye gesagt.

Sechs Monate später. Londoner Rock - Festival 1973 im riesigen Alexandra Palace von den Fans liebevoll "Ally Pally" genannt. In der engen Garderobe warten Ten Years After auf ihren Auftritt. Kurzfristig hatten Alvin Lee & Company ihren Namen auf die Plakate setzen lassen. Ein Abschiedskonzert? Ein letzter Gag?

Im Alexandra Palace herrscht nervöse Spannung wie vor einem Boxkampf. Auch hinter der Bühne. Kaum ein Wort fällt als Alvin Lee und Leo Lyons ihre Gitarren stimmen. Sie sind nervös. Niemand ahnt, was hinter ihren starren , konzentrierten Mienen vorgeht. Nur Ric Lee ist die Ruhe selbst. Hingebungsvoll umwickelt er sein Trommelstöcke mit rotem Klebestreifen, damit sie beim Auftritt nicht so leicht brechen, Dann ist es soweit.

Ein frenetischer Jubelschrei, als Alvin Lee auf die Bühne springt, etwas unsicher lächelt. Ein Meer von Händen reckt sich ihm entgegen. Die 10,000 Fans kreischen so laut, dass Ten Years After gar nicht anfangen können. Alvin Lee klatscht den Takt vor, bis die ganze Halle mitmacht. Dann steigt er mit " Rock n´ Roll Music To The World" ein. Ein hämmernder Rock Orkan fegt von der Bühne. Ten Years After spielen nicht nur Rock, sie zelebrieren ihn. Alvin Lees Finger huschen so schnell über die Gitarre, dass man zehn Hände auf einmal zu sehen glaubt. Faszinierend sein Gesicht. Zu jedem Ton eine neue Grimasse. Völlig mitgerissen von seiner eigenen Musik spitzt er die Lippen, bläst die Backen auf, schüttelt seine blonde Mähne.

Leo Lyons scheint wie bei jedem Auftritt unter Strom zu stehen. Er schüttelt seinen Körper immer wilder. Schneller noch als die ekstatischen Bassläufe, die er seinem Instrument entlockt. Chick Churchill scheint auf der Orgel Alvin Lee an Schnelligkeit noch übertreffen zu wollen, Im Hintergrund, nur von einem matten Spotlight beleuchtet, wütet er auf den Tasten, treibt den Sound noch mehr an.
Wie in alten Zeiten thront Ric Lee grinsend auf seinem Podest und tritt die Basstrommel, dass man es in der Magengrube spürt. Nach, "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" und "Sunshine of Your Love" stampft ganz "Ally Pally" mit. Und dann kommt der Song, der Ten Years After in 9 Minuten und 20 Sekunden berühmt gemacht hat. Damals, bei ihrem Auftritt zum legendären Woodstock-Rockfestival. Der Song den Ten Years After seitdem bei jedem Konzert spielen mussten, der ihre Visitenkarte wurde: "I'm Going Home". Heute will es Alvin Lee wissen. Er streichelt und peitscht seine Gitarre, stampft, klatscht, schreit, haucht. Immer schneller, ohne Ende. Zehn, zwanzig, dreißig Minuten lang. Dann ein donnernder Schlussakkord.

Ausgepumpt wie 100-Meter-Läufer lehnen Alvin, Leo, Ric und Chick an ihren Verstärkerboxen, als der Beifall auf sie niederprasselt. Jubel für eine Band, die es eigentlich nicht mehr geben sollte. Jubel, der für Ten Years After an diesem Abend mehr bedeutet als Beifall, Applaus.
In der Garderobe knallen wenige Minuten später die Champagnerkorken. Spaßmacher Ric lässt ganze Fontänen durch den Raum sprühen. Ich weiß nicht so recht, was hier eigentlich passiert. Bis Alvin Lee sein Schweigen bricht. Plötzlich packt er aus, sagt, was es mit diesem Konzert eigentlich auf sich hatte...


"Dieser Auftritt entschied über die Zukunft von Ten Years After, eigentlich war unsere Trennung schon besiegelt" , sagt Alvin Lee, "kein Wunder, wenn man wie wir seit fünf Jahren fast täglich auf der Bühne steht. Da kommt man sich plötzlich vor wie eine Musicbox, die jeden Abend dieselbe Platte spielt. Und das ist tödlich für jeden Musiker. Deshalb wollten wir nach unserer letzten Live - Album Schluss machen, unsere eigenen Wege gehen. Ein halbes Jahr ging das gut. Dann juckte es uns wieder in den Fingern. Wir trafen uns bei mir zu einigen Sessions. Und dann beschlossen wir, dieses Konzert zu geben.
Wir wollten sehen, ob diese Musik uns und unseren Fans noch Spaß macht. Allein davon machten wir unsere Entscheidung abhängig..."

