British guitarist Alvin Lee of rock band Ten Years After dies

(Reuters) - British blues-rock guitarist Alvin Lee, who was best known for his performance with rock band Ten Years After at Woodstock in 1969, died on Wednesday at age 68, his family said.

British blues guitarist Alvin Lee of "Ten Years After" performs in Bethel August 14, 1998. REUTERS

“With great sadness we have to announce that Alvin unexpectedly passed away early this morning after unforeseen complications following a routine surgical procedure,” the family said in a statement on the singer’s official website.

They did not say what sort of procedure Lee underwent or where the musician died.

Lee and Ten Years After rose to international prominence after a much-lauded performance at the 1969 Woodstock music festival in New York state.

The band’s song “I’m Going Home,” which featured Lee’s singing and extended guitar solos, opened the band to bigger audiences after it was included in the documentary “Woodstock” in 1970.

Ten Years After’s biggest hits followed Woodstock, including “Love Like a Man” in 1970 and “I’d Love to Change the World” in 1971.

Lee formed Ten Years After in 1966 but left the band in 1973 to focus on a solo career only to reform the group in 1988.

In a 1975 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Lee lamented how after the Woodstock performance audiences wanted more rock-driven songs from the band.

“We had respectful audiences then who would appreciate a jam or a swing,” Lee said. “But after Woodstock, the audience got very noisy and only wanted to hear things like ‘I’m Going Home.’”

He added: “I’ve always been much more of a guitar picker but I began to feel forced into a position of being the epitome of a rock and roll guitarist.”

Ten Years After released 11 studio albums between 1966 and 2008. Lee put out 14 solo albums, the most recent was “Still on the Road to Freedom” in 2012.

Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Eric Beech