Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Rock guitarist who owned old manor house

A ROCK musician who used to live in Checkendon has died.

A ROCK musician who used to live in Checkendon has died.

Alvin Lee, who was 68, was lead guitarist and singer with Ten Years After and known as “Fast Fingers”.

Born Graham Anthony Barnes in Nottingham in 1944, Lee enjoyed listening to his father’s jazz and blues 78s. He played the clarinet until skiffle made him switch to the guitar.

In 1960, he restyled himself Alvin Lee and formed the Jaybirds with bassist Leo Lyons. By 1966, the band had been renamed after a newspaper headline referring to the emergence of Elvis Presley.

Ten Years After were very successful in the Sixties and Seventies, particularly in America where they toured a record 28 times and played Woodstock Festival.

In 1972, Lee bought Hook End Manor, an Elizabethan house, where he built a studio. Some of Hook End and the nearby woods appeared on the covers of the band’s LPs.

Lee enjoyed a hedonistic lifestyle which included riding motorbikes in the woods around his home.

After his band split in 1974, Lee released a number of solo albums that were less successful and he sold his home to David Gilmour, of Pink Floyd, in 1980 before it was bought by record producer and musician Trevor Horn.

Lee, who had lived in Spain for many years, died from complications following routine surgery. He leaves partner Suzanne, with whom he had one daughter, and wife Evi.

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