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The Beginning of Alvin's Solo Career 1973 - 2003


Alvin and Mylon - On The Road To Freedom


New Musical Express 1973

 

 

Mylon Le Fvre Ministries

 

 

From Rock'n'Roller to Holy Roller - Mylon's own Story

Elvis Presley recorded the first song I wrote when I was only seventeen.I was stationed at Fort Jackson,South Carolina,at the time,and had just f inished basic training in the Army.My sergeant was an alcoholic,and it was well known that for a pint of "Jack Black "whiskey you could get a weekend pass.That weekend I hitchhiked to Memphis to meet my parents at the National Quartet Convention where my mother asked me to sing my new song "Without Him ".Elvis was there in a side room recording songs to consider for his next album. 

When I joined the army, I was 17 years old,5'4"tall and didn t even shave.I was making $84 a month as a private when I got my f irst check from Elvis s publishing company.Those checks kept coming every three months. There came a day when I sat down to f igure things out. My choice was simple:I could write another song,or I could stay in the army for 800 years to earn the same amount of money.It was a career crossroads,and I decided to go for the music.

 

 In one year,126 artists around the world recorded my songs.So I took the money from writing and started a band that later became the Atlanta Rhythm Section.My family were gospel singers and I loved to sing gospel music,but the music I was writing was too contemporary for them. Shortly thereafter I got my f irst car.All of a sudden the girls in high school,who would never even talk to me before,were available to me.They still didn t say much to me,but they were riding in my new car,if you know what I mean.I thought that in life you had to f ight for what you wanted,and that you only got what you fought for.I thought it was up to me to get to the top."Was I ever wrong!" 

Mylon's first band

 

I wanted to be a star more than anything. In the 70 s I recorded an album with Alvin Lee from Ten Years After .Some of the artists on that album were George Harrison from the Beatles,Boz Burrell from Bad Company,Ron Wood from the Rolling Stones,Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac,Steve Winwood from Traff ic,and Ian Wallace from King Crimson. We had what they called in the early 70 s, a "super group ".Between the members of the group we had sold more than 400 million records.Some of the others that I eventually recorded or toured with were Eric Clapton,Billy Joel,Little Richard and the Who,Mountain,ZZ Top,and Grand Funk Railroad,etc. 

Ron Wood

Mylon LeFevre

Alvin Lee

1972

I was living and recording in England, rehearsing for the biggest tour of my life when one night I took too much heroin.When they found me,the cigarette I was smoking had burned down between my fingers and into the flesh.They could smell the burning skin and had come in to check on me.I wasn t breathing.I had been out so long that by the time they brought me around, my brain cells were damaged. It so spaced me out that I could not even remember the words of songs I had written, much less lead a world tour. Suddenly it was all over. I had wrecked my hopes and drugged away my dreams.

Mylon the rock star, 1972

  

At that point I knew I needed God s help.Opening a Gideon Bible I had picked up some- where,I lit up the hash I had been told would help me with- draw from heroin and began to read.It took seven long years for me to learn what total com- mitment to Jesus really means. At that point I still didn t understand that being "born again "is quite different than being "caught again ".True repentance is when you say to Jesus,"I have been doing things my way;I want to start doing things Your way." It was 1980 when I f inally made Jesus my Lord at a Christian concert by a band called the 2nd Chapter of Acts. When Buck Herring (who I had worked with in the past),led the people in a prayer at the end of the concert,I made that prayer mine and have never been the same since. That was on a Saturday night,and he told me I ought to go to church the next day. Well,I had three feet of hair and no tie.They told me that Christians were a family,but to be honest,most of them didn t seem to be too happy about God letting me in.That building was packed,except around where I was sitting. When I f irst committed my life to Jesus.I went to my pastor and said,"Hey,I don t know anybody who doesn t get stoned.All my friends stay up all night.I m in Rock-n-Roll and I have contracts to fulf ill." He was wise and let God change my friends and me.It was actually a little comical as I helped out around the church.What a change! How many janitors do you know who drive $100,000 cars?The church paid me $175 a week when I was used to making between eight and ten thousand dollars a day.On my way to work one day a windshield wiper broke off my 930 Turbo Porsche.It cost me $185 to replace it. As you can imagine,I had a bit of a culture shock,but I m so glad that God was ready to take me just like I was.At that point,Jesus was the only one who wanted my life. The f irst time I ministered to anyone was on an FGBMFI outreach with Jimmy Rogers to the Jackson State Prison in Georgia,where I shared my testimony.Christianity is simple. 

