Sunday, February 28, 2010

Alvin Lee, "The Gibson 335" Guitar Superman

Alvin Lee, the former front-man for Ten Years After, still remains one of the greatest "Guitar Supermen" in the world today. His trusty sidekick is his beloved Gibson 335 and his Marshall Jubilee 2550 amp. Alvin named his Gibson "Big Red", and he's been offered as much as $500,000 for it by a fan, but he bluntly refused to sell his beloved companion. "Big Red" has now become too valuable for Alvin to tour with it as he continues to play concert events. Alvin's guitar is worth more than many homes, and costs lots to insure. But Gibson did make Alvin a replica copy of it to travel with. The original "Big Red" only cost Alvin Lee around $90 when he first bought it.

Alvin once explained how he modified his Gibson to give it both hum and distortion to guitar legend Les Paul, and he replied, "I do all this work to make pickups that don't hum by putting screens on them and the first thing you do is take them off again". Alvin "took off the humbucker covers" and turned the "bridge pu" backwards according to his own words.

Alvin has always been something of an electronic wiz. According to his own website, he built his own amp at the young age of just 16. And his experiments on his guitars have always contributed to their unique sound. With Alvin Lee at the helm, Ten Years After was always one of the greatest live guitar acts ever. His appearance at Woodstock was one of the greatest highlights of that entire music festival. Alvin Lee, Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend and Carlos Santana all turned in awesome guitar performances.

Alvin continues to record and tour. His last release, ALVIN LEE IN TENNESSEE is a great Cd, done with a number of very talented sessions musicians and other music legends.

For a lifetime of fantastic guitar work and music, Wizbang Pop officially recognizes Alvin Lee with the honorary title of "Guitar Superman" here.


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