Legendary British guitarist and singer Alvin Lee unexpectedly passed away early Wednesday (March 6) after complications following a routine surgical procedure. Now the rocker's former band mates in Ten Years After have issued a statement, lauding the virtuoso musician as "one of guitar's greatest talents."

Lee's family broke the news of his surprise passing in a post to his official website Wednesday morning. "We are all stunned. All of us," states drummer Ric Lee. "I don't think it's even sunk in yet as to the reality of his passing. We are all thinking of his family and friends today, and offer our own condolences."

Ten Years After became international stars after their appearance at Woodstock, but over the years suffered through the on-again, off-again relationships that usually plague successful groups. Despite various disputes, bassist Leo Lyons remembers Lee fondly.

"I heard about Alvin's passing and it came as a complete shock to me," he states. "I still haven't taken it in. I feel very sad. He was the closest thing I had to a brother. We had our differences, but we shared so many great experiences together that nothing can take away. I will miss him very much. He was an inspiration for a generation of guitar players. Keep on rockin' Alvin!"

Fellow rockers Foghat also reacted to the news of the guitarist's death, posting the following to their Facebook page: "So very sad to hear about the passing of Alvin Lee. Truly one of the great guitarists of our time. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family and friends. You will be missed, Alvin."

Funeral arrangements for Alvin Lee have not yet been made public.

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