Ten Years After wird es also auch in Zukunft geben?
"Wir machen weiter", erklärt Alvin Lee, "etwas anders allerdings als zuvor. Wir werden nicht mehr so viele Live-Konzerte geben, weniger Platten zusammen produzieren. Jeder soll die Freiheit haben, seine eigenen lnteressen zu verwirklichen. Ich beispielsweise mache zur Zeit eine Platte mit dem Gospelsänger Mylon Lefevre.
Chick hat ähnliches vor. Trotzdem werden wir jeden Monat mindestens ein Konzert geben. Denn während unserer Funkstille haben wir gemerkt, dass wir auf die Atmosphäre von Live-Auftritten, auf die Feuerprobe vor den Fans, nicht verzichten können..."

Written by - Gerald Büchelmaier
Fotos by - D.Zill

Contribution by John Tsagas

   

 

 

 



Ten Years After – Hastings Pier, White Rock, Hastings

Pier – Pavilions England

On September 22, 1973 played a concert there. The pier was originally opened in 1867, and is still struggling today to remain open today. A temporary walkway has been built over the now unsafe corridor boardwalk floor. Some other bands of note who played there are: “The Who” – “The Rolling Stones” – “The Spencer Davis Group” – “Pink Floyd” – “Hawkwind” – “Status Quo” – “Tom Jones” – “Golden Earring” – “Barclay James Harvest” – “The Can” and of course, “Ten Years After”.

 

Disaster strikes the famous “Hastings Pier” landmark once again. Known as “The Peerless Pier” when it was first built. On October 5, 2010 ten fire crews were sent to the Victorian Structure in East Sussex, but the fire was to fierce to save anything of the historic building. Two teenagers aged 18 and 19 were placed under arrest on suspicion of arson. The fire burned on for four days. The famous pier first opened on August 5, 1872 and closed in 2006 because of fears that it had become unsafe. Although it had survived the Second World War, The Mods and The Rockers, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Ten Years After, It’s 138 year history has now ended for good.

  

  



 

 

New Musical Express – October  6,  1973

Book of Rock – Page 72 (Revised by Dave)

 

Alvin Lee – Vocals / Guitar / Harmonica / Songwriter
Leo Lyons – Bass Guitar
Chick Churchill – Keyboards / Organ / Piano / Moog
Ric Lee – Drums / Percussionist

 

Alvin and Leo met in home-town Nottingham and played together in Hamburg as the “Jaybirds” before being joined by Ric Lee (no relation to Alvin), Chick Churchill was added on keyboards and Ten Years After was now complete. They emerged as one of the top bands of the Second Wave of the British Blues Boom in 1966. Although they relied more heavily on “rock” than on “authentic blues” like their contemporaries, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac and Chicken Shack. This ultimately led to a prestigious residency at the Marquee and a spot on the Windsor Blues Festival for Ten Years After, which drew a standing ovation for the group.

By then they had established a style all their own, and that they have stuck close to ever since.

Which is basically blues-based and fronted by the very speedy, and accomplished guitarist Alvin Lee. After their initial success in Britain, they made a big impact on Europe and in the States. With the release of their albums, so too the increase of their fan base, and with the release of the movie Woodstock in 1970, it put them over the top in popularity, fame and money. Both in writing and playing, Alvin Lee came more to the forefront of the band, and right into the title of “Super-Star” and with it superstar status. He also gave the majority of the interviews over the years, to anyone who asked for one it seems.

It was also their performance at Woodstock in 1969 that made their tour-de-force song

“I’m going Home” into the groups anthem, and was one of the most exciting musical experiences in the entire film.

After extensive touring, Alvin and the group took some much needed time off between 1971 and 1972 to recover they indicated, from “Woodstock Hangover”. They also wanted to make an attempt at a more than straight rock record. To this end, Ten Years After utilized electronic effects and a much quieter approach to their music. The album went gold and then platinum, with the hit song, “I’d Love To Change The World” in the charts.

The music critics, always at their heals suggested that the band was in a “rut” – but their fans and audiences totally disagreed with that unfounded assessment. Ten Years After still proved to be a strong live attraction, always better doing a live concert, than in the recording studio.

The group got off the road in the summer of 1973 good reasons. Chick Churchill was working on his solo album “You and Me” – Alvin Lee and Mylon LeFevre were working on their album collaboration called – “On The Road To Freedom” and Leo and Ric were working on other personal pet projects. 

It should also be known, that Ten Years After have undertaken more tours of the States than any other band in the entire United Kingdom.

 

 

 

New Music Express 10 / 73

Ten Years After - Alvin Lee, Leo Lyons, Ric Lee, Chick Churchill

Alvin Lee and Leo Lyons met in home-town Nottingham, played together in Hamburg before being joined by  Ric Lee (no relation) to form Jaybirds. Chick Churchill added later and name changed to Ten Years After. Emerged as one of top bands of second wave British blues boom (1966) although drawing on “rock”. More heavily than  “authentic” contemporaries like Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack. Led to Marquee Residency and spot on Windsor Blues Festival which drew standing ovation.

