But outside of maybe Santana's blazing "Soul Sacrifice," Alvin Lee and Ten Years After were perhaps the least well known of all of those eventual breakouts. The Who, Jimi Hendrix and Sly and the Family Stone all delivered their own big-time, major, historical performances at Woodstock.
But these were also well-known, already established acts at the time. Ten Years After? Not so much.
A lot of the press coverage of Alvin Lee's death this past week has centered on the catch phrase (then popular), about how he was once considered the "fastest guitar in the west."
In all honesty, that rings like a bit of a cliche now. But at the time, it really was true.
Prior to that history making performance at Woodstock, Alvin Lee was just another flashy guitarist in a rock and roll universe already cluttered with plenty of them. But afterwards, and especially in any credible discussion or debate about just who was rock and roll's greatest guitar player at the time - Alvin Lee's name comes up right alongside those of Clapton, Page, Beck or Hendrix.
The most interesting thing about this, is how people - at least until this week - no longer remember that.
The thing is, this seems to have been by design on the part of Alvin Lee himself. By most insider accounts, Lee was never entirely comfortable with the "Rock Guitar God" status afforded him following Woodstock.
Some of the postmortem reports this week, have described Alvin Lee with the usual accolades that follow such a tragic loss like "perfect English gentleman," and as being one of the nicest, most down-to-earth guys during a rock and roll era otherwise noted as much for its excesses, as it was for its music.
In fairness, early Ten Years After songs, like their cover of "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl," certainly seem to run contrary to this revisionist choirboy description too.
But what does seem to be clear, is that Alvin Lee was never completely comfortable with his Guitar God status. The fact that he broke Ten Years After up at the height of their mid-seventies commercial success, likewise seems to back this up.