Archive for the ‘Alvin Lee’ Category

Night of the Guitars Newcastle City Hall 22nd November 1988

Night of the Guitars Newcastle City Hall 22nd November 1988
nightofguitarstixNo Speak was an instrumental-only record label, founded by Miles Copeland in 1988. To complement the release of the label’s Guitar Speak album, Copeland organized a week-long “Night Of The Guitars” British tour with many of its featured artists. The line-up was truly stellar, and featured Copeland as Master of Ceremonies and the following guitarists: Randy California (Spirit), Pete Haycock (Climax Blues Band), Steve Howe (Yes), Steve Hunter (ex Lou Reed band), Robby Krieger (Doors), Alvin Lee (Ten Years After), Andy Powell & Ted Turner (Wishbone Ash), and Leslie West (Mountain). Each guitarist played a few songs of their own, backed by a “house band”. Highlights were Randy California playing “Hey Joe”, Powell & Turner with “The King Will Come”, Steve Howe performing “The Clap” and Leslie West with “Theme from an Imaginary Western”. But best of all was Robby Krieger who was introduced as the star of the show and played an impeccable version of the Doors “Love me Two Times”.
The London gig was recorded and the album contains the songs below. The show I attended featured a similar set.
Pete Haycock & Steve Hunter – Dr Brown I presume, The Idler, Lucienne
Randy California – Groove Thing, Hey Joe
Robby Krieger – Love me Two Times
Ted Turner & Andy Powell – The King will Come
Leslie West – Theme from an Imaginary Western, Never in my Life
Steve Howe – Clap Medley, Wurm
Alvin Lee – No Limit, Ain’t Nothin’ Shakin’
Everyone on stage for – All Along the Watchtower and a rock’n’roll medley including Whole Lotta Shakin’ , Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Johnny B. Goode, Rock and Roll Music & Bye Bye Johnny

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Alvin Lee (solo) in concert 1979 to 2004

Alvin Lee (solo) in concert 1979 to 2004
alvintix79 The late great Alvin Lee is a hero of mine. From the moment I saw his incredible performance in the Woodstock film I was hooked. That excerpt of him playing Going Home just blew me away. His guitar playing was exceptional, so fast; it seemed incredible, almost impossible that anyone could play at that speed. I sat in my bedroom practicing for ages, playing my vinyl copy of Going Home at 16rpm to try and pick out the notes. Sadly I failed; I went back to learning Clapton and Peter Green licks. At least they were slower, although I could never get the feel right. Oh and the single Love Like a Man was also a great favourite of mine when I was at school. Today I’m reflecting on the times I saw Alvin Lee in concert as a solo artist. I will write about the great Ten Years After when I get to the letter “T” (sorry for splitting Alvin’s work in this way, but that’s the way my programme and ticket collection is organised so I have to stick with it now :)).
alvintixempire My first engagement with the solo Alvin, was according to my tickets, in 1979 at Newcastle City Hall. Actually I am pretty sure that he was touring with a three piece band called Ten Years Later at the time, but the promoter obviously felt it better to list the gig as an Alvin Lee concert. The place was pretty empty as I recall, and Alvin was playing some new material, some rock n roll classics, and a few Ten Years After tunes. I think he played Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, Choo Choo Mama and Going Home. As always his guitar technique was excellent and his energy was boundless. The guy simply WAS rock n roll.
There was a long gap before I saw Alvin again. The next time was at Sunderland Empire in the early 90s, possibly in 1993 or 1994. By then Alvin had returned to playing many of the TYA classics and just tore the place apart. The last Alvin Lee concert I attended was when I went with a group of mates to see him, Edgar Winter and Tony McPhee on a blues package bill at Newcastle Opera House. alvinprog I found a setlist from around that time which includes: Rock and Roll Music to the World; Hear Me Calling; I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes; How Do You Do It; Don’t Want You Woman; Getting Nowhere Fast; I Don’t Give a Damn; I’m Gonna Make It; Slow Blues in “C”; Skooby-Ooobly-Doobop; Love Like a Man; I’m Going Home; Rip It Up; Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On / Johnny B. Goode / Bye Bye Johnny. Again, Alvin was superb, much better than the other bands on the bill. Edgar Winter was also pretty good. Although I am a big fan of Tony McPhee his performance that night wasn’t too hot, I’m afraid.
alvinopera When I think of Alvin Lee I picture him playing Going Home or Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, with a red Gibson guitar, super fast guitar playing and a unique mix of rock’n’roll, jazz and blues. Oh and sometimes some pretty crazy scat singing.
When I heard Alvin Lee had passed away I couldn’t believe it. He seemed so full of energy and always looked so fit. He is a big miss. There really wasn’t any other guitar player like him, and there still isn’t.