By then had established style that they’ve stuck close to ever since , basically blue-based and fronted by the speedy highly taut and accomplished guitar style of Alvin Lee. After initial success in Britain, made impact in Europe and States with release of Undead and Stonedhenge, The quintessential eary TYA albums. Both in writing and playing, Alvin Lee came more to the fore, being elevated  to super-star status after band’s appearance at Woodstock Festival in 1968. Their Goin’ Home tour de-force proved one of most exciting sequences in subsequent movie. After extensive touring, took time off in 71 / 72 to cure “Woodstock Hangover” and to make “A Space In Time” an attempt at more than a straight rock record. TYA utilised electronic effects and a quieter approach. The Album was partially successful.

In last few years critics have suggested TYA are in a rut, but band still prove a strong live attraction, Undead (1968) and Recorded Live (1973) give support to the view that  they’re often better on stage than in studio. Went off the road for six months through summer ’73, working on solo projects. Alvin Lee has recorded album with Gospel singer Mylon; Chick Churchill also has solo LP upcoming.  

TYA have distinction of undertaking more U.S. tours than any other British band.

 

 

 

 

New  Musical  Express  October 13, 1973

 

 

         

 

 

 

Friday October 19, 1973

Ten Years After at the Glasgow Apollo
Scotland’s premier rock venue.

 

 

 

New Musical Express – October 20, 1973

Alvin Lee is quite traditional-minded really. Despite Woodstock, despite a Georgian mansion, he’s still something of a Midlander who sticks to the basic ideas about music he’s worked by all along. In many ways Lee’s philosophy is one of the late sixties. He doesn’t believe theatricals have any place in rock music. He doesn’t feel issuing a single is a valid musical exercise. Maybe it’s his shades of conservatism that have caused Ten Years After to suffer in the last couple of years. Really, there are two ways looking at the band. There’s no doubt they still excel in straight ahead rock for undemanding taste. Yet now perhaps, it’s not unfair to expect something more creative from a band of their stature. Certainly, one feels, in their hearts, even Ten Years After themselves feel their particular style is in danger of becoming redundant. After coming off-stage at the Manchester Free Trade Hall a couple of weeks back, Alvin Lee was comparing the quality of two guitars. One, his normal red Gibson, the other, a different one he used for the show in Manchester. Over in the opposite corner, Leo Lyons rubbed his face with a towel and flashed a self-conscious smile. “So you see, we change our instruments if not our material”. It simply goes to show Ten Years After have been criticised so much for playing the same set that they even make modest jokes about it themselves.

One went up to Manchester to review Ten Years After on their current tour, but found there wasn’t anything new to review. What they played sounded fine, but over-familiar. It was like the band had appeared out of a late sixties time capsule, still preserving with,

“Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” and “Going Home”, which Alvin must now be able to play in his sleep. As a guitarist, he pulled out all his gymnastic tricks, including rapping the guitar strings with drum stick provided by Ric Lee drum kit, and there’s Alvin rubbing his guitar strings against the microphone stand.

Still, as the band ostensibly took a five month break over the summer, to work on new ideas with the hope of pulling the band out of a routine that was beginning to sound as tired as an old Hollywood musical. It’s reasonable to ask why nothing had changed. Alvin Lee himself has always defended the old material like “Goin´ Home”, pointing out that it’s what a

Ten Years After audience still want to hear. Never the less, drummer Ric Lee helps put the situation in perspective: “I think there’s no doubt that we’ve been in a rut, and that’s one reason why we took some time off. But I don’t think any results will show until after this tour, when we rehearse and put in some new numbers together for the new album. “Remember, after Woodstock we did the same thing, and went off the road for awhile, to get out of the standard rock material, that we’d been into. Then we came up with the “A Space In Time” album, which I think was recognized as one of our best.

One of the more positive results, though, of Ten Years After’s spell off the road has been Alvin Lee’s album with Mylon LeFevre, which is due for release next month and was recorded in Alvin’s home studios. Mylon and Alvin were aided by, among others, Stevie Winwood and for just one track, (the song “So Sad”) by George Harrison, a close neighbour of Alvin’s. “Mylon and I just met him at the local (Speakeasy) says Alvin. “Mylon just went up to him and asked him to write a song for the album. He came up with “So Sad” and then came over and played on it as well. “In fact, he’s got a great studio himself”, continues Alvin incidentally. “I’ve been over there to play some tapes in the last few weeks, and he’s got it decked out like a living room Victorian studio and with mahogany walls and a teak control desk”. Still despite Alvin’s solo accomplishments, and the future of Ten Years After, still hangs in the balance. Whether they become cast as a stagnant relics of the sixties, now all depends on the results of their next album.

Article by James Johnson

 

 

           

 

 

     

   

TYA backstage 1972 - Photos by Pieter Kentrop


 

 

 

BRAVO Magazine

November 8, 1973

       

 


 

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