Friday, August 4, 2006
Arthur Lee RIP
Love ruled. One of the first multi-ethnic bands, along with The Equals, they combined the rough and tumble garage rock sound with the just blossoming psychedelic scene. Arthur Lee was their frontman and what a front man he was. Restrained while ready to explode with a deep voice that might was just pollished enough to contrast brilliantly with the often frantic tone of tunes like their signature song "Little Red Book."
Love enjoyed some success in their time but their influence goes far beyond what you'd expect based on their record sales as the record collecting fans of each generation discover Love and become instant converts and preachy ones at that. My band The Ugly Sticks covered Love and playing at being Arthur Lee for a few minutes on stage was even more fun on stage than it was jumping around my room with a hairbrush for a microphone when I was 16.
Arthur Lee died today in Memphis of Leukemia. He'd been struggling with the disease for the past year.