Alvin Lee of the band Ten Years After died at the age of 68. Lee, the band’s guitarist, was best known for his performance with the group at Woodstock in 1969.
Lee’s family announced his death in a statement, though they did not say where he passed away.
Reuters reports that the guitarist’s family stated, “With great sadness we have to announce that Alvin unexpectedly passed away early this morning after unforeseen complications following a routine surgical procedure.”
Ten Years After, together with Alvin Lee, rose to international fame after they performed at Woodstock in the summer of 1969.
Their song “I’m Going Home,” Which featured the guitarist singing and performing extended solos, helped the band reach a larger audience when it was included in the documentary Woodstock the following year.
Alvin Lee formed Ten Years After in 1966. He left seven years later to focus on a solo career. When it didn’t turn out as he hoped, he helped the band reform in 1988.
USA Today notes that Alvin’s family added of his death, “We have lost a wonderful and much loved father and companion. The world has lost a truly great and gifted musician.”
After Woodstock, Lee’s band went on to rack up four hit singles on the Billboard charts, including “I’d Love to Change the World.” They also released five hit albums, the last of which hit the airwaves in 1973. The highest album on the Billboard charts came in at number 14.
Even though Alvin Lee reformed Ten Years After, he still remained active with his solo career. He released his 14th solo album, called “Still on the Road to Freedom,” in August 2012. Lee lamented the band’s audience following Woodstock.
While the group’s sound was more blues-rock, audiences wanted more rock-driven performances following the 1969 music festival. Lee recalled, “We had respectful audiences then who would appreciate a jam or a swing. But after Woodstock, the audiences got very noisy and only wanted to hear things like ‘I’m Going Home.’ “
Along with Alvin Lee’s 14 solo albums, Ten Years After also released 11 studio albums between 1966 and 2008. Before his death, Lee was scheduled to perform with Johnny Winter on April 7 at Olympia Hall.
There was no word on what surgery Alvin Lee underwent before his death.