10 Questions and Answers
5' 11 1/2 "
DLM 1.What made you want to be a bass man?
LEO LYONS 1 .I started guitar lessons at the age of eleven. My guitar teacher introduced me to some other players and we formed a band The Phantoms. We rehearsed twice a week and played maybe only once or twice a month. There were four guitarists in the band. Bob, the only guy who owned an amp was naturally the lead guitarist. I had the choice of playing rhythm or plugging into his amp and picking out the bass lines on my guitar. The rest as they say is history. I still play guitar but have no desire to play in a band. I think well and truly like a bass player.
DLM 2. We all heard stories about the bands in the 60’s & 70’s trashing their hotel rooms, I never heard a story about Ten Years After doing ridiculos things of that nature, was it you guys were angels or the press wasn’t interested?
LEO LYONS 2.TYA were never really into trashing hotel rooms although there were a few minor incidents from certain people
DLM 3.. During the middle 60’s when the group went to Germany, after the Beatles, what kind of music were you guys playing?
LEO LYONS 3 Alvin and I played the Star Club in Hamburg in 1962 one week after The Beatles. Our set list was all Rock and Roll. Chuck Berry, Elvis, Carl Perkins, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, and Jerry Lee Lewis etc. Pretty much the same as all the bands.
DLM 4. How loud was Ten Years After compared to the Who?
LEO LYONS 4. A difficult question. I'm not sure about that. The PA systems were not as refined and powerful as they are today and we all used the same or similar equipment. In a large venue I'd guess we were about the same level. In a small venue maybe The Who were louder. I bet John Entwistle was always louder than me. Alvin has always had a thing about my bass being too loud
DLM 5 What do you remember the most about Woodstock at the time Ten Years After played in 1969, before the movie came out in 1970?
LEO LYONS 5. The late sixties early seventies was a great time to be around and I consider myself fortunate to have been part of it all. Woodstock was fantastic to play but so were all the other festivals, The Isle of Wight, The Texas Blues Festival, Toronto Peace Festival, The Newport Jazz Festival, The Singer Bowl concerts in Central Park, The Fillmore's, and The Windsor Jazz Festivals etc. Woodstock has been singled out because of the movie but really the film does not just represent one gig but is a documentary of an era. I remember the rain, the mud, no sleep, no food, no hotel room but most of all I remember the crowd and being on stage.
DLM 6 What are your 3 most memorable performances with Ten Years After?
LEO LYONS 6. There are so many highlights from the years of touring that it's difficult to pick out only three. If I have to, probably The Marquee Club, London the first time we headlined there, The Fillmore's and of course Woodstock. I think these three gigs in their own way were pivotal points when the band broke through and made a connection with the audience. I remember so many enjoyable gigs and I'm sure everyone has their own favorite.
DLM 7.If you had the chance to do it over again, what would you do different?
LEO LYONS 7. I had an onstage view of rock history being made and loved every minute of it. It has to be the ultimate job being paid to enjoy oneself! What would I do differently? I'd look out for myself more than I did and not expect others to have the same ethics, loyalties and standards as myself
DLM 8.Who actually picked the songs for Ten Years After setlists?
LEO LYONS 8. I did up until around 1970 and then everything changed and it became impossible to get Alvin to do new material. I apologise to all the fans who requested the many songs we never performed live.
DLM 9. EMI has released Ten Years After At The Fillmore East 1970, ( July /9/2001) what’s your take on this?
LEO LYONS 9. I think the Fillmore CD is a good recording of TYA playing at its peak when the fire was first lit under it.
DLM 10.Do you think there is a possibility of Ten Years After performing together again....(Live or Recording)
LEO LYONS 10. Alvin and I fell out and although I bear him no ill will he may feel differently towards me. I believe that he has no ambition left beyond doing the minimum number of gigs necessary to sustain his lifestyle. The Alvin Lee Band suits his needs because no one on wages will argue the point. That's his choice but I want to do so much more. I love playing live shows and will be on tour next year with a new project. I hope to meet all the fans. Any more TYA gigs? I doubt it but `Never say never'. It's happened several times before.
6 / 2001 ..................Thanks to Leo Lyons for his honesty
Moments Of Madness - 1973 Blue Horizon (with Mike Vernon)
Phenomenon - 1974 Chrysalis (with UFO)
Force It - 1975 Chrysalis (with UFO)
No Heavy Petting - 1976 Chrysalis (with UFO)
Kingdom Of Madness - 1978 Jet (with Magnum)
Friday Night - 1979 Chrysalis (with The Bogey Boys)
Marauder - 1980 Jet (with Magnum)
Detroit Diesel - 1986 21 Records (with Alvin Lee)
Waiting In The Wings - 1992 Line (with Chris Farlowe)
Heartland - 1992 Line (with The Kick)
Tough Trip Through Paradise - 1994 KDC (as Leo Lyons' Kick)
Milan - 1995 Fast Western (with The Breakers)
Real Live - 1996 Overture (with Hank Davison)
As Phat As It Gets - 1999 Lightyear (with Leslie West)
Blues Keep Me Holding On - 1999 Mystic Music (with Savoy Brown)