Alvin Lee Has in Fact Gone Home

Wow.


I've never thought of myself as spookily prescient — if I had, I'd probably sit with a crystal ball in a gypsy costume at county fairs. But it's absolutely true that, in the last few weeks, I was strongly compelled to seek out and listen to Ten Years After's Watt, Cricklewood Green, Rock 'n' Roll Music to the World and Recorded Live albums.


Alvin Lee died today and I'm sad.


Fact: You have never seen a human being nail an air guitar performance like Young Ricky Koster blowing threw "I'm Going Home"— although it's important to note I far prefer the version from Recorded Live to his iconic take from Woodstock.


Fact: I wore clogs for years because of Alvin Lee -- at great personal peril in Central Texas in the late '70s.


Fact: Before the age of the easily-accessed silk screen design, I tried mightily to make my own version of Lee's Fillmore West t-shirt, which he seemed to wear with some regularity onstage.


Fact: After my senior year in high school, when I battled Dallas rush hour traffic to and from my much-hated summer job working in the collections department at a loan company, I listened to Watt incessantly. There was a certain melancholy about that whole summer – not the least because high school was over — and TYA's "Think About the Times" resonated in huge fashion.


Fact: I was crushed when Lee left Ten Years After. He made a collaborative album with Myron LeFevre and, though I gave it a shot out of loyalty to Alvin, it was so bad I warped it with a hair dryer, took it back to the record store, and exchanged it for something else.


Looking back, I realize that Lee wasn't the greatest songwriter in the world – he'd have been the first to tell you that. And for all his rocket-ship fretboard speed, he probably wasn't the most technically gifted rock guitarist, either.


He was stinkin' fast, though, and, as a rock star, he was just about a cool as it got.

Reader Comments

MORE BLOGS

Podcast: Rick and Kristy go to The Oscars

Rick Koster and Kristina Dorsey discuss the upcoming Academy Awards, plus The Subdudes atThe Garde and The Banff Mountain Film Festival at Connecticut College.

Podcast: The Grammys and King Crimson at opposite ends of the musical spectrum

Rick Koster and Peter Huoppi discuss the 2017 Grammy Awards and King Crimson's album Larks' Tongues in Aspic.

Podcast: Thor Jensen, Matt Charette and Super Bowl halftime shows

Rick Koster and Peter Huoppi look forward to upcoming performances by Thor Jensen and Matt Charette, and discuss the distinction between music and entertainment in the Super Bowl halftime shows.

Body painting, funky Zappa covers, and dying rock stars

After the death of John Wetton, Rick Koster and Peter Huoppi talk about losing your musical heroes. Also, Hygienic body painting, The CarLeans, Mike Casey Trio, and The Z3.

Podcast: Revisiting favorite teen albums

Rick Koster and Peter Huoppi offer their takes on each other's top album from their teenage years.

Hygienic weekend 2017 and the Facebook top ten album phenomenon

Rick Koster and Peter Huoppi talk about the upcoming Hygienic weekend in New London as well as the recent spate of "top ten album" posts on their Facebook feeds.