Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ten Years After- I'M GOING HOME



Their name was a reference to the fact that the band was formed "ten years after" the seminal rock'n roll year of 1956. And on one glorious August (1969) night in Woodstock, NY, Ten Years After were the greatest rock band on the planet.

They had some success in the late 1960's, but Woodstock, and the movie that documented the concert, made TYA superstars, a status they held into the mid 1970's.

The band's classic lineup came together in London in 1966, consisting of Ric Lee (drums), Leo Lyons (bass), Chick Churchill (keyboards), and Alvin Lee (guitar and vocals). Alvin Lee (no relation to Ric) was the front man, principle writer, and the fastest guitar alive. They signed with Deram Records in 1967. Three hit albums followed, and by the time their fourth record Ssssh was released in 1969, TYA played Woodstock and became part of rock's mythology.

The 1970's brought a change of labels to CBS, there were two more studio albums, but by 1974 the band called it a day. For awhile.

Alvin Lee continued a solo career, notable for his pairing with Mylon Lefevre (backed by George Harrison, Mick Fleetwood, Ron Wood, and Steve Winwood) in 1973, and the live concert album In Flight, backed by singers from Kokomo Paddy McHugh, Dyan Birch, and Frankie Collins, Kokomo's guitarist and bass player, respectively Neil Hubbard and Allen Spenner, drummer Ian Wallace, and former King Crimson sax player Mel Collins. And I was there, at the Rainbow, in Finsbury Park, London. I saw Ron Wood and Rod Stewart in the audience as well.

TYA reunited briefly in 1983, only to break up again. In 1988 the band was again revived without Alvin Lee, who remains a solo artist. The current TYA lineup consists of Lyons, Churchill, Ric Lee, and singer/guitarist Joe Gooch.

That's enough history. Below, from Woodstock, Ten Years After...I'm Goin' Home....'on a helicopter.

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