Archive for August 4th, 2006

August 4, 2006

R.I.P. Arthur Lee (1945-2006)

“By the time that I’m through singing, the bells from the schools of wars will be ringing, more confusions, blood transfusions, the news today will be the movies for tomorrow”

My dad just told me that sadly Arthur Lee has died. My reaction was simply “Shit”. Not the most eloquent of responses, I’m sure you’ll agree. If you’re unlucky enough not to be familiar with his work, he was the leader of a sixties band called ‘Love’ (Although some have said they should have been called ‘Hate’). Lee was friends with Hendrix, Love where rivals with The Doors and their song ‘Seven & Seven Is’ has been credited as music’s first foray into what would become Punk. Love’s impact was far from immediate, but over the decades they’ve become more and more respected. Lee’s performance of the entire ‘Forever Changes’ album at the Glastonbury festival, drenched in sunshine was very special.

One of my favourite live music moments was when Jack White played a spellbinding cover of Lee’s solo song ‘Five String Serenade’ at the Brixton Academy. Jack stood alone in a single spotlight as he played the opening Chords and whispered the first verse “This is my five string serenade, beneath the water we’ve played, and while I’m playing for you, it could be raining there too”.

I seem to recall rumours that he was working on a new album. Whether this is true or not, his place in musical history is assured and his reputation will only increase as time goes by.

Usually Love’s masterwork, ‘Forever Changes’ is available at give-away prices from many shops (Packed with bonus tracks) so there’s no excuse not to own it. Click here to buy it from Amazon for only £5.97.

Click here to read about Arthur Lee in Wikipedia.

Arthur Lee Website / Arthur Lee Fansite