First,you give Jesus your life and He gives you His.And secondly,we change and grow up in Him by the renewing of our minds.In other words,we study His Word and think about what He said until we learn to think,talk,and live like Him. Late one night in August 1989,my band, "Broken Heart ",and I were on our way to a Christian concert in Nebraska when my heart suddenly hurt so badly that I couldn t breathe; I couldn t move.The doctors later told me that all my years of cocaine and heroin abuse had caused the heart attack.Approximately one third of my heart had quit working and they told me I had to stop travelling and take it easy. I didn t have any answers. It was obvious to me that if God didn t do something fast, I would be going to heaven soon.I needed a miracle! In January 1990,my band and I took our previously sched- uled concert tour of the Philip- pines.The doctors told me not to go.I arrived very tired,in a lot of pain,and scared.Wandering around the hotel gift shop in Olongapo, Northern Luzon,I came across a book that changed my life.It was entitled,"God s Medicine " by Kenneth Hagen.When I tried to buy it the lady said, "I don t know where it came from;we don t sell those here. You can have it." I read it from cover to cover and then started looking up the Bible verses it quoted.Dur- ing that week we saw 10,200 kids make a commitment to Jesus,but I was in pain the whole time.Back at home I continued to study the Bible verses from that little book. In March 1990,I went down to my brother s condo in Pan- ama City,Florida,to fast and pray.On the third day I was walking up the beach,praying in the Spirit.Just that morn- ing I had said,"Father God, I know the Word says that the truth will set me free.

 

Mylon and his wife,Christi

Evidently there is something in the Bible I don t understand yet because I am not free. Please send someone to help me understand." Walking along the beach,I passed a woman,who was later introduced to me as Gloria Copeland.As I passed by, the Lord told her that He had called me to do something and that He wanted to heal me. When a mutual friend later introduced us,she remembered me.She and her husband, Kenneth,got right down to business.He told me "my wife doesn t play church.If God told her He is going to heal you,then it is a done deal." "Before we pray,we need to be in agreement. If I am praying in faith and you are just hoping, we are not going to be in agreement."He began showing me Bible verses about healing. After the Copelands laid hands on me and prayed,I didn t feel any different physically,but I knew something had changed in my spirit, and I believed God had healed me. Back home in Atlanta,I started telling everyone that I was healed.Some people told me I was putting God to a foolish test by continuing to tour,but I just replied,"God said, My words are life to those who f ind them and health to all their f lesh,and by His stripes I am healed !" Night and day I immersed myself in the Bible.Just one year after meeting the Cope- lands in Florida,I returned to the beach and was able to do a lot more than just walk on the beach.I had a great time body surfing and riding jet skis. While driving in the car along the beach, a song came to me which eventually would become number one on the Christian charts: "Invincible love was all that could save me " It is much more than a song to me.It is my continual testimony of God s love,mercy,and healing power. Today,I am stronger than before the heart attack.I play racquetball,tennis,scuba dive, ride my Harley,and even ski down mountains with my wife,Christi.God has also renewed my mind.The Bible says that if any man is in Christ Jesus,all things become new.Best of all I am on way to heaven and I am enjoying the trip!

 

 

Cottage Views Interviews

Alvin Lee of Ten Years After

Cottage Views: Every Year I do a poll as to what readers would like to see reissued on CD and every year On the Road to Freedom is requested. I recently read it was finally going to come out. What's happening with that?

Alvin Lee: I'm trying to get it out. I was about to put out On the Road to Freedom and then I found out that I'm not allowed to give permission to do it, and there's a six month jail sentence, so I've got to start dealing with these corporate people. The trouble is it's owned by Sony in America and it's difficult. It was originally on Chrysalis in England and CBS in America and then Sony took over CBS and they don't even know they've got it. I rang them up and said, 'You've got this On the Road to Freedom. I'd like to put it out,' and they said, 'What's that?' It's a bit disheartening, but I'm going to keep trying. We'll get there one day.

