You can read my tribute to Alvin Lee that was published following his death in 2013 here. That article includes my re-posting of an article (published 25 years ago today) from The Orange County Register featuring my interview with the legendary singer-guitarist leading up to his performance at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano.
Read the media release below for details on the release of Gibson's "Alvin Lee ES-335 '69 Festival" electric guitar. Very cool indeed! Robert Kinsler
‘Alvin Lee ES-335 ‘69 Festival’
Available Worldwide today, November 5, 2019
Blues-Rock Legend’s Signature “Big Red” Guitar From Breakout Festival Performance Released In Celebration Of
50th Anniversary Of Woodstock
“My famous Gibson 335 that I bought for £45 in Nottingham was the best investment I ever made.”
|Alvin Lee playing his Gibson 335.|
Photo credit: Dan Garson
NASHVILLE, TN (November 5, 2019) Gibson, the iconic American instrument brand, has announced the worldwide release of the new, limited-edition Alvin Lee ES-335 ’69 Festival’. The leading guitar brand has created the exact ES-335 guitar in Aged Sixties Cherry. The striking guitar, which Lee called “Big Red” launched his performance to legendary status while showcasing his lightning-fast guitar playing at the original Woodstock festival in 1969. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock this year and Lee’s breakout festival performance, the historically accurate guitar is officially available now at Authorized Gibson Dealers worldwide. For more information, visit www.Gibson.com.
When Ten Years After took their heavy, manic blues-rock to the stage at Woodstock in 1969, the band unleashed a performance that came to define not just the legendary festival, but the spirit and sound of a movement. Following their set, which ended in a blistering, masterful rendition of “I’m Going Home,” Ten Years After catapulted to worldwide stardom and Alvin Lee rose to join Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Keith Richards as one of the most influential guitar gods of the time. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock, Gibson is proud to present this Alvin Lee ES-335 ‘69 Festival’ guitar, built to the exact specifications of the guitar Lee used during his jaw-dropping, festival performance. The Gibson Alvin Lee ES-335 ’69 Festival’ guitar includes all of the stickers, aging, special modifications and mojo of the original. Only 50 of these limited-edition Alvin Lee ES-335 ’69 Festival’ guitars will be sold worldwide.
|The Alvin Lee ES-335 '69 Festival guitar|
Watch and share the following video of the new Alvin Lee ES-335 ’69 Festival’ guitar featuring Leo Lyons (Ten Years After, co-founder and bassist), Loraine Burgon (Alvin Lee’s partner 1963-1973) and Barrie Cadogan (Little Barrie, Primal Scream, The The), Here.
"Really happy to hear that Gibson guitars is doing a limited edition 335 in honour of Alvin Lee. Alvin was a brilliant guitar player that became famous all around the world with his band-Ten Years After. He was a great friend of mine and Black Sabbath, he made a major impact on thousands of guitar players globally-including me! Thank you, Gibson - Alvin well deserves it!!”
“Alvin was one of the most exciting Rock/blues guitarists of his generation. His red customised Gibson ES 335 not only gave him his signature sound but was also a part of his iconic stage personality.”
--Leo Lyons (Ten Years After co-founder and bassist 1966–2013)
Born in Nottingham, England, Alvin Lee began playing guitar at age 13 and formed the core of what would become the band Ten Years After by age 15. Originally influenced by his parent's prolific collection of jazz and blues records, it was the advent of Rock ’n’ Roll that truly ignited Lee’s interest and creativity with guitarists like Chuck Berry and Scotty Moore providing his inspiration.
With Lee as guitarist, singer and songwriter, Ten Years After (TYA) first toured America in 1968 at the invitation of the legendary Fillmore promoter Bill Graham. American audiences were immediately captivated by the group’s innovative mix of blues, swing, jazz and rock alongside Lee's distinctive, soulful and rapid-fire guitar playing.
Alvin Lee’s groundbreaking, virtuoso guitar performance at Woodstock festival in 1969--captured live on film in the documentary of the festival--remains a gold standard of influence today for many guitarists and continues to introduce Lee to new music fans all over the world.
Listen to Alvin Lee: https://alvinlee.lnk.to/Listen.
For more information about Alvin Lee:
For Gibson, visit:
Gibson Brands, the world’s most iconic guitar brand, has shaped the sounds of generations of musicians and music lovers across genres for more than 100 years. Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Nashville, TN, Gibson Brands has a legacy of world-class craftsmanship, legendary music partnerships and progressive product evolution that is unrivaled among musical instrument companies. The Gibson Brands portfolio includes Gibson, the number one guitar brand, as well as many of the most beloved and recognizable music brands, including Epiphone, Kramer, Steinberger and Gibson Pro Audio division brands Cerwin Vega, KRK Systems and Stanton. Gibson Brands is dedicated to quality, innovation and sound excellence so that music lovers for generations to come will continue to experience music shaped by Gibson Brands. Learn more at http://www.gibson.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.