Ten Years After Newcastle City Hall 29th October 1972

Ten Years After Newcastle City Hall 29th October 1972
tyatix72“Who is the best guitarist?”
We would have endless discussions like that at school, debating about our personal favourites and almost coming to blows with friends. The music press wasn’t much better, with the Melody Maker polls, and articles which discussed in great detail the technique of all our idols. It was, of course, accepted that Hendrix was the master, but then what was the ranking after that? Eric Clapton was the blues “god”, the standard by which we measured blues guitar; Jimmy Page was pure rock and riffs, Peter Green was all emotional blues and “feel”, Jeff Beck was the elusive genius, and Alvin Lee? Alvin was fast, speed, technique, flash, and rock’n’roll. Alvin wasn’t into any sort of show. He strapped on his red Gibson, walked on that stage, and played. And boy how he played.
“Who is the best guitarist?”
It was silly really. All of those guys had their own style, their own brand, and they were all so different and so excellent in their own way. The debate was ill-founded, futile, and only caused arguments and bad feeling.
I saw Ten Years After again on 29th October 1972 at Newcastle City Hall. Support came from the excellent Frankie Miller who was backed by Brinsley Schwartz. tyaposter73 This was another great gig. John reminds me that loads of us went. Everyone I knew from school who was into rock was at this gig, we ran into loads of mates; there must have been 20 or 30 of us. Ten Years After were once again, great. The setlist was probably something like this: One of These Days; You Give Me Loving; Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl; Rock & Roll Music to the World; Turned Off TV Blues; Standing at the Station; I Can’t Keep from Crying; I’m Going Home; Choo Choo Mama; Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock ‘n’ Roll You, and will likely also have included a classical guitar piece and a scat guitar jam.
I do remember several encores that night, and us all rushing right down to the front, cramming the area near the stage. When it looked like it was all over, they would come on again, while we nervously looked at our watches, in fear of missing the last train, which I think we did, incidentally. However, all was not lost, there was a later bus, which took us all over the place. We then had to walk a few miles, arriving home in the early hours.
“Who is the best guitarist?”
If you had asked me that night, I would, of course, have said “Alvin Lee”. 100% and no contest 🙂 Happy Days.
Thanks to John for the image of his poster.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mitch on October 16, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Great blog Peter – I was at this one too. They played three encores – Choo Choo Mama, Sweet Little Sixteen and Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock ‘N’ Roll You.

    In 2001 a double CD was released of TYA Live At Fillmore East 1970. A really great concert which had never been released before and has Alvin Lee in sparkling form. Included on this is a sixteen minute version of Help Me – when, just as you think the guitar solo has ended, off he goes again – and this happens three or four times during the track. Incredible stuff.


    • Posted by vintagerock on October 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      Many thanks Mitch I think I may have enjoyed TYA more that night than any other, partly because I went with a group of mates and we were all heavily into them at the time Cheers Peter


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