Alvin Lee

  • Date Sep 19, 1975
  • Total Length 29:00
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  1. 1Interview29:00
Liner Notes

After Alvin Lee's guitar playing at Woodstock catapulted Ten Years After to international fame, the band took a more commercial direction and started playing stadium tours. Come 1974, Alvin felt limited within the confines of this band and embarked on a solo career.

By the time this interview was recorded with Mary Travers in 1975, he was supporting his second solo studio album, Pump Iron! The chat starts off with predictable questions about why he left Ten Years After, what it's like to be playing "solo," and how the new album was recorded. Some of the best parts, however, are when the two world-class performers' conversation becomes more metaphysical as they talk about venue acoustics, the music business, and the labeling of genres.

00:18 - Touring as Alvin Lee vs. touring with Ten Years After
01:41 - Writing process with the new band vs. with Ten Years After
02:43 - Why he got out of Ten Years After
03:20 - New directions on the new album
04:15 - Creating music live vs. creating in the studio
06:56 - Re-creating the live experience in the studio ("Burnt Fungus," "Truckin' Down the Other Way")
08:19 - Inviting friends to the recording barn
09:01 - The acoustics of performance venues
10:16 - The economics behind concert promotion / some favorite venues
11:44 - Anglicized rock (Ten Years After) better suited for playing arenas
12:28 - Exploring subtlety with the new band
13:21 - Influences: traditional blues, early rock and roll
15:13 - Seeing Elvis Presley in Las Vegas
15:52 - The beauty of a Little Richard record
16:34 - The ideal producer
17:38 - "What the audience wants" / the origin of one-hit wonders
18:30 - Jazz musicians have the right idea / the original shoe gazers / self-indulgence
20:36 - Forays into his roots / any music with a beat / release vs. escape
22:01 - Classical music
22:22 - The direction of contemporary music / the silliness of pigeonholed genres
25:00 - Interlude
25:48 - Recording Pump Iron! / a hobby without a deadline, a job with one
26:34 - Always dissatisfied with albums he's made
27:52 - Mary's desire to make a compilation album
28:27 - Fast food in Japan