 Interview by Michael Cimino (Cottage Views Website)

ALVIN LEE & MYLON LEFEVRE

Artist : Alvin Lee & Mylon Lefevre Album : On The Road To Freedom Best. Nr SPV : 083-947802 CD Best REP : 4780 EAN : 4009910478028 Label : Repertoire Records Streetdate : 17.03.03 tbc

Overview :

The legendary rock guitarist is successfully paired with American gospel singer Mylon LeFevre on this all-star 1973 set that produces some joyful music. It marked a change from Alvin's work with Ten Years After, but spectacular guitar playing still remains the focal point. Beatle George Harrison, wrote and performed on standout song 'So Sad (No Love Of His Own)' and Traffic stars Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi jam on several tracks, alongside Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood.

Tracklisting :

1. ON THE ROAD TO FREEDOM (Lee) 4:13 Alvin Lee: Vocal, Guitars, Bass, Background Vocals Mylon LeFevre: Background Vocals, Percussion Stevie Winwood: Piano Jim Capaldi: Drums Rebop: Congas
2. THE WORLD IS CHANGING (I GOT A WOMAN BACK IN GEORGIA) (Lee / LeFevre) 2:45
Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocal & Background Vocal, Acoustic Rhythm Alvin Lee: Guitars, Bass, Lead Vocal & Background Jim Capaldi: Drums Mike Patto: Background Vocals Tim Hinckley: Organ
3. SO SAD (NO LOVE OF HIS OWN) (Harrison) 4:34
Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocals & Harmonies Hari Georgeson: Guitar, Slide Guitar, Bass, Harmony Vocal Alvin Lee: Guitars, Background Vocals Ron Wood: 12 String Guitar Mick Fleetwood: Drums
4. FALLEN ANGEL (Lee) 3:20
Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocal, Percussion Alvin Lee: Guitars, Bass Ron Wood: Slide Guitar Stevie Winwood: Piano Jim Capaldi: Drums & Percussion
5. FUNNY (Lee) 2:48
Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocals & Harmony Alvin Lee: Guitars, Bass, Drums, Harmony Vocals Andy Stein: Fiddle
6. WE WILL SHINE (LeFevre) 2:37
Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocal, 12 String Guitar, Background Vocal Alvin Lee: Guitars, Background Vocals Stevie Winwood: Piano Ron Wood: Bass
7. CARRY MY LOAD (Lee) 2:58
Alvin Lee: Vocals & Background Mylon LeFevre: Vocals & Background, 12 String, Bass Ian Wallace: Drums Tim Hinckley: Piano
8. LAY ME BACK (LeFevre) 2:53
Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocal & Background, Acoustic Rhythm Alvin Lee: Guitars, Bass, Background, Vocals, Sitar and the bag Bob Black: Steel Guitar Ian Wallace: Drums Tim Hinckley: Piano
9. LET 'EM SAY WHAT THEY WILL (Wood) 2:52
Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocal, Percussion Ron Wood: Guitars, Bass, Drums Alvin Lee: Guitar Tim Hinckley: Piano
10. I CAN'T TAKE IT (LeFevre) 2:51
Mylon LeFevre: Acoustic Rhythm, Lead Vocal Alvin Lee: Guitars, Bass, Harmony Vocals Stevie Winwood: Piano Ian Wallace: Drums
11. RIFFIN (Lee / LeFevre) 3:31
Mylon LeFevre: Vocals Alvin Lee: Guitars Tim Hinckley: Organ Boz: Bass Ian Wallace: Drums
12. ROCKIN' TIL THE SUN GOES DOWN (Lee / LeFevre) 3:08
Alvin Lee: Guitars, High Vocals Mylon LeFevre: Lead Vocals & Background Tim Hinckley: Piano & Background Vocals Boz: Bass & Background Vocals Ian Wallace: Drums Mike Patto: Background Vocals & Percussion

Tracks 1-12 originally released as UK-Chrysalis CHR 1054 in 1973.

BONUS TRACK

13. SO SAD (NO LOVE OF HIS OWN) (Harrison) (Single Version) 3:00 Single A-Side F-Chrysalis CHA 118, P 1974

 

 

 

CD Cover - On The Road To Freedom

        
These three Photos are Courtesy of Herb Staehr

German article

 
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