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“Really happy to hear that Gibson guitars is doing a limited edition 335 in honour of Alvin Lee. Alvin was a brilliant guitar player that became famous all around the world with his band-Ten Years After. He was a great friend of mine and Black Sabbath, he made a major impact on thousands of guitar players globally-including me! Thank you, Gibson - Alvin well deserves it!!”
“Alvin was one of the most exciting Rock/blues guitarists of his generation. His red customised Gibson ES 335 not only gave him his signature sound but was also a part of his iconic stage personality.”
--Leo Lyons (Ten Years After co-founder and bassist 1966–2013)
Born in Nottingham, England, Alvin Lee began playing guitar at age 13 and formed the core of what would become the band Ten Years After by age 15. Originally influenced by his parent's prolific collection of jazz and blues records, it was the advent of Rock ’n’ Roll that truly ignited Lee’s interest and creativity with guitarists like Chuck Berry and Scotty Moore providing his inspiration.
With Lee as guitarist, singer and songwriter, Ten Years After (TYA) first toured America in 1968 at the invitation of the legendary Fillmore promoter Bill Graham. American audiences were immediately captivated by the group’s innovative mix of blues, swing, jazz and rock alongside Lee's distinctive, soulful and rapid-fire guitar playing.
Alvin Lee’s groundbreaking, virtuoso guitar performance at Woodstock festival in 1969--captured live on film in the documentary of the festival--remains a gold standard of influence today for many guitarists and continues to introduce Lee to new music fans all over the world.