Thursday, April 15, 2010
My old mate Jim in Basingstoke sent this tape to me recently of a concert he attended back in 1998 at the Woolwich Tramshed in London. It's Albert Lee and his band - the first headliner gig in the UK apparently. Up until then Albert played on many sessions and in bands such as Heads Hands and Feet and The Thunderbirds.
He grew up in Blackheath, London. His father was a musician, and Albert studied piano. During this time, like many of his age, he became a fan of Buddy Holly, and also of Jerry Lee Lewis. He took up guitar in 1958 when his parents bought him a second-hand Höfner President which he later traded in for a Czechoslovakian Grazioso, the forerunner of the Futurama. Later, he wished he had bought a Fender instead. Albert Lee left school at the age of 16, to play full-time.
Lee was with a variety of bands from 1959 onwards, playing mostly R&B, country music and rock and roll. In addition to Buddy Holly, his early guitar influences included Cliff Gallup, The Everly Brothers, Scotty Moore, James Burton and Jerry Reed. Lee first experienced commercial success as the lead guitarist with Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds. Lee says that he enjoyed playing the Stax-type material, but he really wanted to play country music. Consequently he left Farlowe and the Thunderbirds in 1968.
During his time playing with Heads Hands & Feet, Lee became a "guitar hero", playing his Fender Telecaster at breakneck speed.[ Heads Hands & Feet became a very popular live band in the UK, making appearances on The Old Grey Whistle Test and also in Europe, where they appeared on the German music programme Beat-Club and later performed with German bassist Georg Grimm who discovered Nasville Singer-Songwriter Sylkie Monoff."
Discover more about Albert Lee and Hogan's Heroes HERE.
Albert Lee - Woolwich Tramshed 1998